Start a virtual networking group! With so many people resorting to virtual communication rather than in-person, creating a community where business owners can connect with others virtually is huge.

 

Social media consultant Ashley Mason went from being a blogger to a marketing expert who works with women entrepreneurs to create and execute social media strategies that attract their dream clients, amplify their online presence, and grow an engaged and loyal following.

Starting her business at just the age of 19, Ashley has done what it takes to successfully use her young age and experience of “growing up in the social media world” to apply strategies and tactics to her clients’ current marketing efforts that have doubled their Instagram followings, grown their email lists by 20%, and landed media gigs — all within one month of working with them.

Featured in renowned global brands like HuffPost, Thrive Global, and SWAAY Magazine, Ashley has continued to set the bar higher for herself by consistently expanding her business each month, sharing her experiences of being a young entrepreneur, and growing a community that encourages female business owners to realize that entrepreneurship really isn’t as scary as it seems.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I started a fashion and lifestyle blog that I grew organically threw social media. As my blog continued to grow, I received multiple opportunities to work with small companies on sponsored content, where it be attending press events, hosting giveaways, or something else.

By working with these companies, I realized that many of them mostly avoided using social media for their business — and as someone who grew her blog through these platforms, I knew how important it was. I started working with these companies pro bono to optimize their marketing strategies. After getting the experience, I officially started Dash of Social.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I wake up at 4:15 a.m. to get to my gym by 5 for an hour-long run. I’m home, showered, and ready to start my day with a cup of coffee in hand by 7 a.m. I find that I’m most productive in the morning, so I reserve that time for tackling my biggest tasks. The rest of the day is spent taking care of smaller projects.

I swear by Trello and 17Hats for project management tools to keep track of everything I need to get done for my business!

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m a huge planner. If I have an idea, I create an entire plan that will break down exactly what I’ll do to achieve that goal. Over the years, I’ve realized that developing a plan is the best way to ensure that I follow through on the ideas I have.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Video! I love that it drives so much engagement for businesses.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I write down everything I need to do as well as their due dates! I have so many things to remember that if I don’t write it down, it’ll completely slip my mind. Trello has been a huge help for this!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t let ageism get to you. Starting my business at only 19, I faced a lot of doubt from others on whether or not I was actually an expert. It’s so important to have confidence in yourself and know what you’re capable of.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Social media is not meant for sales! Many business owners often think that by using social media, their sales will instantly skyrocket. There are so many other marketing strategies that need to be used in accordance with social media in order to see an increase in sales.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Set up networking times! I’m constantly reaching out to other business owners to get to know them and what they do. This has been super beneficial to growing my network and even getting new clients.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Having a presence where your target market exists. I know exactly where to find my target market on social media, specifically Facebook groups, so I spend a lot of time engaging in those groups. It has lead to a lot of referrals for me!

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I set my prices based off of what I thought people would pay, not what I thought I deserved. This ended up attracting the wrong type of clientele for me, and it took a lot of inner work to get past that Imposter Syndrome.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Start a virtual networking group! With so many people resorting to virtual communication rather than in-person, creating a community where business owners can connect with others virtually is huge.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I spent it on my yearly subscription to Calendly, which is huge for me because it’s my online booking system and makes setting up appointments super easy!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

17Hats! It is my CRM that I can use to send invoices, create contracts, manage client contact information, and so much more.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker — it totally causes you to shift your mindset on what success actually means, because success is subjective.

What is your favorite quote?

“Grow through what you go through.”

Key learnings:

  • You can come up with any excuse to NOT launch a business, but you should do it anyway.
  • Building relationships with other business owners is key to growing your business.
  • Setting up systems that allow you to be more productive can allow you to spend less time working on your business while still making more money.

Connect:

www.dashofsocial.com
www.twitter.com/dashofsocial
www.facebook.com/dashofsocial
www.instagram.com/dashofsocial