What some may see as Content Creating, Leah J sees as Building a Legacy. That all started in 2014 with FDI.
Five years later, Leah realizes the only person responsible for her setbacks were her.
If you're a follower of the Living Leah brand and watched Leah grow multiple brands since FDI, such as Black Girls Do; you're probably wondering, "what setbacks?"
One thing about Leah: she's very transparent... she's an open book. The glitz and glamour of it all, as discussed previously, is Leah living her life authentically. She'll admit in a heart beat that she let FDI go by the wayside. In many ways it was the platform that opened many doors and in which she segwayed to create multiple brands, such as Black Girls Do and Luxy Bombs.
As an advocate for women's empowerment, Leah shares the secret behind the brand building... personal growth. To achieve that personal growth, she suggests 14 practical, yet profound tips and action items for Entrepreneurs:
Monitor Your Feed.
We've all heard of the phrase, "You are what you eat;" but what about what we see?
Leah only follows people that she is inspired by, knows personally, or engages with her on a consistent basis on her channels. As for her time; Leah watches what she feeds her brain, particularly on Instagram. She says, "I get involved wth the gossip of the city, but I monitor my feed. Everyone that's on my feed is where I want to be as far as business in concerned. Although we are all human, Leah's always watching for consistency and her mental health is key. As a content creator, social media is important to each of her businesses; however, she doesn't drown herself in it, nor does she subscribe to the self pity parties.
Nurture All of Your Business Relationships.
Leah says, "many of them will turn personal." Her relationship with her publicist; for example, is one of those work-turned-personal relationships. Another, she makes sure to mention... her relationship with Bianca Renee, Owner of Curated DMV. Bianca is someone Leah admires. Their relationship began aith FDI, where Bianca was a correspondent. Leah distinctly remembers Bianca as one of the first people that supported luxy bombs and allowed Leah to use her audience to promote the brand. Bianca, now has an artisan setup of products from local businesses where luxy bombs will participate with the inclusion of their herbal facial toner, along with new line of small dog, doggy wash called Miss V's doggy wash.
Due to this nurtured business relationship, Leah adds another way to extend her reach. She suggests "never putting people off, always being welcoming and to put any animosity on the table, but never burn your bridges." If it hadn't been for FDI, which created this platform for Leah and allowed her to share her dream with 10 other amazing women who took a chance on each other, Leah would have never imagined her potential to cross industries.
Discover Your Self Purpose.
Your self purpose "isn't just for you; it's for everyone involved," Leah says. The picture is so much bigger to her. She continues, "you realize everyone in your circle is eating from the same plate; and that you gave them the tools to eat from that plate."
Entrepreneurship is very much a path of self discovery. Leah says, "you go through phases of not knowing who you are. You realize you never really knew yourself as a person." Leah adds, "the universe knows where you're bullshitting. What you put into it, is what you'll get out."
You don't have to have it all figured out.
As an entreprenuer, you don't have it all figured out; Leah says, "you have what works for you... our story of how you conquered things. The moment you do have it all figured out, means you are no longer learning. Continue to learn, grow and feed your brain." She clarifies, "moreso, feed your soul than your brain; it goes hand-in-hand."
Extend Your Brand in Different Places.
Leah suggests taking your talents elsewhere to challenge yourself. She says "I like to explore. My mind likes to explore. I'm always in a different world."
"Be original. Be original. Be original. Those are my top three tips," says Leah. Or better yet, she adds, "Be yourself. When Instagram and Twitter are shut down, or those people stop calling, you're only going to have yourself to deal with. Are you content with who that person is? If you're not being true to you, in the end, you're going to be empty and unhappy. If anything; be yourself and know there's nothing wrong with being your own team captain or cheerleader."
With the good, always comes the bad; particularly as a woman in the industry. Leah says, "you have to navigate men being disrespectful, because there's a fine line even when you're being mindful of your image. It comes with the territory. Assert yourself." She adds, "don't ever think someonone is not watching. If you receive inappropriate and unsolicited messages block them leave, them on read, or correct them and then block them and ignore them. They're still going to do it. Delete inappropriate comments."
Find a Balance, When it comes to Relationship.
