Ashley Allison has been an entrepreneur in the online space since 2013. She started her first business straight out of college selling custom clothing pieces online. Shortly after, she started her blog MissAshleyAllison.com and quickly monetized it by partnering with brands like Sally Beauty Supply. Now she helps online coaches consistently sell out their high ticket offers so they can scale to 5-figure months.
- CEO Hack: Time blocking and making the hardest task my first task
- CEO Nugget: Educate and invest in yourself
- CEO Defined: Time freedom
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today of Ashley Allison of Miss Ashley, Alison, calm Ashley, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Ashley Allison 0:40
Thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm excited.
Gresham Harkless 0:43
No problem excited as well, too. You're doing loads of awesome things. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Ashley so you can hear about all those awesome things that she's doing. And Ashley has been an entrepreneur and online spaces 2013 she started her first business straight out of college selling custom clothing pieces online. Shortly after she started her blog, Miss Ashley, Allison calm and quickly monetize it by partnering with brands like Sally Beauty Supply. Now she helps online coaches consistently sell out their high ticket offers so they can scale to five figure months. Ashley, are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?
Ashley Allison 1:18
Yes, and let's go.
Gresham Harkless 1:19
Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here. A little bit more how you got started. Could you take us through your SEO story? We'll let you get started with this.
Ashley Allison 1:29
Yeah, so I graduated college from Clark Atlanta University. And I graduated with a double degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. And I was super excited. I said, I'm going to you know, make my way up the fashion ladder in corporate. But I, you know, go on these interviews, and no one was giving me a shot, I essentially did not have enough experience. So have you ever heard of like they say, this is an entry level position, but we want you to have 20 years of experience. Right, exactly. So this was what was happening to me. And so I said, you know what the motto of my, my university was find a way or make one. And so I took that model and I set up shop on my mom's dining room table, I set up my two sewing machines. And I just started sewing. So I started doing influencer marketing before it was really a thing I would reach out to, you know, reality celebrities, Instagram models, and I would just tell them, Hey, you know, I have this amazing piece that I've sown, I would love for you to wear it, you can have it. All I want you to do in exchange is just to shout me out on your profile. This started to blow up, I started to receive a lot of notoriety and publicity because of that. And lo and behold, I started to gain orders. However, I was one person doing all of the sewing all of the work. And I quickly found out that I did not like to so as a business, I liked it more of as a hobby. So I was completely drained. At this point, I was working two jobs as well. I was making like $7 an hour both of these part time jobs. And one day I just had enough. I said, You know what, I'm done. I'm not selling anymore. And all of my clients were like, what? They are pissed, right? They're like, What do you mean, you're not selling anymore? So I told them, you know, I've always loved to read and write. And I said, Listen, I'm going to find someone a contractor that can make my garments for me because I'm located 45 minutes outside of New York City. So I said while I'm doing this, I will write about it out and you can follow the journey. So I started my blog, Miss Ashley, Allison calm. And I began to receive questions about not only my business, but my hair, my outfits, my shoes, like everything in regards to my life and it transformed into a lifestyle blog where I began to monetize it. So this was how I was able to work with brands like Sally Beauty Supply. Next thing I know I'm an influencer, right? So now I have like this second form of income that's coming in. Then I realized a lot of people were asking me about my business, how I started, you know how to market it. And I realized that there's this whole online coaching industry that I could tap into. And so that's exactly what I did. I started you know, I started with a price Hey, this is my price. And I started helping people market their online businesses. I work specifically with coaches, as well as small online business owners and I helped them go from zero months to five k plus months, and it's been amazing ever since.
Gresham Harkless 4:48
Nice. I absolutely love that. It's so funny. I think he said the phrase at Clark Atlanta. I was hearing you know, sometimes we had to make a way out of no way and yeah sighs we get stopped in our tracks because oh The lane we envisioned maybe when we were younger doesn't exist. But especially in this day and age and this disruptive time, a lot of times we're, you know, the world is waiting for you to kind of create your own path.
Ashley Allison 5:09
Exactly right. And that's what I think that's the biggest thing that we really have to create our own ways. Because we're not owed anything. No one owes us anything, you know? And if we're waiting for a handout, it might not come.
