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EBW x THE FORWARD FEMALE | Business Class Ep 1.3 | Building Your Marketing Strategy

Updated: Jan 18

Krystal Jugarap [00:01:01]:

Welcome back to EM/POWEREDbyWMN Business Class. This is part three of four in our miniseries in collaboration with the Forward Female, which is a coaching and creative agency based in LA today. Joining us we have Gabby DeRazza, who is the head of marketing for this women owned and led brand. And today's episode is the one you guys have all been waiting for. We're diving into all of the juicy details and talking about how to build a marketing strategy. But first and foremost, thank you so much, Gabby, for joining us today.

Gabriella D [00:01:31]:

Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here and talk all things marketing. I know it's really a hot topic and a lot of business owners, especially right when they're starting out, they really want to get into the meat of marketing and can be a lot. So I'm really excited to be here and just kind of break it down.

Krystal Jugarap [00:01:51]:

Absolutely. And when you said it can be a lot like, you're absolutely right, and there's so many different paths that you can take it on. So I am going to go ahead and just let you lead the way. Where do you even want to begin with this topic?

Gabriella D [00:02:04]:

Totally. So I think first and foremost, the thing that you have to know with marketing, especially if you're just starting out as a small business owner, is that you have to have your plan in place first. So you have to fully know your business through and through exactly what you're going to offer, exactly the type of audience member you want to attract and your mission, your vision, your core values. Those things are all truly important because if you're going to put everything out into the world, you have to be really clear on that. Because if you're not clear on it, then your target audience isn't going to be clear on it either. And those are the things that we want people to attach to when we're marketing. We want everything to feel authentic and for people to have authentic connections to your brand. So that's really where I love to start because so often we do have people ready to dive headfirst in marketing, and then they're not totally sure on the mission or the vision or their messaging.

Gabriella D [00:03:02]:

And so getting clear on that is first and foremost. Now, if you're ready to dive into the meat of the marketing and you're totally clear on all those foundational pieces, really where you should start is your marketing objectives. So why are you marketing? What is the goal of this, really? So what are your objectives? And they can be so simple. So I'll give you an example for us. So we have an amazing community of like minded female entrepreneurs. And so our general marketing objective for that is to increase the membership. Seems simple, seems clear. Like, duh, of course you want to increase it, but it's important to really lay that out because you can use that as a foundational piece.

Gabriella D [00:03:49]:

So we say we want to increase the membership, then we have to think through, well, what do we want to increase the membership numbers to? Right. How are we going to do that? Well, we need to have these objectives, these KPIs, which are our key performance indicators in order to help us create the path to get there. So we want to increase the membership. And then we determine, okay, how many members each quarter or each month do we want to gain? And then from there, okay, if we have, let's say we want to gain 50 members a month or 25 members a month, let's say, then from there we can create the path or the marketing strategy to make it happen.

Krystal Jugarap [00:04:32]:

I want to take it back to the beginning. You said you really do need to have all those core values, that mission, all of those foundational items in place first. And if our audience, as amazing as they are, were tuned into the first two episodes, they probably have that in place already, right? Everyone that's listening, don't let me down. So we are ready to dive into this marketing aspect. You mentioned your target audience. I want to dive into that. How can someone begin to identify their target audience? Because it's not necessarily like I keep referencing a candle, because I feel like I have a lot of candle makers that are followers or artisans. So just because I love candles doesn't mean I'm necessarily looking for people just like me, right? So how do you define your target audience?

Gabriella D [00:05:19]:

Yeah. So you do want to kind of get in the headspace of your target audience a little bit. And so I think, first and foremost, yes, you have this ideal initial market where you think about their age or their gender, potentially, maybe where they're located. Maybe you open up a brick and mortar, you have a store, or maybe you're totally ecommerce. Those things all matter with who you're going to attract, but you want to really think through where are they showing up? Who is going to need what you want? All of these questions you're going to ask yourself are going to lead you to that ideal audience member. It's great to say 25 to 55 or those kinds of things so that you can narrow it down for advertising and those purposes, but really, you want to give them more of a Persona and less of these demographic signifiers, because you could totally be attracting that specific age group, but you totally could attract outside of that. And so it's really getting in the headspace. So what are their pain points? Right? What do they struggle with? What do they need help with? What is a need that they might have? And then you have to think about your uniqueness.

