By Jane Applegate
Kimberley Blaine is a smart, dynamic woman who Working Mother magazine named one of the most powerful moms in social media. She is the executive producer of the Go-To Mom™ web series which addresses the overall mental health & well-being of mothers. Her show was one of the first grass-roots web series launched in 2007.
Kimberley was Google+‘s first family partner (I recently met her at a Google press event), launching its online community where parents share and communicate on the world’s largest search engine. Kimberley is a founding partner of MomPulse.TV, the fastest growing YouTube networks for moms owned by Fullscreen.
She is the author of The Internet Mommy & What Smart Mothers Know and The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children (Jossey-Bass/Wiley).
Jane Applegate: What prompted you to make a transition from being a therapist to being an author, producer and blogger?
Kimberley Blaine: When my first child was born, I felt very isolated and lonely. So, I started a neighborhood playgroup which grew to over 75 families. I kind of became the neighborhood’s ‘Go-To Mom,’ so I decided to try to reach millions by going online. In 2007, I launched the parenting series www.TheGoToMom.TV
Jane: How did you land your first corporate client? Did the sponsors come to you?
Kimberley: After three months of uploading USG (user generated content) with my Sony Handycam ® I reached out to a large parenting destination site and offered to sell a few shows. They not only were interested, but bought 24 shows. I ended up finally hiring a crew to shoot the videos. It wasn’t until after my fourth year that brands started to approach me.
Jane: What kinds of products do you choose to endorse? Who are your current clients?
Kimberley: I technically only endorse products that enhance the well-being of families raising young kids. Good food that’s safe and easy to make, non-toxic toys, age-appropriate movies, eco-friendly products and fun family destination vacation spots. I try not to veer too far from my background. So, if an auto body car company asks for a campaign, most likely I’d turn them down. Currently I’m helping promote ‘ptch’ app, designed by DreamWorks, a cool video app families can use to edit video from their phones. The other product I’m promoting is Dr. Ann Corwin’s “Pocket Full of Feelings.”
Jane: Are there certain products or services you won’t deal with?
Kimberley: I’m very reluctant to get involved with companies that sell gaming or electronics geared at young kids. I think young kids should have limited time on electronics.
Jane: What’s the biggest challenge you face as a working mother? How old are your sons? Do you have someone helping you care for them?
Kimberley: The biggest challenge isn’t necessarily being a working mom, it’s being a entrepreneurial mom. I can get called out at any moment for TV show in New York City or to host an event in Silicon Valley which involves travel for several days—so I have to scramble for childcare. My boys are seven and 12. They are in school during the day, but when I’m out of town, which is a lot, that’s when it’s a challenge. My husband is in the entertainment industry, so he’s home quite a bit.
Jane: Do you work with clients to help them produce videos and attract corporate sponsors?
Kimberley: Yes, I consult with other mom/dad bloggers to help them build their platforms and create a web video presence. After seven years of doing it for myself, I’m happy to help others. It takes hard work, patience, and financial investment to build a successful brand.
Jane: How did you build such a strong social media following?
Kimberley: I was intrigued with Twitter when I started. I thought Facebook was stupid and I refused to use it for years. But Twitter was such a fast-moving tool that I picked it up quickly. I started observing other moms and media professionals and learned a lot from some of the first SoMe (social media) pioneers by using Twitter the entire time I was building my brand. Twitter is responsible for my platform’s success. (You can follow her: @TheGoToMom)
Jane: What’s next for you? Any new projects or ventures in the works?
Kimberley: Sometime in 2014, I hope my book on women’s mental health will be published. And, of course I truly enjoy working with a few private corporations who are in need of SoMe consultation around video, moms and content syndication.
Jane: What advice do you have for a woman who has a certain expertise and would like to turn it into a money-making opportunity?
Kimberley: Go for it—if you don’t someone else will. As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it you can do it.” Watch your competition, learn from them. Never go into business not knowing what your colleagues are doing.
Jane Applegate is the national correspondent for SmallBizDaily.com, author of four books on small business success and co-founder of the FabulousFemaleNetwork.com. The Applegate Group is a multimedia production company.