Meet Brooke Vulinovich- The Life List Series

Brooke Vilinovich

Brooke Vulinovich is sitting on the floor in Auckland New Zealand for our Zoom call. In the last 6 months she and her family of 3 have been doing the digital nomad thing – moving from Australia to Croatia, back to Australia on route to Bali and now New Zealand. Next stop is Croatia again. Nomadic living has its upsides for sure, but their lifestyle is being driven by massive delays in the building of their home in Perth, as opposed to an immediate thirst to live off the grid.

Despite the clear frustration of the backstory, talking to Brooke is like talking to sunshine itself.
Have you ever meet a woman who is so spectacular and her business is so spectacular and her business story is so spectacular that you just want to talk to her for hours?

I have.

Brooke Vulinovich is the founder of the ‘Social Club Community’, and with a loyal and highly engaged following of 30,000 people on Instagram and thousands of members in her social club, she is the real deal. On the flip side, I am very much a social media ‘L’ plater and not even sure what to ask her (I can so not talk the talk, let alone walk it). What could go wrong?

Nothing actually. Brooke is magnificent.

I didn’t choose to be here, she confesses as soon as we start talking, not ever, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would be here.

‘Here’ is the Founder and CEO of a global instagram coaching business who travels the world speaking at events in Dubai, Australia and across Asia and training and coaching businesses both small and super big on how to maximise instagram to increase brand awareness. Growing up she actually wanted to be a teacher, and in a funny way, that is where she has ended up. Her focus is to teach and serve and to connect.

Brooke credits her then boyfriend Dom (now her husband) with encouraging her to start her own business – I was 29 and working so hard to help other people achieve their business dreams and one day Dom said to me: ‘You should start a business for yourself.’

And so she did.

Brooke started an events business from her lounge room floor – I had no money, no desk, and no real idea. And I thought, ‘how will I let the world know I exist?’ Social Media was relatively new and so I started to research how I might be able to use it as a platform. And I became obsessed. I worked 17 hours a day building my events brand on facebook and instagram.

She secured a client and ran an event. And then she secured another client and ran another event. It was working. Brooke says that she was making up the rules for herself, as she went, because literally no-one was really using social media for business. And then a friend reached out for help to market her new sunglasses business online. She couldn’t afford to pay Brooke for her time so they agreed to split profits. And that business started to take off on social media too.

But still, the penny hadn’t dropped that this social media hustle could be a business idea. Brooke was too busy running an events business and co-running a sunglasses business and that was where 100% of her focus was – And I might possibly have stayed running that events business but for the fact that I was really, really lonely.

Being a sole’preneur and working every hour that god sent can be isolating. I know this from personal experience. You need to make a conscious effort to get out and about and surround yourself with other business people so that you learn, have support, have people you can bounce ideas off and create friendships.

After seeing an advert for a local networking event, Brooke decided to hand over her $15 and show up – I remember thinking, what is the worst thing that can happen – well, everyone might hate me and I will have no friends. The group of attendees went around in a circle and introduced themselves and the name of their business, and when Brooke introduced herself she was astonished when everyone knew her event brand and her sunglasses brand and they knew her name – It was crazy, surreal. We know you! We love your brands! Who does your social media?!

Brooke knew that her brands had followers, but the rockstar treatment at that networking event was Brooke’s first brush with the genuine power of social media to generate incredible, tangible, brand awareness.

When the room was asked to share their biggest frustration with business, everyone said it was how to use social media (except Brooke, who shared that she was lonely). Brooke went home and told Dom that she thought she might be onto something special. The penny had dropped.

Brooke decided to run a workshop for her new networking friends. She called it ‘On-Line Marketing for Beginners’ – how lame, she now moans. And it went really, really well. And so she advertised another workshop on Facebook and it sold out. She ran sold out workshops from her apartment before upscaling to a local restaurant that gave her a room in exchange for her buying coffees and cakes for the attendees.

And then one day she received an email from Mazda asking her to provide social media training to their marketing team. She thought it was a joke and deleted it. Mazda chased her up. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Brooke is a giver. She has so much social media knowledge and she shares it openly and generously with her community. So much so that when she could not keep up with their demand for her hints and tips, she came up with the idea 8 years ago (again, well before her time), of a paid monthly membership. She priced it at $29 a month and soft launched it the day before she and Dom were booked to fly to Bali for a holiday. Within an hour she had 8 members and in a panic she declared that Bali was off – she needed to stay home and provide content for her members. Dom convinced her otherwise – It’s an online business, can’t you run it from Bali?

She hasn’t checked her membership figures for a while (she doesn’t want to jinx herself) but confides her members now number in the thousands – My mind is blown, still blown, still.

I love her.

Her final destination might not have been planned when she was 29, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Brooke Vulinovich was always going to be and do something spectacular – she is an intelligent, driven, incredibly hard working, authentic woman who very openly shares all of her best knowledge with her clients. More importantly, she is an innovator – she has generated two business ideas that were well before their time and she backed herself.

Smart. Strategic. Winner.

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I am an executive coach and small business coach specialising in time management, productivity, goal setting and life by design.
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Grief and loss taught Kate—a top lawyer turned time management expert for global businesses—life is too short. You need to set then chase outrageous goals. Now.
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At its heart, this book is about sharing my story so that you know you aren’t alone – that there are many women just like you who are reflecting on what’s next.
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