Ashley Rader – Founder of Digital Climber

ashleyprofessional

My name is Ashley Rader.  I’m the founder of Digital Climber and I’m so excited to have you here.

Because I think you and I are a lot alike.   We’re both striving to reach our goals and build a life of success, doing what we love.

Wouldn’t you agree, there are times when running a business gets complicated…  whether it be finding ways to attract new customers, dealing with ever-changing technology, closing sales, or finding the most effective ways to promote your business.

The internet has revolutionized the way businesses can reach and market to their potential clients.   You no longer have to have the marketing budget of a Fortune 500 corporation in order to get your business in front of thousands or hundreds of thousands of potential clients.

I’m a digital strategist and veteran online marketer.

I help small businesses and entrepreneurs wade through the maze of technologies that are available on the web, in order to create a digital strategy that will grow their traffic, grow their brand, grow their social media influence, and ultimately to grow their business.

I make technology super simple to understand, and easy to put into action.

If you are struggling to grow your business, or formulate an online marketing plan because of a lack of knowledge, training or resources, you’re in the right place.

So who am I?

Business and entrepreneurship is in my blood.   My parents started their own retail business when I was young, and I grew up watching it successfully grow into a successful chain of local stores.

I witnessed the highs and the lows, but what was etched into my mind, was that never did my parents have to ask a boss for time off to come to one of my sporting events.   They never had to max out their vacation days to go on a family trip.    They never were at the mercy of corporate layoffs.   They were in full control of their own destiny.  Sure there were hard times, but they worked hard, kept at it, and they made it a success.   And the good times, were even better.

lemonade

Growing up, I was always creating my own “businesses”.   Whether it was selling school supplies to classmates, selling my little sisters toys back to her in exchange for her allowance (I know, I know, not cool, but I was only 7!) or setting up the worlds greatest lemonade stand – I loved the challenge of figuring out what to sell, and who to sell it to, and how to reach them.

I studied Engineering in college and my senior year I was in a programming class where I learned basic coding skills.   The internet had been around for about 15 years, but was really just then starting to take off – and I was hooked.

After graduation, I did the usual thing and got a regular, corporate job and began the daily 9-5 grind.

I was good at my job, but I felt completely unfulfilled.

MASTERING ONLINE MARKETING

In 2004 I got married and started thinking about what I wanted my life to look like when we started a family.   I knew I wanted to be at home and be around for my kids, and I was tired of working for someone else.   So I began creating my own business.

With the wedding fresh in my mind, and thinking about how many thousands of dollars we had spent on various parts of our wedding, I decided to build an ecommerce site selling wedding products.   I only had the one programming class from college a few years prior, but I was passionate and worked tirelessly to learn whatever it took to build my website, and get my business off the ground.

For about a year, I worked 9-5 at my day job, then came home and worked another 6-7 hours at night building my website and business.

I quickly realized its not enough to just build a website…  its worth nothing if people can’t find your website.

So I began studying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the process of ranking your website so that it appears high in the search results when someone types in keywords into one of the major search engines.   I had to figure out the most effective way for people to find my website.   

digitalclimber-fieldofdreams2

I love the famous phrase from Field of Dreams:

“If you build it, they will come”.  

So many business owners who are just starting to take their business online, think that they can just throw up a website, and the customers will just magically find it.   Sorry to burst the bubble, but that only happens in Hollywood.

Within a year – by my own sweat and tears (a one woman team!), I built my site and I got it ranked on page 1 of Google for the majority of my target keywords, in a very competitive wedding niche.

By my 3rd year in business, the site raked in a million dollars in sales, and life was great.

I had my first child, and was living my dream – I was the “CEO” of my own successful business that I was able to run from home so I didn’t have to miss out on all of those precious moments with my son.

My business continued to grow until 2008, when Google decided to change the game with their ranking algorithm – something they did frequently.   But this time, my site was hit.   What had worked for so long with SEO was out the door, and with it, over 60% of my traffic and my sales.  OUCH.

I realized my business needed to evolve, and quickly.   I had put all my eggs in one basket and I was left nearly back where I started.

Except, not exactly.

What we often fail to realize in the heart of pivotal moments like that, is that while your income may get hit and you feel like you’re left back at square one…  the lessons learned and knowledge gained, are invaluable tools – if you use them the right way.

These bumps in the road, and how we choose to respond to them, ultimately are what will determine our potential for long term success.

I quickly began diversifying my business, and soaking up as much knowledge as I could, covering all forms of media and online marketing.

I learned innovative ways to drive traffic beyond just search rankings.   I learned affiliate marketing.  I learned how to connect with my audience using social media.   I learned how to harness traditional marketing methods, with twists that would make them work online.

And after a few months of hissy-fitting at Google, I also re-dedicated myself to learning the “new SEO”.

Don’t worry, we’re back to to being good friends again, and SEO is as much in my arsenal of digital strategy as any other.

My business rebounded through a more well balanced approach to traffic generation and a clearer focus on online strategy.

I also decided to get serious about doing more of what I love – which is helping other businesses grow and formulate their own online strategies for success.

Get On The Summit: My FREE Weekly Marketing To-Do List For Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs

I believe it is so important to build a business that you are not only passionate about, but that supports the kind of lifestyle that will fulfill you both personally and professionally.

For me, right now, that means being able to be around for my kids – to be at their sporting events and their school functions, and to be an active presence in their lives. For you, that might mean traveling the world and being able to live completely off the grid with your laptop.

thesummit

The internet has created an environment where all of these things are possible, once you first put into place the tools, technologies and plans that will set your business up for success – the kind of success that can be fulfilled from home, or from an airplane, or from a lounge chair on the beach – if you so wish.

So buckle up and get ready to make your dreams a reality!

The next step is to join me as your business starts to climb the ranks of the web.   Join me at The Summit…  my FREE weekly actionable to-do list, delivered straight to your inbox.   We’ll cover everything from content creation, traffic generation, social media, branding, list building and more!

Sign Up Below To Receive Your First Issue Of The Summit On Tuesday!

 

From there, check out our blog or one of our training programs for a more in depth approach.

I’m looking forward to being able to help you create a digital strategy for success, and to leverage online technologies to grow your business beyond what you thought was imaginable.

Cheers to YOU, and your SUCCESS !