On Monday morning we were surprised with a really exciting Tweet congratulating Sarah Kuglin, Redwood Valley Technical Solutions Owner, Web Designer and Social Media Marketer, for being part of a blog post on the Business Grow website. But this was not just any old blog post, that’s for sure! Mark Schaefer of Business Grow put together a list of 70 Rising Social Media Stars based on the recommendations of some of the people who are regulars on “best of” lists. But this was not just any regular social media stars list either!
I decided to create a different kind of list. I wanted to recognize people in a way that was not derived from who could get out the vote or who was cozy with a corporate sponsor. I wanted to create a list that would celebrate amazing people who do not normally show up on lists. I wanted to find the (dramatic music) Future Gurus.
Mark compiled the list by asking these “best of” people to share who is on the rise, who is impressing them, inspiring them, and challenging them and who are the unknown stars who will be rocking the social media conferences two or three years from now?
The list of the “best of” people making the recommendations of the rising stars includes some of our heroes in the online marketing and social media world:
- Michael Brenner of SAP
- Jeff Bullas of JeffBullas.com
- C. C. Chapman of Wediko Children’s Services
- Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich
- Ann Handley of MarketingProfs
- Simon J. Hughes of Microsoft
- Dave Kerpen of Likeable Media
- Shelly Kramer of V3 Marketing
- Matt Ridings of Sidera Works
- Ted Rubin of Brand Innovators
- Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion
- Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner
- Christopher Penn of SHIFT Communications
- Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute
- Scott Stratten of Unmarketing
- and Tom Webster of Edison Research
This list of social media pros also includes two really cool (and really smart) guys whom Sarah has had the opportunity to work with; Jason Falls of JasonFalls.com and Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing. Not to mention that both Jason and Lee spoke at the 2013 Social Media Rockstar Event in Morton, MN and are both coming back to speak at the 2014 Social Media Rockstar Event to be held on September 17th in Willmar, MN!
But when Sarah learned of the nomination to this amazing list of people, it was author, speaker and Facebook extraordinaire Mari Smith of Mari Smith Consulting that made Sarah’s day so great! Sarah has had the opportunity to be mentored by Mari Smith over the years including being in Mari’s Business and Beyond Club, Inner Circle and participating in many Social Media trainings provided by Mari and her team. “It all started when I read her book, The New Relationship Marketing and I became completely inspired to do more with social media.” Sarah connected with Mari, just as she had suggested in her book, and was able to interview Mari on her social media marketing book back in 2011.
After getting to know Mari it was no question that joining the Business and Beyond Club would be a huge opportunity to learn more from someone that Sarah looked up to and had already learned so much from. Last spring Sarah made a trip to San Diego for a Business and Beyond Club 3 day intensive with Mari and 25 other women in business looking to do more with social media. During those three days she made great connections and friendships with some wonderful people who have stayed in touch and helped each other continue to learn and grow through social networks and a Facebook group. And what was even better, the 3 day event was followed up by a few more days of Social Media Marketing World to keep the social media goodness going. “It was really business changing for me to meet Mari Smith, whom I consider my mentor, and to learn and grow from her, both through business and spiritually”.
Back to Monday morning! Seeing a Tweet from Lee Odden with congratulations on making the 70 Rising Social Media Stars, seemed surreal for Sarah, who admires and closely follows all of these wonderful leaders of the “best of” contributors. But to see the list of amazing people on the list was so much more. What an honor to be on a list of some of the most talented, hard working people in the industry.
— Lee Odden (@leeodden) June 2, 2014
“Thank you to Mark Schaefer for putting together this list! I’m extremely honored and proud to be on this list, and truly wonder how I could be with such amazing people. But being on this list is one of the most inspiring things and I cannot wait to work even harder to help others use social media to help their business grow.”