Even as a solopreneur, you can’t do it all on your own. There are only so many hours and so much energy in a day. This entrepreneur of LadyBossBlogger is bursting with energy, but that’s not exactly her secret to success.
When she hit the scenes two years ago, her rapid growth came as a surprise. She was still prepared and kept everything under control. How did she do it? Through consistency and by mastering the art of delegation.
In this episode, Elaine Rau tells exactly how she went from the wedding industry to thriving entrepreneurship with a successful blog. Plus, she schools us on how to add influencer marketing as a revenue stream!
•Starting a Money-Making Blog
•Preparing for Rapid Success
•Branding and Brand Identity
For Female Entrepreneurs + Bloggers
Danielle: Welcome back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast. I’m Danielle Towner, your host and today we have with us Elaine Rau. And she is the founder of LadyBossBlogger. She helps female entrepreneurs grow their business and she helps online bloggers get started.
And she started her business — was it one or two years ago.
Elaine: It’s two years now.
Danielle: Two years now. And she took off immediately and she’s been soaring ever since, and so she has some great information for you if you’re wanting to break into the industry or if you’re at a point where you’re wondering how you want to take off and grow your own. This going to be a phenomenal interview. I already know it. So, welcome with us Elaine.
Elaine: Thank you so much for having me on hear.
How Elaine Rau Started a Money-Making Blog
Danielle: Thank you for coming on. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. So, we’re gonna go ahead and get started. Now, as I already mentioned, you took off very fast and you have a very unique business model as a blogger. So, did this rapid growth, did it come as a surprise for you or was it something that you planned out and it happened exactly as you planned?
Elaine: [laughter] Honestly, it was complete surprise. It was — first off, I didn’t even want to be a blogger starting off. I didn’t want to own my own business, and all because I didn’t know that I had the capacity or capability to do so, honestly. I was in the wedding industry before this and I thought that was where I was going to stay. That’s where I got all the certifications, all these different things and I was working my career toward the wedding industry. But it wasn’t until my fiance called from overseas and told me that his brother had just been murdered, then I told my boss and I asked if I could go down there and be with his brother — be with his family– and when he said no, I realized that I had to quit. So, that’s kind of like the shift of me going from the wedding industry into blogging.
So, basically I moved down to Central America and it was a third world country, Honduras. And my wedding industry skills didn’t translate, my sales skills — because I was the national wedding sales manager — they didn’t translate either because I didn’t speak Spanish. So, I basically had to reinvent myself and re-come up with something that number one, I could be good at, number two, I could be passionate about and number 3, basically a way to make money online. And actually, when I started my blog, I didn’t even realized that you could make money blogging. Because actually, as a hobby or as a pass time when I was the national wedding sales manager, I actually interned for this woman. She had this online magazine, and so every time I had a little bit of time off, I would go to these press events and basically do press for her. So, it wasn’t necessarily to write about it because I was a terrible writer. But it was actually just to attend these events and network. They were all very exclusive events too with celebrities and different things like that. Like Lauren Conrad and just all sorts of different things. So that was kind of my view into blogging and what it could potentially be, but the blogger, she had like millions of followers but she wasn’t making a penny on it either.
Elaine: And so, it has since been shut down — her online magazine, unfortunately,. But I really, when I was down in Honduras, I wanted that feeling back. Working for that magazine was like my release. My stress relief, and so I related stress relief to blogging. And so that’s why I wanted to start a blog in order to, I don’t know, find happiness again, basically. And how I chose my topic was I wanted to become myself a LadyBoss and I wanted to become a blogger, but I had no idea how to do that.
And so I named it LadyBossBlogger and I started interviewing women that inspired me and I started reaching out to them because; number one, I was lonely and I needed someone to talk to and not in Spanish and number two, I knew I needed to learn. And number 3, I actually couldn’t find a platform that did all of these things that I was looking for.
I think almost even just two years ago, the online space, women empowerment and business were actually pretty early in their stages. There was stuff out there, but maybe I just didn’t search hard enough. I’m glad I didn’t, I guess [laughter] because then I created a platform to help myself, and in turn it helped so many other people. And I realize after just sharing, my very brand new baby blog was getting hundreds of shares on these interviews. And I was like, “wow, I’m actually creating something of value, not just for myself but for other people as well.
And so, then I decided — I was like, “you know what? I wonder if people would pay me to get interviewed on my blog.” And I mean, I had no idea what’s the typical way of making money blogging. Now, I know it’s affiliate marketing and things like that, but when I started out, as I said I had no idea you could even make money blogging. But I was desperate and I really needed to find a way to make money online. Because in Honduras, a good expat salary is like five hundred bucks a month and that’s extremely good.
