Over the last year I have learned a great deal from women in the field of marketing, social media, branding and entrepreneurship. While there are many female thought leaders in the marketing industry that I may have missed, this list contains the women that have made a difference in my life, my viewpoint, and continue to lead the way for women in business.
It’s up to each of us to find online content we find valuable to our growth and business needs, and then to consume and put into action the advice and tips from the experts. This list is full of women that I have found to be leaders, women that are consistently providing relevant and useful information to the marketing and social media industry. I appreciate each and every one of them and recommend these ladies as the Chicks Pick Best in Blog – Marketing and Social Media 2009.
Update: This article was picked up by ForbesWoman and published on Forbes.com. Now these ladies have some promo they really deserve! See the article here: Forbes 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women
Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni @ConversationAge Valeria helps businesses understand how customers and communities have changed marketing, PR, and communications – and how to bring value in this new environment. She also hosts the #kaizenblog Twitter chat on Fridays where other professional and aspiring conversationalists share their best tips.
Lipsticking, Yvonne DiVita, @Lipsticking – Yvonne heads up a very talented group of women bloggers including Lena West, Donna DeClemente, Mary Schmidt and Robbi Hess. These ladies bring a powerful female voice to the marketing world assisting many brands, agencies and not-for-profits in their marketing to women strategies. You’re sure to appreciate the honest and outspoken articles found on Lipsticking.
WonderBranding, Michele Miller, @MicheleMiller -Wonder Branding brings you the latest news and views on marketing to women. Michele keeps us up to date on how brands are responding to the female customer. You can read the interview with Michele Miller that I conducted earlier this year here.
She Takes On The World, Natalie MacNeil, @NatalieMacneil – Women entrepreneurs will come to find She Takes on the World a necessary add to their RSS reader. Natalie offers excellent articles focusing on building your business from the ground up and often brings in other female experts for her “In Her Heels” interviews.
Women On Business – Susan Gunelius @Susan Gunelius – Find news and information you need to be successful in the business world from this network of female thought leaders. Articles focus on leadership, market trends and entrepreneurship.
V3 Integrated Marketing – Shelly Kramer @ShellyKramer – Shelly and Laura Lakes run the Kansas City based marketing company V3 and offer their best tips here on their blog in areas such as social media, blog marketing, public relations and traditional marketing for businesses. Shelly is a firecracker that has a knack for engaging with her community and immediately putting a smile on your face. A must follow on Twitter as well as her informative blog.
Client Magnet – Bernadette Doyle @BernadetteDoyle – an amazing website that teaches how to attract Clients Like a Magnet, Bernadette teaches how to use attraction marketing to change your mindset to begin having clients seek you rather than you grasping after them. A very positive blog which is sure to have an impact on your business and your life.
Women Grow Business – Jill Foster, @JillFoster - As Editor for Women Grow Business, Jill brings together a network of female entrepreneurs to discuss leadership, marketing, operations (especially in tough economic times), benefits of social cause partnership, talent retention, online presence, entrepreneurship, social technology, mentorship, failure, and success. You will want to come back often.
Sheconomy – Stephanie Holland @Sheconomy – Stephanie takes pride in being able to reach a guy’s mind on marketing to women. Sheconomy is a great resource to come back to for statistics on women in the marketplace as well as getting a clearer perspective on WHY brands should be marketing to women.
ClickNewz – Lynn Terry, @LynnTerry – Lynn has been in internet marketing for years and knows how to give you the step by step process on how to recreate her success for yourself. You’ll find tips from article marketing to search engine optimization and everything in between. Lynn also has a forum community that is a great tool for getting quick answers. –
Startup Princess – Kelly King Anderson @StartupPrincess – Kelly operates Startup Princess, an organization for women entrepreneurs everywhere to network, learn, share, and mentor one another. Kelly and her Fairy Godmothers are always willing to help you grow your business.
ConnieBensen.com – Connie Bensen @cbensen – Connie Bensen is a leading authority on cultivating online communities. Her blog is an excellent resource to find mentorship and inspiration for others pursing a career in Community Management or for brands seeking to improve their community engagement strategies.
Beth’s Blog- Beth Kanter @Kanter – Beth is the leading expert on cause marketing and using social media for non-profits. A place to capture and share ideas, experiment with and exchange links and resources about the adoption challenges, strategy, and ROI of nonprofits and social media.
