Episode 21

Secrets for Instagram Success with Brooke Vulinovich

Instagram can be a minefield.

In this episode, Brooke Vulinovich (founder of Villa Management) shares her best Instagram hacks for getting more followers, more views on your Insta stories and her tips for getting people off Instagram and turning them into paying clients.

 

In this Episode:

  • 10.37: How Brooke grew her Instagram following
  • 16.00: The biggest mistakes people make on Instagram
  • 21.38: 3 hacks for increasing views on Instagram stories
  • 31.37: Getting potential clients off Instagram and turning them into paying clients
  • 37.24: Brooke’s biggest business mistake
  • 45.25: Brooke’s smartest business decision

 

Freebie

Get 1,000 followers in 60 days

 

Links

Brooke’s Bio

3 years ago Brooke Vulinovich identified a gap in the market – small business was struggling with Social Media and she had the solution.

Brooke had successfully marketed both products and services using Social Media and built online communities around their brands.

Using this knowledge and experience, Brooke taught workshops in Perth for a number of years, then took her program online in order to help more people, and scale her business.. FAST.

Brooke is now an Instagram specialist, international keynote speaker, founder of Villa Management, creator of the global Social Club Membership and Academy, and a regular guest on Channel 9 Perth News.

Brooke specialises in educating businesses on exactly how to leverage the power of Social Media to increase their brand awareness and boost their bottom line. Her online coaching community – the Social Club Membership – empowers businesses in 14 countries with the knowledge, confidence and tools to sell using Instagram.

 

Transcription

Today’s guest, Brooke Vulinovich, is a queen when it comes to growing a following on Instagram. In today’s episode she shares exactly how you can grow your Instagram followers, how to get more views on your Instagram stories, but most importantly how to get people off Instagram and become paying customers. The advice she shares is very practical and things that you can go and implement in your very own Instagram account. Make sure you stick around!

 

You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.

 

CLARE:

I have joining me Brooke Vulinovich, and I did have to do a little bit of coaching off air, to get that name right.

 

BROOKE:

You’ve nailed it! You know what, when we first got married, because that’s my married name not my maiden name, I did a post spelling it out and I think it’s time I re-posted that again, because that was almost two years ago.

 

CLARE:It is a bit of a tricky one isn’t it.

 

I’m so excited to have Brooke here, and Brooke actually owns Villa Management, but I’m not going to attempt to explain it, I’m going to hand over to you and you can tell everyone a little bit about who you are and what you do.

 

BROOKE:

Thanks so much for having me, and, I don’t know when this podcast will go live, but right now we are 1 follower off hitting 8,000 on the Villa Management account, so I’m very proud of that at the moment.

 