Elaine: [laughter] So, I was like okay. I need to find something a little bit more substantial. [laughter]
Danielle: Right [laughter]
Elaine: So, yes. I started charging people to get interviewed on my blog and incredibly, it worked. I have no idea — but yeah, as you said it’s a very unique business model because I think it’s because I just came up with it and it wasn’t something people were doing at the time.
How to Prepare for Takeoff in Business
Danielle: Right. Right. Well, and one of the key things that you said and that’s been the going thing with people — success with people in any business industry is that their focus is on helping others. And like you said, it helps you at the same time and it also empowers you to empower others so that’s a great thing.
Danielle: Now speaking of the growth, I know that a lot of people who don’t expect that kind of growth so fast, sometimes they aren’t prepared for it and their business can kind of run away from them.
Danielle: So, how did you prepare for that growth in terms of the business and in terms of your time and your resource management?
Elaine: Yeah, so actually from day one I’ve had an intern. So, I realize that after being in business that a skill I’ve always had is actually delegation and I’m really good at it
So, from day one, honestly the whole LadyBossBlogger platform is all about collaboration as well. It’s woman supporting woman, collaborating with woman and all those different things. Naturally as having a team of interns is also something that’s very natural as well. And so from day one, I had this intern. She was actually interested in PR and so she spread the word about LadyBossBlogger for me and as she was getting her PR experience. And then, I put up a career tab so people could apply so they could checked out the mission if they were interested. And I got a lot of applicants just through setting up a career page and people wanting to jump on the mission and jump on empowering other women. And so it just kind of — I had a lot of natural helpers along the way, which made it really nice to because honestly, doing it alone really sucks sometimes.
And so I guess number one was interns. Now I have a huge team of interns and honestly, having interns — I used to outsource a lot of stuff, but honestly having interns is so nice. Because you can tell them exactly, “this is the brand, this is how you should do it” and then they do it. Versus outsourcing, you know sometimes they have their own — which is fine, but for my specific purposes, I wanted… My branding is very specific and I like things to be done in a certain way and I’m kind of known for that.
Elaine: So yeah. I guess that’s number one. And number two, I actually invested in — the very, very first thing I ever invested in in the business… well, first off it was the blog domain.
But second off, it was automation tools for social media. So, immediately it was all about pumping out content on the daily without me personally having to be posting it and doing it all myself. Of course, it took a few months to get there and different things like that, but I knew that was a top priority if I wanted to grow and just continue to be — have a presence online.
And so I think those two things; number one, having interns and number two, investing in automation tools helped me manage the growth and helped me also look bigger initially than what it was before.
Danielle: Right. Awesome! Those are some great tips that I know a lot of startups and solopreneurs can use because one of the things that I often hear is that “I’m so — I get so burned out.” And I know those are some great resources they can benefit from.
Elaine: Umhm, and a lot of people ask me where do I get my interns and stuff like that. Number one is just by word-of-mouth. You can just post on social media and be like “hey, I’m looking for interns” and you’ll be surprised by how many people just apply from there. And then, number two, having a career panel. And then, number three, I actually spoke at a college talking about the business and stuff like that and I kind of pitched it to the audience. It was like about five hundred juniors and seniors or something like that.
Danielle: Uh huh
Elaine: And through that whole pitch, I got like a whole team of summer interns and they were all incredible. And they all came from the same school. So, it was really nice to work with them all. I talked to them everyday at nine AM. And regardless where they were in the world, we were able to communicate. So, I would say those are the three ways — the best ways I’ve come across to get interns when you start off.
How Branding and Brand Identity Plays a Role in Online Business Success
Danielle: Awesome! Perfect. Now, people often confuse — well, switching it up to branding now, and I heard you talk about how there’s a certain element to your brand and that’s how people know you. Now people often confuse branding and brand identity. So, speaking a little but on that, what key details should they know about branding and brand identity and how should each of these apply to their overall marketing strategy?
Elaine: Yeah, So branding, I know I kind of use this interchangeably and I guess a lot of people do. Which is why it’s confusing.
But branding is mainly the emotional response that is elicited from your brand such as your mission or how the certain brands that you partner with and there’s like a cohesiveness to that. And brand identity is more like the visual aspect. So, branding emotional, identity visual. Which is why they obviously go hand-in-hand because the visual can elicit the emotional as well.
