Ladies, it's time to sell ourselves. Kidding! I can already imagine the hater comments for this post. But really, our teens and twenties are a time of building our "product offering" just as our male counterparts are building theirs. Each of us, male or female, have certain talents or "points of differentiation" that attract others. Let me use my Marketing degree from William & Mary's Mason School of Business to walk you through what I call "the female marketing mix."
Product. We are female. That's certainly not a very high "barrier to entry." How do we differentiate ourselves? I propose we leverage our core competencies. What are you good at? Running? Baking? Making people laugh? Now, what are you good at that your male counterpart is not? How can you complement him? Why should he invest in you? Men often appreciate femininity for the fact that it is beyond their nature. Here are a few ways to build your "product" and add value to it in your teens or early twenties.
- Learn to cook a killer dinner. Even if it's just one dish-- perfect it. Bring out this secret weapon when you want to seal the deal (i.e. keep him interested).
- Put some effort into your "packaging." This is about branding. What connotations does your image convey? Are you lazy? Busy? A homebody? A party girl? Find a way to be eye-catching, and work your a$$ets, legs, smile, eyes, ears-- whatever!
- Highlight your strengths, not your weaknesses. Present yourself in a way that features happiness and confidence, not self-doubt and insecurity. No woman is perfect, but that is no reason to focus on our imperfections.
- Look for opportunities to better yourself. Don't sit around and wait for a guy to sweep you off your feet. Stay busy. Spend your time doing things you enjoy. Go to speakers and conferences. Develop your sense of self. Don't tie yourself down to someone who isn't even there.
- Figure out what makes you "different from all the other girls." Do you have a killer sense of humor? Do you put God first? Can you create miracles in the kitchen? Guys pick up on these things, and these are the things that make them say, "Mom and dad, this girl is different."
Price. Feminists, you can relax. No need to get your panties (or boxers) in a bunch. Rather than a "discount" pricing strategy, I propose a "premium" pricing strategy. We don't want to come off as cheap in order to attract tons of "bargain hunters." Think Burberry, not Dollar General. Be choosey. Be exclusive. And don't sell yourself short because of impatience. While it might seem like "all the good guys are taken," you must remember that half of these "good guys" have crazy girlfriends and will eventually be single again.
Place. Where are you? In bed reading my blog? Get up! If you live in a small town, spend some time in the cities or suburbs where the pool is much bigger. Only so many fish can live in a puddle! Think about the type of guy you want to meet. Hipster? Hit up a coffee shop. Christian? Head to the Holy House. Athletic? Gym it up, girl! The most important point is to be places where you are doing your passion, and you will meet others whose interests match yours.
Promotion. I'm not suggesting you hand out "free date" coupons. Hells no. I'm talking about communication-- how you communicate, when you communicate, and how approachable you appear. Stop talking all about yourself. Avoid talking nonstop for fear of being interrupted. Don't downplay the value of your words by overusing "just." Slow down. Smile. Uncross your arms. Meet his eyes. Boom.
There you have it-- the "female marketing mix!" Inspired by my recent completion of college, this idea came to me at 2 am last night, and I truly think I could write a book relating dating to marketing. In the end, it's all about choosing a product, or partner.
And now I'll open the floor for any comments!