So Villa Management is my business, and the reason why it is called Villa Management has nothing to do with Instagram or social media, which is a podcast for another day. But originally, I studied marketing, PR and event management, and then I dropped out because I was so sick of studying and I worked myself up in an events role and that was quite a good role, making good money, and running really good events, but I wasn’t passionate about the industry that I was working in. It had almost been 10 years, and I was surrounded by people who absolutely loved what they were doing and I honestly just thought, I will never have that, I just won’t be one of those people. I mean I’m good at what I was doing, but I don’t love it and I will never find that. And that’s a sad way to feel looking back, but I had accepted that that was my fate. Anyway, I have been in that job accidently for almost a decade, and I was 29 and one day I checked myself a bit and I was like, I don’t even know ow I got here, and if I don’t get out of this, I’m going to be here for another 10 years, and I definitely don’t want that. So I quit. And then because I had no official qualifications, and I was good at running events and well-known in the industry for running good events, I thought I’d take a jab at starting my own business because I didn’t think people would hire me in an event role without a qualification, even though I had all this experience, which looking back is so crazy. Anyway, I was using social media, Facebook and Instagram to build up my events business, plus the events themselves, and I thought this is so awesome, and I became obsessed with these platforms and the way that you could gather an audience and market to people for free, I thought was fantastic. So I became engrossed with learning all about it. And then, I saw an opportunity to launch a products based business because I just thought why not give it a go, here’s a great opportunity. So I did that and then I was still running the events at that time and quite lonely and not really aligned, and I’m not woo woo, but I wasn’t really aligned with my proper purpose, so starting a business was hard, emotionally hard not just business hard. My business now is hard, by emotionally I push through the hard stuff, so I was about to give it up, because I thought I’m 6 months in and I’m not loving what I’m doing, and I saw an ad for a networking event and I was like, I will just go along and meet some people because I was super lonely at this point. I thought at worst I would meet some people and at best, I don’t know what I thought was going to happen. I attended and there were 15 ladies there and we had to go around the room and share our biggest struggle in business, and everyone but me said social media. And I was absolutely shocked. I thought I was behind the eight ball with social media but I had no idea that other people were struggling with it. And still to this day, I think, what would have happened if I never went to that networking event. Anyway, at the time, no one was really teaching social media, there was a quote a few people offering social media management, but there was quite a gap in the market to actually teach it, and I didn’t want to manage other peoples accounts, but I said to these girls, I can teach you how I built up my businesses it’s not that hard, and I’m not doing anything special and trust me, you can do it. So I started teaching a 3 hour workshop in my apartment to 6 people, and I thought, if I can do one workshop a month that will give me an opportunity to meet 6 new people a month, and that’s really why I started because I was lonely and wanted to meet people. And then, very very quickly, it exploded and my one workshop plan a month went to 5 workshops a week, sometimes, I was doing 3 hours workshops back-to-back a day, and then naturally word spread and I got asked to do consulting and for businesses that had more money and less time, they asked, can you write me a strategy, and word spread a little more and I starting doing speaking gigs, and then it spreads more and you get noticed by the media, because your business is doing well, and then at the same time, because I was teaching in social media, they are borrowed platforms and you want to be able to move people off the platform, so I was working behind the scenes on building my email list, and to do that, I was sending fortnightly emails with simple tactics and tips for business owners to use to build and convert their following on Instagram and it got to the point, about 12 months, where fortnight after fortnight I was getting businesses responding saying we love these and look forward to these emails, and we get results from them, can we pay you for more emails like this? So that’s when I saw an opportunity to monetise those emails, and also I’d just started experimenting with online workshops at the time, so I combine the emails with the online workshops, and created The Social Club which is my online community, and that then f***ing grew to this beast, but still I thought that would be a cool income, it would be passive, well not passive because I have to do the work for it, but consistent income, because I was still doing a workshop here a speaking gig there, and there was no consistency with my money and cashflow, and that’s a massive issue for most business owners. I thought if I could get some consistent income ticking along in the background that would really help. Literally, I hit my 5 year goal in 2 years, and I now have 17 different countries in The Social Club and we have members joining me every day from all over the world and that just baffles me, how did that happen from one little workshop in my apartment. Like I have to laugh..

 

CLARE:

Wow, what a story!

 

BROOKE:

It’s crazy!

 

CLARE:

So I know Janine Allis has a book called The Accidental Entrepreneur and I guess you are one of those as well!

 

BROOKE:

100%, actually 100% is not enough, I’m a much bigger percentage than that.

 

CLARE:

Awesome! Ok, I’m super that you are here because I think a lot of people listening have that same challenge, that all those people in the workshop said about social media. And Instagram is such a massive platform, so I’d love to get inside your head and learn some of your hacks that they can implement into their business. And get some results!

 

BROOKE:

I’m so excited, it’s my favourite thing to do ever.

 

CLARE:

You have a massive following on Instagram not just on your Villa Management profile but your personal account, which is @brookevulinovich. Firstly, did you create your following deliberately or was it something that happened, as you mentioned, as your business was growing?

