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Meet Alesha Henley of a Dose of Insight

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alesha Henley.

Hi Alesha, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Today, I am a marketing professional with over 25 years of experience in all facets of marketing – strategy, social media, website development, direct response campaigns, creative design, sales support, and lead generation. How did I get here?

I was influenced by my mother, who was a single parent that prioritized education. School wasn’t an option; it was a requirement. She worked hard to put me through Catholic high school to provide the best education. I was a pretty smart kid but had no idea what a gift that was, I always viewed myself average. After selecting a college, Kent State University, I had no idea of expectations or what I would major in. Majoring in Business came to the forefront because it was the only thing, I was remotely interested in,  since I was not fully aware of the vast career options that were available to me. I picked what I knew and seemed to be easiest, marketing. No one told me the importance of internships or networking to get a job, related to my interest. So, I ended up working as an accounts payable clerk upon graduation, and trust me, it wasn’t for lack of trying! I submitted 3-4 resumes/applications each week for marketing roles but couldn’t catch a break – I didn’t even get interviews. I decided to move to a larger city, Chicago Illinois, with what I hoped was more opportunity. I found an entry-level role as a marketing data analyst and that launched my career.

Five years into my career I found experience wasn’t enough, I needed to add to my credentials. I enrolled in the part-time program at the University of Chicago (now Booth School of Business) to obtain my MBA. After all, I couldn’t afford to quit my job and go full-time. I was now properly equipped to get ahead; I had the experience, and the education – I had to get ahead now, right? It still took a while. I continued to navigate the corporate world through trials, missteps, and tests. After working in Chicago for over 20 years and getting to the director level, I hit the preverbal ceiling. I moved to St. Louis as a director and was promoted to VP in less than one year. There I staffed a new marketing department and designed a strategy that built brand awareness, supported the sales process, and measured the effectiveness. It was made possible because after 20 years I found the sponsor that I longed for in those early years. It was always in me; I just needed a chance, which I finally received after continually proving myself for 30 years… better late than never.

At the beginning of 2020, an opportunity presented itself to help a small business develop marketing collateral. I thought to myself, “I could do that”; after all I love helping people and this was a chance for me to get paid for doing it. a Dose of Insight was born. After establishing my company, I found there were many small businesses that couldn’t afford a marketing team yet needed a marketing strategist. What a great opportunity to help small businesses, especially minority and woman-owned, succeed through marketing. I have the great fortune to marry what I am good at, with the passion that I have for helping others. I am loving every minute of it!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I have been lucky to build my career through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. My friends joke that I am the only person they know who can get a job by merely applying for it – not as a result of having “an in”. Most of my roles I’ve gotten by finding the opening and simply applying. I found out the importance of networking much later in my career and that is when I could take advantage of having “an in”.

I would not say that my road has been smooth. There have been MANY bumps in the road and trials along the way, including:
• Working twice as long and twice as hard as counterparts to get half as far
• Having a master’s degree from a top-5 MBA school in the country, University of Chicago, and 15 years of practical experience yet making less than a white woman with some college and 5 years of experience
• Being accused of verbally “attacking” a white associate and that accusation being taken as fact without investigation and when witnesses were present however not consulted
• Being passed over for promotions filled with individuals with fewer qualifications and/or less experience
• Securing a mentor and/or sponsor to help guide my career much later in life.

Fortunately, there have also been accomplishments which have gotten me to where I am today. I have learned to better network and create my own path of success without losing myself in the process. That success includes me both owning a marketing consulting firm, a Dose of Insight, and leading the marketing efforts of a local non-profit arts organization, Center of Creative Arts (COCA). My rocky path has made me even more committed to making the road a little smoother for those that look like me and/or face similar struggles!

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about a Dose of Insight, LLC?
a Dose of Insight is a marketing consulting firm that helps professional service business owners build their brand awareness to reach and convert more clients so that they can generate more revenue and grow.

Serving as a marketing strategist, a Dose of insight identifies target audiences, documents profiles, develops brand messaging, and understands industry trends to ensure businesses are poised for success. We manage the tactical execution of the marketing plan informed by that strategy; components may include social media, email campaigns, identifying strategic partnerships, and establishing or refining online presence. Execution always includes analytics which is critical to determine what is working and what is not working to inform future strategies.

a Dose of Insight delivers value through subject matter expertise that applies marketing best practices and know-how, which adds capacity cost-effectively. The bottom line is marketing is not merely an expense; it is a revenue generator that connects businesses with consumers. The right marketing strategies can help businesses flourish. a Dose of Insight is the trusted partner needed to develop marketing strategies that will create a strong brand, generate qualified leads, and drive growth.

What matters most to you?
Helping others matters most to me. No matter what I have done professionally, I have always volunteered my time to causes that meant something to me. I spent countless hours volunteering and serving on the board of organizations like The Glass Slipper Project, which completely outfits high-school girls for prom, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., coordinating fundraising events for scholarships, Rung for Women, which helps women to improve their lives and careers, and The Black Rep, which elevates African American playwrights and artisans while bringing first-class theatre to the St. Louis Region.

No one gets through life without help. People want a hand up, not necessarily a handout. I know because that is all I ever expected. Throughout my career, I have found ways to volunteer my time and my talents to worthy organizations. Now I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to use my professional skills to make a difference in the lives of others by engaging them with art forms that they may never have gotten an opportunity to experience and/or participate in. AND to put icing on the cake, I own a business that helps small business owners compete and grow.

I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of many that have come before me and fought for my seat at the table. It is important to me that I now stand in the gap for those that come behind me. My shoulders are broad and strong to hold others up. Giving back is the single most important thing that I do and the most gratifying!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Christopher Mikals Photography

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