Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christy Little Jones


Photo Credit: Christy Little Jones

Photo Credit: Christy Little Jones

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christy Little Jones, M.S., is the Head Coach of My Relationship Revolution, a coaching and resource center that inspires more intentional interactions within the key relationships that impact your life. Christy is featured in the March issue of Real Simple magazine. Her story about forgiving her husband is AMAZING. Be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine and read it! She and her husband will be chatting about relationships at the “What’s Love Got To Do WIth It!” event on Sunday, February 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, Virginia. Click here to register for the event.

 

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I launched my business in November 2011 and used social media to build a following and connect with my tribe.

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

It has given me the platform to inspire action and influence change in the lives of men and women around the world. Essentially, it’s helping me to make a difference in the world.

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?

Social media has helped me to share my strengths and experience to women who need it most. In particular, relationships. The most important relationships that we hold as women – in marriage, friendships and as mothers.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

Supporter, accountability partner, coach, and encourager

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

I help remind women of their God-given strength, power and influence. I am the leader who affirms, supports and lovingly pushes women to step into their magnificence with confidence and authenticity. I am a coach and a cheerleader, helping women to become fearless!

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

It’s mandatory to be authentic as you build your tribe as well as consistent.  Your followers need to be able to trust you.

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

I would like to expand my leadership role by bringing awareness to digital space about my global platform – Child Sex Trafficking. Together we can bring about change, but not without knowledge and commitment to the cause first.

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

Some of my favorite social media women leaders include Ananda Leeke and Fabienne Frederickson. Ananda encourages and include other women entrepreneurs in her success. She also creates a sisterhood among women. I love Fabienne’s strength, passion, and commitment to making your business thrive.

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

Women can use social media to define and express their personal leadership brand through video, developing relationships via Facebook and Twitter, and publishing an e-zine or newsletter.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Maggie Arden


Photo Credit: Maggie Arden

Photo Credit: Maggie Arden

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Maggie Arden, founder of Southern Yankee Speaks blog.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke discovered Maggie’s fantastic blog posts while visiting the Feminism 2.0 web site. She later invited Maggie to participate in Digital Sisterhood Radio’s Feminism Online Project Series in 2011. Click here to listen to a recording of their conversation.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I have kept in touch with family and friends, expand my professional circle, and promote and raise money for issues I can about from women’s issues, to the environment to health issues.  I also am able to keep up with organizations I support and spread the word about their work.

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

I have kept in touch with family and friends, expand my professional circle, and promote and raise money for issues I can about from women’s issues, to the environment to health issues.  I also am able to keep up with organizations I support and spread the word about their work.

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?

Social media has helped me find organizations to get involved with, which have led to leadership positions.  My work at Fem2.0, and my role there has allowed me to take the lead on various projects, and act as a representative of the organization at in person events in my area, as well as helping me develop as a professional and board member.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

The list of roles in incredible, and incorporates much of what I see women doing online.  I also see women as innovators in how social media is being used for advocacy, community buildings and story telling.  Women have also found new ways to connect a physical group through social media.

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

My goal is to always be advocating or promoting an issue of importance to me.  I also act as a curator and story teller through my writing and work to bring other women’s writing to my online network.

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

Starting out it was a little scary to throw up a tweet with my thoughts and opinions for the world to see.  My thoughts are my thoughts and they can’t be wrong.  They can be changed by others just like I can change someone else’s.  For as much as you end up teaching others, it’s important to try to learn as well.  Follow people you disagree with – it will help you form your opinions and a strong response – even if you never share it with them.

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

I am working to find new and different blogs to write for, and expand my knowledge and writing to other issues and areas I am passionate about.

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

Melissa Harris Perry has done an amazing job using Twitter to start a discussion on feminism, race and gender, and encouraging and including her students in the process and showing them a worthwhile use of new media. Joan Bamberger has taken on the mommy-blogger stereotype and shown how women (and moms specifically) are and can affect change in politics. Lisa Maatz does an amazing job educating and advocating for women’s issues  online, as well as on the Hill.