Gwen Bell -Gwen Bell @GwenBell – Gwen knows social media and is the example of what a networker does to create connections across the world with seemingly no effort at all. Her posts will cause you to stop and think, not just hand feed you information. Perky, smart and a must read for those interested in anything Web 2.0.
HorsePigCow – Tara Hunt, @MissRogue specializes in community marketing—delighting and enchanting the people in the communities a company serves through product, communication and experience.
MarketingProfs Ann Handley @MarketingProfs – For anyone interested in successful marketing of their business, Marketing Profs is not just a blog to follow, but a necessary tool in your marketing toolbox. You will find useful reports, statistics and viewpoints from many experts of both genders, but Ann and Beth Kanter are the female voices behind Marketing Profs.
MariaReyesMcDavis.com – Maria Reyes McDavis, @WebSuccessDiva – Maria’s specialty is in developing strategies that help small businesses and Idea Entrepreneurs leverage the power of online technology. She is an inspiration to many women and men alike and a must read.
Altitude Branding – Amber Aslund @AmberCadabra – Amber is an upbeat breath of fresh air in the social media world. You’ll find a thought provoking viewpoint that focuses on elevating brands through social media and communication.
IttyBiz – Naomi Dunford, @IttyBiz – IttyBiz is a place to get tips, advice, motivation, and support for your very small business. Naomi is a kick in the pants that shares her marketing expertise in a style only she can, loaded with wisdom, wit and an occasional F-bomb. A fun place to learn.
Diva Marketing Blog, Toby Bloomberg, @TobyDiva – Toby has an accomplishment list a mile long from speaking at major new media conferences to sitting on the board for the American Marketing Association. On her blog she brings all her experience and offers it to us in a fun and bold voice that’s sure to bring you back for more.
Who have you found to be your top influencers in growing your business and business knowledge? Share your contributions below.
To Your Success,
December 20, 2009 267 Comments
I have a question I have been wanting to ask you…yes, YOU. How can I make Market Like A Chick more constructive for you?
In an effort to keep improving the blog and making it more effective in helping you, I’d like to know what Market Like A Chick means to you. What do you come here for and what would you like to expect to see when you get here?
I don’t want to lead you into your suggestions or put the ideas in your head, but sometimes a few suggestions are helpful to get our minds going.. So here are some areas you might like to comment on:
- Topics – are there topics (specific or general) you’d like covered in the coming months? What are the main issues that you’re facing in your marketing, blogging or business at the moment? What would you like to learn about or grow most in for the remainder of the year?
- Types of Posts - reader questions, tutorials, case studies, short tips, guest posts, tool reviews…. Let me know what you would like to see most/least
- Posting Frequency – too many posts, not enough, just right?
- Design – Is the blog easy to navigate, can you find what you’re looking for, links and tabs convenient?
- Blog Features – what would make your reader experience better?
- Community – do you feel you connect well with other me and the other readers? Are there features that you’d like added to help connect more?
- Services and Tools – what could Market Like A Chick offer you to help you improve?
- What Frustrates You about Market Like A Chick? What is Best about it?
- Other Ideas and Feedback – anything goes, big or little.
My short list of ‘Rules’ – Any feedback, suggestions, dreams or ideas that you have are welcome. I do make a commitment to you right now to read anything you have to say. I can’t promise to respond to each comment or put every suggestion into place but I will consider and appreciate all feedback.
I only ask these simple things from you: Please be honest, courteous and constructive with your feedback.
Market Like A Chick is a venture that I pour A LOT of time and effort into – so even though criticism can be a little difficult to hear – I think it’s imperative to consider it all if I want to be a valuable resource for bloggers and business owners wanting to improve their marketing skills.
So it’s your turn now. Feel free to either leave your feedback in comments below or to share them privately with me via my Contact Page…and THANK YOU for participating. We will help each other this way.
To Your Success,
October 22, 2009 6 Comments
On this Marketing Mindset Monday, today’s post is about change. It’s about facing circumstances square in the eye and saying “I can handle this and I will expect success to meet me at every step“. I suppose every one of us has experienced unexpected shifts at what seems to be the most inopportune times. How will you handle them?
