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A space for women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their influence while staying true to their values.

welcome to the
Bright Voices in Business Podcast WITH CHLOE DECHOW

Get ready to build your business on your terms

Join your host Chloe Dechow as she interviews industry thought leaders, shares her expertise as a thought leadership strategist and consultant, and pushes you toward sharing your opinion on a global scale. 





Struggling with imposter syndrome or the fear of being your authentic self on social media? You’re not alone.

In this episode, I sat down with Ashton Henry, the founder of Small Studio and the Social Club, to take a deep dive into social media, discussing how vital it is for us as women entrepreneurs to show up and share our unique perspectives. During our chat, we tackled common challenges like imposter syndrome and shared some practical tips on creating authentic content that resonates with your audience.

Ashton and I peeled back the layers of what it means to truly show up on social media. We shared laughs, insights, and our fair share of ‘aha’ moments as we explored the ins and outs of making a mark on our favorite platforms. 

Join us to learn more about:

  • Strategies to combat imposter syndrome and overcome self doubt.
  • How to choose the right platforms to be more intentional with your social media presence.
  • Advice for dealing with online negativity and turning criticism into a positive force.
  • Tips for making social media easier as a busy entrepreneur.
  • How to present high level or controversial topics to your followers in an engaging way.
  • Practical steps for building a social media presence that’s both impactful and true to who you are.

This episode is a goldmine for anyone ready to amplify their message with social media. Remember, your voice matters, and it’s time to let the world hear it. 


FREE GUIDE: Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority

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West Haven Website: www.westhavencoaching.com

West Haven Instagram: @westhavencoaching

Chloe Dechow LinkedIn: @chloedechow


Website: www.hellosmallstudio.com

LinkedIn: @ashtonhenry

Business Instagram: @smallstudiobrandshop

Personal Instagram: @ashtonanmarie


Ashton Henry (00:00:00) – You created this business to help people. So who are you to not show up? Remind yourself that you’re here to help. And social media with two and a half whatever hours that people are on there, like, it’s such a great place for you to show up and support so many more people.

Chloe Dechow (00:00:20) – Hi, I’m Chloe Dechow and with more than a decade of experience working with thought leaders, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of conviction combined with purpose driven entrepreneurship. This podcast shows you how to authentically bring together leadership, equity, and marketing to build your authority so that you can grow your impact and scale your business. This is a space for elevating women’s voices and redefining what it means to be a thought leader. Together, we’ll unlock the potential of our bright voices and create a ripple effect of change that resonates far beyond the realms of business. This is the Bright Voices and Business podcast. Now let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to the Bright Voices in Business podcast. Today we’re going to talk social media, which for some people they really love.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:16) – And for a lot of people there is a lot of fear and imposter syndrome. And oh gosh, I don’t even know where to get started. That kind of comes up when we think about social media. And so I reached out to the wonderful Ashton Henry to come on as a guest and talk about that. Hi, Ashton, thanks so much for joining you.

Ashton Henry (00:01:36) – So much for having me. I’m so excited about this podcast and hearing from all these great voices. And thank you for having me. One of them.

Chloe Dechow (00:01:44) – Yeah, absolutely. Before we dive into kind of the meat and potatoes of our conversation, I do want to share a little bit about what you do with the listener. So they have some context of where you’re coming from, from the social media space. Because I also know there’s, you know, paid social. Some people really love LinkedIn. Other people are on Facebook, like social media is kind of a big bucket when we really think about it. And so I know your background is as a designer, social media manager, branding expert, your huge advocate for women in business.

Chloe Dechow (00:02:16) – So we’re super aligned in that way. And then you’re also the founder of Small Studio and the Social Club. So you get to play a bunch of different roles in building businesses, which I think is really, really wonderful. Do you want to share a little bit about kind of what your day to day looks like, or what you do for your clients, so that when somebody is listening, they can be like, oh yes, she’s my Instagram gal, or she’s my like, fill in the blank. Can you share a little bit about what your day to day looks like?

Ashton Henry (00:02:41) – My primary focus in the business is social media management. I started with branding. When I would do brand hand-offs I would show people, okay, this is how you bring your branding to life on social media. And finally someone came back to me and was like, okay, but could you just do that for me? I was like, oh, I guess, yeah, I guess I could do that. And it kind of grew from there.

Ashton Henry (00:03:03) – So I have been in business since December of 2019, and I did not start doing social media, and now it is pretty much all I do. So what I do day to day for clients that I fully run their social media management, I am scheduling photoshoots, I’m going to photoshoots, I’m going to video shoots. I am coaching a lot of my clients on camera. So we’ll do something. I’ll be like, okay, say it again, that was perfect. But smile and things like that. And then I come up with all of the content, ideas, the strategy, and we do the designing, the caption writing, the scheduling, the responding to comments and kind of take social media off people’s plates. And then you mentioned the social club as well. So when I was on these discovery calls with business owners, a lot of us are in that solopreneur stage, right where we’re doing all the things we are wearing all the hats and social media shows up and you’re like, I hate this.

