Elaine Rau was stuck in a position where she had no job and no career opportunities on the horizon. Desperate to turn her situation around, Elaine spent her last bit of savings, $12.18 to be exact, to start a new blog at LadyBossBlogger.com. Since that time, the LadyBossBlogger has garnered an audience of over 150,000 loyal readers in under two years. The blog helps female entrepreneurs learn how to start, grow and scale their own online businesses and blogs. As a top blogger, Elaine has been featured in Huff Post and over 200 websites, magazines, books and blogs.
You have a pretty incredible story and I want people to check it out on LadyBossBlogger because we can’t do it justice in this quick interview. In short, your blog came out of a season of loss and living in a foreign country where you didn’t speak the language. Now you now have this successful brand and focus on helping women learn how they can leave their jobs and live life on their own terms. Can you give us a quick summary of some of the steps you took over those two years of building your brand?
Yeah! So honestly before I didn’t even want to create a brand it was based on circumstance. But basically what I did was I started the blog because I wanted to learn about who I wanted to become and in my circumstance, you know when I was living in a developing country, in Honduras, and basically I wanted to learn how to become a lady boss and I wanted to learn how to be a blogger. so
I named it ladybossblogger. And I started reaching out to women who inspired and were an interest to me and what they were doing and basically I learned everything from my own blog. So I was an avid reader of my own blog. And so everything I posted was actually about other people. So it was a brand that highlighted other women and their accomplishments, their achievements and in so doing – in a sense I accidentally built my own brand and in so doing I kind of developed that into my own thing and grew it from there. Bus basically I started the blog. I paid twelve dollars and eighteen cents for it and I just started blogging every single day.
I think consistency is what kind of grew it so fast, so quickly because number one I worked on it from six am to midnight every single day. I learned the technicalities, I learned the ins and out, I had no idea what I was doing but I needed to give myself a purpose to wake up in the morning honestly and that’s what I did. Consistency, yeah so I posted every day at six pm central time and so people started getting used to that and it’s been two years now. Actually I just had my second year anniversary like a month ago, so yeah. And I’m still doing that.
At what point in your journey did you venture into influencer marketing?
I think it came really naturally. I didn’t really realize I was an influencer until people started calling me that and I was like okay sure, you know. But I think – I guess even from the very start – I mean every single post on the blog is a sponsored post. So I was in a sense doing it without realizing what I was doing and what it was necessarily called. Because I feel influencer started kind of when I started, right. Would you agree? I mean I don’t really know. I think it’s pretty new. I mean the concept is really old but the whole “influencer marketing” thing is quite new and so I feel like I was doing the similar concepts without realizing what I was doing and so, yeah.
What has been your favorite brand partnership to-date?
Oh that’s really hard. I feel like they are all so different in what they require from you or what they want from you, different things like that. Oh man. I really like doing – actually I’m wearing, okay let me show you, I’m wearing these pants. Can you see? So basically these pants are designed by a woman who used to be in – escaped the world of trafficking and now they make pants and create these fashionable products. it’s called Sudara.
But basically they are created by a woman in India who basically have new jobs now and they sell these jogger pants. They basically create pajamas and different things like that, like comfortable clothing all for women. Honestly I’ve been wearing these pants every single day for the past week because they are so comfortable. So I feel like I would definitely say these pants just because – I mean it’s just such a part of my normal lifestyle, you know, just the fact that I’m wearing them randomly. And on my Instagram you’ll see that I posted a few times about it too, so yeah.
There are a lot of resources out there that discuss work-life balance, so how do you differentiate between your personal and professional brand and stay balanced?
First off I love that you said there is a personal brand and a professional brand because I feel that’s in essence is very important. I started my professional brand but then people were like- there was like conspiracy theories like who is ladybossblogger so I was like alright let me start a personal brand so people don’t get the wrong concept here. I feel like my personal brand is just Elaine Rau and I basically talk about my everyday life. Like, you know, what it’s like to be a full time blogger or what I do every day, you know, just different things that I’m doing.. And then for my personal brand – I mean sorry professional brand you know, talking obviously about blogging, about marketing techniques, about business, about startup techniques, about whatever it is butt I think keeping them separate but also having a unifying factor in the sense of yes I’m doing this every day therefore what are the little things in life – I feel like for me it’s just very natural to share.