Gabriella D [00:06:31]:

So what gap are you filling? How are you going to address that pain point for them and say, I'm what you need? Maybe if we're thinking candles, maybe we need safer fragrances. I've seen so many things where these really big commercial brands are. The fragrances can be toxic and filled with chemicals. So maybe your audience is really looking for clean candles, toxin free. Maybe they have an allergy. You're looking to fulfill that group, whatever it may be. Think about their pain point, their need, and then how you can fill that gap. Another important factor to think about is looking at the competitors in your space and then saying, how are you going to fill that gap in a unique way? My light went out, but how are you going to fill that gap in a unique way that's going to really impact your audience and make them choose your brand over the many others that are out there.

Gabriella D [00:07:30]:

And so it's really getting in that headspace of who is my target audience? What do they need? Who needs what I have. That's how you can really begin to identify the target audience and work backwards from there, rather than coming out of the gate and just saying, okay, I think it's going to be women from 25 to 55, and I think that they'll be on instagram. You definitely need more than that. You need to know a little bit more about their activity, what they're going to do, and their purchase patterns.

Krystal Jugarap [00:08:02]:

Yes, I love that. You really clarified that because I think the tendency is to just focus on the demographics, right. Versus the psychology of the people that you're attempting to target. And that key about knowing what their pain points are and really pivoting your marketing to address that is going to be game changing to be able to identify what that pain point is and how you can change or can't think of the word that I'm looking for. But how can you focus whatever it is you're doing with your product towards that pain point is really what's going to make your marketing effective, I think. So what are some of the biggest mistakes you see, especially new entrepreneurs making when it comes to developing their marketing strategy?

Gabriella D [00:08:56]:

Yeah, there's a couple of things that come to mind, so we touched on one of them already, which is just starting before you're ready. And I think that you should totally just start. That's such a big thing where people are really scared. And starting is always the hardest part. So I don't want to discourage people from just diving in, but diving in with a strategy and a plan, first and foremost, is always going to yield the best results. So a lot of people start before they have that foundational element to their business. And then the other thing that I really see so often is that they do it without this strategy, without this plan. Maybe they are in that space, they're ready to dive into marketing, but they just think, okay, well, I'm just going to post on Instagram.

Gabriella D [00:09:44]:

I'm going to post on Instagram. And that's my marketing and should bring all the money in. And it's so much more than that. There's a lot of thought and strategy and research behind it. And I always try to encourage people to think of marketing beyond Instagram, beyond just social media, too, even though it's such a great and key player in so many businesses success, there's a lot of work that goes into it, and you should have other funnels and other areas where your audience is living, because we don't own our Instagram, we don't own our TikTok page. And so if TikTok was banned tomorrow or if Instagram is down, that can really affect your revenue at the end of the day. And so definitely not putting all your eggs in one basket and definitely having a strategy. Those are the two things that people typically come to me and they're like, I didn't know that. I thought I could just dive in Insta and I'm ready for my marketing. I'm ready for people to find me.

Krystal Jugarap [00:10:49]:

Yeah, I definitely want to dive into the other marketing channels out there. That was definitely one of the hot questions that we had from our audience because that is the initial thought, right? Let me build an Instagram page, let me get as many followers as I can, which is also not necessarily the best marketing strategy. Right. And I kind of like how bringing it back to how you started this session, and it was like, how much money do I want to make? Or where do I want to pull these people from? And how many people do I want to pull? And it wasn't just like, let me just get to a million followers, right? Because that follower count can be incredibly empty.