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

  • Pick your issues, promote, education and discuss them through social media and share the results of the discussion.
  • Show a little of yourself.  When presenting a professional persona it can be hard to lighten up and share a personal side, but it helps people connect and better understand you.
  • Don’t be shy. Without interaction we don’t connect and the social aspect is lost.  Everyone is an expert in something and in everything else we are all students.  Social Media is a great way to share your expertise and learn the rest from others.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Tressa Robbins


Photo Credit: Tressa Robbins

Photo Credit: Tressa Robbins

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Tressa Robbins, Vice President of Media Contacts & Social Media Solutions at BurrellesLuce. Tressa is also the President-Elect of the Public Relations Society of America, St. Louis Chapter.

Fun Facts: Tressa and Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke connected with each other via Twitter several years ago. Tressa was featured in DSN’s 30 Women in PR and Communications Campaign in 2011.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview

1) How can people find you online?

2) When did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2007.

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

It allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry even though I telecommute from a very rural locations.

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?

It’s allowed me to easily connect with student PR conference planners and speak at industry events. Also helps make it easy to share blog posts, etc. to showcase my areas of expertise.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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 types of leadership roles do you play in social media?

Community builder, curator, educator, influencer, and mentor

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

I don’t know if I’ve learned new lessons or if it’s just reinforced those I already knew, such as honesty is the best policy, etc.

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

There are so many! A couple that come to top of mind:  Gini Dietrich because she isn’t afraid of putting in writing what others of us are thinking! Diedre Breakenridge because even though she’s a rock star, she’s very humble and always ready to help others.

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

Social media makes it relatively easy to “spread the word,” so to speak — whether it’s your personal brand or that of your employer (or both!).

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane


Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Photo Credit: Deborah Shane

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Deborah Shane, a Top 100 Small Business Champion, Career Transition Author, Personal Branding Strategist, Media Host, Writer, and Speaker.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke and Deborah met while serving on the Podcasting 101 Panel at the BlogHer 2012 Conference in New York City. While working with Deborah to prepare for the panel discussion, Ananda became a huge fan of her work!  

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I was an early adopter with using  email. I started seriously using social media in 2007 when I launched my consultancy and training company to build my community and reach.

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

Build communication bridges, communities and conversations about the issues and professional areas I advocate for and am passionate about.

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?

I am tapped and sought out for speaking, writing and community projects. I host a blog, but also write for several prominent blogs in my professional space, and host a weekly radio podcast that is now up to 94,000 downloads and pageviews, on BlogtalkRadio.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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 am seeing women in politics, government, medical, social issues, entertainment and philanthropy using social media to build reach and impact. We just heard and saw Martha Stewart, Katie Couric and Soledad OBrien at the Blogher 12 talk about their activities and how social media is a central driver of awareness.

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

I was named a Top 100 Small Business Champion for 2012 by SmallBizTrends.com!

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

Give, share, connect and receive and watch what happens! Niche communities of people are gathering, and finding each other to advance passion and causes!

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

I plan to continue to contribute and engage and know that more doors will open to serve and help.

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

There are so many great examples of women demonstrating leadership using social media. I am so grateful to see how it is advancing the impact women have today and will continue to have as the generations shift.

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

  • Blog and write about things you are passionate and knowledgeable about regularly.
  • Support and advocate for other people who you believe in, admire and want to emulate.
  • Connect and introduce great people to each other who have you in common and build your tribes!

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens


Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Photo Credit: Latoicha Givens

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Latoicha Phillips Givens, founder of Luxetips.com, a lifestyle online magazine dedicated to providing women all over the world “luxetips” in beauty, fashion, travel, automobiles, and kids items. Latoicha is also an attorney and founding partner of the firm, Phillips Givens LLC. Her practice includes representation of start-ups, small, and mid-sized businesses in intellectual property matters. She was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Lifestylista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN) founder Ananda Leeke met Latoicha at the first Blogalicious Weekend Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. Ananda attended Latoicha’s session on“Possibilities and Pitfalls of Having YOU on the Net.”  A few months later, Latoicha appeared as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio. Since then, they have reconnected at the BlogHer conferences and at the Digitini  event sponsored by Everywhere in Atlanta.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using social media in 2007.