A certain woman I know is currently experiencing undue burden as her employer held pay for 5 weeks. She’s a single mom with a deadbeat “dad” that has never done his part to support his children. I’ve watched her devote countless hours to her job, for many months working 14 hour days including weekends, giving all of herself to help another man build his business as she was undervalued, passed over and overworked. While the company flourished, the owners indulged themselves in lavish extravagances, overspending and neglecting their business until nearly at the point of insolvency. With no money left to spend, the owners have turned back to rebuild and recently informed her they had decided her already small salary was “overpaid” and a portion of her services provided would not be paid for even though it had not been discussed. To continue working for them she would have to accept a 75% cut in pay with no benefits. Knowing that this job is her only source of income to provide for her family, they have her over a barrel.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
There comes a time in every person’s life where there are tough decisions to be made. A point where you either accept the circumstances as they are or take the responsibility to change them. Situations like this remind me how important it is to be in business for yourself. To be responsible for your own profit and put your hard work and sacrifices into building a lasting foundation for yourself and your family.
I love motivational quotes and have l always favored Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain for his outspoken personality on human tendencies and witty cut-to-the-chase style. But, did you also know that Mr. Twain was a strong supporter of women and Women’s Rights?
As a matter of fact, during an address at the Washington Correspondent’s Club, the toast made by Mark Twain was: “Woman- the pride of any profession, and the jewel of ours”. He also went on to say:
“In all relations of life, sir, it is but a just and graceful tribute to woman to say of her that she is a brick. Wheresoever you place woman, sir – in whatever position or estate – she is an ornament to the place she occupies, and a treasure to the world.”
How long has it been since you were told you are a treasure to the world or an ornament to the place you occupy in your position? Women in all professions have accomplished much since the days of Mark Twain, including persisting until the passing of the 19th Amendment. And we continue to persevere in the work place even in the face of gender pay discrimination and unscrupulous business practices.
This post is for the women that are ready to make decisions to change their lives. I’d like to inspire you to remember who you are. You are a gift, a beautiful gift of integrity and strength…compassionate and intelligent. YOU are capable of making any change in your life that you can imagine. But, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. We must build a strong network of women to support, mentor and encourage one another. When you have your moments of weakness, I will be here to say, “you are the pride of any profession, a jewel, and you are able!” When I am struggling with my confidence, you are here to say “Hey Coree…you are an ornament, a treasure to the world, and as strong as a brick”.
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
I am considering beginning a Mastermind Group for women looking for support and sharing ideas in marketing, new business, pr, advertising, and entrepreneurship. If I were to do this I would hold conference calls and/or webinars once per week. I’d like to know how many ladies out there would be interested in joining and possibly co-hosting calls with me. Please let me know your level of interest by either commenting here or emailing me directly at Coree AT marketlikeachick DOT COM. I look forward to hearing from each of you!
To Your Success,
PS ~~> One of the BEST ways to build your business is to build your email list! I will only be offering the 21 day FREE “List Marketing Minute” E-Course from expert List Builder, Jimmy D. Brown, for a limited time, so sign up for your free course today. Jimmy has taught the best, names like John Reese & Nicole Dean, how to master the skill of building a profitable email list. You can sign up here to join the e-course and get started instantly. You won’t be sorry you did!
September 7, 2009 3 Comments
Do wonderful things only happen to you in fairy tales? Not this time.
Do you have a startup dream? Starting your own business can be so overwhelming and confusing. Get some one on one time with a REAL Fairy Godmother at The Startup Princess Annual Conference, Touchpoint Sept 11th, 2009 Salt Lake City, Utah! (WAIT!! Don’t sign up yet…scroll down for money saving coupon!!)
Do you ask yourself any of these questions:
- I want to be my own boss, but where do I begin?
- I have so many ideas for a new business, but which one is the right one for me?
- How do I negotiate the best prices for website design, SEO, or other services?
- But, I have a family! How do I balance parenting and business effectively?
- Do I need to form a corporation, LLC, stay sole proprietor? What’s the difference?
Kelly King Anderson, founder of Startup Princess, has organized a nationally recognized event for women entrepreneurs with top quality experts (Fairy Godmothers) to teach, counsel and support you in your business dream. This will be no boring event, but an absolutely life changing chance to learn, network and have a ball with your peers and mentors!
Check this out!
Keynote Speakers & Workshops!! There will be several breakout sessions..check out just a few of the choices:
- Karmel Larsen, Mrs. Utah United States 2009, Small Business Owner - Discovering and Living Your Life Purpose in Business
- Ghennipher Weeks, Web and Social Media Consultant - Understanding Web Analytics
- Heather Bailey, Designer – Developing Products That Sell
- Carol Rice, Co-Founder of CherishBound – The Power of Negotiation
- Saren Eyre Loosli, Power of Mom.com, Author – Striving for Balance in Family and Business
Fun & COMPETITION!!
