Not an Influencer, An Impact Maker.


Building an Authentic Community to Connect with More Clients

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🎥 Welcome to Not an Influencer, an Impact Maker! In this engaging interview, we dive deep into the world of entrepreneurship, authenticity, and community building with Crystal, the founder of Book of Bijou and the Empower by Women platform. Crystal shares her inspiring journey and valuable insights on how to overcome imposter syndrome, embrace imperfection, and create meaningful connections in the business world.

Krystal Jugarap is the CEO and Founder of BOOKofBIJOUX and EM/POWEREDbyWMN and also the mother to two beautiful young girls. As a mompreneur, she has a deep appreciation for other women who are also pursuing their passions, paving their own entrepreneurial paths, and consequently serving as crucial role models for future generations of women. Through the EM/POWEREDbyWMN platform, their community continues to uplift women in entrepreneurship through vendor fairs as well as their recently launched Woman Owned Small Business Directory. Krystal is dedicated to fostering genuine connections within the small business community and providing engaging speaking opportunities through intimate networking events. It is her mission in life to serve as a reminder to all women, especially moms, that they are not only capable but so worthy of creating lives they love and deserve. 🚀 Discover how Crystal’s passion for supporting women entrepreneurs led her to build a thriving community where authenticity and connection reign supreme. Learn about her experiences hosting women’s empowerment markets, networking events, and her innovative small business directory. Crystal’s story serves as a powerful reminder that success in business is not about going it alone but about building a supportive and collaborative community.

📌 Key Takeaways: – Overcoming perfectionism and embracing authenticity – Learning from challenges and turning them into opportunities – Leveraging partnerships and collaborations for business growth – The importance of word-of-mouth marketing and community building

🌐 Explore Crystal’s empowering community and products: (use code THECV for 50% OFF any membership plan for the first 12 months)

🔔If you want to learn how to book more clients without having to post on social media, watch the free training now:

Episode Transcript:

00:00:00:00 – 00:00:20:02

You can tell when someone’s in it for the right intentions, right? You can tell when someone’s genuinely trying to get to know you or just genuinely trying to get you on board just for their sake. And I think it’s been it’s natural for me because I just that is who I am. Like, I do crave that connection and I want to build these connections.

00:00:20:04 – 00:00:47:25

And so I’m out there doing that, right? I’m reaching out to people and having these conversations. And there’s been so much feedback that I’ve gotten where it’s like, you really are doing this to support other women. And we’re like, I, you know, I’m here and I love it. And it’s just I think that’s why it’s so important to, like I said, be loud, loudly, passionate, because when it’s something that you’re so passionate about that is going to shine through no matter what.

00:00:47:26 – 00:01:26:19

So I think authenticity, really, and passion go hand in hand. If you’re someone who has always wanted to get consistent clients in their online service based business without the pressure to post on social media, I made this podcast specifically for you. I’m Leslie Stevens and I am so excited to welcome you to the not an influencer show where we chat about other organic marketing strategies that you can use to bring client into your business quickly and easily, and the tangible tips for you to move forward faster in your business and the stories of the entrepreneurs who are doing the same every single day.

00:01:26:21 – 00:01:49:07

You do not have to be an influencer or to be an impact maker and a successful online business owner. You are not going to want to miss this conversation because we are getting to talk to Crystal about something that we haven’t talked about on the podcast yet, but it’s essential to building your business and building a successful business.

00:01:49:09 – 00:02:05:27

So Crystal, tell us a little bit about you and what you do. Absolutely. And first and foremost, thank you so much last week for having me here today. I’m so excited to be chatting with you. So I am the founder of Book of Bijou, which is a line of jewelry stores designed to look like a coffee table book.

00:02:06:00 – 00:02:32:01

And we launched in 2021. And really shortly after, I branched out into our Empower by Women platform, which is what we’re really going to be speaking about today. And that’s because I knew that I wanted to create a community around me. Everyone knows that entrepreneurship can be lonely, right? And I back in the day, I had this amazing support system of such driven women around me, and I wanted to recreate that.

00:02:32:03 – 00:02:52:03

So Empower by Women became this platform where I could foster those really genuine connections. I mean, a lot of people, a lot of people when it comes to social media, it’s just about the numbers, like how many followers do I have? But at the end of the day, like, how much does that really fulfill you, Right? For me, it’s about the connections, not about the numbers.

