Through her namesake business, Ashley-Anne & Co., Ashley-Anne Schmidt works with service-based women entrepreneurs and business owners to craft custom, sustainable marketing strategies – and she’s breaking the traditional marketing mold!
“I don’t believe your marketing should be something that takes a lot of stress and a lot of time out of your business,” Ashley-Anne says. “It should be something that’s sustainable.” That’s why her goal is to create a strategy that invigorates and empowers the business owner to manage the marketing on her own, rather than adding stress with the perpetual launch cycle so many get caught up in.
But before she could get to the point of pioneering her Anti-Launch Strategy, Ashley-Anne had to transform her own brand, CEO identity, and online presences. While she’d done a lot of marketing work for her clients, she lacked the personal confidence and clarity to market herself as she needed to. As a result, her online brand wasn’t the right representation of who she was or what she was fully capable of.
So how did Ashley-Anne go from occupying a timid online presence to owning her position as a CEO? Read on to find out!
Before working with The Branding Boutique, Ashley-Anne found herself pigeonholed into social media management work she wasn’t passionate about and didn’t want to do long-term. While the work was in high demand, it was also exhausting. With a heavy workload and a stubborn earnings ceiling, Ashley-Anne was on a fast track to burnout.
Ashley-Anne knew something about her brand wasn’t working. She wasn’t attracting her ideal clients or the type of work she really wanted to do. But as she worked with Shana and underwent the transformative process of a branding overhaul, she realized she would need to change much more than just her colors and graphics.
Before Ashley-Anne and Shana could design the brand’s outer appearance, they needed to get to the root of who Ashley-Anne is, what she wanted to do, and who she wanted to work with. Together, they worked to fashion all aspects of Ashley’s business — positioning, messaging, pricing, packaging, and more — in a way that reflects Ashley-Anne as a woman and a CEO.
“I probably knew internally already that I needed to transition into more strategy work and marketing my packages,” Ashley-Anne recalls, “but didn’t have the confidence and courage to really make that transition until working with Shana.”
Surrounded and encouraged by a team of experts at The Branding Boutique who could offer her their outside perspective, Ashley-Anne found renewed energy and validation of what she knew at her core she needed to change.
The key, Ashley-Anne found, was confidence – confidence in herself as a woman, first and foremost. After working with Shana to tweak her offers and pricing into the right packages, Ashley-Anne found the confidence to move forward and actually sell those packages to the right clients.
The first boost in confidence came from working with other strong women within The Boutique and receiving validation from their feedback. From there, it was having the branding and positioning to stand behind her service offerings that made the difference.
But the real turning point was receiving her Brand Essence, Ashley-Anne said. At last, she could see all the pieces of her brand laid out in front of her with full clarity, and she knew exactly how she was going to take that brand to market with the right messaging that represented her fully.
No longer burnt out or unsure of her direction, Ashley-Anne was ready to step into her full power as CEO. She took direct ownership of her brand by literally putting her name on it!
In rebranding her business from Sprucetop Marketing to Ashley-Anne & Co., Ashley-Anne herself became the center and the selling point of the business.
Placing herself at the center in this way forced Ashley-Anne to show up like never before. In working with Shana, she learned to sell with confidence and engage with clients as a business owner instead of a freelancer. “I changed from having the mentality of running my little side hustle to running a legitimate business that can be successful,” she says.
With Ashley’s newly confident self at the forefront, it was time to overhaul the old branding she had outgrown. Ashley-Anne describes her old branding as youthful, reserved, and unsure. Now, it’s mature, sophisticated, and confident — just like Ashley-Anne herself.
To bring her online brand more tangibly into her physical space, image consultant Shana Robinson took Ashley-Anne a step beyond the norm and designed a branded home office. “This extra touch really brought my brand to life and also boosted my mindset as a CEO,” Ashley-Anne says.
Working from home can make it difficult to separate business and personal life, so having this branded space helps Ashley-Anne stay focused. “It feels like I’m walking into a true office, and switches my energy to excitement towards the brand and business I’m building,” she says.
As a result of her newfound confidence and vivid, personalized branding that she has embodied as a result of working with The Boutique, Ashley’s business and mindset have completely transformed.
In the future, Ashley-Anne envisions herself running her business full-time. She has plenty of ideas for ways to grow and expand now that she has done the hard work with Shana to find her footing in who she is as a woman, as a CEO, and as the face of her business.
Backed by confidence in herself and her brand, Ashley-Anne can boldly step out into her fullest potential and revolutionize the online marketing industry with her Anti-Launch platform.
Check out Ashley-Anne Schmidt on her website at Ashley-Anne & Co.
Want your own deep-dive branding experience? Apply to work with Shana and her team at The Branding Boutique here!