My Influences, Teachers, & Mentors
There’s a myth in what my friend Maggie calls “Celebrity Entrepreneur” culture, that as creatives and service providers we show up fully formed, with 100% all our own original ideas, smelling like roses.
We’re constantly taking in information, analyzing it, and making meaning out of it. When someone or something inspires us, we try to emulate it. And inside each one of us is a unique, inimitable synthesis of our heroes, mentors, influences, teachers, clients from hell, best friends, life experience, and so on. (One of my favorite books, Steal Like An Artist, lays this out beautifully.)
It would be impossible to catalogue every single one of the people I’ve learned from in this space—and not that fun for you to read, probably—but I’m going to continue trying.
Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project
My very first mentor, and where I learned an actual framework for writing copy (vs just running on instinct). Ash was doing “content marketing” before that was really a word, and one of the major things I picked up from her was the importance of deep-diving into a person’s worldview—how to really connect my words with the humans on the other side of the screen. I still use parts of this method when I do customer research & Brand Development for my clients.
Her writing on the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand was sort of my gateway drug to talking about marketing the way I do now, and understanding the origins of most of the practices in place today. Kelly is a brilliant, thorough researcher with a gift for articulating the big picture. I’ve learned so much from her.
Maggie Patterson, @smallbusinessboss
Maggie is currently on fire calling out every messed-up practice she sees in online marketing & entrepreneur culture… and I love it. Here’s one of her recent blog posts about cult tactics in online marketing. But her IG stories are where it’s at.
André Chaperon, TinyLittleBusinesses
André has a lot of bros in his sphere, and this isn’t where I would go to study writing craft—BUT I have learned a ton from him in terms of email cadence, calls to action, and the overall strategy of how to put together an effective email sequence. I also am a huge fan of his Chain of Beliefs exercise, which I still use all the time as a planning tool (for webinar scripts, sales pages, and more). His Sphere of Influence program is really good. (Notice how alllll his testimonials are from men though. 🙄
Stephanie Hayes, @stephaniehayes.biz
My business coach / friend / “Canadian wife” since 2018.
A few others whose work I admire…
- @workbrighter (Brittany Berger) — redefining productivity & rejecting hustle culture
- @lessareneehall — anti-racism educator for HSPs
- @drvalerierein — Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD)
Other people & methods I have studied / taken cues from but do not necessarily admire as human beings:
- Jeff Walker’s PLF Formula
- Bryan Harris, Videofruit / Growth Tools
- Digital Marketer Before & After exercise
- Marie Forleo’s B-School emails & old episodes of MarieTV
- Russell Brunson’s webinar script structure ;(
Samantha Pollack writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)