Boss in the Bay State: Ashley Mason

April 1, 2024  | 

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Introduce yourself! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Ashley Mason, also known as the founder of Massachusetts Business Network! In addition to running this fun passion project of mine, I own a marketing agency called Dash of Social. We specialize in content marketing, primarily social media, blog content, and email marketing. Our clients are across the country and in various industries, but many of our clients are right here in Massachusetts.

What made you want to start your own business?

I got my first real taste of entrepreneurship in 2012, when I started a fashion and lifestyle blog. I have always loved to read and write, so starting a blog one day was something I thought about often. When I needed a creative outlet during an academically challenging sophomore year of high school to help relieve my stress, starting a blog seemed like the perfect fit.

However, despite feeling passionate about this hobby, I realized that two things were missing. If I was going to devote that much time to it each week, I needed to 1) get people who weren’t just my family to read it and 2) find a way to monetize it.

That’s when I realized that the solution to both of those problems was social media.

After only using social media personally up until that point, I taught myself how to use it from a business perspective by consuming what felt like every blog post, webinar, and course under the sun about the topic. By applying what I learned to my blog, I was able to grow it organically, becoming a micro-influencer and working with several companies who would pay me to write about their products, attend press events, and become their brand ambassador.

That’s when I discovered my passion for social media marketing.

My own experience of growing my blog made me realize the impact social media can make on building a brand, yet a lot of the brands I was working with barely had a social media presence, if any at all. This was absolutely a missed opportunity for them, and I wanted to change that! Feeling an itch to dip my toes more into the marketing waters and support the brands who supported me, I offered to work with them on a pro bono basis to develop and execute social media strategies, manage influencer relationships, and make their mark online.

Long story short, I couldn’t get enough of it.

Dying to get my hands on more opportunities and leveraging the network I had built as a blogger, I was able to officially start freelancing in 2014 and started Dash of Social in September 2016.

What do you love the most about owning a business in Massachusetts?

I love how close-knit the community is. I’ve made a ton of friends through various networking groups and appreciate their support.

What are your favorite small businesses to support in Massachusetts?

The Charred Oak Tavern, and Coffee Milano, both in Middleboro, are two of my favorites! Although not a small business, I also have to give a shout out to the Middleboro Public Library. I don’t know where I would be without the library!

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?

Saying no to opportunities that don’t align with your vision, schedule, or goals is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

If you weren’t in your current position, what would your next dream job be?

I would love to work at a library or bookstore, or for a chamber of commerce.

When you’re not working, what activities do you enjoy?

I love spending time with my loved ones, reading, running on my Peloton, jet skiing in the summer, and trying new restaurants!

Thank you for sharing more about yourself! Tell us how we can get in touch with you or find you online.

You can learn more about me via Dash of Social.


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