When I landed in Austin for SXSW last Friday night, I was whisked off by Sheila Scarborough to have dinner with Liz Strauss, Richard at Dell and Shel Israel. The evening started with introductions, and not 5 minutes later I was faced with the conversation I most hate to have about my business. I’ve had it hundreds of times, it goes like this:
“Hi, I’m Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home. Most people know me as ‘eMom’.”
“Hi Wendy, I’m ___, so you’re a Mommy Blogger?”
*Cue inner turmoil and hasty explanation*
“Actually, we are a magazine-style blog network, focused on more on home business, entrepreneurship, and life balance than we are on parenting…”
*Cue glazed look in eyes as I have confused yet another person about eMoms at Home*
Over the rest of the conference, it only got worse. I found that every day I spent at SXSW, I discovered that the brand “eMoms at Home” was rapidly getting farther and farther from what we are really about. Well, perhaps it’s better said that it’s been that way for a long time, and I only just finally saw it for what it was last weekend.
The fact of the matter is that most of our readers know that we are “More ‘E’ than ‘Moms’“. But imagine my skin-crawling horror as people at the conference told me (repeatedly, I might add) that they dismissed our site for months – even a year or longer – because they didn’t think that a site named “eMoms at Home” held anything of value for them. And some of the people who have said this are moms themselves.
It was a fascinating process, I have to admit, realizing over those 4 days that our core audience quite often doesn’t think of themselves as ‘home business owners’ nor even ‘entrepreneurs’. They have a stereotype in their head of both, and fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum. The thing I have always had the hardest part reconciling is that there are so many dads who read this site, and ever since I realized this was happening (only 5 months after I started, mind you), I have regretted picking a URL that automatically excludes half of my colleagues and friends.
So anyway, at the end of SXSW I’m sitting in the airport at 4:45am on Tuesday morning. Hugh MacLeod Twitters that he is in the airport too, wanting to hook up with anyone there. I’m no fool, if I have the chance to hang out with someone like Hugh MacLeod, I don’t need to be asked twice – I promptly got up and found him sitting about 40 feet away from me.
We chatted about all sorts of stuff, and near the end of the conversation, I sprung my question on him. I explained my site, our audience, and told him that there is really no name or definition for our community, namely, people who:
Are as passionate about business as they are about their families
Are extremely intelligent and experienced in business
Take a non-traditional approach to managing their careers on their own terms. This means either running their own business, finding employers that offer flex hours, or even temporarily taking time off to be a full-time parent.
Are using technology & the internet to live life and pursue work on their own terms
I told him I was hesitant to step up and lead and speak for such a diverse group of individuals, and he kind of stopped me and basically said, “Well, who are you not to?” – and I swear to god I think the earth moved at that point, because all of the pieces of the puzzle immediately fell into place when he said that.
By the time I got on the plane 30 minutes later, I resigned myself to the inevitable – yet terrifying – conclusion.
I need to rename and rebrand eMoms at Home.
When I got home, I first talked about it with my business coach Marla – she got it immediately. Then I talked with my authors – they will be impacted by this – I wanted to know how they felt about it. They not only got it immediately too, but they enthusiastically supported me (damn I love them!) because they too were feeling the need to explain the discrepancy between our name and our mission.
This is where you come into the picture
So I spent some time on Twitter getting feedback from more of our regular readers. The lover-of-my-Google-traffic side of me was kind of hoping that some of them would say, ‘Nah, just keep the current name, it works great”. Kudos to all of you who responded to my questions, because none of you told me what you thought I wanted to hear – instead you told me what I needed to hear. And none of you said the eMoms name worked anymore.
I’d now like to invite you to add your voice and opinion to the whole concept of renaming our site. I’ve worked hard to grow it as a business, but the community here is what this site is really about.
So moms, dads, even non-parents – if you could refine eMoms at Home into a new brand that speaks to entrepreneurship, business, technology and parenting and most importantly who YOU really are, which of the following names do you think is the best?
Go Vote for a New Name for eMoms at Home
It’s your chance to make your mark and have a say in the future direction of eMoms at Home :: please share your thoughts and cast your vote or suggest your own name for this site!