Gresham Harkless 5:21
Yeah, absolutely. And you have to change your mindset and create that. Because a lot of times, you know, we're waiting for that luck, when in reality, we have to create our own luck. So,
Ashley Allison 5:30
Gresham Harkless 5:33
And so I know you touched on it a little bit in what we can find on your site, can you take us through a little bit more on how exactly you're serving these coaches and clientele that you work with?
Ashley Allison 5:41
Yeah, so I have a few different options on how I set up where people can work with me. So I started out with doing one on one coaching, because you know, it was very new to me. And I honestly believe that that's the best decision for anyone that is interested in the online coaching industry is start out doing one on one, because then you're really able to identify the similarities, that everyone is having the issues that everyone is having. So I realized, working with people one on one, that they essentially were all having the same exact issue, asking me the same exact questions. And because I was able to identify that, then I was able to branch out into offering a second form of how people can work with me, which was in a group setting. So now I'm able to offer a lower price tier to people that might not have been able to afford working with me one on one, now they can work with me in a group setting. And really, what that does is it helps you create sort of like an assembly line, think of it that way where it's kind of like, you know, from beginning to end, you have specific processes that everyone is going to go through, and they're all going to end result essentially have the same outcome. And so like those are like the two different ways that I have, that that I have, like as as an option for people to work with me. And I think that it worked really well, you know, first just kind of getting my feet wet, when people one on one really establishing myself, as well as an you know, an online coach in sales and marketing and then being able to present my clientele and my potential, you know, future clients with different options and ways to be able to work with me and do that, and have success within their businesses as well.
Gresham Harkless 7:28
Yeah, absolutely. And I love you know that how you executed on that, so to speak. And I think so many times, you know, we skip over, you know, doing those things kind of in the beginning in order to build that foundation. And like you talked about being able to kind of understand what those questions, those consistent questions. Not only does it provide you that opportunity to, of course, serve your clients. But I think it also provides you that kind of data and information about those consistent trends that you spoke up to be able to scale and to provide the group that you do as well, too. And I'm sure provide seeds to so many other things that you're working on.
Ashley Allison 8:01
Exactly, exactly. The laying down the foundation is really key. And so many people that you know, they want to go from zero to 100 really quick, they want to, you know, they want to be making all this money so quick. But honestly, if you miss that foundational step, you don't take your time there, you can really find yourself crashing down. Very, you know, and rate, if you don't really take the time to establish that foundation.
Gresham Harkless 8:30
Yeah, absolutely. It ends up becoming a house of cards. And you know, you might get to that height. But if it's not really built on National Foundation, then it won't last as long as we would have vote.
Ashley Allison 8:41
Gresham Harkless 8:42
Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally or your business or a combination of both? Well, what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Ashley Allison 8:53
Honestly, I would say that it is me being a straight shooter. People love so I am called on Instagram, the trigger Queen, they say oh, here she goes triggering. And I just love you know, being direct and people know that it's coming from a place of love. I tell people you know, if I, if I can't tell you who's gonna tell you, there's a lot of times where people are afraid to be direct. And really tell people listen like this is a mistake that you're making within your business is significantly harming you. So a big one was, I've seen a lot of people giving away free information or doing free coaching. And I really triggered a lot of people with that one because so many people are doing it right. They're trying to get themselves established. And because they are not signing clients, they're giving away their information, their knowledge for free, and hopes that this person will convert. And so you know, when I come out with things like this, it's coming from a place of, of love, you know, to let them know, you can't you can't do this. You're harming your business more than you're helping it and so that would i would say that's really my secret sauce. Because people love someone that can be straightforward with them and not try to like, you know, let them go down a bad path just because you don't want to hurt their feelings with me, they understand that I'm going to give it to them straight, I'm going to be direct, and I'm going to say it to them with love. And, and I would really say that that is really my secret sauce and why people want to work with me, is because they know that at the end of the day, you know, I'm going to give it to them straight in. And we're gonna work together with the things that I know that they need in order to be successful.
Gresham Harkless 10:32
Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a SEO hack. This might be an app or book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?
