My Cybermummy Takeaway

Yesterday I went to the Cybermummy 11 conference in central London. It was HUGE, over 400 mum bloggers plus big brand sponsors and speakers including Sarah Brown (wife of ex-prime minister Gordon), Lord Richard Allan from Facebook and columnist Rachel Johnson.

There were quite a few business mums there, including Sam and Helen from Mums The Boss, Emma from Mums Business Directory, Antonia, Carol and Erica from Become a Mumpreneur, Monica from My Funny Bunny, Amy of Amy Taylor Accountancy, Sally from the LIME magazine, Liz from Weston Communications and Natalie Lue, professional blogger and all-round web guru . (Sorry to anyone I missed!) It was great to meet up with you all, ladies! So although Cybermummy isn’t really aimed at business, it certainly attracted its fair share ofย  mumpreneurs.

So what did Cybermummy have to say from a business perspective? The big theme I saw running through the day was social media – in the workshops, from the speakers and in the delegates who were tweeting furiously from their smart phones!

These days it’s essential to step out from your blog (or business, or website or pretty much anything else for that matter) and engage with people using social media. There are plenty of reasons for this, but I think a big one is that we’re fed up of being spoken to by big, faceless organisations and we want a personal connection instead. That’s why there were so many brands at Cybermummy wanting to tap into the blogging community. They know we’re tired of traditional advertising and instead want personal recommendations and opinions.

That’s great news for those of us running small businesses because we have no barriers to break down – we just have to step up and be ourselves. The days when you had to design your website to hide the fact you were a one-person-business are over. The big guys are now trying to tap into the networks of the little guys instead of the other way around. Isn’t that refreshing?

For me, the best sessions of the day were from Erica Douglas and Natalie Lue, both talking about making money from your blog. The message that came through loud and clear was that you must have a niche – it’s much easier to get an audience (and advertisers, if you want them) if you’re blogging in a narrow, well-defined subject area.

Erica talked about her journey from hobby mummy blogger to internet business owner who earns more than her husband! Natalie talked about how she chose not to rely on advertising as a way of earning from her blog. She said that continually finding and satisfying advertisers was “kind of exhausting”. Instead she recommended using your blog as a launchpad – say by creating training and e-books and offering consultancy. Be creative, there are many more ways to make a living from blogging than selling advertising.

I also joined the video blogging session. It confirmed what I’d suspected – video blogging is the next big thing. I guess we’ll all have to get over our nerves of being in front of the camera, then! The top tips I picked up in this session were to keep the camera level with your face – too low and you look fat and bloated, too high and you look like you should be on Crimewatch. So that’s why I look so rubbish in my videos! Don’t worry, my next batch should be a lot better ๐Ÿ™‚

But for me the best part is always the people I meet: all the inspiring mums I’ve already mentioned plus finally getting to meet the brilliant Becky from Baby Budgeting and Maggy from Red Ted Art.

So that’s what I’ve taken away from Cybermummy 11.

And finally a few words for one inspiring business mum I didn’t get to meet yesterday: my Cybermummy sponsor Libby Hill of SmartTalkers Pre School Communication Groups.ย  A huge ‘thank you’ to you, Libby and I hope to meet you sometime soon!

Comments

  1. I also really enjoyed the day. Not sure about vlogging still! I saw you a few times but didn’t get chance. To speak to you. I really enjoyed erica’s and natalie’s talk too, very different approaches but both have great outcomes.

  2. Was great to meet you Helen, shame we didn’t get chance to chat much but I have a feeling our paths will cross quite a bit in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Couldn’t make it this year but from all I have read sounds like it was a great event. Am hoping to go next year – thinks it’s really important particularly if you work predominantly from home by yourself to get out, network and get fresh input and inspiration from others.

    • Julia, can you make it to the Mumpreneur Conference or BusinessMums Summit in the Autumn? Cybermummy is definitely an experience, but I actually found that last year’s Mumpreneur Conference and Cambridge Business Mums Conference were more relevant to me personally. Cybermummy has such a broad range of people there – mums blogging for fun and to make friends, wanting support in tough times, those promoting a cause, those wanting to work with big brands, mums wanting to get a novel published that only a little bit was really relevant to me. It was great to meet up with people I knew online and from other events, but there were so many people there it was hard to make that many new connections.

  4. I’m looking forwards to meeting you too Heen. I love reading your blog!

  5. Sounds like I missed a fab day. At least you and I have met several times.

    • Naomi, I’m absolutely sure that they will run it again next year. The mummy blogging community is huge and just keeps getting bigger, so next year I’m sure the event will continue to grow. There are lots of business mum networking events in the meantime – maybe I’ll see you there? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. So glad you enjoyed the day. I missed Erica’s session but I really pushed for her to be on that panel so very pleased to hear it worked out.

  7. Becky Goddard-Hill says:

    Aw thanks Helen you were one of the women I was most keen to meet and we got such little time! Lovely to meet you – you and Maggy are mey favourite friendliest bloggers and inspiring to me! No clude where you live but if its not too far form Nottigham maybe we could meet for lunhc one day BOTH my kids will be inschool this sept!!!

    • Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I know, so little time! I’m in Bedfordshire, so not close but at least we’re on the same train line! Can you believe I used to live in Derby up until 5 years ago? I would have been just down the road from you back then. Lucky you having both kids in school – I’ve got another 2 years until that happens but maybe one day we can meet up in the middle eh? (Leicester, Market Harborough, Kettering? LOL!)

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