MAUREEN FITZGERALD Influencer Spotlight
Maureen Fitzgerald is a mom, wife, dog rescuer and coffee lover. Along with her family, Maureen loves technology, travel, food, gardening, health and beauty and sharing produces that make life easier and more fun. Maureen says her audience is primarily made up of busy moms who are looking for the same solutions as herself: how to serve families healthy food without spending all day in the kitchen, how to get work done while still making time to support children in their education and activities and how to carve out a little time for enjoyment and pampering in the midst of everything. Maureen has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, What to Expect and Mom TV, to name a few. You can learn more about Maureen at wisconsinmommy.com.
When did you get started as an influencer and what were some of the first steps you took to get established?
I started my blog back in 2006 so quite awhile ago. I didn’t do it with the intention of becoming an influencer I was just a first time stay at home mom and it was kind of a creative outlet for me. It was probably around 2008, 2009 that I really started to monetize it and look at it more as a business and that was when brands started reaching out to me to work with.
And at that point looking at it more of a business I probably moved away from talking about my son quite so much, you know, trying to respect his privacy a little bit and started being really careful about who I aligned myself with. Especially as far as brands just to maintain authenticity with my audience because we had grown pretty close by then and I wanted to make sure that by monetizing it I wasn’t jeopardizing our relationship.
You have worked with many brands (as listed on wisconsinmommy.com), what has been your most memorable or favorite brand partnership to-date?
Oh wow! I can’t say that it’s necessarily maybe a specific brand that kind of sticks out it’s more the type of collaboration. I have loved the brands that I’ve been able to partner with where we have been able to give back to our community. I’ve worked with brands where we donated to children’s hospital, we re did a community park in Milwaukee to make it safer and more fun for kids so that kind of a campaign where there’s a benefit for everybody, for them, for me, and for the local community is probably my favorite type of campaign.
Your site covers a wide variety of topics ranging from family to animals, travel, technology and so on… What is your favorite topic to write about?
Well they’re all kind of different aspects of my life and my personality so it would be like saying whose your favorite kid. But it really depends, you know, during the summer I love the travel because my son can come with me and, you know, this winter hasn’t been as much fun because we had a really brutal winter here in Wisconsin.
Technology is always something that, I love creating recipes my family enjoys when I do those posts as well, and, you know, anything that features my dog is always a favorite too.
Can you describe your approach to reviewing products and what you’ve learned over the years when it comes to crafting a review?
Well I think what I’ve learned is my audience really appreciates not only the information about the product, which is usually what the brand is looking for me to convey, but also how it fits into my life, why I felt drawn to it. So whether it makes my life easier or it enhances my life in some way I really try and make sure I’m telling that story in the post as well as conveying the branding information.
What is the weirdest request you have received from a brand?
I think probably the invitation for my daughter and I to go get manicures. I have a son. So I was like well maybe I can borrow someone’s daughter, I don’t know.
Could give a little advice to Moms and Dads when it comes to serving their families a healthy meal without spending all day in the kitchen?
Well I mean the thing is you can make a healthy meal and if they don’t like it then it’s kind of what’s the point so I usually try and steer clear of foods I know family doesn’t like, even if they are healthy. I personally love Brussels sprouts my family does not so I don’t serve my family brussels sprouts because I know they won’t eat them.
So really you can take just about any dish and lighten it up but if you start with the dishes that are your family’s favorite you are probably going to have a lot more success than if you are starting with something they already have an aversion to.
What is your favorite social media platform to use and why?
On a personal level probably Facebook because I have a lot of family on both coasts and I love being able to not only communicate with my readers but also visit with family. On a professional level I have to say Instagram just because there’s such an opportunity to tell a story with just a single picture. It’s fun.
What are some of your goals for this year when it comes to wisconsinmommy.com and your social platforms?
Just to keep growing and, you know, find some new brands that would be an authentic fit that I have not worked with yet as well as keep those brands that I have worked with and we really partnered well in the past. I would love to grow those relationships as well.
Do you have any strategies that you’ve developed specifically or learned during the course of creating compelling video content?
Lighting is everything. I actually was kind of mapping this out before we got on and realized that I had a window and then a wall and I looked like the joker because I was like light on one side and dark on the other. So I invested in a good lighting kit. I use it all the time if I’m doing recipes a recipes video I try to do it during the middle of the day but Wisconsin in winter that’s a challenge. So yeah lighting is key. And then I personally am trying to get more comfortable with live video.
My background is I do a lot of live TV but it’s a very controlled, you know, environment you are in a studio and the idea of going into a store, I’ve done a couple of those, on location lives and they really hypes my anxiety because you have so little control over what’s going on. So I do want to spend more time getting comfortable with that because it can be a really authentic experience but I, myself if I’m trying to create a video I create in a controlled environment as I can.
Note: Influencer Spotlights are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the voice behind many of the Intellifluence tutorial videos (for better or worse).