 

How Brooke grew her Instagram following

 

BROOKE:

My Brooke Vulinovich account used to be Villa Management so I only used to have one, because there was a time in my business life, that I hid behind my logo and then as any good business and Instagrammer does, you check your insights and you take notice of the posts that get you better reach and better engagement and what I noticed, because I started by sharing Instagram tips, small bite sized ones not full ones like I do in The Social Club, and when I would share a pictures of me, I would get massive likes, comments and engagement. And over time, it got to the point where I wanted to share the Instagram tips, but that wasn’t the content growing my account, it was when I shared things about myself, that it would grow, so I created in December last year, to switch that to Brooke Vulinovich and setup the account for Villa Management and that is where we share tips and tricks and it’s very Instagram focused. When I switched, I can’t remember how many followers I had when I switched by the Brooke Vulinovich account just shot off. Because I feel like it is about connection, that’s why people follow brands on social media because they want to get to know the people behind the brand, and they felt more of a connection to that account and to me, and the first few years in my business (I’m like get me to bed at 7pm now), I networked like a mother f***er. Anything that I could be at, because nobody knows who I am and I want them to know about my business, and I am the face of my business, then I need to get to anyone that will listen to me talk about how good Instagram is for their business, I need to get in front of their face. So, I think having that personal connection as well really built up the online following because people got to meet me in real life. Facebook and Instagram are good but nothing beats the power of human face-to-face connection. Nothing beats that and nothing ever will, but if you can have both options, now I don’t do so much anymore, obviously working in my business takes up my time, but those first couple of years of hustling were fundamental to my growth and now I juts post consistently, if you post consistent content then the followers will come consistently.

 

CLARE:

So key take-outs for growing a following, firstly is to have the human connection and let people get to know you and not just a faceless brand.

 

BROOKE:

Don’t hide behind you logo!

 

CLARE:

Don’t hide behind you logo. On that, I know you are the Instagram expert, but I’m just going to throw this in, because it’s something I noticed today, people in your bio, please put your name as well! So many times I’m trying to connect with people and I try DM them and literally I can’t find anywhere on your website or bio, what your actual name is. So make sure you share who you are!

 

And your second big hack that I’ve taken away here, is consistency. Making sure you are posting regularly, and the third big hack, make sure you are getting, not just on the ground, but getting out and getting your face in front of people. Because it is so much more powerful than being online.

 

I get that, in the early stages of my business of getting it off the ground, it was all face-to-face networking events and it’s so funny, I used to see people posting on social media and posting on blogs, and think gosh, you can just go and meet clients at an event. But that does limit your reach in terms of how many potential clients you can meet, but in an online model it opens you up to people wider than your local area and a much larger opportunity.

 

BROOKE:

 Yes, but I do think the local community support you first.

 

CLARE:

And to be honest, I still find a lot of my following is in my home town.

 

BROOKE:

Yes, people like to support local, especially now, with small businesses struggling and shutting down, and people like to get around the smaller brands and family run businesses rather than supporting the corporates. So even if you have global dreams, start with what you’ve got and what you have are the people around you.

 

CLARE:Definitely! So flipping from the space of growth. What are the biggest mistakes you see that people making on Instagram?  

 

The biggest mistakes people make on Instagram

 

BROOKE:

There are so many, but the biggest is not knowing your target market, it’s huge, and that is where everything begins on Instagram, because what people need to understand is that Instagram is not a billboard, it’s a platform to communicate and almost like having a mobile phone for your business. So when you send a text message randomly and send it, you think about who you are sending it to, and what they care to receive, and you send it in a communicative way, and when people don’t think about who their target market is on Instagram when they post, that’s when they struggle to grow and connect. Because they treat it as a billboard, rather than the start of a conversation. So I always say, before you press the post button, think about your ideal client, think about messaging that picture and that caption as a text to that person, would they care, find it educational, entertaining, inspiring? And what could they potentially say back, and when you think like that with every post, it totally changes your mindset and you’ll instantly become more successful, because you won’t only be attracting but targeting the people that you want to be targeting that are potential customers. So that’s one mistake, not thinking about target market.