But, I mean I think the branding aspect of why people like LadyBossBlogger and why they want to be interns is because of the mission. Every single applicant I get, they’re always talking about the mission. And so, it’s something that your brand is known for and something that people can come behind as a way to support you and feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
For LadyBossBlogger, the brands we normally partner with are influenced marketing and different campaigns I do is —- majority of them are supporters. Like they support a non-profit of some sort or partner with something like that. So, that in essence is also a branding element because, like I said it’s a cohesiveness to your brand. And the brand identity I think, because everything is branded pink for LadyBossBlogger.. I get this all the time. People are like “oh, when I’m scrolling through my feed, I always which one are your posts.
Elaine: Because, number one I use templates for everything so everything is literally designed the same. But the content is different. So when they see it, it like a visual cue like, “oh, this is a LadyBossBlogger post”. And then, they’ll check it out because they’re familiar with it. And they know the content’s good, therefore, they’re more likely to go back. They also know that I post every single day.
And I feel like consistency has also helped me garner such a massive audience in such a short amount of time because it’s just been..
I like to say it like this; in a sense of like, when you’re consistently there for someone, they trust you. You’re constantly feeding them information, you’re constantly available. It’s just like a parent and child relationship or a friend and friend. You constantly show up, then automatically you’re already reliable and therefore, they trust you and then, therefore they keep up with you.
Elaine: So, it’s a very simple concept, but a lot of people just don’t stick with the consistency which is what makes their brand suffer. It’s unbelievably hard though to be consistent which is why it’s yeah.. so I would say that’s like the main thing of branding and brand identity.
In regards to the overall marketing strategy is that both of them have to be super, super strong and correlate with one another in order — like for example, if your brand… like my brand is all about women. Maybe it’s kind of cliche, but everything is pink. I just personally really like pink and that and I think it’s a nice pink. So, I like to look at my brand. It makes me happy. [laughter] Like, if I had done it blue, I don’t think I would have enjoyed working with my brand as much.
The design element and the creating things. I don’t know, you know?
Danielle: I’m a fan of pink too, so I totally get it. [laughter]
Elaine: Yeah [laughter]
Danielle: So, do you believe that — the thing now I know is that people need to know you to trust you or that you should be the face of your brand. That’s a lot of advice that people are taking and using in their businesses, but what’s your take on that? Do you believe that personal branding strategy is a good fit for every entrepreneur? And why or why not?
Elaine: In the blogging space, I think it’s absolutely incredible. And obviously, I can only speak from the blogging space, but I think personal branding is huge and so important. Because I realize after having LadyBossBlogger up and it being a faceless brand almost… I wasn’t super in everything. But once I started showing up more, it just started growing even faster. People just started latching on because they realized the who behind the brand. Because with all the interviews I was doing, was literally showcasing the who behind the brand. Because I was personally interested in it, but then LadyBossBlogger itself was faceless.
And so then, I realized a good way to do that is — showing up every single day is very tiresome. It’s a very draining thing, honestly. So, I started my own personal brand so everything you see, you have LadyBossBlogger which the collaboration of the group. It’s not necessarily one person per say because I believe I want to create a lot of LadyBossBloggers. That’s the goal. But then Elaine Rau is my personal brand that correlates with LadyBossBlogger.
But for example, if I do start another brand, like I started a shop, LadyBossBlogger shop. I’m still the brand to that brand, but I’m not innately in it so to speak. So, I think personal branding is huge regardless if you’re an entrepreneur or not. Even for people who are nine to five employees or just employees in general, having a personal brand is basically your resume now. It’s the new resume, so.. even for contracting work, they’ll see your reach, what it is you portray and..
That goes back to your other question in regards to branding. What do you represent? What do you stand for? And so that in essence, people who want to work with you see that and then they’ll be more likely to work with you. Especially if your branding correlates with one another. So, I think it’s huge and I think it’s a very, very smart strategy. And it’s a completely new revenue stream as well.
When I started Elaine Rau and then all the Instagram and Facebook and all that stuff, I became known as this quote on quote influencer and I was like okay let me tap into this. What does this mean? And yeah, it just opened up a brand new revenue stream for me. Because now it wasn’t — I didn’t just post about online business and social media and the topics that were bound within LadyBossBlogger. Now, I could talk about lifestyle, I could talk about travel. I could do all sorts of different things that just opened up a whole new — not can of worms, but just a whole new can of goodness for me to explore! [laughter]
Danielle: Right! [laughter]
Elaine: And for other people and brands to explore too.
And here’s the thing, everybody wants to know the who behind the what. Because we connect with the who first and then we go to the what. So, I think that even behind LadyBossBlogger, it’s my story. How did it start, why did it start and what I believe, which is ultimately why people are attracted to it.
