You meet the most interesting Moms/women on the social web. It’s one of the things I love about it. It’s amazing how you can develop relationships all over based on strings of 140 character conversations. One of the women that I’ve met is Erica Diamond who flies by the Twitter handle @WomenOnTheFence. How could I not reach out to talk to her with a handle like that?
Here’s her story.
“In 1999, at the age of 24 and while still living at home, I started my successful business out of my parent’s basement. In fact, after bombing the GMAT’s and not getting into MBA School, I took the rejection from MBA School as a sign to push me into the path of entrepreneurship earlier than I had expected!”
Fast forward to a few years ago. While running her company from bed (on bed rest during pregnancy) and burning out, Erica got “an offer she couldn’t refuse” from Canada’s largest retail chain of bags. They wanted to buy her out–every entrepeneur’s dream. And nothing was going to stop her from taking the offer– even if it was another amazing business award (ex, A Profit Hot 50 Company – the ONLY female CEO on the list Canada’s 50 Emerging Growth Companies). She wanted to be a mom. It was time.
“I stayed home for a few years, had my babies, wrote a TV show, wrote 3 children’s books, and nurtured my children, giving them the foundation they needed. I knew my entrepreneurial spirit was so palpable, that it would return to me when I was good and ready.
That “ready” time was Sept. 11th, 2009. Sitting on the fence in my life with what direction I wanted to take, I had the strong urge to connect with other women around the world who were sitting on the fence much like myself, connect with them, and unite us as a group to get inspired to jump off the fence and live our best lives. Hence… the birth of my successful Blog www.WomenOnTheFence.com “
Erica has thousands of followers including Ellen DeGeneres, The Oprah Show, Oprah Magazine, Mariel Hemingway, Maria Shriver, Marlee Matlin, Suzy Welch, Denise Richards and Cory Booker– women from around the world who come for hope, inspiration and laughter about all the issues we women sit the fence about. That’s’ 100,000 page views and syndication across 8 women’s sites.
She was recently named on the list of The Top 25 Best Twitter Feeds for Women 2010 and 50 Best Blogs by Women 2010. Erica also has a book titled “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own Business. http://womenonthefence.com/ericas-book/
Are you a part of other Mom associations or brand panels?
“I am a mom at my own party! My site is monetized by Glam Media where I have some of the world’s biggest and best brands advertising on my site. I am a brand ambassador for ABC’s The View.”
Do you go to events? Which ones and why?
“So far, in the Blogosphere only Blogher and going to Mom Summit. I went to find my way in this blogging arena since I am pretty new to it! I will also be speaking in Boston in 2011 at Tory Johnson’s incredible Spark and Hustle Conference, and I will also be on the panel of The Women In Leadership Series, 2011.”
How do you fit twitter, Facebook, blog, book, business, speaker, hockey mom+ life? What’s your typical day like?
“What I love about my life, is that no day is every duplicated. Yesterday for example I Blogged in the am, then hair and makeup, then a TV appearance talking about the blog, the book, and how women can get motivated to get off the fence and get going in their life, then straight to pick up the wraps for my son’s 4 year old birthday party which ended the day off from 4:30-6;30. I tweeted along the way, I facebooked along the way, I answered 17 emails while in the hair chair, and I then caught up again after my kids and hubby went to bed!! I fit it all in, and I’m having a ball every step of the way. My days usually start after early morning carpool, the gym first about 4 days a week, then my work. I’m a confessed Tweetaholic, and you can read more about that addiction right here at http://womenonthefence.com/2010/12/03/do-you-have-a-social-media-addiction/”
Tell me about being an Entrepreneur and how do you use social media for business? Assuming you do.
“Ah, I love being an entrepreneur. It’s in my veins. I love getting scared, getting creative, pushing the limits, failing along the way, then succeeding, creating change and having an impact on people’s lives. As for social media, it’s the only reason why I’ve gotten to where I have after a year of blogging. And that is no word of a lie. It’s called, the wonderful Tweeps spreading your message! If people like what they see and read, they’ll be inclined to press that little button call RT which showcases your business, blog, products to the world. GET ON BOARD THE SOCIAL MEDIA BUS FROM DAY 1!”
What is your opinion regarding marketing to Moms? What should brands know that they might not already know? What are they getting right? What do they still not get?
“Moms are smart today. We represent a $2 trillion dollar spending portion of the pie. So, brands HAVE to listen if they want a piece of us. Us moms today have resources at our fingertips that were not available to our own baby booming moms. Therefore, moms today are very savvy! If brands want to properly market to moms, they need to LISTEN to the moms. But then that is true of any business. Companies have to listen to their consumers to get it right. That means putting selling on hold for a minute, and finding out what makes their consumers tick – so, that means what mom likes, where she spends her time and money, and how she wants to be spoken to. In my opinion, since I have entered this arena, many brands are now getting it right. And if you get it right, it’s good business.”