- Video Marketing Competition – you’re invited to enter and compete to win great prizes..but HURRY, this ends Aug. 30th!! The Winner will receive a FLIP video camera worth $240 and more! The 5 Finalists will all receive a 1 yr subscription for Mozy back up and a Free Touchpoint Ticket.
There is so much to do and learn I can’t list it all here, but you can be sure your day as a Startup Princess will be the first of many!
Save $10 On Registration
And don’t forget the best part, Kelly has given all the readers of Market Like A Chick a special discount!! If you use the special code just for my readers, you receive $10 off the already tiny registration fee! Follow these simple steps to attend YOUR day with top experts & peers:
- Register for Touchpoint
- Enter Coupon Code: marketlikeachick
- Have a magical and wonderful time being inspired with your Fairy Godmothers
To Your Success,
August 27, 2009 6 Comments
Yes, it’s true. Women are notorious for sharing in a little behind the scenes gossip, launching a few catty remarks at each other, and even being a little devious at times. Not that men aren’t…it’s just that chicks are better at it because we make it more interesting. But, even when we are at the peak of our emotional trashing we have this weird bond. Women can talk all they want about each other, get our panties all in an uproar, and still vehemently defend our sisters should we find that anyone from the outside is not supporting our tribe.
What does this mean to business and marketing to women? Let’s look at a few statistics and maybe you’ll catch where I’m going with this:
According to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, when women are aware you support women owned businesses:
- 79% would try your product or service
- 80% would solidify their brand loyalty
- 51% would give a company a second chance if a product or service missed the mark the first time
So, yes we do support our tribe. Maybe it’s because of the fight women have had to take on to finally make our voices heard and respected. The uphill battle to equality has been nearly accomplished and women are vigilant to make sure we never go backwards. We have demanded that we be treated equally in business and have proven that our opinions not only matter but affect market trends in a huge way.
Now, right here let me just say…I do not consider myself a big feminist, I don’t go to protests, I don’t participate in lobbying…HOWEVER, I am a very big advocate for mutual respect whether it be to female, male, child, race, or whatever. I believe in equality. Most women that I know are right about at the same place. We don’t wave a femi-nazi flag shouting injustice. However, we do support our tribe.
So, you’re thinking…Ok, Coree, so women support each other but there is a great big world of other consumers out there that are also making purchases. What makes you think that I should care about just one target market? Hmmm…good question. Check out a few more statistics:
Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care:
- 91% of New Homes
- 66% PCs
- 92% Vacations
- 80% Healthcare
- 65% New Cars
- 89% Bank Accounts
- 93% Food
- 93 % OTC Pharmaceuticals
American women spend about $5 trillion annually… Over half the U.S. GDP
Women make more than 80% of all consumer purchasing decisions. Consulting firm A.T. Kearney estimates that women determine 80% of consumption, purchase 60% of all cars and own 40% of all stocks (Trendwatching, August 2007)
These are just a few facts that were shared at the Marketing To Women Conference. You can check out more facts there that may help krazy glue this to your brain: The female tribe is one to be reckoned with. Or as I like to say, “Chicks Rule!”
How do you feel about tribe loyalty? Do you tend to give a brand or company more of your business when you know they support women owned businesses? As always, thanks for taking the time to read & comment!
To Your Success,
August 25, 2009 3 Comments
I’ve put together what I feel are 10 of the most popular posts (or ones that may have been missed) from the last few months of Market Like A Chick. You’ll find tips and feelings on Marketing, Social Media and Personal Branding. Take a few minutes to check some of these out…and please be sure to bookmark for later reference.
