Kimberley Blaine, MA, MFT, has been named one of the most powerful moms in social media by Working Mother magazine.
Kimberley was Google+‘s first family partner, launching their online community where parents share and communicate via 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).
I met Kimberley at a Google press event.
Here’s my recent interview with Kimberley:
JA: What prompted you to make a transition from being a therapist to being an author and web video producer?
KB: 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
JA: How did you land your first corporate client? Did the sponsors come to you?
KB: 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 of 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.
JA: What kinds of products do you choose to endorse? Who are your current clients?
KB: 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 off from my background. So, if an auto body company asked me to do 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.” Check it out at: http://www.pocketfulloffeelings.com/
JA: Are there certain products or services you won’t deal with?
KB: I’m very reluctant to get involved with companies that sell gaming or electronics aimed at young kids. I think young kids should have limited time on electronics.
JA: 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?
KB: 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 NYC or to host 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 entertainment industry, so he’s home quite a bit.
JA: Do you work with clients to help them produce videos and sign corporate sponsors?
KB: Yes, I consult with other mom/dad bloggers to help them build their platforms and create a web video presence. After 7 years of doing it for myself, I gladly welcome helping others. It takes hard work, patience, and financial investment to build a successful brand.
JA: How did you build such a strong social media following?
KB: 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 up it quickly. I started observing other moms and media professionals. I 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.
JA: What’s next for you? Any new projects or ventures in the works?
KB: Yes, hopefully sometime in 2014 my book on women’s mental health will be out. And of course, I truly enjoy taking on a few private corporations who are in need of SoMe consultation around video, moms and content syndication.
Jane 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.