Meet The Team: Ashley

Meet Ashley.

Hello everyone! I am the Project Manager here at The Social Brand. I am in charge of handling day-to-day projects, scheduling and communicating with clients, and ensuring everyone involved has the resources they need to complete the project in a timely manner.

I have a background in accounting, bookkeeping, customer service, real estate, and entrepreneurship. I had my own property management company for short-term rentals, like Airbnb, in the end of 2019, but that came to end in the beginning of 2020 (#thankscorona). I started working with realtors in the beginning of 2020 as a Transaction Coordinator, helping realtors schedule inspections, schedule pictures, and file paperwork. So, in September of 2020, when The Social Brand was looking to hire a Project Manager, I knew it would be a perfect fit!

Being the Project Manager at The Social Brand so far has been a fulfilling adventure for me. I am able to use my skill set to its full capacity, while still learning more and more as we grow. I thoroughly enjoy my team here, having the opportunity to meet other business owners, and creating final projects that small business owners will love!

Some fun facts about me:

Leadership in Business

As a young Leader, I attended a Conference called, “Leading and Preaching to Change Lives” with John Maxwell and Bill Hybels. In a particular session with Bill Hybels (1997), on “Leadership Gift Mix and Style,” I was transformed. That conference, was over 33 years ago, and much has happened since then.

As a child, my dad was the Chief Engineer of the project in charge of putting a man on the moon. This exposed me to leadership every day of my life. I would include myself in with the Leadership Team that were all friends and who often hung-out together. Many of the Leadership principles I learned in those days, I also put to use in my years as a Contractor, Developer, Manager, and Pastor. Each role required different elements of leadership from me. When I transitioned into mentoring young leaders, I found that their core life would firstly improve dramatically, as well as finding success of their professional lives. Many would become very abundant (or even wealthy). This was in an era preceding the “Personal Coach” industry.

Leadership Core Values

First, let me lay-out a couple core values of Leadership. Yes, some people are born Leaders, but Leadership is documented as a learned skill. That means there is hope for all of us who were born with their leadership bucket being a little on the lite side. Secondly, a Leader never fully arrives. It is a journey of a Lifetime. I’ve studied Leadership most of my 62 years. However, there is a lot of confusion about what leadership is.

Have you noticed, no two Leaders are the same? 

Some people feel you must just learn Leadership Principles. There is no question that is very important, but if you don’t understand your Leadership Type, then Some Leadership Principles can become irrelevant. It is sort of like a mechanic who works on a Ford car with Dodge parts. No matter how hard you try, the parts just don’t fit. Even if they have the similar purpose, they will not work. However, there are multiple fuels, like gas, diesel, Biofuels, electric, etc. The fuel is the Type of Leadership, while the vehicle is the Principles of Leadership.

Here’s the deal, a major element that causes one Leader to be different from another Leader, is the Type of Leader they operate in most often. Let me give you an incomplete list of the Types of Leaders that I have found there to be:

Types of Leaders

When I first heard about this concept from Bill Hybel, a light went off in my head that connected many things that had been in the dark for me. I was under a leader at that time, and I was his second in command. I was constantly frustrated by him, and though I did not know it at the time, I was being frustrated by his Type of Leadership. I liked him a great deal, but I did not understand much about personalities and their interactions, nor the difference in Leader Types. I thought a leader was a leader, right? I could not have been further from the truth. That’s like saying all cars are the same. Armed with a minimal Understanding on the Types of Leaders, I began to understand that at the core of our frustrations, was our Leadership Types.

Today there are thousands of books on Leadership, espousing methods, practices, systems. All that is good and has a place, but if you fail to first recognize what Type of Leader you are inside, then you will be drifting to one methodology to another, from one practice to another, to one system to another.

Obviously, we do not have the space here to cover every Type of Leadership enumerated above. That will be for future blogs. However, you can take the Free Leadership Type Quiz. It takes just a few minutes, but can help focus you on who you are, and how your Leadership Type show up. It is also useful for other Subordinate Leaders or a future Leader to take. For each question, you are to answer with 0 to 5. With “0” being the least applicable to you, and “5” being most applicable to you.