Gabriella D [00:11:26]:

Oh, absolutely. People can purchase followers and then at the end of the day, it just becomes a number. I guess that kind of brings me to another mistake. It's when people are setting goals, they set well. I really think I'm going to be credible if I have 10,000 followers. I really think that if I hit this number, that's when I'm going to feel really good about where I'm at with my business. And in some ways, when we're thinking revenue numbers, totally. But when we're thinking Instagram followers or anything on social media like that, it's really important for people to know that building an engaged community, a loyal community, is so much better than having a million followers.

Gabriella D [00:12:11]:

If you have a million followers, but you only have a couple of thousand people that actually care about what you're posting or connect with what you're doing, then that ratio doesn't make a lot of sense. That means that you're not connecting with so many people in your audience and there's a gap there. So we want to fill that gap. And I'd rather have 2000, 4000, 10,000 followers and have most of those followers be engaging with my content, be purchasers, be connecting with me in some way than even 800 followers, than having this big number. That might seem credible when someone clicks into it, but the value of the content and the connection is just lacking.

Krystal Jugarap [00:12:55]:

I couldn't agree more. And that's definitely been our focus is building community and building genuine connections. That's the whole reason I created a new platform, the EM/POWEREDbyWMN platform from BOOKofBIJOUX to begin with, because I really wanted to get to know other women on more than just the surface level of we follow each other on Instagram or whatever the case may be. So I don't know if you have this data on hand, but if you were to give it, like, percentages, what would you say percentage wise, the importance of posting very routinely, like every day at a certain time, versus being very intentional about what you post, what is the balance there and where should people really focus their attention?

Gabriella D [00:13:42]:

Yeah, that's a tough question. I don't know if I could give percentages per se to it, but I think there's this one hand that you're talking about where we want to work with the algorithm and it wants us to post all the time and to gain that visibility. And obviously, the more you post, the more people are going to have that opportunity to connect with us or to have that first touch point with our brand. But another thing that we have to think about is our own mental health and our own capacity. A lot of the people that we work with are solopreneurs. They're doing it all themselves, wearing every single hat. And so sometimes that's just not sustainable. And so the biggest advice that I have in that realm is to really focus on what you can do consistently.

Gabriella D [00:14:31]:

The quality should always, always be there. The value that you bring to your community should always be there. That's how they're going to connect with you. And so if consistently putting out valuable content for you looks more like two to three times a week instead of five times a week, then that's what it looks like for you. And I think if you've got the right messaging and you are really clear on who that target audience is, and you know how you're unique, then they will interact, then they will find the value in your content versus. I got a post. I just got to get this out there, and it feels rushed or there's typos or it feels inauthentic, it's so much better to have that quality content out there because that's really what people are going to get something from at the end of the day.

Krystal Jugarap [00:15:18]:

Yeah. And if it's the algorithm that they're worried, it's that engagement holds more value in terms of the algorithm versus just how frequently you're posting. Last question via Instagram before we move on, since I know most, if not all of us are on Instagram, what are your top marketing tips for Instagram specifically?

Gabriella D [00:15:40]:

Yeah, reels. I know that people have had mixed feelings about reels since they launched it, especially the avid TikTok users. But I really think utilizing reels is just a great way to give a little bit more personality, show a little bit more, and also reach new audiences. So a lot of times feed posts, they're primarily nurturing content. Not always, but it can be more of that nurturing content to where it's going to your current audience. And then if you're using a hashtag strategy, people are potentially looking in those hashtags or even SEO. They're typing in something, which you should be using SEO everywhere, just so you know. But they're typing in something and then finding your post.

Gabriella D [00:16:30]:

But I would typically say that your feed post and feed carousels, those kinds of things, those tend to lean more community focused most of the time. So when you're posting a reel, it's going into an explore page of reels. In the same way on TikTok. Every TikTok, unless you're scrolling through your friends, most of the TikToks you see are going to be brand new people. And so utilizing reels is a great way to reach new audiences. If you can do it frequently and build that into your strategy, I think that it's very impactful as far as reach goes. And so that's more of that brand awareness kind of content. You can have both in both a feed post and a reel, both the nurturing and the brand awareness. But I would say leaning into reels for more visibility, 100%.

Krystal Jugarap [00:17:23]:

I want to dive more into this nurturing that you're talking about. When you say, like nurturing content, what do you mean by that?

