influencer graphic

In honor of all the hard working business owners working day-in and day-out to grow, hire and create opportunities, our team is excited to relaunch our small business influencer list in support of National Small Business Week.

Social media tools have created an endless source of people who share ideas through articles, videos, webinars, podcasts, etc. and while there’s so much great information, there’s also a plethora of “noise.”  This year, we’ve worked with the team from Little Bird to update our list of influencers that is designed to help business owners cut through the noise to hear directly from a select few expects who not only provide useful information, but also engage with the business community.

One change this year is that we’ve updated our approach to organize the influencers into six categories. Look through the categories, determine where you want to improve your knowledge, and start following and engaging with those experts:

And if you simply want to see the latest from all these great influencers, we’ve added them all to a twitter list here: Small Business Influencer List.

Business Journalists

The business journalists list is led by Anita Campbell, who scored the highest on our complete list of influentials. All of the following business journalists regularly vet many of the events, tools and strategies geared toward business owners.  If you only want to dip your toes into following business influencers, then our team would recommend you start with the following list of business journalists.

Anita Campbellanita-brick-499x499

Anita Campbell is the CEO of Small Business Trends and Biz Sugar, two online publications for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Campbell is a Forbes Top Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs. Follow Campbell for great content, webinars, tips and more.

Rieva LesonskyRieva_re-shopped__3__cropped

  • Twitter: @Rieva
  • Location: Southern CA
  • Score: 272

Rieva Lesonsky is the CEO and founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content & media company that helps national marketers reach small business owners and helps entrepreneurs start and grow their companies. She is a small business advocate, journalist, and best-selling author. Follow her for content, webinars and engagement.

Steve Strauss Headshot_for_web

  • Twitter: @SteveStrauss
  • Location: The Great Northwest
  • Score: 239

Steve Strauss is a Senior USA Today small business columnist & spokesperson. He hosts small business podcasts and is the creator of The Self Employed, a small business publication. Strauss is active in Twitter chats and webinars and is also the author of Planet Entrepreneur. Follow him for content, engagement, and more.

Gene Marks6d46bc271e8f12d99a81e7911687eb91

  • Twitter: @genemarks
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Score: 191

Gene Marks is a CPA and business owner who writes every day on small business public policy for the Washington Post and weekly for Forbes, Inc. and the Huffington Post. Follow him for original and shared content.

Carol Roth Carol_Roth_tw

  • Twitter: @caroljsroth
  • Location: Chicago, IL and often New York City, NY
  • Score: 183

Carol Roth is a national media personality, recovering investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC. Her multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.

Donna Fenn b1724da20a9bef3b57cf706836d3cd96

Donna Fenn is an internationally recognized author and journalist who has been writing about entrepreneurship and small business trends for more than 25 years. She is the author of two books: Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business, and Alpha Dogs: How Your Small Business Can Become a Leader of the Pack. Follow her for content, engagement and tips.

Rhonda AbramshJOgH_3n

Rhonda Abrams is a USA Today columnist and the author of America’s bestselling Business Plan book, as well as 19 books for entrepreneurs. She is a popular speaker and a top small business influencer. Follow her for content on growing a business, engagement and more.

Startup Strategy

From general startup advice, to active small business chats, to setting up business plans (and more!), this group of influencers has a lot to offer business owners who are looking for ideas and advice on how to successfully launch their companies!

Martin ZwillingMarty_Zwilling

  • Twitter: @StartupPro
  • Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Score: 282

Martin Zwilling is a veteran startup mentor, executive, blogger, author, tech professional, and angel investor. He’s been published on Forbes, Gust, HBR, Huffington Post, and more. He is also the founder and CEO of Startup Professionals Inc., which provides products and services to help startup founders find necessary resources, mentoring, and expertise. Follow him for original and shared content.

Melinda Emerson H1OKahlw

Melinda Emerson is known as the Small Biz Lady. She’s Forbes #1 Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs, the host of the popular Twitter #SmallBizChat and the author of “Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.” Emerson specializes in start-ups, social media and reinventing businesses. Follow her for content, free webinars, insightful Twitter chats and more.

Gail Gardner Gail Gardner

  • Twitter: @GrowMap
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Score: 204

Gail Gardner helps connect providers to those seeking services; she mentors bloggers and is a brand advocate for small businesses. She is the founder of GrowMap, which provides multiple customized routes to generating more business, sales, leads, or visitors for Web sites and businesses. Follow her for content, advice, advocacy and more.

