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  • 🎉 We're Throwing A Party In NYC, De-Influencing Explained, Business Plan Guide

🎉 We're Throwing A Party In NYC, De-Influencing Explained, Business Plan Guide

💌 Fun Events, smart workshops and helpful resources are inside.

Hey, welcome to Female Founder World, the place to meet your business besties online and IRL. This is our free 5-minute email keeping tens of thousands of consumer brand builders in the loop. New friends are welcome! Feel free to forward this email to your people. 

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👇 Today we're covering

  • 🗽 We're throwing a huge International Women's Day party. Tell everyone

  • 📓 Resource roundup

  • 🛍️ ‘De-influencing’ is TikTok’s new buzzword. This is what it means for brands.

  • 🗞️ Skim the headlines

  • ✨ OK, but what actually is 'lucky girl syndrome'?

  • 💘 She started selling pregnancy tests online—now she has 120,000+ customers 

  • 🎟 Upcoming Workshop: UGC 101 for Business Owners

🗽 We're throwing a huge International Women's Day party. Tell the others

Our Female Founder World fam (hey, that's us!) is taking over the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City ahead of International Women's Day. It's going to be our biggest and best event yet. Tell everyone. 

You're invited to learn from the founders building some of the buzziest brands rn, like Glow Recipe, August, Crown Affair, Blueland, Golde, Dame, plus more entrepreneurial baddies at all stages of business who want to network and help you and your biz ✨win✨. It's all happening 6pm-9pm, Tuesday, 7 March.

📓 Resource roundup

  • Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dayton, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. are eligible to pocket $5k in grant funding. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Can you get away with reposting old content rather than constantly creating new stuff for social media? Here's a guide on how to reuse your content and still get good results. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Some brands are out here making pretty wild product claims. But what are you actually legally allowed to say your product can do? A lawyer shared how to navigate. 🔗 Tell me more 

  • Tips on prepping for a job interview are all over the internet, but how do you get set for an investor interview? This thread explains how to tackle common questions investors might ask. 🔗 Tell me more

  • We spent a whole lotta hours scrolling to find you 100 of the best UGC creators for consumer business, and we're updating the database weekly. We're saving this resource for our Business Bestie subscribers—it's now available in the Business Bestie Google Drive. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Export your Xero data besties, it's tax season. Here are some tax tips from Shopify for small businesses. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Are you using AI to create content yet? Here's how to use ChatGPT to automatically generate copy in your brand's unique tone of voice. Wild! 🔗 Tell me more

  • This agency's offering free marketing, branding, and creative services to one Black-owned business based in LA. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Talea Beer Co. is a woman-owned, New York-based brewery. They only started in 2021, but have already landed in Whole Foods, employ more than 30 people, and have a 9,000 square foot facility. Their MBA-equipped founders shared how to put together a business plan exclusively for our Business Bestie subscribers. This resource is now in the Business Bestie Google Drive. 🔗 Tell me more

  • Wanna launch an app? Catch a replay of Female Founder World's workshop with Olivia DeRamus, the bootstrapping baddie behind Communia (available to Business Bestie subscribers only). 🔗 Tell me more

‘De-influencing’ is TikTok’s new buzzword. This is what it means for brands. 

Scrolling is the gateway to shopping: The number of people searching for products on social media is up 43% since 2015 and nearly half (44%) of Gen Z shops based on recommendations from influencers. 

But ‘de-influencing’, a new TikTok trend that’s also making its way to Instagram, Reddit, and beyond, is here to change all that. If you’re a brand with an influencer marketing strategy (all of us), this social media vibe shift might make you rethink your approach.

Here’s what brands need to know. 

✨ De-influencing started on TikTok, where it has more than 101.3 million views. It’s all about challenging the hype around cult products—particularly pricey ones—by telling people what you shouldn’t buy, rather than what you should spend cash on. So, it’s still influencing, it’s just about influencing people not to shop, instead of making them feel they need to buy something new.