So, long story short, definitely super, super huge yes to personal branding. And I think if you’re not doing it already, you need to start doing it.
Danielle: Right, so good. And you mentioned you broke into the influencer market and that it has been lucrative for you.
How to Break Into Influencer Marketing
Danielle: So, how difficult is it to become an influencer? And then for those who are wanting to get started, what do you suggest as a starting point for them to get into influencer marketing?
Elaine: Yeah, so honestly, this is my definition of an influencer. An influencer is basically someone who has influence or sway over their audience. So, regardless if their audience is two thousand, twenty thousand, two hundred thousand. However big that audience is, or small or whatever, they have the ability to sway their opinions because of the influencer’s opinion on a certain thing.
And how I tell people you should tap into that is basically just start promoting products that they use in the daily. Like I live promoting menstrual cups that I use and have been using for a decade now. And obviously it’s a monthly product, right?
Elaine: Or like daily anti-aging serums or products or devices that I use that I stand by and I love. So basically products that I use daily. And it doesn’t have to necessarily be beauty or whatever it is. It could be in a specific niche like — daily.. whatever it is that you personally use so that way it’s very authentic. Because you’re talking about stuff that you naturally gravitate to because it’s you. You’re just showcasing who you are, what you use and why you use it.
Elaine: It’s pretty straightforward if you think about it. So, honestly I really don’t think it’s that difficult to become an influencer. I think it’s going back to what I said a few questions ago, it’s consistency. Because you can post like once a blue moon and no one’s — you have to be there, which is why it’s hard because it’s hard to show up. And which is why, as you asked before what’s the best way in terms of growth and resource management is honestly automation tools.
So, everything I do — I can create content months in advance and schedule it all out. That’s what I do for all of my channels. So, everything you see that I post daily is created months in advance then scheduled into my content calendar. And then, regurgitated, except for my personal brand. That’s the one thing I do that a little more from day-to-day.
I might post, “oh this is where I’m going daily” or this is — like “I went to this birthday party and this is a quote with me and what I learned at the birthday party or whatever it is. It’s a little but more day-to-day.
But yeah, I think that, yeah just start sharing what it is that you like. And it doesn’t have to be super, super personal or super — products are not that personal. It’s just talking about things that you naturally like. It’s like talking to a friend or a family members and just recommending it because you just love it so much. So, that’s how I would suggest you tap in.
Danielle: Thats awesome! Like you said, the difficult part is the consistency. But that’s good information to know that it’s easy to get into and you don’t have to invest a whole lot of money or go out and get things that you don’t like because it’s easier to talk about things that you like.
Elaine: Right, right! And that’s the whole point, I feel like the influencer marketing and getting free stuff or whatever is great. But there’s a certain way to start that. Obviously, you start with the stuff you already use and then you start testing out new things. And, of course, if you like it promote it. If you don’t, you don’t. Because at that point you have an audience where you can have that sway. If a brand sends you a product, you let them know upfront. Your like, if I like it, I’ll promote it. If I don’t, I’m going to give it a bad review.
Elaine: Or you just don’t give it a review at all. But letting the brand know ahead of time, and that’s why it’s important to know what you stand for in your brand because that limits you to which brands you work with.
Danielle: Right. Cool. Now, you have some courses that go into more depth about influencer marketing and also with starting and growing a blog. So, tell people how they can tap into those resources. And also how they can collaborate with your or get in touch with you to interview for LadyBossBlogger or to guest post for LadyBossBlogger.
Elaine: Yeah, So for the courses, I actually have theee now. One is “How to Start a Money-Making Blog”, two is “How to Make Money as an Influencer” and then three is actually “How to Start and Monetize your Email List”.
And so all those are located in courses.ladybossblogger.com. You can check them all out there. And then, in regards to being interviewed, if you just go to LadyBossBlogger.com. And then on the menu bar, you can click on interview if you want to be interviewed. Click on guest post if you want to guest post. If you want to be an affiliate and win potentially a course, you can do that as well.
Yeah, and because you’re listening to the podcast, if you do all caps LADYBOSS20, you get 20 percent off because of Danielle.
Danielle: Aww.. That’s so cool! Thank you.
Danielle: So, you heard that guys and this has been an awesome interview. I learned some things from you and I know that my guests did too. So, for everyone who’s listening, if you have any more questions for Elaine or for me, there is a voicemail button on this podcast. You can press that button and tell us your question — record your question and we’ll get back with you with an answer. Other than that, thank you for listening and as I always say, “Dream Until Your Dreams Come True”.
Elaine: I love that saying. [laughter] Thanks for much for having me Danielle. This was awesome.
Danielle: Thank you.