By Kathy Zucker • Friday, October 18, 2013
When I look at my life since winning a Shorty Award, I have a hard time believing it belongs to me. I attended NYC Fashion Week, became a Shorty Awards judge, spoke at Columbia Journalism School and most recently, talked shop with an Emmy-award winning star NFL player. Of all the incredible things that have happened to me in the last six months, hands down the most amazing has been membership in the New Jersey Digital Moms (NJDMoms) community.
I first found out about NJDMoms when Metro Moms Network VP of Branding Jenifer Semenza (@jenifernyc1) noticed the #JerseyLove tag on Twitter and found a marketing brochure stating the goal is “Using our social media influence to bring life back to Jersey in 2013.” The document went on to state that the members had average Klout scores of 62 with monthly readership of over one million.
Jenifer’s immediate reaction? To send me the link and say, “WHY isn’t Kathy a part of this?” And when I read through the prospectus, my response was, “Why ISN’T Kathy a part of this?” So I joined, and ever since then it’s been like having an instant emotional support group/professional development/tech forum in my back pocket. You know, where I keep my smartphone. Whenever I have a question about client pricing or my website gets hacked, the perfect answer pops up immediately, usually within a couple of hours at any time of day or night (apparently moms don’t sleep). The data is always accurate and reliable, and the leads are simply superb. I have had so many doors open for me in a seemingly magical manner, and much of it is due to this group.
Before you race off to join the NJDMoms, there are a few things you should know.
- You need to blog. Not as an occasional dalliance, but frequently. And you have to generate relevant, original content, to the point where you have a serious following.
- You have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and stick to it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can leave the confines of the group. I occasionally get nervous that I am on the edge of violating the NDA by telling people I found out about something via NJDMoms.
- Be ready to engage frequently and regularly. If you are prone to pulling disappearing acts for months, this is not the group for you because you will get kicked out.
- Be prepared to wait. The group is relatively small, and that is a deliberate move on the part of the administrators. Someone has to leave before a new member can be accepted – when they hear I am a member, many mom bloggers give me longing sighs and tell me they’ve been waiting for a long time.
If being a member sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. But it’s a labor of love that we all gladly perform, because we get so much more out of NJDMoms than we put in. I am grateful every day for these ladies. Part friends, part colleagues, and part cheerleaders, many of them are coming tomorrow to the #HGH13 Halloween expo my company is hosting in Hoboken, NJ, and the ones who aren’t coming keep telling me they are dying to come. My #1 wish for every mom I know? That they can find a group that does for them what NJDMoms does for me.
Kathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. Read her MomCondoLiving blog, follow her on Twitter (@KathyZucker), friend her on Facebook and watch her on Youtube.