Insights from Female Leader and Marketing Expert Ashley Richards

Insights from Female Leader and Marketing Expert Ashley Richards

Welcome to Marketer Interview!

Today, we are honored to have Ashley Richards, the Owner of E Squared Marketing, joining us to talk about her journey in social media, digital marketing, and female leadership.

Ashley’s journey is unique and inspiring as she started her agency with a flexible structure to support women being home with their families while still making a living.

With her social media and digital marketing expertise, Ashley can offer valuable insights on how to start a business from home, find balance as a working mom, and why work-from-home moms make the best employees.

Let’s dive in!

What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing?

Ever since I was a child, I have always had a love for creativity. I prefer literature, writing, and creative projects any day over math or science, so I am grateful I get to take my passion and create a career out of it in marketing!

I started my marketing career 17 years ago when I was 20 years old, and I have never looked back. It has been incredible to watch the industry evolve over the last 2 decades as digital and technology have taken our industry to the next level.

Can you tell us more about E Squared Marketing and the company’s mission and vision?

E Squared Marketing is named after my two children, Ellie and Eli, who are the heart behind my agency’s creation.

Eight years ago, I became a mother and faced a challenge most mothers encounter: to become a stay-at-home mom or a working mom.

I loved my career, but the thought of dropping off my newborn at a daycare made me sick. I was determined to have both, so I quit my corporate job and started consulting from home with 2 kids under 2.

The business continued to evolve, and even as we have grown, inspiring and encouraging working mothers is still a huge motivator in our company. We currently have 30 women on our team, most of which are moms that work remotely.

E Squared Marketing is a boutique digital marketing agency always willing to go the extra mile for our clients. Starting with a tailor-made strategy to fit your business’s unique needs, we’ll bring your customers an unforgettable online experience to grow your following, keep your business in mind, and distinguish you from your competitors.

With more than two decades of experience, our team brings a personal touch to everything we do while seamlessly executing winning strategies the way that only a team of experts can.

Our Vision is simple: Provide incredible digital marketing services while empowering women.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female leader in the marketing industry?

From my experience, the marketing industry is dominated by women. However, there is still work to do when working with male clients. So I always encourage other female leaders to speak confidently and make a spot at any table they want to be at.

Thankfully, I have always had excellent relationships with all our male and female clients. Because we prioritize our mission of empowering women, we typically find ourselves with clients that align with that mission or are excited to be part of our journey, and for that, I am grateful.

Can you share some tips on creating a successful social media marketing campaign?

I always recommend staying true to your brand: What is the voice and tone of your business? Then, make sure that it shines through in your campaign.

Additionally, be sure to dig into your audience. Do you know who is following you? Ensure you are engaging and providing content that would speak to them.

I am also a massive fan of humanizing your brand. If they feel involved in your journey, it helps build an authentic following that will support you for years.

So don’t be scared to pull back the curtains and let your business personality shine online.

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What is the most critical aspect of digital marketing, and why?

This may be a different opinion from others, but an authentic brand voice is the most important.

Consumers are craving authenticity. Can they get that from your brand or company? So be prepared to pour into these platforms to ensure your voice shines, and of course, make sure it is authentic to your organization.

Can you tell us about a particularly successful campaign or project you have worked on?

Last year we worked on a project called “Memories with Mom at the Mall” and showcased influencers across the country sharing their precious memories with their mothers at the mall over the years.

From getting ears pierced to shopping for prom dresses, it was so sweet to hear about these precious moments and walk down memory lane with them. These stories were shared via reels and showcased on shopping centers’ social media pages.

What tools and software do you use daily to help you manage your work?

As an agency, we are huge fans of Sprout Social for our social media publishing and listening tool. They constantly stay on top of the latest and greatest features and integrations, helping us level up our social media game.

We also love as our communication and project management software. This go-to software houses everything – time tracking, processes, and reporting.

And finally, we are integrating AI services into our industry as well. Again, the technology is here, so it is crucial to understand and integrate it for our clients to feel confident knowing we are staying on top of all the latest technology that could help benefit them.

Why do you think work-from-home moms make the best employees, and how can companies attract more moms?

Mothers are often overlooked for many positions when they are the best employees you can find!

Moms are dedicated, incredible multitaskers, and in the world of digital marketing, one that never sleeps, they tend to prefer a more flexible schedule versus a more rigid 8-5.

Those hours traditionally don’t work for working mothers, as drop off and pick up from school land during those hours, but if they can work flexible hours, they are happier in their careers, and it indeed shows in their work. A happy team always provides quality results.

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How do you see the marketing industry evolving in the next five years?

Marketing constantly evolves, but I see the next 5 years focusing on AI services.

AI is here to stay, so it is time for all marketing professionals to lean into the technology and ensure it is integrated into your business.

The tools are incredible, and although it is very intuitive, it still needs a driver to ensure success, and that should be the marketing team for any business.

What advice would you give someone just starting a marketing career?

Dive into the research! Most digital platforms provide free training (Meta, Mailchimp, Sprout Social, just to name a few), so continue learning to become an industry expert.

Follow and subscribe to digital podcasts and find some great YouTube videos. Once you dip your toes in the industry, it is all about testing, understanding your market, reviewing the results, then adjusting based on your findings.

Always keep sight of the journey in marketing. That is what makes it exciting and creative!

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