Feminism is a sensitive topic.
Having voiced my opinions about ladies in the search engine marketing trade a number of occasions, I had seen opposition and assist of the concept that it is a matter price bringing the forefront.
Many have stated that it’s a non-issue, however the posts I’ve seen in women-run search engine marketing teams would beg to vary.
In actuality, many ladies in search engine marketing are nonetheless undervalued, misrepresented, and sometimes unacknowledged in comparison with their male search engine marketing counterparts.
For instance, when Serpstat revealed their roundup of the “Best Women in SEO”, the responses have been lower than stellar:
This flies in the face of numerous different posts that cowl the “best SEOs” the place the listing is 80%+ males, regardless of there being many ladies price highlighting in our trade.
This is to not say that girls haven’t made big leaps forward in our trade.
We have feminine CEOs (like Sarah Bird from Moz) and technical search engine marketing professionals (like Kristina Azarenko) which can be doing nice work, sharing their experience, and gaining notoriety.
But there’s nonetheless this query of ladies and men in search engine marketing are actually on equal footing.
While I may go into the gender pay hole, glass ceiling, sexism in employment, and so forth., that’s not what this put up is about.
My goal right here is to inform my story in addition to share some suggestions for a way different ladies in search engine marketing can create their very own seat at the desk.
My Experience as a Woman in search engine marketing
My expertise as a girl in search engine marketing has been, total, a optimistic one.
When I got here on the scene, it wasn’t like individuals have been sliding into my DMs threatening, “You don’t belong here, wench!”
But my expertise hasn’t been fully devoid of sexism both.
At my first search engine marketing gig (in-house search engine marketing supervisor), I was routinely the solely girl to be current at conferences and I was fairly often talked over, disregarded, or in any other case advised that my concepts “just won’t work”.
I keep in mind one time speaking about the worth of rising our purchasers’ e mail lists and crafting e mail advertising and marketing campaigns.
I was advised that this was one thing “mommy bloggers do”, however the identical concept (when offered by my male coworkers) was heralded as a good suggestion.
These microaggressions add up over time and make it troublesome to get acknowledged for our good concepts, be thought-about for promotions, or invited to career-changing networking alternatives.
Little by little, these items can definitely restrict our profession potential.
I consider I have issues simple as a girl in the search engine marketing content material area as a result of writing has, roughly, been a “female” area.
But I have heard from my feminine cohort that being a feminine technical search engine marketing specialist may be far more troublesome, as individuals continually query your experience.
The resolution, it appears, is to be louder, unapologetic, and have a thick pores and skin – as the threat of being referred to as “bossy” or worse.
And whereas many ladies can undertake this “Don’t mess with me” perspective, many others would like to remain in the background.
Very early, I determined to attempt to strike a steadiness – the place I may keep true to myself (caring, female, artistic) whereas additionally standing as much as the bullies.
I determined I wanted to create my very own seat at the desk.
Find Your ‘People’
Where would I be with out my sisters in search engine marketing who’re at all times there when I have to vent, wish to discuss technique, swap talent units, and extra?
I love that I have “my people” to go to who assist me with no questions requested.
Many male-dominated areas may be aggressive, significantly should you even carry up the matter of girls in search engine marketing.
You’ll hear statements like:
- “Why does this matter?”
- “Women are already equal!”
- “It’s about experience, not gender.”
- All of those statements ignore the very actual disparities that girls expertise.
But should you search out individuals who assist you – whether or not that be different ladies in search engine marketing or males who can lend a listening ear – you’ll be higher ready to climate the bullies.
Network Your @ss Off
As with most industries, search engine marketing has an “It’s not what you know but who you know culture.”
To get featured in main publications, get thought-about for roundup posts, kind enterprise partnerships, and get invited to talking occasions, you must community with the proper individuals.
Unfortunately, very not often will individuals hand you these alternatives on a silver platter.
