There’s a common belief among social media marketers that nowadays you can’t grow your profiles without advertising. Ashley Richards started E Squared Marketing, a digital marketing and social media agency, in 2018 with a flexible structure to support women being home with their families while still making a living.
Ashley Richards has an entire staff of 10+ work-from-home moms. Today we talk with Ashley about how she started her business to influencer marketing and how women can find that balance again while still being a part of today’s workforce.
What inspired you to start E Squared Marketing?
E Squared Marketing was inspired by my two children, and even named after them- Ellie and Eli. After spending years in an executive marketing role, I had my daughter, Ellie, and knew I wanted to spend more time with her at home, but not give up my career I loved so much, so E Squared Marketing was born. It has allowed me to be a hands-on mother, and still pursue my business dreams, and I truly feel like I have the best of both worlds.
Why is social media marketing important for every business?
Social Media Marketing should be part of every marketing strategy because your ideal audience is online! Social Media allows businesses to share their story and provides a platform where you can engage with existing customers and future ones as well. These social platforms have incredible tools to help businesses thrive in the online market, and partnering with an expert team like E Squared Marketing can help elevate your brand, and covert to more followers and results.
What are the key metrics you look at when searching for influencers?
The biggest metric we look at when it comes to influencers is their engagement rate- no matter how many followers they have, is their audience engaging? We do find that larger follower counts can lead to lower engagement rates, but checking that calculating and finding out their projected reachable audience is a huge factor and helps us decided if we want to partner with them on a project or not.
Which is your favorite influencer marketing campaign that one of clients created by using #paid and why?
We just wrapped up a really fun influencer campaign for Mother’s Day, where we had influencers from across the nation share memories they had with their mom at the mall. The videos were so relatable, impactful, and fun to watch! Who doesn’t have a great memory with their mom at the mall? From prom dresses to getting a pretzel in the food court.
Where do you see influencer marketing going in 10 years?
Influencer Marketing is stronger now, and I predict it will continue to strengthen year after year. These social platforms continue to provide new tools for creators as well, giving them more opportunities to expand and become profitable. I am a huge fan of influencer marketing. These authentic partnerships bring such great brand awareness and exposure, and we have seen huge results for our clients because of these initiatives.
What’s your favorite social network – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Why?
My favorite, and guilty pleasure is TikTok- Video content is so fun, creative, and can be very educational! I am digging the cooking videos and mom jokes.
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Setbacks are certainly part of the process and any business has them, it’s how you react that will make or break you. If our company has a setback, we review and discuss with the team, what went well, what didn’t, and why- can we change something in our process to make it better? If so, we make those adjustments, but either way, we move on and try to continue to do better each day. Our business is constantly evolving and ever-changing, so addressing, making changes, and moving forward quickly is a huge part of how we continue with our success.
What have you learned most from entrepreneurship?
The art of being disciplined. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, but running a business, being a hands-on mother to my two kids, and a wife, it can be a lot- being disciplined with my time, creating healthy routines, and managing my calendar have been huge tools for me to manage it all. There are also many curve balls when you are an entrepreneur, so be prepared for the unknown, pivot, and adjust accordingly.
Share two pieces of advice for female entrepreneurs.
1. Stay confident- people come to you because you are the expert, know you have a place at the table, and you deserve to be there.
2. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, feeling uncomfortable is where the growth happens, embrace it!
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
My incredible team- we are one big family, they work so hard, provide incredible services to our clients and they are constantly growing. I am proud of the work we provide and the clients we serve because I have an incredible, supportive team that make it all happen.