Top 10 Online Business Gurus (Some You May Not Have Heard Of)

As a seasoned but self-taught entrepreneur and online business person, after learning to write in school and not much else, I turned to books and mentors when I finally decided I had had enough of being poor and failing.

Having read hundreds of books and websites, and subscribing to more newsletters, there are some people who, over the last 10-12 years, have consistently delivered value.

Sometimes it was just one word, phrase, question or comment that made a difference, but what a difference that was. Each step forward was a true step forward, and we all know that the journey to success is a series of steps, each one building on the one before.

I wanted to share with you the top 10 digital marketing “gurus” that have inspired me in my online business journey so far and I’ve tried to tell you about them in chronological order: how I found them (or in Guy Levine’s case, how I found them! How did they find me!)

1. Robert G. Allen –

I realized the potential of making money online around 1998/1999, about five years after I bought my first domain name. I had long been aware of the potential to market any real world business online, but I was totally ignorant of selling information products, making money through affiliate marketing, and building a mailing list to do deals. I, like many dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneurs before me, was so obsessed with building a business in the real world, that the potential simply passed me by! Luckily, I was going to meet Guy Levine and Chris Barrow pretty soon and accidentally got a few things right… Meanwhile, my sister’s husband gave her Robert Allen’s “Multiple Streams of Internet Income” for Christmas, which I stole, devoured and which led me to read other great Robert G Allen books like “No Money Down For The 90’s” now updated for the 2000’s, the brilliant and innovative “One Minute Millionaire” and also other great internet books like…

2. Joe Vitale-

Perhaps best known for his excellent personal development books and his appearance in the movie The Secret, Joe Vitale is also a very experienced Internet Marketer: he’s been around and making money online since the mid to late 90’s (which in the history of the Internet is most certainly experienced). Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to start making money online, and in fact, it’s still how I make most of my money, whether it’s marketing my own products or services to my mailing list. mail, or by recommending carefully selected articles by friends and colleagues. Email marketing (simplified) involves driving traffic to a page where someone gives you their name and email in exchange for some kind of gift, thus building your mailing list. Then you need to keep in touch with people so they get used to hearing from you and build rapport with your subscribers. Joe explains how to do this very well in his book “The E-Code” in a couple of chapters and if you want to start simple I recommend you give it a read. Then check out Martin Avis from Kickstart Monthly as he is a master at using a simple text newsletter to make money online!

3. Jaclyn Easton

His book “Striking It” which I read around the same time. I had been trying to get an Internet business off the ground, matching unsigned artists in the music industry (where my husband and I had worked) with managers looking for artists to read. Jaclyn’s book was about 23 little-known websites making over $1 million per year, and essentially many of the business models were membership sites. I was so inspired by this that I ended up presenting my business plan the VERY SECOND moment the dotcom bubble burst, at the posh Atlantic Bar & Grill in London, to a group of venture capitalists, during a fire alarm. What a fire alarm bell started and stopped randomly, so I was alternately screaming into the void, or totally inaudible!

4. Thomas Leonardo –

founder of the Coaching movement and Coach U, which was my online university, and then Coachville. Thomas wrote the first coaching book “The Portable Coach” which I still highly recommend and used email, mailing lists, research and development groups, autoresponders and everything else we use today. I have been using the ShoppingCart you recommended, since 1999, to host my double opt-in email list, manage my product inventory, auto follow up with leads and customers, deliver digital information products, offer coupons both for time such as % off, split test headlines and prices via AdTrackers…Thomas was very inspiring and ahead of his time, however he died unexpectedly and tragically, having overcome many of his personal demons, in 2003.

5. Boy Levine –

Going to my first coaching convention, in Las Vegas, to see Thomas in action live, led me to meet Chris Barrow (my new business coach) and Guy Levine, his friend and internet marketing consultant. Guy blew my mind, he was only about 19 years old, but one of the brightest people I’ve ever met. He knew much more about internet marketing than I did and shared his ideas and techniques very generously. Guy built a successful SEO/AdWords/PR company based in Manchester, had two babies with his wife Martine, and bought two helicopters that he flies himself to give conferences. He is also a great speaker! If it wasn’t so funny, you would HAVE to hate it!