00:02:52:06 – 00:03:12:09

It’s about like, great, these people are following me, but how can I get to know them on a deeper level? So with Empowered by women, we’ve been able to expand our vision of women empowerment and community over competition and giving back to the community in so many different ways. We host markets like vendor fairs for all of our small business owners.

00:03:12:11 – 00:03:34:06

Earlier this year, we launched our small business directory. We also have a podcast and a YouTube channel where we can really shine the light on all of our business owners and all of these incredible women and their stories. And there’s just there’s so much more to come. But I am so grateful for all of the relationships that I’ve already had the honor to build.

00:03:34:06 – 00:03:59:08

And in just a few short years. Yeah, that’s incredible. And we forget so often in this world of like social media and social media marketing and entrepreneurship, we think we need to go about it by ourselves. We think, Oh, we need to figure out how to build this business and be successful on our own and not worry about anybody else and shout our message out and hopefully the right people to come to us.

00:03:59:09 – 00:04:22:29

But being in business is really about helping other people. And in order to help other people, you need to be able to connect with them. And it’s by fostering that community, allowing people to have that space to create those connections. That’s where the magic really happens. And a lot of the time when we think about, okay, we need to get visible in our business, we think, okay, let me make a post, man.

00:04:22:29 – 00:04:46:23

Let me make sure I post every single day and then people will see me and they’ll want to work with me. But it’s so much deeper than that. And you’ve created this community where you’re bringing visibility in so many different ways, like your market and your podcast, and you’re able to get them seen by more of their ideal clients without that post and pray.

00:04:46:25 – 00:05:13:14

So yes, you can use social media, but it’s all about building that connection and that’s what people really, really want now. And I think that’s one of the things that being in the pandemic and being isolated and not having that connection on a daily basis, it’s shown how much people really crave that connection. And as a business owner, when you make those connections, you can find so much more success.

00:05:13:16 – 00:05:38:21

So was it because of the groups you had been a part of before that you knew this could be the path of creating success for not only you, but other people? Or was it another spark that kind of added to your desire to create the space? Yeah. So I don’t even really think that it was something that I was like, Wow, this could be really successful.

00:05:38:29 – 00:05:56:11

It was something like you said, like, I just knew that I craved it for myself and I’m craving it for myself. There has to be so many other women that are also craving it there, right? And I think, you know, the thing that most people get stuck in is they’re they’re waiting for the opportunity to present themselves to them.

00:05:56:13 – 00:06:25:25

Whereas for me, I’m very like outcome driven. I’m very like solution driven. So like, I’m not going to wait for the community to come by me if it’s not there. And I don’t know where to start, like I’m going to create it. And I think so one of the things that I preach like so loudly, is to live loudly passionate community is something that I’m so passionate about, and I’ve been able to just be like, really vulnerable about, like why I’m doing what I’m doing and that resonates with people.

00:06:25:25 – 00:06:44:17

And that’s how my community was really able to start building in such an authentic way. And I think kind of just sharing that and then seeing people that are like, I love what you’re doing, I love what you’re doing. Once I started getting that feedback, I’m like, Wow, this really could turn into something like incredible. So that wasn’t even like the forefront of my mind.

00:06:44:17 – 00:07:09:19

It was just something that I knew filled my car that I wanted to create for myself. And I figured, you know, other people might need this too. And we kind of just hit the ground running. And it’s been a very natural progression, which I think I love the most. Mm hmm. I think when you start to fill those gaps in those voids that you have for yourself, again, you attract those people because, you know, you’re not the only one going through those experiences.

00:07:09:21 – 00:07:36:19

So were there any challenges for you either in the beginning or maybe now that you are kind of facing as you’re trying to get your message out, as you’re trying to grow in scale? The biggest challenge was you know, establishing ourself as like a reputable community because everyone can say they’re building a community. But a lot of times those communities are solely based on the numbers, like we have a million members, blah, blah, blah.

00:07:36:19 – 00:08:03:16

But there’s no real connection there, or it doesn’t get as deep as it could. And you don’t really know the people that are next to you. And then for us, with vendor fairs like these are vendors that have been doing this for years, right? And they’re so used to all of these really established markets. So when we hosted our very first big event last last year’s May, it was kind of nerve wracking for me because I was like, you know, it was the Imposters syndrome that kicked in.

00:08:03:16 – 00:08:20:20

Like, who am I to, like, have people want to pay me this much money to be a part of my market? And I think this is where like the authentic city and the vulnerability comes into play. So I put a lot of effort into marketing with that and social media. Again, it was it was just the starting point.