Though I had been frustrated by his Type of Leadership, I now understood why. My Leader was functioning as a Visionary or Entrepreneurial Type of Leader. I on the other-hand was functioning as a Strategic or Manager Type of Leader. We were having major type conflict, though neither of us understood that to be so. He was a Big Picture guy who loved starting New Projects. I was one who could see where all the roads led, along with their hazards. I was good at finishing and implementing. This insight made dramatic differences in how we functioned, in the roles of how we functioned and the result was explosive Growth. How many can use explosive Growth?

Once we made room for the other’s Leadership Style, we entered into the dimension of explosive Growth.

Each of us has different Skill-sets and Talents, and that Mixes in different ways, depending on our Personalities. Finally, our Leadership Type play a role based on the Foundations of Skill-sets, Talents and Mixes. This is sort of like the soil where you place a building determines what kind of foundation that building will need to have. Each of us are unique and therefore will not be like any other. You can see this all over. Even two twin’s personalities are different from one another.

In life and in business, each of us is important in how we are made. We do not need to be the same as another. We can be perfect with our own unique strengths as another can be with their unique strengths. In the book, A Certain Trumpet by Gary Wills (on leadership types), Wills suggests certain leaders have had an enormous impact on society because of their leadership type and the Need of Society. This is the same principle to be harness for your Organization and the Leadership Type which you are.

Business owners are leaders whether they have a team working under them or not. Recognizing the type of leader you are and playing into your strengths can make a huge difference in the success of your business.

Look for future Blogs on Leadership to Gain more insight on how to be the Leader you were made to Be. Take the Free Leadership Type Quiz and begin your journey to de-clutter. It takes just a few minutes. Also look for future Blogs here on Leadership to gain deeper insights you can implement to transform your Leadership.

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The Social Brand uses clear, user-friendly websites and powerful messaging on social media, to create performance-driven, online strategies that make a real difference for you and your business. Our goal is to empower businesses to grow in a digital world. This fuels our marketing and branding services, as well as our free classes and speaking engagements.

Contact us today to give you the proper fuel your business needs.

Leadership Quiz Freebie

BIG Business Failures in History & How You Can Learn From Them

Have you heard the name Henry Ford before? And J.K. Rowling? What about Walt Disney?

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These iconic figures all have something in common, they have failed. Big time.

Today, Henry Ford is known as the man who revolutionized the transportation industry. His most successful car was the Model T, and the Ford Motor Company was run by an assembly line system that Ford came up with to make his car-making more efficient. This led to Henry Ford being one of the most influential people of all time.

Unfortunately, because Henry spent so much time perfecting the Model T, and because it was so successful for a time, he could not move on from it. He was stuck in that success that was quite speedily finding itself in the rearview mirror because of this constantly-evolving world. Progress waits for no one. General Motors, one of Ford’s rival car-makers, had already decided to build their cars based on the people’s taste and hobbies, and their awareness of the evolving times brought his business to success. The times were changing, and the demographic the automobile was serving had been broadened. General Motors catered to the modern demographic and their business was successful because of that. The people were more and more hungry for something new and different.

It wasn’t until Henry Ford humbled himself and listened, that he understood the importance of continual learning. Your business must stay relevant if it’s going to be successful.

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“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” --- Henry Ford


J.K. Rowling knew difficulty. In her life, she experienced unemployment, being a single mother, and grieving her mother’s death. She worked hard despite the hardships and rejection she faced. When she sent her Harry Potter manuscript to dozens of publishers, every one of them rejected it. Even Rowling started to believe that her manuscript was not going to make it. The one publisher who decided to publish it, discouraged her in saying that she would never make money becoming a children’s book writer. 

Today, J.K. Rowling is known for her infamous book series, Harry Potter. This series has earned over $400 million dollars in sales, and the last Harry Potter movie earned $476 million dollars in ticket sales on its opening weekend alone. She is one of the most famous authors in the world, being the first female billionaire author. Most often ‘failing’ has a negative connotation to it, because it’s most often associated with the bad parts of ourselves. However, failing is oftentimes necessary on the road to success. How can you reach higher places in your business, if you haven’t yet experienced the low points?

