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Conversations with Ashley Card

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Card.

Hi Ashley, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
Marketing Truth, LLC began as an e-portfolio and a small business plan that was created as an assignment for my Marketing professor in graduate school in 2009 at the Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I held on to the idea of having a Marketing and Production business for years, but never knew exactly when I would launch it. I knew that in order to do so, I had to have a good grasp of my skill.

Therefore, I started by doing small projects while in school, with a dear friend and mentor by the name of Kevin Monroe, who was the CEO of his own Production Company entitled, Aniworks Multimedia. He was producing a documentary called, “Bass, God, and Hip-Hop”, in which he would travel to Christian Hip-Hop events throughout the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads, consisting of Virginia Beach, VA, Chesapeake, VA, Norfolk, VA, Suffolk, VA, Hampton, VA, Newport News, VA.

He would even attend events in Atlanta, GA, such as the Holy Hip-Hop Awards. Learning and gleaning from him, I would assist him in the production process and interview artists as a Co-Host. I also gained experience by partaking in a digital media project, along with the other Digital Media students of Regent’s School of Communication & The Arts, in creating a proposal and plan to revamp the marketing and production department of New Life Providence Church in Virginia Beach, VA. During my last semester of graduate school, I interned with the school campus’s broadcasting network, The Christian Broadcasting Network/700 Club, which has been aired on several stations, such as Freeform, ABC Family, etc.

Immediately after graduating, I had been one of the millions of millennials that were faced with the recession post-graduation, causing there to be hiring freezes throughout the U.S. and directly affecting the job market in the Digital Media field. Employers in the field were not hiring, and employees were being laid off. Therefore, I had to be patient by taking an alternate route and continue to hone my skills and build my portfolio of marketing and production on the side while going full force in a career field utilizing my undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Dance. The fields were not as highly affected by the recession. I truly enjoyed working in the fields of Dance Performance, Public School & Private Studio Dance & Character Education, and Arts Administration, so much so that I stayed in those fields of work for 8 years.

While indulging myself in the Arts, I continued to do light work by temporarily interning, doing gigs, freelance work, and small marketing jobs. I particularly enjoyed the paid Digital Marketing internship with the Hughes Media Digital Agency of Atlanta, GA, along with other gigs and freelance work to maintain my skill, keep up with the ever-changing trends of the industry, and maintain a portfolio of work to present for when the right time came to attempt to transition back into the Digital Media field.

In June of 2017, I felt the divine nudge to leave the Public School System and focus on my own private studio and make Marketing Truth an official “LLC”. I took on a remote position with 2HotMedia, a radio station based out of Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC in marketing and production working in various departments such as account executive and management work, operations, video, and sound editing, social media production, and etc… I stayed with the station until May of 2021.

It was during COVID-19 that my Marketing Truth, LLC began to pick up as business owners were in need of digital marketing strategies and assistance to stay afloat. I was receiving invitations to be interviewed on Marketing Truth, LLC by editorial teams and producers by way of Linkedin and email. Also, the creative community was on hiatus from writing God-inspired scripts and songs, as the industry had shut down. As soon as the industry opened up, I began to receive gigs for short and full-length feature films, and the business owners continued to need assistance in getting their business back on track after having to unconventionally run their businesses virtually.

Today Marketing Truth, LLC is still in full swing, as I do local presentations and seminars with small business owners, mainly in the Columbia and Orangeburg, South Carolina markets, As a Leadership Columbia Alumni, I remain alert to what’s taking place in my community and remain inspired through the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association’s workshops and seminars.

However, right now I am focusing more on smaller and lighter projects that are short-term, as I have clients that represent various industries and request different areas in marketing and production. We have just been invited by Atlanta International Fashion Week to do light fashion editing and blogging for fashion events in the fall and winter seasons of 2022. I am very grateful for all of the opened doors of opportunity, and I give God all of the credit.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely had its bumps as the business really took off at the beginning of COVID-19. There was a time, when I felt too much of a demand and had to pull away from the requests due to being overwhelmed with a load of work requested. I had to create a more balanced routine and learn how to say “No.” (laughing).

However, the field of marketing and production is an edgy field that requires you to have a lot of grit, and you have to continue to remain current on all of the trends, constantly honing your craft. It is extremely vital to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle in order to have good longevity. Therefore, I had currently pulled away from a lot of projects.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am definitely an “artsy fartsy creativo”. At the end of the day, I would drop everything to dance, travel, and do missions. Therefore, I have danced in companies, worked in the public school system teaching fine arts, and I had also started my own part-time dance & character education program. I was the first dance teacher in the secondary school district that I worked for in South Carolina.

Therefore, I created their dance and theatre department and all of their district-wide rubrics for their Student Learning Objective (SLO). As a public school teacher, you are free during the summer. Therefore in the Summer of 2017, I had the chance to supervise the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive as a Summer Intensive Supervisor. Before leaving the public school system, I was accepted into the Columbia Chamber Leadership Columbia Program. My dance and character education program was followed by fellow high school alumni and an associate who was a Board Member of Leadership Columbia. It was good to see her again, as I remember we had a lot of the same core values in high school.

As far as my creative side in Marketing and Production, I have worked on sets of short films, music videos, feature films, and documentaries starting graduate school as a Digital Media student and connecting with a lot of films and acting students. I picked up the work again a little prior to COVID-19, as I was leaving the public school system. We completed the post-production of a short film that was shot in Talking Rock, GA. It is currently screening and has been accepted into a Georgia Film Festival. I have just finished working on the set of a feature film that was shot between the state of South Carolina and North Carolina. I am also wrapping up the production of a short film shot in Villa Rica, GA, Carrollton, GA, and Douglasville, GA.

Along with film production, I also do digital and traditional marketing for small and medium-sized business owners. I had the chance to do educations sessions, workshops, and seminars on marketing by way of the business network, “Thee Collective Connection”, and working remotely from home for 2HotMedia, I’ve had the chance to recruit and maintain the accounts of independent artists to perform in major performance opportunities such as the Super Bowl, BET Awards, and the BET Hip Hop Awards.

However, what sets Marketing Truth, LLC apart is that we are a faith-based business with a mission to fuel small and medium size business owners, churches, positive artists, and family-friendly arts and entertainment businesses who have a mission to make a positive impact on society.

The society that we live in at times can be back to where all of the money and support goes towards industries that are more so destroying society than uplifting and building into the mental, physical, and spiritual life of man. Our goal is to advocate for those who want to make a difference, but don’t have the monetary, marketing, or production support that they need. I believe in building into man and society, not tearing them down and destroying our morals as people.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I’ve learned on my journey is balance and to have a lot of faith. In order to have longevity in this field, you MUST have a balanced lifestyle and take care of yourself. It has also given me a lot more patience with people, as small business owners wear a lot of hats and are usually hard to catch on the phone when it comes to needing information from them due to being swamped with several tasks or tired from the grind.

Also, on the production side of things I have learned to be even more patient with the creative community. I have split right down the middle as far as left and right brain (creative and administrative side). However, a lot of creatives are more right-brain and sometimes need a lot more help on the administrative side, as they operate on a different frequency wave called “inspiration”. They can be “butterflies” with coming up with so many amazing ideas, but don’t always have the administrative side to follow through with the idea.

Therefore, I have to be the one to balance them out. However, their administrative challenge, can knock me off my own schedule at times, and I have been the one to set a healthy boundary and keep a calm temperament in order to work alongside them in assist them in birthing the vision, or it will overwhelm you if you allow it.

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