00:08:20:20 – 00:08:41:09

Right. But Aaron, just make a post and then hope and pray. Like you said, hope and pray people would see it because we had a very small following of that time. And I wasn’t just like sending the post to people and again, hoping and praying they would look into a little bit more. I was actually looking for people’s emails and then sending them like, This is my vision.

00:08:41:10 – 00:09:00:05
This is why I’m doing what I’m doing. This is why I would love you to be a part of it. This is the community I’m hoping to create, and I think through that level of detail and allowing myself to be put out in that kind of vulnerable state like this is all of me. And this is why, like, I would love for you to come join me.

00:09:00:08 – 00:09:19:25

People really resonated with that, right? It’s like people were getting to know me at the same time as they were getting to know what this community was all about, which was a very brand new community. So that was it was definitely a learning lesson to kind of like hear the feedback of of where people were going for their markets and things like that.

00:09:19:25 – 00:09:48:24

And then with this directory as well, kind of seeing like, what do people need from me? Because this directory, we’ve been doing it for about seven months now and it’s been, it’s been brand new for us. Well, it still feels brand new to me. So kind of like getting the, you know, the word out about that and really honing in on not just like put your name here on our directory, but this is our community and this is why it’s so special.

00:09:48:24 – 00:10:05:03

So I think being able to really hit that home and show people not just via social media, but in other ways that I’m presenting myself in other ways and putting myself out there in the world like this is legit. Like this means so much to me. And if you’re a part of it, you means so much to me.

00:10:05:03 – 00:10:24:15

And I would love I would love for you to be a part of it. Mm hmm. So when we talk about, like, building a community and really having that deep connection, like you mentioned before, you can join these communities that are part of just kind of the numbers and that’s how they market themselves. We have this many members, all of those things, but there’s no substance to it.

00:10:24:18 – 00:10:54:12

Do you feel like your authenticity is what really drives that connection? Or are there more factors that you feel have really built it into that deeper community? The authenticity 100%. I think that’s like firsthand foremost, because people see the real you and you can tell when someone’s in it for the right intentions, right? You can tell when someone’s genuinely trying to get to know you or just genuinely trying to get you on board just for their sake.

00:10:54:14 – 00:11:16:22

And I think it’s been it’s natural for me because I just that is who I am. Like, I do crave that connection and I want to build these connections. And so I’m out there doing that, right? I’m reaching out to people and having these conversations and there’s been so much feedback that I’ve gotten where it’s like, you really are doing this to like, support other women.

00:11:16:24 – 00:11:47:06

And we’re like, I, you know, I’m here and I love it. And it’s just I think that’s why it’s so important to, like I said, be loudly passionate because when it’s something that you’re so passionate about that is going to shine through no matter what. So I think authenticity really, and passion go hand in hand. If you are passionate about something and then you’re willing to put it out there and allow people to see that and just show who your real self is, that’s how you’re going to attract the right people, right?

00:11:47:09 – 00:12:13:24

You’re never going to please everyone as much as we would love to. But it’s not about pleasing everyone. It’s about finding the people that you’re meant to be around that are meant to be around you. Yeah, that’s. That’s so well said. So for those people who are just starting their businesses or just starting to kind of put them out selves out there to become established, I know it can be very nerve wracking getting visible and sharing that authentic side of ourselves.

00:12:13:26 – 00:12:47:04

So is there anything specific that you did to kind of get over those fears, break through that imposter syndrome, to just put yourself out there and continue to build this community? I am very big on creating your your own opportunities. And I think, you know, one of my biggest struggles was getting over the perfectionist mindset, right, because that was absolutely becoming And I finally reached a point where I’m like, I know I’m never going to be perfect and I’m okay with that.

00:12:47:06 – 00:13:07:06

I think that’s the first that you have to be okay with that. And I’ve told just a handful of people this, but when it comes to podcasting, I don’t always think I’m the greatest podcaster or the greatest interviewer, but I get so much great feedback. And even though, like, I feel nervous and sometimes I’m like, I don’t like, am I doing good at this?

00:13:07:08 – 00:13:26:04

I know that I want to get better at it. I know that I want it to be part of my repertoire. And I know that the more that I show up, the more I’ll learn and the more proof. So one of my big things is that, like, failure isn’t even a real thing. Like just get rid of failure from your vocabulary.

