In this installment of Women Who Wow, learn more about Lee Ashby Watts.
Lee has more than 20 years of marketing and branding experience, helping both legal professionals and high-achieving executives develop brand clarity and marketing strategy. Lee is the founder and CEO of ashby & co consulting (ashby & watts consulting), a marketing and branding firm where she coaches and consults with entrepreneurs and leaders, assisting them with their branding and marketing strategies. Prior to moving into full-time entrepreneurship, she was the Chief Marketing Officer at Smith, Gambrell, and Russell, a global law firm headquartered in Atlanta.
Lee sits on the board of the Legal Marketing Association Southeast and is a board member for the 2023 Legal Marketing Association national conference. Lee is also a board member of Kate’s Club and serves on the Marketing Committee. She is also a proud member of the professional women’s network CHIEF. In addition, she is involved with the Junior League of Atlanta and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated. Lee is a blogger & contributor for Forbes Communications Council and a regular speaker for the Argyle Network, and TechBridge Inc., among other platforms and organizations.
What do you love most about what you do?
There are so many things I love about what I do! From helping others to tell the story of their company or personal brand to coaching professionals in business development. However, what I love MOST is leading others out of marketing chaos to marketing clarity. Marketing, business development and branding can be so overwhelming. There are so many approaches, strategies, opinions and trends. However, this is why I love creating simple, yet impactful approaches to marketing. Watching the lightbulb go off when we build a manageable plan that makes sense for them or their company brings me joy. I can sometimes see the weight lift from their shoulders and a twinkle of hope in their eyes when it all finally connects.
How has social media helped you build your business/brand?
Social media helped me to stay top-of-mind with potential clients and referrals. When I left my position as a Chief Marketing Officer in legal and decided to move fully into entrepreneurship and running my own firm, I was able to secure clients very quickly because I had already networked and developed a brand on social media. Not simply reminding my network what I do, but social media, when done correctly, can also give people a glimpse of your personality. People want to do business with people that they know, trust and like. Social media can help lay the groundwork for each of those elements.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not focus so much on the small stuff. You will make mistakes, but don’t linger on them. Learn the lesson and quickly move on. People don’t focus on you as much as you think they do.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Everything is “figureoutable.” There are very few things that can’t be fixed or worked out. Understanding this helps alleviate stress and offers more freedom to be creative and take risks in your work. I also heard it presented another way: “We are not doing brain surgery or saving lives. Put things in perspective.” Not only has this helped me with working with clients, but it also has helped as I managed others. Mistakes will happen but most can be fixed. Such a big relief!
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I don’t. What I have learned and accepted is that there are seasons when there will be more life than work or more work than life…and it’s okay. The key is to find work that you truly enjoy. During the seasons when there is more work than life, I have learned to take advantage of the moments that bring me joy.