Owning a business takes courage. Even more so in 2015. All of the technology available has made the world shift online to not only buy and sell products, but to build relationships over bytes of data. It’s fascinating.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be spending my days with my husband, at home, working from our virtual offices, making connections and relationships with people all over the world. That’s what Entrepreneurship looks like for me in the 21st century. But it hasn’t been easy getting here. I’ve learned from countless resources and a pricey master’s degree. I’ve taken risks and made mistakes, but along the way, I’ve never stopped learning. I don’t ever plan to stop.
One of the best ways I find I can advance my skills and improve my craft is by following other online marketers and blogs in the design and web world. I have to carve out the time to read, and it happens mostly in small chunks – during breakfast, a quick break here and there during the day, while watching my daughter perfect her cartwheel at gymnastics, and a few minutes before bed. I’ve loaded all my favorite blogs into feedly, so it’s easy to quickly scan for posts that intrigue me.
I want to share some of the top resources I look to for advice, strategy, and instruction on how to make a business work online, web design & development, and life in general. (In no particular order)
What I love about Nathalie is her tech background. She started out as a coder, and has moved into the online marketing space. She’s genuine and authentic and shares what has worked for her. So far, every recommendation I’ve tried has been worth its weight in gold. I’m headed to her Off the Charts Live in May and can’t wait!
Must Check Out: Sign up for her FREE 30 day list building challenge. It’s an amazing, value-packed daily to-do to grow your list and spread your message. I can’t believe it’s free!
Michael Hyatt’s got a little mass appeal, but seems like an extremely down-to-earth guy. He’s transparent and his morals are high. I love the simplicity of his advice, but there’s no lacking in depth and quality. Plus, he and his developer released a WordPress theme I’ve been using on a few clients’ websites and it’s amazing!
Must Check Out: This Is Your Life Weekly Podcast – This is a great series on anything and everything you need to run your business and grow as a leader. There are pure nuggets of gold in his show and he dives deep with his own experience and personal stories.
Yowzers, this guy changed my perspective on hiring a virtual team. I was first introduced to him through his book, Virtual Freedom. As I’ve been reading his blog and listening to his podcast, I am continually blown away at the great stuff he has to deliver.
Must Check Out: Read his book, Virtual Freedom for a no-BS guide to growing a virtual team. I’ve implemented several of his strategies and my team has seen huge growth recently. We were nearly at capacity with projects in recent months, and now we’re a well-oiled machine, able to get things done more quickly and efficiently.
I like to study people, personalities, and what makes them tick. Brene is an author with experience in Social Work. She has studied the topic of vulnerability, shame, and how these complex feelings affect how we interact with other people. It’s a fascinating topic and hugely critical when it comes to working with different customers and team members.
Must Check Out: Get a copy of her book, Daring Greatly. It made me really think about things that impact the way I interact with people closest to me. Turns out, there are lots of things every day that communicate shame, but after looking at them through a new lens, we can change how we approach those things and wipe away shame.
As founder of Moz, Rand is a thought leader in SEO and Content Marketing. His insight and deep understanding of how the internet works continues to amaze me. I was fortunate enough to see him live at a conference and he did not disappoint. He’s even got a great sense of humor!
Must Check Out: Whiteboard Fridays – Any Episode! Be forewarned, it will make you a bit dizzy because he’s just THAT smart. I never watch a Whiteboard Friday without walking away with some dramatic thoughts and ideas on how to improve my tactics and strategy.
This is one of my trusted, go-to sources for website and design advice. Packed with tutorials, resources, and thought-provoking discussions on every online media you can think of, it must be in any internet marketer’s list of resources.
Must Check Out: What to Consider When Choosing a WordPress Theme This is a great start to the main factors to consider when choosing a theme. One that’s missing is upgrade ability – will you loose data when you change themes in the future?
Lara Casey Media
Such an inspiring woman! I’ve heard Lara speak on a couple of occasions and she has so much grace and wisdom to share. Her story of faith, starting and running her own (multiple) businesses is amazing and I continue to find great words of wisdom in everything she releases.
Must Check Out: Her new book, Make It Happen. Lara is open and honest about her journey into Entrepreneurship. She had some obstacles to overcome and her faith and transparency and about how she did it is unbelievably inspiring.
Design Love Fest
This one’s pure eye candy. Design is of great importance to me and I try to keep myself looking at beautiful and inspiring images as often as I can. Not only is Bri stylish, she is very engaged with technology – something this techreative (half techy/left-brained, half creative/right-brained) absolutely loves. She’s always posting app reviews and they’re not only useful, but beautiful!
Must Check Out: Her Dress Your Tech series. Bri provides gorgeous backgrounds, skins, wallpaper for your devices. I seriously get lost in inspiration when I look at these stunning designs.
If you need to work on growing your email list, Derek’s your guy. He’s built a tribe of loyal fans and continues to turn right back around and share what works for him. He’s a great student of psychology and helps marketers understand how their customers’ minds work. A colleague of mine, Katrina Padron, was featured on his blog after following a technique he called “drafting” and she saw huge success from it.
Must Check Out: Increasing Online Sales 101. Because…well, who couldn’t use that?
Have I mentioned I love women in tech? I found Carley several years ago just before she hit it big. She started out making awesome video reviews of nifty gadgets and tech services, and has been on fire ever since! She’s being featured and invited all over the place – the Grammys and Oscars of all places. Now she’s a digital lifestyle strategist who helps you make sense of all of the technology out there claiming to take over our lives.
Must Check Out: 6 Ways to be Better Tech Support For Your Parents. Seriously? This is awesome. This is uncharted territory for this generation. Those baby boomers certainly didn’t have to provide tech support for their parents, so we could all use a little how-to in this area.
Don’t forget to subscribe
I know my list covers a wide range of expertise, so don’t worry. I’ll be sure to help dissect it all and make sense of what’s important when marketing yourself or your business online. Be sure to add Ekcetera’s blog to your reader, sign up to receive my free Cinderella Marketing EBook (right over on the side of the page), and follow Ekcetera on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’m all about being stylish & smart when it comes to your online marketing, so if you stick with me, you can be that way too!
What are your favorite resources for business, marketing, website, and design advice? Leave a comment below.