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” --- J.K. Rowling 

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Walt Disney is a name the world recognizes and associates with Mickey Mouse and Disney Land, “the happiest place on earth”. He is known as one of the greatest animators, filmmakers, and theme park developers of all time. He has changed the entertainment industry since the 20th century and beyond.

Walt Disney didn’t always start out that way.

When Disney came back from being an ambulance driver in World War I, he became an apprentice at a Kansas City commercial art studio. He and his older brother started their own cartoon business and named it Laugh-O-Gram Studios. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt a couple years later in 1920. Disney then decided to move to Los Angeles with no money, to become an actor. Sadly, he wasn’t gifted in acting either.

However, he noticed that California didn’t have any animation studios, and decided to start one again with his brother. They had great success with the creation of a cartoon called ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’! But his producer took his team of animators away and the legal rights to his cartoon.

Disney never backed down from a challenge, and continued to pursue his big dreams. He created Mickey Mouse on a train ride back to California, and even after hundreds of bankers rejected this idea when he presented it, he never gave up. Time and time again, Disney experienced challenges - debt from the war, his workers going on strike, a nervous breakdown, a failed opening day at Disneyland - but he believed in this: "All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all the troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." --- Walt Disney

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Setbacks and challenges are hard on anybody. What matters most is how you respond to those difficulties. You can use them to help you fuel your drive to make your business a more successful one, or turn the other way. The person determining that is you! 

The Social Brand uses clear, user-friendly websites and powerful messaging on social media, to create performance-driven, online strategies that make a real difference for you and your business. Our goal is to empower businesses to grow in a digital world. This fuels our marketing and branding services, as well as our free classes and speaking engagements.

Contact us today to give you the proper fuel your business needs.

How to Grow Your Business Using Pinterest

If you’re anything like some of our new clients, Pinterest is the Great Unknown and fills you with anxiety… so you avoid it at all costs!  Just today, I was talking to a longtime client about her social media strategy and I mentioned Pinterest as a new avenue we could explore and she burst out, “Victory! I can’t do Pinterest. I just can’t! It stresses me out!”  

Now despite the severe anxiety it seems to bring up for folks, the platform is incredibly valuable for businesses.  In fact,  according to Sprout Social, Pinterest has over 320 million monthly users, 80% of which have the buying power for their home. On top of that, they found that 85% of Pinners use Pinterest to make major life decisions…. Like planning their wedding, renovating their homes, branding their business, how to invest their money and countless other topics. (Literally, there’s millions of topics on there.)  

This is why we encourage all businesses, even local service providers to use Pinterest to grow their business. In this blog, you will learn what Pinterest is, how we recommend using it and how to grow your email list using the platform. Let’s break it down and hopefully overcome the anxiety that comes with it. 

What Pinterest Is

Pinterest is a visual search engine, it really isn’t social media - at least not how you think. On typical social media platforms, the lifespan of a post is a couple of days. You post something, the people who follow you may or may not see the content you’ve posted.  Your followers will engage with the content and then it will fade away usually to never be seen again.  Typical social media platforms encourage users to stay on their site - never leaving their platform and their algorithm will favor native content as a result.  However, Pinterest is a search engine - pins are searchable.  Every pin has an external link and the platform encourages users to leave Pinterest and go to blogs, shops, YouTube channels and even Instagram pages.  

According to Jenna Kutcher, a content creator and marketing strategist, “the biggest difference between Pinterest and social media, like Facebook and Instagram… (and the key reason Pinterest should be a part of your content promotion strategy.) is that social media works hard to keep people on their apps. Whereas Pinterest inspires people to click off the app.”  This changes the mindset immensely. 

How We Recommend Using Pinterest

Because Pinterest does such a great job inspiring folks to click off the app, it is an incredible tool for driving traffic to your other social media outlets, your website, your blog, opt-in pages, your e-Commerce shop, your etsy shop and more.  As I mentioned before, it is a really exciting tool that if used correctly can change the landscape of your business altogether.

Business Profile

The first thing we recommend for you to do is to create a Business profile. Doing this gives you access to a lot of tools you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, such as:

From there, you should optimize your business profile to showcase who you are, what you do and other places folks can find you online. 

