Workshop Recap – Advancing Women In Business

Ekaterina RamirezWorkshop Recap by Ekaterina Ramirez

Advancing Women In Business workshop series organized by Pamela Chaloult and Emira Mears with the support of Vancity, Sauder School of Business, Hollyhock and Raised Eyebrow Web Studio becomes more and more popular.The last workshop on June 27 about marketing delivered by Lauren Bacon barely had any seats left in a spacious lecture room.

Most people feel fine to share how great others are but fade away when it comes to promoting their own business. So we started with a discussion how we relate to marketing and what kind of challenges we face in our businesses when it comes to that.

Common challenges were a concern of being sale-sy, maintaining focus and consistency, figuring out the right strategy, keeping up with social media (no wonder with so many tools available online!), getting clear on a target market, maintaining a competitive advantage and etc.

Then Lauren pointed out that all challenges fall into three main categories:

  • Philosophical – The “Ick” Factor
  • Strategic – Who, What, & Where
  • Tactical – When & How

To overcome the “Ick” factor Lauren suggested to reframe the word “marketing” to something that makes you feel good. For example, it could be community or relationships building – this way you shift the focus from promoting yourself to connecting with others.

Then Lauren walked us through her step-by-step method for developing a marketing strategy. I will share the highlights:

1. Find Your People (getting clear who your customers really are)

Note: If your clients are organizations, know who decision makers are.

2. Define Your Value Proposition (knowing what makes your stuff useful and extraordinary)

3. Cultivate Your Voice (branding and communicating)

Here is a fantastic take-away: Lauren shared a cool brainstorming formula for generating social media content that Emira Mears created:

  • What am I enthusiastic about? (Recent projects, client stories, photos & videos, etc.)
  • What am I knowledgeable about? (How-to’s, expertise, mistakes to avoid)
  • What am I inspired by? (Share your sources, link to other businesses you admire)

4. Choose and prioritize materials & venues (essential marketing materials such as business cards, website, blog, video, brochures, packaging, and venues where your people already gather including magazines, trade shows, websites, radio shows)

5. Measure Success (so you know what works for you and what not) – think about links, likes, leads, promotion codes, surveys…


And the last piece of advice to finish this post:

Someone from the audience said, “There are so many things to do for marketing and so little time to implement it all right away.” Lauren gave a wise suggestion: “Start with essential and evolve overtime.”


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