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

It has allowed me to gain greater exposure as an intellectual property attorney specializing in legal issues in social media. It has also allowed me to meet extraordinary people and expand my network nation and worldwide.

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?

Social media has given me a platform to showcase my intellectual property law practice through my blog, social media accounts and speaking engagements at social media conferences.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

Women have become role models, business leaders, and motivators to other women by using social media tools.

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

I play the role of an educator, helper, and a resource for people who need help in navigating legal issues in social media.

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

I have learned to be successful in social media through engagement with others; always creating and sharing good content; and paying it forward by helping others become successful in the social media space.

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

I have plans to continue to do more speaking engagements and webinars to educate individuals on the legal pitfalls of social media.

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

Renee J. Ross: Renee is a wonderful success story. She has been able to build a huge social media network in a short period of time. She is now a consultant and a leading mommy blogger in social media circles.

Angela Benton: Angela is a leader and innovator in creating content from an African American perspective. She has used her success to now help minorities gain visibility and investors in Silicon Valley.

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

  • Put out great content.
  • Help others by sharing their content.
  • Develop your craft and become an expert in their field.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christine Celise Johnson


Photo Credit: Christine Johnson

Photo Credit: Christine Johnson

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Christine Celise Johnson, founder of IamDtech. Christine was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Christine a few years ago while hanging out in front of Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC. They exchanged contact information and began following each other on Facebook and Twitter. When Christine launched IamDtech, Ananda became an instant fan and supporter.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I began engaging via social media very hesitantly sometime prior to 2008 by using MySpace at my sister’s encouragement. From there I discovered Facebook and found it to be an awesome way to nurture present relationships and develop others. It was the perfect platform to do what I do very naturally – communicate and share myself. But then I discovered Twitter and it rocked my universe! My world exploded and that became the most amazing media for me professionally.

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

Social media has extended my reach professionally in exponential ways. I have been able to rebuild my personal brand using social media as well as build my business. I hit the ground running with nothing more than a Twitter handle and a dream almost a year ago.

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?

It has helped me make connections and develop relationships with some key players in my industry. A well orchestrated tweet or follow can be life changing.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

Healers

The spiritual feminine runs amok via words of love, kindness, inspirational quotes, encouragement and verse.

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

I am a connector. I connect my Facebook Group members, Twitter followers, and friends with relevant and timely information via social media. I also create awareness around the topic of diversity in technology.

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

Don’t just post, tweet or otherwise for the heck of it. Provide relevant substance; unique content.

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

Yes, it’s a secret. (-:

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

Elianna Ramos @ERGeekGoddess is the quintessential digital sistah community builder.

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

  • Share relevant information related to a topic of interest. Become the go to for information
  • Blog, blog, and blog.
  • Utilize video as an avenue to provide commentary and introduce yourself to audiences.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner


Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Photo Credit: Suzanne Turner

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Suzanne Turner, founder of Turner Strategies, Inc. and Feminism 2.0 (Fem 2.0). Suzanne was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Evangelista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Suzanne while sitting in the audience during the Fem 2.0 conference’s closing session in 2009. They struck up a conversation about the power of women. A few days later, Ananda wrote a poem about her conference experience and sent it to Suzanne and her Fem 2.0 team. They posted it on the Fem 2.0 web site (one of Ananda’s favorite online destinations). The positive feedback Ananda received from the Fem 2.0 community inspired her to develop a digital project that celebrates women online. Since then, they have reconnected and spent time chatting during the Blogalicious Weekend Conference and TEDxAdamsMorganWomen event.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I embraced every new tool as soon as it came out, since waaaaay back in the 1990s. I love to drive the conversation and listen to others on many important issues. Plus it’s fun to reconnect and stay connected with all sorts of people.

