How to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity as a Blogger | MiloTree

In today’s episode, I sat down with Brooke Riley, the creative force behind the DIY blog Re-Fabbed, and the founder of Re-Fabbed Boutique, to delve into the principles of entrepreneurship and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

The Power of Social Media and Personal Connection

One of the pivotal moments in Brooke’s journey was her decision to leverage Facebook live video content to connect with her audience. This strategic move allowed her to foster strong relationships with her followers, which translated into increased engagement and growth for her blog. It’s a testament to the importance of authenticity and energy in every interaction, a principle that Brooke holds dear.

How to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity as a Blogger | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Show Notes:

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Diversifying into E-Commerce with Re-Fab Boutique

As Brooke’s blog audience grew, so did their interest in her personal style. This unexpected demand led her to explore the world of e-commerce with Re-Fab Boutique. Starting with dropshipping, Brooke faced the challenges of long shipping times and logistical hurdles, but her transparency and authenticity won over her audience, leading to impressive sales.

Embracing Imperfection and Taking Risks

Throughout our conversation, Brooke emphasizes the importance of embracing imperfection and the willingness to take calculated risks. She shares her transition from dropshipping to managing inventory and the mindset shift required to start small and scale based on customer feedback and demand.

Overcoming the Fear of Imperfection

A common struggle for many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, is the fear of imperfection. Brooke and I discuss the need to overcome this fear and the power of taking action, even when things seem messy or unconventional. Brooke’s approach to launching her coaching group and various businesses without waiting for the perfect timing is a powerful example of this principle in action.

The Joy of Serving and Connecting with Your Audience

Brooke also highlights the significance of serving and connecting with your audience. She urges entrepreneurs to personalize their approach, understand their community, and find joy in serving others. This, she believes, is the foundation for building authentic relationships and successful businesses.

Consistency, Authenticity, and Adaptability

Our discussion also touched on the challenges of maintaining consistency and the pressure to see immediate results. Brooke acknowledges the struggles but encourages entrepreneurs to stay committed to showing up consistently and focusing on the long-term impact of their efforts.

The Unpredictability of Online Traction

Brooke shares her experience of a two-year-old post suddenly going viral, reminding us of the unpredictable nature of online traction. She advises treating each viewer or customer as the most important person, as this can lead to exponential growth over time.

The Basic Principles of Entrepreneurship: A Parallel to Motherhood

Drawing a parallel between the challenges of building a business and the early stages of motherhood, I emphasize the need to prepare for difficulties, seek feedback, and be open to making adjustments. Both Brooke and I stress the importance of consistency and the willingness to adapt and pivot when necessary.

Seeking Feedback and Building Relationships

Brooke discusses the need for self-assessment and the willingness to change strategies if the current approach is not yielding results. We both underscore the value of seeking feedback, being open to constructive criticism, and building relationships within the business community.

Embracing Challenges and Uncertainties

In closing, I encourage entrepreneurs to embrace the challenges and uncertainties of business. Through MiloTreeCart, I offer support and guidance, emphasizing the normalcy of feeling uncertain and the potential for growth through experimentation and learning from others.

An Invitation to Connect

I invite you to connect with me for further assistance and reassurance on your entrepreneurial journey. Brooke Riley and I share our experiences and insights to empower you to navigate the complexities of these simple business and entrepreneurship principles, and I’m here to support you every step of the way.

Remember, the path to success is paved with authenticity, service, perseverance, and the courage to embrace imperfection. Join us in celebrating these universal principles of entrepreneurship and take bold steps towards your dreams.

Other Related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes You’ll Enjoy:

MiloTreeCart, the Best Tool for Non-Techies to Sell Digital Products

I also want to introduce you to the MiloTreeCart, a tool designed for non-techies to sell digital products easily. It comes with features like fill-in-the-blank sales pages, check-out pages, a sales dashboard, upsells, and customer support. MiloTreeCart is currently available for a lifetime deal of $349 or three easy installments of $116.33.

How to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity as a Blogger | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Transcript: #323 How to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity as a Blogger

Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – Hi, I’m Jillian, welcome to a brand new episode of the Blogger Genius podcast. It has been another interesting week. I talked to a blogger who has been blogging for over ten years. He’s done everything right. He was making really good money with Mediavine and because of the newest Google update, he lost 70% of his traffic. He didn’t think that he could be selling any digital products, but got on a call with me. I showed him how to think about what people would buy from him using my six purchasing buckets that I talk about a lot. He got really excited and now he’s starting his digital product journey. I believe with AI and all the changes that are happening right now, we are moving as bloggers from an information economy to a people focused economy. This means taking your knowledge and expertise and yes, having your blog where you’re able to share that, but packaging up your solutions as products and services and selling them. If you want to get on a call with me to talk about this, go to, our homepage.

Jillian Leslie (00:01:17) – You’ll see where you can sign up on my calendar. It’s your time to start diversifying your income and future proofing your business again. Come talk to me. Go to, sign up for a free 20 minute session. I’d love to help you and meet you.

Announcer (00:01:36) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie (00:01:43) – Hey guys, I have a great episode for you today. I’m interviewing my friend Brooke Riley, who is the blogger behind the DIY blog Re-Fabbed, the founder of Re-Fabbed Boutique. We’re going to talk about all of this. This is her second appearance on the show, and what we are talking about is how if you want to grow your blog, you got to get in the muck. You got to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be a mess. And by the way, Brooke is one of the most successful bloggers slash online entrepreneurs that I know. Brooke is so honest about what the entrepreneurial journey really looks like. I think this is such a powerful mindset episode, and her big advice is you’ve got to just leave.

Jillian Leslie (00:02:36) – Especially today when I am hearing bloggers feel really nervous anxious. I think that Brooke normalizes that anxiety and you’ll recognize this is just the path you signed up for. So without further delay, here is my interview with Brooke Riley. Brooke, welcome back to the Blogger Genius podcast.

Brooke Riley (00:03:01) – I’m so happy to be here. Jillian, thank you for having me.

