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If there’s one thing I believe passionately, from an online business perspective, it’s that no single person has all the answers. Not me. Not you. We all have gaps to fill.
Researching particular topics is obviously one way to fill those gaps – which is fine if you have a specific issue to deal with.
Another way is to surround yourself with other digital entrepreneurs; people who excel in areas you’re not so great at, or who are a few years ahead of you in your niche. These are the people who will have answers for you, and resources that could help save all of your time and sanity.
Now I don’t advocate spending all your time digesting every single piece of content from all the influencers in your orbit, but I would recommend taking a slice of time to regularly catch up on what’s happening in your world. I have a handful of names that I’m completely loyal to (for various reasons) and today I’m going to share them with you.
I’ve focused specifically on digital entrepreneurs that provide support/services/content for other online business owners because that’s the world I live in.
In no particular order In alphabetical order, here they are:
Alex creates one-of-a-kind transformational and educational experiences for people who want to adopt an online business model for themselves with space for meaning, freedon and growth.
I came across Alex (what feels like) ages ago – back when Periscope was the cool kid on the block. I remember she used to do these really long, really engaged live streams and I was always astounded by how upbeat she is. I’ve been quietly lurking on her email list for a year or two now, and she can always be counted on to provide tons of info and insight in a really non-sleazy way. I signed up for her 5k in 5 days challenge in August and have to say, hands down, it’s one of the best community experiences I’ve ever had. It was intense, it was action-packed, but it was also transformative.
Follow Alex if you’re interested in:
- Making money without being icky
- Winning at the visuals (i.e. Snapchat, Instagram and video)
- Staying productive and positive in your online business
Alexandra is a writer, and she writes about creativity, productivity, goal-setting, handling adversity, disappointment and fear, and how we can all use our gifts to create a positive ripple in the world.
I have never met a person who has read Alex’s work and not fallen in love with her instantly. She’s not about the shiny bells and whistles most online writers are – no pinnable graphics, practically no social media accounts, no funnely business… just good, honest words filled with insight and integrity. I read her articles because I truly want to, not just for research.
Follow Alex if you’re interested in:
- Writing and/or sharing your story as an introvert.
- Surviving online without losing your sanity.
- Celebrating kindness and building community.
Alisa is an artist, author, teacher, wife and mom. She lives a simple life infused with art and craft and is always seeking new ways to redefine creativity.
If I could design my idea of a perfect life, it would look a lot like Alisa’s. I dream of the day when I can spend my time creating beautiful things with my beautiful family – but she is far from the typical “look how nicely curated my life is” influencers we see a lot of. Her mission is to live a creative life and share that with others, and she does that wonderfully. I’ve taken part in many, many of her workshops over the years because she really is an endless source of inspiration. She’s also very, very open about sharing the ups and downs of building a creative business, rather than cloaking it all in a shroud of mystery.
Follow Alisa if you’re interested in:
- Incorporating creativity into every aspect of your life.
- Doing things your own (less conventional) way.
- Pretty, pretty things.
- Raising your kids to be creative thinkers.
Amy is an online marketer and has (to date) helped thousands of online experts, educators and entrepreneurs sidestep years of struggle and build amazing online businesses of their own.
I literally cannot step away from anything Amy Porterfield creates without learning something new. Every webinar, every podcast, every email… there’s always something to get me thinking. And it’s not lofty internet marketing tips for big hitters, it’s totally actionable advice for the yous and mes of the world.
Follow Amy if you’re interested in:
- Increasing your online following in any and all of the ways.
- Packaging your “thing” to make it sellable.
- Where and how to focus to hit all your wild and scary goals.
Amy is a new media triple threat: Youtuber, best-selling author and keynote speaker, dedicated to helping you go after the life you want.
I first came across Amy’s stuff when one of my online friends started talking about #SSSVEDA – a “vlog every day” challenge Amy was running. I signed up and actually nailed it for a while before collapsing in a pile of “I hate my face”. In my defence, it was a good few years ago and I had way less confidence on camera than I do now. I still follow Amy’s videos and watch them religiously – she’s got the edutainment vibe going in all of her content and I like that. It breaks up the monotony of the “serious” things I read and watch day-to-day.
Follow Amy if you’re interested in:
- All the best video marketing/vlogging tips and advice
- Killer habits and productivity hacks
- Finding success, no matter your personality type.
April is a creative business consultant, helping creative entrepreneurs build the businesses of their dreams around the lives they crave to live.
It’s the law that I have to like anybody who loves Gilmore Girls as much as I do, and judging by her Paris references, April does. I also really enjoy her perfect combination of whimsy, insightfulness and sensible advice that comes through in everything she shares. Oh, and she illustrates half her blog content with watercolours. How could I possibly resist?
