I spend a lot of time crawling around the World Wide Intraweb looking for great ideas as well as ways to make my site more engaging and accessible. When I come across a great sales and marketing website, I bookmark it! (Creative right?)
Over time, this list is subject to a ‘natural selection’ process as I cull those that a) annoy me, b) bore me, or c) devolve into useless drivel. This post shares 11 of my favorites that have made the cut.
The criteria used here are pretty simple:
- First and foremost the site has GREAT CONTENT – stuff that is interesting, engaging, and useful.
- The site presents this content using functional design – easy to read, uncluttered, etc.
- Finally, I intentionally removed ‘big name stars.’ Hopefully, most of these sites will be ones you haven’t ever come across. Of course Seth Godin has a great site and produces awesome content but you are following him already, aren’t you?
I hope you enjoy my selections, and please be sure to post a comment to share your bookmark favorites.
11 Sites That Made the Cut
S. Anthony Iannorino – I didn’t know there were people this smart in Ohio?
I don’t know why I always assumed Anthony was from New York or New Jersey. Wherever he hails from this guy is a content machine, and he writes great stuff at a furious pace. I am convinced he dropped the first name and went with Anthony so he can gets put at the top of all these ‘top sales guru’ lists he keeps showing up on. Even I fell for that trick. In all seriousness his site is user-friendly, and his content is first rate.
David McCandless – Visualize THIS!
This one is more for fun and great for looking smart on Facebook. David is a London-based author who is apparently obsessed with turning information into incredible design. What kind of information you ask? ANYTHING! My personal favorite is Hangover Cures from Around the World image, which I am planning to purchase and have made into a poster.
Gary Vaynerchuk -Wine geek turned social media badass – Swears more than I do!
If you haven’t heard of Gary V then I guess I feel sorry for you. Gary is one of the folks that inspired me to get off my butt and dive into the social media marketing pool almost five years ago. He speaks from the heart, sometimes colorfully so. Go to his site. Watch some of his videos. It will all make sense.
Jill Konrath -A snappy gal from Minnesota with a set of (FREE) tools you won’t believe.
Best I can tell, Jill runs with the big dogs. Her bio says she has written two books, worked with companies like IBM, GE & Staples, as well as been featured on ABC News, Fox 2, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Selling Power, and The Business Journal. All this may be true but what impresses me is her massive catalogue of content. Check out the page dedicated to sales resources – you’ll be impressed.
Jim Keenan -Smart, tall and handsome…just like me.
I met Jim more than 10 years ago while working for my first client as an independent. Once in awhile it makes me a tad jealous that Jim started consulting a few years after I did but was still named to the Top Sales & Marketing Influencers list in 2012. More often though, I consider myself fortunate to have Jim as a friend and collaborator. We regularly collaborate and share ideas as well as push each other to create better content. His writing is always on point, insightful, and highly opinionated…just like mine.
John Common -Denver’s own demand creation marketing genius and minstrel.
John is one of the few out there that truly ‘gets’ that marketing is not about leads and branding and presence and other crap. It’s about creating and stimulating demand that translates into revenue. He has built a world-class marketing agency that has put Denver on the map and shares his insights and expertise through consistent and compelling writing. He is also an incredibly talented musician and songwriter – check out his work at http://johncommon.com, and be sure to also spend some time on his sales and marketing website that’s chalk full of great tips.
John Falchetto -Seems to have figured out an ideal work/life situation.
John is a self proclaimed ‘Life Coach’, which would normally keep me from paying attention to anything he says. However, John also happens to be an adventure racer and writes well…really well. Check out his straightforward, useful, and inspiring work. If you get bored, you can always visit his wife’s marketing focused site http://ameenafalchetto.com.
Kuno Creative -The top Inbound Marketing firm in the world right now.
No other way to say it but that these guys ‘get’ inbound marketing. At a minimum, check out their video explaining what inbound marketing is. Then you can peruse their MASSIVE collection of incredibly slick and professional eBooks, guides, and blueprints. Don’t forget to subscribe to their daily (yes daily) updates.
Kyle Lacy -THE Twitter Guy!
Kyle seems like someone you’d like to have over for dinner. He just comes across as so nice and approachable. Seems to me that conveying that kind of image is the ultimate goal of any online/social marketing strategy. He is the author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies and Branding Yourself (I have read both). More importantly, his new corporate ‘parent’, Exact Target, that hired (more accurately acquired) Kyle last January has not done anything to screw up his consistent stream of great articles. Keep up the great work, Kyle, and are we still on for dinner next Thursday?
OpenView Labs -Real content (and value) from a VC firm? Who knew that was possible?
I first met the folks at Open View in 2009 when I served a tour as interim VP of Sales for one of their funded companies. From the beginning, I could tell these guys were different from the hoard of Silicon Valley venture capital firms that typically arrived with money but little real knowledge or experience of value to the start-up. Not only do the firm’s partners actively participate in the companies they invest in, they share their knowledge with the world through the OpenView Labs site. My personal favorite author is Firas Rouf, who posts regularly. Overall, these guys have an impressive portfolio of original and syndicated content that spans sales and marketing, product and software development, as well as finance, recruiting, and leadership. Who knows, maybe they will even invite me to guest write someday?
Vertical Response Marketing – Like iContact, but with way better content.
Not much to say about Vertical Response except that they walk the walk. Their product is aimed squarely at the small and growing business market, and they support this segment with their clean site and useful content.
By Townsend Wardlaw