Ashley Small is an Oklahoma native who combined her PR experience and passion for all things digital to launch Medley Incorporated. Always thinking about the needs of her fellow small business owners, Ashley realized there are quite a few entrepreneurs out there who could benefit from PR and marketing services but can’t handle the financial investment required. Enter Brain Candy for Biz, Ashley’s pop-up shop inspired workshops designed to help small businesses flourish. The style maven chatted with In Her Shoes about the concept and her path to branding success:
In Her Shoes: First, tell us about yourself and how you came up with the concept of Brain Candy for Biz?
Ashley: I’m the President of Medley Incorporated, the Brand Development Company and I specialize in building brands through PR and New Media services. I’m a Digital Gal…big time.
My workshops, Brain Candy for Biz came about as a result of several conversations with potential clients, friends and mentors. My goal was to offer an alternative for those who may not yet be in a position to, or have a need for hiring a marketing firm for a full on campaign. Many business owners have the time to maintain a basic social media marketing campaign but just aren’t sure where to start or don’t know that it can easily be streamlined. This is my way of helping others get their business off the ground by using the web, while helping them save time and money.
In Her Shoes: Why the name, Brain Candy for Biz?
Ashley: I was attracted to the name because it’s nerdy, without the intimidation that comes along with the usual nerd stuff and girly, but not to the point of loosing value. I’m fascinated by the web and I think the world should be too.
In Her Shoes: As a New Media professional, why did you decide to host workshops opposed to Webinars or live stream events?
Ashley: Most business owners tend to work hard to maintain control, and with live, web events you risk running into the unforeseen…and it drives me mad. I enjoy intimate conversations, therefore my workshops are very casual, and hands on. We often share our personal stories and I do one on one consultations with each participant. My hope is always that participants walk away and feel like we’ve had an engaging, informative discussion about the web. I really want to inspire people to get excited about their business potential, and I tend to think I do that best in person.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Ashley Small’s shoes?
Ashley: My days are unpredictable, every single day. I usually intend to camp out at home or at the Coworking space I use and just knock out my to-do list of social media and PR campaigns, new brand launches, etc., but I typically end up putting out fires or working with a client on a new segment that’s taping in less than 12 hours…seriously.
It’s a fun job, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
In Her Shoes: What’s your advice for other aspiring Digital Media professionals?
Ashley: I would recommend having a core foundation that’s centered around more than the web. Traditional PR and Brand Development tactics are still essential and the web changes daily. How we do PR and branding has shifted, but the basic writing skills, creativity, networking skills, will always be needed. Establish that, and then do research to figure out what elements of the web are best suited for you and your business. You may be an SEO wiz, an App Developer or a Content Manager. I found my strength in online engagement, and it’s a great niche for those of us who like to stay connected while doing what we love.
In Her Shoes: Give us a general overview and info on where to find more information on your workshop:
Ashley: My workshops are held in Houston, TX at CoInside Houston and I host them in a series, including 3 topics: The Basics of Social Media, Using Social Media for PR and Using Social Media for Personal Branding. My next one is on October 10, 2012.
More information can be found at octoberbraincandyforbiz.eventbrite.com.