Follow April if you’re interested in:
- How to be more you (in your life and business)
- Standing out online, even though you’re not a hard-selling internet whizz kid
- Combining business, life and creativity to design an existence you love
Brittany is all about the productivity. She helps entrepreneurs make their content perform better by squeezing as much out of every word written, every graphic created and every vid published.
Brittany leads with sparkles, and the unicorn gatherer in me really likes that. She also leads with her mastery of all the helpful tech that terrifies me and she does it in a way that’s incredibly easy to understand and implement.
Follow Brittany if you’re interested in:
- Working smarter in your small business
- Letting free and low-cost tools do the heavy lifting
- Kimmy Schmidt
Bushra is a persuasion strategist who helps the frustrated, the lost and the uber confused bulldoze their way through objection and make big bucks (effortlessly).
Well… Bushra is basically a cartoon character. A bolshy, ADULT, Nutella-obsessed cartoon character. But if she can forgive you for being “more of a cheese person”, stick with her forever. Her entire output is essentially a collection of common sense, ingenious ideas and tips to help you get what you want out of your business… and we all love getting what we want.
Follow Bushra if you’re interested in:
- Selling like a MOFO
- Persuading people to make the right decision (i.e. to do what you want them to do) without resorting to bribery or mind control
- Standing out online without being a total dick
Caroline is a soulful creative, self-made artist and designer. She’s a lover of intention, intuition and artful expression that serves the soul.
While not necessarily focusing strictly on the business world, I couldn’t possibly round up my fave digital entrepreneurs without mentioning Caroline. Her artwork is simply beautiful (seriously, the colours have me going gaga) and she writes a load of really powerful articles. I’m not usually one for thinking about mindset and the like, but she tackles the internal world in a really accessible way – I also love her thoughts on creativity in general.
Follow Caroline if you’re interested in:
- Creative thinking
- Balancing your passions and your current pursuits
- Working on the “messy bits” of your life and business
Courtney honestly just likes helping people make enough money to live the happiest, freest, funnest life they can. She specialises in copywriting a.k.a. selling yourself with powerful language (without being manipulative).
I love Courtney’s whole vibe – she markets herself towards those business owners who feel somewhat irregular, or who don’t follow the same templates and techniques as every other entrepreneur out there, and I really click with that way of thinking. Interestingly, despite being a writer by trade, her main source of content is video. I don’t know if it’s just because of the circles I move in, but it’s so rare to see someone be a brilliant writer AND brilliant on camera, but she nails it.
Follow Courtney if you’re interested in:
- Tip on organising the “behind the scenes” of your business
- Killer copywriting (as a non-writer)
- Creative launching advice
Dre’s mission is to help solo-entrepreneurs create a vision for their voice through the power of visuals that convey your passion, your purpose, your message and your mission.
She’s an unapologetic swearer, and while that might turn some off, for me it was a huge draw. I think because I encountered her on the very day somebody publicly told me off for saying the S word in public (yeah, it wasn’t even one of the bad ones). I mean, she has way more to offer than just a potty mouth – she puts out some really in-depth content and is the brains behind one of my very favourite Facebook communities.
Follow Dre if you’re interested in:
- Branding and visual content
- No-nonsense business advice
- Funny, comprehensive live masterclasses
Gemma helps bring dreams to life online, with her signature combination of strategy, mindset and marketing. Her stuff really works.
As one of my oldest and most loyal clients, I am contractually obliged to include Gemma in this list. I joke, I joke. She’s utterly fantastic, simple as. The moment she asked me to proofread the sales page for her mastermind I knew I had to get myself in there, and I did. She really is the whole package – no matter where you are in your business and what it is you’re struggling with, she has the goods to get you through it.
Follow Gemma if you’re interested in:
- All the digital marketing goodness
- Strategy without stress
- How mindset filters into the big picture
Jen is a creative coach who helps purpose-driven creatives make things happen in their creative work and life on their own terms, in their own way, and by their own rules.
I think my favourite thing about Jen is that she’s so gentle. Yes, she offers sound business advice and profound commentary on the inner stuff, but she does it all in a way that’s soft and unassuming. We need that sometimes when we’re faced with a lot of “loud” content. Her vibe is very much as a walking pep talk and I love how she takes the time to celebrate the people around her – that’s important stuff.
Follow Jen if you’re interested in:
- Defining the kind of business you want to bring into the world
- Intentional, guilt-free goal-setting
- A nice little package of self-care and self-worth work
Laura is a writer who (among other things) helps entrepreneurs shape their rough drafts into a thing of beauty. And, more importantly, a thing of profit.
This girl is funny. I first came across her on Instagram and every post incited vigorous nodding and calls of “me too”. Ever since, I’ve been quietly lurking in her orbit and soaking in all the lolz.
Follow Laura if you’re interested in:
- Non-sucky copywriting advice
- Business-related rants
- Off-kilter tips for just doing the work
Lisa shows people how to get more website traffic, sales and professional recognition. Her aim is to help you build a business that you can rely upon for extra income by helping brand, market and advertise your wares.
Lisa is one of those who offers action-packed advice at every turn. Every email makes me think (and then click through like a maniac). Every blog post has me taking notes. That’s a sign of someone who creates truly great content – they can get you taking the steps they want. She does that in spades. I really like the way her totally reasonable tips are combined with creative thinking, gorgeous bullet journal spreads and a sprinkle of thoughtfulness. She really is the whole package.
Follow Lisa if you’re interested in:
- Marketing your online business in a creative way
- Planning and preparing your path for all the success you can dream of
- What to do with your next great idea
Mel is an online business and marketing strategist who helps women share their remarkable gift and get paid handsomely for it.
Mel Pharr is a relatively new stalking victim of mine. I signed up to her email list 2 or 3 weeks ago, after randomly clicking on one of her Facebook ads. (Side note: the freebie she offered was a short video on how to write killer newsletters really quickly and it was ace. If it pops up in your newsfeed, grab it.) She is probably my favourite new follow of the year, and that’s saying something. Every email I receive points me towards exclusive video content that has a ton of really helpful tips. She’s one of those ones that gives away a whole load of stuff for free, so she is definitely worth checking out for an all-round business SOS.
Follow Mel if you’re interested in:
- Positioning your story for maximum impact
- How to get all of the results with Facebook
- Learning to deal with HUMANS in a better, more productive way
Visit her website here. 💛 Take a look at one of her mini-courses if you’re in need of a jolt. Find them here. 💛 Join her group, The Feminine Affluent Entrepreneur, here, for even more (free) training.
Regina is a sidekick to freelancers, coaches, bloggers and teachers who want to monetise the meaningful information in their heads.
If I remember correctly, I first discovered Regina’s blog through Pinterest, because she has impeccably eye-catching visuals attached to every post. Hers is the kind of site I go to when I’m looking for something, rather than just generally perusing, because everything is pretty epic. She’s al about the long-form content with high-value, high-impact action steps – which is exactly the sort of stuff I love.
Follow Regina if you’re interested in:
- Teaching, publishing and/or selling things online
- Understanding the whys and wherefores (as well as the hows) of all the different marketing activities you’re trying
- The R’n’B references
Sarah is an Emmy Award-winning digital strategist who’s been blogging and building websites since age 13. She strives to help her students and readers build an online presence that fuels their passion for what they do without overwhelm getting in the way.
I pretty much love everything this lady does. I recently took part in her 5 day Instagram challenge and it inspired me so much that I’ve tweaked some of my services to include Insta play. She just seems to be a very giving type – I’ve noticed that in her Facebook group she takes the time to support and engage with everyone who has a question or struggle, no matter how big or small, and I really respect that in a leader. I mean, it goes without saying that all of her blog content is superb, but it’s her creative spirit and overall kindness that put her ahead of the crowd for me.
Follow Sarah if you’re interested in:
- Zero BS blogging strategy
- Making the most of your online presence
- Profile raising without the ick
Sarah Von Bargen
Sarah uses all her learned-the-hard-way knowledge to help others improve their online spaces. (And she has a lot – she’s the brain behinds one award-winning blog, 2 e-courses, an app and 3 calendars.)
I’ve followed Sarah’s blog for actual years – since before I even started freelancing. A lot of what she brings me is respite. Yes, she has a lot of genius things to say about building a business and growing a blog, but her site offers more than that. It’s more like a lifestyle blog for smart, funny people – in a world full of green smoothies and outfits of the day this is something I crave from the deep dark place within. I need entertainment without the eye-rolling and Sarah provides that.
Follow Sarah if you’re interested in:
- Prioritising happiness.
- Discovering new people, things and perspectives.
Tiffany is a business strategist who lights fires under creative women to help them build bold business (and lives!) they love (and that love them back).
It’s basically my goal in life to become Tiffany Han. I feel like she does and says the things I want to do and say. She’s the definition of a creative thinker and she has that pleasing layer of “no nonsense” about her too (which, as you know, I adore). And, from a completely superficial point of view, I really love the way that so much of her Instagram content is made up of little handwritten notes.
Follow Tiffany if you’re interested in:
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- Taking bold, inspired action in your business
- Being generally remarkable
And there you have it. 20 people who influence my mind, my life and my business in one way or another. I hope you click on a few of these links and find someone lovely to follow.
Over to you: who do you follow religiously online?
Hey! I’m Daire – writer, editor, all-round content weaver. I help business owners stand out online by channelling their personalities into everything they do. My dream is to show you that you can have an inspiring, insightful, INTERESTING online presence (and that you can use that to attract the best and brightest buyers into your orbit).