A prominent angel investor recently said that while women entrepreneurs excel at execution, they’re not so good at promoting themselves. His point supports recent research in which 76% of women in leadership positions identified inadequate self-promotion as a major obstacle to professional success.


We asked women entrepreneurs how they’ve managed to crack the code of self-promotion and how it has helped their business. Note: Most of the respondents cited more than one method of self- and business-promotion, although we’ve edited their replies for space reasons.


Have a pitch that stands out

“If you can’t sell yourself, you cannot sell your product, service, company, book or idea. In my field, many people say, ‘I’m a business coach.’ Unfortunately, that doesn’t differentiate them from others. People tend to remember my opening line when networking: ‘I’m a business advisor with over 25 years of experience and along the way I’ve guided the creation of three millionaires.” —Jeannette Seibly, SeibCo, LLC, Denver; Author of It’s Time to Brag!: Five Amazing Steps to Sell Yourself, Business Edition



Instagram your brand

“We have grown our company to over a million in revenue in two years, solely based on self-promotion and my being the face of the company. I live, breathe and speak my brand. We have created a strong presence on Instagram for both my personal account and our business page. I now mentor many women on how to represent their brands and give people the information they want.” —Megan Benedict, CEO and Founder, Fit Kitchen Direct, Portland



Network, one person at a time

“Focus on what you’re best at. For me, that’s one-on-one interactions. When I attend events, I set a goal to get to know two or three people deeply instead of handing my business card out to the whole room. In my social media content, I look to answer specific questions from my audience. I incorporate personalized videos into my onboarding system, so my leads and clients can build a relationship with me. These steps lead to an incredible support system. My business comes primarily from referrals.” —Annabelle Needles, Founder and CEO of Evergreen Lane Productions, Denver


Leverage LinkedIn

“I am always sharing my wins as well as my clients’ wins on LinkedIn. One of the biggest ways I recently promoted myself was by sharing my first investor meeting on my LinkedIn page. This ultimately led potential clients to reach out to me to learn more about what I am doing.” —Stephanie Caudle, Owner and Founder of Black Girl Group Online Freelance Platform, Durham, North Carolina


Blog bigly

“I’ve been blogging and contributing articles to media outlets for eight years. This has allowed me to get my name out there and establish myself as an expert by answering questions and providing commentary in the entrepreneurship community. I’ve received a lot of recognition for it, including gaining partners and clients.” —Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com, Los Angeles


Earn publicity

“Advertising is paid for, but we are a non-profit and publicity is free. As the years have gone by, I’ve understood more keenly the value of ‘implied third-party endorsement’ that is provided by media coverage. I’ve traveled a great deal to give speeches to build the WPO brand, which were covered in local media outlets, and accepted many offers for interviews. As the organization grew and I could afford to hire a public relations expert, I did. We applied a strategic approach to building visibility in the right outlets, with the right message, to reach our target audience.” —Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., President and Founder, Women Presidents’ Organization, New York


Support local causes

“I have been active in my local Chamber and participated in a pilot entrepreneurial training program created by the city. My intention was to learn and grow, but I also took part in all of the PR opportunities they asked me to be part of. While I am not a person who wants to be in the spotlight, I find these actions give my business promotional benefits.” —LaDonna Snow, Founder and President, Snowflake Designs, Clovis, California


Show up on online forums

“My #1 promotion strategy as a female entrepreneur has been online forums
where I can share my story and expertise. The other day I shared my investment story on Reddit, and it received over 500 upvotes, my site received hundreds of visits, and I received dozens of emails and messages asking for more information and investing help.” —Stacy Caprio, Founder, Accelerated Growth Marketing, Boston

Harness podcast power

“I wanted to disseminate pertinent information and raise my profile in my industry, physical therapy, so I decided to create a podcast. I reached out to big names for interviews. Sometimes it took a while and some Twitter ‘stalking,’ but ultimately I was able to interview many influencers. As a result, the podcast gained traction and the big names started to reach out to me to be a guest. I’ve since been able to monetize the podcast through sponsorship opportunities and live events, and have been invited to be a keynote speaker at events around the world.” —Karen Litzy, PT, DPT, Owner of Karen Litzy Physical Therapy, New York



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