2017 Audacity Kings and Queens List


Audacity is what informs courage.  It is the essential element in transforming a life lived in fear to a life lived on the edge of innovation and success.  For most of us, that transition is not easy, but then again, easy is overrated.

As such, because we feel that audacity is one of the key elements in information marketing success [you can insert your category of information work here], we have decided to develop a list of those information professionals who have exemplified audacity at an exceptional level.

A brief clarification is also in order for this list.  Our algorithm does not measure revenue.  This is an often specious number.  Instead we measure innovation.  In the world of audacity and power movers, effectiveness can only be measured by innovation.

For the men we have our Audacity Kings and for the women our Audacity Queens.  Our measurements were taken from a wide variety of measurement statistics, some of which are the common account activity on each social network, awards won, media mentions and a few other APIs we work with which we have to keep secret in order to protect our secret sauce.  As you read this list remember, our algorithm is about how you rate on “getting out there” as we feel that is the best indicator across a wide spectrum about how audacious your information marketing is.

Our 2106 list was a gigantic hit!  The honesty that cut through the hype with this list and our algorithm was accepted by Social Media Users (our favorite metric) and industry leaders as well.  We made some small tweaks to the algorithm for this year, mostly to account for trending topics, but other than that our algorithm remains the same in 2017.

2017 saw some movement, most notably we had a TIE, our first ever.  So without any further fanfare, let’s get to that list!


 Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee

2017 saw Gary transform from a
“Social Media Marketer” to a legitimate industry space maker.  With his launch of Vayner X and its subsequent moves and with the launch of yet another New York Times’ Best Seller Crushing It, Gary has once again moved the needles to the top of the pile.  Congratulations Gary.


Sam Hurley @Sam___Hurley

What can we say about Sam in 2017?  Taking a bold move and making it bolder, Sam left the employee market and took Entrepreneurship on full time with the startup Optim-Eyez which is his full service Brand Maximizer which teaches the fundamentals of Mastering Excellerated Growth across a wide spectrum of growth tools and services.  Congratulations Sam!  You earned it.


Tamara McCleary @TamaraMcCleary

Tamara continues to impress in 2017.  Starting her indispensable vlog and geting the scoop with hard to achieve angles, Tamara innovated the Social Media Landscape with her unique perspective.  This gave rise to a significant spike in her reach which was enough to give her the title of Audacity Queen for 2017!  Way to go Tamara!  You rock!


Rand Fishkin @randfish

The doo is still astride our number four’s head and his  mustache took a turn (down), lol, but all his other numbers were solidly UP.  With his new book deal from Penguin/Random House on the ups and downs of startup culture, due out in 2018), and his command of various speaking engagements, Rand has once again stayed put in fourth place.  Rand continues to be a approachable as ever and is a real maverick in that category among a culture many feel is smug and unapproachable.  Standing up for Women in Tech is also something we noticed.  Way to go Rand!  You are amazing.


Jeff Bullas @jeffbullas

Here’s why Jeff comes in at number 5 in 2017.


Madalyn Sklar @MadalynSklar

Our previous Newcomer’s Award Winner Madalyn Sklar’s secret sauce entered the scene in 2016 and became a star in 2017.  Her trending Twitter Chat #TWITTERSMARTER  and unique approach to Twitter hit the needles big time this year!  She’s the reigning queen of Twitter Marketing and our algorithms noticed.  Congratulations Madalyn, you hit the big time in 2017!  Keep rocking your unique flavor.


Evan Kirstel @evankirstel

Evan is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. My connections are a “Who’s Who” in these technologies, I am in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. My social media “Klout”​ score is 81 and rising!

With those kind of stats it is easy to see why Evan rose a spot in 2017!   Congratulations Evan!  Keep helping people reach their dreams!



Tim Fargo @alphabetsuccess

As the 2x Inc 500 winner and CEO of Social Jukebox, you’ll find Tim as down to earth as anyone and ready to help when you need advice.

However, it was the transition of Social Jukebox from “just another Twitter tool” to an all around social media marketing powerhouse that was the needle mover in 2017.  Congratulations Tim.  Your numbers were solid in 2017 and helped you stay in the top ten.  It appears your users resonate with your unique vision.


Neil Patel @neilpatel

is a New York Times bestselling author and entrepreneur who was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama. Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics.  (and he is a super great guy to get to know!)