Ashton Henry (00:04:04) – I don’t want to do this. I want to hand this off. But you may not financially be ready to invest in social media. And so the social club was kind of my solution to that so that I could just help more people. So it is a membership and it is a custom content calendar. So you kind of plug in your information, your services, your products about your business, about your ideal clients, and then the calendar generates, hey, I want you to talk about this in this way today. Here are Canva templates and we prewritten based on your answers, your caption. So it really does a lot of the heavy lifting so that all you have to do is kind of schedule your content and then show up. And what I’ve heard from a lot of people, as well as they just want to be social and like, not have to do all the heavy lifting of figuring out what to say and how to show up. So that is kind of taken off your plate. You schedule it and then you just get to have the fun part of responding to people in social media.

Ashton Henry (00:05:00) – So my day to day is kind of split between the social club. There’s like office hours for that too. So helping members that are in there and then doing full social media management for my client.

Chloe Dechow (00:05:13) – Yeah. So a little bit of both. It sounds like helping those who aren’t ready to fully outsource their social media. But do you need some of the guardrails, so to speak, of what they should be focusing on? Because I think we’ve all fallen victim to like the doom scrolling. And the spending too much time on social media and less time, you know, in our business or on our business, so to speak. And so I love that you’ve kind of created different solutions for different people in their journey. So I know that when I’ve done market research or I’ve spoken with clients or I had a conversation with another woman entrepreneur that I’m a friend with, so often I hear that social media is such a pain point for them. I’ve asked them like, what is it about social media? Like what sticks out to you? Why is this maybe more difficult than other forms of marketing for you? And they come back to me and they say, hey, like, if I have a podcast, I know my subscribers have chosen to listen when I have an email list, they’ve subscribed to me.

Chloe Dechow (00:06:13) – Like, these are people who have opted to hear from me, whereas social media, there are a lot more. You know, they have followers, but they also have this whole wide, they call it the Wild West. Like that’s literally the term I’ve heard them use before. And so for somebody who might be on the fence of like, is this for me? Is this not like, you know, like, what would you say to somebody who’s like, oh, this is kind of terrifying. But I also know I need to do this for my business.

Ashton Henry (00:06:40) – A couple of things. So number one, social media is, for most of us, part of our day, I was just on another call with someone and talking about how you used to be able to like, go into your settings on Instagram, look at your audience and be like, okay, when is my audience engaged? And it’d be like Tuesday from like 6 a.m. to noon. I’d be like, okay, I’m going to show up then.

Ashton Henry (00:07:03) – Well, now it is across the board. People are just on it all day, every day. So there is an average. I think right now it’s 2.5 hours are spent scrolling on social media every day by everyone. Now it’s an average. I’m sure there are some people who don’t, but with that many eyeballs and that much attention on social media, it is really important for you to show up there. Now as far as like comparing it to right, like your email subscribers or your podcast subscribers, I treat social media exactly the same. They may not opt in, but they will only stay and listen or read if they want to. So it’s really all about just continuing to show up and be there and provide value. And it will click into place with your ideal client and you will start showing up for them. So I think that even though it feels like people aren’t like signing up, social media is designed to keep people on the apps, so it is going to get served for the right person and they will be able to then consume it and follow and engage if they want to.

Ashton Henry (00:08:12) – Right. It’s not forcing you. And then as far as like imposter syndrome, I mean, it’s a slippery slope. It’s easy to feel like, oh, I don’t know if I want to show up or I don’t like it or things like that, but I think that it’s a muscle. It’s a workout. You have to keep flexing and you have to keep doing it over and over, and eventually you get comfortable. You will find the posts that resonate, that work well, and then you lean into that and keep doing that and talk about the content in that way so that you can keep supporting people. And I think that at the end of the day, it’s really you created this business to help people. So kind of like, who are you to not show up and help these people? So just keeping that in mind to remind yourself that you’re here to help and social media with two and a half whatever hours that people are on there, it’s such a great place for you to show up and support so many more people.

Chloe Dechow (00:09:08) – Yeah, I love that terminology. It reminds me of Simon Sinek. He’s the author of, you know, start with why find your why. He has that TEDx talk that’s really well known. He has an art of presenting class that I took a couple of years ago, and his whole kind of thought process with presenting was like, what you have to share with your audience is in service of them. And when we say focus on the audience like it reduces the nerves of our cells, because when we are nervous about ourselves, we’re worried how we’re going to show up. We’re worried what we look like. A lot of that is really like me, me, me ego. I mean, I hate to say it, but like it is, it’s about it’s ego. It’s our ego trying to keep us safe. It’s our ego trying to make sure that we look or sound good. We’re afraid of judgment. But if we kind of twist the narrative and we focus on the audience and we say, like, I’m here to show up to serve, I think that can help a lot of people kind of take a step back from whether it’s like putting themselves out on social media or taking a stage, whatever it might be, it reduces the the center around judgment, and it’s more about being there for the audience.

Ashton Henry (00:10:12) – And then whenever you feel that right, like that, like, oh, like the cringe or like, I don’t want to show up like that. It just means we’re doing things that are outside of our comfort zone and we’re continuing to grow. And I think like as entrepreneurs, we are constantly in that state so it can feel like, oh, this is just another thing. But like it’s it’s a reminder that you’re pushing your limits and you’re growing and it’s all good. So yes.

