For many of us, gone are the days of traditional in-office work, 9-5, and a boardroom full of executives to bounce ideas off. Work-at-home moms (WAHM) are ripping off the business Band-Aid and starting up our own businesses, organizations, and groups, all while bouncing a baby on a hip or finishing a feeding session. Women… working from home, juggling being a business owner and a mom, are making waves in ways many have probably never even considered!

But the notion of what an entrepreneur looks like isn’t the only concept getting a facelift. With the increase of technology and social media, the ways people network, communicate, and market are also evolving. The fact we can sit in our homes – in our yoga pants – and successfully network as effectively as attending any Chamber of Commerce meeting is simply mind blowing.

The game is officially forever changed.

With social sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, our current and potential clients can glimpse into our company like never before, commenting on our pictures, asking questions, and feeling a part of our journey. All of this was originally to build our following, and in return hopefully grow our business.

But these days, social sites aren’t just for the traditional consumer commenting and collecting “Likes.” With Facebook groups, both public and private, like minded people are teaming up to make things happen.

Young mother with her baby working or studying on her laptop And amidst the sea of baby photos and cat memes on Facebook is a world of opportunity to network, right at our fingertips. From liking pages to selling e-books to curating groups that align with our point of view or vocation, Facebook has allowed business owners to build and grow our brands in unprecedented ways. Even the basic concept of emailing our colleagues has taken on a real-time demeanor, through Messenger, instantly notifying us and shortening the time for reply.

Personally, my absolute favorite place to meet people is Instagram. I was initially able to build my business from the ground up by getting to know my ideal clients, inside and out. Not just posting and liking, but ultimately creating a community.

The access to other mama business owners, across the world and inside our nearby communities, has grown leaps and bounds. Though we may all be busy running our businesses, chasing the little ones, and attempting to maintain our sanity, the ability to network with like-minded mamas is invaluable.

Still, as social as social media gets, it is missing the human touch. Subtle things such as voice inflections and authentic laughing out loud are parts of the true connection that comes with actual talking. Instead of shunning social media because of these missing nuances, I like to actually leverage it. Now, we can have coffee with a jewelry-designing mom in Germany or catch up with a web-designing mama on the West Coast, while taking the kiddos for a walk on the East Coast.

I like to call it “playstorming.” Meeting on social media, but getting to know each other over a 20-minute Skype session or an old-fashioned phone call. (You do remember talking on the phone, right?) These “playstorms” are full of real-life distractions, diaper changes, and unruly toddlers.

These priceless “playstorming” activities allow real women, real moms who are real business owners, to connect without having to hide behind a corporate “professional” facade. The idea that we are all real people, working towards an end goal for ourselves and our families, only strengthens the bond originally formed through our social channels. Women who were once strangers through a computer screen are now our sounding boards and collaborators. Many people (including my family!) are surprised to learn that my biz bestie and All Up in Your Lady Business Podcast co-host, Jessica Stansberry, and I met in a Facebook Group. We set up a call to talk business and ended up chatting for 2 hours! The rest is history.

And outside of finding new ways to be more relevant and productive in the business world, the networking through social channels and “playstorming” gives WAHMs moments of sanity and companionship. Connecting with women doing the same thing, and who understand our circumstances without judgment, is an opportunity to step outside of what can be a very lonely world. No matter the reason, “playstorming” has the ability to result in a great collaboration, referral, new client, or sometimes, the best of them all, just a new friend. I have said it before and I will say it again – never underestimate the power of genuine relationships!

At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that technology and social media are here to stay…and grow. What would have taken days or weeks to arrange and execute even only a few short years ago is almost instant gratification at this point. The times of struggling to find people in our niche or connect with others who understand our point of view are years behind us.

The social channels, once upon a time merely for posting small status updates and garnering a few likes, have exploded into a networker’s dream of sharing, LIVE videos, links, business pages and private groups. and Facebook groups. These are global and local, allowing us to connect with women in our nearby communities, or bounce an idea off someone on the other side of the world. Imagine logging into our accounts just once a day to see how someone is tackling their goals, while one sips their morning coffee and the other is preparing an after-dinner treat for the kids.

Taking these outlets outside the box to make potential new clients, business partners, or inspirational biz buddies has literally changed my life, both professionally and personally.

Whether we are using Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, each gives a unique opportunity to connect . Take advantage of these moments, embrace the change that is happening in our technological world, and use it to benefit your sanity and your businesses.

The keys to networking success are here, waiting for us to put them to use. Start small by posting maybe once a week in a new group, reach out to a potential new client, or spark up a conversation with someone you virtually admire. What starts as a few, quickly-typed words could turn into something of momentous proportions – a new client, invaluable insight, or a never before seen opportunity. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Jaclyn Mellone is the mama behind the Chasing Dreams and Littles Incubator, a monthly membership for mom business owners building MOMentum in their online businesses through strategy calls, masterminds, and community.

She built her membership from the ground up with Instagram. So it seems fitting that in addition to the Incubator, she also helps business owners grow their businesses with Instagram and through the Membership model. She is also co-host of the All Up in Your Lady Business Podcast.

Her motto is, the juggle is real! Through her Facebook group, insanely interactive Instagram, and tight-knit Incubator, she’s here to help, share, inspire, laugh, cry, and shake up your approach to juggling family, home and business.

When she’s not working with a group of amazing mamas or geeking out over online marketing, Jaclyn rocking out with her daughter to Taylor Swift, multitasking while wearing newborn son, or enjoying those few quite moments at the end of the night with her hubs. #thejuggleisreal

MEAI Members receive:

  • 1 Module of Jaclyn’s Instagram Course for Free
  • $50 Off Jaclyn’s Instagram Course (regularly $199!)

CLICK HERE to contact Jaclyn and discuss your Instagram needs.