An interview with your Online Business Coach and Social Media Strategist, Ashlee MacDouell
Ashlee MacDouell is an online business coach that helps other coaches book more clients & make more money through organic marketing and customized strategies! She started her business as a social media manager and strategist and as her clients sought her out for more, she made the pivot while still applying all of her knowledge and experience to serve her clients best.
I picked Ashlee's brain to help set us all up for success going into the new year or new season in our businesses (depending on when you listen to this) as we plan our content and marketing efforts up ahead.
Who's Ashlee MacDouell?
"I went from being confused about my path in life, commuting 2 hours a day to my 9-5, and only seeing my son for a couple hours a day, to staying home with my two sons, and launching my own business and hitting $3K my third month in business as a social media manager, only growing from there.
Now, I’m a business coach specializing in utilizing social media to develop an engaged community, create a strong presence, and have successful launches!
I work hard to meet my clients where they are at and provide the training to transform how they are showing up in their business to connect with their ideal clients and hit their first $5K months!
I believe in creating meaningful content to connect with and nurture your community. You deserve to be seen, heard and known - and share your gifts with the people who really need you!"
What are some of the biggest challenges your clients go through?
I want to say finding clients, but the underlining is mindset. Now, I wouldn't claim myself to be a "mindset coach", but a part of coaching is to keeping my clients motivated and mindset up when they go through discouraging times.
A lot of times when business owners come to me for help, they're really looking for guidance. They often feel lost from feeling like they've tried everything.
So I encourage them to actually talk to people to get them started. Like actually message and start conversations with their audience (not cold pitching). This not only helps them to get to know people on a personal level, but also get a really good understanding on what their audience is up to so that way they can sell to them better when the timing is right.
I teach a lot about creating opportunities to message their audience, on top of what they're currently doing. For example, if you have a freebie, ask your audience "who wants it?", they'll comment, then you tell them you're going to message them, then when you message them with the link to your freebie, you already have a conversation starter: the freebie they asked for!
If you're cold messaging all day, it doesn't give your audience the opportunity to message you. This is a more organic approach, but it's going to take time. I can't sugarcoat it. The exchange on putting in that effort is going to be significantly greater.
What problems are you continuously seeing with entrepreneurs marketing themselves online?
There's a general issue (that I've even experienced recently) with people not showing up. Not in their feeds or even stories. For instance, I'm looking to hire a Virtual Assistant, but it's been hard trying to find one because they either aren't showing up as themselves or I don't see any photos of them; their feeds are solely graphics and their stories are empty.
As visual beings, we're trying to find something we can relate to when we're looking to hire or buy from them. Even with the people that might be great at taking selfies, but might not be showing themselves in their true nature is still hard to relate to.
Like, WHO ARE YOU?!
Authenticity has now became such a buzzword (or worse, misguided by fake authenticity), but we really do need to see you as you actually are. There's nothing to build like and trust if you aren't sharing at least glimpses of the real you.
It's also important to show people what your life is actually like. As a mom, I connect well with other mompreneurs because they know I get what it's like to juggle it all. I also work with people that aren't moms, but at least it shows the extra challenge of how I still make it work in my business, so hopefully they feel like they can make it work in their life and business too.
So what's an easy and all-in way for someone to start being more present in their "live" feeds?
First off, I hate that this is the overall answer: but you just need to show up. No matter if you're new or more experienced, start practicing every day.
One easy way would be doing voice overs. An idea would be walking your dogs, face the camera towards them and say something like "taking a break from working with the dogs. It's a beautiful day..." You get the idea. It's not ideal (because we want to see your face), but this is a great start if you're really camera shy. Then ease your way into talking to your camera with it facing you.
If you're more comfortable in front of the camera, start doing lives regularly. It sounds like a big jump, but the awesome part about lives is there's no do-over. So even if you stumble, it's all good! It shows you're human and you can continue to get all of your thoughts out. Whereas in the regular story feature, you're able to retake whatever you're trying to say. So by the 8th time you try to get your thoughts out, you'll just get so frustrated that you might not even post at all. At that point, just stop and try again later.
Trust me it sounds scary going live, but it'll seem so much easier because you just have to keep going. So just take a sec to collect yourself then keep talking.
If you're someone that wants to go all-in, show up in your stories every day. Show your face, say something that's going to be valuable to your audience or even give them an update to what you've been doing all day. Also include your life too. So If you have dogs, are hanging out with friends, about to go for a run, etc., post something about it in your stories feed. That way you're showing a balance of your business and your life.
Coming into the new year, what's the most impactful change our tribes can make today to make sure they're covered across all of their online platforms?
Here's a quick scary story.
I know of a very well known social media manager who used Instagram as her main platform (had tons of engaged followers, was showing up every day, and doing IG the right way). Recently her Instagram account got shut off. Just gone. And while she's still trying to get it back, she does at least has her Facebook group to help and her email list that way she can still communicate to some of her audience.
It's so important to diversify your presence when stuff like this happens because it does all the time and you never know if that could happen to you. Outside of social media, you really need to start building an email list. At that point, you own those email contacts. Not only that, but it's another avenue you can use to communicate your launches, promotions, and connect with those that opt-in.
While it's important to diversify yourself online, I get how it's overwhelming just to even think of being on two platforms. But that's why the email list comes in handy in case anything were to happen to your social platforms. Even if you're not the best at writing emails or your list might be small now, you'll at least know that you have a solid communication platform that's less likely to hurt your business if there are issues.
Ashlee has a freebie that show you "5 Ways To Improve Your Instagram Now!"
This freebie is going to make sure you show people what you do to not make people "burn calories" trying to figure out what you do and who you are. It's not just your "I help" statement, but also giving you a chance to see if you're putting your best self out into the online world.
One of the reasons why I vibe so much with Ashlee is because she just gives her advice straight. No fluff, all real talk. But she does it in a way that truly shows how invested she is in each of her clients. When I got to work with her for a power-hour coaching call, she was very prepared to help me see where I'm lacking in my online presence and even called my bluff when I told her I didn't have any limiting belief issues (which at the time I obviously did and she could feel it over video chatting).
Connect with Ashlee & Get Her Freebie
Website | https://ashleemacdouellmedia.com/
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/ashleemacdouell/
Pinterest | https://www.pinterest.com/ashleemacdouell/