With advice from: Carlee Krtoltica | full-time blogger and Editor-in-Chief of https://styledtosparkle.com
There are several reasons why one might decide to become a start a business and become a stay at home mom. Maybe it’s an idea you’ve always wanted to pursue, or you would like to make another stream of income, or maybe it’s the actual idea of becoming a full-time stay at home mom that sounds appealing to you.
Carlee Krtolica, a successful entrepreneur and Canadian blogger had the exact same thoughts and decided to leave her 9-5 job to maintain a more flexible schedule to prioritize her family. Here are her helpful tips on how to make the plunge to start your own business, and become a full-time, stay at home mom.
Carlee Krtolica, founder and writer of styledtosparkle.com
Make the jump… It’s Scary
Whether you’re looking to start a new business, pursue your dreams, or make a move to another role in another company, deciding to take the first step can always seem daunting at first. Leaving a stable, well-paying job and deciding to venture off on your own to start a business and become a stay at home mom can be scary, but you have to figure out what that might look like for you and your family. Even if you start your little home-based business as a side project, just do it! You never know what kind of traction it may get once you just start.
Find What You Love
There is will always be something that we’re passionate about. Maybe you’re sitting there, reading this and thinking I have NO idea what I’m passionate about. Of course, you’re passionate about something – everyone is passionate about their own thing, whether they realize it or not. Maybe it’s as simple as your love for organizing your house or making simple crafts and home decor. Maybe it’s making delicious food out of leftovers, or baking delicious treats and budgeting! Really evaluate what you love to do, or tend to do on a daily basis. Chances are it’s most likely a niche, and there are people out there looking for either content to consume or individuals who need your expertise on that specific thing that you’re passionate about.
Get Help from Others
When it comes to starting a business as a stay at home mom, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re going to have to learn as well as juggling the responsibilities of being a mom.
When Carlee started her blog, she had to learn everything from website design, SEO Analytics, Photoshop and managing multiple social media channels (a few of the many tasks). There are going to be areas where you may not be the most comfortable, or have no idea how to get started, and that’s okay! Use your resources and the people you know who may have background knowledge on that specific thing.
When Carlee first started out on her blog, she was fortunate enough that her husband was a very technical guy, who was into computer programming. She was able to leverage her husband’s skills and have someone literally and figuratively in-house to help her develop an online platform. Her dad owned a marketing agency, so he was able to assist Carlee with SEO and all things analytics to drive more traffic onto her blogging website.
If you aren’t as fortunate as Carlee, there are a ton of free and paid resources online that you can discover and learn from. In addition, leveraging Facebook groups and connecting with individuals there who are within the same niche as you, or people also starting off with their business is a great way to network and ask questions to a community who either have experience or may be asking the same questions as you. Aside from getting assistance from others, there is also one other important piece on starting a blog, which brings us to Carlee’s next tip.
Invest in Yourself
With all the energy, time, and money you’re putting into your new business, there may be times where you’re not getting the traction you were expecting and you feel like giving up. Just know, that it’s totally normal. No blog, website or business idea takes off overnight – it takes time, content, continuous learning and a ton of patience. In order to continue to see results and grow your platform, Carlee says the number one thing that enabled her to keep going with her business was through continuous education.
“People always ask me like, Oh, how do you know this? I Googled it,” says Carlee. “One of my husband’s favourite acronyms is LMGTFY, which is, let me Google that for you. To be perfectly honest with you, I started Googling things.”
There is so much free information that can be found online, and it’s best to find different topics and ways to learn than just from a standard course. You can look for ebooks, PDFS, social media posts with quick tips, podcasts and webinars. Carlee’s method of obtaining information was to actually scroll through social media to look for ads that marketed courses and ebooks. Some of the best websites to access free courses are: Hubspot (especially for anything marketing), Coursera (from some of the top institutions), and Udemy.
With the amount of information that you may want to learn, don’t forget to spread them over time, and periodically.