Can I say more?

Too much selling is another one. People just get on Instagram and post too many pictures of their products and services, this is how much it costs, blah blah blah.. and that is not what Instagram is about. A sale is a result of the content that you share, a sale is not the content you share. Instagram is a process and is a long term gain, so if you are new to the platform, you’ve got about a 6 month waiting period before you’ll see your first sale, and if you see your first sale earlier than that, than hats off to you that’s amazing, but because insta sales really rely on trust, and just like you don’t make best friends with someone you have never met before in a day, Instagram is the same to continually present valuable information to your target customer so they trust a) you know what you are talking about and b) your product or service is right for them to then purchase off you. Forget the hard sell.

 

The third big mistake is unclear, grainy images, I don’t mean a grainy filter on your image, if you want your customers or people on Instagram to take you seriously, you have to treat the platform professionally, and that doesn’t mean you have to be a super uptight business owner, but you have to treat it professionally, so I always say, if you wouldn’t put it on your website, don’t put it on your Instagram. And that tends to change peoples perception as well, you want your site to look super professional and clear, but then you chuck anything up on Instagram. That’s not going to work and it’s not good enough.

 

CLARE:

It’s a visual platform!

 

BROOKE:

Exactly, purely visual at its core, it’s a visual way to story tell.

 

CLARE:

If you don’t have good photos, go and get a photoshoot done. Or you know what I did on the weekend? I dragged my hubby to a workshop on the weekend, to teach him how to take photos on an iPhone for Instagram. And he was unwillingly dragged lets just say, but for me, to be able to have great photos to use, when you look at a picture and it says a thousand words.

 

BROOKE:

Absolutely!

 

CLARE:

If you are not great at it you don’t have to have a expensive equipment or necessarily go get a photoshoot, but you do need to learn how to get shots that look great, so people see the photo and want to see what you have to say. And the other big thing I love that you said, was patience, and I think too, depending on your price point, the more expensive the offering the longer it will take someone to build that trust, so I think that’s a great hack. Be patient. 6 months, it’s really great to hear that because if you are listening and people have said to me, and I’ve said you just have to stick with it, it’s a process, I know it can feel like a lot of time and energy, but guess what it’s free!

 

BROOKE:

Totally, and you can grow it everyday yourself. Tell me what TV station, radio station, newspaper, magazine etc would give you free advertising, 24/7. None!

 

CLARE:

I’m an Instagram fan as well!

 

BROOKE:

Ditto haha!

 

CLARE:

Next question, what are your top 3 hacks for increasing views on your Instagram stories?

 

3 hacks for increasing views on your Instagram stories

 

BROOKE:

I love this question! So I’m really into Insta stories and story growth, so I’ve been researching heaps about it and recently I came up with my fourth f***ing phenomenal stories theory and you just have to swear because there is so much noise on Instagram, and if you want to break through that noise, great stories are not good enough, they have to be f***ing phenomenal. 4 is key, but it depends what your stories are, if you a telling a story. If there is something people are following along with then you can go to 7. But ideally, we are working with about 4, because peoples attention span on Instagram is so short that if you don’t get to the point and quickly, you might have an amazing point at the end of those stories, people won’t get to it. So that is why you need 4 f***ing phenomenal stories and you may have pre-recorded them and that’s fine. You want to ensure that with each of those 4 stories you tag a different location, depending on where you are targeting. So lets say you are an online business in Australia, and you targeting customers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, then each story you would tag a different location. Because when you tag a location you show up on a story for that location tag. It’s not guaranteed but it’s like going into the lotto and it takes a second to do so why wouldn’t you.

 

CLARE:So this is what I’d love to learn. My question is, how do you know someone searching for that location is going to be your ideal client?

