Dawn Berryman is the founder and owner of MarketMommy.com, an online resource that shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University in English, communications, and journalism and has worked in the marketing/communications field since 2002. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband, three children, and their Wheaten Terrier. Dawn has operated an online business since 2006 and has worked from home full-time since 2017.
Read on to see how her work-at-home journey began.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
I created my first online business in 2007 and quickly realized how difficult it was to market, even though I had a background in marketing and communications (B.A. from Indiana University). So, I launched Market Mommy in 2009 as an online marketing resource for mom business owners.
We offer free marketing tips and advice via our main website, blog, and e-newsletter. We also offer low-cost advertising and marketing services to mom business owners. Although I feel the online marketing world is constantly changing and I’m continually learning new things, I think Market Mommy has been able to help many small business owners.
Give us an example of how you first monetized your online business.
One of the first things I did to monetize was to offer ad space on our site and on our blog. I also signed up for Google AdSense. Since then I’ve added several services; including copywriting, sponsored blog posts, and newsletter ads.
What types of marketing strategies have worked best for you?
Social media, most notably Facebook, has been a great avenue for me. It has, however, dropped off in recent years with the changes they’ve made. The thing that I think has been the most consistent has been email marketing.
Give us an example of how you landed one of your first clients.
When Market Mommy was brand new, we did features on our blog that we called blog parties. We still offer free features via our Mommy Monday posts (contact me for details) but the blog parties were a bit different. We featured businesses that had something in common over the course of a week and gave away prizes from the featured shops. This generated a lot of traffic quickly because of the contest aspect. One my first graphic design clients came directly from a blog party.
You’ve been in business since 2009, what’s been the key to your success?
It’s hard to have longevity in online business these days. I see businesses close up regularly. I think there are a couple of reasons that I’m still around.
First, I didn’t make a huge investment initially that I had to pay back. I started small and invested money in my business as I made it. I was able to stay out of debt from the beginning.
Secondly, I’ve been able to change my services and style to adapt over the years. I’ve stayed on top of current trends and worked hard to continue to meet the evolving needs of mom business owners. Although my prices have gone up slightly since 2009, I’ve worked to keep them affordable.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own online business?
I always tell women to take it slow. Do your research and don’t make any rash decisions. Make sure that there is a need that your business can meet. I always stress to research other businesses similar to the one you’re launching. See what they are doing and how they are doing it. Also, be aware of existing trademarks and copyrights to make sure that you aren’t infringing on anyone’s intellectual property.
What are you currently working on?
We are gearing up for our annual Holiday Gift Guide where we will feature a multitude of mom-owned businesses this holiday season. This is a great exposure opportunity starting at just $29.
This year, we revised and updated our Media Kit and added customizable, affordable packages to meet the needs of various mom business owners at different stages of their business growth. These have been popular, and we hope to expand on them throughout the year.
Where do you see Market Mommy in the next five years?
I hope we are still doing what we are doing now, helping mom business owners accomplish their goals.
As a busy mom of three, how do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
It’s rough, and sometimes honestly Market Mommy has to take a backseat to life and kids. But, that’s okay. That’s part of the freedom of being your own boss. My family always takes priority and my clients, being moms themselves, are always understanding.
Thanks to Dawn Berryman for sharing her story!
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