Per usual, I was on Twitter and saw a woman very vehemently share something that she would never do. She said that she would NEVER share that she was a POC or woman business owner in her content. Her concern was that people would perceive that declaration as a sympathy spend and devalue her products and services. I’ve heard this more than once and I’ve also heard of entrepreneurs removing any identifying information about themselves off of their websites. I’ve got some thoughts about this in the event that you’re trying to make this decisioin.
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When I first started my business, my finances were a mess. I was paying off debt and just trying to hustle until my business grew. I tried everything to keep my finances in order ranging from using online money management platforms, spreadsheets and the envelope system. This year I discovered Qube Money which is a digital envelope system paired with a debit card. You deposit your money into an FDIC insured account and then can spend based on dedicated Qubes that you’ve created within the app. If you’re paying for tools such as Flodesk for your emails, Thinkific to host your courses and coaching programs, or Deskpass for your coworking access, Qube keeps you organized and can be one of your dedicated business accounts. I’m a proud affiliate of Qube Money, check out the link that I share in the show notes.
- Shida’s On the Loose-Creating a brand for Black women needing help with the logistics of taking an adult “Gap Year”
Who is Your Client Avatar?
The first question you have to ask yourself is who is it that you would like to serve? If you’re running a hair braiding company and your clients are Black women, then being identified as a Black woman may be helpful to attracting your ideal client. The identifying information in your branding helps to repel or attract the clients who are ideal to your business. Digital businesses are interesting in that they are highly identified with the brand creator. I’ll share my branding information that attracts my ideal clients.
- I’m a Black woman-Who does this attract as clients? Interestingly enough other POC and allies.
- GenX baby! I actually connect with a lot of older Millennials and GenXers
- Online entrepreneurship enthusiast-I attract other people who are excited about building online brands and are at least curious about the following:
- Selling digital products
- Writing ebooks
- Affiliate Marketing
- Creating digital courses
- I’ve launched an in-person event-Having had this experience attracts other entrepreneurs who may be curious about doing the same for their business.
- I live in Colorado-Who does this attract? Outdoor enthusiasts and lifestyle design folks.
- I love outdoor activities such as snowboarding, hiking, camping, rafting-Who does this attract? People who would like to do the same.
Who is YOUR Client Avatar?
Have you spent some time reflecting on what attracts people to what you’re selling? How are do they know that you’re “the one” for them? Spend some time thinking about how your brand identity attracts your clients to you.
What is Your Personal Perception of POC Businesses?
What I found very interesting about her comment was the idea that by self-identifying as a woman of color that people would be “pity” shopping. For me, I love when people help me get in front of businesses that I would like to support. I run a website and podcast about Colorado. That project allows me to uplift, share and shout out Colorado local businesses, products, non-profits, etc. I love it when businesses make it clear that they are Colorado owned. I understand that for every one of my dollars spent locally, the dollar stays in the local economy longer. I DO NOT have a negative perception of POC owned businesses and my first experiences shopping at a POC owned business was when I was a tiny kid. I would go to my great aunt’s corner store whenever I visited my family who lives in another state. It was a great experience because I was treated so well. Yes, I did get the family discount LOL!
What I love about this moment in time is how technology can help get me in front of so many businesses and services. Living in Colorado it is very challenging to support POC businesses because we’re a small part of the state’s population. Websites, podcasts, and social media helps me make more informed spending decisions.
- If I want to buy lingerie I can-Love Vera is the brand for me.
- Do I feel like having a glass of wine? Some Black Girl Magic is a great way to unwind.
- Is it time to freshen up my face and get some glow going? Rihanna’s Fenty can make that happen.
- It’s the end of the week and I’d like to burn some candles.
- Hiking this weekend will be great. It’s almost time to pick up some new sunblock.
- It’s that….time of month. Good thing I can grab some products from The Honey Pot
In fact, I’ve had a number of wonderful experiences shopping in POC owned businesses. Here’s what I consider when deciding to shop in any new business:
- Is the product or service something that I actually want or need?
- If it’s a local company, have I had a chance to meet them in person?
- What is the feedback like on the company’s goods and services (NOT Yelp!) I avoid Yelp like the plague.
- Their online presence-Is it clear what they do and who they serve?
- Pricing-What am I spending? Does it match my expectation and the product that I’m getting?
- Does the company make sense for the product or service that I want.
- Is the quality good?
- Does their overall mission align with my mission and purpose? There’s a reason why social good companies attract who they do, etc.
Brand Identifiers Clarify Choices
Weirdly enough, I am working on this post after the Derrick Chauvin guilty verdict was read. I bring this up because last year one of the surprising reactions to the George Floyd murder and Black Lives Matter movement was an increased need for Black and allied influencers, spaces, and products.
I will admit that I actually made a significant amount of money because I was already positioned in the personal finance space with a social equity focus. Please understand, I did not want to profit off of Mr. Floyd’s murder. However, in the reaction to what happened companies began asking themselves the following questions:
- What do we stand for?
- Who do we work with?
- Is equity truly a part of our brand?
And, because I had a long track record of creating content that addressed social injustice, equity and empowerment in the personal finance space-companies reached out to me.
What Should You Do?
Ultimately, this is a very personal decision. Depending on your product, it may be completely unnecessary to bring up who you are. However, until a product reaches Target status, the brand story is very much a part of what attracts its ideal client to it. That’s why we still hear about the founder of Starbucks, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos from nerdy to jacked, and Elon Musk’s daily wanderings. They are their brand.
Do what feels comfortable to you and the rest will fall into place.
Mentioned in the Show
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