Jillian Leslie (00:03:04) – It’s so fun to see your face after so long and to just catch up. I follow you on social media so I see what you’re doing, but I can’t wait to just hear you talk about it. So for the people, I will link to our first episode, which by the way, was pre-COVID, like a whole different lifetime ago.

Brooke Riley (00:03:24) – Long time.

Jillian Leslie (00:03:25) – Ago. But you were back then planting the seeds that I feel like now have really blossomed. So would you start like briefly how you started and how you came up with all these different ideas for businesses and where you are today?

Brooke Riley (00:03:44) – Yes, and I will try to be as brief as I can on this because I know,, but nine years ago I started rehabbed,, which was a DIY decorating blog.

Brooke Riley (00:03:56) – I started that because, long story short, I was in the rat race of the corporate world, was miserable, had a health scare where I was in the neuro ICU from a mini stroke. Knew God was calling me to something more, listen to his voice and, was obedient to that and realized that I had a passion and a talent for something that I could turn into a business and get myself out of that rat race and home with my family and have less stress and all those things. So even though at the beginning I was making no money, which I always want people to realize, I didn’t just leave corporate world, you know, swimming in dollar bills, you know, that was not how it was at all. But I knew that I had a passion for what I was doing. I had started my DIY decorating blog, rehabbed six months before leaving the corporate world. We prayed about it. My husband and I were like, you know, let’s just take this leap and see where it can go, where you can focus on it full time.

Brooke Riley (00:04:59) – He had a good job where he could,, support us financially. For me to do that, which was a huge blessing that cannot be discounted in this story. But I was able to do that, and I came home and just literally poured my heart and soul into that blog. That’s where it all started, was the blog. You know,, I just shared decorating projects. I shared DIY furniture, makeovers, a little bit of life. It was always lifestyle too. I always opened it to that. And then, you know, like I said, that was nine years ago. And through the years as that has progressed and grown,, on social media, I started my social media Facebook account. It was really only Facebook at the time. Started that the same day I started my blog, both of them at zero and just like, let’s do this. And so as I was growing both areas, they were kind of cross-pollinating and helping each other. And when live video was introduced on Facebook and I don’t remember what year I was like 2017, maybe that that I did my first one.

Brooke Riley (00:06:04) – I in fact, I know it was 2017 into 2017. I’d had my blog and been writing and and active on Facebook with writing for two and a half years. But when live video was introduced and I decided to do it, the game changed. And and I’ve been rolling with that ever since. Video changed everything,, because I was able to connect with the people that much more, I was able to one on one face to face, interact with them and create relationships. And so through that, you know, my blog started just growing because when people knew me, they wanted to read what I was saying. They could hear me in my writing because they knew me, and it just changed that whole game. So the blog, you know, blossomed even more. And then,, in year 2018 when when the blog was three years old, because of live video and then being able to see what I look like and how I dress and whatever,, people started asking a lot of questions about what I was wearing, what what earrings I was wearing, you know, all this stuff.

Brooke Riley (00:07:08) – And I’m like, this is so odd. They’re not even paying attention to my craft or whatever. They’re, like, wanting to know about my clothes. I found it really odd., but I listened to that for several months, and finally I was like, okay, there’s a need here, and I can serve them by giving them clothing and jewelry that I love, that I can pass along to them, which is what created the store. And all this is like little nut shells of what happened. Obviously, there’s a lot of thought and preparation in that, but the whole key there was listening to my audience. I heard them saying they wanted something I had nothing to give them. I didn’t even have affiliate links for this stuff. I mean, I had nothing I could provide them with., except, well, I got it last year at such and such and they won’t be able to find it, so it was not. Serving them in any way. And so I started the store Re-Fabbed Boutique three years in 2018.

Brooke Riley (00:08:03) – And so, you know, at the time of us recording this, it’s almost six years old. And then my and then revamped as a whole is is nine years old. So the clothing part came into existence and the whole women’s,, accessories and shoes and all of that. And that has just skyrocketed because listening to your people, like, everybody needs to hear that, listen to your people, they will tell you what they want every time.

Jillian Leslie (00:08:30) – What I’m hearing, though, is that you initially were going like, wait a minute. No, no, no, you’re not supposed to be asking about my earrings. I’m doing this craft for you. And it’s like, I feel like where we all struggle because we’ve faced the same thing is going, no, no, no, guys, you’re not following the directions. Like the direction. This is the craft. Like, no, no, no, it’s not about the earrings. And then we have to re like, train our thinking to say, oh my God, this is a whole part of a business I could build that I didn’t think could exist, that I don’t know how to start.

Jillian Leslie (00:09:08) – But if people keep saying something to you, like instead of going, no, no, no, guys, you’re like losing the plot here. Go. Maybe there’s a different plot.

Speaker 4 (00:09:18) – . Oh yeah.

Brooke Riley (00:09:19) – You are so right on that. And that’s, that’s an exciting part because I was comfortable in the other thing. I knew what I was doing. I, you know, I was in my comfort zone. I was rolling through, I had no idea about. Wholesale retail, starting a store. I’m like, well, this is totally, you know, and I had no at the beginning, no desire to even do that. And I’m just like, is this well, now I love it and it’s a part. And and I thought, that’s too far opposite of what I’m doing. Like, do those two even go together? Is it going to be like she’s trying to make money? I mean, of course you’re always trying to make money in business, but I’m just like, is it going to coincide good, or is this just going to be like two polar opposite things? Well, what I found was my audience that I’ve been building, that I had been nurturing and that, you know, had loved me and trusted me.

Brooke Riley (00:10:10) – They they were the same people, like they were the same people that enjoyed watching me decorate. And half of them don’t even decorate or don’t even crafts. They enjoyed me as what I found out, which also blew my mind. So yeah, they did want to see what I was doing on the other side. They wanted to see what clothes we were selling, what jewelry we had, what cute shoes, what cute bags. And so those those that community was one, as I found out, which was amazing. And, you know, over time, you know, after about probably 6 or 8 months of running the store and trying to get things like we needed it and, and in a better place because we were brand new, and it was growing faster than we even knew how to handle it., we started a separate Facebook page that was specifically for the boutique. It was all running on one for a while, and that that was not going to work. But we started that.

