Welcome to another episode of the Wealth Unplugged Podcast!
Jane Lu has been super successful in her online fashion business, already making millions with a rapidly growing tribe of raving fans. Jane went from a high powered corporate woman to a savvy woman entrepreneur in the space of just 4 years. Her success was born out of her twin obsessions of social media and fashion which she cleverly combined to build a massive following of hungry buyers. This brought her skyrocketing sales and established rock solid brand loyalty amongst her followers. Her business is continuously making its mark on the internet and giving her ongoing success in the process. Showpo is currently focused on the international market and improving the shopping experience for the Australian market.
Takeaway #1 How HOT is your hustle?
The difference between success and failure is hustle. You’ve got to measure how much you are willing to hustle in order to achieve success. You need to go through milestones and work really hard to get to where you want to be. You need to think about the areas you are good at and where your strength is and use this to your advantage. Hard work teamed with hustle will always pay off!
Takeaway #2 Build a massive tribe.
Jane Lu started her business by the idea of creating a trend in the online world. She built her tribe by creating selfies and using the hashtag #iloveshowpo that has been trending all over facebook and all other platforms.
You always have to think of creative ideas on how you will establish an empire or a tribe to start with. You have to build a massive tribe first and build trust before worrying about the product that you will be promoting later on. Get a platform and showcase and promote your expertise first. Once your tribe trust you and believe in you, anything you put out in the market will be adored and a surefire success.
Takeaway #3 Self-Doubt is human nature.
It is totally normal to always look up to people who are a few steps ahead of you, experiencing next level success and of course making larger amounts of money. They inspire us and give us the drive to keep going. But experiencing self doubt along the way is also a part of it. It is human nature to feel this way even when we look so successful to those a few steps behind who are looking up to us. Jane was beautifully open about this in the interview and reiterated it’s something we should all remember on our journey.
Speaker 1: Want to know what successful people are doing with their money to create wealth and use it consciously for the greater good? Welcome back back to Wealth Unplugged, the weekly podcast that gives you diamond tips on creating conscious wealth from change makers, world shakers and wealth creators. Now, here’s your host, Barbara Turley.
Barbara Turley: Hi there, and welcome to another week of Wealth Unplugged, the podcast where I give you the key tips and strategies that I pick up from the amazing female entrepreneurs, female investors and female philanthropists that I’ve been interviewing on my Feminine Wealth TV show. You can catch that show over on my website at energisewealth.com.
This week I had a really gorgeous, bubbly … the most bubbly, I think … CEO that I have ever had on the show. I had Jane Lu who is the CEO of a company called Showpo. Showpo, which was originally called Show Pony, it’s an online retail boutique. Basically, she is in the rag trade and she has been selling clothing online. As many of you out there are probably thinking, and as I was thinking when I first saw this story, the rag trade … It’s a hard game, right? Anyone who’s in that game will tell you that that’s quite a tough game to be in. To be in it in the online world … I mean, arguably maybe it’s easier, I don’t know, but I know that Jane has just turned her business into an absolute powerhouse. Purely with her two obsessions, being fashion and social media. She has done this on a complete shoestring budget. Today Showpo’s four years in and it is doing a million dollars a month in the business right now. Let me say that again, she’s doing a million dollars a month right now in an online boutique selling clothing.
As you can see, I was absolutely super excited to get her on the show. You know, Jane’s story, the interesting thing is that she actually started out in the corporate world. As many of the women, and many of you listening, are probably stuck in the corporate world right now, or have just left. She actually left and she launched a business which was a pop-up boutique selling clothes, and it didn’t work. She had business partners, I won’t get into it but it completely failed. Within a month of her leaving her job she ended up totally in debt, out of a job, her parents didn’t realize, she hadn’t told anyone, and she was just at the lowest ebb of her entire life. She picked herself up from there and Showpo was born online.
You know, there are some really key tips and strategies that I took from Jane, because it’s one thing to be a super-success, but she create created this super-success kind of from the depths of nothing. Like I say, you know, she was at an emotional low, she felt like a bit of a failure, she had massive amounts of debt. She had student debt, she had travel debt, she had credit card debt, she really didn’t have any money coming in. So the fact that she’s built a multi-million dollar brand in four years is outstanding.