Jim BlasingameZPIZUtmz

Jim Blasingame is an award-winning host of The Small Business Advocate® Show, a small business expert, speaker and author of The Age of the Customer®. Follow him for content, tips, engagement and more.

Tim Berry Tim_Wilderness_500_pixels

  • Twitter: @Timberry
  • Location: Eugene, OR
  • Score: 136

Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto Software and a business planning expert. He is an entrepreneur and blogger who believes in lean business planning and has written several books on planning. Follow him for advice, engagement and content.

SMB Strategy

Already made it through the startup stage and ready for serious growth?  This group of influencers is ready to engage with tips, ideas and strategies for small-to-medium business (SMB) owners!

Brian Moran6c5f02e9b2c0adff091b9ab29142f99f

  • Twitter: @brianmoran
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Score: 199

Brian Moran helps entrepreneurs and marketers navigate the small-to-midsize business marketplace. Follow him for news, content and engagement.

Barbara WeltmanBWeltman_SM_2Use

Barbara Weltman is a small business advocate, author, tax law specialist, and publisher of Big Ideas for Small Business® and Idea of the Day®. Follow her for content, engagement and more.

Barry MoltzPRESS_3

  • Twitter: @barrymoltz
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Score: 183

Barry Moltz is a small business owner, speaker and author of five books. He hosts his own radio show, Business Insanity Talk Radio on AM560, and writes regularly for the American Express Open Forum and other online and offline periodicals. Barry specializes in getting small businesses “unstuck” and growing again. Follow him for advice, news, content and more.

Matthew Torend455338eb140a096986c4bcf7b443d71

Matthew Toren is a writer at Entrepreneur, a best-selling small business author and serial entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Young Entrepreneur and many other useful sites. Follow him for content, quotes, engagement and more.

Laurie McCabefoCbeyTD

Laurie McCabe is an IT analyst and the Co-founder of SMB Group. She’s passionate about helping SMBs and entrepreneurs apply technology solutions to grow their businesses. Follow her for SMB news and content.

Doug and Polly WhitePNXsSgt9

Doug and Polly White are writers for Entrepreneur magazine, small business experts, serial entrepreneurs, best-selling/award-winning authors, and speakers. Follow them for content and advice.

Evan Carmichael0b7905e82188168b8389c4655ff3da3a

  • Twitter: @EvanCarmichael
  • Location: Toronto (#EntCity) /and NY
  • Score: 135

Evan Carmichael is an entrepreneur who aims to help other entrepreneurs. At 19, he built, then sold a biotech software company and by 22, he was a venture capitalist helping raise $500 thousand to $15 million. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs. Follow him for business content and inspiration.

Alyssa GregorytQqYke89

Alyssa Gregory is a small business collaborator, entrepreneur, writer and founder of Small Business Bonfire, a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs that provides tips, tools, advice and resources. Follow her for original and shared content and engagement.

Kelly ScanlonCvOR19wU

Kelly Scanlon is the publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media, Inc., which provides resources to help businesses grow. Follow her for entrepreneurial and business content.

Laurel DelaneykgAgMlXV

Laurel Delaney is the founder of GlobeTrade, which helps entrepreneurs and small businesses expand their businesses internationally. She is also an author, speaker, educator, blogger and columnist with more than 25 years of experience in global business. Follow her for global business news and advice.

Rebecca QuinnRebecca_Quinn

  • Twitter: @RebeccaQuinn
  • Location: Los Angeles & Santa Barbara, CA
  • Score: 99

Rebecca Quinn provides assessment, strategy, and implementation of business planning, operations, marketing and social media for businesses. Follow her for strategy advice and information.

Business Marketing

Some of the most prominent influencers within the SMB space specialize in helping business owners understand how they can successfully launch marketing campaigns. Tweet This  If you’re looking for inspiration to help improve your business marketing, this is a great list of business marketing experts worth paying attention to!

Ann Handley ann-handley-headshot

Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer for Marketingprofs, an online site that offers real-world advice. She’s a 15-year veteran of creating and managing digital content, and was the co-founder of ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary. Follow her for information on marketing, business and more.

David Newman DNewman_color_hires_4_

  • Twitter: @dnewman
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Score: 182

David Newman is the founder of Do It! Marketing®, and specializes in working with speakers, authors, consultants, and independent professionals who want to attract, engage, and win more clients. Follow him for marketing content and advice.

Rick Ross 41S4gyeY

  • Twitter: @rickross10
  • Location: Dublin, OH
  • Score: 165

Rick Ross is the founder of Rick Ross Innovation, which helps businesses with innovation, technology and leadership, digital strategy and implementation, web, mobile and enterprise application development, by applying a people-centric approach. Follow him for content on innovation, IT and Leadership.

