How ModernMomProbs Turned Instagram Memes Into a Book Deal and Etsy Shop
Influence.co member Tara Clark used to joke that she was Dora The Explorer on Facebook. What that actually meant was that she ran social media for Nick Jr. and Nick At Night. When her son was born, she took time off to be a full-time mom, but it wasn’t until 2016 when “mom” became her job in every sense of the word.
That’s when Clark started the Instagram account NYCMomProbs, which morphed to ModernMomProbs a year later when Clark and her family made the move to New Jersey. That was when things really took off. Currently, ModernMomProbs boasts over 500,000 followers on Instagram, where Clark shares memes (illustrated by her best friend Mary McConville), tweets, and stories from other moms. In four years, ModernMobProbs has spread to Facebook, YouTube, and even Etsy. Next year, it will make its way to bookstores in Clark’s upcoming book, Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide For 21st Century Mothers.
Ahead, Clark tells us how she did it.
I really focus on the community of building moms up and empowering women and letting them know that they're not alone. I want them to feel seen in this motherhood community. Sometimes it's funny and sometimes it's uplifting and sometimes it's really raw and real and relatable. I spend a lot of time curating and thinking about it, ‘cause I'm very particular about what I post. I don't like to post anything that I don't love. I take a lot of time, if you ask my husband and my son—probably too much time—to do that.
I [also] do #takeoverthursdays and it's usually that I invite the person to do it. And I always like to either have someone that's a medical professional or a mom with some sort of special skill or knowledge that she could pass on to the audience.
Diversify Your Platforms
Sponsorships on Instagram would definitely be my largest [revenue stream]. I have a smaller Facebook page, and I have an Etsy shop, which is called ModernMomThings. I sell things with the illustrations on it, like mugs and stuff like that. And then we have YouTube and that is a question and answer format with moms.
I just finished the manuscript for my book which is coming out in April 2021, in time for mother's day. It's called Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide For 21st Century Mothers. That was my big project this whole summer. I wrote the entire manuscript while we were home in quarantine. I was featured in a local magazine and a book editor reached out to me and said, “Hey, listen, I think you should write a book about your work using the illustrations that you have on your memes. And I'll help you write a book proposal.” So we wrote a book proposal and then I got a literary agent who shopped it around to the publishers and finally a company said yes and I got to work.
Trust Your Worth
Unfortunately, [negotiating with brands is] sort of like the wild, wild West. Especially in the mom community, it's all over the place. I still feel like I am working towards finding the right number. I would say start high and then work from there. It never hurts to ask. I have a lot of friends who are too afraid to just even ask for a rate. The worst thing [the brand] could say is no.
Let's say you ask for a hundred dollars. And you found out that your friend's getting $400. Well, she asked for $400 and she got it. You asked for $100 and you got it. That's always a lesson that stings. That's definitely happened to me.
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