Brooke Riley (00:11:05) – And then, you know, now we’ve built another audience, but a lot of that audience still merges into both, like they’re still very, very, very connected. And I’m still the face of that. And so that’s been an amazing thing to watch transpire over the years and watch that grow. We’re in the process of building an 18,000 square foot warehouse about a mile from my house., it was supposed to be done a year ago. But you know how things are these days. So one of these days it’s going to be done. And that’s just sometimes I drive by there and I just look and I’m like. This just blows my mind because it it sounds cliche or whatever. I don’t really care how it sounds. It’s the truth. I just listened to the people. Like that is all. I didn’t have this idea. I’m going to start a story today. I’m going to do all this, I didn’t I, I was resistant to it.

Jillian Leslie (00:11:59) – Question when you said, is this crazy? People are asking about my earrings.

Jillian Leslie (00:12:05) – How did you start? And the reason I ask that is because what I say a lot is figure out what people are saying to you, or you have a hypothesis, let’s say your audience, you have an audience, or they’re not talking to you like they might with you, Brooke showing up live, but you test it in the smallest, cheapest, easiest, most kind of down and dirty way. I find that when I’m talking about, for example, our product military cart, which enables creators, bloggers to sell digital products, they have this perception of what their business is going to look like five years down the road. And they need all of that in place today when they’ve tested nothing. So talk to me about when you got this idea. People are saying earrings, shoes, sweaters, and you’re like, whoa, how did you say, well, we should test to see if this is real.

Brooke Riley (00:13:11) – So I have a course, and I wasn’t even going to mention the course on here, but,, just if you want to look it up, it’s called just jump.

Brooke Riley (00:13:19) – But the whole point of that course is people taking their passion and turning it into a business and learning how to channel that in, into what that looks like, and then just jumping and doing it. That’s the whole point. So what you said, you just got to jump. You don’t have to know where you’re going to land. You don’t have to know any of that. You definitely don’t need to know where you’re going to walk after you land like you. You just have to jump., and so, exactly like you said when I was hearing this and I’m like, what? I don’t even know what to do, and I don’t want to go all in and open some big store and have no idea. So what I did and and I’m not even saying I recommend doing this. This is just this is an example of exactly what you just said. Taking an idea, testing it out, making sure you’re you’re right and you’re thinking that this is what they really want and making sure they do before you take those next steps to see what can happen.

Brooke Riley (00:14:16) – And I literally when I was like, okay, I’m going through with this, I’m going to I’m going to test this. We did dropshipping., that’s what we did. And I didn’t know I didn’t have room. We were living. Listen, I need to know, can you.

Jillian Leslie (00:14:30) – Explain what is dropshipping?

Brooke Riley (00:14:32) – Yes, what? I’m about to explain that for sure, because I didn’t know at the time either. And so I know there’s a lot of people listening that won’t know what that is. When you don’t have room for inventory or you don’t want to have inventory on hand, then there’s a lot of different ways you can go about it. But dropshipping is,, allowing a third party to ship your products to you. So you’ve got a website, you’ve got products on there. When somebody buys that, it ships directly from the manufacturer or another third party. You never have to touch it., and then it just goes directly to them and you’re just the, the one facilitating it all in a nutshell.

Brooke Riley (00:15:16) – We had no place we were living in a single, wide mobile home while we were building our house. We had just moved from,, a house out onto our land. We had this single wide mobile home with two kids and us and running a business and zero room. And so it was not feasible at all for us to have inventory at that time. So me starting a store literally made no sense. But but, you know, I felt like this was this was what I was being called to do. And so we just started dropship and say, well, or people even wanting the stuff I’m showing, and I would get it in,, if I ordered stuff for myself. It was coming in from overseas at the time. Everybody knew that it was totally transparent on our website, and it even said, and, Jillian, you’re going to just think this is crazy because this just shows if people want it, they will buy it., it said on my website could take 5 to 6 weeks per item because we’re talking dropshipping from there in the Amazon days that nobody wants to wait 5 to 6 weeks.

Brooke Riley (00:16:24) – You don’t even want to wait 5 to 6 days. So I was transparent, told them, look, I’m just trying this out. This stuff takes a while to get here, whatever. And I did six figures within five months, six figures on that dropshipping store. Within five months, people knowing they weren’t getting a fancy package, they were getting. I mean, it looked like it could have a little bomb inside or something. When they got it literally looked. There was nothing pretty about it. Obviously. Now we’ve come a long way. We we, we pride ourselves and all that. But this is the beginning stages. It wasn’t ideal. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t step by step. We knew all these things that we’re going to look like now when we’re a multi seven figure business. But it got started and it let us know the people want this. If they’re willing to wait 5 to 6 weeks for a little top, they’re buying from me. Not as much as they’re buying from what I’m selling, if that makes sense.

Brooke Riley (00:17:28) – And so it was just a no brainer after about five months,, this is working and people do want what we’re selling and but I don’t like dropshipping. I don’t like not having control over it. I don’t like being able to see it, touch it, feel it first. I don’t like waiting 5 to 6 weeks. None of that was what I truly wanted in my business. But I had to go through that just to make sure and test it out before I went all in and was buying wholesale from market and all those places and keeping inventory that this was even worth it. Because like I said, I had no place for inventory. I had a tiny little playroom because I had my kids in the same bedroom in our trailer. And so I moved them out. And that’s where I started putting some inventory. And when we decided to go all in the opposite route and drop dropshipping completely from the platform. And then I made that transition and I just told everybody, hey, this has been great for us to test and see that you all love what we’re doing.