Chloe Dechow (00:10:36) – I am convinced that entrepreneurship is like personal development on steroids or something, because how could you possibly not grow in, you know, you’d have to try really hard not to grow as a person, as an entrepreneur. So let’s talk a video for a second, because I think that can be one of the biggest hurdles is like showing up on video, you know, reels are it even though the algorithm has, you know, opted and shifted and changed, you know, reels are still pretty important in today’s social media environment.

Chloe Dechow (00:11:06) – And so if you have a client that comes to you and they’re like, hey, you know, I know I should be doing this, but I don’t want to be on video. I don’t want to, you know, how would you work with them or help them get kind of through that? Well, one.

Ashton Henry (00:11:20) – Thing is faceless content is kind of like a low key trend right now. So you can show up in different ways that don’t require you to sit in front of the camera and put a microphone on and like, you know, just talk at the camera. So there’s a couple of different options you have. You can still show up. So if it’s putting the camera behind your back and doing a time lapse of you working on the computer that day, and then you just share a little tidbit of knowledge or you put the time lapse on. I’d love a time lapse. It’s very forgiving. It moves too fast for any one to be like, oh, I had like something on my face like, no, you can’t see that.

Ashton Henry (00:12:00) – So you’re just moving in really fast motion and again, putting that information over the top. And you can do this with text. If you’re starting to feel comfortable with your voice, then I would encourage you to do a voiceover over the top of that video content. The other thing is to do kind of like the POV, the point of view, like where you are filming your day, where you’re behind the camera. So showcasing what you’re doing without having to be the person on screen. These are easy ways to step in. However, I would say if you are a service based business, chances are unless you’re doing something like crazy new, there are a lot of other people doing what you do, and the only reason that clients are coming to you is because they want to work with you. And so it’s really important to ease into it, for sure. But when you can start showing your face, start sharing your voice because it builds trust. And that continuity and the consistency builds trust and people start to feel like they already know you.

Ashton Henry (00:13:12) – So I had a client dinner the other night and two of my clients met for the first time, but they were both like, oh, I feel like I already know you. And that’s because, like, right, like I do their social media management. So I’m like, nope, you gotta be on camera. We’re gonna do this together. So they already felt like they had like knew their personalities. And I certainly which is always like kind of jarring even for me when people are like, oh my gosh, I watch your social media. I feel like I know you already, like I know your personality. And I’m like, oh, I really tell myself that. Just like no one sees this. And that’s how I keep showing up consistently. So it’s always like, no, don’t tell me you can see this, but it really lends itself for people to get to know you and feel comfortable moving forward, especially in service based businesses where a lot of times your your ticket price is a little bit higher.

Ashton Henry (00:13:57) – We’re not buying a $12 thing on Amazon from you. We’re buying an experience of being with you to solve a problem. And so building that trust is super important. But I understand that it needs to be baby stepped into. So definitely showing up on camera the way that you feel comfortable and easing into it. But the sooner you can start showing up and showing up authentically as yourself, I think that’s where you’re going to see the biggest return on investment in social media.

Chloe Dechow (00:14:25) – Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely builds that know like and trust factor for sure. Speaking of authenticity, I know social media can kind of get a bad rap for feeling very surface level or kind of lacking depth. So how would you recommend somebody, you know, kind of brings their authentic self into the social media space?

Ashton Henry (00:14:45) – One thing I like to do is similar, basically what I do for my clients, right? We sit down and I’m filming them and I will hear them say something, and it just feels like they write a script and I’m like, okay, well, let’s try that again.

Ashton Henry (00:15:00) – Or I ask the question different this time, and then we get to the root of it, and then they start on a rant or a tangent and you’re like, okay, there it is. That’s the content that I wanted. And so similarly, if you’re starting to feel like you want to show up or you want to do these talking head style reels right where you’re sharing your knowledge. One good way is to have someone you feel really comfortable with, and that you trust to sit down on the other side of that camera. So you set it up, you’re in front of the camera, and then you maybe give your friend a list of questions, or maybe they’re already familiar with your business and they can be like, okay, tell me, like I hear this question a lot. What do you say? And then just talk to them. Don’t talk to the camera. You can talk just straight to them. Another thing that I like people to do is like get a microphone, like a legit microphone if they have one and set it down on the desk and like, no one has to know you’re not on a podcast, but it looks professional and it kind of like, eases you into like, that situation.

Ashton Henry (00:16:01) – And again, like just having like a microphone in front of you sometimes, like it’s like, oh, this person, this person is legit. They’re on the podcast and things like that. So that’s another great way to kind of show up authentically. And then certainly having guidelines or rules and boundaries set for yourself about how you want to show up and what ways you want to show up. I have clients who don’t mind sharing their family and their behind the scenes, and I have other clients that are like, I want no part of that on my business page, and that’s totally fine. Respecting those boundaries and finding out how you want to show up is really important. And then sticking to that, and it may change and it may grow, or you may decide to share less, but be very specific on what you do share. So I think that that is a good way, but definitely the friend conversation really helps ease in a little bit and can be a good way to kind of baby step in.

Chloe Dechow (00:16:58) – I love that idea. I’ve never thought to do that as have somebody who I personally know, like and trust to ask me questions and get me kind of into more less about thinking about the camera and more about thinking about the dialogue that’s being. And then they’ll.

