This year has brought about many challenges, including a slew of trials and tribulations due to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Now more than ever, launching a successful startup takes an exorbitant amount of time, work, and dedication. And in light of the economic setbacks the majority of companies are experiencing in the wake of COVID-19, learning how to navigate the waters of entrepreneurship can be more difficult than ever before; especially for those starting their first business.
As a result of this currently unsettled business landscape, aspiring entrepreneurs may look to seek help and mentorship from others who have already built successful businesses, and braved the storms that come along with entrepreneurship. But let’s be honest, it’s not always (if ever) possible to get directly connected with someone who fits this description. Successful business owners and entrepreneurs are, understandably, very busy people. However, with the advent of a wonderful tool known as social media, you can gain insight and advice from some of the business world’s most powerful and influential minds.
Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have become communication vessels for these business-savvy individuals, who share their thoughts, experiences, and strategies to millions of followers on their social media accounts. You may not necessarily be aware of it, but B2B influencers have a profound impact on how business is carried out these days. We wanted to put together a list of some of the top business influencers on social media in 2021, and to do so, we needed to turn to an expert.
Mickey Feldman is the Director of B2B Influencer Marketing here at Viral Nation, and he helped us source this list based on his vast knowledge and wealth of experience in the B2B influencer space.
“What makes influencers effective, whether B2B or B2C, is the trust and credibility that they’ve developed within their respective audiences. The aspect that makes B2B influencers truly effective, is the level of trust that these thought leaders have established. The reason B2B influencers have developed a following is because their audiences value their input, they trust them. What I see firsthand, is that audiences in a B2B capacity trust thought leaders a lot more, and are more action-oriented when compared to their B2C counterparts. When we bring forth a brand and have them partner with a B2B influencer, we aim to transverse that trust from both parties – the brand and influencer, in achieving a credible and mutually beneficial relationship built on the backbone of trust.”
-Mickey Feldman, Director of B2B Influencer Marketing at Viral Nation
20 Business Influencers To Help You Grow Your Brand in 2021
We have compiled a list of top business influencers from a number of different industries and business types.
1. Marla Gottschalk
Marla Gottschalk specializes in workplace success strategies and organizational change and has held various roles in management consulting and research. She has proven to be incredibly effective at helping individuals, teams and organizations develop intelligently to meet the work-life challenges many of us encounter on a daily basis, and do so with a sense of confidence and empowerment.
She boasts a staggering 2.2M followers on LinkedIn, where she is a self-proclaimed “I/O Psychologist, workplace strategist, and core stability advocate.” Gottschalk is a great influencer in the organizational development/behavior space.
2. Parth Detroja
Having been featured in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Insider, and Inc., Parth Detroja is no stranger to the B2B industry. A distinguished Product Manager and the author of the bestselling technology strategy book, “Swipe to Unlock”, Parth is currently a Product Manager at Facebook, where he heads the social music product efforts for the platform. This includes features like adding music to stories on Facebook and Instagram.
He has previously worked in product management and growth roles for a number of other top tech companies including Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. A wonderful choice of influencer for those looking to learn more about the tech / SaaS platform industry.
3. Amy Landino
Amy Landino is as accomplished as they get in the lifestyle space. The bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the World’s #1 Productive Lifestyle Coach is an entrepreneur and “time-optimization junkie, devoted to helping you discover your passion and achieve your goals.”
Landino is a life-long resident of Columbus, Ohio, where she remains an active member of the community by serving as a mayoral-appointed board member of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). Amy is a great influencer who has wonderful career insights.
We only do marketing that works.
4. Ann Handley
Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity and find ways to ignite tangible results. Handley isn’t just a B2B influencer, she is a digital marketing pioneer and the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, the leading marketing training company with over 600,000 subscribers. Ann is one in a million, and a very strong influencer in the marketing world.
5. Seth Godin
Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, the list goes on. But above all, Godin is a teacher. Though he is renowned for his writing and speaking abilities, Seth has also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (the latter of which was acquired by Yahoo!). He is an incredibly strong name in the marketing world.
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
6. Dave Langer
Dave Langer is more affectionately known by his peers as “Dave on Data”. He is an analytics consultant, educator, and public speaker. He considers himself a hands-on professional, having used his skills in Excel, SQL, and R to craft business insights and shape company strategy for numerous organizations. Langer is a big name in the data and tech influencer space, where he delivers the best training in data literacy, analytics, and machine learning.
7. Michele Romanow
Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started five companies before her 33rd birthday. The tech titan is the co-founder of Clearbanc, a company that gave entrepreneurs more than $100M in funding in 2018. Romanow previously co-founded SnapSaves, which was acquired by American tech giant, Groupon back in 2014. She’s a Dragon Den’s influencer, a Canadian tech entrepreneur, television personality, board director, and venture capitalist. Oh, and she also made the list of 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in 2015. Quite the renaissance woman indeed.
8. Dave Gerhardt
Currently the Chief Marketing Officer at Privy, which is the #1 app for sales on Shopify, Dave Gerhardt also hosts DGMG, his own private marketing group on Patreon (patreon.com/davegerhardt). Before that, Gerhardt headed marketing at Drift for over 4 years and helped create one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies of all-time. Today, he is regarded as one of the leading brand builders in B2B.
9. Collin Cadmus
Collin Cadmus started his career in the retail pharmacy business, where he developed a passion for driving sales and delivering excellent customer experiences. After mastering retail management, Cadmus entered the world of software sales, quickly becoming a top salesperson and both building and leading large sales organizations.
