Top 30 Influencers and Thought Leaders to Follow in Order to Become Successful


You might be wondering why would a person need to select influencers and thought leaders to follow? What value is there in following them? Who is considered a thought leader? What separates thought leaders from the rest of the pack? How can their expertise and insights support you to grow much faster than normal? Check out here are some key attributes I believe a thought leader should possess. A thought leader should:

  • Be informed and lead the charge as regards innovative ideas in their industry.
  • Be able to effectively communicate their ideas to their peers and so to people of varying backgrounds.
  • Be bold enough to express his/her ideas.
  • Be passionate and enthusiastic about passing knowledge across to others.

Other Articles that Might of Interest to You:

What is a Thought Leadership?

                  6 Ways to Become an Authentic Thought Leader?

                  3 Types of Thought Leadership

The 23 Amazing Qualities of a Great Leader

In this article, I will be highlighting 30 thought leaders across business development, content marketing and professional development. 

Top 10 Business Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow in order to Grow Your Business

1.    Marie Forleo

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Marie Forleo is an American entrepreneur. She is also a life coach, writer, and renowned speaker. She is the host of MarieTV, a show that chronicles her entrepreneurial and lifestyle journey. Marie Forleo is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses grow. She does this through her various business programs and social media accounts, dishing out success tips to help you reach your goals.

2.    Steve Strauss

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

He is a business writer for USA Today and a renowned spokesperson. He never fails to deliver poignant business insights in his articles. He also hosts podcasts, breaking down business trends, especially for small businesses. If you are looking to grow your business, you will definitely want to pay attention to Steve Strauss’s content. 

3.    Everette Taylor

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Everette is one of the individuals who persons of color look up to. Everette Taylor is the CEO of E.T Enterprises. Although he had a rocky past, Everette Taylor managed to rise above and become one of the renowned experts in marketing, making Forbes 30 under 30 in marketing and advertising. Everette takes advantage of Instagram in growing his business, calling it “an amazing customer acquisition channel”. He is also a proponent of self-care; he believes that we ought to balance being successful and being happy. 

4.    Tim Ferris 

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

If you are an entrepreneur, chances are that you have probably already heard about Tim Ferris. He is famous for his book, “the 4-hour workweek”. He hosts a podcast where he interviews top performers and business leaders from every work of life. He is also an investor with a portfolio worth tens of millions of dollars. Tim Ferris helps individuals become the best versions of themselves, so they can go out and crush it in business. 

5.    Martha Debayle

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

You can’t talk about female business influencers without mentioning Martha Debayle. She is the founder of Media Marketing Knowledge, a Mexican media company. Her content mostly targets women and parents, and are a great fit for anyone looking to balance growing a business and raising a family. Most of Martha’s content is in Spanish, so if you understand Spanish, go check out her work. 

6.    Arianna Huffington

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post. She stepped down after serving as its president for 11 years to start a new company, Thrive Global; a company focused on health and overall well-being. Arianna Huffington is a serious media influencer and has written 15 books. Across her social media accounts, she has over 4 million followers, and she does well to dole out motivational and inspirational content. 

7.    Tony Robbins

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Tony Robbins is the epitome of a thought leader. He is a celebrated motivational speaker, author, life and business coach. Although he has come under fire recently for his “no-bullshit-overly-pushy” approach, you can learn a whole lot from him. He is knowledgeable in virtually every area of life, from business to relationships to health and fitness. 

8.    Dave Ramsey

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Dave Ramsey is an American radio host, author, and businessman. Dave Ramsey is known as the guru of personal finance, and you would agree with me that getting your personal finances in order will in no small way put you in the right position to meet your business targets.  

9.    Justin Dry

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

He is one of the founders of Vinomofo; a company that offers the best wine deals. He is a huge advocate of grinding to achieve one’s goals. He describes entrepreneurship as “living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t”, pretty deep. He gives back by sharing inspirational content and speaking at business events.

10.  Lori Greiner

Business Influencer and Thought Leaders to follow

Lori Greiner is mostly known for being a part of ABC’s Shark Tank. She is an inventor, entrepreneur, and author. She holds over 120 patents and has invented more than 500 products! She is definitely one of the most influential women in business.  