✨ Both professional influencers and everyday TikTok users are ‘de-influencing’ across the app, with a pretty big focus on the beauty products they think aren’t worth your cash. Often, these posts aren’t suggesting you buy nothing, but recommend a more affordable dupe for a buzzy and expensive cult product—like buying a heated roller set on Amazon over the Dyson Airwrap. 

✨ There are a couple of reasons why de-influencing might be having a moment. It could be a reaction to the out-of-control cost of living—people are done being told they need to spend cash on expensive skincare when they can barely make rent. Because who wants a Dyson Air Wrap when your rent’s up 40%? It could also be a more general push back on overconsumption and the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt movement (which has 41.6B views btw!). This might be the motivation for some, but the fact many users are sharing less expensive dupes for cult products rather than encouraging folks not everyone posting a de-influencing video is trying to be a hero for the planet. This shift could be pushback from Gen Z against influencer culture in general, and a demand for more authentic and genuine content that isn’t shoving product down your throat.

✨ If we were gonna get cynical here, it could also be said that de-influencing as a movement isn’t entirely bad for influencers, either. Most influencers get paid affiliate commissions on products they sell (as they should!). In tough economic times, less expensive dupes are going to sell more than luxury products, so the de-influencing movement could actually work in favor of influencers. 

Whether the shift is a short term trend or a more permanent shift in the way influence is exercised online, brands working with creators should take a beat and consider how their current influencer marketing strategy will play in the era of 'de-influencing'.

🗞️ Skim the headlines

INSTAGRAM: Brands and creators have been thirsty for that blue verification tick on Instagram since it was introduced, but that's about to change. Weeks after Twitter started charing for verification, Instagram's now letting users pay for the blue tick too. The update is rolling out in Australia and New Zealand first, and the rest of us will follow. For $12 per month, you'll get verified plus more perks including "increased reach and visibility" 👀, stronger protection against account impersonation, and access to a "real person" in customer support to help with account issues, rather than the bottomless vortex we assume customer enquiries are currently being directed to.

CELEB BRANDS: Remember when news broke recently that Selfless by Hyram, the beauty brand by TikTok influencer Hyram Yarbo, was leaving Sephora? It turns out they’re actually pivoting from Sephora to Target—and repositioning the brand by dropping prices. Hyram has been a loud fan of drugstore beauty on TikTok, so this new direction might hit better with the influencer's following.

In other celeb founder news: Celeb hair stylist Jen Atkin is known for her haircare brand OUAI, but she's also the creator of haircare content biz, Mane Addicts, reaching 4.5 million followers across Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. She just announced she's building on Mane Addict's platform to start Mane, a hair tools brand launching with eight SKUs, including a hair waver and a very y2k zig zag headband. 

TIKTOK: TikTok's giving more cash to creators. The app's re-launching its creator fund under the new name 'Creativity Program' based on feedback from the OG program, which was criticized by creators for offering pretty low payouts. TikTok's been testing the update in Brazil and France for months, and it's now rolling out the beta version in the US to invited creators. The program also gives creators access to an updated dashboard with more insights.

BEAUTY: 'Skincare for your body' is a big trend in the beauty category, and now Frank Body's getting in on it. (You know Frank for their cheeky coffee scrub and the $100M valuation). Everyday by Frank Body, a new line of twelve new affordable products launched this month and uses skincare grade ingredients to treat the body. 

FOOD & BEVERAGE: The millennial “better-for-you” take on breakfast cereal, Magic Spoon, is expanding their retail distribution to “everywhere cereal is sold”—in other words into 6,800 retail stores including Walmart, Kroger and Target. The brand launched exclusively direct-to-consumer online in 2019 and went on to raise $85M in Series B funding last year, only entering select retailers this fall. 

APPLE: We're finally getting a single pink heart emoji. There's an iOS update coming that we're actually happy to hear about—Apple is introducing 31 new emojis with their iOS 16.4 update, including angel wings, a shaking head, and yep, that "much requested" plain pink heart. 

✨ OK, but what actually is 'lucky girl syndrome'?

