The Wild Web Women Story – Long Version
I get asked a lot to tell the “how did Wild Web Women come about?” story so, here is the long version for those of you who want the full scoop. My husband found this to be too “wordy”, yet every woman who has read this said they found it interesting (mars vs. venus…you decide! Ha!) so here it is. For those of you with shorter attention spans, the shorter version is on the About page of www.wildwebwomen.com!
Our guidance, support and retreats are designed for wildly wonderful women business owners who live by their own rules.
We want to see more women find their “happy, healthy and wealthy!” Wild Web Women is a company led by a team of women who have successfully run a web-based businesses (called Web Marketing Therapy, Inc.) for over a decade.
When we hit our ten-year anniversary at our digital marketing agency, we had the “a-ha” (actually more of an “oh my gawad!”) that while we were really great web marketers, we were also evangelists and experts in flexible/virtual/alternative/work-from-home/lifestyle businesses! We couldn’t do half of what we do (raising kids, traveling, managing health, pursuing passions) if we had old-school office jobs! We are so excited to share what we learned in our business development journey to help more women personally and professionally – teaching business – marketing, sales, operations, self-confidence and more!
When our founder Lorrie Thomas Ross (aka The Marketing Therapist® and Wild Web Woman®) left the corporate world over a decade ago, she had no idea that starting her own company would become this wild, wonderful journey that would lead to helping other passionate women brand, build and boost their businesses. Her love for web-based work began by accident. In 2005, she was unable to make her regular 30-mile commute to her corporate employer due to a major highway closure. With no choice but to work from home for a week, she found she was able to get so much more done (minus the corporate wardrobe, commute time, work distractions, and political BS). The time away from the office made her realize how much she loved her work in web marketing but how much she loathed corporate life…and how much she craved a healthy, flexible, creative lifestyle.
The thought of having her own company was not on Lorrie’s radar (frankly, it sounded super scary!). While she was enamored with her entrepreneur students (she taught night courses through University of California, Santa Barbara Extension and watched her students make huge marketing progress while she sat in time-sucking corporate meetings that were yielding no movement at her corporate job) the thought of being her own boss was not even a consideration. Getting requests to moonlight as a consultant nights and weekends when she wasn’t working her corporate job began to introduce her to an “I can do this” mindset.
It took an “I can’t take it anymore, icky, yucky dysfunctional corporate job” to make her really evaluate what she wanted. She loved marketing, teaching and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs and wanted to focus on that – minus the distractions and confinements that came with corporate life. With a few side clients as the base to launch a web marketing company and the fear of having to work for “the man” being scarier than being on her own, she mustered enough courage to take the leap into launching her own company. Lorrie resigned from her job then came home….. and cried at the kitchen table. After she got that fear-dump out of the way, she put on her big-girl pants and owned her decision. She emailed her contact list saying she had “left the confines of corporate hell” and invited people to refer her marketing consultancy to people who needed help. With two small side clients, a mediocre website (it was really bad!) and some old colleagues who began referring her, “Lorrie Thomas Web Marketing” was born.
As the clientele grew, Lorrie had to grow her team. She immediately thought of one of her friends (and former corporate coworker) to help. Anne had taken a hiatus from work when she had her first son. A work-from-home job would be perfect for a new mom and a professional like Anne was just the person Lorrie needed on the front lines of her agency. When the administrative work of the agency (billing, sales call scheduling, etc.) got to be too much work and working IN the business and ON it was more than she could manage, Lorrie sought out another friend and former coworker Kelly. Kelly was about to go on maternity leave. Lorrie asked her what she planned to do when she had her son and Kelly said that she would look for another corporate job. Knowing it would not be ideal working the insane hours she used to with an infant, Lorrie asked Kelly to “try out” working from home after her son was born while she looked for other work of course (wink wink). Kelly helped build the business then pursued her dream of running a vet hospital with her husband. They all have grown personally, professionally (and are proud mompreneurs) and know a lot more about web marketing as well as a lot about the ins and outs of running a web-based/lifestyle business. And who says you can’t work with your friends??!!