00:13:26:06 – 00:13:47:18

Everything is a learning opportunity. You have to only once you allow yourself to put yourself out there. Like maybe you do want to host events, but you don’t know if you’re great at it. Try it out and then learn from there. After that event, maybe you’ll see, Wow, I’m really good at this. Maybe you’ll see, Wow, I really hate putting on events like that, but you’ll never know until you try.

00:13:47:21 – 00:14:07:08

So absolutely try. Create your own opportunities, reach out to people, get people’s advice, and know it’s kind of scary, like reaching out and being like, Hey, like, I saw you do this. Like, can you share some insight because we’re so afraid of that rejection. But again, you can’t please everyone and not everyone is going to be willing to hop on board with you and that’s okay.

00:14:07:08 – 00:14:34:26

They’re not your person. Move on and just have grace with yourself. Keep showing up and know at the end of the day why you’re doing what you’re doing. Yeah, and I love that you said Just reach out and ask because you will be, like, pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who will be like, of course. Because when I actually started putting myself out there and being vulnerable enough to know that I needed help or I needed suggestions because honestly, we can always learn and grow throughout the entrepreneurial journey.

00:14:34:26 – 00:15:06:13

You are always going to be learning and growing. That’s part of the fun of it. But when you ask, you will receive so much more and you can’t get what you need unless you ask for it. And then you talked about just doing things so often that perfectionism just throws up this wall in front of us and we try and plan out the perfect thing, make sure we have everything in order, and we’re not actually doing the reps, We’re not putting ourselves out there and seeing if we actually liked it.

00:15:06:13 – 00:15:32:09

I was terrified when I was a guest on my first few podcasts. I remember be like, I need to cancel. I can’t do this. I’m too nervous. And now it’s one of my favorite things to do. But I would have never known that if I didn’t try. And if I didn’t try more than two or three times, it’s the same exact thing, kind of putting in the work, taking the steps, not always being perfectly planned because you are learning.

00:15:32:12 – 00:15:58:09

I think you learn so much more by doing more than just consuming information and trying to learn how to do things perfectly from the very beginning. Is there any like specific event that you experienced that either was a huge win or not a loss, but a huge challenge for you that you learned a lot about like you in your business and the direction you wanted to go?

00:15:58:11 – 00:16:21:10

And it definitely all goes back to that first women’s empowerment market we hosted last year in May. I think that was like that was a huge turning point for me and because I got to actually interact with people in person and that was the first time, right, since launching Empowered by Women, you know, when we first launched that, we had done like joint giveaways with other people.

00:16:21:10 – 00:16:47:02

We had done interviews for our podcast, but that was the first time I was surrounding myself with the energy in person and it was unmatched. And again, I got so much feedback and I received all of that energy, and that’s when I was like, This is something, this is gonna turn into something big. And I started something beautiful and I think from there, like now, this year.

00:16:47:07 – 00:17:07:09

So it was supposed to be like an annual market. We hosted our second one in May of this year and then again the energy off the charts and people were saying, Do this more often, do this more often. So now we’re on, I think, our fifth one of the year, and then we have three and three more events coming up.

00:17:07:12 – 00:17:36:14

And we’ve branched out into like our networking events. We do this thing called Dinner Club and like you said, people are craving this. Another event that I do kind of want to throw out there is one that I had in mind that was supposed to happen last year and it fell through. And it’s really interesting to look back on because I think the reason why it didn’t work out is because I ended up moving in this direction of potentially co-hosting it with someone.

00:17:36:17 – 00:18:02:01

And the way that kind of morphed it started to mis align with my values and what my vision was. And at the end of the day, it just didn’t happen. And as like trying not to curse as you personal feeling is that was I didn’t, I didn’t, you know, like just like wallow in it, right? Like, wow, that sucks that that didn’t happen.

00:18:02:01 – 00:18:21:15

And like, maybe it’s not meant to happen. I still have this vision in my head for it, and so I’m bringing it back this year. Well, I don’t know if I can say I’m bringing it back since it never actually happened. The vision back and I’m going back to what my original vision for it was, and I’m so excited that’s going to happen in September.

00:18:21:18 – 00:18:49:11

So that just goes back to like the learning opportunity, right? Some things don’t happen your way. A lot of things are not going right. Things just won’t happen at all. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not meant for you. That doesn’t mean that like you’re completely on the wrong path. That just means it’s something to look at, reflect on, figure out where it might have went wrong, but you can change to make it feel more aligned or to make it feel like, okay, now this is right now.

