12 female thought leaders you need to follow

Women inspiring women

As a female business owner, you need a team of other supportive, inspirational women to help you overcome challenges, discover new strategies and get the inspiration you need to push through and succeed. If you can’t find these women right around you, don’t fret. There are plenty of female thought leaders who can help you from afar.]\

Editor’s note: Have other thought leaders you’d like to add to the list? Please add them in the comments!


12 top female thought leaders to inspire you

Here are 12 top female thought leaders who can inspire you on all fronts of business, marketing and motivation.

  1. Amy Porterfield (online marketing).
  2. Marie Forleo (motivation).
  3. Brené Brown (leadership).
  4. Arlan Hamilton (venture capital).
  5. Ann Handley (content marketing).
  6. Joanna Wiebe (copywriting).
  7. Alex Beadon (social media).
  8. Sonia Thompson (customer experience).
  9. Annie Cushing (data analytics).
  10. Aleyda Solis (SEO).
  11. Sallie Krawcheck (investing).
  12. Denise Restauri (female empowerment).

Time to get inspired!

Related: 5 inspiring female business owners to learn from

1. Amy Porterfield (online marketing)

Female Thought Leaders Amy Porterfield
Photo: Amy Porterfield on Facebook

Amy Porterfield got her start working for one of the most successful motivational coaches of all time, Tony Robbins. While she isn’t going to encourage you to walk across hot coals to get to your goal, Amy will give you the motivation and tools you need to master online marketing. Her weekly podcast is jam-packed with expert advice and actionable takeaways for using digital marketing to grow an online business.

Website | Instagram | Podcast

Ready to up your online marketing game? Check out GoDaddy’s suite of easy DIY and expert services tools for email marketing, social media, online business listings and SEO.

2. Marie Forleo (motivation)

Female Thought Leaders Marie Forleo
Photo: Marie Forleo on Facebook

Marie Forleo has inspired an entire army of women entrepreneurs through her popular B School program. Each year, thousands of women (and a few men, too) sign up for an eight-week, interactive, video-based training that teaches best practices for launching a successful business. The rest of the year, women are inspired weekly by Marie TV, a video web series featuring inspiring talks and interviews with people like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and more.

Website | Video Web Series | Instagram

3. Brené Brown (leadership)

Brené Brown is well-known for her bestselling books focused on the hidden power of courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. She’s recently taken this research and knowledge and translated it to relate directly to the workplace with her new book “Dare to Lead” that helps leaders “step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage.”

Website | Dare To Lead Book | Instagram

4. Arlan Hamilton (venture capital)

Female Thought Leaders Arlan Hamilton
Photo: Arlan Hamilton on Instagram

Arlan Hamilton saw a problem that she was willing to do anything to fix.

Only 10 percent of all venture capital deals go to women, people of color and LGBT founders.


Arlan vowed to change this and started her own venture capital firm, Backstage Capital. To date, Backstage Capital has invested more than $4 million in 100 companies led by underrepresented founders. Follow Arlan on Twitter if you want a fresh perspective of what is happening and changing in the startup, venture capital world.

Website | Twitter

Related: 5 venture capital firms changing the investment game for women-led startups

5. Ann Handley (content marketing)

Female Thought Leaders Ann Handley
Photo: Ann Handley on Facebook

Between her work at MarketingProfs and writing multiple bestselling books, Ann Handley is the queen of content marketing and helping even those who don’t think they can write take control over their copy. Get a regular dose of content inspiration and laughs by subscribing to her bi-weekly newsletter “Total Annarchey” that shares “useful ideas, fresh links, and high-spirited shenanigans delivered to your inbox.”

Website | Twitter | Newsletter

6. Joanna Wiebe (copywriting)

Female Thought Leaders Joanna Wiebe
Photo: Copy Hackers on Facebook

When it comes to copy, whether it’s a small one-liner for a website homepage or a detailed 2,000-word landing page, no one knows words better than Joanna Wiebe. Founder and lead conversion copywriter for Copy Hackers, Joanna works with clients to improve their on-site conversion rates and offers detailed training to writers who want to improve their skills and freelance copywriting business.

Website | Twitter | Copy Tutorials

7. Alex Beadon (social media)

Female Thought Leaders Alex Beadon
Photo: Alex Beadon on Facebook

If you want to learn how to turn your social media presence into a powerhouse community of die-hard loyal followers, you have to connect with Alexa Beadon on Instagram. After her popular YouTube series was unexpectedly deleted by YouTube, Alex moved to Instagram to share her upbeat, uplifting content related to brand building and digital marketing. She also launched a podcast “On Purpose” to share more of working in Instagram marketing.