Brooke Riley (00:18:31) – And I just want to thank you for supporting us in that. But this is not ideal for us. I want better quality. I want to make sure that I touch everything. And, you know, because I was transparent from the get go and the excitement that there was when they got their items within like four days, because I was shipping it out from my, from my trailer, just me,, you know, it just always starts small and you can’t think you don’t know what the big picture could even look like, but you just take each step and go with that, so. And do your best with that.

Jillian Leslie (00:19:05) – Here’s my question. You coach people, predominantly women, I’m assuming, on how to start businesses, grow businesses. And I feel like what you just shared is beautiful because of how messy you’re in there. And you’re dropshipping from God knows what country. And you, you’re, you know, like you said, like packages showing up for people and you’re like, oh, I don’t even know.

Jillian Leslie (00:19:32) – It’s got kind of like my you’re associated with this. Like there’s so many things that are messy and weird and you know, all of that. And yet this is the place where I feel like, say, the women in my audience, the men as well, we struggle is trusting ourselves and putting ourselves out there in a slightly embarrassing way. I feel like again, as I was sharing with you, when people come to me and they go, I want to be selling digital products. And I’m like, that’s awesome. And then I tell you, they’ve got this vision of what their future business is going to look like. Like as if you started thinking about the 18,000 square foot warehouse. Right. But I think it is also a way to keep ourselves safe, because if I am like, well, I’ve got to make sure I have this software, I’ve got to make sure I built the warehouse. I can’t get started yet. I haven’t picked my brand colors or my logo or whatever, or I’m working on my course.

Jillian Leslie (00:20:42) – It’s taking two years, but still, when it’s done, it’s going to be great. How do you coach? I feel like we as women struggle with is even more to say I don’t care how bad it looks. Put it out there, go talk about it. Go be authentic. Go say it could take 5 to 6 weeks. How do you get people to do that?

Brooke Riley (00:21:06) – You know, it’s hard for anybody exactly like you said. And I think it it’s men and women both. But I think women definitely struggle with this more from what I’ve seen overall.. Everything you said. 100%. Spot on. True. See it all day, every day in my coaching and just in life with people that just ask me about things.. And in all honesty, it’s such a mindset like it’s just such a mindset shift. It has to take place in your mind before it can ever take place in your actions. And and you know that, like that’s just the way it is. But when I’m coaching and I’m trying to like, get them to see that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Brooke Riley (00:21:50) – It just has to be good enough to be done, like just good enough to get it out there, tweak it after it’s out there, keep working on it after it’s out there. There is so much resistance from people, but if you can get their mind shifted and you can share personal stories of examples like I have, I have personal stories. If I was one of those people that had had everything perfect, and then I put it out there, and now I’m trying to tell them this, that they don’t have to have it perfect. Well, that’s not going to do me any good, but I can share these examples, just like I did. Every single part of every business I’ve ever had was made. Just getting it out there and then trying to work on it as I went through and then tweaking it. So I’m living proof. And when you are living proof of something, then your word speaks volumes because you’ve walked the walk. So when I just, I just share my story like I’m like, guys, listen, I know what I’m talking about here because I’ve done it.

Brooke Riley (00:22:49) – Like, I’m not trying to get you to do something that I haven’t personally done. Even launching my coaching group, I got up one morning, I said, I’m starting a coaching group, and I started it two hours later. Like, that’s how it was. I did not have a sales page. I did not have funnels and email marketing that was going out. I didn’t I didn’t do any of that. Now when I’m launching my coaching group, I have systems that I go by and I, you know, I do all that. When I started, I woke up that morning, I knew I’d been needing to start one. I’m like, today’s the day I’m doing it, and went out and I got 200, 200 members that day because they were ready for it. And all I did was put it out there. Now I worked on it, tweaked it, made it better as time went on, and it’s far better now than it was then. But if I had waited until the right time for any part of my business, I would probably still be sitting here waiting because there’s never a good time.

Brooke Riley (00:23:50) – You just have to do it. And and I can’t say it enough. I get so fired up about that because I see people with so much potential and they won’t just do it. They are letting fear hold them back so much and, you know, their perfectionism holding back so much that they’re never going to be successful because they’re never going to just simply get out there and just do the dang thing and figure it out as they go, and I’m just living proof that if you’ll do that. And put yourself out there and follow your calling and walk in your purpose.

Jillian Leslie (00:24:27) – That’s what I want to ask you because you have faith. You attract Christians to you.. I feel like that. And again like I have faith too, but in my own way. But I feel like you’re this is just looking at you from the outside that your faith has given you the strength to go. This isn’t just about me. This is there’s a bigger plan for me. And I almost feel like people who don’t have faith, if they could tap into that for themselves, that it’s not just about me.

Jillian Leslie (00:25:06) – It’s about, for example, the people I serve and the idea that my calling isn’t just me kind of being in my own neuroses and in my own fears, and what’s my neighbor going to think? Or my mom or what? Like that is playing small, and I feel like you play big, but I feel like part of that is because you feel like you have a higher calling. So I wonder if there’s a way, like it’s already kind of in your mindset to think that way. There is you, Brook. And then there’s you as. As part of something larger. Like, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but how do you get people to internalize that? Because I feel like if there’s one problem that I wish I could solve for the people listening to this podcast, the people who have this dream, this little budding fire inside, but they can’t actualize it. What do you say to those people.

Brooke Riley (00:26:15) – You know exactly like you said, person of faith or not of faith? It’s it’s across the board.

Brooke Riley (00:26:21) – No matter what. You have to realize that none of this is about you. Period. I don’t care if you’re a believer, not what you believe in, whatever that is, just all set aside. Every single one of us has to understand. To me, this is this. This is truly what I believe, that to have a really successful business that’s going to stand the test of time. And I’m going to sound really country when I say this, even though I always sound country., you can’t just hit a lick and then, like, fall back. Like if you’re going to continuously thrive, then it cannot be about you and and but to make people understand and and feel that and truly believe that and walk in that. What I do, I tell them, I tell, and they probably, probably a lot of the people listening have heard this and in different ways. But you have to know your audience. Period. Okay. So you have to know who your audience is, who your customer is.