After two highly-successful runs as VP Sales for hypergrowth startups Aircall and Doctor.com, he’s now providing strategic advisory and executive coaching services to early-stage startups.
10. Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John’s experience falls somewhere at the intersection of marketing and culture, and her unparalleled experience is an asset to any aspiring entrepreneur. You know you’re special when your first full-time job is working as an assistant to the legendary Spike Lee. When Beyonce headlined the half-time show at Superbowl XLVII in 2013, it was at the suggestion of Saint John.
Bozoma was previously the CMO at Endeavor and the Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music & iTunes, while also serving as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber. She is now the newly appointed CMO at Netflix and has over 300,000 followers on Instagram.
11. Allie K. Miller
Redefining what it means to build and scale a business in the era of artificial intelligence, Allie Miller is a force in the B2B space. The Wharton, Dartmouth, and Harvard-Westlake alum utilizes a renaissance approach, applying “creativity and humanization to the world’s most technical problems.”
Miller is an expert in her field, having worked in three of the most critical areas of AI—conversational, computer vision, and data. She is now the US Head of AI Business Development for Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon (AWS), where she continues to advance the greatest AI companies in the world. Allie is also a strong advocate for women empowerment, and she’s an amazing influencer in the AI space.
12. Danny Meyer
In 1985, at the ripe young age of 27, Danny Meyer opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe. It launched what would become a lifelong career in hospitality.
Over thirty years later, Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is the parent company of some of New York’s most popular and acclaimed restaurants. Establishments including the Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, and Maialino, and garner the honor of being a USHG business. Meyer’s most notable venture is perhaps Shake Shack, the popular, modern-day “roadside” burger restaurant. Shake Shack was founded in July 2004 and became a public company in 2015.
Under Meyer’s leadership, USHG is renowned not only for its amazing restaurants but also for its celebrated culture of what it categorizes as “Enlightened Hospitality.” Prioritizing employees first and foremost is the guiding principle, and it has helped drive and shape USHG’s ongoing evolution. USHG has grown from a small group of restaurants into a multi-faceted hospitality organization. Needless to say, Danny Meyer is a great follow in the B2B space.
13. Katie Couric
A name that has become synonymous with news broadcasting, Katie Couric began her journalism career as an assistant at the ABC network. Couric later went on to report for NBC before becoming the co-anchor of Today. She is now one of the top personalities in the TV news business, with a career spanning over three decades. Couric has the prestige of being named the first solo female anchor of CBS Evening News in 2006, and in 2012 she was hired to host her own talk, Katie, on ABC. She has also served as a global news anchor for Yahoo since early 2014.
14. Brigette Hyacinth
If you’re active on LinkedIn, you are probably already familiar with Brigette Hyacinth. She is an international keynote speaker, bestselling author, and thought leader on topics such as leadership, HR, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Digital Transformation. Hyacinth currently has over 3 Million followers on LinkedIn alone, and her services are coveted by organizations all around the world. Her leadership insights and career advice make her an ideal follow.
15. Taylor Offer
Taylor Offer is one of the co-founders of FEAT Socks, a custom sock company based out of Los Angeles, California. He founded the company in 2015 with Parker Burr, and since its inception, he has done collaborations with major artists and social media stars, including The Chainsmokers, Logan Paul, Aly Raisman, and more.
Taylor has sold over $10M dollars of product and was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 for Ecommerce list. He has also been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many other major publications. If you’re looking for a great motivator in the entrepreneurship space, Taylor Offer is a no-brainer.
16. Melinda Emerson
Melinda Emerson is a small business expert, popularly known as the SmallBizLady. She is the CEO and founder of Quintessence Multimedia. She’s also an author, speaker, and social media strategist, with an impressive reach of over 3 million followers.
Melinda hosts SmallBizChat, a weekly talk show on Twitter covering various aspects of small business success. She regularly talks about strategies to launch your own business, how to ensure profitability, and how to help others on their path to small business success.
17. Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis is a sought-after influencer in the growth hacking space. He has an incredible amount of experience in building and scaling startups and has been a part of the growth phases at organizations like Eventbrite, Dropbox, Lookout, Uproar, and more.
He actually coined the phrase “growth hacking” and is the co-author of ‘Hacking Growth’. He is also the founder of Growthhackers.com and helps startups and small businesses scale and grow through his strategies. He regularly shares insights, strategies, and industry trends on Twitter and LinkedIn.
18. Everette Taylor
Everette Taylor is currently the CMO at Artsy and was the founder of ET Enterprises.
He has a great story to tell: He’s a high school dropout who experienced homelessness as a teen before turning his life around. He uses his story to inspire and influence entrepreneurs and followers towards achieving success. He is regular on Instagram and shares insights on how to grow and scale your social media presence.
19. Amy Jo Martin
As an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Amy Jo Martin’s gained a name as a top business influencer. She founded Digital Royalty in 2009, one of the earliest social media agencies, and has since worked with a number of organizations and brands to build their social media and marketing strategies.
Over years of work, she has helped celebrities, sportspersons, and organizations humanize their brand and to create a more approachable image. She hosts a podcast “Why Not Now?”, and mentors and guides women entrepreneurs, young professionals, and business owners to fulfill their potential and achieve success.
20. Robert Rose
As the chief strategy advisor to the Content Marketing Institute and the Chief Troublemaker at The Content Advisory, Robert Rose is a well-known name when it comes to anything content marketing.
He focuses on content strategies, communication strategies, and social media marketing strategies for small and large businesses alike. He regularly interacts with his followers on LinkedIn, with actionable insights and tips to grow your social following and create engaging content.