For 2019 I am reorganised the Mums at Work Networking Group – I want to create the best business networking group in Northern Ireland for working mums or career mums – ambitious I know.. But first I am archiving it!
So I have identified the needs of those in the group –
- Start up Business Mums working from home who are looking for advice and support
- Business Mums who want others to collaborate with and help keep them accountable
- Business owners who are looking for fresh ideas to grow their business
- Career Mums who are looking for a community to network in because let’s face it, we all have a family to look after, targets to reach and we aren’t vulnerable but we do understand each other!
- Mums on maternity leave who are worried about not returning to work and not fitting in, worried about childcare, and maybe not wanting to return at all but not knowing what to do instead
- Mums who hate their job and are looking for ideas on what to do instead
- Mums who have joined network marketing companies and who want to network to find people who will buy and / or join their companies and who love their products (BTW I believe in some of these companies too because I love that women can earn commission from home)
I will admit, it’s been very overwhelming to look after and grow the group. I say this to dispel the myths and rumours that are going around.
I believe we have an amazing group of women – so yes if you are reading this, I think you are amazing. If you have used the group to promote your business, network, ask for recommendations or advice and to network, then THANK YOU!
If you have recommended it to friends and and fellow mums, THANK YOU!
However I am but one person.
I am Sinead, lover of self help books and Netflix and music.
I am Chris’s wife and I thank Chris for all his support even though he has no idea about what I am talking about half the time
I am mummy to 7 children, half are grown up and despite the fact none live at home and they have their own jobs and careers, they assist with babysitting, and any help I need at work.
I am joint owner of Swift Wedding & Event Services along with my husband and it’s a pretty big deal to us as we have built it up from scratch over 8 years, to providing decor to over 400 weddings and events a year – it’s growing and evolving all the time and every year includes a different learning curve, whether its staffing, or stocking, or social media or VAT returns or employee pensions. All roles are my responsibility and yes I have OCD.
But I love learning new things. I believe in myself. I really believe I am responsible for my path in life and it is all in my control. All I have to do is keep trying and keep learning.
I love new books to read so when Louise Carey sends me a new book to read for the month, I get right to it. My daughter Jamie bought me a set of books for Xmas and it brought tears of joy.
My husband bought me my annual Tony Robbins program (more on that later) and that also was gratefully received.
But getting back to the point, I started mums at work networking group to see if we could share skills and resources as business mums and I had no idea that it would grow at the rate that it did.
On one hand, I was not alone! Yes! There are others like me who want to help each other and feel like I do at times, overwhelmed and lost about the direction I am going in next.
The group has helped. I have mastered branding, Facebook Advert Manager, Mailchimp, Instagram and Canva, Creative Market and how to network. I know about looking after myself, reaching out to ask questions and not being afraid to just do it.
More than that, I have made true friends. You know who you are.
It’s certainly raised my visibility online, I can’t go anywhere and men, yes men, want to know the secrets. They scoffed at us, those business men and now they want to know how to do it, but the answer is, we are doing it together.
On the other hand, the group grew so fast that I didn’t have a chance to educate everyone on the VALUE of building a relationship first before trying to sell to everyone. That responsibility was mine.
The result was that people joined only to attempt to post spam, recruit people, PM all the members trying to sell to them etc. It was tiring and disheartening to receive complaint after complaint. Members have an option to report posts but I hadn’t told them how, so I was getting as many over 30 Pm’s a day from other members, as well as the same sales messages they were receiving.
The other result is that the group was misunderstood. Some people thought that networking means that you can join and post offers and services, but this was only permitted by club members, and the club members consisted of people who had attended events or built relationships in the group and saw enough value in it to pay a membership fee £49.99 a year or £4.20 a month. AND I have a reduced rate for those who don’t need a directory link
One member made over £10,000 in commission from attending events, and others had been referred by club members to friends and family and had generated extra income for their business from £500 – £1200 with the average being just over £5000 per member in November, just 6 months in.
Can you imagine what we can do together????