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

Social media has allowed me to create and participate in amazing communities – both personal and professional. It has allowed me to make new friends, keep old ones, and create alliances with new partners-in-crime in social change.

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?

Social media has helped me transform old ways of doing social change into new, vibrant more dynamic and interactive programs. As a co-founder of Feminism 2.0, I helped to introduce the women’s advocacy community to social media (many powerful websites and amazing bloggers were already active, but the offline organizations had not yet caught up).

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

They use their social media venues to extend their reach and influence in their own unique voices.

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

  • Specialist in particular types of information
  • Agent of social change
  • Mom
  • Friend
  • Agitator

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

Patience and generosity are key to online success. Give other people credit as much as you possibly can.

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

Yes, I am becoming much more active in online community building for social issues.

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

  • Soraya Chemaly, an amazing blogger and new voice
  • Shireen Mitchell, who knows everything and everyone
  • Gloria Pan, an extremely creative thinker who is always behind the scenes
  • Kristin Rowe Finkbeiner, the dynamo behind the success of MomsRising
  • Violet Tsagkas, editor of Fem2pt0
  • Sarah Burris – living her life outloud on her blog and using her skills to help unions
  • Elana Levin, amazing on and offline organizer
  • Rachel Perrone, who speaks social media as well as any other language

There are too many others to name.

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

  • Speak up about things that are important to you.
  • Speak from the heart.
  • Be generous in everything — especially with link love. Tweet love, resources, and time.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Monica A. Coleman


Photo Credit: Monica A. Coleman

Photo Credit: Monica A. Coleman

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Monica A. Coleman, author, founder of Beautiful Mind blog, minister, and professor. Monica was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Enchantista.

Fun Facts: Monica and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke were introduced via Facebook by their mutual friend, Professor Shayne Lee. Once Ananda started following Monica on Twitter and reading her blog, she became an instant fan. Monica was featured as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio’s Feminism Online Project series in 2011.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I think I joined Facebook in 2007 and it went from there . . .

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

Personally, it allows me to keep in contact with family and friends across the years and miles. I’ve moved a lot and it helps me to feel connected with people I care about. Professionally, I’ve been able to connect with people I may never meet in person even as we have shared interests. We can share information; I learn a lot from the people I follow on Twitter. When I have marketing decisions to make for my business, I’ll ask my tweeps and Facebook fans and get really great responses. Also, social media spreads the work and writing I do into arenas I would not ordinarily be a part of. The work in social media has not only helped recruit students to my institution (where I teach), but has directly increased my consulting work, writing, features in other media, and speaking engagements. People will literally say, “I read your blog/ follow you on twitter/ watched video on your website . . . and thought you would be great for X or Y.”

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?

My blog on faith and depression has been a real blessing for me and a ministry. I’ve received emails from people in India and Haiti who read my blog and say that particular entries really encouraged them – even in a context so different from my own. My most recent book was titled from an email I received from someone in an inpatient care center who read my blog and said that it helped her to feel like she is not alone. The book is entitled Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression. As I’ve pushed myself to share more of my experiences and struggles, I’ve found many people – men and women (but it seems to be primarily women) who relate, but have not heard their experiences given voice as they should be.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

The 12 roles listed here seem fairly thorough.

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

Advocate and educator

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

Social media breaks down barriers that I find in face-to-face encounters such that I connect with people I might meet or choose to befriend in other settings. Thus I’d say that social media activity can really broaden our worlds. Some topics are easier to talk about and learn about online – with a level of anonymity. My work is in sexual and domestic violence and mental health advocacy. There are still stigmas in these areas and being online often gives people spaces to learn about and grow and express in ways that are more comfortable for sensitive topics.

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

My plans include publicizing my recent book primarily online – through Twitter and Facebook campaigns, a virtual book tour, and a book trailer video. I hope to do more classes online – marketed almost completely through social media.

