I had the pleasure of connecting with Aleshia S. Patterson through the #HERmovement Mastermind Group on Facebook, and then in real life at the Hustle HER Way Summit this past June. To say that I've been impressed with Aleshia's passion for her work and her willingness to put her head down and do the work is an understatement.
Aleshia is smart, savvy, and totally on point when it comes to marketing and strategy. This is a woman who really knows her stuff and is dedicated to helping other women shine through a solid strategy and marketing prowess.
If you have the chance to connect with Aleshia, either online or IRL, we highly recommend you do so. And if you're in the St. Louis area, be on the lookout for in-person classes and events in the future.
Name: Aleshia S. Patterson, MA
Business: Aleshia Simone Consulting Group
For those that may not be familiar, tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Aleshia Patterson and I am the Chief Marketing Strategist of the Aleshia Simone Consulting Group. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and I provide the marketing roadmap that leads entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. This can include helping entrepreneurs figure out what they want their marketing to do for their businesses and helping them develop the strategy for social media, as well as providing simple and intentional marketing plans.
I am a huge Family Guy and American Dad lover, I enjoy traveling, I'm a total food connoisseur (i.e. I like to eat lol!), and am a professional Netflix binger. The last shows I binged watch were The 100 and Orange Is The New Black.
How did you get into marketing? Has this always been your jam, or did you fall into it somehow?
I think I've always been a strategist, I just didn't know. Ever since I was little, I can remember family and friends coming to me asking how would I suggest they do something to make it come to life. The marketing is a little different. I have an undergraduate degree in communications and a graduate degree in communication arts with an emphasis in media literacy, so the communications piece has always been there. But, I wasn't using my degree like I wanted to.
Like most graduates, I took the first job I could find after I graduated from college. The job was in youth development. I stayed in that field for about six years before quitting my job in April of 2016. I don't recommend this, but I left with the intention of finding a job in my field.
For 3 1/2 months, I had no job but was determined to teach myself everything I could about marketing and that's what I did. I began applying what I learned with the one client I had at the time. I had the communications piece from what I studied in college, but everything had changed so much by then that I had to relearn it all. I've been rocking and rolling ever since.
Quitting my job was hands down one of the best decisions I've ever made, even though I don't recommend other people do that without an intention and a plan to support that intention (i.e. having a savings account). To this day, I can't believe that I've done it!
What have the last two years in business been like for you? And how is this reflected in your work/business?
Ahhh! This is a great question. The first two years (especially the first year) were learning curves. Not only was I reteaching myself marketing, but having good business practices too. I had to learn to fail forward, implement systems and processes, always stay on top of marketing trends, and practice what you preach!
The last item is especially reflected in my business because I don't suggest anything to my clients that I haven't done myself. I believe this creates a level of authenticity and trust with clients. I also learned through the process having my own business the importance of changing the plan and not the goal, and boy does that apply to my clients! Oftentimes, people think marketing is perfect and a one-time project, and it's not. It's something that is always changing based on data, consumer buying trends, etc.
You talk about the importance of strategy when it comes to marketing. How does this play out for you in your own business?
Strategy is literally everything to me and I believe its the root of all success. I don't know of anyone — famous or not — that didn't sit down and plan for the life or business they wanted. That's where strategy comes in.
I tend to "preach" about marketing serving a purpose. I remember the days when I would do something because I saw someone else do it and then get frustrated because I wasn't getting someone else's results. That's when I learned that, yes, there are universal marketing principals that can be applied to every situation, but strategy is also specific. My social media efforts are going to look completely different than other entrepreneurs. What works for me won't work for someone else and vice versa.
Anything you wish you knew about (marketing, running a business, yourself) when you first started?
When I first launched my business in 2015, it was a hot mess with no mission, vision, value statement, or niche, I had a business operating agreement, a bank account (with little coins in it lol!), and a website that looked like a third grader did it. I think I did it because it sounded cool to have a business, but I wasn't in it to win it.
I wish I would have known that even before you get your LLC, even before you launch a website, have your home in order. Take the time to sit down, reflect, and truly think about what you want your business to look like and you want it to operate. How will you promote your business? What channels will you use? What services do you want to offer? What policies will have you in place?
The very last thing you should be doing with a business is your logos and graphics. I think we get so caught up on the aesthetics, that we take energy away from doing all of the important stuff listed above.
Doing all of the strategy work, in the beginning, saves you a lot of time, energy, and headaches in the end. That's not to say you won't have to change it in the future (because you will), but it's easier to pivot when you have something already in place. I see it with entrepreneurs all the time. We tend to jump in head first without any kind of flotation device and that's when we tend to get burned out and wonder why we aren't succeeding at the level we want to.
What does the future hold for you, your work, and your life? Any big plans for ASCG in the near (or not so near) future?
This question always makes me nervous! I plan on eventually launching a podcast, but I don't think it will launch until Q4 of this year or Q1 of next year (probably right around the 3rd anniversary of my business launching), and planning to scale. I would like to eventually add a graphic designer and website designer to the team, and maybe within the next three to five years become a full-fledged consulting agency.
As for right now, I'm focusing on continuing to build up my clientele, focusing on collaborations and establishing myself as an authority in this industry. I also plan to incorporate more webinars and in-person classes around the country.
Famous last words... What advice would you give to women who want to take their marketing efforts to the next level?
Great marketing is intentional marketing. Make sure everything you are doing is supporting your business goals and serves a purpose. Your audience knows when you're BSing them.