 

BROOKE:

You don’t necessarily, but say I went to a massive business event at Crown, and I tagged Crown, and people missed ticket to that event or see what happened at that event, and they were potential customers as well and they watched it, it’s basically giving you the most opportunity possible and hoping that that filters down into potential customers. So right now we are just trying to increase your views to get you more exposure.

 

CLARE:

Ok, so if more people are seeing the story does that mean that more other people might see it? Or does it not work like that?

 

BROOKE:So the thing with the Instagram algorithm is it takes story engagement into account for who it shows your post feeds to. Basically, the more engagement and views overall the more opportunities you have for Instagram to show your post to more people. Does that make sense?

 

CLARE:

Yes, this is making sense. Sorry, I totally derailed that. And for me it was something and I’m sure for the listeners it was as well.

 

Ok, so we always tag a place, was one of your hacks to increase your views on Instagram, what were your other hacks.

 

BROOKE:

Ok, 4 f***ing phenomenal stories each one has a different place, then let’s say you are online targeting local. Say a donut shop, I love donuts. Tag the surrounding suburbs so you don’t necessarily tag the one location, then in each of your stories you then want to add one hashtag. So on your feed posts, you get a bit more niche with your hashtags, rather than big keywords, but on your story posts do the complete opposite. Because you only have 24 hours to get those views and in 24 hours the chances of people searching more niche words are smaller vs people searching bigger words. So on your story you want to add one hashtag to each story of the big generic words. Again to get you more views and potentially more engagement, to show your actual feed posts to more of your audience. So use a different hashtag on each of your 4 stories. Then, depending on whether you post to your story daily, or whether you post to your story once a week or a couple times per week, you need to use your Instagram insights. In your Instagram insights it’s broken up into 3 categories and you want to use the third column, which is audience, if you have switched to a business account and have over 100 followers. So you go into your insights, go to your audience column then you scroll to the bottom of the screen with the graph, and you can view this graph in days of the week or in times of the day. So first of all you want to look for the days of the week graph, and the graph is colour coded in shades of blue. You want to look for the day with the highest/deepest shade of blue, because that is the day that the majority of your followers are online. And again, you want to give yourself the most chance of posting when the most of your followers are online, so you pick the day, and that’s the day you are going to post your 4 f***ing phenomenal stories. Then you go to the times of the day option. The day is broken down into 3 hour blocks and the same as the day gradient, the blue, and you want space your stories out over that 3 hour block, so you have your 4 f***ing phenomenal stories, you want to post them on your day that your users are most online, between the 3 hour block that your users are most online, add one location to each of them, add one hashtag to each of them, and BOOM. And if you do it like that, I promise you your story views will increase.

 

CLARE:

Ohhh interesting. I love that it is so practical.

 

I ask a lot of questions, I like to understand the why behind it, so why only one hashtag, why wouldn’t we have more?

 

BROOKE:

Basically, in your story you can use up to 11, but Instagram truncates them after the first 3. I have noticed, because I do a lot of testing, and you aren’t guaranteed to show up in the results for that hashtag, you are going into the lottery, so when you use one rather than getting greedy and using multiple you get way more exposure, then when you use multiple, you don’t go into the lottery as much which is what I have personally found. I always recommend test. I give you these options but you should go test and if you find one, two or three works for you then go with that, but for my accounts over the past 6 months of testing, when I use one I get the best results. I think Instagram thinks, you’re not being greedy, I’m going to help you.

 

CLARE:

It’s so interesting, because personally I don’t use hashtags on stories, because I’m a bit like you, I’m a tester, and a few times I’ve tried using a big hashtag and I swear I’ve been penalised for it. So it’s interesting to know that it might have just been a bad experience. I’ll have to get on and try it again.

 

Anyone who is listening and who is worried about hashtags and locations added to their stories, what advice do you have for them?

 

BROOKE:

Best advice ever…. Pinch them so they are super tiny and flick them off the screen! They are still there, they still work, or hide them behind text or GIFs, but if you aren’t adding text or GIFs then just pinch them super small and flick them to the side of screen and you can actually flick them off the screen and they are still there!

