Tina Garg, Founder of Pink Lemonade, outlines 10 tips to market yourself and your brand, and succeed at the workplace as a marketer.
Being a woman in marketing - or almost any other industry, for that matter - can be daunting. The challenges we face are unique to our gender, and often, we need to go that extra mile to get to the top. The good news is that with these tips - and a sisterhood to back you - you’ll definitely get there!
We spoke to Tina Garg, CEO and Founder of Pink Lemonade, a Bengaluru-based communication and design agency, who gave us her top 10 tips to be a kickass marketer:
- Find a good mentor (and keep them)
It can be incredibly lonely being a woman in the industry. So it’s important to connect with someone who’s been on the same journey. Use every opportunity to learn from other women in business. Ask for advice and not just when you need - it will teach you more than you ever imagined. Identify people (not just women) who tend to talk about their experiences; there's plenty to be learned from those anecdotes.
- Network, network, network
Take a structured approach to marketing. Identify key contacts and then look for opportunities to interact with them. And remember, following up is critical. Regularly connect with potential clients, attend industry events, and join organisations with like-minded members, objectives, and beliefs. Think of this effort as a long-term investment in your personal brand. You have an added advantage — women are considered more emotionally intelligent than men, and networking is very much about people and relationships!
- Speak up (and talk a lot more than you normally do)
Women tend to second-guess themselves and stay quieter during internal and external meetings. This means that a lot of great ideas go unheard. So your opinions aren’t counted, which means your professional growth is hindered. So, don’t be passive when it comes to speaking up. Actively voice and then fight for your ideas; you’ll be surprised at how far this takes you.
Bonus tip: Master the art of the “pre-meeting”. Schedule smaller pre-meetings before the big day, build connections, and share ideas. This is especially helpful when you are looking to have a major discussion on a potentially contentious issue.
- Leverage the power of company
Try having a buddy with you when selling ideas to clients or during internal meetings. Brief them on what you are going to say and what the agenda is, and get their views. When you know you're all on the same page, you have solid backup in case you falter. Having the support of a colleague who will help reinforce your points definitely plays a key role in getting buy-in. Remember, in this case, there is strength in numbers.
- Create a personal brand from the get-go
Sync your brand identity with your personality. This must reflect on your social media platform with engaging content and nuanced self-promotion. That said, while your LinkedIn profile might be the easiest way for potential contacts to know more about you, your personal brand also encompasses what you do in your everyday life. Focus on how you respond to people and situations; it’ll tell you a lot about your style of work and what to improve.
The most important part of your personal brand is your elevator pitch. Develop a crisp pitch that explains your skills, your past experience, and how both of these connect to what you do now. The shorter, the better, but don’t compromise on clarity.
- Don’t fear tech
Regularly update your digital skills to stay competitive, relevant, and ahead of the marketing game. With artificial intelligence, site and SEO tracking, and augmented reality becoming increasingly intrinsic to a successful marketing strategy, tech literacy is non-negotiable. Besides, it’s a widely held belief that women often bring a unique perspective to technology. Who knows? You might just come up with the next big thing in marketing automation.
- Commit to regular learning
Make it a habit to learn something new about your industry every day. Technology has come a long way, and you have the option of attending informative webinars on platforms like emarketer, Hubspot, and Marketo. But if you prefer something a little more traditional, sign up for courses on marketing from the world’s best universities on websites like Coursera and edX and learn at your own pace.
- Trust your instincts
The truth is that women have higher levels of emotional intelligence, which allows us to analyse situations at a deeper level. While data does play an important role in a marketer’s decisions, a “gut feeling” that can’t be explained often plays a key role too. This can lead to deeper questions and a more wholesome approach to marketing.
- Maintain unwavering focus
The most innovative minds in the world have succeeded because they have a singular focus, the one thing they’re most passionate about. Being a successful marketer is much the same. So assess which segment you want to focus on — B2B or B2C. Both of these employ unique tones, channels, and strategies. Identify where your interest lies, focus on one thing and master it.
- Be a giver - support other women
If you’ve found your niche or made your way to the top, make an effort to help women who are on a journey similar to yours. Create a working women’s group where members can meet, share stories, and support each other. If you run an organisation, take one female team member to lunch once a month to discuss challenges and victories. Most importantly, ensure you implement female-friendly policies such as enough maternity leave, creche facilities, and flexi-work options. This will create an enabling environment for women, which goes a long way towards improving retention and overall satisfaction.