Today we’d like to introduce you to Abbie Alter.
Abbie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been involved in Digital Marketing since the first dial-up sounds to connect to the Internet in the days of Netscape and AOL. I have spent 20 years working with huge European brands in Affiliate, SEO, SEM, Website design, usability and Business Development projects. I have done some PR, writing and have always thrived when making things happen. I have always seen opportunities using technology and have honed my Sales & Marketing expertise into my Entrepreneurial journey.
During that time, I became a wife, a Mom and soon an incredibly brave transatlantic Transplant. When I moved to Plano, TX with my husband’s job from London I found myself in a city and country where I knew no-one and nothing about the place that was to become my new home. My two children (who were 3 and 6 at the time) kept me grounded and my mission was to settle in, make friends and create connections which would give a support network to me and my family.
I needed advice and relied on referrals, as there was much that Google did not tell me. How was I supposed to choose the best hairstylist, the best dentist, the best schools, the best neighborhood to live in? I trusted local moms the most! I realized I was not alone in this need and that there were tons of Moms who had moved here from somewhere else and tons of new Moms that had lived all their lives. We had many of the same problems and asked the same questions of each other.
So, I saw the potential of an online local community and I called it “Plano Moms”. What started as a small but friendly Facebook group is now at 8,000 in number, with a Referral only culture (no ads!) & a mutual respect and support ethic. I have admins that help run the group which now has 30 new applicants a day and posts coming at a pace of 3 a minute! That is a lot of advice being swapped & a ton of connections being made. Mix that up with a Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter & I realize that Plano Moms has a large following and widely trusted influence.
I built out a thriving email list that receive weekly newsletters with Offers, Events and local News for Moms and more recently I have launched a Blog based website with Offers, A-Z local directory of businesses, Calendar of Events and more! I also run Giveaways and broadcast locally using Facebook Live!
Once every 3 months we host 75 Moms at the Mommy Mixer – a Speed Dating Event for Moms.
Plano Moms is a one-stop resource and community for all moms who live, work and play in Plano.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Yes, I would say it has gone smoothly. I was very intentional in everything I did and I never stopped learning. I did every course, I trained myself in digital Photography, Video, Blogging and mastered how to put out useful and engaging content on Social Media.
I saw a big problem and knew I could provide the solution. Moms, everywhere I go know who I am and know about Plano Moms. Many proudly label themselves as Plano Moms and interact every day via Facebook, or reading our emails or sharing a blog post they like!
The first year was hardest. I was knocking at doors with a concept that I knew would be effective, for local Moms and for local Businesses who would provide the income I needed to support local Moms. I knew that there was a new and alternative option outside of traditional local media that would be cost-effective. The hardest part has been education. Educating small business owners about the new online options and Social Media, showing them that they do not have to spend ‘000’s on traditional advertising and that they should be providing useful, entertaining content through my channels to build trust, which is very different to the old-school “Sales-first’ approach.
Now, I meet new business owners every day and am approached every day. This is partly down to my hard work to networking the last 3 years, and partly because now Business Owners realize that Online is a huge opportunity for them and they want a piece of the pie. They watch what I am doing and want my help. Plus, they want to talk to local Moms, who are usually their ideal audience!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Plano Moms story. Tell us more about the business.
Everything we do is unique!
Plano Moms is a brand made of caricatures of cartoon Moms of all types – showing solidarity and diversity. Our logo, colors and brand in full reflects the nature of our online community.
We have enabled tons of new friendships, we have helped small and large local businesses to grow and attract new clients, we have provided insight into the key topics and thoughts of local moms, we provide a forum for Moms to swap ideas and provide support to each other.
We also provide useful information on new restaurants, playdate places, doctors, dentists etc within our Blog and we enable moms to take advantage of exclusive offers and connect them to great local events in the area.
I say “we”, because I have a team of Plano Moms who work with me. They are growing with the company.
Part Blog, Part Online Community, Brand, Influence, Connections, Trust… These are all words I use to describe Plano Moms.
We are coming up to our 3rd birthday. In the last 3 years, every Mom I meet tells me that: Thanks to Plano Moms, they got a huge discount for their Kid’s Karate class, met their new Mommy BFF, found out about a great local event that they enjoyed, and found the best school and neighborhood for their family. I have even spoken to Moms who have personally thanked me for being their support system and avoiding lonely days and nights without any friends in a new city.
Plano Moms needs to be local to every city in the Metroplex. There is nothing else like it in Plano, TX and I am so proud of that.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
A little. I feel that sometimes Luck throws you an opportunity and it’s up to you if you take it. Sometimes chance meetings have led to big things for me and for Plano Moms.
It is a matter of luck that my husband and I chose to live in Plano, TX when we could have equally landed in Chicago, IL and this might not have happened.
But it did, and for that – if Lady Luck played their hand then I am grateful.
- Address: 6009 W. Parker Rd, Ste 149-177
Plano, TX 75093
- Website: www.planomoms.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/planomoms
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/planomoms
- Twitter: twitter.com/planomoms
- Other: www.facebook.com/groups/planomomstalk
Plano Moms LLC