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

  • Melissa Harris-Perry is just a media maven for her website,Twitter, Facebook, and MSNBC.
  • The Crunk Feminist Collective  work together as a collective, and are bold, passionate and vulnerable about a variety of topics related to black feminism.
  • Najeeba Syeed-Miller is committed to interreligious dialogue and brings a lot of insight to her tweets and Facebook status updates.
  • Thema Bryant-Davis has this great Twitter therapy with insightful and pithy truisms that are real inspiration. She also has an online radio program that advocates women’s health.

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

  • Blogging about their commitments – thereby serving as advocates who educate.
  • Twitter is great for growing a circle of friends and followers – expanding one’s market.
  • Through webinars, teleconferences, online classes, blogs, online radio etc. women can establish themselves as experts in their fields and gain a global following that is simply not possible in person.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Veronica Woods


Photo Credit: Veronica Woods

Photo Credit: Veronica Woods

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Veronica Woods, founder of My Salon Scoop Consulting and author of The A-List Salon: Inside Secrets of How Profitable Salons WOW Their Clients Every Day. Veronica was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

Fun Facts: Veronica and Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke are members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. They met for the first time during Sigma’s national conference in Palm Springs, California. During the conference, Ananda interviewed Veronica for her YouTube channel. Veronica appeared as a guest on Digital Sisterhood Radio and was featured as a guest blogger during Digital Sisterhood Month 2011.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started to use social media as a means to get the word out for my first website. I wanted to reach women across the major cities with a limited budget. I understood that social media allowed me to reach people by their interests easily.

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

It has allowed me to connect with people who have similar goals that I would not otherwise have known exist. Almost anyone can be just one or two tweets away.

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?

When I started with my online resource for African-American women about hair, I knew that the online information available was fragmented and oftentimes with incorrect information. While most online beauty blogs and such posted information about individual’s personal experiences, I went the extra mile to interview beauty pros. I have found by just presenting information with credible sources and good content, you can just claim your spot.

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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?

Connector

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

Social do gooder, educator, motivator, promoter, and thought leader

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

Remember to preserve your brand when posting. People are watching. I know that everyone will not agree with everything that I post, but I want to always stay true to how I want my overall business to be perceived.

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

I would like to play a bigger thought leader role. I would like to foster more honest communication between the salon professional and consumer communities. I would like more to also spill offline where it can make a big difference.

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

Mari Smith is one of my favorites. She provides her up-to-the minute updates on changes that make a difference to her followers. As influential as she is, she keeps a very down-to-earth persona. I aspire to do the same.

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

  • If you are an expert in a field, create your own hashtag and tweet tips using it.
  • Upload candid photos of you “doing your thing” on social media. So remember to take photos.
  • Promote others. Who you promote says a lot about you.

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathy Korman Frey


Photo Credit: The Hot Mommas Project

Photo Credit: The Hot Mommas Project

Meet Digital Sisterhood Leader Kathy Korman Frey, founder of The Hot Mommas Project. Kathy was named 2012 Digital Sister of the Year – Empowerista.

Fun Facts: Digital Sisterhood Network founder Ananda Leeke met Kathy during a Fabulous Women Business Owners DC’s meeting in December 2010. Kathy served as a the guest speaker for the meeting and discussed the importance of mentoring in women’s lives. She also introduced The Hot Mommas Project, a free online database of case studies written by women entrepreneurs that focus on real-life scenarios and solutions. The Project is housed at the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the George Washington University School of Business, where she serves as Entrepreneur in Residence and teaches Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.

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Digital Sisterhood Leadership Project (#DSLead) Interview:

1) How can people find you online?

2) Why did you start using social media?

I started using Facebook for personal use, blogging to get on a writing schedule and experiment, and Twitter at the behest of Guy Kawasaki. That was the real jump in where I saw social media as a currency for influence and action. My experimenting from before – and general interest in tech – came together. I hire many interns, but am often the most techy even though I could be their mom. It’s a true interest, which is key. If it’s a chore, that’s not a great starting point.