Ashton Henry (00:17:10) – Come back and be like, okay, let’s say that again, though, because they know you and they know what sounds like weird or staged or if you’re like, okay, relax a little bit or have a glass of champagne while you’re doing it, like, that’s fine too.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:25) – Absolutely. I love that idea. So can we talk a little bit about the business benefits of social media? Because I think we can think like, oh, social media, it’s fun. We’re supposed to be there. But there’s tangible business benefits to being on social media and benefits as a thought leader showing up in this space. So can you talk a little bit about not just how we should do this or how they can overcome some of their fears, but what are some benefits for them from a business and thought leadership standpoint that they can keep in mind? It can be the why right of why they’re getting outside of their comfort zone.

Chloe Dechow (00:17:58) – I think the.

Ashton Henry (00:17:59) – Biggest benefit, especially in thought leadership, is the brand awareness aspect of it. Social media can really lend itself as a powerful tool to your business goals, depending on what they are. So one thing that we talk about with my clients is like, okay, what are your goals? And sometimes it’s brand awareness and reach, and so I can take tangible ROI from that, because I know that we’ve reached 2000 new people with this one video. Right. Or I can see that, you know, so many people like are engaged on it. Sometimes your business goal is to re-enlist or like reinvigorate or form community with the community you already have. Right? So just reengaging them. And so again, when you have that and you have this platform and you have people that you have a engaged audience, they subscribed, right? They followed. You can really dive deeper into giving them the content they want. Social media is a super powerful tool. We can post polls, we can do quizzes.

Ashton Henry (00:19:04) – You can directly message someone just like you would like, text someone. And so you can use that as a way to reinforce, reengage, enhance your community relationships through social media. So through educational content you can check if the content was saved. That’s a really interesting thing to look at that I feel like is amiss when people are looking at their analytics. Another one is how many times they’re sharing it with other people that one can directly correlate to your followers. So depending on what the business goal is, you can kind of look at these analytics and see whether or not what you’re doing is working. A lot of the metrics should also be tracked off of social media. So while I am here for it, I love social. I will tell everyone yell it from the rooftops. Please be on social media. But then once they get off of social media and go to your website, please make sure you’re tracking that information. If you get a new signup. Are you asking the question, where did you hear about us? And it could be word of mouth.

Ashton Henry (00:20:06) – It could be social media. That stuff you should be tracking or at least tracking and maybe not looking. I know we’re all busy. I’m not saying you have to do all this, but track it so that when you have time to go in and look, you can. See where your media efforts should be placed. I grew my business from social media and from word of mouth, and that’s where I focus my attention. Later I had it set up and I was looking. I got a bulk amount of traffic to my website from one blog post I did. So some of that stuff, right when you’re looking in, like seeing where you’re acquiring customers, it’s good to be just diving into those analytics and looking at it and then matching what you do on social media to meet your goals, I think is really important. So not just to show up and like, okay, I’m showing up, I’m doing the things, but do it intentionally because then it’s also going to just like it’s going to feel better, it’s going to feel less draining.

Ashton Henry (00:21:02) – You have a strategy, you have a path, and then you get to look at the analytics and see, okay, this is working. This is worth my time investment. This is how I want to show up. And possibly to like a lot of people, feel like they have to be on every social media platform. And I do not want anyone to be on every social media platform. Show up where your clients are. If you are talking to millennials, we live on Instagram. Like that is where we live. That’s where we play. If you are doing B2B business only and talking to CFOs at, you know, fortune 500 companies, let’s hang out on LinkedIn. Let’s not spend our time on Instagram. So really diving into social media where you should be in relation to your clients and then looking at your goals and kind of focusing on that, as it pertains to like what you do and how you show up.

Chloe Dechow (00:21:53) – Yeah. I’m so in alignment with you around, you know, pick 1 or 2 social media channels don’t, especially when you’re first starting out.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:00) – You know, if you have a team great, like that’s fine. But if it’s just you or maybe, you know, you and a VA or a couple of team members really focusing on 1 or 2 channels that you can spend the right amount of time and energy on so that you can grow that channel versus being spread thin. Because when I worked in the agency world, we would have clients come to us all the time who had all these channels that were kind of basically dead, like they hadn’t done anything with it. And it’s almost worse to come across an old page than it is to not find a page for a business. So love that you and I align really nicely. Yeah. On that recommendation, one thing I wanted to ask you about was sometimes I can feel like social media can become your entire job, right? Like it can become a lot of work. Because with almost all forms of marketing, like there is always more marketing you could do for your business. I know this on the agency side.

Chloe Dechow (00:22:50) – I saw it when I worked with clients who had full blown marketing teams, and they still felt like they were always behind. There was always more that they could be doing. And so I’m curious for you, because social media is always live, like there’s always somebody on social at all hours of the day. How can somebody who is a, you know, a solopreneur or somebody with 1 or 2 team members really hone in on how much time they should be spending and be, like, really sustainable in the way that they show up in social media versus burning themselves out trying to do all the things.

Ashton Henry (00:23:24) – I think that right. It’s easy to go on social media and see someone who’s like, you have to post three times a day and do this. You have to share ten stories and like all these bits of whatever. But what I see a lot, a lot of people do is they do it for like three days and that’s unsustainable, right? So they burn out and then they’re like, I hate social media.

