My Day With Disney Social Media Moms! #Disneyontheroad #DisneySMMoms

Those of you who know me know that my son and I are Disney fanatics.   When we aren’t at Disneyland or Disney World, we are thinking about our next trip to Disney.   Last week, I was invited to Disney Social Media Moms Disney On the Road, in Berkeley, CA.  I was honored to be invited, and jumped at the chance to get to know other bloggers/Social Media influencers who love Disney as much as I do, and who want to grow their business as I do.

The morning was foggy and wet outside, but the room full of Disney Social Media Moms was sunny and full of life.   We spent the first few minutes getting to know each other.  I knew many of the bloggers online, but it was nice to put a face to a name, and there were so many faces I wanted to meet.  I finally got a chance to meet so many incredible bloggers, such as Brandi from Momma Knows It All, Caryn from Rockin’ Mama, and Vanessa from Queen of Swag.  We knew each other online, but had not yet met in person.  I was also excited to see a few awesome bloggers I have met several times, such as Shelby from Glitterful Felt/OC Moms Blog,  Karen from  Desert Chica Ramblings,  and Laura from Pink Cake Plate.  It was like a mini blogger family reunion!

As we settled in for the conference, I noticed Monsters Inc. plush monsters on each table.  My first inclination was to rush around the room, grab all the monsters, and head for the door.  I had the good sense to remain in my seat and admire the monsters from afar.  Fortunately, the Monsters Inc monsters were door prizes.  Sadly I did not win one…but one of my table mates, Vanessa, from the Queen of Swag, did!

Maria Bailey, founder of Mom Select, Mom Talk Radio, Mom TV, and the creator of Disney Social Media Moms, greeted us warmly and gave us a brief history of Disney Social Media Moms, which ironically began seven years ago in the very same place we were sitting.

Next was Michelle Himmelberg from Disneyland PR/Social Media.  Michelle showed us some of the exciting things happening at Disneyland right now, such as the Fantasy Faire, as well as the Mickey and the Magicial Map 4D Music Experience.  (More about these later.)  Maria then introduced the keynote speaker, Mindee Doney, creator of Boogie Wipes and Juice Box Consulting…

*I interrupt this blog post to inform you that although the women at this conference are Disney lovers, we are also business women and social media influencers.  Maria Bailey is all about building the industry of social media, as well as empowering women.  Thus, we came together because of our mutual love of Disney, but we were at Disney on the Road to learn and grow our businesses, and to be better social media influencers. *

…Mindee spoke to us about how she started Boogie Wipes, and all the “ups and downs” of owning and growing a business.  Mindee was brutally honest with us, and it was refreshing.  Sometimes (oftentimes) it is not easy running a business and a family, and she showed us warts and all.  Yet, throughout her talk, she remained upbeat, and gave us solid advice to use with our own businesses.   Three distinct mantras she gave to us were the three E’s:

Embrace
Empower
Expect

She said that we should embrace who we are.  We know ourselves better than anyone, and if we don’t, we need to take the time to find out who we are.  Some are good at marketing and lousy at accounting (hello…me!) and some are better at writing than photography (again, hello!).  Find what you/we are good at and work hard at that, but accept that we will not be perfect at everything.   Mindee also said we should empower ourselves to know we cannot do it all, and learn to ask for help.  We should also empower our children to work hard by our example.  If they see us struggling and succeeding, they will have role models to look up to…and wouldn’t that be so awesome if our kids considered us role models?   Lastly, we should expect, as in expectations.   If we create the expectation that we are available at all times for our clients, partners, audience, etc then they will expect that from us.  If we create the expectation that we can juggle everything and be “Super Moms”, that is what our family and community will expect.  It is important to create healthy, attainable expectations, and to make certain that our family comes first.   Mindee spoke to all of us, but I felt she was speaking directly to me.  I have had trouble “juggling it all” and her words resonated with me.

After Mindee, Maria Bailey spoke to us about how she has learned to juggle work and family, and how her son and daughter tell her how proud they are of her.  One thing she said that really hit me was when she said “Potential is everywhere.  Lead with your courage, and cheer with your example.”   I have so many ideas, but fear holds those ideas back.  By pushing through that fear, I can show my son that I can do anything I dream of, and he can too.  Powerful words!

Next, Maria introduced three other speakers, as part of the Disney Social Media Moms panelist, who won $15,000 grants, as part of the Huggie’s Mom Inspired Moms Program, which supports Mom Entepreneurs.   The first, Romy Taormina, invented Psi Bands.   Psy bands are special bands children (and adults) can wear to overcome motion sickness.  Romy created the bands after suffering debilitating morning sickness during her pregnancies.  (I had morning sickness my entire pregnancy-I would have loved these!)    The second speaker was Alma Moussa, founder of the Baby Covee, a six-in-one baby blanket and cover.  The third speaker was Erin Kelly, creator of the Hulaby Diaper Changing Helper, for wiggle-free diaper changing.   Although I am past the morning sickness/baby stage, I still found the stories of how they created and grew their business to be so inspiring.  They asked us, “Are you making money, or are you moving money around?”  and “are you paying yourself?”  They showed us to recognize our value as social media influencers, and make sure we are getting paid what we deserve. 

Finally, we heard from Michelle Stepney, the Disney Parks PR Content Director, who gave us tips on working with journalists, and how to conduct our own interviews.   She said that journalists are always looking for stories, but especially the quick and easy stories, tips and trends, local interest, and unusual stories.  She said that we need to remember who we are serving as our audience, and to shed light on what people would find of interest.  One very important tip she gave is to always think that the microphone is on.  Don’t say something that could be captured by the microphone, even if you think it is off, because someone may hear, and that may become the real story.

What more could a blogger ask for?  I was part of a group of women who share the same dreams and goals I do.  I was inspired by a speaking panel of strong, inspiring women who balance work and family every day.  I learned some of the ins-and-outs of Disney, Public Relations, and Journalism.    I had a day of laughs and many hugs.

Sounds like a perfect day, right?

Thank you to the following people for taking time out of your busy schedules to educate and empower us at Disney on the Road:   Maria Bailey from Mom Talk Radio, Michelle Himmelberg and Erin Glover from Disneyland PR, Mike Hyland, Director of Disneyland Public Relations, Mindee Doney from Juicebox Consulting, Roma Taormina from Psi Bands, Alma Moussa from Babee Covee, Erin Kelly from Hulabye Baby Changer, and Michelle Stepney, Disney Parks PR Content Director. 

{Disclosure:   I received no monetary compensation or product for this post, and my opinion is 100% my own.}