Women leading women

Are you making the most of the woman behind the brand?

The core of an artist’s message starts with intention, and is then shaped by skill and talent.  Skill shapes the product, but insight creates the message. Rev. Hyunoh Kim

Are you hiding behind your professional accomplishments, and diminishing the value of your personal experiences and insights?

If you suspect you may be doing just that, you’re not alone. Today’s woman entrepreneur, though far more liberated than she would have been say, 30 years ago, it still slowly ridding herself of the conventional, more male-centered approaches to marketing.

Quite a bold assertion, I know, but the answer to the following question is why I’m confident in that assertion:

How many women entrepreneurs today feel fully comfortable integrating their personality into the marketing of their brand?

Do a survey. Ask around. Be sure to ask yourself that question too.  Odds are you’ll find that many, if not most women in business have to be reminded of the old adage, “first they believe in the dreamer, then they buy into the dream.”  In other words, who you are is a large part of your ability to convert onlookers into customers.

When it comes to business, many of us still think we need to create a formalized version of ourselves to fit into the blue, dark brown, and grey schemed shadow that hovers over the term “professional”.

If you tend to think professionalism is relegated to the tried-and true tactics of formality, safe visuals, and familiar terminologies, I encourage you to consider the per-fessional approach to marketing yourself; one that calls for both the personal story and the professional accomplishments.

Why? Because women care about the women behind the brand.  If your product or service is geared towards women, it’s important to recognize the blurred lines between the product and the purveyor.

Statistically, your website’s About page will get more traffic than any other page on your site, including and most notably to illustrate this point, your Services page.  This is a clear indicator that your site visitors, some of whom qualify as potential customers, are interested in the Who, not just the what.

What can you do to address this reality?

Spruce up your bio!

Your bio is your strutting music as you saunter down the runway of your potential client’s mind.  That client wants to know who you are, why you’re in business, and what you can do for them.  They want to be intrigued, or at the very least endeared by your personal story.

Far too many bios omit the business owner’s personal story, focusing instead of their litany of accolades and redundant testimonials.  Certainly, your accomplishments and your previous clients’ enthusiasm for your work are important aspects of your marketing strategy.  But leave out the personal story, and you run the risk of being one in the crowd, instead of an inspiring or encouraging memory embedded in that reader’s mind.

Here are five characteristics of a stellar bio

  • A good introduction of who you are
  • A brief introduction of what you offer
  • The roads that got you to where you are now
  • A detailed description of what your offer solves
  • A call to action with “pairing” insights

…and not necessarily in that order, either.  But if you include all of those components, your bio should go from blah to ta-da!, and your potential clients will have an opportunity to connect with you, the dreamer, so they can buy into your dream, the offer.

What about you? Can your clients see the woman behind your brand? Let me know in the comments!

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6 Comments
  1. sara page says

    This is very timely, I am just in the process of developing a new website. Changing from the artist/designer to ‘grown up’ professional business like online shop (cath kidston) style! And yes it is hard to get that designer, brand, company image right when you are a sole trader wearing all the hats!

    1. Akilah says

      Best of luck with your process, Sara! It can definitely be tough at first, but if you pay attention to how you want to feel, and what you want your ideal customer to get from their interaction with you and your work, you can totally rock it out!

  2. Frances Grabowski says

    This is very interesting…I am going to review my Bio and think about how I would tell my story. The fact is, over the years I have been able to hide my gender (Frances is androgynous) to serve my purpose and has gotten my foot in the door! Construction/Development is a male dominated field that has changed somewhat but still values men in certain positions of authority.

    1. Akilah says

      Yes, Frances! It’s important that you tell your story, particularly as a woman in a male dominated field. It can allow you to stand above the noise and even help you gain clients who may choose you over someone else because your ability to stand your ground and show your value in an industry not designed with you in mind.

  3. Sauda says

    Give thanks! As my website(past relegated to a BlogSpot so far) is being refocused and structured to include all of my offerings, I needed this. I know my site didn’t give all that I offer, in fact it was ONLY the woman and not the brand so much. Looking at striking a balance now. As my business is becoming more a part of my breath, I have to include it in all that I do.

    1. Akilah says

      You’re welcome, Sauda! In this space, balance is definitely important. Share both the woman and the WORK.