My mom is a wordsmith. When I was growing up, my dad and I used to tease her about her own unabridged dictionary, from which she would grab random and never-heard-before words. I seemed to have inherited that trait, and my recent word creation is one that very accurately describes my life, in one succinct word: milimompreneer. Military spouse, mom, entrepreneur, and volunteer: those four roles define me.
On an afternoon not so long ago, I stepped away from my “entrepreneur” role to put on my “mom” hat and take my 5-year-old son to his doctor appointment. I graciously told him that he could take my iPad inside because, as I muttered, “they have wifi inside the hospital that you can use while we wait.”
“What’s wifi?” my inquisitive son asked.
“Wireless internet,” I threw back at him.
“What’s internet?” he persisted.
I stopped, looked at him blankly, (probably sighed heavily), and struggled to come up with an answer that my dear child could easily understand (and momentarily stop with the endless questions).
In that moment, it suddenly dawned on me that I take for granted “just knowing” about Internet technology, like email marketing and social media. I assume that others “just know” some of the same things. When asked to bring forth a logical explanation, I was unable. This encounter with my son was an “ah-ha moment”, a realization that some adults are struggling, like my son, to "get" online marketing tools and the world of virtual communication.
I want to help people understand social media and email marketing, no matter what level of “just knowing” they are at. After my son delivered that light bulb moment for me, I became committed to developing explanations so simple that even a kid can understand. Now, every time I develop content, I think of my young sons and my older parents, and ask myself whether they can understand what I’m trying to teach. Can I deliver the same class, without much modification, to a kindergarten class or at a senior center, and get a lot of enlightened head nods? If I can’t, it probably means I need to go back and re-evaluate my content.
It is certainly a challenge to teach online marketing classes to students at varying levels of knowledge, but I strive to simplify social media so everyone can understand. I challenge other marketing professionals out there to do the same. I see it as a personal responsibility to enlighten and educate with the experience I have in the industry. And, maybe one of these days, I’ll use my wordsmithing abilities to create a word that describes the concept of “so simple a kid can get it.”
April Keating, a military spouse entrepreneur and mom of two young boys, is the owner & founder of online marketing firm Cre8ve Content Co. April is an expert with Constant Contact products and holds a Master Certification as a Solution Partner. She also is a member of the Washington, DC metro area Constant Contact Authorized Local Experts team. Click here to subscribe to April's monthly Cre8ve Chronicles newsletter.