Why We’re Proud to Be a Women-Owned and -Run Business
Recently, I was networking with a colleague and was on an initial phone call with him. When I explained that we were women-owned and -run, he responded with, “Oh, you’re only trying to work with women.” To him, stating your business is women-owned, minority-run, etc., means that you are only selling to those groups. Calmly, I explained that these terms are points of pride, not points of exclusion. Much like when I had to explain feminism to him, it’s not about superiority; it’s about equality. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, I thought I’d talk about my history with Vision and why we’re proud to be a women-owned and -run business, as well as a bit about marketing your pride, regardless of what it is.
Where Vision Advertising Is and Where It Is Going
As I’ve said before, I am proud of where Vision Advertising is moving and changing as a company. In many ways, our movement from “marketing as a product” to holistic business strategy and shift toward larger, professional service clients helped us weather the recent economic storm, as well as my own focus on servant leadership that gave my staff the security and tools needed to work remotely through the pandemic.
Beyond that, we’ve become more vocal in our beliefs and advocacy. Not only through myself, as I’ve been active on podcasts and interviews as I recover from thyroid cancer, but also through the events of this last year. A few examples:
- Our exhaustive coverage on COVID-19 for businesses and marketers.
- Our pursuit of the Women Business Enterprise Certification and why it’s important.
- Highlighting our Women-Owned Business award in WBJ Book of Lists.
- Advocating awareness of Thyroid Cancer Month and telling of my story.
- Our statements on politics in the workplace and the importance of voting.
- Our condemnation of the attempted coup at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.
Many businesses wouldn’t wear their hearts on their sleeves like this when it comes to matters that are political or “political” in nature. But that’s coming from a place of fear and wrong on two counts.
Don’t Avoid Your Passions Online, Lean Into Them
When my colleague pointed out he thought that having such values and using such terms would alienate current and potential customers, I was ready. Behind our January 7th statement about the Capitol Riots was my amazing team who wanted to make a statement: a statement I fully endorsed and even strengthened the language on it (“riots” to “coup,” our statement on feminism, equality, and equity, etc.).
Instead of receiving condemnation or censorship, I received an outpouring of positive feedback and support from clients, partners, and friends. I’m not alone on this. One of my favorite podcasters, Sean Croxton, shared a great quote from Wallace “Wallo267” Peeples on what happened after he made some passionate statement on Instagram.
“That was the lesson I learned: When you’re just yourself, some people aren’t gonna like it. Some people are going to unfollow. Some people aren’t going to say anything, and that’s okay. But a lot of people are thinking the exact same thing you’re thinking. And they are looking for permission to say the same thing.”
Neutrality is Worse Than Passionate Because It’s Boring
You can’t win with everyone. I probably can’t convince my colleague to look at women-owned as a strength – an asset. But by leaning into the passions and motivations behind your company, you’ve got the one thing that all the neutrality in the world can’t buy: interest. You’re going to find that more people are interested and empowered by you taking a stand than the opposite. Regardless of what you do, there will always be people who are disinterested in what you do; you’re not there for them: they aren’t your Ideal Clients (for a great overview on that, check out my webinar over on the 22’s with Marisa Fanelli).
In short, take pride in what you do and who you are: it’s what sets you apparent from your competition and makes people take notice. Staying neutral online and off as a business is operating from a place of fear – and that’s never a sound business strategy.
If you’d like to talk to me about joining you for a podcast, webinar, or article to discuss this or any of my other passions, check out my bookings page. If you’d like to talk about how Vision Advertising can help you better highlight your own business’s passions through coaching, business planning, and marketing, reach out to us here. Happy Women’s History Month!