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Top 20 business people to watch for in 2017

source: wisecareers

Each one of us needs to be inspired, to meet and read about inspirational people and success stories that truly show us that the sky is the limit. We compiled of list of great entrepreneurs, social media influencers, both men and women, that we believe deserve a look over their careers so far and that will still be a great inspiration in the years to come.

Neil Patel – an internet marketer and conversion expert, best known as the founder of Crazy Egg, Quick Sprout, and KISSMetrics. Recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama, Patel is also a regular, respected contributor for publications such as Inc., Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur.com and TechCrunch. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.

John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur, connector, and the founder of Due.com. Rampton has hailed as No. 3 of the Top 50 Global Online Influencers and one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for 3 years running. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivations speaker that helps people find a “Sense of Meaning” in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area. John loves helping others succeed online. It’s all about helping and giving back. It brings me joy in my life.

Chris Stoikos is best known for his hilarious viral videos, which generated 130M views and $10.5M in sales in the past year alone as part of his venture Dollar Beard Club. Stoikos has also appeared on NBC’s Shark Tank and generated millions in revenue for various product launches. is a highly regarded serial entrepreneur with two successful exits under his belt. He is an expert at creating and organizing dynamic teams that can execute business ideas quickly and effectively, and set them up to be self-sustaining organizations.

Ann Handley has been named by Forbes as the “Most Influential Woman in Social Media” and one of the Top 20 Women Bloggers. She is the chief content officer of MarketingProfs, a training company that empowers marketers internationally with the skills they need to drive success at their companies, and her book Everybody Writes is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business.”
Moreover, a pioneer in digital marketing, Ann is the co-founder of ClickZ.com, which was one of the first sources of digital marketing news and commentary.

Shradha Agarwal co-started  Context Media with a goal to help patients with chronic diseases better manage their health. She is now reaching more that 6+ million patients a month. Shradha co-founded JumpStart Ventures in 2011 to fund other passionate entrepreneurs who are executing ambitious solutions in healthcare, education and media communications, and has since backed more than 40 companies with over $10 million in venture investments. She mentors entrepreneurs at Techstars, Impact Engine & Blueprint Health, but is equally invested in the venture philanthropy model for scaling nonprofit solutions through SVP Chicago and The Chicago Public Education Fund. She serves on the boards of OneGoal and Chicago Children’s Choir and spiritedly supports youth education, women leadership, and civic engagement. The CEC recently honored the two ContextMedia co-founders with the “2015 Chicagoness Award” for their deep commitment to developing the city’s ecosystem. Agarwal was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House, recognized as Best Female Founder at the United Nations, and won a Moxie Award as “Tech Woman of the Year” in Chicago.

Anthony Smith is Founder and CEO of  Insightly, a San Francisco-based company that provides customer relationship management (CRM) cloud-based software to more than 1.2 million customers in 200 countries. After identifying a market need for a CRM solution for small businesses, Anthony built the first version of Insightly himself, using his previous experience of designing, constructing, and implementing CRM software for enterprises.

Julia Taylor Cheek isn’t new to business, but the Harvard Business grad’s new company is literally changing the way we live. Cheek’s company,  EverlyWell (of which she is both co-founder and CEO) is simplifying health testing and putting it into words and charts that everybody can understand.

Branden Hampton is the king of social media, having built over 33M followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. He’s also the CEO of the social media marketing company One Penny Ad Agency and co-author of “ How to Set Up Your Business for Under $1000”.

Brian D. Evans is an Inc 500 entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Influencive, an online publication read by millions of young entrepreneurs. His company, BDE Ventures had 2,388% growth in 3 years and was the 25th fastest growing advertising and marketing agency in America.

Ekta Sahasi is the vice president of the  U.S .Business Innovation Center (BIC) for Konica Minolta, where her team seeks out new places to invest in disruptive technology that can advance the company’s competitive advantage. When not investing in startups and overseeing innovation at Konica Minolta, Sahasi helps startups understand how they can enter Asian markets and work within those cultural parameters. Prior to joining Konica Minolta, Ekta spent 10 years at eBay Inc. where she co-founded and led both eBay and PayPal’s Research and Innovation Labs. She successfully developed one of the largest corporate innovation programs, and experimented with emerging technologies for enhancing existing technology stack and M&A. As Director of Innovation Products and Research at PayPal she built and scaled a global cross-functional team and led the strategic vision and execution of high-impact projects.

Russ Ruffino: Founder and CEO of  Clients on Demand, the most reliable client attraction system in the world, Ruffino has helped coaches and thought leaders all over the world build six-figure monthly businesses from scratch. His massive success in marketing and as a business owner has allowed him to become one of the most respected business coaches in the industry.

Pejman Ghadimi is a self-made multi-millionaire, serial entrepreneur, best-selling book author and currently the CEO and Founder of  Secret Entourage. The platform was started in 2009 to help bring together some of today’s greatest and brightest CEO’s, business owners and innovators in an attempt to help bridge the gap between formal and self-education by providing current, relevant, as well as affordable coaching and mentorship. Secret Entourage presently is home to over 280 accredited entrepreneurs covering more than 100 industries, over 30,000 students and reaches millions through social media. Since its launch, Secret Entourage has expanded its reach to over 1,200,000 new individuals each month and has grown as an accepted brand in the business and lifestyle community. The organization has to date aided tens of thousands of individuals and organizations in reaching their full potential. Secret Entourage has also helped unify accredited Entrepreneurs with the mission of bringing back the true meaning of entrepreneurship, and to be an inspiration to all. In 2012, Pejman authored Third Circle Theory, Gen Y’s blueprint to Entrepreneurship which had sold over 50,000 copies by mid 2013.