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

Social media has allowed me to spread the wealth. In every sphere, people want to talk to me about social media. I come from a traditional business background and, thus, am the “token social media person” wherever I go. I am a part-time faculty member at George Washington University. The Dean wanted our department chair to use Twitter. He had me come in, give him some pointers, and always has me retweet him. I also got my former professor Rosabeth Kanter on Twitter. She’s brilliant.

Social media has allowed me to create wealth. I actually got on Twitter as an experiment, expecting nothing. I’ve gotten speaking engagements, sold several hundred tickets to events, and made connections that led to my writing for Maria Shriver. These are just a few examples.

Social media women are special. They say yes. All hands on deck. They’re in. When starting the Hot Mommas Project – now the world’s largest collection of online role models for women and girls – I sent an email to my personal database of about 3,000 or so. How many folks wrote cases? Maybe two. Everyone that first year, and since then, has come from social media.

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?

Aside from the above, I was specifically approached to serve on a board to head up their social media efforts. This was an aging services organization and, normally, I am the token business person. The board members had come to take notice of my social media leadership, specifically, and I have a Harvard MBA and teach in a business school! Just to give you a sense of how much import they place on social media. They wanted THAT information from me versus my business skills. It was awesome. In terms of leadership online, that is an interesting question. I don’t really think about it until someone comes up to me at a conference and says “Take a picture of me with @ChiefHotMomma!” I kind of laugh, though, because I am enthralled with the amazing women I meet online and am always thinking “What’s your story, hmmmm, I bet another woman or girl would LOVE to learn about you.”

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: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online (2013), 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 like to see women at the tops of lists. If I had my druthers, for instance, there would be women on the boards of major social media companies. Let’s start there and work down. The venture capital firms and angels investing…like @Springboard and Golden Seed to start. Yes. Then women as inventors of applications (apps)and tech. Good. See inspirational science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) stories on the HotMommasProject.com case Library or enroll in ACTiVATE. Women, everywhere, get your tech on. Use it. read about it. blog. Try to make money from the blogging and tweeting. Or, just have fun. But, no matter what, introduce your kids – and especially girls – to tech and #STEM early.  @idTechCamps. Check the National Girls Collaborative Project…a clearinghouse of STEM programs for girls. Go!

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

I try to inspire other women. Not just mommas (which is a funny slang term to get attention – it works!)… Hot Mommas = Dynamic women of ALL ages.

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

  • Develop a voice or regimen and stick with it.
  • Don’t be cheesy. Don’t be a taker.
  • It’s a good natural overflow for social people. It’s also a good outlet for introverts. The melting pot.
  • Many people view social media as a currency.
  • It’s in print, make your mom proud.

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

We’d like to do an app. We’re also getting into Google+ which we see as an inevitability and trying to stake claims in video and Amazon via key words through ebooks. Also, getting some of our content up via ClickBank may be more appropriate for us than a blog which we’ve never done the best job with.

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

Tinu Abayomi-Paul @tinu – current editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Shonali Burke @shonali – past editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Jill Foster @jillfoster – founding editor of WomenGrowBusiness.com, Jenny Lawson @thebloggess – too funny for words, Ann Handley @marketingprofs widely known as social media goddess, Elisa All -@elisatalk an amazing entrepreneur who sold her company to Disney Digital, Rieva Lesonsky @rieva – a former editor of Entrepreneur magazine – she rocks, and my former professor Rosabeth Kanter @rosabethkanter – super brilliant.

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

  • Be the best at something. If your profile says “best at this” or “global leader at x” the social media brand is just an extension of that excellence.
  • Find your voice ratio. Is it 70% info links, 20% interaction, 10% humor? Whatever it is, find it, tweak it, work it. Reinventing the wheel and aimless wandering is tiring, and is impossible to communicate to a team. (Even if you don’t have one now, always be thinking “repeatable process” for scale in future.)
  • Lead. Sounds simple, but, are you? Contribute to your field, your topic, with your words and actions. The rest will take care of itself.