3 Questions With Content Marketing Consultant Rachel Wolfson
Rachel is a contributing writer to The Huffington Post, a 📝 Content Marketing Pro, Gym Enthusiast and 💥 #1 Unicorn 🦄. Before starting her own business, Rachel was a content marketing manager for SQream Technologies and Moogsoft.
1. You recently were on a panel to celebrate the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, and have a passion for promoting women in tech and women in leadership. How do corporations — and technology companies specifically — reduce the barriers that are preventing women from holding 50% of leadership positions?
Encouraging women to become involved in technology and entrepreneurship is a passion of mine, which I promote through my writing. Many of my closest friends are women entrepreneurs and I’ve learned that there are certain things that can be done in order to encourage women leadership and STEM involvement.
Companies and startups in particular should seek out women executives, engineers, developers, data scientists, marketing managers, etc. to join their teams. After all, women make up 80 percent of purchasing decisions and bring diversity and valuable insights to the table. Companies with a higher percentage of women on board also set great examples for female friendly organizations that want to promote change.
Women lead organizations such as Girls in Tech and SheEO are also helping women become involved with tech companies, startups and entrepreneurial roles. For example, Girls in Tech offers a variety of programs such as hackathons, bootcamps, conferences and mentorship sessions aimed at encouraging women across the globe to gain experience in STEM related fields. SheEO is also helping fund the growth of women-led companies by providing low-interest debt to female entrepreneurs.
I ultimately believe that women helping other women will break down the barriers holding females back from accomplishing their dreams. I’ve adopted the motto that “Together We Can” create change.
Women no longer need to fear leadership positions or STEM based roles. We need to encourage one another to put our best foot forward and show the world what we really have to offer outside of stereotypical female based roles — which is A LOT!
2. Your business has taken on clients ranging from machine learning startups to O’Reilly Media. Being only 7 months into this venture — it’s a little premature but fun to reflect on what it’s like to make the jump from steady paycheck to your own company. What have you found more difficult than expected, and what challenge did you fear before starting a business but not longer fear now that you’ve gotten your business off the ground?
Starting your own business is not easy and there is a lot of risk involved. However, as most passionate entrepreneurs know, following your dreams is well worth the risk.
Before starting my own business, I worked as a content marketing manager for tech startups for about 4 years. I was happy with the stability of a full-time position, yet I was also focused on building my own brand.
The first few months of starting my own company were the most difficult, yet things started looking up as my network grew. More of my own articles were being published and I had new clients requesting my services. My pipeline began to grow, slowly but surely.
However, creating my own business model was more difficult than I had imagined. You don’t just wake up one day knowing how to run a business. I had to come up with pricing models, agreement forms, spreadsheets to keep track of everything, etc. I never realized all of this was so difficult until I actually took the plunge and got started.
Before starting a business, my biggest fear was not having any clients. I told myself that I would go back to working at a startup if I was unable to acquire clients. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. Through networking events and social media, my client base has grown steadily and continues to do so.
3. The importance of personal branding has followed the rise of social media. A personal brand — in many fields — is more important than a resume. How should the modern, young, ambitious, female professional go about prioritizing her personal branding efforts?
My advice for building a personal brand is to accurately portray who you are and what you represent. For example, I write a lot about women in tech and entrepreneurship. My personal brand reflects this, in part because I have many articles published that highlight these elements.
Before I had published articles though, I made sure to include descriptive bios in my social media accounts, which highlighted what I was passionate about. Personalizing your social media accounts to reflect who you are should be the first step in building your brand. It’s always good to include engaging photos and links to your work and website as well.
As your career grows over time, you should update your social media accounts to reflect your accomplishments. For example, each time I publish an article on The Huffington Post, I add it to my LinkedIn profile and share it on social media.
While social media, content and images are necessary for building a personal brand, I think the most important element to keep in mind is to focus on promoting your passion. Remember, your personal brand reflects who you are — if you are passionate about what you do, your brand is sure to gain traction.