Top 10 Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow in Content Marketing 

11.  Joe Pulizzi

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Joe Pulizzi is a best-selling author, his books; Killing Marketing, Content Inc, Epic Content Marketing are all essential for anyone looking to up their content marketing game. Mr. Pulizzi is also the founder of three companies, including Content Marketing Institute. He also co-hosts a podcast, ‘This Old Marketing’ with Robert Rose.

12.  Neil Patel

Neil Patel is a juggernaut in the marketing space. His blog neilpatel.com is an amazing resource, dishing out tips and techniques for all variants of marketing. Entrepreneur magazine named Neil Patel ‘The Number 1 marketer in the world’. He has helped countless businesses grow their revenue to mind-blowing numbers all through marketing. For a daily dose of awesome marketing content, check out his podcast, “Marketing School”.

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

13.  Pam Moore

Pam Moore is the founder and CEO of Marketing Nutz, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses develop marketing strategies to grow their business. She has over 20 years of experience in business marketing and is a renowned speaker. 

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

14.  Jeff Bullas

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Jeff Bullas has received numerous accolades over the years including being named the top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers. He launched his website back in March 2019 mainly to create content around the impact of social media. His community has since grown to include millions across the various social media platforms. 

15.  Ann Handley

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Ann Handley is Wall Street bestseller of ‘Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously good content’ and ‘Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business’. Her books have been translated into 19 languages. She also runs a marketing training and education company; MarketingProfs with more than 600,000 subscribers. 

16.  Andrea Fryrear

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Andrea Fryrear is a pioneer of Agile Marketing. She is also a keynote speaker and author. She is the lead trainer and president of AgileSherpas where she helps companies adopt more innovative marketing techniques. 

17.  Lee Odden

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

As CEO and co-founder of TopRank Marketing, Lee Odden is a marketing consultant. He has worked with companies like SAP, Oracle, Dell, HP, Microsoft, Slack and much more. The ‘Online Marketing Blog’, a product of TopRank Marketing has been named the number 1 content marketing blog.

18.  Neal Schaffer

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Neal Schaffer is as accomplished as they come. He is a speaker and thought leader in the world of marketing. He has spoken in over a dozen countries and is an author of 3 books with a fourth on the way. He also runs a company, PDCA Social, where he educates executives and members of the academia. 

19.  Mark Fidelman

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Mark Fidelman is the CEO of RaynForest. He is well versed in the field of marketing, especially as it relates to technology. He is also an author and an expert on social business, mobile business and social networks. 

20.  Ted Rubin

Content Marketing Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Ted Rubin is known for his energetic and enthusiastic approach towards marketing. He is tagged the most followed and the most interesting CMO on Twitter. He is the originator of the ‘return on relationship’ hashtag. 

Top 10 Influencers and Thought Leaders to Follow in Professional Development

21.  Daymond John

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Mr. Daymond John is an entrepreneur, author, TV personality, speaker and brand consultant. Daymond John is the CEO of a $6 billion company; FUBU. He is best known for being one of the investors on the award-winning show, Shark Tank. All from a $40 budget, Daymond John started his clothing line from his mom’s house and managed to grow his business into the pioneer it is today. 

22.  Biba Pedron

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

From humble beginnings in France, where she was born, Biba Pedron is now among the upper echelons of female executives. After working in sales and marketing for 15 years, she moved to the United States in 2003 to start her company. In the business and entrepreneurial circles, she is known as ‘The Connection Queen’, she has helped countless businesses rapidly grow their revenues and she also provides entrepreneurs with the tools and techniques live their best lives.

23.  Simon Sinek

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Simon Sinek is an author, speaker, and consultant; helping leaders and organizations make lasting impact. His book, ‘Start with why’, was indeed instrumental for putting him on the map as a critical thinker and thought leader. He has so far written 5 books. Simon is adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, a think tank of worldwide renown. He has spoken to professionals across various industries including the military, Disney, American Airlines and so on.

