Without a doubt, social media has changed the way people communicate, helped brands grow and businesses market themselves. While it’s nice to be active online in their personal life to keep in touch with friends, it’s crucial for moms who are considering the next steps after having kids, looking to rejoin the workforce, or launching a small business to understand how a social media skill set can directly position them for success.
That’s where Hay There Social Media, a female-founded unique training company, comes in, teaching moms how to be independent social media managers.
Recently, you may have seen Hay There’s Founder and CEO Emily A. Hay in the Fair Play documentary, a film that exposes the inequity of domestic labor and provides a solution for this universal struggle. Much like her advocacy in the film, Emily recognized that a viable work from home option was a necessity for women. “Navigating the professional landscape after becoming a mom can feel like a lonely and daunting task,” she says. “I want to give women a viable way to achieve flexibility and fulfillment, but also, help them create meaningful connections.”
Hay was able to envision teaching from her own experience. “It struck me that what I had created for myself could be shared with any woman searching for ways to preserve or rediscover their professional identity while their role as a mother evolved,” says the mom of two (ages 6 and 8).
We spoke to this inspiring entrepreneur about building her brand, the need for flexible work for moms, and more.
Why do you think your business has resonated so well with the moms who have taken your course?
After a decade of running a successful social media agency and working exclusively with a team of work-from-home moms, I knew from experience that women could work independently with social media as their vehicle, but the real secret to success was networking with a community of supportive, talented, like-minded women to ensure they would never feel “alone.”
Who is your typical client?
Marie, our avatar, is a mother and caregiver, who is educated, creative, and desires professional fulfillment and flexibility to manage all of her responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. We have helped women from a wide variety of backgrounds, including women looking to re-enter the workforce, military spouses, women with MBAs, women with backgrounds in communications and PR, former teachers, even lawyers and engineers. A working knowledge of social (read: you have a social media account) is recommended—but there are no prerequisites.
You were part of Eve Rodsky’s Fair PlayDocumentary, which was produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. What is your best advice for couples looking for a balance of the home responsibilities?
The best advice I could give to anyone that wants to share the invisible load equitably at home is to start with the foundation of Fair Play: an understanding that all time is created equal.
Society conditions us to value men’s time more than women’s and women–especially moms– may unknowingly continue this vicious cycle, which shortchanges ourselves, our partners and our children. My recommendation is to set your expectation that finding fairness is a journey that takes ongoing communication and work.
Love that! You have a small but mighty team of talented women—how did you build the “right” team as you grew?
I built my boutique agency team by finding women who were looking for what I was looking for: flexible work and professional fulfillment that would allow us to live the mom lives we wanted. I met my original team members through social media and word-of-mouth.
Having a high level of collaboration and willingness to figure it out together is much stronger than having a large number of team members.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Amy Jo Martin, Founder of Renegades Global said, “With action comes clarity.” It has been such an empowering mantra for me because I am a self-proclaimed over-analyzer which makes it so easy to get frozen by overthinking. “With action comes clarity” pushes us forward confidently without all the answers; it keeps us out of all the “what ifs” and reassures us that just by getting moving, answers will appear.
At Hay There, our relationship only just begins with our Hay There Core Training. We provide our Independent Social Media Marketing Managers with access to real clients, both for completing portfolio work and also to organizations waiting to hire them.
We post new potential client leads on our exclusive job board. On larger clients, our graduates often collaborate in small groups. We have found that access to potential client introductions and pitch opportunities with our expert guidance removes a huge barrier mentally for many women.
Our monthly membership provides ongoing access to resources such as professional development sessions with subject experts ranging from TikTok best practices, to Web3, to small business tax consultation.
We also provide open dialogue 24/7 on our slack channel, where we celebrate and elevate one another, as well as bounce any number of questions off of each other.
At Hay There, we know that when a woman is looking for “more”, it does not mean she is looking for one more thing—she’s looking for a different picture of her future self. We get that, because like the women we serve, we are dynamic, and complex, and constantly evolving. Ultimately, while we may all be working independently, we should never feel alone.