Brooke Riley (00:27:30) – Once you know them, once you have them figured out, then you connect with them and make relationships with them. Once you have relationships with these people and and you feel like you have connected and you know them. Then what I tell all the people in my coaching group is name your avatar. You know, like you’ve got a specific customer, you’ve got a specific,, community base. What if you could name that community as like one person that when you think of your community and when you think of your customer, if you could name that one person. My name is Carol. Okay., that’s that’s my re fab community. That’s not the boutique. I’m going to let the girls come up with something over there. But this is my crafting community. I call her Carol when I think of what I want to do to serve that community, I think of Carol. What would Carol love? What would ignite Carol’s fire? If I’m doing something and I internalize that, to think of that person, and when people can think like that and can turn their mindset into serving somebody else and not yourself, not serving yourself, but just literally pouring into somebody else when they have a name, it just feels that much more personal to you.

Brooke Riley (00:28:54) – So if I’m thinking if I’m going to go live with a craft and I’m like, what would Carol really enjoy? Like what is something she’s going on in her life right now that this could be an escape for that she could use this craft to decorate her home. Like and I think of Carol and it makes me, makes me serve her and in turn, the whole community that much more because it’s all about her and not me and and what always happens. Any time I share this with people and they start naming their avatar and their community and they start serving them, is they are so excited. When you start serving people, you get such a high off of that, off of serving other people that you want to do it more because you’re like, dang, this feels good. It feels so good to not be selfish. Like, I just love giving to them and the rest falls into place. The money comes because you’re not doing it. For that. The following comes all those extras come when that is not your primary focus.

Brooke Riley (00:30:01) – Your primary focus is just simply to give and serve that specific audience. And once you’ve named them and honed in on them and personalize them, it’s easier to serve them. And to get that, you know, I’ve got an audience of 910, 11,000. That’s a lot of people. But when I can condense it into this one person, then that feels so much more personalized and it’s easier to serve in that way. And so that’s how I teach it, is just make that more personal and just be all about serving. Just do it a few times, and then once you’ve done that, there’s no going back because you don’t want to do it any other way.

Jillian Leslie (00:30:43) – I want to take a short break to say that if you are looking to create your first digital product, I personally recommend you start with an e-book and I have everything you need to create this. I have 13 ChatGPT AI prompts to use to create an e-book in under three hours. To grab this freebie, go to slash e-book prompts.

Jillian Leslie (00:31:13) – That’s military e-commerce e-book EB0 okay. Prompts prompts snag it today. What are you waiting for? And now back to the show. Right now for military carte. I say to people, if you want to get on a 20 minute call with me, I will help you come up with like a strategy for digital products and share what we’re seeing works. And if ultimately you think this is a good product for you, awesome. But but at the end of the day, really for me, I love it. Weirdly like if my day is filled with getting on calls one on one with women where I can paint the picture for them like that’s what they need to see is here is what it could look like for you. And I’m very straight. I’m saying like, kind of like you like, do not plan to be swimming. I like that swimming in dollar bills. Like it’s not that way at the beginning, but I help clarify. What are you doing? What problem are you solving? Or.

Jillian Leslie (00:32:19) – I feel like what I’m, I’m good at is saying, come back down to earth. Come back down to earth. Let let’s get really clear and simple. Let’s get rid of all of the distraction of, again, this crazy business that you’re going to grow and go back to what problem are you solving? And then they’ll speak in generalities and I go, no, no, no specifics. What is the what is somebody typing into Google because they’ve got a problem. What is that where they’re going to find you? And so I have to say that if I’m on a day of calls, I weirdly finish the day feeling energized. Now that could be my personality. But if I can connect with you and I can watch your the smile or the sense of possibility, and I say to them, keep me in your brain. Like, kind of like where I was saying with you, I think that you have this superpower, which is your faith talking to you. So I’m like, okay, like hear me saying, you’ve got this just one step at a time so that you can’t the other voices that are like, you can’t do this, or who are you to think you could build a business or whatever? I’m like, okay, just hear me saying, you’ve got this.

Jillian Leslie (00:33:31) – You’re going to put one foot in front of the other. You’re going to serve these people with this specific problem and breaking it down. But like you, there’s nothing better for me. That’s what gets yes, of course I want to make money, but what gets me up in the morning is knowing that I’ve had an impact. And I don’t know if that’s just, say, the way you’re built or I’m built, but I feel like if we’re not, we’re put on this planet, I think, to serve. And if you can tap into that, I think it is so powerful, powerful, powerful. So anyway, so anybody who wants to get on a call with me go to And I say this always I go because I’d like to meet you. And the truth is, yes, I would like to meet you. And I always say to the people that I coach, to the people I talk to, if you can get on calls with people and they’re like, what? And I’m like, okay, maybe that’s weird, but maybe you could DM them on Instagram.

Jillian Leslie (00:34:30) – Maybe you can do that where you’re connecting with Carol, because Carol isn’t just nameless, faceless, where you’re not thinking, you’re like, oh, I like these earrings. For me, instead of going, I think Carol would like these earrings, or I think Carol would like this craft. So I feel like that is where the power is, and I don’t. I’m the kind of person who my dream vacation is, a beach vacation because I like looking out at the ocean and feeling really small. It shrinks me down and makes me think my problems aren’t that big. When I see the expansiveness and I’m just this tiny little person on the planet, and therefore I’m not that important. And and some people freak out about that. Like my husband thinks. That’s kind of sad that I that I like that because I think he wants to feel big in the world. But I like feeling small because then it doesn’t matter whether I’m embarrassed by my hair that day, or I feel fat today, or I feel I don’t know, whatever it is and like, oh, people are going to judge me, it doesn’t matter anymore.

Jillian Leslie (00:35:40) – So that’s my way of getting beyond myself. Yes, yes. And I feel like that’s the key is get out of yourself. Get beyond.