 

CLARE:

What an awesome hack!

 

BROOKE:

I’m the chamber of secrets for Instagram.

 

CLARE:

This is just a taster of what you have as well.

 

BROOKE:

This is 1% of what I have.

 

CLARE:

My next question is, because after-all Instagram is just a marketing platform, how do you get potential clients off Instagram and turn them into paying clients?

 

Getting potential clients off Instagram and turning them into paying clients

 

 

BROOKE:

It’s different for everyone. If you are a product-based business it’s easier than if you are a service-based business, because you have the tap to Shop feature and that’s phenomenal and you are a lucky duck. Us service-based pheasants have to get a bit smarter. Essentially the most valuable thing you can get off a follower is not money, it’s their email address. If you exchange money once, you may never see them again. But if you get their email address, you can target them time and time again, so you are constantly trying to build up your database. If someone DM’s you, move the convo to email and that gives you a way to get their email address. There are lead magnets and stuff but if you are new to Instagram that can be overwhelming which I understand. So, in Instagram there is a question, and if you that sticker in stories and ask people to drop their email address for what you are going to give them, then that is another way to get people’s email addresses, or you can do a post saying if you want blah, blah, blah, DM me with your email address, but you are constantly wanting to get people’s email addresses, because you own that, and if Instagram shuts down tomorrow wand you have no email addresses of your followers then you have to start again from scratch. So it’s a slow process. It’s something I’ve been doing for 4 years organically, and across the Brooke Vulinovich and Villa social account we have almost 30,000 followers, but on my email database I only have about 6,000. So again, it’s a slow process.

 

CLARE:

It’s really interesting, this is the maths nerd in me, when you think about your average reach on a standard Insta post, and you know what it is better than me, but is the ballpark about 1-5%?  

 

BROOKE:

On Instagram Stories is about 5% of your followers. On your feed, 3% is incredible.

 

CLARE:

I’ve noticed mine is massively dropping as my followers are increasing.

 

BROOKE:

100%, get used to it, that’s how it works. The more followers you have the lower your reach is.

 

CLARE:

So from a reach or mathematical perspective, realistically, 95-99% of your followers are missing every story and post that you do. And you guys know this already. If you look at how many views you get on your story, you see how does that many followers equate to that many [views].

 

BROOKE:

And the way I work it out is there is a billion people on Instagram, 500 million that use stories every day, so that’s 50%, so wouldn’t it be logical to think that if I have 20,000 followers that 10,000 of them should be watching my story, doesn’t that make sense?

 

CLARE:

Yeah, I think that the reality is with reach, I know for me this is why I bang on about engagement, so many times I will reach out to an ‘old’ follower and they are like, OMG that’s for reaching out it’s be so long since I’ve heard from you, I don’t see your posts anymore. So to your point, it’s about getting people off the gram and onto your mailing list.

 

I’m actually amazed that that many followers converted to that many email addresses, based on that reach capacity, you’ve done incredibly well!

 

BROOKE:

Thank you!

 

CLARE:

I love some of those hacks though. And once you’ve got someone on your email list, that’s a whole other conversation.

 

BROOKE:

Then you do email marketing and Facebook re-targeting, chase them around the internet until they buy from you. It’s like 2019 stalking became normal, because we are literally stalking people everyday, but everyone’s cool with it. It’s called re-targeting. It’s so powerful what you can do with that email address. Email marketing is where you can direct sell. People are cool with that. So get those email addresses!

 

CLARE:

I agree! So, what I’d love to do is take a side-step here because even though I usually get subject experts, I love to find out a bit more about people’s business journey. So what I’d love to know is, what have been your biggest mistakes in what have been your biggest mistakes in business??