Ashley Allison 10:43
Definitely, for me, it would be time blocking, I am very big on time blocking, I make sure that I write down my goals for the day. So I will typically give myself three to five goals that I know that I, or tasks, I should say, tasks that I know that I want to get done. And what I will also do is make my hardest task, the first task, I will bang that first task out because I know that if I don't personally I probably won't do it. You know, and I hope to it as big as me procrastinating. If I try to say, Oh, well, I'll do it in afternoon, I'll do it later. No, just get it out of the way, get it done. And why I love time blocking is because it really gets me in the workflow. So I'm able to turn off my phone and put my phone on silent and maybe to tell people okay, you know, at the top of the hour, I'm going to be working for 15 minutes. So please do not disturb me until you know, the 15 minutes is up. And this really is effective for me and both the people around me as well. Because then they know Okay, at the top of the hour, I know she's probably she's probably working. So let me not, you know, disrupt her until after that 15 minutes is done. So I love to time block. I also tell my clients as well to time block, and they really do notice a significant amount of productivity within their days and in them being able to get their tasks done.
Gresham Harkless 12:11
Yeah, absolutely. So I love that. That hack. And so now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Ashley Allison 12:25
Hmm. If I had to hop into a time machine and tell my young, I would say the biggest thing would be educating yourself and investing in yourself. So for me, I in the beginning, I was educating myself via Google, which was great, right? You're a beginner, typically, that's what you're going to do. But then just understanding that that education never stops, you're never going to get to a point where you say I know everything that there is to know I'm done. And also realizing that eventually that education and that knowledge, you're going to have to start to pay for it. So for me, my biggest thing was graduating from Google to now I am hiring and investing in myself right now I'm hiring other top coaches to work with me to teach me what they know. And I found that the more money I make, the higher my investments have gotten. All right. And and so I think that would be the biggest thing is investing in yourself and taking the time to learn and educate yourself and just being patient, you know, around that around the whole thing, because business is a microwave. And if it is I mean, your business probably is not going to be sustainable. So just really taking that time to invest in yourself. And as we were saying earlier, right? This is again, laying down the foundation.
Gresham Harkless 13:43
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping that a different quote unquote, CEOs on the show, so actually, what does mean a CEO mean to you?
Ashley Allison 13:54
For me, being a CEO means being able to completely manage my schedule and my time, I would look to it more so as like time freedom. I think a lot of times when people think of CEOs, they think of like, you know, having the financial freedom, but for me, it really is about the time freedom, because you know, I can have all of the money in the world. But if I don't have the time then to be able to spend it with my family, which is essentially I think why we all start businesses right is so we are able to have more time to do the things that we love. And essentially, if I don't have that time, then I feel as though I'm still not where I want to be even though you can have millions or billions of dollars in the bank. So for me I would really look at being a seat at being a an effective CEO as having that time freedom to really do the things that you love. Well, Ashley, I
Gresham Harkless 14:47
truly appreciate that and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can you know view and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.
Ashley Allison 15:00
Thank you so much for having me on the show. And I would really just say, to really move forward towards your dreams and your goals don't give up. Essentially, you are not a failure, right? You're not a failure as long as you make the decision to not give up. So yeah, you know, sometimes you might run into some things you might need to pivot, you might need to change things. But that does not make you a failure. It just means that you've learned another lesson, another stepping stone to help get you to the next point of your life. So just keep moving forward and know that success is inevitable as long as you keep moving forward and never give up.
Gresham Harkless 15:36
Absolutely, and people that want to get ahold of you what's the best way for them to do that?
Ashley Allison 15:40
They can find me on Instagram at Miss m i s s Ashley a sh le y Allison, a L Li s o n.
Gresham Harkless 15:51
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well too. But I love that kind of last reminder as well. Because I think so many times when we look at business and life as kind of like a video game where every time you know, you may not get to the next level but you've learned something so that you can get better we can approach our business and our life like that. We never fully quit or lose until we quit, I should say. And if we have that perspective, that we're continuing to level up and he can kind of become somewhat of an unstoppable
Ashley Allison 16:19
Thank you for listening to the IMC o podcast powered by Blue 16 Media Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO dot CEO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five star rating grab CEO gear at WWW dot CEO gear.co This has been the mF CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.
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