Pejman is also the owner and founder of VIPMotoring.net, a unique luxury lifestyle concierge service which currently was said to be “one of the best sources of education for today’s modern millionaires” by Forbes in 2012.

Roger Bryan is a serial entrepreneur with two successful exits: a marketing agency and an ecommerce business. His current venture,  Enfusen, named a Top 10 Tool Entrepreneurs Can Use to Automate Their Business by Inc., is a machine-learning analytics platform that helps digital marketing agencies drive increased traffic and conversion for their clients.

Sam Ovens: Ovens has told the story how he started completely broke, working out of his parents’ garage in New Zealand, and in five short years, started a  consulting business, moved to New York and made over $20 million. Ovens helps everyday people quit their jobs and “job-like” businesses to start their own highly leveraged consulting business. His methods are shaking up the consulting industry. Since 2011 he has created 14 millionaires and 340 six-figure earners with his training programs.

John Sculley and David Steinberg, ZetaGlobal Former Apple and Pepsi CEO John Sculley and David Steinberg have become darlings of the marketing tech world, creating a business that provides analytics-driven platform that can also both see the customer’s life-cycle, measure ROI and understand your audience for intelligent marketing across the board. The company remains profitable, and made over $300 million in revenue the last year. Considering the cutthroat nature of the business, marketing tech leaders should pay real attention to Sculley and Steinberg as Zeta continues to grow.

Raviv Turner, CaliberMind, is a serial tech entrepreneur and former Israeli intelligence of CaliberMind, stands out. The company plugs into your CRM and content pipeline and uses psychographic ( a huge secret weapon in marketing) profiling of your sales and marketing calls, emails and customers’ social feeds to intelligently inform you both how to communicate with them and what content to feed them, such as security content for a security-minded person.

Amanda Signorelli, CEO of Techweek, is building tech-based entrepreneurial communities in major cities across North America, helping local business break through.

Danielle Morrill, CEO and co-founder of  Mattermark, is improving the way that businesses find and connect with the ideal customers, simplifying the process of finding leads for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses will want to keep Morrill’s company on their radar in 2017.

Natalya Brikner – Founder and CEO of Accion Systems Inc., brings her MIT rocket science knowledge and experience to help push space-travel forward – all before the age of 30.

Top 10 Tips for Branding Yourself

source: Working Voices

Living in the era of social media power, when the information is the key and in everybody’s reach, finding oneself’s niche and becoming known is getting a more and more difficult task to accomplish. Even at first glance it seems the reality is exactly the opposite, the rapidity in which one can get into the public’s eye, but at the same time fade away, makes it even harder than before to make it last and create a strategic and smart path for one’s good brand positioning.

We’ve prepared some tips that we hope will help you on your road to success:

  1. Asses the market you are working on

Knowing the past, the competition and the market you are activating on is key in order to create a good positioning for your brand.

  1. Look deep within yourself and find your best features

According to Robert Half, branding yourself begins with self-reflection. Take stock of your strengths. What are your best attributes? What positive adjectives might a colleague use to describe you? Is there one particular talent or discipline in which you truly shine? What’s your personality? If you’re just beginning your career, choose a discipline or area of focus that truly interests you. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Hard-working, focused and reserved people get ahead just as often as social butterflies.

  1. Work on developing them even more

Go to extra classes / courses, attend workshops and seminars that will help be become even better on your field of expertize and that will enhance your talents. Learning never ends, no matter the time in your career you are at.

  1. Of all of them find the differentiator, your USP (unique selling point), that makes you unique

The USP is the big idea that brands are always searching for. A USP gives a brand a compelling and unique value proposition with its target audience. “Likewise, you want to represent something special that sets you apart from others and establishes a value equation about your abilities when you are pitching yourself for a job, a promotion or a free-lance assignment,” says Catherine Kaputa in Huffington Post.

  1. Define your brand and become an expert

Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that’s irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.

  1. Be present in the market and make yourself known

Make sure you are present at the most important events in your industry and start conversations with the right persons, the ones with whom the association with will help your brand and your career. Ask questions, mingle, try and show your expertize as much as you can.

  1. Generate brand awareness through networking and promotion

You should be connecting with other professionals in the industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.

In time, once you have a known and appreciated voice try using the PR tools available to you and get your name out there.

  1. Be a constant presence on the social media channels that are representative for your work

Depending on the industry you are activating on make sure you know what social media channel suits you the best. Not every industry fits you having a profile on Linkedin and Facebook at the same time, not every industry requires an Instagram or Snapchat account. Also, make sure that the content you are delivering is customized to that specific social media account.

  1. Always keep on expending your network, strategic partnerships and focus on the game plan

The networks are meant to evolve, not stand by. So is the industry you are activating on. Moreover, you can never know what the future holds. The more people you know, the merrier. The more connected you are, the better. Make sure that at the same time you don’t lose the focus on your “final” game plan.

  1. Don’t look focus, get rid of your ego and accept criticism

According to the AICPA specialists, the true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.

“These days, branding the company you work for isn’t enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen,” says the American Institute of CPAs.

When it comes to being the best the ego shouldn’t be standing in your way. Accept the criticism, as it will only make you better and help you achieve your goals.

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