Ashleigh Blatt is the money maker for celebrities and high net-worth entrepreneurs. She came out of her behind-the-scenes role to the forefront as the Chief Curator & Master Motivator within The Power Squad Project, an email community for women entrepreneurs who want to connect with like-minded women entrepreneurs interested in building a giant business that gives them freedom, a challenge, and an impact on the world.
Read on to find out what a work from home consulting business really looks like in this interview with Ashleigh Blatt.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
Starting January 1, 2016, I decided I was never going to have as terrible of a year as 2015 was. I began focusing on creating a life I wanted, which always included having another business. That day I decided to stop going to Costco, to the grocery store, or to Target to fill my time every day, and I was going to focus on creating my second formal business. At the time, I had no idea what it would be.
I started a podcast, interviewing mom business owners so I could learn how they created and built a business while also managing and growing a family. Those interviews were eye-opening as they revealed that you “just” had to start. In the past year, my focus and offerings have evolved as I have learned how I have changed, what services I prefer to perform, and where my time is best served.
Today, I help make celebrities rich. I use my lifelong experience in the entrepreneurial world to help them develop strategies to create additional income streams. I use the social media marketing process I honed this past year to make it a full-circle income driver.
What's most fun is that I then take all these stories, data, and learning and share them via The Power Squad Project. There, women can connect with and read the inspiring stories of thousands of entrepreneurial woman who are ambitious, smart, tenacious, creative, have a lot to say, and a lot to give. We share business stories, news, and trends everyone can use to succeed.
Do you have any special training?
I am a certified Project Management Professional, which means I am an organizational wizard and can determine precisely the tasks at hand to accomplish just about anything. My strength is helping other people accomplish THEIR goals!
I was also trained as an Ontological Coach (focusing on how “to-be”). In my opinion, this is the most powerful coaching practice out there because its focus is learning how to be your true self and how to live with gratitude deep in your heart and soul.
I also have lifelong learning of entrepreneurial experience. My first sales pitch was when I was 6 years old and a customer came into my parents’ store. I asked how I could help them, and then proceeded to tell them their timing was perfect because it was our Anniversary Sale. I started my first business, with a partner, at the age of 27. We were successful pretty quickly and created a 7-figure business in 18 months. It was not without trials and tribulations, but all-in-all, they were good learning lessons.
Give us an example of how you landed one of your first consulting clients.
I was working with a local client on getting her name out there, building a practice, and taking advantage of all the things social media has to offer. While in the meetings with her, I was gathering information on what she needed and wanted. In the evenings I would research celebrities to see what activities they were doing. (I had also invested a ton of money in online courses and coaching to learn the details on how to make a social media platform work for you.) What I found when I was researching celebrities was that many of their social media strategies weren't working. A lot of them were out-of-date, not managed at all, or not managed in ways that would do anything for them. I couldn’t believe it! Who cares about followers if you’re not monetizing it?
So I started reaching out to the ones I thought I could help. Deep within their sites and platforms, you can typically find a name or a contact. It’s not hard to figure out email addresses either. I emailed the first client I ended up landing at 11 p.m. I sent him a note outlining where he needed help, and I let him know I was available. I told him it was OK if he didn’t call me back, but I included three potential Facebook cover photos he was free to use either way.
He emailed me back immediately, and that started the conversation. Come to find out, he was in the middle of launching a huge new project and desperately needed some project management help, which of course is my core expertise. And that started the relationship.
How do you minimize income peaks and valleys in your consulting business?
I am a huge fan of diversifying, investing, and retainer contracts.
I believe there is this common misconception that we are supposed to do only one thing. Heck, there are best-seller books telling you to focus on one thing. My problem with that is we are multi-faceted people. We don’t have just one interest; we have many. We don’t just have one expertise; we have several. I am more than happy to offer project management services, consulting services, and social media services. I connect with my client, determine their needs, and if I can help them, we come up with a package that works for everyone.