Gabriella D [00:17:29]:

Yeah, so there's two kinds of content out there. So you have nurturing content. So this is the content that you are gearing more towards, your current community, your current audience. So this is for people who already know about you. Maybe they already follow you even, or they're staying up to date with what you have going on. And so you want to nurture that lead, basically, because once they follow you, they're in your lead funnel to a degree. And so you want to really make them feel like they're in the right place, make them feel connected to your content, really speak to them. And so with that content, you can get a little bit more in detail with what you're talking about or what you're sharing.

Gabriella D [00:18:17]:

Whereas with brand awareness content or visibility content, it's that first touch point that you're making with somebody. So you want to capture a total stranger who's never heard of or seen your brand before, and you want to hook them. You want them to then become a follower or a newsletter subscriber or whatever the case may be, so that brand awareness is turning a stranger into an audience member, and then the nurturing is turning an audience member into considering purchasing or working with you, or to actually purchasing or working with you. So knowing the two different kinds of content, you can then gear and mix up your content and mix up the messaging so you can gear it towards those two different areas of your funnel.

Krystal Jugarap [00:19:04]:

I know I said that I was going to stop asking about Instagram, but we did get a question from our audience that I wanted to make sure we answered. And it was about building engagement on social media and specifically Instagram. So with that brand awareness, throwing out those posts and reels and things like that, how do you really get people to start engaging with the content that you're creating?

Gabriella D [00:19:28]:

Well, that comes from you engaging first. So a lot of people think, I can just put it out into the world, and then people are going to love it and they're going to comment and like and save and things like that. And so it comes from one you doing outreach too. So you have to engage, genuinely engage with other accounts that might be within your target group. So that takes some research, utilizing keywords on Instagram and looking for your target audience. And this goes for, I think, anywhere, whether it's TikTok or any other platform. Look for your target audience, find them, comment on their posts, follow them, engage with them in some way. A lot of times I'll let you in on a Ford female secret.

Gabriella D [00:20:13]:

We find pages of people and brands that we think we would love to work with or collaborate with in some way. And we will send a voice note. It's super personal, it's always authentic. And we say, hey, we stumbled upon your page. Love what you're up to. This is what we're up to, who we are. We'd love to connect and making those genuine connections. It goes back to that community building, and it all starts with you.

Gabriella D [00:20:39]:

You have to put yourself out there a little bit more in order to get some of that return, too. So I think that that's a great way to build engagement. I also think utilizing calls to action in your posts can also be very helpful. People want you to tell them what to do and they don't even realize it. But if you're like, oh, check this out, link in bio or like this post, or send it to a friend or tag a friend below. Those kinds of things encourage people to engage with the content, and if you give them a little bit of that encouragement, people will do it. You can also start it off yourself. Send it to a friend.

Gabriella D [00:21:17]:

Hey, would you mind commenting on this? Sometimes people need to see other people getting the ball rolling in order to engage with question stickers on Instagram, we put in questions or answers or things ourselves a lot of the time to get the ball rolling. And then one day it just turned into people were naturally doing it themselves because they were thinking other people are asking questions. I do have a question I want to ask, and so sometimes you do have to get the ball rolling yourself in that way and then people will kind of follow suit. So those are a couple of ways that you can really boost the engagement on your page.

Krystal Jugarap [00:21:57]:

There's such great tips and it seems like it's going back to just being really proactive and being the one to initiate. Like you said, some people are hesitant to reach out or they don't want to feel like they're the only ones reaching out. So you can be the one to kind of break that barrier and reach out first. I love the tip about the voice notes. I actually do the same thing. And you're so right that it is so much more genuine and personal, and whoever's receiving it receives that voice note. It doesn't seem so rigid and like, you've been sending this to everyone, you'd actually have to have time to record that and send it to them and they see that authenticity behind it. So I love that tip so much.

Krystal Jugarap [00:22:40]:

All right, so let's dive into other marketing channels. What other channels are out there that you would suggest brands start venturing out into in order to attract new clients or find more customers and build their audience.