 

Brooke’s biggest mistake in business

 

BROOKE:

I do get asked this quite a lot. It’s a hard one. Honestly, my biggest mistake has not been hiring experts, but I didn’t hire experts because I couldn’t afford them. When you are starting off, you are trying to do what you can with the money, resources and connections you’ve got but you’ve got to be prepared to make mistakes. Everyone does, that’s how you learn, don’t get down on yourself emotionally when they happen, try and find some solace in the fact it happens to everyone. I have worked with thousands of business owners around the world and NONE have said they have had an idea, and started their business and made millions of dollars and nothing went wrong. You just have to accept mistakes are a part of business. I look back at all the big mistakes I made, and at the time you don’t know you are making them until it’s too late, and you’ve made them.

One of the biggest mistakes I made was having too much trust in people weren’t experts and that ended up costing me money, but I couldn’t afford experts. It’s a tough one. I’ve had a lot of things go wrong in my business and still happens to this day, and I think that as you grow, the small things that go wrong become less significant and the big things that go wrong you start to find yourself reacting less.

I had this massive f**k up in my business months ago, and I forgot to even tell people. Because it was huge, but I have so much going on that it became less significant for me emotionally and then at the time it was like, this sucks, but this will make a really good story one day. No one’s inspired by someone who has everything go well. People are inspired about how you overcome the challenges in business. The challenge at the start was that I didn’t like what I was doing, doing events, and it took me a long time to even admit that, because I was stubborn and proud.

I think this is a really big thing… if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing and you aren’t making money, then maybe it’s time to re-consider. I see so many business owners just want to make it work, but they don’t really like it or enjoy it and they aren’t making money, and they say to me “Brooke, I might have to get a job”. And I’m like, what’s wrong with a job! It’s 9-5 you get consistent pay. If you start a business and it doesn’t work out, getting a job is not failing. I went down a Segway track there. But just checking yourself every now and again [is important]. If you aren’t making money but you f***ing love what you are doing, then keep going girlfriend, because you will make money, and go through the troughs and bumps because it is what you love to do, and eventually you’ll get there. But if you aren’t making money and aren’t enjoying life, then… nobody starts a business to be miserable, they start a business because you were probably miserable at your job and you want to be excited about your job every day. If you aren’t feeling that, stop and consider if it’s the right decision for you. People say to me what did you regret? Everything for me had to happen the way it happened, but that first 6 months was a struggle when I was doing events, because I wasn’t loving it and it made it hard, but I was too stubborn to give up.

 

CLARE:

And there is absolutely no shame in walking away or pivoting if you have to. The reality is, if you stick your hand up and say I want to change, I want to change directions, this business isn’t for me… so many times clients say to me I do this, this and this but I hate web development but I really love designing logos, so I say why are you doing web development? And they are like, ummm, because it pays the bills.

 

BROOKE:

That was me! I was doing social media workshops and still running events and all the event work I was like “I hate this, I want to do my workshops”. And I know now, when I do things in my business and I work pretty much work every day, when I feel overwhelmed I remind myself of that time, before I pivoted, and tell myself ‘you didn’t start a business to feel like this’ so I get my calendar and I write out what I need to do for the week, and the things I enjoy doing and then everything I don’t enjoy I will start getting rid of. And that’s how my business has naturally pivoted. I was doing workshops, strategies etc and I was so busy with so much going on, and I thought what do I love, what is the favourite part of my week, and that was Wednesday with my social club webinars, that’s the thing I’m most excited to do. So I started working towards a point where that is all I do and I get rid of all the rest. After 2 years now, that’s all I do. And because I gave my full attention to the social club, it just blew up, because I had the time to give it attention. People are scared of letting go. I let go of a $6,000 service and replaced it with a $29 service. That’s insanity right? But the $6,000 service wasn’t bringing me joy and the $29 one was. I thought f**k it I’ll take a risk, and the longevity of my business is not just about whether I earn money, but whether I enjoy what I’m doing every day. And now I do!

