Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Mandy Boles

Photo Credit: Mandy Boles


Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Mandy Boles, a freelance writer and the founder of The Well-Read Wife blog and Mandy’s Blogger Book Club.

Fun Fact: Mandy and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda met in Nashville’s airport after the BlissDom Conference in February 2012. They had a great time hanging out and chatting with fellow blogger Cecily Kellogg

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media maybe about about four years ago. It’s hard to remember a time before using social media on a daily basis though, isn’t it? I had a previous blog before the one I have now. This led me to create my first Twitter account. I initially started using Facebook to connect with friends. I started my first Facebook “like” page when I started my current blog.

3) What has social media allowed you to do in your life (personal, professional, business, nonprofit, community)?

Social media has allowed me to connect with other people in the publishing industry that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise. It has allowed me to keep up with old friends and share my life with family in other areas. It has also helped me promote awareness for a variety of topics. Last year it helped me raise money for a charity I am passionate about, The Trevor Project. I hope to use social media and blogging to have a fundraiser for another charity soon. My blog currently donates to The Trevor Project on a quarterly basis. I am in the process of trying to pick our next charity project right now.

Social media has also allowed me to expand my personal brand in ways that traditional media would never allow someone with a pretty small ad budget to do. Between my Twitter following and my Facebook page my blog reaches thousands of people on a sometimes daily but mostly weekly basis. Without social media (and proper SEO) my blog would merely be a personal diary.

4) In her 2011 Digital Women: from geeks to mainstream presentation that was given at the WIFT International Women Conference for Digital Women, Dr. Taly Weiss, a social psychologist and CEO/Founder of Trendspotting, concluded that “women are dominant digital users – they breathe and live digital.”  Dr. Weiss’ conclusion echoes BlogHer’s 2011 Social Media Matters Study findings.  They include 87 million women (18 to 76 years old) are now online, 69 million women use social media weekly, 80 million women use social media monthly, and 55 million women read blogs monthly. These facts illustrate the power and presence women have in the digital space. Now that’s Digital Sisterhood!

How has social media helped you carve out leadership roles as you interact online and offline?

The main way social media has helped me is that it makes me feel like a part of something larger. I didn’t realize the immense size of the book blogger community until I joined Twitter and the Book Blogs Ning. I also have a series I am working on for my blog called #BookBlogHelp. The idea behind the series is that every time I tweet the series title it shows up as a hashtag. Anyone that wants to use these articles as a resource can look up the hashtag. It’s brand new so there is only one article so far.

5) Social media has helped women become Digital Sisterhood Leaders, ambassadors of social expression who share what they are passionate about online.  In her upcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years (Fall 2012), Ananda Leeke, founder of the Digital Sisterhood Network, writes, “Without even knowing it, women have become Digital Sisterhood Leaders as they use their social media platforms to advocate causes; to build communities; to create apps, art, books, businesses, products, publications, services, tools, and webisodes; to curate content; to educate and inform; to give voice to their thoughts as subject matter experts, thought leaders, and brand ambassadors; to share information and experiences; to explore and experiment with new technologies as early adopters and trendsetters; to engage in social good; to influence others with their lifestyles and personal interests; to inspire and motivate; to mentor; to network; to tell their personal stories; and to promote and celebrate the expertise, gifts, and talents of others.  Based on my online and offline interactions, I have identified 12 key leadership roles they play: advocate, community builder, creator, curator, educator, influencer, mentor, motivator, promoter, social do gooder, storyteller, and thought leader.”

What other types of leadership roles do women play in social media?

I think you covered it! If I could add anything to that list it would be that we are on social media sharing our stories to help others know that they are not alone. (But I think that falls under advocacy.)

6) What types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

I try (try being the key word) to help promote the written word through my enthusiasm for literature. I also mentor and educate other book bloggers who are just starting out. I also consider myself to be a storyteller and advocate because I share stories from my life experience on my blog as well.

7) What lessons have you learned as a leader in the digital space?

The main lesson I have learned is that your blog and social media accounts are your own space. Just because you have a niche (RE: books) does not mean that is all you have to write about. You space is your space. Do what you want with it.

8) Do you have plans to expand your leadership roles in the digital space? If so, what are they?

Currently I’m just working on the #BookBlogHelp hashtag. I have a couple of more plans that I’m not ready to talk about.

9) Who are your favorite social media women leaders and why?

Megan Jordan — She is my blog consultant. Without her I would not even use the words social media on a daily basis. I would not have known what SEO means without her. She has been my biggest influence by far.

10) Share three ways women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand.

  • Women can express their personal brand on social media by sharing what they are passionate about.
  • Reach out and engage other social media users.
  • Be authentic. Be yourself and others will follow.


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