Ashton Henry (00:23:43) – I’m not going on it. And then they ghost it. So what I like people to do is to really answer truthfully if you have to show up, which I think a lot of us feel like we do. And again, I think it’s a powerful tool. It’s a mess. If you’re not there, what does that look like? And it’s different for everybody. So a lot of times it starts as once a week and that’s fine. I’m not telling you you have to be once a day. You don’t have to be every other day if it’s once a week. And that’s how you can show up consistently. That’s okay to start out with. That’s where you want to be. That’s maybe what all you do until you can allocate that task to somebody else and get the support system, you need to help really generate more content, then that’s okay. So starting where you’re at, I think is really important, to consider. And then what I love for people to do is to start getting ahead.

Ashton Henry (00:24:38) – So if once a week is like, okay, I can sit down and look at social media for 30 minutes once a week, I would challenge you to say, okay, can you create two posts that you schedule for next month in that 30 minutes and then start getting ahead of schedule now? That means that when you are. Posting. It’s already scheduled and it’s ahead for you. You get to then go back to that social part of what people actually like being on social force. So I get to respond to the comments or say thank you for liking or respond to any messages, and that makes it a little easier. when you’re thinking further ahead to it takes that pressure off of like, I don’t know what to post and now I have to figure out something today, and it’s taking me two hours to do something that should take me 30 minutes, because I’m putting on all this pressure that it has to go live today. And I didn’t give myself time to think about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to show up.

Ashton Henry (00:25:41) – So sometimes it’s even if you’re just starting out, what is we’re in April, I would say if you feel like you need a good plan, your plan should be in April to start in June and spend this next month thinking about the content that you want to show up for in June, and then spend May getting the photos and the videos that you need in order to make that happen. And then you’re ahead of schedule and then you just kind of keep doing that. So when you show up for 30 minutes, the first 15 minutes is going to be like, okay, I am going to think about what the next post is for June, and then I’m going to create this other post for May. And then you go and that’s like ahead of time and show up in stories when you can or if you want to. But being consistent is number one. So whatever that looks like for you and however you can do that. But getting ahead is definitely my recommendation.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:35) – Yeah. And I can make all kinds of assumptions on why consistency is important, but we’d love to hear from you.

Chloe Dechow (00:26:42) – What is it about showing up once a week that’s more powerful than showing up, maybe in bursts on social media, which I’m definitely guilty of myself. What’s important about that?

Ashton Henry (00:26:53) – So Instagram has kind of an even TikTok for that matter, has become really kind of it’s like a Google, right? It’s a I want to find something, I’m going to search for it. Or I heard about this brand, so I’m going to go look at their Instagram page. If you haven’t shown up in, I would say over a week, that’s when it starts to look like, is this person still in business or are they still around? Right. We talked about the dead page like you don’t want to have a dead page. So at minimum once a week I want you there. And that I think just for appearances, that is really important. And then if you’re showing up more than that, I mean, consistency just goes back to like that old school methodology of like someone needs to see your brand seven times before they, they purchase.

Ashton Henry (00:27:44) – So if you’re showing up once a month, it’s going to take seven months of someone to find you and then be like, oh yes, that person. If you’re showing up more consistently and you are providing value and people are saving your content or looking to your profile when they’re trying to figure something out, then that lends itself for that timeline to just shorten a little bit, but also when they are ready to pull the trigger on something, maybe it’s not. Today, you’re the first person that comes to mind. And I think with that, that’s where that branding element comes into play. So not only are you showing up consistently, but you’re branding needs to come through in all of that, and I hesitate. I don’t want to add a layer of like complexity to it, but it’s the way you show up your colors, if possible, their visual identity and then the way you’re speaking if you can get consistent on that too, so that even if someone scrolls by your content and they don’t stop, they still subconsciously know that was you, and that helps build that credibility and awareness.

Ashton Henry (00:28:47) – And when they’re ready, they know who to look for.

Chloe Dechow (00:28:50) – Yeah, I love that branding reminder. You know, as a marketer, I knew that instinctively. But like, it’s one thing to know something, you know, in your career and then to switch into an entrepreneurship role and be like, wait a second, I already knew that, but why am I not? Exactly. So I love that reminder of branding. Like for me, even. And I know Ashton like you’re familiar with my branding. Like even in my back wall, like behind me, these are my branding backgrounds and they’re actually sound panels for podcasting. So they have like a dual purpose. But I love having these here because my branding is always in everything I do. If I’m on a zoom meeting with a client, if I do like a reel or I, sometimes I use it as like a background for some sort of object I’m holding up, or a book I’m holding up or whatever, just kind of having these like subtle parts of my branding or what do they call it in movies like product placement like these, like subtle, where all of a sudden there’s like, you know, a Wheaties box, like in the placement of a film, it’s just subconscious.

Chloe Dechow (00:29:47) – Yeah, exactly. So I love that strategy because there are so many people who watch a real or read something and they, you know, I think we call them like lurkers on social media. They lurk, they don’t actually engage, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t enjoy the content or they didn’t learn from it. And so this is kind of another way to keep that in mind to to stay.