Content Creator 

Now for the best results, we don’t recommend just jumping onto Pinterest and repinning other folks content - although this is definitely a tactic you can use.  On the contrary, we encourage you to create and pin original content to Pinterest to drive traffic back to your website and convert visitors into paying customers.

Creating your own content allows you to do several pretty cool things for your brand such as:

We recommend creating content around 3-7 categories directly related to your business. For example, The Social Brand focuses on:

We create content around these five categories as a way to keep our content focused and on track for our business goals.  Of course, these categories should also be topics that you know your target demographic or audience is interested in, so that you’re attracting the right people to your business. As we at The Social Brand always say, knowing who your customers are is vital. 

Pinning Your Content

Once you have amazing original content ready to post, you can begin pinning your content on Pinterest.

Your pins should have an image that is 1000 x 1500 pixels or have a ratio of 2:3.  Unlike Facebook or Instagram, you should have large headlines with eye catching wording.  Make sure to design the image according to your branding, include your logo and website.  Then write an engaging description of your content and post with a link. 

PRO TIP: Use a watermark or your logo in a central part of your pin image to avoid having your images stolen by other brands or pinners. We’ve seen this type of thing happen and you deserve to get credit for your hard work! 

Now Pinterest’s algorithm honors fresh, new content. But a sweet workaround?  Pinterest considers all new images fresh content eeeeven if it’s linked to the same content you’ve posted 12 other times. SO … post away!  Some content creators say that they are still driving traffic to their blogs and websites from pins they posted over 3 years ago. This is the beauty of the Pinterest search engine instead of traditional social media. 

Now, another fun tidbit is that Pinterest tells us that top channels are posting 10-15 times a day!

You read that right, 10-15 a day. Kiiiiiinda ridiculous, right? Who has time to do that? (even with automation). So if you’re reading this and this all seems like a little much - just keep this in mind - there are professional content creators who do this for a living.  Then there’s us - the small businesses using the platform to grow our businesses.  Doing what we can and reaping the rewards of that is enough. So as a beginner, shoot for one post a day.

Growing Your Email List

Now obviously being suuuuper popular on Pinterest and having thousands of followers on the platform would be a good ego boost, but it certainly isn’t the end goal. We’re running businesses here, right? Our end goal is to attract new visitors to our business and convert those visitors into paying customers. 

So, we have to have a plan on how to make that conversion happen. The easiest way to do that? Having them sign up for your email list. Of course once you’ve had them sign up for your email list, you can contact them later, educate them on your brand and nurture them all the way through the buyer’s journey.  

How to Get Visitors to Opt-In

Once they’ve clicked your post and they’re on your website, getting them to give away their email address is a whole other challenge. SO… how do you get them to sign up? Free stuff.

Offering them something in exchange for their email address is the most effective way of doing this. Check out our list of 39 freebies you can offer in exchange for an email address here. (You’ll never guess what you need to give us in exchange for the list, either. **wink, wink**)

So, there you go! What Pinterest is, how we recommend you use the platform and how to grow your email list using the platform. You now have the tools to get your business on Pinterest, begin driving traffic to your website and converting them into paying customers.   Feeling a little overwhelmed with Pinterest? Sign up for our upcoming class, “How to Grow Your Business with Pinterest” here.

5 Signs of a Website That Works for You, Not Against You

As a business, you probably have some sort of website (hopefully), if not you are really missing out on reaching potential customers. If you do have a website, you most likely fall into one of these three categories: your website working for you (yay!) , you working for your website (that’s no fun) , or your website working against all of your hard work (saboteur!). In this blog, I’ll tell you the five signs of a good website that converts users and works for you, and tell you if your website needs some updating. 

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Before we really get started, we need to define what a “good” website is. A good website is one that works as an extension of yourself when you aren’t there to talk to customers. In essence, it should be the best employee that you have on your team. It should represent your brand perfectly, give customers the information they desire/need, and ultimately lead to new clients/ customers to help grow your business. It should be intentional and well thought out from beginning to end. It should grow as your business grows and never become a stagnant page living somewhere in the depths of the internet. A good website works for you, not against you. Let’s take a look at 5 easy ways to tell if your website is getting the job done. 