TikTok's basically rebranded The Secret as 'lucky girl syndrome'—the only disease you want to catch. It's the idea that all the good things will happen if you have a positive attitude and believe hard enough, and it has over 360M views on TikTok. 

Great things are always happening to me unexpectedly. The secret is to assume and believe it before the concrete proof shows up. BE DELUSIONAL. 

Laura Galebe, TikTok creator (as reported by Vox) 

Vox points out that there's not a lot new about lucky girl syndrome—it's essentially manifestation and positive thinking rebranded. TikTok creators love to repackage old ideas to keep them relevant and interesting: Think about how 'that girl', 'vanilla girl', 'VSCO girl' and 'coconut girl' describe what is, in fact, the exact same gal.

Like a lot of modern manifesting culture, lucky girl syndrome is mostly used in the context of getting rich. Creators on TikTok are sharing lucky girl affirmations like "I get paid to exist" and "Wealth is my birthright". Often these videos are also plugging a creator's course or products, and lucky girl swag and journals are already showing up on Amazon and Etsy.

Why are you seeing this story? Cultural shifts present new opportunities to connect with hyper-niche audiences. They also represent a change in the way our marketing content may be perceived by our communities. As business owners, we gotta be across it.

💘 She started selling pregnancy tests online—now she has 120,000+ customers. 

Ok so picture this: Jamie Norwood's co-worker (now co-founder, Cynthia!) was buying a pregnancy test when she ran into her boyfriend’s mom. Not ideal. Cynthia thought there had to be a better, more discreet way to get women the healthcare products they need without physically walking into a pharmacy.

This moment was the trigger for Stix, a direct-to-consumer women's health business that launched in 2019 and delivers pregnancy, yeast infection and UTI tests to your home (because not everyone is cool with hanging out in this aisle at CVS). Jamie and Cynthia bootstrapped for a year and first ran Stix as a side hustle.

Now, four years later, Stix has raised over $7M in venture funding and has sold to over 120,000 customers.

After discovering the problem they wanted to solve Jamie and Cynthia did a ton of customer research through surveys and phone calls. They designed simple branding on Canva, built a bare-bones Shopify site to start a waitlist, and started testing inexpensive Facebook ads to work out what people wanted from Stix. Once 1,000 people joined the email list, they started taking the idea more seriously.

“Was it a discreet pregnancy test, an affordable pregnancy test, a pregnancy test made by women? We tested these things [through surveys in Facebook ads] just to understand what got people excited about the product, and this is before we even had a product—it was just seeing what [features] got people to join a waitlist.”

In the summer of 2019, Stix was accepted into the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator program, giving the founders a speedy boot camp in business and helping them network and raise the cash they needed to really take the business to the next level.

For Stix’s first few years, ads on Facebook and IG were driving a lot of growth, but Stix recently cut all Meta ads. Now, they’re focusing on content.

They’ve got a baller blog on all things health and sex education (our new resource for those awkward Qs), and now over half of their web traffic is coming from SEO. This approach is a long game, though, with some of their most popular blog posts originally published way back in 2019.

🤳 Workshop: UGC 101 for Business Owners 

🕒 28 February at 6pm ET

Learn how to master user generated content in your business in this 40-minute workshop with YouMe Lin, creator of content marketing agency Cloud Studio. YouMe's team works with brands like Bumble, Clarins, Naadam, and Sundays Studio and they've helped brands achieve incredible milestones like viral videos with 1M+ views and 10x increases in site traffic.

In this session she'll be covering: where to repurpose UGC; how to manage creator outreach; costs and budgets; whitelisting tips; how to get more UGC content for your business on a budget, and more!

New podcast: Two sisters started a beauty biz as students. Now it's worth millions

Blume started as a period subscription box and soon pivoted to a Gen Z-focused beauty brand. In 2019 Bunny Ghatrora and her cofounder (also her sister) raised $3M in a seed round—and quickly became one of the Gen Z beauty brands to cut through what is a very (very!) crowded skincare space right now. Today they're stocked in Ulta and Sephora Canada and count Gigi Hadid as a superfan. Learn how Bunny's building her beauty business in this episode of Female Founder World.