Years into running the web marketing company, clients began to refer to Lorrie as their “Marketing Therapist” for her advice, empowerment and support approach. Clients joked they were getting on the team’s “marketing therapy couch” and raved about how they helped take the stress and overwhelm out of web marketing…Lorrie Thomas Web Marketing rebranded to Web Marketing Therapy, Inc. in 2007. The consultancy grew and focused on marketing advisory, training and full-service marketing management. When a key client called her and her team the “Wild Web Women” in a meeting (apparently they had called them this for years before we even knew about it), the name sort of stuck. We were wild and we were web women. Web Marketing Therapy’s “Wild Web Women” then enlisted the help of a Wild Web WoMAN, Wil Thomas, (Lorrie’s wasband and one of her best friends) as the web designer and developer they needed to offer full service web marketing support (and some testosterone). Web Marketing Therapy has always been a 100% virtual company – no offices, no required office hours, no required showers, no commuting, no corporate wardrobe, no annoying coworkers. A lean, mean team who loves what they do and love working and living where they want to.
So they all lived happily ever after improving their client’s digital marketing. The end.
Oh wait. Not yet. We still had a calling to claim.
In 2015 (10 years into the business) we were pinched with a big “a-ha”. Lorrie was speaking at a women’s conference in Chicago about social media marketing. At the end of her talk, the questions weren’t just marketing related. In the Q/A session, the women in the audience wanted to know ALL about her business – sales, operations, administrative, how to handle tough situations, how she worked and juggled work and motherhood, how she got her husband to be supportive, life, health, work balance, personal style, delegating work, hiring help, and getting what you want. When she got back to the hotel, she told her husband that she felt like she needed to be teaching more than marketing. The conference experience mirrored conversations she had with dozens and dozens of their female clients – tackling more than marketing and catering services to women’s needs was a demand they weren’t satiating.
The whole weekend after that talk, Lorrie reflected on her team, her clients and what they had learned in their years running their web-based business. Wild Web Women wasn’t just a bunch of women who helped clients with digital marketing. We are women (+ one man) who could help more women go and grow to new levels by learning tips, tricks and tools that we had to learn via the school of hard knocks. Why reinvent the wheel when they could help save women all the steps (some muddy, painful ones) and get them on a fast-track to success?
We are a wild web women-run team that has boldly gone where more women haven’t gone before– branding, building and boosting their professional talents into fabulous, flexible web-based businesses to be happier, healthier and wealthier!
We are more than marketing pros, we are wild business evangelists! Without a web-based business, we couldn’t have been home with our children, traveled, supported our spouses with their work or chosen to live in cities that are in alignment with our personal values and interests. Kelly has lived in 4 different places and worked seamlessly while her husband was in vet school and then working in his practice. In the years we have worked together, Anne had her second son, Lorrie had a daughter and moved from California to Georgia (her husband’s work required him to be on the East Coast). Katherine was working all over the world traveling to places like Sweden, Hong Kong, and New York. When Wil moved from California to Arizona, the “a-ha” pinch was more of a smack “Oh-duh” and a company solely focused on helping women with web-based businesses was born.
Wild Web Women® is a company that supports women entrepreneurs. We want to help wonderful hardworking women connect, collaborate and learn how to create happier, healthier and wealthier personal and professional lives. As women who successfully run web-based businesses, we are focused on helping women brand, build and boost their businesses to support the lifestyles they want and deserve. We understand how isolating it can feel at times to work from the web. It is so empowering to align yourself with like-minded professionals that can support you, offer insight and hold you accountable for your success. We offer expert advice, interviews, webinars, podcasts, events and networking.
Working hard doesn’t mean working all the time. We are women who run a web-based business and we love to help other women claim the lifestyles they want by supporting them with expert advice that help them work IN and ON their businesses in a better way.
Well, that’s our story. Work is not always pretty, but overall it’s pretty wonderful.
But enough about us – we want to know your story. If you are ready to make some wild web business HERstory, then you are at the right place.
Slow is the same as stop in the web-world – it’s time to get started!