3 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make in Marketing: How to market yourself with success and not panic.
Marketing. One single word with so many definitions.
Do you think of TV commercials? Facebook Ads? Press Releases? Logos? It’s definitely daunting, and marketing yourself—as a woman, as a businesswoman, as an entrepreneur—can be downright terrifying. That fear of marketing yourself can be a massive roadblock on the path to success if you let it. Good news is: understanding a few very common mistakes can help you avoid them, and maybe even make this necessary evil a little less dreadful. Dare we say empowering even!
1- Do Not Market Without an Identity
You are always going to have competition, whether it is another business, coworker or an individual. Your identity is what sets you apart in the eye of your consumer or client. Creating a firm identity BEFORE you begin promoting yourself/business is vital to achieving success.
Our first instinct is to land a job, get customers in the door or sign that first contract, but we all know too well the impact one negative review or impression can have, and you’ve lost before you’ve even begun.
Having a set identity will allow you to better plan, organize and navigate your way through marketing yourself in any professional capacity. Establish what type of business or employee you want to be. Who do you want to attract? What are your goals?
Make a 3-month, 1-year and 5-year plan. Set attainable goals. Set realistic boundaries. THEN start your marketing. You’ll see how much easier promoting yourself will be when you have a clear identity to follow.
Tip to remember: It’s much harder to change perception of an identity/brand after it’s been established in the eye of the consumer. Think of rebranding as a last resort.
2- Stop Overpromising
We are modern women. We want to do it all. And if we can’t we will kill ourselves trying. We come into the meeting, schedule that interview, make the sales call- - whatever it may be- our pitch is solid, knowledgeable, pithy and we are confident… until they throw you a curve ball:
Prospective Client: “So… Can you also get us a unicorn?”
Us: ‘Yes, absolutely, what color would you like? Glitter or no glitter?”
It’s time we realize as women, and as professionals, that it is okay to NOT do it all. It’s okay if you offer Zen and flow yoga but not Vinyasa. It’s okay if you’re niche is web design but not social media. IT. IS. OKAY.
Is there a possibility they may hire someone that can give them their unicorn? Yes. Is there a possibility you’ll have to hear no, lose the customer, not get the contract? Yes. BUT you won’t be compromising your expertise, your brand, your professional reputation for a service you don’t own, for something you do ‘sort of alright’, for something you hope you can figure out.
Know what you do and OWN IT.
Your work will speak for itself.
Tip to remember: This doesn’t mean not to challenge yourself, just to set limits that won’t sacrifice your professional reputation.
3- Stop Undervaluing
As women we have a tendency to deflect compliments, downplay valuable skills and feel as if we have to constantly prove our own worth (usually to ourselves). Not knowing (and believing!) your value is one of the biggest mistakes women make when marketing themselves or their businesses.
Your business may be new or you may be new to the industry but you got there. You have something to offer and before you can convince others of that- you have to be sold on what you’re offering.
Promoting yourself or your business opens you up to a world of potential judgment, criticism and possible failure and that is scary! Even scarier is our own judgment. Self-Judgment creates a self-esteem that is driven by others, rather than by what we actually think of ourselves. How can you market something you don’t even believe in? You can’t.
Don’t let this self-judgment negatively impact how you see our own value, and in result question your marketable skills.
So how do you make marketing yourself, your service or your business less daunting?
Create an identity, know your limits and own your value.
You’ve earned the right to brag!
About Natalie Grantham
Natalie Grantham provides 10 years of marketing expertise through her full service public relations and social agency, N2 Communications, located in Charleston, SC. N2 Communications provides a personal touch to businesses nationwide through an array of marketing services; such as brand and campaign coordination, marketing consulting and contracting, social media management, content writing, corporate collateral design, and media purchasing.
Natalie is extending an August special of $50 off a one-hour marketing consult to the Hatch Tribe community. If you are interested, please email Natalie or call 803-322-2720 and mention Hatch Tribe.