Multi-millionaire social media strategist, business builder and digital marketing expert King Ashley Ann shares her challenges and secrets of success with Kontrol Magazine.
It is possible that you don’t know the name King Ashley Ann, but you should. This southern gal turned business mogul is turning everyday African American women and men into successful queens and kings. From owning reputable multi-million dollar businesses to creating the tools to help the everyday person grow theirs, Ashley is building a kingdom that is attracting a lot of attention.
Laying the Foundation
Watch one of her many free business-building sessions on Instagram Live and you can hear the refined southern drawl in her voice. Ashley was born in Fort Bragg, NC, where her father was stationed as an officer in the Army. Around 7-years-old, the family moved back to Arkansas to be reunited with the rest of their family.
Being with her family established an early work ethic that she attributes to much of her success today. “My grandmother had a garden the size of football field that we tended. My father fought in every war while he was active. And my mother would help people plan and organize their events, from birthdays to weddings.” Ashley merged her grandmother’s tenacity with her father’s commitment and mother’s creativity to start her own event design company in 2006.
Ashley’s first business started after arranging her cousin’s coworkers baby shower for free. After the event, the overwhelmed host gave her a few hundred dollars for the stunning outcome. “When she gave me that money, I went home and did some research. I realized I could make a career of something that was a hobby.”
And she did. Ashley got a full-time job with an event planning company and a part-time job with a party rental company. Her most memorable job was for Anita. “She bought a space for a community garden and was hosting the opening ceremony. Anita came up and gave me a $500 tip, telling me how breath-taking everything was. That lit a fire under me to start my own business.” While still working her jobs, Ashley grew her personal clientele. “I really prayed about when I was going to leave my jobs and venture out on my own. My answer came when I got a $153,000 contract.”
King Ashley was in her early twenties when she realized she didn’t want to work a 9 to 5 for the rest of her life. “I saw too many people spending a third of their waking hours working jobs they didn’t enjoy.” As her event business grew, she decided to start giving back and helping her community. “I started small, managing people’s Facebook ads. From that, I realized people didn’t know how to navigate social media in terms of monetization.”
She used her knowledge and gift of business to start an Instagram page that would help people build their businesses. “I had zero followers when I started. What I knew is that our community didn’t have the financial literacy other communities did. We didn’t come from generations of wealth or business owners. Our goals were to go to school, get a degree, stay out of jail and pay our taxes. That is not enough to uplift an entire community.”
With her consistent content focused on empowering entrepreneurs, Ashley’s zero followers grew steadily to fifty thousand and beyond. “I told my friends and family I would be happy making just $1,000 a month if I could help people. I started by giving out really good information and following the system I created. I would go on other people’s IG Lives and realized they didn’t have moderators. So I started dropping their links and promotions to support their brands. They returned the favour and realized I was giving out quality information.”
That system established her digital marketing business, and her goal of $1,000 a month now ranges between 100k to 220k a month in digital product sales alone. “My 1k grew to 5k, 10k and beyond. My greatest challenge was people not believing my success was real. I am a thick, black woman with big hair, long lashes, and a personality just as strong as my southern accent.” To combat the impression she was just a spammer, King Ashley has her clients “drop their receipts” of how much money they have made after working with her.
Inspired by the work ethic of women like Oprah, Beyonce, and Yvette Noel-Schure, King Ashely has overcome the negativity and places emphasis on moving forward. “I know I’m in an industry dominated by white men. I don’t look like most of the people doing this, so I’m met with skepticism and critique. But I don’t have time for what. I’m too busy winning.”
Ashley is busy balancing her work, family, hobbies, and love life. “Time management is my daily challenge. While I have a to-do list, there is always more to do.” Even though she is practicing celibacy, she is making time for dating a good man. “I have to make time to live while I build. I still love to be in my garden, tending my flowers and herbs. I will always be a country girl who loves long walks and hikes and entertaining my family and friends.”
The kingdom continues to grow, King Ashley maintains her role as an inspiration to many women who have so much to overcome to advance their careers. Follow her @kingashleyann for personal motivation and business guidance.