To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact


Build Awareness

Sara Blakely

Lesson time 21:39 min

Spanx became the brand it is today by creating a product women love and share by word of mouth. Sara encourages you to lead with your origin story and create buzz through creative marketing tactics.

Sara Blakely
Teaches Self-Made Entrepreneurship
Spanx founder Sara Blakely teaches you bootstrapping tactics and her approach to inventing, selling, and marketing products that consumers love.


[MUSIC PLAYING] SARA BLAKELY: So how do you build a brand? There are so many elements of it to consider. You need to have the right packaging and the right way that you bring it out into the world and showcase it. SPANX is 20 years old. And the first 16 years, we never advertised. It was completely a word-of-mouth brand. And it just started to take on its own energy. [MUSIC PLAYING] When you're first starting your business, there's two ways to get awareness and advertising. There's organic, and then there's paid. And you're going to need to be as creative as you can in getting as much of the organic press and advertising that you can. A lot of people do hire PR firms. I chose to keep it in-house, and it was one of my very first hires at SPANX. And the reason being is that I always put myself in the other person's shoes when I'm making decisions. So if I was on the receiving end, and I worked at a magazine, I think, would I rather receive a call from someone who is paid to represent someone and calls me for five other brands, or would I rather receive a call from someone who's like, I work for this company, this is amazing, we eat, sleep, and breathe it, and this is why it's great? And that's how I always answer that question. So it just made more sense to me from if I were her and I got the call, or if I was him and got the call, what would make me pause and maybe be more willing to write about it? And that always just felt more authentic. So that's the route I took. And they completely called and evangelized the brand, the new products, every day to the radio channels, to television shows, to the media, to print, to newspaper. They were constantly trying to get me opportunities to be on camera or to be able to speak about it. Because I was storytelling, and because I was being vulnerable with the world, and flashing my own SPANX, and showing my own butt in these before and after pictures, and being very honest that this is me, and this is what's going on, it kind of created a trend of women everywhere flashing SPANX. And it became this phenomena of women at parties, showers, I mean, I laugh now and say, I can't go anywhere without getting flashed. My husband says it's a huge benefit of being married to me because he's always standing next to me, and some woman's like, whoo, Sara, or opening up their shirt and saying, the bra! So but, but that all happened because I used humor, and I made it fun, a category that no one-- before SPANX, no one ever flashed their undergarment. It was like, no one talked about it. It just created this energy that took on a life of its own. We got so much emotional investment in what we were offering consumers that they wanted to evangelize our own brand. And they became our PR and marketing advertising arm of our company. It was women sharing it with other women. And this is the key-- storytell. Lead with story. So the story of SPANX and the why this girl did this and why did she c...

About the Instructor

With little more than an idea and a drive to find her way, Sara Blakely went from selling fax machines door-to-door to becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire in 2012. Now the inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Spanx teaches you to open doors and close deals. Learn Sara’s customer-first approach and her tactics for prototyping, branding and building awareness, and bootstrapping your way to success.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Fantastic course, thoroughly enjoyed this one and learnt a lot from it. Great content

Incredible class! Thank you Sara for sharing your journey!

It gave me back hope and courage..... and gave tons of useful information- Bravo Sarah !

Loved this. Learned so much about persevering, innovating.



Great class, but it should be more illustrative, like showing their packages

Jorge G.

"You're the owner of this company, and you don't have anything better to do?" [Like me riding a yacht? How lame!] LOL

Banhid B.

Such candor, so much passion and incredible advices - enjoying every bit of this Masterclass

Yue W.

Oh my God. Sara blows my mind with her wisdom and passion!!! Thank you so much!

Lush L.

my only wish with these Masterclasses, is that there is an 'active steps' workbook rather than a 'magazine style' workbook so that you can actively take all this knowledge and put it into practice

Finn Y.

Revealing herself to be quite a polymath, a very broad woman. Weaving resilience, comedy, business, and entrepreneurial smarts. Many different things have gone into SPANX. Wow!

Hannan H.

I`m loving the classes, I get a lot from it, the problem is that I still can´t find the right product I want to sell... I want to own a business, and invent something, but I still dont find anything that I consider it´s going to help other people.

Anita G.

Sara, I enjoy your class! You seem like a "real" person. I appreciate the comments about being vulnerable and using humor.

Gerard A.

Thanks for this amazing course. Selling is very intimidating for me but i'm working on overcoming my fears. I joined a Toastmaster club this year just to improve that skill set.

Helena F.

Hey Sara, I am absolutely loving your lesson. I don't want it to end. Thanks for being so honest, and for sharing the good and bad bits. No filter. Big thanks from a 26 yr old entrepreneur from Spain (& Spanx fan!)