But obviously the membership wasn’t made clear to everyone, and this was my responsibility too, and like many business owners, I was scared to ask people for membership and when I did, I got more no answers than yes answers.
It was very disheartening.
Everyone that knows me knows my passion for mums at work, how much work I have put into building the following and the platforms so that I can promote the members.
In less than a year, I have build the instagram following to over 6000 people, the facebook reach is totally amazing – I compare it to my 8 year old wedding page which may as well be dormant in comparison, and everywhere you go in Northern Ireland, people are talking about Mums at Work. Our mailing list has over 6000 people. It’s got a fantastic following and it’s all to promote the members.
I didn’t build it alone, I did it with the support of my family and with the help of the club members.
But now, engagement in the group has dropped and there is a majority of the group that don’t see it as any different from any other Facebook Group.
The Members Club Group has just as much engagement in it with roughly 200 members – so the same people are engaging in both groups and it’s silly running 2 groups for the same people.
So the decision is to archive the big group on 15th January.
I will be asking people will you join us or are you happy to depart?
For our Xmas Party night I invited people to attend, I create a group event. I got over 50 messages from people asking why they had been invited to the event… I replied because I am inviting you as a group member.
They replied to say they didn’t even know they were a member.
So yes I understand you may not want to pay for membership if you are between jobs or on maternity leave or if you want to dip in and out. I wish I would continue to keep the group on.
If you have joined because you want to post a monthly offer, but don’t want to pay for monthly membership, here is a link to pay per #mawoffers post – Obviously as a member, this is free, and it is more cost efficient to pay £4.20 a month and have all the extra member benefits but if you want to try it out, give it a go, pay as you go then go ahead and pay using this form.
Monthly offer only - please email to firstname.lastname@example.org with image and instructions of how to book / buy
I hope you like the new Units in the group. It has become necessary to redirect people to the rules first, and I have started reorganising the group to show the potential for showcasing the members and any offers you want to promote.
I am going away for a few days of wedding planning with my daughter next week and am taking a break while the group is archived.
Will the group reopen? I am not going to run 2 groups for the same people.
I ask you..
Who else would help and promote you for £4.20 a month the way Mums at Work does?
You could be the shyest person EVER and (yes you two ladies spring to mind) but with me pushing you forward, and others referring and sharing your business and telling the story of YOU and YOUR Brand, what could you lose?
You have to ask yourself, if you haven’t got anything out of the group, is it because you didn’t engage.
If you aren’t a business owner, can you think of what value you have got out of the group as a working mum. Or if you don’t have children but are employed with a product or service that would benefit working mums, please get in touch.
A magazine / newspaper ad starts at £80
Facebook boosts rarely cost less than £5 – EACH
£4.20 is the less than the price of a cup of coffee.
I want you to think of where you are going this year with your business or career. Can Mums at Work help you take a step forward. Are you committed or not.
Those that have already committed THANK YOU
Are you with us?
Here is the link to join
Coming up soon is a Weekly Podcast where I will be talking to leading Business Mums and asking them how they do it.
I ask you, if Mums at Work is not for you, just leave, no need to announce it.
If you joined with the idea that you could fish for clients and buyers without engaging and becoming a member, then I am sorry, please leave.
If you joined for support and friendship and have no intention of becoming a member, nor do you want to sell anything or build a business, then you are welcome to stay.
If you joined because you wanted to get inspiration, please stay but please do not replicate the products and services of the members, MYSELF included. It will be noticed.
PMs to members and sales posters, people trying to recruit, INSTANT BAN
For those who want the group to self promote their events as they believe we are their target market… how do you know? if you have never came to an event or joined the private club group, how do you know what we want – really it’s obnoxious and tedious and condescending.
If you joined the group to build your own networking company, please just take yourself off….
Be respectful of those who have paid to be promoted and to engage and network. These are the first people who will reach out to help and support you!
I am passionate about helping you and invite you to give us a trial.. You can cancel at any time..
Rant over… explanations given.. 8 full days left before we decide what to do next…