Kimberley Clayton Blaine is a national parenting expert, author and a licensed Family and Child Therapist. She's the executive producer of the Go-To Mom series and the producer of the branded entertainment show MommytoMommy.TV. She's also a mom to two kids, ages 5 and 10 years.
So, how did she go from real life mom to this digital doyenne? Kimberley Clayton Blaine has always been obsessed with helping kids. She became a preschool teacher when she was eighteen and then received her master's degree in counseling psychology and went straight into working with families.
In addition to working her private practice, she was director of education of child abuse for a non profit. She was living a life committed to helping kids. Years later in 2002, she became a mom. Having seen firsthand how important it is to raise kids in a healthy environment, Kimberley left work to be a full time mom, so she thought!
Then she encountered a very common problem facing new moms with their first newborn: loneliness.
So, the entrepreneur in her had an Aha Moment and she took action to solve her problem. She covered her neighborhood with fliers announcing that she was hosting a "neighborhood play group" in the park. It turns out that she had struck a chord in the neighborhood and before long, there were over 100 children involved in the weekly neighborhood play group.
This group became Kimberley's support system and the women formed close friendships. She was also able to contribute not only friendship but valuable advice to these other moms. This is where Kimberley earned her title as "The Go To Mom." We all wish we had a family therapist as part of our playgroup!
She thrived in motherhood and enjoyed the connection with moms so much that in 2007 with baby number two, Kimberley wanted to step it up a notch and realized that she could reach many more "neighborhoods" by going online.
So, she filmed some very "homemade" videos interacting with her baby and narrated them, offering viewers two minute segments filled with simple but credible parenting tips.
People responded to the videos so she started selling them to parenting websites. She figured out her cost/time and told them her fee for production and to her surprise, they said yes! Like many mompreneurs, she over booked herself. So she did what any entrepreneur should do at this point but are usually too intimated to do...she raised her price. Now she was getting paid (well!) to do what she loved and was still at home to be with her first priority, her kids.
In 2009 this grassroots video movement turned into MommytoMommyTV, sponsored in part by Sony and many other large well-known family brands. She writes, directs and also has a full-fledged production crew of her own now.
Kimberley says that "loving what you do brings success. Not being a Type A, not biz school but the innate love of your business is what leads you to win." She has written four books with another one on the way.
She has no worries about where she's going and feels she has only just scratched the surface as a mompreneur/parenting expert. With three years of experience in front of the camera she's says she's comfortable there now. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious which explains how she's built an amazing community online and television is likely the next step.
Kimberley's Advice for Moms Who Want to Start A Business:
1. Its okay to ask for help, you can't get it all done without help, whether it's family or hired help. Our children bring us creativity but to be fruitful and scale a business, we have to carve out time where we can work during the day. The most creative entrepreneur is the mother.
2. Whatever your idea is...you don't always need biz plan. Look at the people you admire and also know your competitors. Be fearless. Connect with people, even those you consider competitive.
3. Read trades. Digital video education and entertainment is a fast paced business and I reserve the right to change my biz model every 4 mos. Keeping on trend with trade papers encourages me to take a different route if necessary.
I admire Kimberley's fearlessness and confidence. She's got a very large comfort zone that includes being comfortable asking for the amount of money she knows she deserves...and she gets it. She doesn't worry about competitors because she realizes that she is the content and the business. It's okay to have others doing a similar thing, what differentiates her business is her own personality, credentialed background and unique life experience.
Kimberley also has a fierce attitude when it comes to her family time. She keeps strict working hours between 9am-2pm. Motherhood comes first and she's proud to let clients know that. She tries to empower other mompreneurs by letting us know that it's great tell a client who may be requesting a 4:00 meeting that "I'm a mom, my kids come home at 3:00, so let's work together at 1:00 instead." Kimberley says that when a mompreneur is honest about that, the client hears or translates it like this "Wow, her kids are more important than a meeting. She has integrity. I want to work with her." She also shuts off all electronics everyday at 5:30 until the kids are in bed.
To balance her no-nonsense business side, Kimberley has a down to earth, "accessible girlfriend" way about her that's very natural. This genuine side to her is another reason she continues to make "virtual" friends online.
Kimberley's Tips On Getting Involved in Social Media & Building Like Minded Commmunities:
1. Just do it. Start a Facebook page, chooses a twitter ID and start posting on Pinterest. Google etc. Ask for help from your social media savvy friends, they'll be happy to help!
2. When you post on different social media platforms don't be 100% self-promotional. Start dialogues with others, show interest in them and their business. Re-tweet others often. Follow like-minded people/businesses and they'll follow you back. Get emotional and real. People want to know there's a person behind the logo. My tweeting protocol is: 60% conversation with others, 20% promotional 20% connecting with people as friends.
3. Track your stats to see if your social media is paying off. Have your web tech install google analytics on all your webpages. You may find people going to your website more now that you're engaging online. Remember to ask your colleagues how they got started and how they're doing things. If you get good advice take it and run!
Kimberley wrapped up our interview by saying "Opportunities don't come knocking. You have to hunt them down, spear them and bask in the glory of your hard work and persistence."
It's hard to imagine Kimberley basking in the glory. She's constantly thinking, connecting, growing her business and truly enjoys the journey. That's what many of us strive to do, enjoy the journey without obsessing on an end result. She's a great example of "just do what you love (and be dedicated & hard working) and success will come."