Make a list of skills you want to learn and develop (whether it’s to help with your business or for personal use), and complete them one at a time. If you start learning 5 different skills all at once, you’ll be burnt out, tired and most likely unmotivated to keep going. Take the time to invest in yourself through education. With the time and flexibility of your own schedule that is provided as a stay at home mom, make time for yourself and your own development. It’s never too late to learn something new, and with new skills under your belt, you can apply it and use it to optimize your website or even start an entire side hustle through online coaching! (Think transferable skills like: UX design, social media marketing, Google analytics and SEO).
Provide Real Value
Once you have determined your niche and what you would like your core business to be about – don’t forget to think about your readers when you come up with content to generate visitors and establish a following. Here are a few some to think about when generating content:
- How will this help my readers?
- Does this content solve a specific problem?
- Is this information relevant to my niche/brand/industry?
- Does this content showcase my knowledge that I have to offer?
- Is this content engaging? (ex. Is there video, beautiful photography, is the website post laid out nicely?)
One of Carlee’s followers reached out to her, and stated how much she liked her mudroom, but needed assistance with her own because of the lack of space. Carlee’s reader and herself were able to connect on Facetime, where Carlee was able to give her real-time suggestions with a budget on her mudroom. Having a business that is going to help a wider audience, but don’t disregard going out of your way to connect with your followers and potential consumers. That is how you build a loyal following of your website, product/service and brand. Start small by commenting back, and liking every single comment that’s on your website and social media channels, and then you can look for more creative ways to retain your following.
Work Smart, not Hard
Being a stay at home mom is a full-time job in itself so look for ways to optimize your work process. Think about ways to make your workflow more efficient. As Carlee would say about her blog: “how can I generate more page views with less content and how can I really optimize this process so that I’m not having to work all of these hours?”
When building your website or social media profiles, think about your content and all the ways you can repurpose it. For instance, one blog post on your website can be several posts on your social media, one Instagram Story and 1 email campaign. That is already one week of content in just one post. This website content will most likely be the most time-consuming piece of content, so schedule out 30mins-1hour either every other day or once a day (if you’re very dedicated) to create and publish posts relating to the ONE blog post piece. Or if you don’t feel like scheduling time within your week, give yourself at least one hour before the start of the week (either Saturday or Sunday), and plan out your social media posts for that entire week. Make your life easier by utilizing social media management tools.
Tip: Preview and Planoy are the holy grails of Instagram planning and they’re free! You can schedule your Insta posts, but they won’t automatically post them for you – it’s copy and paste system. They still save you a lot of time especially if you schedule your captions, and edit your photos beforehand.
Other social media planning tools are Later is a new social media planning platform. It’s free and includes social sets like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Keep in mind, it’s only 30 posts per social profile, which is great for beginner mom bloggers.Of course, you can use paid management tools if you like the idea of automatic scheduling, you should have a look at:
- For the more advanced:
- Hootsuite ($29/month) – 10 social media channels, unlimited automatic scheduling, monitoring and analytics
- For the straight forward scheduling:
- Buffer ($15/month) – 8 social channels, 100 scheduled posts
Have a Support System
As obvious as it may be, to start a passion project or a business venture, it’s always good to have a support system and people who will continue to cheer you on. There will be times where you feel like giving up, and you’ve failed, but it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your work. They’re going to be one of the first people to support your business and encourage you when you feel like throwing in the towel. Don’t forget to join a support system outside of your immediate friends and family by joining online forums and communities with like-minded individuals and mompreneurs within your own niche!
Do it Because you Love it… You’ll be more Successful
Whether you’re starting a business as a side project, or simply starting because you prefer to be a stay at home mom, continue to do it because you enjoy it. Your business, content and the way you convey yourself online will be a lot more genuine and a lot more like YOU. It will be hard to start at first, but once you think of your business as a passion project, rather than an immediate way to make extra cash – you will be successful.
Resources & Links
Styled to Sparkle for all things travel, home interior, parenting tips and wine:
Listen to Reaching Roots Podcast with Carlee Krtolica:
Download the WishSlate App: