Photo credit: Danielle Laporte by Anastasia Photography. Thumbnails below courtesy of subject. Many thanks to everyone listed for photos. Just click for more details.
I know the end of the year is a time for reflection, a time for lists and a time for honours. And in the spirit of all three of those I wanted to reflect on the place of women in internet marketing, list a few of my favourites, and pay tribute to some incredible women I’ve had the pleasure to ‘get to know’ in the virtual world and in real life during the past year.
As with any list the selection is uniquely personal. I’ve given you my reasons for why these women made the grade and I know this could be a list of 100 and we’d still disagree over who to include. But here’s the final cut – my selection – and, as they say, the editor’s decision is final!
But Why Women?
But why is it a list only of women? I don’t write only for women and I don’t offer services only to women. Why separate the sexes now?
Well I noticed over the year that when it comes to lists of who’s who in internet marketing, there always seems to be more men than women. I was surprised. I mix with a lot of women, great women. Was that just my world? Surely the internet should be the ideal place for women to succeed – the flexibility of time and space, the communication, the engagement all seem to play to our natural abilities. Maybe it’s just about numbers? Are there more men out there? There are certainly more men in business but women seem to be catching up and are now starting businesses at a faster rate than men. How is it that men seem to be ‘better’ at this stuff? Or, rather, better known?
Rather than analyse the social dynamics here, I’m just going to redress the balance by showcasing my selection and giving you some festive sparkle and shine from the world of women in internet marketing. So, without further ado, here they are…
Danielle Laporte. Is Danielle a business adviser, is she a writer, is she an artist? Well she’s a mixture of all of those. On her site she describes herself first and foremost as a writer and her updates arrive like a small ray of light coming into my inbox. She brightens the days that are just routine and reminds me we don’t need to follow any pattern or any path other than our own. Inspiring.
Marie Forleo. I can’t think of anyone who infuses the internet marketing world with more positive energy and personality than Marie. Having straddled a number of careers from dance to relationship guru to life and business coaching, Marie has an incredible spirit and sense of fun that draws you into her world and makes you feel as if you have known her forever. A brilliant communicator Marie combines the down-to-earth practical with spiritual and emotional wisdom.
Sonia Simone. When I asked my twitter followers for recommendations Sonia’s was the name that came up most often. While she may not be as well known in her own right as others on the list – yes she has her own business at Remarkable Communication – we know her best for her work and writing at Copyblogger. She’s a fabulous writer, fabulous personality and great educator for content-based marketing. Oh and did I mention she has cool hair.
Naomi Dunford. I’ve put Naomi in the writing category because of her pithy style, her wit and her humour. Her business is IttyBiz and yes she sells stuff on the internet but, like Sonia, what I really want to honour her for is her writing. If you don’t yet know Naomi then be warned that the occasional profanity issues forth from her keyboard. For me this is all part of her personality, but forewarned is forearmed if this isn’t your personal taste.
Creating A Phenomenon
Gretchen Rubin. I’m pretty sure that Gretchen should not be on a list of internet marketers but she’s very squarely in my ‘Creating A Phenomenon’ category. If you don’t know her then she’s a lawyer turned writer turned blogger turned leader of the now four year old Happiness Project. And maybe there’s also something about the nature of the project that draws me to her – who can turn away from the idea of being happier? Sign up for the updates, the videos or participate in the project; she’ll definitely cheer up your world!
Pamela Slim. Pam created the hugely popular ‘Escape from Cubicle Nation’ blog and then book. I think the expression means more in the US than it does in the UK where our workers are not so much in cubicles as on hamster wheels. But Pam catches the imagination and inspires a certain spirit of entrepreneurial freedom with this phrase; painting a picture of worker ants breaking free from their corporate chains. A genuinely lovely person and almost unintentional phenomenon creator.
Hold On To Your Credit Cards…!
Lisa Sasevich. The growth of Lisa’s business over the last year or two has been nothing short of incredible. The core of Lisa’s message is about sales – and how to sell without being salesy. Bringing a different style and probably attracting a different audience than some of the women above, I want to bring Lisa to your attention as part of bringing sales to the forefront of your business. I’ve said it before but the core of your business is learning how to translate your value into sales and if you aren’t making enough money in your business then 2011 might be the year to turn this around.
Fabienne Fredrickson. I suspect that Fabienne is so well known in the world of internet marketing that she doesn’t need an introduction. But if you don’t know her then what is unique about her is that she seems to speak to her market in a clearer voice than almost anyone on the internet, male or female. She has such absolute laser focus on how to market to her mainly female audience in a voice that they hear loud and clear. Some of you may find her message a little sugar-coated but I don’t agree – I think the lesson from Fabienne to all of us in ‘how’ she gets that message across. Watch and learn.
Kendall Summerhawk. Real creativity seems rare in the internet marketing world. So much of what is available is derivative from one marketer to another and the differentiation often comes with the style of delivery rather than the content. But Kendall is genuinely creative and, I think, the most original thinker in this space by some distance. Like all of the women on this list, she has a particular style that does not and is not intended to appeal to everyone. But I really take my hat off to her for creating material that is new and original. Taking concepts from the mainstream of coaching, NLP and personality profiling and turning it into something beautiful.
Lifestyle And Balance
Alicia Forest. Alicia has built her business while spending time (a lot of time) with her family. And I really take my hat off to her for the discipline that this takes. Too often we fall into comparison-itis, thinking we need to be racing ahead because others are doing it. Alicia has got there at her own pace and in her own style. I met Alicia this year and she is so generous with her information and her teaching that it was a real pleasure to spend time with her. She’s smart and funny and well worth your time getting to know.
So, agree or disagree, I would love to hear whether these women would make your list. And if not, who would make your list? And let’s not forget the guys! Leave a comment below…