Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
I’m a professional blogger, marketer, community leader, and mom. I’m what you would consider a “mom blogger” but my niche is in fitness and health. I started up a community in 2007 after losing over 100 lbs. because I wanted to share my experiences and mentor other moms who were interested in healthy living & weight loss. Today I run a blogging network and consulting firm that only works with healthy brands wanting to reach out to moms in social media. My background before I got into blogging was in corporate public relations, campaign fundraising, and event planning. I have a Masters degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and I was the speaker for my class graduation at USC when I received my Bachelors as well. Oh, I have two young boys and am about to deliver another one. I’m a very very busy girl. :)
2. How did you get started in social media?
I got my start in social media in 2007 when I started up a Ning community for moms into health and fitness. At the time, it was very unique and caught on very quickly in popularity. After about two years, I wanted to do something that was a bit more “hands on” with other moms, so I created Mamavation. Mamavation is an obesity prevention campaign for families. We teach moms the basics of healthy living so they can share that at home. The campaign has two parts to it. It houses the first virtual sorority in social media history & it also puts on quarterly virtual boot camps for moms who are at risk for obesity. The boot camps are organized very similar to a reality TV show but everything that happens to them in Mamavation is in real-time and very “open” in social media. The moms who participate in these boot camps must apply and go through a voting process. Thus far we have finished 11 campaigns and are right in the middle of our 12th campaign. Mamavation will celebrate it’s 3rd Anniversary on June 30th and we are encouraging everyone to celebrate with us by walking or running a virtual 5K. I’m also a marketer, so I make my bread and butter consulting for brands that want to reach out to moms online by utilizing my own blogging network OR working with other mom blogging communities in specialized campaigns. Like I said before, I’m a very busy girl.
3. What does influence mean to you? Who influences you the most online, and why?
Well, influence is basically someone or something that shapes my opinion or direction. I’m a tough person to influence and it’s not always the people you would think, but I do have several people who I respect a great deal. I’ll list them by twitter: @Resourcefulmom, @JessicaNow, @Unmarketing, @Cecilyk, @MrBookieboo (my hubby), @Momma_oz, @Typeamom, @5Minutesformom and @thebloggess. The people I just mentioned I have an amazing amount of respect for and value their opinions.
4. What recent social media trends do you think are interesting or helpful?
Well, I’ve noticed that twitter isn’t quite what it used to be and my audience has been gravitating more towards forums, Facebook, private Facebook groups, and Pinterest of late. I think that’s just the way it goes, but as a social media community leader I have to be aware of the changes to ensure that I’m not left behind. At the end of the day, I have to make sure that people are supported within the means and platforms they are comfortable around.
5. How did you get involved with Klout? What would you like to see from Klout in the future?
Watch out for the brutal honesty: Klout invited me to an event the other day where I was given an Audi that was worth over $100,000 for the weekend. My husband and I took it for a getaway weekend and after that I was sold on “the perks.” The funny thing is my husband actually gets more of the Perks than me because he’s always getting something in the mail and he teases me about it.
I would love to see Klout do more outreach into the mom blogging community like show up at conferences and host some parties there. I think Klout could do a better job of reaching out to them and getting them involved in their campaigns.
I’d also love to see Klout recognize community leaders more. There are so many leaders in the social media space that lead a great deal of people that I feel could be given some additional recognition for their hashtag, etc.
Connect with Leah on Twitter at @Bookieboo