Ashton Henry (00:30:08) – Top of mind. I have definitely I’m a lurker on some things and I have to remind myself, I scroll back, I’m like, oh my gosh, I liked that. I need to be more generous with my likes. Why am I holding back? So it’s easy to do so right? You’re just get into it and you’re not thinking about giving the feedback back to the person who created the content. So yes, but it doesn’t mean it’s not resonating and people aren’t watching. It just means that, you know, that means you need to be consistent with your branding. So they always know it was you.

Chloe Dechow (00:30:36) – Yeah, yeah for sure. In that case where maybe you have a piece of content where somebody or not, you know, people are lurking and they’re not engaging, so to speak. What would be a good way to tell if it was still resonating? Is it looking at the number of views on a post or what? Yeah, maybe you look at views.

Ashton Henry (00:30:51) – Are a good thing to look at, to see how many eyes are getting on something. You can also dig in deeper and see when people are falling off, so you can see how long people are watching your content, which can be interesting to see as well. So if you have a good hook and then you don’t hold their attention, maybe they fall off after like 10s. But if you’re like talking about something. Engaging, and you are really providing a lot of value with every single breath, then they may stay all the way to the end, or they may replay it and watch it more than once. So that can be another good way to check in and see if it’s resonating, and take a look at that in order to maybe change your tactic and like, use a better hook.

Ashton Henry (00:31:38) – In the beginning, you’re like, this content is exactly what people have been asking me every day in person, why didn’t anyone see it? And it’s like, okay, but did you hook them in in the first five seconds? Like, did you say, I keep seeing this red flag, here’s how to change it. Right? And then people are like, oh, what is it? Another thing to do with that, just a tip is I’m a very positive person. I like to be optimistic. I’m I’m all for positivity. However, negative things will stop the scroll. So things not to do. Don’t do this, stop doing that. Things to cancel all of those negative things actually stop people from scrolling on. So something to consider, even when you’re naturally a little bit more positive, to kind of flip it, to see if you can engage people a little bit sooner.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:24) – Yeah. So it sounds like it’s almost like this balance between who you are and how you show up versus like your audience.

Chloe Dechow (00:32:31) – You want to attract people with same values, the same kind of approach to things, and they don’t necessarily always think of things in the same way you do, right? Like you’re usually much further ahead in the journey. And so being able to take a step back and think about, like if I was in their shoes, what maybe are some negative things that I might be thinking or misconceptions that I have or those types of things.

Ashton Henry (00:32:55) – I think that one thing to do with that is I it’s kind of like a Y practice. And as you start building your clients, taking some time to interview them and get feedback and find out like, oh, why did you decide to work with me? And they may give you an answer. And then to keep digging into the why, why, why, why, why a little bit further until you get to the actual thing. So like a lot of times for the social club, I thought people were like, oh, I just want this to take off my plate.

Ashton Henry (00:33:26) – But what I mentioned, right, is that people want to get back to being social on social media. That was what I got out of all of my Y interviews with people. It was like, why did you join this? It’s like, oh, well, it’s a content calendar. Well, why did you feel like you couldn’t come up with a content yourself? And why is that important to you? Why is scheduling it important to you? And it all came down for people just wanted to be social and to like, engage with their community and have that connection back. And so that’s a lot of times how I start talking about things. And so that can be a really good strategy to figure out, like how to talk about your content is to really get at the root of the solution instead of talking about the problem that you’re fixing.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:06) – Yeah, and I love what you’re describing because to me, connection and community or values like their personal values of ours. And so what you’re doing with asking these questions and digging deeper is like getting down to the personal values that motivate your buyers.

Chloe Dechow (00:34:22) – And so we can often lose sight of how important values are in our beliefs. Our thoughts are purchasing decisions, our behaviors, all of these things. And I know as a society, we kind of think of values like a little like woo woo or fluffy or whatever. And really, like we all have a set of personal values. A lot of that flows back into our business and the way that we run our businesses, but it’s also how consumers make decisions, how other businesses make decisions on who they’re going to partner with. And so I love that you’re digging in deeper, because that actually is at the heart of really what people want is that they want the connection. They want the community. So, so smart. One of the questions that I was asked by a couple of people, I put some feelers out there to figure out, like, what questions do people have around social media? And one of the ones that came up quite a bit was how to take maybe like big bold opinions or perspectives or points of view.

Chloe Dechow (00:35:21) – You know, when we talk about thought leadership, a lot of that is having a strong conviction in something. And it might be something that’s hard to talk about or like requires a lot more education, right? Like if we think about breaking down a stigma or talking about like an issue within like the system or whatever it might be like, these are pretty big sweeping topics, and they do require a level of educating other people. I think more than a lot of other kinds of topics do. Right. Like we’re not talking about somebody’s daily walking routine, which is wonderful. Yes, happy you’re doing that, getting some some vitamin D and some of these, you know, these thought leadership topics can be pretty meaty. And so I’m curious if you have some tips on how somebody could take these like kind of sweeping notions or like grand initiatives that they’re doing and really breaking it into more of that short form content that social media quite frankly, prioritizes. Right. Like. People. What is it? The attention spans like 14 seconds.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:21) – 15 seconds. Maybe less than that. Short as I’ve like, been in marketing, it just keeps getting shorter and shorter and shorter. So I don’t know what that means about society in the future.

Ashton Henry (00:36:31) – Not looking great, but.