Ivana TaylorhNpYvs1G

Ivana Taylor is the founder of DIYMarketers.com. She has spent nearly thirty years in manufacturing companies, running marketing departments and making companies the obvious choice for their ideal customer. Follow her for small business marketing advice, the best tools, tips and strategies for overwhelmed, cash, strapped small business owners.

Joe Pulizzibe2d5b0e206e454951fdbc92bae25a9b

  • Twitter: @JoePulizzi
  • Location: Cleveland, OH
  • Score: 133

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which hosts the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Follow him for updates on Content Marketing World, advice, and of course, content.

Gini DietrichjElLe-N8

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communication firm. She also is the founder of the professional development site for PR and marketing pros, Spin Sucks Pro, and co-author of Marketing In the Round. Follow her for marketing content.

Kent HuffmanVCYte1sG

Kent Huffman is a B2B and B2C marketing and branding executive, C-suite analyst and advisor, change agent, customer experience advocate, and published author. He is also the CMO of Chief Outsiders, which provides part-time Chief Marketing Officers to growing and mid-sized companies. Follow him for marketing content and advice.

Gail GoodmanGailGoodman_Jan2012_red_twt

Gail Goodman is the CEO of Constant Contact, a small business advocate and the author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World. Follow her for marketing and small business content.

Michael Brennerh0WvnGb0

Michael Brenner is the Head of Strategy for the leading content marketing platform, NewsCred. Previously, he held marketing leadership positions at SAP as VP of Global Marketing and Content Strategy and Head of Digital Marketing for SAP Americas. He also runs the blog B2B Marketing Insider. Follow him for marketing and business content.

Social Media Marketing

Beyond general marketing advice, many business owners are curious how they can make the most of their social media campaigns. On this list of social media marketing influencers, you’ll find Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, and of course, Twitter experts that are always ready to engage with top-notch ideas and strategies for making the most of your limited time!

Mari SmithcM1iUsMd

  • Twitter: @MariSmith
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Score: 272

Mari Smith is a social media thought leader and marketing expert. She and her team work with forward-thinking, socially conscious companies to help grow their businesses through the power of social media, integrated with all forms of online marketing. Follow her for social media and marketing content.

Jeff Bullas002

  • Twitter: @jeffbullas
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Score: 255

Jeff Bullas is a social media marketing strategist and speaker. He is one of Forbes Top 50 social media influencers and his Twitter feed is one of Huffington Post’s Top 100 business Twitter accounts. Follow him for original and shared content.

Pam MoorejwwBYgyG

  • Twitter: @PamMktgNut
  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Score: 250

Pam Moore is the CEO of The Marketing Nutz, a conversion optimization agency that helps businesses inspire, connect and achieve results, as well as Social Zoom Factor, home of podcasts hosted by Moore. She is a Forbes Top 10 social media influencer, consultant and speaker. Follow her for content, statistics, advice, podcasts and more.

Ted Rubincac299d7e9abf03128df9b995648f5f5

  • Twitter: @TedRubin
  • Location: NY
  • Score: 235

Ted Rubin is a leading social marketing strategist, keynote speaker, brand evangelist and acting CMO of Brand Innovators, a content site where brand marketers come to learn, share and connect. Follow Rubin for marketing content and tips.

Glen Gilmore6Sh6AQgr_400x400

  • Twitter: @GlenGilmore
  • Location: NJ, NY, PA, and TN
  • Score: 233

Glen Gilmore is the author of Social Media Law for Business and contributing author to Strategic Digital Marketing. He is recognized as a top influencer in social business, content marketing, wearables, and the internet of things. He has provided customized training to members of the Fortune 500. Follow him for social media and marketing content.

Sean GardnerJuxn2fVR

  • Twitter: @2morrowknight
  • Location: Seattle, WA and Washington DC
  • Score: 209

Sean Gardner is a keynote speaker, digital marketing consultant and author of The Road to Social Media Success. He has been profiled in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., Glamour Magazine, and American Genius for his personal branding tips and marketing expertise. Follow him for social media and marketing content.

Jay BaerZYPhOcS5

  • Twitter: @jaybaer
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Score: 177

Jay Baer is a New York Times best-selling author, global keynote speaker, and digital media entrepreneur. He’s also the President of Convince and Convert, a strategy consulting firm. Follow him for digital marketing content and tips.

