|Mom and I at her first networking event spring 2014
(photo credit Kate MacLeod, Halifax Headshots Photography)
I learned about the ‘Mom test’ years ago. It’s another one of those early small business lessons that stuck with me.
Explaining my work to my mother is difficult, so the challenge is always worth the learning experience. Mom is 83, has never used a computer, and has no context for understanding what I do.
Recently I was telling her that my blog had been featured on another blog in an article called Top 10 Canadian Marketing Blogs Worth Checking Out. I had to explain what a blog is before she could grasp why it was a good thing. (I will also have to print this blog post for her to read!)
Telling my Mom about what I do forces me to get outside all the details and get down to basics. It helps me rethink my marketing messages from a completely different perspective.
With my Mom, this also has another benefit because she’s out and about socializing, and always has a supply of my business cards. I asked her if she tells people I do newsletters and websites, and she replied, “With the emphasis on newsletters.” Of course, she has no idea of whether I do a good job or not – that’s where the ‘Mom’ part comes in.
Here’s a bonus ‘Mom test’ for you. When editing your own writing, add the words “Hi Mom,” to the beginning and read it out loud. Does it flow or is it awkward? If it’s awkward, you might need to dump big words and fancy writing, and simplify. (Thanks to Neil Everton at Podium Media and Communications Coaching for this writing tip!)