Chloe Dechow (00:36:33) – We are immediate gratification society. So. But yeah, just like knowing, psychologically speaking, that we have short attention spans and we have to meet people where they are when we are in business, when we are marketing. What would you recommend like to do to break down some of these bigger topics into something that is a little bit smaller and more tangible on a social media platform?

Ashton Henry (00:37:00) – I think one way for sure is to just come out and say that you’re going to say the thing that is going to offend or be counterintuitive to what you’ve heard before, and to lead with that, like, I’m going to say something a lot of you are going to disagree, but I feel like I need to say it and then go into it. Right. That’s that hook that I want you to use anyways, and it’s going to keep going.

Ashton Henry (00:37:22) – Like, what’s what is she going to say? And then they stick around. Another thing that you can do, if you’re making the broad statement in like a shorter video, is to say, like encourage people to further the conversation with you and your messages so that you can expand on it, because we’re just giving people a sample, right? So if you want to learn more or if you want to talk about this further, follow along or to message me, and I’d love to talk to you further about this. Another thing that you can do is kind of take your big sweeping idea and say, let’s break that down into like five things that people need to know about this topic. What are those five things? And then each of those becomes their own video. And within each of those five things, can you break it down into three things that they should know about each of the five, and then take those little bits and do all that out? Feel free to say that this is a series like, okay, we’re back with the series on X, Y, and Z.

Ashton Henry (00:38:21) – We’re digging into topic A and allow people to go back and dive into further content, or to realize that this isn’t the end all, be all statement, that you are just giving people a taste and they should follow along and hear the other things. But I think that start big, pare it down, pare down further, I think is a really good way to do that. And then don’t shy away from telling people that this is one part of the pie and this there’s more and there’s more coming. And to stay tuned and follow along and keep your audience engaged in that way. And tell people that this is contrary to what you’ve heard before, and let them stick around and be like, oh, this does challenge what I thought. So it opens the door for a conversation, I think. Yeah.

Chloe Dechow (00:39:09) – Which is really ultimately what we should be doing, right? If it’s social media or some other platform, like if it’s about shifting beliefs and community building and relationship building, we need to create space for conversation.

Ashton Henry (00:39:23) – Leaning into the education too. So if you have expertise or explain things in a different way, I think a lot of times with service based businesses or people in thought leadership, they’ve had these micro conversations along the way along their journey. They’ve already talked about this, or they know how you get the same questions a lot, right? So you answer them in very specific ways. Take the stuff that you’re constantly on repeat about, and present that into bite sized bits of information. And that’ll help draw people in, because you’re already answering that question to your ideal client who you’ve already worked with. So if you can find that common thread and then disperse that information, that can be a really great way to bring in your ideal client.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:05) – Yes. Yeah. It’s what are you already being asked about over and over again? I recently went on a podcast called Embody Your Brand, and the host, Jesse and I were talking about a similar concept of messaging and kind of figuring out like, what the hell you should be talking about.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:23) – And one of the things I mentioned on that interview was that really it’s about not just like, what are people coming to you for, but also noticing when somebody says, I’ve never thought of it that way. Or like, that’s a new way to think of it, because we are so ingrained in our own like perspectives and beliefs that we take it from.

Ashton Henry (00:40:43) – Everyone already knows what you know, because of course this is how it should be. Yes.

Chloe Dechow (00:40:47) – And we’ve all had like such unique experiences with every aspect, like the way we’re raised, you know, there’s no there’s no double person like every single human that has ever existed has had a unique experience which can cause a lot of conflict sometimes, but it’s also a really beautiful thing. And so instead of taking your perspective for granted, kind of paying attention, that when you are explaining something or sharing something, if somebody says, that’s new or oh, I’ve never looked at it, that. Way like that is a cue that you see the world a special way, a unique way.

Chloe Dechow (00:41:22) – And there’s a message somewhere in there for your social or your other marketing channels. So super cool. As we wrap up, I want to ask you the big one, the big question. And that one is around how to deal with the haters. So if somebody is afraid of putting themselves out there, a lot of that has to do with judgment and criticism and people who don’t have a lot of nice things to show up on social media, like, I think most people who are listening to this podcast and that I interact with, they really want a like kind and collaborative community online. But that’s not always the case. And sometimes there are going to be people, whether or not well intentioned or they’re not well intentioned, might say something that is hurtful or harmful in some way, shape or form. And this is just it’s kind of par for the course on social media. So I’m curious how you yourself or how you would work with a client to handle some of the negativity that come out. Yeah.

Ashton Henry (00:42:23) – with clients, depending on what it is, a lot of the time we’re just leaving it alone. It’s a comment, it’s engagement. So it’s kind of even though if you don’t like what it says, it’s still it’s still helping. The algorithm is picking up that you are causing a reaction that people are engaging with. Right. So even when it’s negative, it has some positive aspects to it.

Chloe Dechow (00:42:49) – So you’re telling me the joke’s on them.

Ashton Henry (00:42:51) – They’re like, oh, this is trash. And you’re like, okay, but thanks for leaving. Comment. So that is one way to, you know, just like handle that. But I think it’s the mindset shift on it a lot of times. And what I would encourage people to do is find a way to celebrate it. So that could be like if you’re if you’re showing up on social media, I don’t know what your thing is. Right. Like it. Maybe it’s going and like, you get a little mini bottle of champagne and you have them and go ahead and label them and be like, okay, I got to 500 followers.