Website | Instagram | Podcast

8. Sonia Thompson (customer experience)

Female Thought Leaders Sonia Thompson
Photo: Sonia Thompson on Twitter

When it comes to creating memorable brand experiences that leave customers wanting more, Sonia Thompson knows what works. After conducting more than 150 interviews with experts, executives and business owners, Sonia has dissected their best practices and keys to success. She regularly shares what she has learned about corporate culture, diversity, customer loyalty, customer experience and more in her weekly Inc. column and podcast, “The Customer Magnet Show.”

Website | Podcast | Inc. Column

9. Annie Cushing (data analytics)

Female Thought Leaders Annie Cushing
Photo: Annie Cushing on Twitter

When it comes to data analytics, most of us are either all in and love collecting and dissecting numbers or we want to avoid spreadsheets and data at all costs. Annie Cushing helps those of us who want to run from data (even though we know we need it) by creating guides and templates that make data “sexy” and far less scary.

Website | Twitter

10. Aleyda Solis (SEO)

Female Thought Leaders Aleyda Solis
Photo: Aleyda Solis on Twitter

If you read any search engine optimization blogs, it’s likely that you’ve come across Aleyda Solis. A prolific SEO writer, Aleyda frequently contributes to leading SEO blogs such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Moz. She doesn’t just write about SEO, she is also an award-winning international SEO consultant, so if you want to keep up with what’s new and relevant in SEO, you must follow Aleyda on Twitter.

Website | Twitter | Blog

11. Sallie Krawcheck (investing)

 Female Thought Leaders Sallie Krawcheck
Photo: Sallie Krawcheck on Facebook

Money is a huge part of our lives, yet we barely ever talk about it. Sallie Krawcheck is changing that. Her company Ellevest is an investment company that caters to women in an effort to empower them by putting more money in their bank accounts. The Ellevest weekly newsletter “What the Elle?” also shares resources and stories that help women better understand and control their financial investments.

Website | Twitter | Blog

Related: 5 venture capital firms changing the investment game for women-led startups

12. Denise Restauri (female empowerment)

Female Thought Leaders Denise Restauri
Photo: Denise Restauri on Twitter

Denise Restauri is the last of the female thought leaders in this list because she is your connection to finding even more influential, successful and inspiring women in business. While her podcast, “Mentoring Moments,” is no longer releasing new episodes, it is a catalog of dozens and dozens of interviews with incredibly inspiring women worth checking out.

Twitter | Podcast

Female thought leaders FTW

Even if you are a solopreneur, you can’t succeed in business alone. You need others to inspire, educate, encourage you and push you in the right direction to find success. The 12 female thought leaders in this post will do just that.

So don’t go at it all alone. Find and follow these inspirational and intelligent women so they can help you reach even more success.

9 thoughts on “12 female thought leaders you need to follow

  1. I will check out all of these ladies to see how we could synergize and collaborate for more execution. Love to get more information

  2. I would like to know what the acronym FTW stands for in the title of this Blog article. I have been a GoDaddy customer for many years. I was at a loss to answer my 8 year old Grandaughters question about it as she’s very interested in learning to write code.
    Look forward to any insight.

  3. This is missing amazing women that have served our country.

    Heather Dopson – Go Daddy
    Jasper Boothe- Final Salute Inc
    Flossie Hall (Mil Spouse) The Rosie Network
    Trish Leto-
    Charlynda Scales- Mutts Sauce
    Alicia Hanf

  4. Brooke Castillo is a thought leader absolutely changing the world at large… and the world’s mental health! She is one of Amy Porterfield’s mentor’s as well. Brooke’s podcast is laser focused, gives immediate actionable coaching, and is helping people create the most amazing lives for themselves! I was totally shocked she wasn’t on this list, but hey 13 is my favorite number because it’s all about transformation! That’s Brooke! In the most clear, precise coaching and teaching I’ve ever experienced… and I am a certified life coach through another school from 8 years ago, before I knew about Brooke. Her leading edge thought work, podcast and coaching program have changed my life forever! Thank you for creating this list, GoDaddy, and allowing me to add my favorite!

  5. It would be innovative to see a grey-haired woman included amongst the women leaders for a change. We pioneers have something unusual and meaningful to add.

  6. @Chellie Campbell! Her “Financial Stress Reduction” principles are a MUST for every woman! – Business woman or not! https://www.chellie.com/
    She has changed SO MANY lives through her workshops, books and speaking engagements.

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