There are so many women out there who have excellent products and services but they are unsure of how to better promote themselves. One of the key factors that helps women advance their careers and businesses is their willingness to promote themselves.
Statistics show, today, more than 8.6 million U.S. businesses are owned by women. They generate more than $1.3 trillion in revenues and employ nearly 7.8 million people. The researchers have also found that women-owned businesses frequently face difficulties growing when they have five to nine employees and their annual revenue is in the $250,000 to $499,999 range.
“Women who are more proactive self-promoters are better able to advance their careers and increase their salaries, and are overall more professionally satisfied, than women who were less likely to make their achievements visible”, says Ilene H. Lang, president and CEO of Catalyst, a researched based organization expanding opportunities for women and business.
According to Susan Lucus-Conwell, Global Chief Executive Officer at Great Place to Work, "Women need to identify their unique talents, understand what they bring to their work environment to best enable success, and then, make sure that their voice is heard. Speak up, speak out, and contribute. Women may experience difficulty with this in many work environments. So, it’s important to find a community within the organization-mentors, role-models, networking groups, who can help navigate through an organization and provide a support system."
Nell Merlino, the founder and CEO of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, states in Forbes, “Too many women limit their vision and opportunities by getting overwhelmed,” Merlino says. “They end up walking away from opportunities or clients or more work because they know there is only 24 hours in their day, as opposed to, ‘Who can I get to help me so I can go out to sell the company?"
Here some ideas to aid with promoting you, along with your business, from Catherine Kaputa, who writes on the subject:
- Tap into “brand strategy”-Self branding is about developing a personal strategy that positions you differently from others and formulating the tactics that get you from A to B all the way to Z. It’s about building visibility and a reputation in some arena.
- Be aware of perceptions about you-If people think you are on top of your game, you will be. If people think you’re a B player, you will be until you change their perceptions. Your success in business or life is based on perceptions, other people’s perceptions of who you are, how good you are, and even what you are worth.
- Stay relevant-Another key tenet of branding is, “Be relevant.”
- Create a powerful “self-brand package”-Your visual identity is important because of the link people make between what something looks like on the outside and what is on the inside. That’s why you should think about visual identity like brand managers do.
- Visibility-What advertisers call 'mindshare', brings big rewards. You can get a higher price for your services or a bigger salary. People will seek you out. That’s because of the connection people make between something that’s well-known being better than something that is not. (“She must be good, or why would she be so well known?”)
- Develop an action plan to move the plot along-Defining a great self-brand strategy is one thing. Making it a reality is another. Brand managers use a marketing plan to tie it all together to achieve your goals and you should, too. A self brand action plan includes the following: goals, target markets, the self-brand strategy, time frame, tactics and measurement. Throughout your career, your reputation and the perception people have about you is constantly changing whether you do anything or not. If you’re trying to move up the ladder in your career, you should prepare a plan that positions you apart from competitors, maximizes your assets, and demonstrates that you have the track record for the job.
As a woman who owns or has a key role in a business, you can learn to convey to others the value you and the business offer. You can be visible, speak to your accomplishments, present your skills, and build your reputation, in addition to that of the business, both within the inside and outside of your business.