Leah makes it clear that she hasn't had a relationship in four years. She says "men feel emasculated by a woman who understands her purpose and accepts nothing less than what she's giving out to you. Social media is a deterant. Men don't know how to handle a woman that gets 100 likes or even comments." Leah is independent and as she says, "very fluid in her mind and way of thinking. She's traditional, but nontraditional." When men deal with a woman with an "I see it, I want it, I get it" mentality, they struggle to find their place/role. Leah understands she needs to "find balance" for success... in her relationships also!
Learn to Weed Through it All.
Leah has been very cautious and cognizant of the images she releases under her brand. Just recently she began to show her curves, even though she was conflicted before. Her body isn't the highlight of her page or her brand; yet, when used in an artistic way, she chooses to "give you a little something and leaving you wanting more." Leah says, "it's a hustle. You don't have to be naked to get likes, but there's also nothing wrong with a little self-love, self-identity, acceptance and all that. There are some that use it for attention, but they'll find out during their journey that it's not all what it's cracked up to be."
Here's where your close relationships come into play. Those like-minded individuals that you aligned with, Leah says, "they'll check you in a minute. They're the ones who'll ask what's going on. If you're being inconsistent, they'll call you on your bullshit." The people who support you and are conscious of what your brand represents pay attention. Leah says "you don't have to talk for years, but they're legit invested and concerned." Those are the relationships she prides herself on, and considers a blessing. Those people she let's advise her on her business pactices; but most importantly, remember, it's your brand. Learn to weed through it all.
Without Consistency, There's No Growth.
"If I'm not consistent, then there's no growth," says Leah. She continues, "you're only as poppin' as your last post or move. I use that as a gauge for progress. Ask yourself, 'what did you accomplish today that I didn't yesterday?' If you don't grow your'e stagnant."
Conversion Takes Time.
At this point, it's clear... Leah makes this LOOK easy. How to turn likes into follows/sales... that, she's still learning. She says, "I don't have the blueprint, but I know imagery is everything. How you wear or present something is what will sell to the potential customer. Be mindful of what you're posting."
Leah recommends following a pattern, particularly if you're looking for Instagram clout. That pattern should require you to "post consistently, make sure your captions are inviting and they sell, and lastly that there's a call to action." Your verbiage and presentation "garner likes," as Leah says.
One gap that she noticed is that on Instagram, people "don' t utilize their stories." To Leah, this is essential. Not only has her engagement increased because of consistency, but she uses tools such as her IG stories to bring attention to and spice up her posts. Facebook, on the other hand, she says, "is more intimate." Her followers there, aren't as quick to click, as opposed to Instagram, where followers will click where she directs them. She says, "with content creation, you have to be creative. It has to work for you."
Promote your Posts
Invest in yourself. We see Leah with a large following. Yes, she's worked hard and established a name for herself, but she didn't rely on a completely organic introduction. She says, "for posts that I want to reach a bigger audience; moreso for the amazon storefront, I will promote as an ad." She continues, "I'm very strategic when I have something to sell."
Nurse Your Brands.
While the path to becoming a multi-millionaire requires several streams of revenue, Leah says "you still have to master one." With FDI, we mentioned how Leah's attention went elsewhere. That happens easily when you're managing multiple brands; however, when she looks back, Leah realizes she may have had more lucrative opportunities, if she hadn't jumped on everything that came her way. Nursing your brand, according to Leah means "making sure you have good business practices to fulfill what is needed or to give the customer what is needed."
Remember, Entrepreneurs are Broke.
Leah sings, "Most of us are just making a way, making a way, making a way."
Entrepreneurship is a journey. Don't let the success of other deter you. Don't measure your success based off of others. You're not playing the same game. Take it from Leah J, who has built a solid foundation and following for herself; learn to find deeper meaning in your work and you'll find fulfillment.
To Leah, it isn't about numbers. Although numbers may open opportunities for partnerships for her brand, the numbers don't define her. Everything she is doing is well thought out. She says, "it's a feeder system to building my legacy."
For 2020, Leah predicts more travel, lucrative campaigns and putting money from those campaigns back into her business. Leah has been actively working on managing her money. She says, "it'll probably take me another year."
No matter how great you become, there's always room for improvement. Don't be distracted by the clout. Our favorite brand managers, and in this case, women of influence are striving to master the same feats as their following. Prayerfully, you'll remain as humble as Leah J has.