Even when I was a little girl I was fascinated with “business women”. To me it seemed a world full of glamour: gorgeous clothes, fancy offices, the air of importance. The reality of my professional life was that the ‘glamorous’ world was a little different than the younger me had imagined. It had its moments but, it turned out, the corporate world didn’t set my heart on fire.
Over the years, my fascination with women in business – particularly women entrepreneurs – hasn’t waned. I love to hear how women start their own business, how they turn their idea into a viable enterprise, an income on their terms. It was predestined in many ways that this passion of mine would be the seed of my own business idea: coaching women who’ve lost their identity and direction to reawaken to their purpose and ambitions and to make them happen.
My own enterprise gives me the privilege of working with many women entrepreneurs who continue to inspire me with their unique talents, their creativity, their gumption. But there’s a common problem. The seedling of the business idea is golden, the talent is unquestioned, the business plan is prepared but there’s one thing holding them back: they’re busy working in their business and not working on their business.
A business start-up is taught not to ‘pass go’ without being armed with a hefty business plan but, great plan aside, the other magic ingredient has to be marketing. What, I ask, is the point of having an amazing gift to give without people knowing it’s there? Your special gift needs to be shared with the world. And here lies the problem’s side-kick: in general, women just aren’t that great at tooting their own horn.
If you’re ready to spread the word, here are five tips for working on your business and creating a little marketing magic:
- Make it a priority: When you’re working in your zone of genius, your natural talent, time flies. I’m sure you could spend hours doing the thing that feels most natural to you, so much so that it doesn’t actually feel like work. In an ideal world, this is where you’d spend your time but, unless you have a team to delegate to, you have to step out of this realm and manage all the other tasks and activities that make a business a business. Without them, you’re running a hobby. Make working on your business a priority. Schedule the time and be uncompromising about making it happen.
- Learn the language: Marketing, for many, can feel overwhelming. There are just so many ways to consider: blogs, vlogs, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram… Before jumping into how you want to communicate with your ideal customers, you need to get to know them a little first. Be crystal clear on who your dream customer is… and then talk to them. It’s a conversation, as simple as that. Learn what they come to you for: what need or problem does your business solve for them? Understand what language they use – these are the words that you’ll want to weave into your marketing. You ask and listen and you showcase what you offer that is the answer to their prayers… Don’t overwhelm yourself. Get chatting.
- Be consistent: Once you’ve ‘dated’ your customers and got to know them a little better, you’ll have an idea of where they spend their time. If, for example, Facebook is their hangout, commit to having a presence there and be consistent. People buy from people and so commit to letting them know about you, your business and your product/service and keep the momentum up. Keep it simple and start with one way to communicate with your customers and stick with it.
- Get support: Surround yourself with like-minded people. Join groups and network within your industry. Especially when you work by yourself, it’s a good idea to have a group of peers to turn to to seek advice, to share experiences and offer insights. You don’t even need to step away from your desk: you can start by finding groups and communities on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.
- Connect with your inner actress: What’s holding you back from shouting about your business and your talents from the rooftops? Believe in your own brilliance and don’t be coy about sharing it. How would you act if you truly believed that you are the best at what you do? Who would you talk to? What would you be saying about yourself? Act as if you already are the success you plan to be.
Article courtesy of Emma Gwillim of www.EmmaGwillim.com