Brooke Riley (00:35:50) – Yourself. Yes. And realize everybody is like you. We don’t think they are, but everybody is the same. And when you get on with a bad hair day and you’re like, listen, you’re just gonna have to ignore this, you know, or whatever, like that. Relatability and authenticity immediately is going to attract people. They want real people. So everything you were saying, you know, when you feel fat that day, I mean, the other day I got on alive with no makeup, you know, I didn’t feel pretty, but it was just like, you know what? I wanted to just get on and connect with my audience. I didn’t want to have to go through the ritual of getting everything. And, you know, at that point in time, I had about 1000 or 1200 people watching me live, and I just was like, and the people in the comments were like, I just love how real you are.

Brooke Riley (00:36:39) – Like, it doesn’t matter if you have on makeup. We just enjoy connecting with you. And so if we get out of our own head, we’re the ones holding ourselves back. Like you said, they just want real people like your customers, your community. I just want real, authentic people. Like that’s all they want. They don’t care if your hair’s perfect. They don’t care if your makeup’s to a tee. They don’t care about that. Once you grow that relationship with them, they just want you and your often authentic self like they’re not looking for the Hollywood standard. They’re over that these days. They just want real, authentic, all authentic. I always have a hard time saying that word. Authentic people. That’s all they want. And that always works in business. And it’s not a strategy that’s not real. That’s just that’s just what will always work in business is to just be yourself. Your true, authentic self and the right people are going to find you.

Jillian Leslie (00:37:40) – So let’s talk about.

Brooke Riley (00:37:42) – Attract them.

Jillian Leslie (00:37:43) – When you are coaching now. So let’s say I’m somebody and I’ve joined your coaching group and I have this vision of a business, I don’t even know what it is. And you go, okay, like what I usually start with, like, what problem are you solving? Or what do you know about that somebody you could help somebody with? Or what are your girlfriends say, God, you know a lot about that. But in today’s world, what kinds of businesses are you seeing be successful?

Brooke Riley (00:38:12) – What kind of businesses am I saying? Be successful right now? Yeah., honestly. Okay, so there’s not this one set business that I’m seeing just skyrocket. Obviously, businesses in the online space, period. Because the online space is just not going anywhere. It’s just expanding. But. There are even people in my coaching group that have like a trash business or have a moving company. So I want to say this because it is not. It is not just. Somebody that does what I do.

Brooke Riley (00:38:48) – , I’m seeing it across the board. If you serve your audience, plain and simple, and you,, connect with them, and you are authentically. Full of integrity, and you do what you say and you give the best customer experience possible. You’re going to find success if you’ve got those things at your core. And then if you’re willing to understand that you don’t know everything, no matter how far along you are, and you’re willing to learn and tap into any resources, whether like if they’re in my coaching group, obviously I’m giving them resources that I hope that they’re listening to because I’m trying to teach them. But even outside of that, you know, listening to your podcast, you know, YouTubing things they they don’t know, always learning, reading books, always making sure that you are with people that smarter than you, that have more knowledge than you. Not to ever be the smartest one in the room or you’re in the wrong room. You know that’s very true. You know, I’m in masterminds.

Brooke Riley (00:39:59) – I’m I’m constantly learning to. And every single person that I’m seeing succeed, no matter what their business is, are doing those key things. It’s not the one that has the best looking email marketing. It’s not the one that’s logo is the prettiest. It’s not the one who,, looks the best on the outside, you know, and has this beautiful Barbie doll figure. Like, those aren’t the people that I’m seeing having the most success. It’s the authentic, real people who love their customers, serve them and give them the absolute best customer service out there and understand that they don’t know everything, and they’re always trying to improve each day. And then it doesn’t matter what your business is, if you are doing those things and you are tapping in and you are constantly thriving and growing and trying to do more, you’re gonna find success. And so obviously, I teach people to grow in the online space no matter what. Like even in these trash businesses and these,, moving companies, they do work locally, but what they’re doing is they’re growing their online presence to gain local customers.

Brooke Riley (00:41:15) – So all of it works the same. And so for me, I’m seeing people grow in the online space for the sole purpose of growing whatever business it is to get more people to see,, their business so that they can get more customers, whether it’s in person or online, digitally, physical product, whatever it is., and it, it just honestly does not matter what you do, if you’re doing those things, it doesn’t matter your business. Awesome band success and let me begin being successful. And let me say this because you hit on this earlier, but it’s so true. Or maybe somebody else hit on this earlier that I was talking to, but being consistent. Let’s talk about what.

Jillian Leslie (00:42:02) – It is because here’s why I show up. Let’s say, and I have to say, I am totally guilty of this. Like I’m going to nail, you know, do TikTok and I’ll do it for a month or two, and I’m not seeing traction. And then I’m like,, I’m too busy or I forget, I’m not consciously, let’s say, giving it up.

Jillian Leslie (00:42:20) – And right now I’m leaning deep into Instagram and doing at least two reels a day. And I am loving it, even though there are times where I’m like,, I gotta do my Instagram Reels. However, it has been super helpful because it is helping me hone what I think about like so that the thoughts aren’t just in the back of my head, but like, oh, I need to figure out how to get it from the back of my head into a way that I can communicate it in like six seconds. How do I do that? And it’s like a really good exercise over and over again. Like I literally wake up in the morning because I’m not. And you, you had mentioned this on the last episode that we recorded a long time ago. You’re like, I just kind of fly by the seat of my pants. Like, I’m going to show up when I show up. And I always, I always remembered that. And I find that kind of reassuring. Like, if I do two reels a day, sure, I want one in the morning and one in the afternoon, but if I can’t do that, I’m still going to do them, because screw it, you know, I can’t be perfect, but it’s better for me and for my training.

Jillian Leslie (00:43:19) – But there are days where I’m like, oh my God, I’m not growing any followers. Oh my God, people aren’t responding. Oh my God. And I have to say, I then have to really talk myself down. So when you’re saying show up consistently and it’s easy for you when you can go live and 1200 people show up. Talk to me about that person who’s seeing no traction and they’re like, wait a minute, I signed up for all these courses or you’re coaching group and I’m trying to do everything you’re saying, and it works for everybody else, but it does not work for me. What do you say to that person?