- 5 Definite Dont’s When You’re Selling To A Chick – Have you ever been sold by someone that grated on every last nerve you have in your body? Chances are that if you did buy, it was because you already knew what you wanted before you got there. In the case of us chicks, we love to shop, but few of us like to be ’sold’. Although this is a blog about marketing to or like a woman, I thought I’d lay out a few things that will shut down a sale to a woman faster than you can say “Sale at Macy’s”. Some sales experience is handy when marketing and vice versa. Here are my thoughts on some definite ‘Dont’s…
- The Shift of Brand Equity To Sweat Equity Via Social Media – Times are changing for business building and business branding. No longer does a business need 40 years to build their image, their cherished slogans, or their customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising. No longer do business owners need to desperately hope to get past gatekeepers for prominent TV Executives, Radio Station Directors and Newspaper Editors. Now, we have Social Media…
- Confessions Of A Multitasker And 10 Steps To Recovery – Yes, I admit it. I am an admitted doer-of-14-things-at-once addict. I text, put make up on, and drive at the same time. I read email, schedule conference calls and check Twitter while Googling potential keynote speakers and training subjects in one swoop. I help one kid with homework while scolding another for forgetting his at school, chat with my daughter on the phone, and run the puppy out of the kitchen all while preparing dinner. Is this normal? For most women, yes, it is. We are the masters of multi-tasking. Truth be told, you can’t live in this day and age without having some multi-tasking skills. But…and that’s a big but (ahem, pardon the pun)…by constantly multi-tasking we are cheating ourselves, our kids, and our performance…
- What Everybody Ought to Know About Women Marketers – One of the most common questions or comments I get is “So, what is different about the way women market?” While I will acknowledge that both sexes share some marketing qualities, women have certain traits or characteristics that are built in at birth. All those quirks and obsessions make up your unique business personality and set you up in your own niche. Celebrate your authenticity! One woman I’ve found to be an inspiration and a leader is Lorrie Thomas, a self-proclaimed “wild web woman” and principal of an all female (and fabulous!) marketing agency…
- Content King vs Relationship Queen – Who Wins? – Is it true that writing great content is still the biggest driving force of traffic to your blog or website? That could be changing. As I mentioned before, incoming links are becoming more and more valuable as webmasters and authors realize how important they are to search engine results. Building relationships, showing link love, and reaching out to top Bloggers is more than half the battle, even for those that have been around for awhile. Jon shares strategies for building those important relationships and getting to know the ‘elite’ ,,,
- Social Bookmarking 101 – What Is It and How Does It Work? – With all the talk about micro-blogging on Twitter or Facebook, there is another side to the coin that you must consider to fully engage in social media marketing. It’s called Social Bookmarking.This is Part 1 of a series covering all the basics, including how social bookmarking works, how to create the best profile, creating effective bookmarking habits for marketing, and where to find friends…
- How To Link Your Blog To Your Facebook Profile With Notes – Using your blog as your hub is part of a smart and strategic social media marketing plan. I have found that Facebook offers the greatest linking capabilities so far. Not only can you link your blog in via the Notes Application, but I also use the Facebook Networked Blogs that gives added exposure. I know there are female ‘tech geeks” out there, but I am not one of them! It takes me a little longer to understand how to do these things than most so I’d like to make it easier for other women if at all possible…
- Why Every Blogger Chick Should Have Rock Solid Marketing Confidence – Do you cringe at the thought of trying to convince someone they should buy from you? I used to think that way. I used to think that Sales and Marketing were the same thing and it was just some sleazy game that salespeople played to get your AmEx out of your wallet and into their greedy hands. They used their secret voodoo mind games and closing techniques to convince you that you would fail without them. Well, I’ve got some good news for my fellow Blogger Chicks…times are changing, baby!…
- Top Women Breaking Internet Glass Ceilings – Recently my friend, Michael Dunlop of Income Diary, posted his list of the 30 Top Female Internet Entrepreneurs. The list is not organized in any certain order, such as most money made, longest in business, youngest female, etc. But, rather, is in alphabetical order. I have to respect Michael for that because he knows that as women, we don’t base the measure of our success on money, power or seniority alone. Success can mean so many things and I suppose everyone holds a different perspective of what true success is. To me, true success is working on something I enjoy, something that brings a sense of fulfillment and peace, and provides financial freedom with it…
- Personal Branding – An Unexpected Discovery – Have you ever been asked a question by someone and you know the only reason they are asking it is because they believe your answer will seem foolish? The person that asked me to summarize my best marketing advice in 140 characters or less had his motives, but what came out of it was the discovery of a marketable skill and a growing trend. So, what was meant for harm was turned to good, as all things do when you remain honest with yourself and your values. Simply put, it was: “Be true to yourself and who you are in your marketing, online and off. People can see right through any BS even online. You’ll build trust, and trust equals loyalty.” What I said came from my heart, but what I’ve learned since then is that there is a name for my theory that top entrepreneurs and business coaches teach around the world. It’s called Personal Branding and it’s huge..
To Your Success,
P.S. ~~> Don’t forget to add to your favorite social bookmarking sites below!