24.  Dr. Marcia Reynolds

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

She is the president of Covisioning LLC. She coaches others on how to use their emotions as a tool to have powerful and meaningful conversations, all to make meaningful and lasting change. She has a doctorate in organizational psychology and she indeed puts it to good use, leveraging new findings in behavioral and neuroscience to improve communication. Dr Marcia Reynolds has trained leaders in over 40 countries, she is indeed a coach like no other. 

25.  Dan Lok

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Dan Lok is an entrepreneur and global speaker. He is the founder of closers.com and is very passionate about helping others build high-income skills and become financially free. He has written over a dozen books. He never misses an opportunity to share salient tips on how to become successful both in life and in business. He is active across all the major social media platforms. His YouTube channel, in particular, is a goldmine. 

26.  Gary Vaynerchuk

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

If you are reading this article, chances are that you already know who Gary Vaynerchuk is. He is probably the king of hustle culture. He is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, and online personality. After college, he started off managing his dad’s wine business and then started ‘Wine Library’. He later went into the digital marketing space by launching his own company, VaynerMedia. In my humble opinion, Gary Vaynerchuk is the epitome of a thought leader. If you are not following him on social media, you are doing yourself a disservice. 

27.  Grant Cardone

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

He is the author of the best-selling book, The 10X Rule and other books. He is a sales expert, real estate mogul, speaker, and convener of the 10X Movement and the 10 Growth Conference. He has worked with top tier organizations, helping to optimize their sales process. Grant Cardone constantly dishes out nuggets on finances, real estate, sales and life through his social media accounts. Go check him out.

28.  Saurabh Kaushik

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Saurabh Kaushik is the premier business coach in India. His list of clientele includes Fortune 500 companies. He is adept at leveraging technology to boost human performance and help businesses get ahead. If you need someone to turn things around for you or your business, Saurabh Kaushik is your guy.

29.  Robin Sharma

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Robin Sharma is a firm believer in the fact that personal mastery is at the core of any form of growth or development, professional or otherwise. His books have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. His unique approach to peak performance and leadership has singled him out as indeed a thought leader. You can’t compile a list of leadership gurus without Robin Sharma.

30.  Jack Canfield

Professional Development Influencers and Thought Leaders to follow

Jack Canfield is on a mission to inspire people to live their truth, in love and happiness. He is a best-selling author of the Chicken Soup series of books and others, having sold over 500 million copies worldwide. He is the founder of The Canfield Training Group and the Foundation of Self-Esteem. He is also a motivational speaker and corporate trainer.

CONCLUSION

There are several influencers and thought leaders to follow in order to achieve your goals much quicker than you would by trying everything from scratch. They serve as mentors or sources of inspiration for each and every one of us. We should strive to select our role models based on our niche, and also based on our personality, as that would make it easier for us to try and emulate whatever we learn from them.

One thing you will realize is that most top thought leaders are very capable public speakers, they keep learning and mastering the art of speaking in public, so that is one key thing you should strive to master. There are tons of public speaking tips, for different types of speech on my other blog, please check it out HERE.

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

John Eades. 10 Thought Leaders You Should Be Following to Be More Successful

https://www.inc.com/john-eades/10-thought-leaders-you-should-be-following-to-be-more-successful.html

AJ Agrawal. 23 Thought Leaders Every Online Marketer Must Know. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/23-thought-leaders-every-_b_9113686?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAC4VWhrOV6ze8B1IsylnjmUwmPFm2nACukra8uz_HW01F627f0bbae-9v5suwjs2MZdUURBjYfYzTiqJdLrQGU0FUYWP1ZBGtUY_wzYH7cLjJE–9A9zvoR1seOM_BHAdIzxDEmuTLeThQl_dlYFJe-x_WuFlX1EOV41mU1PpbwF

Justin Ravdys. Five of the Most Important Marketing Thought Leaders

https://www.contactmonkey.com/blog/marketing-thought-leaders

Carla Rivera. 9 of the Biggest Social Media Influencers on Instagram

https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/9-of-the-biggest-social-media-influencers-on-instagram

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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