By Koketso Mamabolo
Amanda Rogaly turned a blog into a media agency and parenting portal. Through sheer experience and hardwork, the founder of BabyYumYum has grown her business to one that services a range of blue chip companies. “I have no formal marketing qualification, I went to hotel school and landed by default in the event industry.”
Amanda is a driven entrepreneur who is able to balance all the aspects of her career with raising two children. Not one to rest on her laurels, she chose not to go on maternity sabbatical but instead started up a few business ventures.
“I was always going to be one of those women that give birth at their desk and return to work the day after giving birth.”
What are the benefits of attending a virtual event?
Value! You will walk away and feel empowered by the speakers, entertained by the workshops and interactions, socially fulfilled from the online social element, inspired to be a better individual and rewarded with prizes, goodie bags and phenomenal products and exposure.
The past two years have been crazy and with it has come anxiety and a reluctance to be out longer than you have to. Money is also tight and these days just a simple family excursion has costs associated with it.
With virtual events, you don’t have to have the inconvenience of queues, packing up the family, traffic, looking and paying for parking, crowds and let’s not forget the risk of COVID-19 transmission. You can enjoy everything from anywhere even in your PJs and slippers, whilst breastfeeding or painting your toenails.
How can one make the most out of attending a virtual event?
Try and familiarise yourself with the platform and how to login before the time, to ensure that your browser and settings are correct.
Look out for mails and social media posts from the organisers before with information updates.
Get familiar with the speakers and the agenda and put reminders in your calendar about who you want to watch.
Arrange your family’s meals and activities so that you don’t have to miss a second.
Make sure you have enough data and are aware of the loadshedding schedule in your area.
Arrange to gather your friends or colleagues so you can participate together.
What would you say are the skills you’ve developed which helped you most in creating successful businesses?
Always looking for opportunity in every situation
Understanding the flow of money and that it is controlled and based on energy and your mental mindset .
Developing relationships that I can call on tomorrow or in 2, 5 or 10 years.
Every day I watch and learn more about people and about myself and with that knowledge it contributes to the growth of my businesses.
What inspired you to organise virtual events?
COVID brought about the need for the virtual parenting experience. Moms were isolated and were needing community interaction and an opportunity to be edu-tained and exposed to ideas and products in a safe environment. And on the flipside brands were needing an alternative opportunity to showcase products and engage with parents.
What benefit do brands get from partnering with a virtual event?
Mass targeted exposure for an extended period allows for the opportunity to engage with consumers/ticket holders in a variety of customised ways depending on the brands objectives.
We support mompreneurs, entrepreneurs and SMMEs expose these brands to ticket holders and increase their sales, which ultimately stimulates the economy and also helps level the playing field for support and exposure.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Definitely dealing with the disappointment of people who overpromise and underdeliver and are just so complex. For mitigating this I always have a plan B in place for all eventualities and have also learnt to accept that when things go wrong they can always be redirected and reengineered to create a different but successful outcome.
Another big challenge has been to learn to let go from an operational point of view, so that I can focus on growing my business whilst my expert team does the elbow work, but to never take your finger off the pulse and your eye off the ball.
Please tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?
I am a marketer, a brand builder and a people person. I have no formal marketing qualification. I went to hotel school and landed by default in the event industry where I went on after years of effort to have my own event management and PR company, servicing many blue chip accounts.
I was always going to be one of those women that gave birth at my desk and return to work the day after giving birth.
Yet, in reality, once I had fallen pregnant hormones kicked in and literally the day after having a baby I shut down and sold off my company.
I was meant to take a maternity sabbatical but, being a true entrepreneur, that didn’t last long and I started up a few businesses, all whilst writing about my experiences of being a new mom. I found that the internet was so full of information that was rather overwhelming and I asked myself ‘how do I know what is factual and credible’, because I want my articles to be backed by experts, allowing moms to make their own decisions.
My articles were followed by many and my tiny blog grew and grew. Soon brands were supporting and sponsoring my articles.
Fast forward a few years, and two kids later, and I have grown my little blog into a fully-commercialised media agency and parenting portal. In fact, it is the fastest growing parenting community in South Africa.
I am driven, I am passionate, I am an inspiration and I continue to grow my business by my original ideals:
- To empower and educate women and families in South Africa.
- That everyone, no matter their demographics or financial position, should have access to the same high quality content – no paid premium/freemium content model.
- To get women to learn to trust their gut instinct again.
- To have fun
Find out firsthand what a virtual event is like at the Future of HR Summit