August 12, 2009 3 Comments
I wanted you to hear this straight from me…I’m excited about this Women’s Virtual event that I’m telling everyone! Carrie Wilkerson (also known as The Barefoot Executive) has brought together 25 amazing women in business to RALLY for CHANGE!! (no, this is NOT the same type of virtual event you’ve participated in before!!)
There are no long, flowery introductions….Carrie didn’t allow time for audience Q&A….No one is selling anything on their calls (no irresistible offers)….No one interviews QUITE like Carrie does! ;-)….She gave every guest about 15 minutes to SPILL their secrets!! (that was NOT a typo – these are SPEED interviews – power-packed and moving at a quick pace)
Because you are BUSY!
Because you are tired of what doesn’t work.
Because you don’t want to be ‘sold to’ from every speaker Because ENOUGH is ENOUGH and you are TIRED of things NOT changing in your business.
Sooooo…I invite you to attend the Women’s Wildfire Rally 2009 with me and the Association of Work At Home Moms. I’m proud to be a member and look forward to the discussion on the forums, the special articles written just for us by the experts, and the friendships I am making with other women like me.
You will have to SEE the lineup of speakers to believe it – go see the schedule and All-Star Guest List! Need inspiration?
She has an incredible video (seriously, straight from her heart) at Watch The More Movie — and she says it best…but in a nutshell — if you are READY for your business, your finances, your LIFE to change, then YOU have to stand up against mediocrity. You have to shout out that ENOUGH is enough!
Think of these things: Sit-ins…Boycotts…Hands Across America…even the Million Man March – these were intense times when those that participated were lobbying for change…demanding a difference!
This will be a similar rally — the Women’s Wildfire Rally 2009 — for Women willing to learn from leaders who are NOT AFRAID of changing their income, their lifestyle, their future and their WORLD!
Are you one of these women? I am…come join me!
Are you ready to RALLY?
Then join us at The Women’s Wildfire Rally 2009!
There is ZERO COST — in other words, FREE
You can get all the details here -and I urge you to go NOW. Carrie always throws a great ‘party’ and I CANNOT imagine her energy & experience PLUS that of the guests she’s featured. I’m excited already! We have needed this.
Go check it out and register for the FREE Women’s Wildfire Rally!
What have you got to lose??
August 6, 2009 1 Comment
Today I am pleased to introduce you to an amazing woman in marketing – Michele Miller.
Michelle is a partner in the Wizard of Ads marketing firm where she specializes in marketing to women and understanding the heart of a female customer. With a client roster that includes such companies as Best Buy and Timberland, Michele is an excellent example of a successful Female Entrepreneur in Marketing.
Michele is also the author of The Soccer Mom Myth and The Natural Advantages of Women, the audio book hailed for its concepts, principles, and new scientific information on how the female brain is hardwired for personal greatness. Her blog on marketing to women has been featured in Seth Godin’s book, Bull Market.
If you want to learn more about Michele, be sure to check out her blog, Wonder Branding, and follow her on Twitter.
To start off, Michele, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?
Well, I have to say that I have a great life. I’m a partner in the Wizard of Ads marketing firm, based in Austin, Texas. I have the luxury of having such an esteemed partner as best-selling author Roy H. Williams (of the “Wizard of Ads” business book trilogy), while essentially running my own business. I have a roster of clients across North America. I also do a bit of writing and blogging.
You also write for Inc.com as well as consulting, teaching, and presenting. Can you tell us how you tie all these in together and how you prioritize your time with so much on your plate?
Time management and life balance has to be one of the hardest things to achieve on the planet. I work very hard at staying organized, recognizing priorities, and setting my work schedule up at least one week in advance. My favorite book for learning about time management is an oldie but goodie: “First Things First,” by Stephen Covey. My biggest challenge has been to get better at saying, “no” to potential projects and clients. My nature is such that I want to help everyone but when I do, my own work suffers greatly.
You are the author of two celebrated books, including the audio book “The Natural Advantages of Women” and “The Soccer Mom Myth” with Holly Buchanan. What inspired you to author these books on marketing to women?
It’s funny how things evolve. When I wrote The Natural Advantages of Women back in 2003, it started as an investigation of traits like intuition that seemed to be more evident in women than in men. I wanted to talk about how important it is for young women especially to not ignore that trait and to use it to their advantage in the business world. As I started doing my research, I came across a number of new studies on gender difference in the brain, and it started the beagle in my brain down some wildly fascinating paths.