6. Brett McFall –

After meeting Guy, Steve Watson, Paul and Philly, Fuggle and I were invited to join and support him as he spoke at the UK’s first ever World Internet Summit at Wembley. There, I was co-hosted by Alan Forrest Smith, who, while not one of my digital marketing gurus on this list, has also been incredibly influential in my life. I decided, while standing in the audience at that first event, to speak on stage next year. And I did, thanks to Alan, I actually went on to speak twice for them, the only British woman ever asked to do so. I became very close with Brett McFall, one of the co-founders of WIS, as it is now universally known, and he is a very inspiring person. He is a very kind and genuine man who has helped me a lot by speaking and promoting my business particularly from the stage. He arrived in Brighton just before one of our Money Gym events that he co-hosted and while we were filming there we caught a really funny video of him in the rain and also being slightly upstaged by a seagull who never fails to make me laugh and I remember a great day.

7. Frank Kern

I was listening to one of Brett’s audio interviews around the same time and was especially taken with a couple of guys who had a simple but explosive system called “The UnderAchiever Method.” Those guys turned out to be Frank Kern and Ed Dale and they had come up with a little system that involved driving traffic to a page where you asked a question “What do you want to know about…X?” where X is their chosen niche. The answers they were collated and compiled so you could see what most people wanted to know, and what were the most popular 1 word, 2 word and 3 word phrases people were using, then you went and created the product (usually an ebook , maybe ghostwritten, covering the most popular questions) and then sold to your new mailing list Most people gave away the initial product as an incentive to answer the questions and this also brought testimonials, for which was all good. Then new traffic was sold to the product along with real testimonials and using niche language. Very clever stuff. I think they sold their mini editorial empire of product pages of niche information to a UK publisher for a very large price. sum of money, in the end.

That was the first time I really realized the value of a specialized, niche, responsive buyer mailing list. Both Frank and Ed have become incredibly successful in their separate businesses, in Frank’s case not without a few hiccups! He is heavily involved in many major IM product launches. Frank’s online style is laconic, informal and very, very persuasive. Now, Frank gets grounded for maybe being too persuasive, but I love his style and watching live concert recordings of him is just fun, so rock ‘n’ roll, I really want to see him live someday. Ed Dale founded the successful “30 Day Challenge” which guides new internet marketers through a free program (Ed earns his money from affiliate products he recommends in that free program).

8. Rich Schefren –

Around 2006, a new internet marketing guru burst onto the scene, except he was a real life business guru who was moving into the world of internet marketing, having sold his latest business. Having trained many of the big names such as Jim Edwards, Mike Filsaime and many others, he then published his groundbreaking report “The Internet Marketing Manifesto”, quickly followed by the “Lost Chapter” and “Final Chapter” reports. Rich blew my mind because he taught a bunch of solid business techniques I’ve NEVER seen before, in a way that was easy to understand and digest, garnering the attention and admiration of the ADD-stricken internet marketing community at the same time. I kept joining his mentoring programs “Business Growth System” and “Guided Benefits System” which are fantastic by the way, and my company started to grow rapidly as a result. Do yourself a favor and download the reports, it’s not just about IM, it’s also about entrepreneurship, you won’t regret it.

9. Gary Vaynerchuk-

Well, what about Gary? I love him. I first heard about it in an audio interview that Rich Schefren did for his student mentors and Gary was starting to rise to World Wine Domination! Hey, that’s a great catchphrase! You can find Gary on and all over YouTube and Ustream – he is the MASTER of online video. Enthusiastic, passionate, direct, unconventional, Gary believes in HARD WORK, that you can just “Crush it”. in the title of his first book, if you care about what you do, you care about your readers, listeners, subscribers and customers and if you show that you care at all times. According to Gary, smaller companies have NEVER had a better opportunity to dominate the competition.

10. Yaro Starak-

I don’t remember where I first came across Yaro and his Entrepreneurs Journey blog, but I knew instantly that he was the real deal. Subsequently, I went back and read almost all of his blog posts from day one because I was fascinated by how he went from being a kid selling dissertation editing services to students to becoming one of the most respected bloggers in the world. He has an interesting background and he’s very open about it, and the various challenges he faces, both work and personal, and I love that about him. It’s not just about how to get traffic, but how to be a better entrepreneur. Yaro has a bunch of great free reports, one called Blog Profits Blueprint and he’s also very strong on membership sites, both reports he should really read if he wants to learn more about blogging for his business. He also recommends great people, like Gideon Shalwick, who has the most gentle and pleasant video presence I’ve met in a long time. I highly recommend both Yaro and Gideon.

There they are: the top 10 internet and business marketing gurus of the last 12 years or so. For me anyway. I hope you enjoyed the article and that you check out some of the reports and books and then PUT THEM INTO ACTION!

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