It’s imperative to save and invest as much as you possibly can. Entrepreneurship as a whole is rocky. When you have a healthy savings cushion built in, you have far more flexibility. That comes by putting money away every month.
I also love partnerships. Give together. Grow together. Many of my client relationships have become partnerships.
What types of marketing strategies have worked best for your business?
For me, one-on-one conversations are my biggest converters. I know—everything that is happening online is amazing. Truth be told, many people are forgetting about their local community and connecting with people in real life. However, that’s what people want: Connection. They want to work with people they like and enjoy.
While I love to write, I convert more when I can directly connect with my potential client(s). Knowing this about myself, I try to have as many real-life conversations as I can and offer as much value as I possibly can. My best marketing practice is to find where my target, ideal customer is and meet them there. That means doing things like meeting online and following up on Skype or giving talks to podcast communities. I work to put myself right in front of my target client. Once they connect with me, I give them as much value as I can muster. This is fun for me, and they see my natural enthusiasm and want to work with me.
What has been your biggest struggle as a consultant?
I have a love/hate relationship with client work. I love the personal work. LOVE it. I am in my zone when we talk shop, opportunity, ideas, and execution. It’s the most exciting and fulfilling work for me. Some of my clients call me their “Chief of Staff,” and I am super proud to be their closest confidants.
That said, I have also landed target clients only to learn our personalities did not mesh, or we are not each other's cup of tea. When the connection IS right, I live in heavenly work. When the connection and values are off, it’s a complete nightmare. I have had to learn how to work with whom I want to and not “just take any client I can get.” I work too hard, and life is too short for it. I am trying to figure out the best strategies to filter out those people even before we get to a working relationship.
These relationships remind me to keep focused on what I want and on diversifying my efforts.
You have a podcast called, The Power Squad Project, tell us about that and some of the people you’ve interviewed.
I have been so blessed and honored to talk to many women and mom business owners, aka mompreneurs. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful and empowering the conversations are. To name a few:
Kristen Stewart is a local photographer and fellow podcaster. I had been following her for years and was honored to talk with her. She’s very much in control of her intentions, what she wants for her life and family and won’t sacrifice her family for the sake of her business. She’s incredibly calm, and her spirit is that of thoughtfulness and inspiration.
Kate Casey is an author, comedian, and a podcaster. I was a fan of hers long before we had connected. Of all the women I have met, she is one of the biggest hustlers. Today we are good friends, and I know she will be connecting with everyone she can as late as midnight to get the word out.
The biggest person I have talked with so far was Alli Webb, Founder, and CEO of DryBar. (HELLO!) She was amazing! It was fascinating to hear the process they went through, from driving around in her car as a mobile blowout to opening her first brick and mortar to expanding, and doing that all with littles ones at home!
I am truly honored to connect with these women and to be able to peek inside these women’s lives and businesses.
How do you manage all your personal and business activities? Do you outsource any parts of your business?
By far the hardest thing I have to do is be present in all aspects of my life. I want to give my all everywhere, and quite frankly, I am often tired too. So, yes! I outsource as much as I can, so I can focus on strategy and high-dollar value activities. I try to maximize my days as best as I can, so I can be with my girls when they are home too. Truth be told, it’s not easy. But I am comfortable talking with my girls about my work, and we take turns. I may have a call or have to finish writing an email, or I may have to connect with client or record a podcast. I tell my girls I need time, and then after that, we can do X, Y, or Z.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own consulting business?
First of all, creating, running, building a business is not easy, so don’t be hard on yourself. The fastest person is not the winner. The methodical one is.
Then you have to start taking action. There will never be a perfect time, a perfect client, or a perfect location. Act now and move forward with the things that work!
Just start. You will get a lot of No’s, but don’t take it personally. Give as much value to your customer as you can. Connect with like-minded women and stay current with business news and trends. More than anything else, follow what your gut tells you.
Thanks Ashleigh for sharing your story!
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