 

CLARE:

Good for you! Maybe that’s answered my question or lead to another one. I was going to say what’s the smartest decision you ever made for you business?

 

Brooke’s smartest business decision

 

BROOKE:

Getting a business coach! I know this works well for yourself obviously, but honestly I think that it’s not really spoken about enough. If you want to be an expert in your field, and you compare yourself to a sportsman who wants to be the best, nobody does it alone, expect maybe Nick Kyrios, he doesn’t have a coach.

 

CLARE:

I think it’s just he has lots of different coaches just not a long-term commitment to one.

 

BROOKE:

But everyone else, who wants to be a leader in their field, they have a coach or a team to get them there. If you want to be the expert in your field as well, and because it is your business you are going to be super emotional about it, so having a business coach helps, especially if you are a creative like me, because my brain in [crazy] and when I go to my coach, I swear I talk the whole session, but I leave with clarity and direction and unemotional advice. I’m led by emotion, my coach is led by strategy, she’s awesome, but I think that has been a big turning point for my business. I got a business coach 4 months into when I started teaching social media because I was mainly working with small businesses then I got an inquiry from AHG to train their Perth marketing team at Mazda and I was like, what do I do? That was why I got a business coach and I continue to work with her to this day. Sometimes I’ll see her once a month, sometimes I need guidance and I’ll see her once a fortnight. It’s like having a business partner without having a business partner. Sort of. It really makes a difference.

 

CLARE:

Absolutely! I think why it’s not more prevalent is that coaching is such a random and unregulated industry and I think there is so many people out there doing it, some with experience, some that aren’t experts in the area they are professing to be, and I think that’s the challenge, clients come to me and they’ve had a bad experience with a business coach. But the big thing I say to people, whether it’s working with a coach, hiring your first staff member, would you give up this easily on finding the love of your life? It’s not like you married the first guy you went out on a date with. Or the third guy. I don’t know. But how many bad experiences did you have, but you kept going until you found the right one. And I believe it’s the same with a business coach and finding your dream staff members too. Some people say I worked with a VA and it didn’t work out and I’m like, keep trying you haven’t found the right one yet. Different coaches have different vibes and different social media coaches have different vibes, so find someone that you click with, and is singing the same tune as you.

 

BROOKE:

I love that because life and business is a musical. And you are the star!

 

CLARE:

I love that! I love at we are ending on that note, that the smarted thing you did was get a business coach.

 

BROOKE:

I know, I promise you didn’t pay me for that.

 

CLARE:

Exactly, full transparency, I’m not Brooke’s business coach. But I definitely agree that getting help, whether it’s a coach looking holistically into your business or getting an expert to look into a specific area. Anytime I am doing something new or different, I find out, who is a leader in say Instagram or launching or creating a podcast, or whatever if might be, and I like to work with those. It’s a great piece of advice.

 

Brooke Vulinovich, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you. I believe you have something to share with the listeners today?

 

BROOKE:

Yes! If you want to get 1,000 followers in 60 days, there will be a link with this podcast. So follow the link, pop you email address in, and you’ll get the simple formula and literally what we do with the Brooke Vulinovich account and the Villa Management account, and I know people say what’s the secret? But I teach you everything that I do, because I wouldn’t be a good teacher if I didn’t. If you want to learn how to get real, genuine, targeted followers, not bots, then pop you email in there and it’ll be on it’s way in a jiffy.

 

CLARE:

I’ll be putting Brooke’s social links to all accounts so you can see what the fuss is about, as well as the freebie that she mentioned earlier [in the show notes]. To get your hands on it, check out clarewood.com.au/podcast and look for this episode. Brooke, today has been amazing, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your Instagram secrets, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

 

BROOKE:

Thank you so much, it’s been my absolute pleasure!

 

 

Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!

About your host

Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.

Follow me on Instagram for daily inspo >>

CLOSING SOON: Money and Marketing Makers is your fast track to uplevel your marketing and nail your numbers to grow your profit.

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