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Making a name for yourself in the influencer marketing ecosystem is no walk in the park and proving yourself as a woman means taking things a step further. Why? Because we live in a time where women are fighting for pay equity, and gender equality among other issues, but against all odds, there are many women influencers in the advertising industry that have become prominent figures, and the numbers should be rising.
How do women make themselves heard as influencers? Building an audience, personal stories and authenticity.
Building an audience
Influencers are viewed by many as just pretty faces who take fabulous pictures without being aware of the fact that influencer marketing is a multibillion-dollar business and that the Social Media Millionaires club is in fact real.
In the case of Lea Woodford, influencer and CEO of the digital advertising company SmartFem Media Group, being in the spotlight has had its ups and downs. But what Lea understood when she went from columnist and TV personality to create her own multi-media marketing agency, was to build an audience. And she was more than prepared for that, since she is often coined as “the connector“ due to her extensive network in Publicity, Business, Radio, and so on. Additionally, when creating SmartFem her focus was specifically invested in helping people reach their target audience effectively.
Moreover, it is hard work to build an audience, and even more challenging to build a standalone brand, but it can be done. Men and women are constantly looking for a new approach or a brilliant idea to move their business further and reach as many people as possible. With regard to female personalities, there are many examples of how they successfully attracted loyal followers and fans: Sona Gasparian of @sonagasparian has turned her online influence into a cosmetics brand, Persona Cosmetics, that is now carried at Ulta. Also, Joy Cho has multiple lines that are carried at Target. One way or another, each of them found a way to think outside the box and make smart business decisions knowing their audience, their interests and the impact their products or services will have over them.
Who do you think are more likely to share personal stories? Men or women? Yes, women, and it is unsurprisingly that they take up the majority of users using social media. In fact, connecting with your audience through storytelling and making sure the content resonates with them is what will draw people to trust your brand.
Lea Woodford’s business is now booming, and she is always asked to appear on TV or Radio to share her wisdom with the world. How did she do it? Aside from her professional background, years of experience and networking, she had to discover a way to get to people. That was when she reinvented herself and shared her failures and her achievements with the world, allowing herself to be vulnerable if it would motivate women all over the world dare more and overtake obstacles to reach their desired destinations.
More importantly, wanting to make a difference for women, Lea created her own magazine SmartFem.com because she is also passionate about working with young professionals, and in this regards, she has helped launch the careers of several young journalism interns from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School. What is more, Lea has been a columnist for years but only recently wrote her first book “Lead…Share…Empower… My Strategies for Success in Life and Business.” The book has been well received and was featured on Best Seller TV on the C-Suite Network.
Yes, being authentic and genuine is a key quality every client is looking for because people need to trust the brand in order to invest and spread the word. Once the online ecosystem has become so prominent, connecting people from all over the world and finding out if a product or a service is legitimate, is easier to check now since users can access reviews or ask previous customers for more information.
There are many factors in play when becoming an influencer, but at the top is authenticity. In an Influencer Marketing survey that asked 170 marketers from CPGs, food-and-beverage companies to retailers, 87% of respondents said that “influencer marketing’s top benefits entail creating authentic content about their brand.”
But how does authenticity translate in building a brand? It is not enough to claim you are authentic you have to show it by aligning your business objectives with the influencers’ vision and the audience.
That is how the SmartFem brand has got its global recognition and at the center it has Lea Woodford and her team of professionals. And as you can imagine, it is not easy being in charge of a magazine, digital-marketing group, TV-show and conference website, but by having a clear objective, well-thought strategies and staying true to their goals, their customers are satisfied, and the team committed to providing the best possible service.
With a few fundamental principles in play when tackling the influencer marketing world, you can spearhead your game, reinventing yourself and your business. It is all a matter of having determination, a winner’s perspective, of knowing your customers, and being ready to face obstacles that may lie ahead.