Ann Handley @MarketingProfs

Best selling author of Everybody Writes, Ann is most likely the worst enemy of public enemy number one Zombie Marketers.  She is waging all out war with mediocrity in content and for that her markers indicate she is a rising star in Audacity.



Nathan Allen Pirtle @workwthecoach

“The Coach” with his 100 million reach is perhaps one of the most influential social media influencers available.  While you might not see him often on stage, he makes up for it with the trends he sets.


Kim Garst @kimgarst

As one of Forbes top 10 Social Media Influencers, Kim is a powerful force in information marketing and yet remains a very easy to connect with person.  She is always there for great advice and her publications are always spot on!


Mari Smith @MariSmith

Someone who has shared the stage with the Dalai Lama and Richard Branson is audacious!  Getting into Forbes and her massive influence on Facebook are some of the markers that got her on this list.  Forbes is pretty keen on her too!


Branden Hampton @CEO

With 35 million followers across various social platforms, Branden is a mover and shaker and is always on the stage and getting not only his brand out there but his message to “make things famous” is well earned placing him squarely on this list.

But what moved him up two spots is the success of his Starting a Business On $1000 or Less program.  His reach in this category is truly inspiring.  Branden, congratulations.  Keep keeping it real and helping others with your no frills advice.


Jay Baer @jaybaer

Funny, witty, outgoing, the world’s top retweeted, extremely inspirational, Jay’s markers are rising.  It’s this kind of activity that lights up our indicators of a true Audacity King!


Amy Vernon @AmyVernon

Up one spot, Amy is an outstanding example of audacity.  She tirelessly puts herself and the important issues out there and constantly has to reinforce her courage with audacious behavior.  For that she is well respected as a critic of social media and still draws the numbers.  You gotta respect that!  Our markers say YES!


Rohit Bhargava @rohitbhargava

As the bestselling author of “Non-Obvious,” Rohit and his company ticked our meters when his registration numbers for his seminars consistently included top influencers across media and marketing industries.

Consistently booked at speaking events, his “nice guy” persona is famous and he is really very approachable.  Welcome to the list Rohit!  You earned it!


John Hall @johnhall

With numerous awards across a wide variety of respected major publishers, John has cemented his place on this list. Gonna be hard to knock him off!  John works tirelessly to promote influence, not as a road to “influencer” but as a dynamic in and of itself.

With his book Top of Mind the new “must read” for any new company or information professional hitting the upper levels of the charts in 2017 and his continued dominance of the content sphere at Forbes, John still cements his numbers in our algorithms.

Way to go John!


Each year we are going to introduce two “rising stars”, one male and one female, as a means to inspire those who want to become Audacity Kings and Queens to make their mark and “get out there”.  Here they are for 2016!


Ian Anderson Gray  @iagdotme

Ian is a rising star in social media marketing and one the the top voices in the UK.  Ian is approachable and fun to be around and is always willing to help.

It was his YouTube numbers that caught our algorithm this year and his tutorials and advice videos are doing very well.  One of the last few deciders in this category was to engage in the media of the pool of suggested names.  So we did.  Ian impressed with his raw talent and obvious clarity on subject.  Keep that up Ian and you could break into the list next year as one of our featured list members!  Way to go Ian.  We look forward to your performance in 2018!


Melonie Dodaro @MelonieDodaro

What list would be complete without a LinkedIn expert?  We thought so.  LinkedIn really made strides this year after a rough and bumpy transition to a new look and feel that had everyone including IAM Platform wondering if they were going to hit a stride or fall flat on their faces.  Jeff and crew really made LinkedIn sing though and Melonie Dorado is indicative of those who are helping that happen.  Her new book, “The LinkedIn Code” is the definitive blockbuster insider secret for LinkedIn dominance and it was this book that put her as the Newcomer Award Winner for 2017.  Congratulations Melonie!  We are proud of your work at LinkedIn and helping others to dominate that newly made platform.  We look forward to more from you in 2018!

That’s it for 2017!  Congratulations to all the hard working information professionals who again excelled in their callings this year!  We will keep tabs on all of you and anyone else spiking our meters.  Until then, keep working the Social Media streams, by all indicators, Social will be the biggest marketplace in media and marketing in 2018!  The first year ever.

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