I’m literally like an open book , you know, like if this is how I’m feeling this is how I’m feeling and it’s like right there. I feel like for me it’s easy to be online every single day and just posting about my everyday life because that’s what I normally do anyways. Plus I have a lot of friends- my family is from Taiwan and a lot of my friends are just all over the world. So it’s easy for me to like almost in this essence like stay in contact with them or have them know what’s going on without having to tell them and so when I post they’re like “oh so this is what she’s up to okay.” so, you know, like online communication so to speak.
And then obviously followers who I don’t know can also check out what I’m doing. The other day I had met this – I used to be in the wedding industry and fashion and I did little bit of modeling and I met this photographer and he was following me on Instagram and his father actually over the last year and he was just getting inspiration from my Instagram every single day.. And he said that it’s really been helping him go through this loss. And I was like Wow and he was like can we meet up for coffee. I would just love to interact with you again. You’re such an inspiration to me and I was like sure! So I feel like little things you do help inspire and help motivate people every day that’s both basically the ultimate brand of my personal and the professional brand and that’s the ultimate goal.
One of your quotes on Instagram is “You become your habits, make sure your habits aid you in your progress.” Can you tell us some of your habits that aid you in your progress, either personally or professionally?
Yeah! Great question. I feel for me I like to have things in templates. S basically everything is pretty structured. So basically when I structure something I just do it over and over again. So like if you notice on my blog post everything is like – for example the interview blog post there’s always five photos and they’re always like the first one is always them, the second one is their promotion the third one is their quote, the fourth one is their advice, and the fifth one is the wrap up of what they talk about and what they do. So every single thing, even if you look at my Instagram, my personal Instagram is always a quote and a photo of what I’m doing that day and then my professional one is always whatever corresponds to what is posted on the blog, you know, it gets posted on my Instagram. And I use two templates on there.
One is the pink one which is just my blog post, the most simple thing ever. Just my blog post literally laid out and then the second one is when I have an interview post just their quote along with their photo that’s it. So like every single thing that I produce and I feel like that also goes with branding in the sense of having just a very consistent brand. When people see my stuff on their feed they’re like “oh yeah that’s ladybossblogger”, you know, because it’s very visually recognizable. So I feel like that’s why people like it and also when brands reach out to you they know exactly what to expect. They’re not like “oh what’s she going to come up with now” ,you know, it’s like no you know.
Another one of your quotes is “Never underestimate the power of chocolate” – wait, wrong one! It’s actually “You will never know how strong you are until you reach a point where being strong is the only choice you have.” As someone who built a very successful blog in a season of loss, do you have any advice for influencers who are struggling at the moment and don’t know how to move forward?
My motto is “do it scared and do it now”. So basically like giving an example of- well let’s give an example of confidence. So six months ago this me being on camera and me being in front would never happen. It just wasn’t – okay so during Christmas three people reached out to me they were just like “hey we’d love to interview you and do a podcast” so like a recorded podcast. And I was like you know what it’s Christmas I have zero excuse, I’m on vacation let’s do this. So basically I booked all three in one time so I couldn’t escape. They were one after another, one hour each, and so I got my hair done so I couldn’t say that I wasn’t ready.
The first one I was literally shaking, my voice was trembling, [and] my hands were down here [off camera shaking] but you couldn’t see it. The second one my voice was still trembling but hands stopped shaking and by the third one I was like alright I got this and I was like , you know what, sorry to the first person who I talked to because it was just terrible but I did it scared And I feel like a lot of times people think that they have to do it confidently but you don’t build confidence until you do it scared, until you complete it. Confidence is a muscle just like anything else. Habits are a muscle you train those by doing something every single day. And so like just doing it every single day, you know, accepting saying yes and doing it. So basically when I started the blog and, you know, just having – when I was living Honduras.
I mean the reason I moved down there was because my husband’s brother was murdered but while we were down there his nephew was murdered, a kid he was guardian for, his brother’s best friend, and another kid literally in one year and Honduras, outside of war, it’s like the number one murder capital of the world. So basically living in that environment and doing it I feel like – just realizing that life is so short and right now we are living in such an incredible time of growth and expansive that like if you don’t jump right now and do it right now like what are you doing, what are you waiting for. So being in that just motivated me to do something like live the way you want to live because you never know. Tomorrow I may get in a car accident who knows you know what I mean. Number one I’d say do it scared, do it now, [and] that’s it.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the voice behind many of the Intellifluence tutorial videos (for better or worse).