What did mums do before the internet? No, seriously, how did they make it through the day? What did they do during those middle of the night feeds? How did they know when the doctor was open? Who would they ask about their child’s rash? How did they know how to answer those random questions that kids throw at you that you really have NFI about the answer??

Despite their distinct lack of internet and a world of knowledge at their finger tips, the mothers of previous generations did survive. In fact, we are all evidence of how well they actually did. And then along came the internet.

You might think the epidural was the best thing to happen to motherhood. Or perhaps it was the baby carrier, the white noise machine or those little plastic pouches for storing your own baby food. But the internet has done some pretty cool things for us mums in the trenches…

When shopping in your pyjamas is ok

The advent of online shopping would have to be one of the greatest saviours of motherhood. Once upon a time mothers would have to get dressed to walk into a store, and risk a tantrum in the middle of aisle 5 when their 2-year-old spotted the Kinder Surprises. Not anymore. Thank you internet.

Cat videos anyone?

Perhaps not the most noble of uses of the internet (i.e. the most mindless activity one can engage in) what’s not to love about watching cats jump at the sight of their own shadows?

Even if cat videos aren’t your thing, the entertainment value of the internet is right up there. Whatever your streaming option of choice, if your baby will only sleep on you, you can binge watch hours of your favourite TV shows without having to get off the couch. Not to mention being able to pop Netflix on for the kids when you just need to get stuff done.

Connection and friendship

Just pop into any Facebook mum’s group and you will see a bustling hive of activity. Questions being asked, recommendations shared and friendships being made. Mother’s Groups use Messenger or other chat apps to communicate through the day, no longer relying on a weekly meeting to catch up. Advice can be sought in an instant and moments shared together.

The rise of the online business mum

One of the greatest outcomes for mums of the new digital age is the rise of mums starting their own businesses. They are able to support their family while growing a business, all from their laptop or smart phone in their living room. They are creating businesses on their terms, contributing to the economy in new and different ways and changing the face of being a working mum.

If you are interested in starting a digital business, we asked some of the past finalists and judges of the National Business Brilliance Awards for their tips on building a web presence as a business.

Building a website and digital presence

  • Top tip for a stellar website: keep it simple! A fussy design is confuses the user experience. Also invest in professional branding, so you have a style guide that can be applied to all of your marketing elements. – Merryn Padgett, Brand Nirvana, Guest Judge 2018 – Web Presence
  • My best tip would be to put some effort into learning Search Engine Optimisation yourself. It takes time, but it is worth the effort and will drive targeted traffic to your website. – Debbie Hatswell, Story Mama, Winner Web Presence 2014
  • My tip is remember your website is like someone is looking at your shop front. If it doesn’t look inviting, why would people come in. Same with your home page. You also need to be able to move around easily without the customer getting confused. – Julie Alan, Biz Yourself, Judge 2016, 17, 18 – Web Presence
  • I know it’s hard sometimes but don’t compare yourself to what your competitors are doing on their channels, it’s very easy to feel like you should be doing what they’re doing but then you get lost in the crowd. –¬†Korryn Haines, Encore Admin Consulting, Finalist Web Presence 2017

Social media tips

  • One of my tips for managing social media is to schedule your content. Set up a plan and then follow the plan! This means that you have a clear idea of your message and you can focus on social media for one chunk of time in the week, not trying to ‘wing it’ and post on the fly every day. It also stops you from posting things that are not business based, like what you had for lunch! – Helle Warming, Lucas Loves Cars and¬†Winner Best Social Media Success Story 2017
  • Don’t get too hung up on getting the “perfect” image. Some of our best performing posts are real life images of real life situations. Stock photos are great for some situations but a lot of the time an audience wants to see something they can relate to so make sure you have a good combination of both. – Roxy Walsh, Rocko Designs & Kids in Adelaide, Guest Judge 2016 2017 and 2018 – Web Presence, Winner Best Social Media Success Story 2016
  • I allocate one morning per week to schedule all of my content for the upcoming week. I’ve removed all of the social media apps from my mobile devices, so that I’m not constantly checking and scrolling throughout the day. After the kids are in bed, I set my timer for 30 minutes each evening, and THAT is my time to engage and interact on social media. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you are working within a defined window of time! – Jo Violeta, Violeta Finance, Finalist Best Social Media Success Story 2017

Even if you aren’t a mum in business perhaps you might consider nominating another mum who is growing an amazing digital business for the National Business Brilliance Awards! Kid Magazine is a proud partner of the awards and love seeing mums getting excited about being recognised for all their hard work!

P.S. I totally get that the internet has it’s downsides. If you think you and your family need a digital detox, I recommend checking out the RealizD app to track your usage. It’s quite an eye opener and a powerful way to start a conversation.

Image: Elise Garner, www.lecoco.com.au

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