Posted by kari.petroschmidt
“I looked for support from the older women I assumed were mentors at my work, but I never got any. In the end, I realized that they did not have my back when I needed them most. It made me feel like I hadn’t been valued at all there, despite working hard and doing my job well.”
“My friend’s daughter killed herself last year. She was 14. They’d moved. She’d started a new school. She was bullied. She never told anyone about it. She assumed she was alone and everything was hopeless.”
“In my office, women can be really judgemental. I eat lunch on my own sometimes just to avoid things.”
“Tell me more. What are your aims?”
Some weeks ago, I wrote a post telling how I found my team. The above quotes are just some of the things strangers have been saying to me when I’ve taken the opportunity to talk about Throw Like a Girl.
As reticent as I once in telling people I didn’t know about TLG, I quickly realized that if I wanted to have a better idea about why an organization like TLG could be beneficial to society, I’d have to start sounding out “people on the street”. Strangers don’t know you. They are not as cautious of hurting your feelings as your friends might be. Strangers can afford to be honest, because it’s a no-loss situation for them. So the most informal way you can find out more about your target audience and if there is a need for your product, beyond what you’ve personally perceived or experienced, is to simply ask. Talk to the person behind the counter of the clothes store. Talk to the person sitting next to you on the park bench. Talk to the person stuck waiting with you in line at the bank.
Natasha J Stillman, Alice Jackson, Chontelle Syme and Freya Haanan of Throw Like a Girl
If you have always been afraid of public speaking – or even talking in class (as I always was) – this is the time to get over that. Besides, you will find that if you are passionate and informed enough about your topic, your InstaPitch will come very easily (and without that wobbly, mumbly awkwardness you used to struggle with all those years ago). After all, you are the one who conceived of your idea and thinks it’s important enough to market and spread. You are the one who, presumably, is the most interested in getting it out there. And you are the one who has the primary responsibility to see that it does.
With Throw Like a Girl, I quickly realized that our job in promoting a socially conscious start-up was not simply just to tell people about it, but to get them talking about it – to promote and encourage an instant dialogue. TLG’s InstaPitch to strangers may start as a one-way, but should end as an exchange of experiences, ideas and most importantly the gathering of new information which could propel TLG’s mission further towards fruition. In my trial by fire in the world of marketing, Word of Mouth has turned out to be one of my most important primary tools.
In the words of Bonnie Raitt, “Let’s give ‘em something to talk about.”
Natasha J. Stillman is the Director of Throw Like a Girl (competing in Audacious this semester) and a Dunedin based writer who is following her bliss.