Ashton Henry (00:43:24) – I, you know, got five saves on this post. Keep them baby. Like just ease into it. I post my first talking had real have these little celebration moments to make acknowledgement because it’s not. Those are not easy things. It’s not easy showing up on social media. It’s not easy launching a business. It’s not easy. Like, okay, once you’ve actually made the decision and you’re going to start a business, how long does it take you to actually like tell all your friends and family that you’re doing it because it’s so scary? You’re like, oh, I don’t want the backlash, or I don’t want anyone to say negative things because this is already hard enough to come to this decision on my own. Like I don’t need your opinion about it. I’ve already talked myself out of this 15 ways. So having little moments to celebrate your wins, even when they’re super small. So like get yourself a little, you know, 12 pack of champagne bottles and one of those should be you got your first troll comment.

Ashton Henry (00:44:15) – You should celebrate it because that means that your content is getting out there to enough people that it triggered something for someone. And that just means that your reach is expanding outside of your bubble. And that’s what we want to do with social media is reach new people. So I think that even though it feels like it’s kind of still a win, it really just reinforces that what you’re doing is working, and especially if you’re a thought leader, you have thoughts and ideas that are challenging everybody else’s way of thinking. And so I would argue that if you don’t have a troll comment on at least every video, then you need to be, you know, doing it more and harder, like go out there and do it with a bang. So I think that just it’s a mindset shift because you can’t avoid it. You can’t control what other people are doing. You can only control your reaction to it. So if you are prepared with a way to celebrate it, if it’s not champagne, if it’s a brownie, if it’s, you know, going and, you know, getting yourself a new shirt, whatever it is, get yourself be instant gratification.

Ashton Henry (00:45:23) – Like right away after you feel the negative thing so that you can flip it on its head right away.

Chloe Dechow (00:45:29) – I love that reframe and celebrating because you’re stirring things up as a thought leader. You’re challenging the status quo. And if you think about it from the perspective of the person who may be struggling with whatever you’re saying in whatever shape, form it looks like for them. You know, when we think about it, like as humans, like we crave the same thing, like we want comfort. We’re wired to not change our beliefs. We’re wired to stay the same. And so for them, they’re kind of going through this survival journey, like you’ve switched some sort of light on for them, and they’ve had to be challenged in the way that they think. And that can be really confronting for some people. And so, you know, at the very least, you got that on their radar. And it’s really, you know, they’re accountable to how they show up. And how they view things, and you’ve done your job as the thought leader to share what you know is going to be a better way to do something or a more impactful way of supporting people.

Chloe Dechow (00:46:30) – And so I love that idea of celebrating that, because it takes immense courage to be able to do that, constantly.

Ashton Henry (00:46:37) – Doing hard things. So yeah, celebrate all of those wins.

Chloe Dechow (00:46:40) – Awesome. Well, Ashton, thank you so, so much for being here, for sharing all your genius with us around social media. I know this is going to be super helpful in supportive for so many people. If somebody wanted to learn more about you, what you do follow you, where can they find you?

Ashton Henry (00:46:57) – Well, you can definitely follow me. I’m on social media. I am @smallstudiobrandshop on Instagram. I think that is the easiest way to find me and @ashtonanmarie. If you want to follow my personal nonsense that is available as well. And then www.hellosmallstudio.com is my website that has a lot about the services that we offer by way of branding and social media management. But then if anyone is looking for some help with social media and you’re not ready to hire it out, I strongly encourage you to check out the social club.

Ashton Henry (00:47:31) – I will give you a code so your listeners can get a 30 day free trial, and they can get in there and kind of play around with it and dip their toes in and feel like they have a social media manager in their back pocket without having to hire anybody.

Chloe Dechow (00:47:45) – So that sounds really cool. And I might have to take you up on that myself. Well, thank you for that generous discount and sharing all your insights. It’s super, super helpful and I’m really excited to just see what you’re up to next. Great.

Ashton Henry (00:47:59) – Thank you so much for having me. I can’t wait to continue to listen. This is very helpful podcast. So.

Chloe Dechow (00:48:10) – Thank you for joining me today. If you enjoyed this episode, invite your entrepreneur friends to tune in. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram at West Haven Coaching. I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode and continue the conversation with you there. And before you go, be sure to download my free guide, Five Steps to Building Your Authentic Authority, which will walk you through how to grow your thought leadership in a way that’s true to who you are and what you stand for.

Chloe Dechow (00:48:39) – You can find the guide at www.westhavencoaching.com/steps or follow the link in the show notes. Thanks again for tuning in. Together we are changing the faces and voices of thought leadership. Until next time, keep leading with authenticity and impact.

Showing Up on Social Media with Ashton Henry

May 16, 2024

social media, small studio, social club, branding expert, brand awareness, engage audience, social media manager, authentic content, target audience, video content, social media analytics, community engagement, audience interactions, social media presence, intentional content, consistent presence, customer acquisition, branding, engaging content, audience attention spans, thought leadership, marketing messaging, unique perspectives, negativity on social media, celebrating wins, thought leader, digital space


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