Shashi Bellamkonda23d7835u8poakwzuwpv1

  • Twitter: @shashib
  • Location: Washington DC, MD, and VA
  • Score: 166

Shashi Bellamkonda is the CMO of Surefire Social, a small business speaker & columnist, a digital marketing leader and a professor at Georgetown University. Follow him for business and marketing content.

Bryan Kramer97wTuHDF

Bryan Kramer is a social business strategist and CEO of PureMatter, where he’s led his agency to consistent growth over the last 10 years earning a spot as one of Silicon Valley’s fastest growing private companies by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Follow him for marketing content, chats and more.

Deborah ShaneZ2lRlBFC

Deborah Shane is the founder of the Deborah Shane Tool Box, which offers small business solutions, insightful consulting, interactive training events, dynamic motivational speaking, content marketing and social media strategy. Follow her for tweets on careers, branding and social media, plus learn about the podcast she hosts.

Speciality Strategy

Of course, some of the business influencers that made the list refuse to be classified so easily. In this great list of experts, you’ll find people who specialize in business technology, franchising, book publishing, and financing opportunities.

Ramon Rayiw4bIhZR

  • Twitter: @ramonray
  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Score: 197

Ramon Ray is the founder and publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine. He authored the best-selling The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing, is a celebrated speaker, small business event organizer, publisher of SmallBizTechnology.com and serves as small business evangelist for Infusionsoft. Follow him for content and engagement.

Joel LibavaWBEAR54X

Joel Libava is known as The Franchise King® and his blog has over 1,500 posts on franchise ownership advice. Libava is also the author of “Become A Franchise Owner.” Follow him for everything you need to know about buying and owning a franchise.

Stephanie ChandlerDSC_05700-small

  • Twitter: @bizauthor
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Score: 168

Stephanie Chandler is the author, publisher and founder of the Non-fiction Authors Association, a blogger for Forbes and a professionally trained speaker. She speaks about content marketing, internet marketing, small business growth strategies, and publishing. Follow her for content, tips and teleseminars.

Karlene S. Robinsona855298fc0635847fdc97d952b2675cb

Karlene S. Robinson is the author of the bestselling book Spank The Bank, an alternative financing expert and a small business advocate. Follow her for content around funding and small business.

Hanna Hasl-Kelchnerv-BmsZBG

Hanna Hasl-Kelchner is a lawyer who created an in-house training curriculum that evolved into an MBA level course taught at Duke University and the University of Virginia, and finally into the ground breaking book The Business Guide to Legal Literacy: What Every Manager Should Know About the Law. Follow her for consulting, business and legal content.

Pamela Slimsp81yXvF

  • Twitter: @pamslim
  • Location: Mesa, AZ
  • Score: 119

Pamela Slim is an award-winning author, speaker and business consultant who has been an entrepreneur for eighteen years. A former Director of Training and Development at Barclays Global Investors, she spent 10 years as a consultant to companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab and Cisco Systems. Follow her for content and updates on where she’ll be speaking next.

Tai Goodwin3E4a2j4X

  • Twitter: @TaiGoodwin
  • Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • Score: 111

Tai Goodwin is a business growth strategist for coaches, consultants, and speakers. Her specialty is creating online courses, products and coaching programs. Follow her for marketing and business content.

Tom GazawayPicture3.92

  • Twitter: @tomgazaway
  • Location: NJ via Marshalltown, IA
  • Score: 103

Tom Gazaway is the founder and President of LenCred. Tom is widely known as the country’s foremost expert in unsecured lending solutions for small business owners. Follow him for news on funding, business and more.

More On The Influencer Algorithm

Similar to previous years (our previous methodology is described in detail in this post), we began our process by evaluating the influence of an individual based on who their fellow influencers were following. With the help of Little Bird’s algorithm, we added a discount to people that are influential but are not active within the business Twitter community, i.e. people like Richard Branson and Bill Gates. While people like Richard and Bill are often being followed by hundreds of influential people within the small business community, they rarely, if ever, engage, making them less than ideal people if you’re the type of business owner who is seriously looking to use social media to engage with an active community.

And, if you are interested in ramping up your twitter knowledge from all of these folks, we’ve made it as easy as following this list: Small Business Influencer List.

Have questions? Comments? Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #BizInfluencers on Twitter and we’ll be sure to follow along!

Interested in a FREE business credit consultation with one of our Credit Advisors, call 1-800-701-7168A credit consultation can help you understand how to leverage your business credit file to secure contracts, get access to capital, manage cash flow and minimize business risk, call 1-800-701-7168