Gabriella D [00:22:57]:

Yeah. So we always recommend, especially if you're an entrepreneur kind of just starting out or you struggle with consistency, we always say to pick three marketing channels to start out with. So whether that is Instagram and social media is one channel, but there's so much within social media, so it's a lot to keep up with. So I would say pick a social media channel or two within the social media umbrella. And then I always love to suggest email, an email newsletter. Everyone has an email, everyone is looking at it. And even though people's inboxes do get full and can get a little saturated, that's your chance to think outside of the box and really capture them with your email, with the things that you're sending them. There's a reason people are going to subscribe.

Gabriella D [00:23:45]:

You just have to show it to them. Everyone assigns value to different things and so you have to show them that value. And I think email is a great way to connect with your audience and to reach out to a wide group of people. Same with SMS marketing. I think that that's great. A lot of people opt into those. There's also media placements. I think that that's more on the traditional side of marketing, but you can't go wrong with someone else writing about you and putting that out to their audience.

Gabriella D [00:24:18]:

There's always pay per click ads, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing. There's a lot of channels out there. And really it comes down to knowing where your audience is first and foremost. So it goes back to really getting in their head and knowing where they're spending time. Are they spending majority of their time on social media? Are they reading a particular magazine? Are they listening to a particular podcast? What is it that they are doing most frequently? And those are the places that you should be. But I think baseline, definitely a social media platform, definitely email marketing for sure. And then I think that third one, that's where you can look at it more dependent on your business, your audience and where they're at primarily.

Krystal Jugarap [00:25:08]:

I want to dive into the publications one, because this is something that I think constantly gets overlooked because people so frequently think that they need to be the ones that get reached out to and they can't initiate that conversation either. So what are your top tips in regards to that and finding ways to get yourself published or written about in different areas?

Gabriella D [00:25:30]:

Yeah, I would say pr isn't my expertise, but I will say that the worst anyone can say is no. So always pitch yourself, always back yourself. And I would say, go for it. DM people on Instagram connect with them genuinely in the way that you would connect with anyone else and say, hey, I would love to be a part of what you're doing. Or I think our brands are so aligned in this way and you might not get a response, you might get a, hey, this doesn't work with what we're doing right now. Or you might get a yes, like, let's jump on a call. And really, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you pitch yourself and taking the leap to do it in the first place. Because I think that, like you said, a lot of people think, well, they have to reach out to me if they want to write about me or if they want to feature me on an episode or anything like that.

Gabriella D [00:26:25]:

And that's so not the case. Reach out DM, find their email and connect. Because making that first step, that first interaction, you can kind of take control of that the same way you would with your audience, take control of the situation and you be the first person to take the step and then back yourself and pitch yourself well.

Krystal Jugarap [00:26:48]:

Absolutely. What about networking? Would you consider networking a big part of your marketing strategy?

Gabriella D [00:26:56]:

Totally. I think that's a part of community building. At the end of the day, we are very community focused at forward female, so that comes from our digital platform that we created in order for women across the globe to have their network. With people from Europe, from Australia, from Canada, you have these wider networks, so you're tapping into all of those areas that you're not in, but then you have these localized. So we have a lot of people here in LA, which is so amazing. And so we get to do a lot of in person events where we get to spend time with our members, but we also get to introduce new like-minded female entrepreneurs who are looking for a community. But B, you never know where a connection can lead you, what kind of collaborations could be out there? And so many of the amazing people that we've met and that we've gotten to collaborate with, we've met through these incredible networking events. And I know it can feel kind of scary to put yourself out there, especially if you're a solopreneur and especially after Covid, where everything is so virtual now, but it's so important to get out there and attend events, especially if they're free in your area, show up, bring a friend and talk about your business.

Gabriella D [00:28:12]:

It's so much easier to make a lasting impression with somebody in person than over the phone or over Instagram and those kinds of things. That's why we do voice notes on Instagram, because that's a little bit more personal as far as digital goes. But really the best thing is that face to face in person, where you get to talk about your business and they get to see your face light up and how much you love it and how impactful it is for your target audience and that kind of thing. So definitely is a marketing strategy.