  1. Branding

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Branding is key to a well functioning website. Without proper branding, your customer honestly might not even know where they are and if they can really trust the information on your website. When you think of branding, your mind probably goes straight to logo, but branding is way more than that. Branding is who you are as a business. Sure, it is your logo, color scheme, and fonts, but it is also your tone of voice, how your photographs look, the quality of your service, and how you interact with your customers. Does your website look like your business? Does it sound like you and portray the quality of service you provide? Or is it just a stagnant landing page with your operating hours and address? Again, your website is your best employee, would you want your employees to come in wearing the competitors colors and talking about their service? Or would you want them to live and breathe your product/service in every way possible? 

  1. Dedicated Landing Pages

Many self-made websites are just one page with all of the businesses products/services listed, the hours of operation, and an address. While this is an easy way to get your information out there, it probably isn’t the best way to advertise your services to the internet. In order to show up better in search results, you should have individual pages for your products/services. So if your business offers three primary services: accounting services, clerical services, and office organization - then you should have separate pages for each of these services. This way if someone searches for one, it shows up instead of being lost underneath an unrelated page. This also helps customers navigate your website once they are there and find exactly what they are looking for. 

  1. Clear Call To Action

A clear call to action helps your customers know what action they should take on your website in order to get what they need, or what action you want them to take. Example: “Call Now” or “Get a Quote Today” In order to set a call to action, you need to know the overall goal of your website. Some examples of goals are: to sell a product or service online, to lead individuals to your brick and mortar, or to provide information. 

Let’s say you run a roof repair company called Ready Roof Repair and the main goal of your website is to get customers to schedule a free roof inspection. Your call to action should probably be more than just “get a quote” because everyone does that and you want to stand out from the crowd. A better call to action might be “Call us to get your free Ready Roof inspection today!” or “Fill out our Ready Repair questionnaire for your free quote!” Feel free to have some fun with it. The less generic, the better. 

You also don’t want confusing call to actions or call to actions living in the wrong place.  For example, Ready Roof Repair may also sell roofing materials and do attic repairs, too. So it would be really confusing if you had a Roof Inspection call to action on the page that talks about attic repairs and vice versa. Your Call to Actions need to be intentional and well placed as they are a driving force of conversions for your website.

  1. Load Time & Functionality 

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How fast your website loads and how well it works is pivotal in order to keep customers on your website. If a website takes longer than 1 second to load, many people give up and leave the website. 1 second! Which is why you need to make sure your website is optimized for the best speed. The easiest way you can do this by making sure your images are no larger than 1920x1080 pixels. You can check your site speed and run some diagnostics by going to Google Page Speed. If your website loads quickly, great! 

Now you have to make sure it has good functionality. Can people access all of your pages without having to search around your website like a maze? It is answering the most commonly asked questions about your business? Do all of the links and buttons work? Is it helping you accomplish your business goals? These are just a few things that can make a huge difference in the functionality of your website. 

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO ( or search engine optimization) is the behind the scenes part of your website that makes sure you are showing up in search engine results, like Google. Setting up good SEO helps your website show up more, and show up better than it would without taking any action. Many people will go through an agency to set up a professional SEO, but there are a few easy steps you can take yourself to enhance your website’s SEO. First, make sure you have content that is easy to read. If a person has trouble understanding your website's content, a robot certainly will too. Set up some main keywords that you think people will use when they search for you on the internet. Once you have a list of keywords, go through your content and make sure those words are sprinkled throughout in the right places. You can also set up a Google Search Console account for your website to help show you what you are doing well, and where you need to improve your SEO. It is free and a very powerful tool for your business! 

How To Tell If You Need A New Website

A new website may seem like a daunting task, but a poorly set up site does more harm than good to your business. It not only makes you hard to find on the internet, it also harms your business reputation. It only takes users about 50 milliseconds to determine if they want to stay on your website, so a good site just might be the deciding factor between you and your competitors for your customers. Here are a few signs you need a new or improved website: (You can also take our free website audit quiz below)

To sum it all up, if you don’t have a good website, you are hurting your business. Your website should be the best employee you have and be there to guide customers and answer questions when you can’t be. You should have the same trust in your website as you do in yourself, and if you don’t, then it’s time to get a new website that works for you and not against you.