00:18:49:11 – 00:19:23:20

This is something that I am willing to pursue a little bit and this is the direction that I can take it. Yeah, definitely. And you’ve touched on a lot of events and even with your your directory getting in the same area as other businesses, how is that a really smart strategy to help the visibility of your business? So I think this goes back to kind of what my very first strategy was, was to leverage the audience of other businesses.

Right. Especially if you’re starting from scratch, like it’s very hard to just rely on like hashtags and that rhythm to build up your audience. So this is why I mentioned like we were doing joint giveaways and then I was doing the interviews. You really want to kind of like find all of those things that keep on giving, right?

00:19:44:26 – 00:20:11:14

Post is just one thing that’ll be there. But then when you do things like podcasts, the person that is interviewing you, they’ll have their podcast and all these different platforms. Maybe they’ll include it in their newsletters, maybe they’ll have it up from our website With events. You’re doing things in person, maybe you haven’t posted a bunch of things on your own social media, but all the vendors that are coming, all the attendees that are coming, they’re posting all of these things on their social media.

00:20:11:16 – 00:20:38:09

And that’s like depending on how many vendors you have, if you have 20 vendors and then 100 at least they have each 100 followers, that’s a bunch of people that you’re reaching, right? And by you just hosting a single event. So I, I relied on like UGC a lot of content, right? I think that’s so important to get really crafty with where you can show up.

00:20:38:12 – 00:21:00:08

Yeah, definitely. That’s something that I teach to everybody who comes to my program, especially because they’re all starting their businesses or in the first 1 to 3 years, and a lot of the marketing strategies that are out there are teaching you how to build your audience. But that’s kind of the slow way because you can only do so much and maybe you’ll go viral, but it’s a it’s a maybe thing.

00:21:00:08 – 00:21:31:08

You’re up, you’re up to the will of that ever changing algorithm, you know? But you know who your ideal client is. There are audiences with them already in it. You may be in the same event with somebody who has that community, somebody who might want to work with you. And it’s about positioning yourself with those people and providing value for the people who are already there so that they then come into your community and then you build your audience on the back end.

00:21:31:08 – 00:21:57:06

But it gives you this opportunity to get in front of more people. And I think that’s another thing that goes back to the beginning of our conversation is so much of the entrepreneurial space is kind of like go at it alone, but it’s go that saying if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, you go together and you can go fast and far together when you come together in a community.

00:21:57:06 – 00:22:18:28

And I think that’s a very beautiful thing that is starting to really become more prevalent in the entrepreneurial space, which is, I think, extremely beneficial not only for the business owners but also for the consumers, because they can get that collective knowledge. So I love what you’re doing and I love how you’re supporting people and building these communities.

00:22:19:00 – 00:22:54:18

So where can people find you to connect with you and work with you? Absolutely. So starting with Instagram and empowered by women, women is spelled w, m n, And then we also have our directory and all the fun things that w w w is that all the values that you know w that empower women dot com And then for our product line, if anyone was curious about what this jewelry storage is w out of the bijou dot com, Bijou is French for jewelry and I did just want to add just to get rid of the social media thing completely.

00:22:54:24 – 00:23:13:11

Word of mouth is huge. And this again goes back to being very loudly passionate. Tell people that you’re having conversations with just like what your visions are and you’ll be surprised how many connections you can make from that. Right? Because people will be like, Oh, I know someone that would be perfect for this, or I know someone that would love to work with you.

00:23:13:11 – 00:23:35:12

And it’s not even like you’re asking for referrals. You’re putting it out there and people will just naturally connect. Yeah, yeah. Word of mouth is so essential and that people want to work with other people who they’ve heard it from, somebody who’s in close proximity to them. And when you have a really good product or service, people are going to talk about it.

00:23:35:12 – 00:23:54:07

So like focusing on what you’re creating, make sure it’s a it’s an authentic thing to you. So that you want to share it. You want to scream it from the rooftops and tell everybody that you meet in the coffee shop or online, all of those things. So I’m so happy that you added that and I’ll have your links in all of the description.

00:23:54:07 – 00:24:14:04

So reach out. Crystal, become a part of our community, join the directory. It’s incredible what she has created and I want everyone to be a part of it. So thank you so much for hanging out with us today. Yesterday, I loved chatting with you and I know this is the start of our relationship, so I’m excited for getting to know each other more in the future.

00:24:14:06 – 00:24:15:04





Building an Authentic Community to Connect with More Clients

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