What motivated and inspired you to focus on your own personal brand?
Unemployment was a huge motivator! 😉 And I saw a real gap in the marketplace for an informative lifestyle website for local moms in South Florida.
Tell us what you believe your personal brand stands for.
I work to inform, educate and solve common parenting problems for the Modern Boca Raton mommy (and beyond).
Why do you feel having a personal brand in today’s world is crucial?
One of the most valuable things I learned when starting my own business was that no other blog or business can be YOU. So, the more YOU that you put into your work, the better off your business is because that makes your services or offerings completely unique in the marketplace.
Where and how did you start in your own personal branding journey?
I had the seed of an idea growing in my head after we moved from our New York City home to Boca Raton in 2013 and I was struggling to find educational activities to do with my 5-month-old daughter. Luckily, I found a music class for babies through our local children’s museum, but their website was terrible.
Where was that “go to”, organized, easy-to-read site for moms like me to find out what was happening for families in Boca Raton and beyond? There was no such thing, so I decided to create it myself: ModernBocaMom.com.
What early wins did you experience in your personal branding endeavors?
My first big win was becoming a regular contributing blogger at BocaMag.com, writing two “Boca Mom Talk” articles per month since 2015. I love being able to reach local parents through Boca Raton Magazine’s loyal audience in addition to my own!
I also formed a partnership very early on with Boca’s Grandview Preparatory School. Not only are they my exclusive education client on Modern Boca Mom, but I also launched a successful Mommy & Me program for both babies and toddlers at their campus in 2014. I love the events side of Modern Boca Mom! It’s not something I was really expecting to be doing, but I really enjoy interacting with my readers.
What mistakes did you learn the most from in your personal branding endeavors?
I still think digital promotion is a relatively new concept to many businesses in South Florida and I struggled to pitch and price my services, especially right after I launched. However, the blog – and its social channels – have grown enough over the past 4.5 years to now, where I’m getting pitched by statewide and national brands who want to reach my niche audience. I also learned that you need a really compelling logo – my first one was terrible!
Modern Boca Mom’s new logo:
Best and worst advice you’d give to our readers wanting to GROW their own personal brands and followings:
Having a brand and a blog is very time-consuming; feeding your online properties with new content 4-5 days per week, learning how to do it properly along with SEO techniques, developing content and event concepts, attending events, networking with business owners and raising a child (at least in my case). The best advice I can give is to be passionate about what you’re doing! That way, you stay committed to your brand and grow it steadily.
Why did you decide to focus your brand on Boca Raton?
Honestly, because that’s where I saw a NEED for the type of content I now provide on ModernBocaMom.com. I WAS the reader that I now appeal to and target. Plus, being a native, I knew that I could quickly become a thought leader in the area. That was important to me. If I was going to write about being a Modern Boca Mom, I needed to embody her for the sake of my brand.
What experiences stood out to you as a local brand?
I knew that if I focused my brand locally, I could actually interact with my readers and clients IN PERSON on a regular basis. Most national blogs never meet half of their readers in person. I can brag that I run into mine all the time! I like an online community, but I love a physical one.
What are the pros and cons of localizing your brand?
As a hyperlocal blogger, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably never command the big web traffic that a national blogger or brand focused on food, fashion or DIY will. That’s probably the biggest con. Those are topics that are always popular and attract big-budget sponsors. Going to local events constantly to promote my brand can also get exhausting, LOL.
On the flip side, branding myself locally has never really hindered me during a pitch to a prospective sponsor. My Palm Beach County readers are still potential customers for both local and national brands. I may not be able to promise a big company the reach that a successful national blogger can, but my rates are steadily increasing as my social media channels grow.
Any books, podcasts, courses, authors, or resources you recommend to our readers?
I highly recommend The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. It teaches you how to read different personalities and sell to each one accordingly. This book has been invaluable to me once I realized that people respond to different techniques based on how they are as core individuals!
Who inspires you? Anyone in particular you follow or admire with their own personal branding endeavors?
My mom and dad inspire me every day! They are entrepreneurs to the core, small business owners who raised my sister and me while working full time and building a business. Let’s just say we spent many years playing “office” at my parents’ office. They continue to work hard, support us and help out with their grandchildren to this day!
How do/did you stay motivated through difficult times or moments of self-doubt?
My daughter and husband keep me motivated! I do all of this for them! I also lean on my fellow FemCity Boca/Delray members for inspiration and encouragement.
Any final wisdom or insight you’d like to share with our readers?
I am a Boca Raton native and, although I enjoyed spending my twenties in New York City, I always knew in my heart that I’d be back. I am so glad I started my personal brand in my hometown as there are so many supportive people cheering me on. My biggest advice would be to find (and join) groups of like-minded business owners in your area. Having support and a focus group of people to bounce ideas off of is key to success!
We owe a huge thank you to Michelle Olson-Rogers for opening up about her brand. Although no two personal brands are the same, learning from experienced brands like Modern Boca Mom enables us to discover new avenues of growth for our own brands.
Explore Modern Boca Mom and step-up your lifestyle and parenting game:
- Subscribe to Michelle’s Modern Boca Mom Community.
- Look into collaboration opportunities with Modern Boca Mom.
- Check out Michelle’s MOMpreneur Monday features.
- Are you a South Florida local? Find family-friendly events near you!
Get in touch with Michelle: