Featured Member: Keonte’ Smith

Keonte’ Smith is the blogger at Mommy 2K. She’s mom to one son and godmother to one goddaughter, she lives in Maryland (all her life!) and loves the outdoors. It was wonderful to catch-up with Keonte’ and hear her answers to these questions that we’ve been asking all of our featured members.

1. What do you like most about interacting with brands?

Availability. It’s amazing what social media has done to strengthen the relationship between the consumer and the brand. Now, brands respond almost instantly to any questions or concerns that are presented thanks to sites like Twitter and Facebook. I am even impressed by some of the “real-time” conversations. No more sending an e-mail through a contact form and waiting for a “textbook” response from a customer service representative. The team members behind the brand are more involved, dedicated, and genuine about providing the consumer with the information they need and quickly. It’s nice to know that my opinion and feedback matter. I am viewed as a person instead of a problem.

2. What is one thing you do as a blogger than you feel contributes to the success of your blog?

It’s funny that you ask this question. I lack all of the things that are mentioned (lol), minus the authenticity. While I would love to be more consistent with my posting schedule, am in desperate need of a blog makeover (help me!), have no clue about SEO (do you mean Ne-Yo?), and need to work on interaction with my readers, I strive to be myself.

Everyday, I browse the blogosphere at a plethora (love that word) of blogs. All are different in their own right, but too often I see the same ole blogger. I have fallen into the category of “mommy blogger”, but the truth is I write about my life. It just so happens that most of my life revolves around motherhood. And that, I don’t mind at all. Call it what you want.

I believe I am successful because of my presence. You can find me involved in several groups, involving diverse topics, and an assortment of opinions. I’m almost like a Visa — everywhere you want to be (minus a state where the weather is currently above freezing…geez).

3. What has helped you grow the most as a blogger?

Not to sound too corny, but COMMUNITY is a powerful thing. I started early joining communities and networks, such as this one. I was given opportunities I may not have been able to get on my own. It also helped that I was waiting patiently at every door when these opportunities presented themselves. “Knock-knock…who’s there?…Me, Keonte'” You know how it goes. I didn’t want to miss the chance, or think “what if?” I never had a plan. I just dove right in and tested the waters. I made several online friends and began seeing their faces in some of the same social circles I was in. I haven’t looked back.

I have attended a few local blogger events as well, but no major conferences. That is on my list of “to-dos”. I believe I have a promising future in blogging if I can expand my knowledge by attending a conference. Besides, I want to meet all the wonderful people I chat with on a daily basis. They are my inspiration.

4. In what ways have social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook helped you as blogger? Have they hindered you at all?

Twitter has been a great help to me as a blogger. I am able to promote my post, stay up-to-date on the latest news in the world and blogosphere, and network. I can also find great businesses and promotions in my area. I’m all about the local events. I love supporting them when I can. That leads me back to the whole COMMUNITY thing.

I use Facebook differently than I use Twitter. I interact more with people I know IRL (in real life) on Facebook. Most of them aren’t hip to Twitter, or have a strong dislike for birds, either one. I post my blog posts to my wall so that I can combine my virtual world with my real world. I want people to see inside my daily life. It’s fun to keep in touch.

5. Who are the mentors in your life? And who has been a key guide for you as you’ve built your business?

The obvious answer is my mother. She is a hardworker. She raised me as a single parent, but I never felt our struggles. I contribute much of wonderful childhood to the support of great family. I have a lot of strong women to look up to.

Although I’ve never met her, I also love Oprah. She would be more of a role model. It may seem like the easy answer, but there is no denying that she is the ultimate business woman. I’ve always had an admiration for those who came from nothing and create a whole lot of something from it.

I lack the ability to follow-through on my dreams, but I am working on that now. Watch-out world, I may just give Oprah a run for her money (can you say “big shoes to fill?”).

6. As a mom and a businesswoman, we know you are hardworking and loving it. When you do get a chance to pamper yourself, what do you do first?

As a mom, I rarely use the words “me”, “myself”, or “I”. For some reason I fall at the bottom of the priority list. Lucky for me, I am not super needy. I am rather simple. When I get the chance to pamper myself, I just like to enjoy a cocktail with friends via T.G.I.Friday’s (classy aren’t I?). I may get my eyebrows waxed, go window shopping, or splurge on a milkshake (such a risk-taker). I don’t go all out. No trips to the spa with waxing, manicures, and pedicures. I don’t even know the last time I’ve gone (judge me later). I float through life on simplicity. I love to shop, but I won’t die if I can’t purchase the latest designer sweater. To me, pampering is doing something for yourself that make you feel great. And sometimes having the freedom to decide is incentive enough.

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