The first key takeout, I guess, that I took from Jane, and it’s something that I’ve talked about before in my blogs and definitely on this show, is the concept of hustle. You know, ‘How hot is your hustle?” is the question you always have to ask yourself. How much are you willing to hustle to make something happen? Sometimes the difference between success and failure is actually hustle. Lots of us walk around and we think “If only I had loads of money. If only I had an amazing business plan, or a mentor, or I had the most amazing offices, or …” all these different things. Actually what it all really boils down to, and this is something Jane was very good at and she brought it up a couple of times, is how good … How much are you willing to hustle? How good is your marketing? A lot of marketing is about hustle because marketing leads to sales, right? You know, and marketing leads to lead generation and brand building. Obviously marketing can cost a lot of money.
Jane, again, with her hustleometer hot and high and heavy, she went out there and she realized that where she had a lot of strength was in social media. She said that she literally whittled away her days in the corporate world just playing around on Facebook. For anyone out there who is really strong on social media and wondering, you know, “Am I just wasting my time?” or any of these things; I really want you to think about this, and think about the areas that you might be strong in that you can really utilize to your advantage. With Jane and the social media thing, she managed to garner a huge following online before she ever really had a product, to be honest, or anything really for sale.
She ran around, she created flyers … She told me a very funny story about one night she was out, on a night out, and she didn’t have any money to get a taxi home. She decided to walk, it wasn’t very far, but it was three o’clock in the morning. Not advising that, but she happened to have some flyers in her handbag, so she decided on the way home she’s do a flyer drop and she dropped all the flyers on the way home in people’s letter boxes. That’s hustle, right? That takes guts and it’s a lot of hustle there, so she actually created a lot of success by just, as I say, getting her hustle really on.
The next point sort of brings me on to my next point about building a tribe. You know, hustle is one thing, I think you’ve got to hustle online, you’ve got to hustle offline, but where she did very, very well, like I said, was in social media. She was big on Facebook, and she managed to grow a big tribe there. One of the clever things that she did was she started taking selfies of herself in the clothes that she was selling on her little website … That she had built by herself, as well. She had taught herself how to build a website. She put it up there and then she just simply started taking photos of herself, or selfies, and posting them on social media with the hashtag I Love Showpo.
Now, four years later, this is what has happened. The hashtag I Love Showpo is still going, and not only did all her friends start posting photos of themselves in the clothes that she was selling with this hashtag, but eventually other girls who had bought online some of the clothes, started taking their own selfies and actually posting them with that hashtag. So, what’s happened over the course of four years is it has grown into this massive hashtag, you know, syndrome, that everybody’s hashtagging themselves in the clothes. Obviously that’s a self-feeding frenzy as other people start to see it. As Jane herself said, what then happens is when you come to the site and you actually wan to buy something, you end up seeing all these photos of a particular outfit that’s for sale and you see it styled in a ton of different ways. You see girls of different heights, different sizes, different shapes, different colors, different everything … wearing the same outfit in many different ways. It creates this sense of inclusion and togetherness and, you know, it’s just self-feeding, I guess, and it feeds itself.
So she built this massive tribe and she’s got like half a million followers on Facebook and she gets massive engagement and everything. She gets asked a question a lot, and I thought I’d bring this one up, people ask her “How long should you have your product before you build your tribe in social media?” She actually said “That’s completely the wrong way of thinking about it. You need to build your tribe like asap.” If you’re sitting there right now with a business where you don’t really have a product yet for sale, really think about “Well, I should start building my tribe straight away.” Because, as Jane said, “Nobody cares about your product. They’re not holding their breath. Your tribe are the people who are following you. They’re not holding their breath waiting for you to produce a product, they actually don’t really care. They just care about the engagement and they care about what you’re doing for them.” Never be shy to go out and build a tribe, even when you don’t have anything yet. Just go out there and build the tribe, and then worry about the product later. Actually your tribe then will tell you what they actually want.