Instead, it’s best to continually be on the lookout for methods to attach with individuals in search engine marketing, develop genuine relationships, and earn a reputation for your self.
You may very well be the greatest technical search engine marketing professional ever, no matter gender, but when nobody is aware of you exist, you’re unlikely to get the recognition you deserve.
Connect with individuals on LinkedIn, submit visitor posts, and attend networking occasions to place your self on the market.
Know When (& When Not) to Ruffle Feathers
I am a robust advocate for equal rights, however not at the expense of my very own well being and well-being.
You have to know when to talk up and stick your neck out, in addition to when to disengage and provides your self a break.
Again, because of this I like having a group that has my again as a result of they will at all times come to my protection if I am being dragged throughout the coals.
Further, they provide me sensible recommendation in the case of coping with sexist purchasers, charging what I’m price, and touchdown new alternatives.
You don’t need to struggle each battle by yourself and a few days are tougher than others.
Ultimately, what issues is that you just attain your model of success.
Do Your Best Work
Sometimes you simply gotta let your work communicate for itself.
While it’s true that it’s usually troublesome preventing to get seen as a girl in search engine marketing, you definitely received’t stand out should you keep on the sidelines.
Focus on offering the greatest worth you possibly can to your purchasers. Get them superior outcomes. Publish these case research. Rake in these testimonials.
Inevitably, phrase will unfold that you understand what you’re doing – both from current purchasers to potential purchasers or from one search engine marketing professional to the subsequent.
We can all hope that the enjoying area will turn into extra equal over time and also you wish to be one in all the ones saying, “Look – I put in the work!”
If something, you’ll have the satisfaction of figuring out that you just’re a complete boss.
Charge What You’re Worth
One of the commonest struggles I see ladies in search engine marketing experiencing will not be charging/getting paid what they’re price.
Sometimes this implies not figuring out learn how to negotiate their wage in worry of being thought-about “too demanding”, or it’d imply setting their company charges too low / not figuring out learn how to appeal to high-paying purchasers.
As Beyonce as soon as stated, “Your best revenge is your paper” – and getting paid what you’re price offers you extra freedom to do what you’re keen on and have affect in the world.
I extremely suggest working with a monetary advisor or mentor that may assist you navigate these usually troublesome money-related conversations, set aggressive costs, and discover ways to talk your worth to potential purchasers.
Confidence performs a significant position in you asking for what you’re price and getting paid what you deserve.
Know Your Talking Points
It by no means hurts to have some speaking factors in your arsenal for when misogyny rears its head.
If you’re used to encountering leads that say “I won’t work with a woman” (this has occurred to me) or “This is kind of a boy’s club” (that too), then it may be useful to know what to say subsequent time these phrases come round.
You’ll really feel extra assured with the ability to faculty individuals on why feminism in search engine marketing issues, why your work is simply nearly as good (if not higher) than your male counterparts’, how one can assist purchasers obtain X outcomes, and so forth.
Know what to say so that you don’t get bulldozed over by the haters.
For me, this generally means title dropping a few of the superb purchasers I have labored with in the previous and the candy outcomes I have generated via my content material.
So, when one prospect scoffed at my costs saying “You’re not even a household name”, I may shrug it off figuring out that my actual purchasers know the worth in working with me.
Use Your Voice
If you’re daring sufficient to make your self heard and speak about your expertise as a girl in search engine marketing, know that there are numerous methods to take action.
Guest posting (like this), sharing your story on YouTube, posting inspiring social media posts, and talking at occasions are all nice methods to get your voice heard.
On a smaller degree, share your experience in Facebook teams, discuss technique, attend digital summits, and community with different search engine marketing professionals to get seen.
Work on sticking up for your self and being assured in what you carry to the desk.
Not each individual is outspoken or has the need to face up on a soapbox, however for these of us that really feel empowered to share our tales, doing so could make a world of distinction.
Resources for Women in search engine marketing:
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by creator, April 2020