Krystal Jugarap [00:28:46]:

So if anyone listening needs a little bit of encouragement, I just wanted to let you all know that I met the forward female team back in they January or December, I can't remember, but when you guys hosted your summit in San Francisco, and I was the one that pitched myself just because they're so amazing and I wanted to really get to know them. And here we are today doing this collaboration. So it really is, or can be as simple as just starting that conversation and sharing your ideas with whoever you come across with. That said, we did have a question from one of our audience members asking, how can they network, aside from pop ups and markets and things like that? And you've already spoken to that a little bit, like, there are plenty of opportunity around you. So do you have tips on where to find these communities and networking events? And also, do you have any do's and don'ts when it comes to how you're networking?

Gabriella D [00:29:44]:

Yes, absolutely. So I think finding places, finding networking events and people to just meet up with, there's a couple of platforms where you can find anything going on in your area. So meetup is a great one. Eventbrite, we always post our events on there, but I would say outside of finding those things, I was listening to this podcast and they were talking about how everyone has three places, and the first place is your home. The second place is like your work or school, and the third place is a place that you go to regularly, regularly to connect to meet people. And so find your third place. That could be the gym, it could be you're doing work at a local coffee shop. And in that third place, don't be afraid to strike up conversation with people.

Gabriella D [00:30:35]:

Connect with people just without thinking of this could be business, just genuinely, authentically connect with people. It could be hiking. I met Jay Shetty hiking the other day. And so it's just you never know who you're going to meet in these third places. And so show up, find a place that you want to regularly go to and start conversations with people again. It's so uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but the only way that you can grow is if you continue to make yourself uncomfortable. Put yourself in those situations where you have to put your foot forward and step out of your comfort zone and lead. If you're the one leading, if you're the one controlling your own destiny and starting these conversations, then you know that you've put everything you can into it. And so I would say organically meet people in the spaces and doing the things that you love to do.

Krystal Jugarap [00:31:29]:

Yeah. And I think that authenticity is a really key component of your marketing strategy. And just being very organic in the way you're going about it, the way you're interacting with people, introducing yourself can really be very impactful. So we have a few more minutes left. So before we close out, was there any other key tips or key talking points that you wanted to cover that we haven't yet covered?

Gabriella D [00:31:57]:

I think I would say that don't be afraid to fail. Failure is a big part of marketing, and we like to call failure learning lessons at forward female because that's really, truly what they are. At the end of the day, you're not going to know the right strategy right off the bat. Even if you did all the research and you know exactly who your target audience is, it's still going to be a little bit of a b testing in order to know exactly what's going to land with them. Exactly the verbiage that's going to make sense. And then you're going to have to continue to try and build off of the things that you're learning. So there's no one strategy that fits all, and there's no one strategy that's going to continue to work time and time again for your business. You should always be looking at the data and refining looking at the data and refining, because at the end of the day, that's what's going to help you grow rather than sticking.

Gabriella D [00:32:57]:

Oh, well, I know this strategy has worked in the past, but maybe it's not performing as well, but maybe I just need to try it again. Take what you learn. Take it as a learning lesson. If you do an ad and it flops, that's totally okay. It happens, but learn from it. Make note of the things that need to be different and then test again. And then test again, because that's the only way that you're really going to learn what hits with your audience.

Krystal Jugarap [00:33:26]:

Such great tips. There is definitely not one key marketing strategy. Even if you were for our audience to work individually with Gabby, whatever you come up with today is probably not going to be the same strategy you have down the line. Right? So it really is all about pivoting and feeling what is right in that moment. And like Gabby said, just paying attention to all of those metrics or those KPIs, those key performance indicators. Such great advice, such great insights. Thank you so much, Gabby, for joining us today. I know all of that information is information that our audience has been really looking forward to. So thank you so much for joining us today.

Gabriella D [00:34:06]:

Thank you so much for having me on. This was so amazing. And, um, I look forward to the next one.


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