Elaine Rau, founder of LadyBossBlogger.com, has garnered a massive online audience of 170,000+ followers across all her social media channels in under 3 years. It's an online platform and blog that helps entrepreneurs learn how to start, grow and scale their own online businesses. She loves getting out from being her blog to speak to conferences and colleges about blogging, social media, and influencers. Elaine has been featured in 200+ magazines, books, and publications is an online influencer.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I started my career in the wedding industry and climbed the corporate ladder, but ended up becoming an entrepreneur instead. I never had any aspirations to start my own business, instead my circumstances forced me to.
What inspired you to start your business?
I had just quit my job and moved to Honduras because my brother-in-law was murdered. In all honesty, I wasn't trying to start a business, I was just desperate and needed a purpose to get out of bed, which is why I started blogging.
Where is your business based?
Chicago, but everyone on my team works remotely.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
I bought my blog domain, created a new email account specifically for business and claimed my new brand's name on all the important social media channels.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Social media, email marketing and word of mouth. I use social media to share my blog posts and email marketing to nurture the relationship with my readers, which leads them to start talking about my business to their friends and they either become 1) loyal followers 2) customers 3) or interns and the cycle continues.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Deciding what direction to take my brand. I try things out for a few months and if it's working I continue, if not, I pivot. For example, I used to only post interviews on my blog but people kept asking me about guest blogging opportunities so I decided to open that up for a bit to see if it would take off and it did so I continued.
How do you stay focused?
I change up my environment. I work at a different coffee shop or take a month long trip someplace because in order for me to stay focused, I need different creative stimuli.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
Most people spend months and even years figuring out how to make money blogging, it took me a week to start making an income on my blog and only a year for it to sustain me full-time... I teach everything I know in my courses, I don't hold back which my students have all told me that they really appreciate. Also I give a TON of stuff away for free to people on my email list.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Email marketing. If you don't know what that means, check out my Start And Monetize Your Email List course. OR sign up for one of the following free webinars according to your current status to learn more:
Get Your First 1,000 Subscribers – Beginner
Earn Your First Dollar – Beginner/Intermediate
Email Copy-writing Tips – Beginner/Intermediate
Make More Sales With Funnels – Expert
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
The only difference between those that succeed and those that don't is that they didn't give up.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
I couldn't do business without my handy social media schedulers:
SmarterQueue – for growing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn on autopilot. I have my content on a 90-day loop and haven't touched my social media for over a year, yet it looks like I'm always online.
Tailwind – for growing Pinterest on autopilot, also this is the only scheduler that Pinterest has approved. Don't use anything else seriously, I would know, my first account was shut down.
Planoly – for growing your Instagram and to visually plan out your feed. Additionally, it’s one of the few Instagram-approved schedulers out there.
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
Teachable – this is the platform that I host my courses on.
FreshBooks – great way to track your income, expenses and send your invoices all in one place.
ConvertKit – this is my email marketing platform.
Who is your business role model? Why?
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, she taught me everything I know about affiliate marketing and helped me take my business to the next level through her courses.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
Get more speaking gigs!
How do you balance work with life?
I don't say yes to everything, in fact I say NO a LOT. I don't cramp my schedule full of responsibilities and make sure to take weekends off to do something fun.
How can our readers connect with you?