I know that on my website, energisewealth.com, I very much focused on building this sort of digital platform before I ever really had anything for sale. All I was thinking about up there was thinking about my ideal client, who’s you, who’s listening, and what are the things that you’re facing, what are the issues that you’re trying to get over right now in your life, in your financial life, specifically in your business life? Then how can I offer my expertise on the website in multiple different ways to build a tribe, build a platform that people can follow before I ever come to sell something. You know, I have the Feminine Wealth TV show which is an online TV show, I’ve got this podcast, I’m writing for my blog, I’m doing doing Google hangouts, I’m doing lots of stuff in other people’s websites, too, guest postings, and all these other things.
It might seem like a huge amount of work, and it is, trust me, I know. It is a lot of work but sometimes when you build the tribe first, you build the following; and then they sort of know, like and trust you. It’s that know, like and trust factor. When you do come to produce a product then people are more interested, they want to know what you have to say. Recently I had this experience myself, where I’ve produced a training program called The Get Savvy Academy Training Program and it’s a six week online training program for women entrepreneurs who want to get this wealth thing really sorted out. The response has been great to that because I’ve already built that tribe.
Again, if you’re out there and you’re struggling, and you’re blogging, and you’re thinking about all this stuff, I want you to really think about this idea of a platform and getting your expertise out there. Or even your product, you know, build the following. If you’ve got a … Like Jane had clothing products … Think about how do you … what will engage the tribe first, before you try to ell them something; and that’s really, really important.
That brings me onto my third and final key taker form Jane. I actually was quite surprised at this one, and it was a real eye-opener for us to talk about this. It was about this problem of doubting yourself. You would look at someone like Jane and say … I mean I looked at her and said “How can you doubt yourself? You, in four years have come from nothing to being a multi-million dollar super-success story.” She made the comment that, you know, “It’s human nature that we’re never really looking down the chain, we’re always looking up the chain.” So, you know, at her level now, she’s looking at the entrepreneurs that are above her. She’s looking at the entrepreneurs that are running businesses that are fifty, a hundred million now, and feeling like she’s beneath them somehow and that she has to strive for that. She said she still has those days where she has self-doubt, she has days where she questions her own ability to run the team in her own company.
I thought it was really good for us to realize that and for all of us to hear that. Particularly as women in business because we often forget that, you know what, we’re always going to feel a sense of self-doubt it actually is human nature. I feel it. There’s days that I sit in my office and I feel so, you know, riddled with self-doubt and I realized that people out there … They don’t see that. They don’t see that end of what I’m doing. Jane said the same thing, and I was really happy that she was that open about it on the show; because I think its something that, as women, us starting out in business or if we’re investing and, you know, just dealing with money in general, we need to know that we’re not alone and that this is totally normal to feel this way.
That was a really powerful way to end, I think, with my discussion with Jane. I thought, you know, she brought that amazing point to the table and I’m probably going to blog about this actually, as well.
If you liked this show, and if you feel that you’re getting some really good key takeouts, especially if you’ve been listening for a while, I’d really love to hear about it. Either in the comments below the show, or over on my website, that’s usually where we have all the comments going. The website is energisewealth.com so you can comment over there. Or, if you’re listening on iTunes I’d love for you to give us a rating and a review, because that would help to get this show out to more people. It would really light me you if you were able to do that for us. We’ve also got a couple of reviews happening over on Stitcher and PodOmatic and some of the other podcasting directories that are out there. If you’re over there, high five, give us a follow and a bit of a review, that would be fantastic.
Come back next week when I am talking to a lady called Cecilia Robinson who is … I described her as the dancing queen of business. This woman is not even 29 years old yet, and she’s running two multi-million dollar businesses. One of them she’s just launched here in Australia called My Food Bag, a very interesting concept. She had some really, rally amazing things to say about building a business that requires a lot of logistics. You know, on the paras of teams and stuff like that. Come back next week and I will share with you my insights from Cecilia.
See you then.
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