Brooke Riley (00:43:54) – Yes. And I’ve had that person say that exact thing to me. I’ve had people say that all the time., and this is what I tell them, keep showing up anyway. And that’s like, that’s not what I want to hear. Well, the thing is, nobody starts out with 1200 people watching them on a laugh. When I did my very first live, I don’t even remember how many were on there.

Brooke Riley (00:44:18) – , I was scared to death, I was shaking, I was about to throw up beforehand because I was so nervous. It was so far out of my comfort zone to be on a video., but I had made up my mind I was going to do it. I’d put it out there on social. I’m going live at this time so that I was held accountable and I did it scared. I’m always going to say do it scared. But I’m also always going to say, no matter if nobody shows up, you go in with your full, authentic self, all the energy you can put out there because you’re not going to get energy from anybody else at the beginning. You’re the only one there., and you just have to pretend that there’s people watching and that you’re interacting, and it’s hard and it’s there’s nothing comfortable about it. And I’m not ever going to tell somebody, oh, it’s easy. Just do it. It’s going to be super hard and you’re going to not like it one bit.

Brooke Riley (00:45:13) – You’re not going to want to do it, and then it’s not going to make you want to do it the next time, because there was no thrill in it. But you have to keep showing up because even if only one person shows up. And that’s what I, I told a lady the other day because she said I had one person on my life and I said, Hallelujah! One person chose to be there and watch you and take part in that, so you treat them as though they are the most important person to you ever. Because they are. They’re the only one. They’re like, you know, you just give them your all because that one person turns to ten, who turns to 100, who turns to a thousand over time, plus their if you’re talking about video, there’s replay. The majority of people are always going to watch a replay. And so and this is just, you know, live video and reels. Everything’s a replay on a reel. But live video in particular.

Brooke Riley (00:46:11) – , but this goes to show for anything you never know. Something may not get traction right away, but with the internet in the online space, you never know when something could catch traction. A year from now, two years from now, I just had something go viral from two years ago go completely viral from two years ago. It had been sitting there and I don’t know what made it go viral. I didn’t reshare it, but some people found it on the internet and it went literally viral again. And I gained like 100,000 followers from it. You know, again.

Jillian Leslie (00:46:46) – It reminds me of this. Okay, because you’re a mother, I’m a mother. And you know how, like, you have your baby and you have all this adrenaline, right? And they say, of course, sleep beforehand. Like, good, you’re sleep because you’re not going to get sleep. Yeah. At least this was my experience. And I just have one daughter. But. When I had her, I was on such an adrenaline high.

Jillian Leslie (00:47:09) – Not necessarily a good adrenaline high, but like a freak out, like, oh my God, what just happened? And now I have this little creature and I have to keep this creature alive, right? And so I was on that high for maybe, what, 2 or 3 weeks. And so I didn’t feel the sleep deprivation in that way because I was like, in,, like emergency mode, right? Like, oh, my God. Like, this is important., but then by, like, and I had a kid who was horrible sleeper baby, horrible sleeper by month four, by month five. That sleep deprivation was so debilitating. It was so brutal. And now when I talk to new mothers, what I say is you’ll get through the first month. But do know that like a mack truck is coming for you and it might happen month four, month five, like when it’s so you’re so sleep deprived and you’re no longer on that adrenaline high. Like that’s when you need to be careful that you make sure that you are protecting your mental health and all that stuff.

Jillian Leslie (00:48:19) – At least that was my experience. Oh yeah. And I feel it’s similar. Like you go, okay, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m listening to Brooke and Jillian, and they’re like, yeah, I just need to show up. And then I’m going to get one person, and then that one person’s going to turn into 100 people. And lo and behold, if I just make it to that one person and you’re at month 4 or 5 and it’s still crickets.

Speaker 5 (00:48:41) – What do.

Jillian Leslie (00:48:42) – You say to that person?

Brooke Riley (00:48:45) – So I say, you know, whether it’s Real’s live video posting consistently,, keeping your products out in front of people consistently, no matter what it is that you’re doing consistently in your business and your life in general, you don’t see results working out in. You know, a few days or a couple of weeks, or you don’t eat three salads and all of a sudden you’re skinny and then a bikini body like it takes consistency. Same. And I’m terrible in physical shape. Okay.

Brooke Riley (00:49:14) – I don’t enjoy working out, so that’s hard for me. So I get it in that mindset because I struggle with that and I have to have people pouring into me about, you gotta be consistent. But then in the business world, I I’ve done it so much that it’s easy for me. So I understand people who are struggling with that. And so whatever it is that you’re trying to be consistent with. Keep showing up. Obviously. I know that’s just what it’s cliche thing to say, but also after you’ve given it some time and you have truly been consistent, like you have truly been consistent, you have been showing up X amount of times. You set a goal that you’re going to post four times a day with call to actions, good quality photos, doing all the things and you have. Then I would look at them and I would make sure that when they tell me they’ve been consistent, that they truly have, because some people say they’ve been consistent, but they haven’t been. It’s been hit or miss.

Brooke Riley (00:50:10) – They’ve been a little bit, and then they might fall back. Then they hit again, then they fall back. That’s different than true consistency. Everybody needs to understand that. Sometimes in my coaching group I do some trainings on, like I will review their Facebook page for them., and it’s always the people that say, I’m doing everything you’re saying, and I’m being so consistent, but I see nothing. And so then I review their page and I’m like, you still haven’t updated your cover photo? It’s grainy. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit on mobile. And that was one of the first things we said to do. You’re still not posting. You posted four times yesterday. None today., a week ago you had posted before that like six times that day, but then went four days without posting. That’s not like you see the results from that. So sometimes I say to the person, be real with yourself. Are you truly being consistent? If you are, then this is what I would say.

