A personal marketing plan is non-negotiable for female founders, the number of which has doubled in the past decade—20 percent of the startups founded in 2019 had a female leader, according to Crunchbase. What’s more, between 2014 and 2019, women-owned businesses increased by 21 percent, with nearly 13 million companies being operated by a female.
While these stats are encouraging, female founders need to work even harder to succeed in a male-driven landscape. This is especially true for female founders in industries that are typically male-dominated, like tech and finance.
One way to stand out from the crowd is to develop a personal marketing plan that helps you expand your reach, tell a consistent story, and be more authoritative in your space. In this way, a personal marketing plan is more focused on you, as a leader in the space, than your company.
Let’s break down what a personal marketing plan is and why you need one as a female founder.
What is a Personal Marketing Plan?
A personal marketing plan allows you to build and promote your professional brand. However, the term “professional” may be misleading, as now more than ever, your identity as a female leader should also blend with your authentic personality, life, and beliefs.
Ideally, you want to create a digital persona that includes the aspects of your personal life you’re comfortable sharing, and most importantly, shouts about why you’re uniquely positioned to be an authority in your space.
As such, a personal marketing plan is a strategic approach to develop and publicize that persona, while leveraging the authority to support your overall business goals.
The Benefits of a Personal Marketing Plan
A memorable and recognizable personal brand allows you to connect with the right audiences, establish yourself as an expert, and so much more. Instead of letting someone else guide the story, a personal marketing plan allows you to write it the way you want it. Here are the benefits of a personal marketing plan as a female founder.
Connect With the RIGHT Audience
A personal marketing plan ensures that you’re targeting and engaging with the right people because you have a clear idea about what types of connections are beneficial and the audience you need to reach. In other words: your hard work won’t go to waste or fall on deaf ears.
What’s more, when you understand where your audience lives you can focus your efforts in those areas specifically. For example, you may realize that your audience is more active on Instagram than Facebook, allowing you to shift your focus and energy to be more effective. Sara Blakely, CEO of SPANX, is very active on LinkedIn and Instagram but not on Twitter. It’s all about quality, not quantity when it comes to your female founder brand persona.
Ultimately, with a strategic and authentic approach, you can not only target the best audience but build a community, which is an important long-term goal in strategic branding.
Create Your Plan: Use competitor and audience research to define a group that includes potential clients and customers, as well as business partners, mentors or other like-minded lady powerhouses who will propel and inspire you. These are the people who engage with and create content for on a regular basis.
Establish Yourself as an Expert
One of the greatest benefits of a personal marketing plan is the accountability it provides for planning and creating content that establishes your expertise in your vertical. Through thought leadership articles and guest posts, you can tell your unique brand story, offer actionable advice, and comment on industry trends.
What’s more, thought leadership has a direct correlation with business success. According to Edelman’s 2020 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study: “Strong thought leadership content not only strengthens a company’s reputation but also positively impacts RFP invitations, wins, pricing and cross-selling that occurs post-sale.”
I know what you’re thinking: How will I find time in my already packed schedule to create meaningful content? This is a great question and one that you can’t ignore because your thought leadership content needs to be high-quality. That same Edelman study explains, “Poorly executed thought leadership, however, can have an equal and opposite effect, leading decision-makers to remove a potential vendor or partner from consideration altogether.”
The good news is that you can outsource to a talented ghostwriter to do the heavy lifting. Great ghostwriters create well-researched content, which you can polish by adding your personality, tone, and beliefs. The team at Jessica Thiefels Consulting provides the highest-quality thought leadership content creation for female founders—connect with us today.
Create Your Plan: Start by addressing the resources needed to implement this aspect of your personal marketing plan effectively. Do you need to outsource content creation? Do you need to hire a podcast outreach person? When you know what you need to be successful, you lay the foundation upfront without adding more to your plate.
Keep Reading: 5 Pillars of Thought Leadership Strategy
Own Your Why
A personal marketing plan allows you and your audience to understand your “why.” Why you started, why you’re so passionate about the industry, etc. As Simon Sinek brilliantly says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
On top of that, developing a personal marketing plan and a strong, differentiated brand identity lets you control your narrative. In a world where female leaders are the minority, and still face a “likability conundrum,” you can write your own story and share your authentic personality and beliefs through the lens of your why.
Create Your Plan: If you aren’t sure what your why is, listen to Mindset Reset Radio’s episode, Shifting into your purpose to find your why. If you already have your why, the goal is to weave it into everything you do, from sharing on podcasts to writing guest posts. This is where your strategy is key—what are the brand pillars you live by and how does your why fit into all of that?
Develop Your Personal Marketing Plan
Lead the conversation rather than getting lost in it. Create a personal marketing plan to stand out among your competitors, establish yourself as a powerful female founder, and share your expertise with the world. Not only does this help you as an authority in your space, but it can drive customers, clients, and investors as well.