Once the audiobook was published, I began to see the implications of gender difference in the worlds of marketing and advertising. Many experts were talking about how important the female customer was, but couldn’t get beyond traditional ways of thinking or bust through stereotypes. That’s the big reason for the failure of so many marketing to women campaigns today. Holly and I see eye-to-eye on so many things, and it was a natural choice to write The Soccer Mom Mythwith her, especially since she’s a freakin’ genius when it comes to marketing to women online.
Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?
Two reasons come to mind. First, women hold massive purchasing power; they either directly spend or influence more than 80 cents of every dollar in this country. If that alone doesn’t convince you of their importance, I don’t know what does! Second, historical patterns from hundreds of years show that our society is just beginning a seismic shift in the direction of “female” thinking, speaking, and processing. It’s a time of big-picture thinking and a great need for connectedness. I guess you could say the Internet, and its ability to connect women who may never meet each other in person in their lifetimes, is another very important reason for “female factor” dominance today.
I’ve heard you say that it is important for women to feel they are part of a tribe. Can you expound on that a bit and tell us how understanding this concept can help other female entrepreneurs in their business pursuits?
Numerous studies show that the female brain (which has four times the number of connections into the right hemisphere than the male brain) is expressly wired for feeling, bonding, and connecting. And it goes beyond the stereotypical (again!) thinking of the word. It’s not only “connected” in terms of touchy-feely-kum-ba-yah, but also in terms of intelligence, thought processing, and buying modes. “Connected” is the underlying foundation for the way every female brain works. Where men have the gift of being able to focus on one thing at a time and see where it fits into a linear set of clues, women process the same clues as though they were a big puzzle – how does this piece fit in, and where, so that it gives me a “big picture?” Understanding the female thought process and how connectedness runs through every fiber of her being helps you to understand how to reach her as a consumer and business partner.
Many successful entrepreneurs believe it is important to have a mentor as they grow their business or blog. Would you agree? Have you had a mentor and if so, how has that helped you?
I’ve thought about this quite often and as I look back, I can honestly say that my most important mentors were men. They were encouraging but still weren’t afraid to give it to me straight (as in constructive criticism) if I needed it. They gave me the freedom to not only succeed but fail without fear, and were never afraid to tell me everything they knew about business. I can’t tell you the number of women who were god-awful in the workplace and didn’t want to share anything.
What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success? If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?
Focus, focus, focus. As I said earlier, it’s a challenge for me to say “no” to folks, ideas, and projects. But it is getting easier, the older I get. If you have a big idea about something, break it down into the tiniest parts possible and then each and every day, DO ONE THING. It might just be re-reading a blog post you’ve drafted, or making one phone call. But do something. Otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed and the years will fly by.
Thank you very much for the interview, Michele! Can you share with us any future plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?
It was my great pleasure, Coree. At the moment, I’m working very hard on the latest version of WonderBranding.com, trying to create as much content as possible for people to use in their marketing campaigns (no matter the size of their businesses). And I’m spending more and more time on the road giving keynotes, presentations, and teaching workshops to groups of folks who really want to “peel the layers” off traditional marketing to women in order to get at the heart of what they really need to do. I know there’s another book in me and that will come sooner than later; but a girl does need her beauty sleep.
July 31, 2009 11 Comments
Guest Post by Janet Beckers:
As the founder and host of Wonderful Web Women I am lucky to lead an on-line community of thousands of women (and enlightened women) from around the world who are all passionate about creating success on the Internet.
One of the biggest frustrations they share with me, is knowing where to start. There are so many options that it can all be overwhelming.
Here’s my quick start guide for you. [Read more →]
June 29, 2009 2 Comments
Using your blog as your hub is part of a smart and strategic social media marketing plan. I have found that Facebook offers the greatest linking capabilities so far. Not only can you link your blog in via the Notes Application, but I also use the Facebook Networked Blogs that gives added exposure.
I know there are female ‘tech geeks” out there, but I am not one of them! It takes me a little longer to understand how to do these things than most so I’d like to make it easier for other women if at all possible.
I’ve tried to take the steps to add Notes and link your blog in simple language that my female powered brain needs to understand. Hopefully, other women marketers will be able to understand how simple it is to link your blog to your Facebook profile using the Notes application from these easy steps: [Read more →]
June 7, 2009 13 Comments