Brooke Riley (00:51:10) – You might want to check your strategy. What works for one person may not work for everybody. Reels are going to work across the board. The way you make reels, the way you present reels, the way you go about that, it’s going to look different for some of us because of how we connect to our audience the way we are on a live video, the way I interact and the way you interact is probably going to be different. We have some different personalities., just because you’re doing the right thing, you may not be doing it in the right way. And so that’s a very, very important. And so when somebody’s been doing something for so long and they’re still getting no viewers or they’re still getting no comments, then I would just have them look at their approach and say, okay, sometimes we have to pivot and we have to say, what I’m doing is not working. Yes, I’m doing reels. Yes, I’m going live. But when I’m live, what am I doing that is not connecting to my people? Because if they’re not responding to that and they’re never want to show up, you’re not connecting with them.

Brooke Riley (00:52:21) – And so you need to change that approach. It doesn’t mean quit going, live lives don’t work. It means you change the approach to what you’re doing. Same for reals posting any part of business., maybe it’s your graphics when you’re making a post. Maybe your graphics suck. You know, I know that sounds terrible, but like, maybe they do. Maybe the pictures you’re putting out there are just not drawing anybody in to even read what you’re saying. Maybe you’re not giving a good enough call to action to tell them what it is that you want them to tell you in the comments. You’ve got to tell them maybe your reels are just. Dumb, you know, like, sometimes you can think something’s really funny and cute and other people are like, what is she even doing? I’ve done some of that, you know, that I thought was just hilarious or great. And I’m like, they’re like, this isn’t, you know, and you have to listen to the people and you have to know if something’s not working, there’s probably a reason for that, and sometimes just a little bit of a tweak and then keep on can be all the difference you need.

Brooke Riley (00:53:22) – So yeah, keeping on is important. But also take an inventory of what you’re doing and why it’s not working and being willing to change and try some different approach.

Jillian Leslie (00:53:32) – And what I would say is look for the gold specks, look for the one person who did show up and love on them, because chances are you probably got a comment and then go talk. Go DM that person. Like take whatever. Like it might not be, you know, gold bars that show up, but it might be like the tiniest little traction and see what you did there. Like which reels of yours do better. Why? You know, then I would say trust your friends and and and please make friends in your space because remember, it’s not a competition. The internet’s really big. So it’s like, if I buy a sweater from you, I’m still going to buy a sweater from somebody else. So it’s not like you if you, I don’t know, like you’re the only store and and you can’t befriend people who have stores.

Jillian Leslie (00:54:26) – It’s like, cool if you can befriend somebody. And then and this is hard and I have a 16 year old daughter and it’s like really hard for her to be like reaching out and being vulnerable. But I recommend asking your friends, like, what do you think? Can you give me feedback?, where do you think I could improve this? And that feels so cringey and weird because it hurts. But I would do that. I would try to get some feedback, like from you saying, oh wow, you’re looking at my Facebook page and you immediately see the things that I’m not seeing.

Brooke Riley (00:54:59) – Yes.. Just that outside perspective can make all the difference in the world was sometimes in our business we can’t see the forest for the trees because we are so involved in everything we do. And so yeah, it takes somebody else and they, they may take two seconds and be like oh well here’s what it is. Why are you doing this? Or why are you not doing that? And we have to be willing to take that constructive criticism, not take it as get on the defense, but realize they’re helping us and being willing to take that.

Brooke Riley (00:55:31) – That’s very, very important. Absolutely. I agree with that 100%, 100%.

Jillian Leslie (00:55:36) – So I feel like what we started, we started before I pressed record and I said, hey, Brooke, let’s talk about like how people are building businesses today in this world with AI and all the changes. And you said, you know what? Yes, a lot is changing. However, the fundamentals are still the fundamentals. And I really believe that is how you grow a business. And in this conversation, that is exactly what you have shared. The fundamentals are the fundamentals. So Brooke, if people want to reach out to you, see what you’re doing, learn about your different businesses, your coaching group, your blog, your fashion business, where should they go?

Brooke Riley (00:56:21) – , you can find me on any social media platforms under Riverbed or Prefab Boutique. Once you get to those social platforms, there’s going to be lots of ways to connect through them. I also have a website re There is a dash in ref AB to always have to say that.

Brooke Riley (00:56:39) – , and then from there it will also take you to my boutique, to my coaching,, any of that information as well as the course that I made mention of earlier. So there’s lots and lots of ways to connect once you get to on my social channels or my website. And I would love to connect with anybody on here that’s interested in learning more, I would just love to see you. So I just appreciate you being here and let me spend some time with your audience today for sure. This has been super fun. Jillian.

Jillian Leslie (00:57:06) – Oh well, thank you. So okay, so I want you to come back again, which I hope you will. Yes.

Brooke Riley (00:57:12) – I’ll be back. Yes. Okay.

Jillian Leslie (00:57:13) – Because I feel like I need my Brooke time. I need my Brooke good energy time. So thank you for agreeing to that. And I just have to say yes. Thank you so much for coming back.

Brooke Riley (00:57:23) – Absolutely, I loved it. I love being on here with you. I just love you.

Brooke Riley (00:57:27) – I connected with you back years ago when we met in person. And so even though it’s just through zoom,, love and connecting with you again, and hopefully one day I’ll get to see you in person again. Maybe. So I’ll definitely be back and be back with your community. So thanks for having me.

Jillian Leslie (00:57:43) – I hope you guys like this episode. I bet you could tell how much I love Brooke. I love her energy. I love how fresh she is. I love how honest, and I love how she normalizes all of the weird feelings that we all have. We just think everyone else knows what they’re doing except us. In fact, that’s why you, if you’re feeling this way, should get on a 20 minute call with me, because I will tell you that this is all normal and natural. Pivoting, trying new things is scary, and I’m there to help you and to support you on this journey. Go to You’ll see my calendar. It’s all free. I’ll give you some good ideas.

Jillian Leslie (00:58:27) – I’ll explain how other people are finding success, and I think I will do two things. I will light a fire under your butt, and I will make you feel less alone. And I will see the rest of you next week.

How to Embrace Imperfection and Authenticity as a Blogger | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

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