I used to work in the music industry where self-promotion is expected —even if you’re on the business side. As an attorney, I had no problem promoting myself to find clients. While many women entrepreneurs worry that they don’t have enough expertise to succeed, their real enemy is obscurity. Your potential clients have to know that you exist before they can hire you.
In the past five years that I’ve coached women entrepreneurs I’ve noticed a difference between Gen-X and millennials. Gen-X women tend to shun self-promotion, fearing judgment and criticism. Millennials however are very skilled self-promoters. Consequently, many well-educated, highly trained Gen-X women entrepreneurs struggle to find clients, while 25-year-olds with little experience, education, or training are making fantastic money.
Millennial women have grown up posting their diaries, selfies and videos online. This comfort with being in the public eye gives them a big advantage as entrepreneurs. One example is make-up artist Tatiana “Beat Face Honey” Ward. She created video tutorials in her mother’s basement, garnering her thousands of fans on YouTube and Instagram. Her massive online community helped her land celebrity clients, Brandy and Nicki Manaj. Ward is now a sought-after make-up artist and speaker.
It’s easier to find clients and charge higher fees when you’re famous in your field. You don’t need millions of online followers. Most women entrepreneurs can create a six figure business by reaching a few thousand people.
Here are 5 things that millennial women entrepreneurs can teach you about promoting your business and attracting more clients:
Be Authentic: When you’re an entrepreneur people aren’t just buying your product or service, they’re buying you. So many women create bland online personas because they don’t want to offend anyone. Ironically because they’re so forgettable they have a difficult time getting clients. Your goal is to stand out in your market and you do this by infusing your expertise with your personality and viewpoints. You’ll then attract clients who are not only excited to work with you; they’ll also share your values. If you’re nerdy, share that with your audience. The same goes if you have a bubbly person or curse a lot.
Online branding expert Kimra Luna doesn’t hide her love of punk rock. She has crayon colored hair and displays skulls in her free training videos. Kimra also earned nearly a million dollars in the last 12 months selling online courses. Moreover she has over 10,000 people in her Freedom Hacker’s Mastermind Facebook group.
Deliver valuable free content Your goal in providing free content is to become as a trusted advisor—-not to make a sale. You position yourself as an industry expert when your videos, podcasts or blog posts help your audience to solve an important problem. It doesn’t matter whether that problem is how to get a promotion at work or which eye shadow to buy. Mimi Ikonn made a million dollar making videos about hair and beauty products. She now has a quarter of a billion views on her videos with 2.7 million YouTube subscribers.
Mimi and her husband monetized her huge following when they began selling hair extensions. Mimi talks about many products on her videos and she never sells anything. The only hint of selling is a link to her website underneath her videos. In their very first year (2010) they had over a million in revenues. Ever since then they’ve generated more than a million a year in profits.
Be consistent: You establish trust by regularly communicating with your audience. You can’t post of video or a blog one week and then don’t do it again for three months. I recommend that you connect with your audience at least once a week. Someone will become your client once the “know, like and trust” has been established and that takes time. You need at least 7 engagements with a potential client before they’ll buy from you. If you sell high-ticket programs or services you may need even more. If your outreach is inconsistent, by the time you put out new content, people won’t remember who you are.
You also need to consistent with your communications because your potential clients aren’t always immediately ready to hire you. I’ve had clients tell me that they followed me online anywhere from a few months to a year before they decided to hire me as a business coach.
Spread the word using social media Your potential clients aren’t going to miraculously find your videos or blog posts; you have to create a plan to direct them. You start by deciding where you want people to go. It could be your website where your blog posts or podcasts are located. Your desired destination may be your YouTube channel or Instagram page. Once you’ve established where you want people to end up, you then use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to direct them. You don’t have to create new content for every social media platform. You can just repurpose an image or some copy from your video or blog post. If you can also use software like Hoot Suite or Edgar to pre-schedule your social media updates for the day or week.
Be willing to invest in your business Millennial women seem much more willing to invest in their businesses from the beginning than their Gen-X counterparts. Their lack of professional experience makes them seek out business mentors to accelerate their learning curve. They don’t flinch at the idea of hiring a high-level business coach, attending several industry conferences a year or buying Facebook ads to reach their target audience. In comparison, women with professional track records often believe that they can bootstrap their way a six or multiple six figure business. It’s common for them to flounder for a year or more before hiring a coach. Although it costs very little to start an online business you can’t survive without customers. If you’re serious about creating a profitable business you have to spend money to learn how to promote your business to potential clients so that they can purchase your goods or services.
If you’d like to find out how you can get 1:1 support to attract great clients who can afford to work with you and are interested in our offers, I invite you to schedule a 30 minute Complimentary Discovery Session with me to learn more about my proven strategies to build your own successful business.