Top 20 People to Follow on Twitter for Small Business Advice

twitter for small businessOne of the smartest things small business owners can do in today’s business environment is to use Twitter for small business advice, ideas, and inspiration.

If you use it the right way, Twitter can provide tremendous value to your business.

If you use it the wrong way, Twitter can be a huge waste of time.

The key, of course, is the use it the right way – as a source of ideas, inspiration, advice, and counsel.

(It can also be a great source of new customers and clients, depending on your business. But we’ll leave that for another article – I’m focusing on using Twitter for advice and ideas in this article.)

The true value of Twitter is that it can help you learn at warp speed about how to build, grow and develop a business, and you get to learn from some of the smartest minds on these subjects.

If you want to use Twitter effectively, then you should start by “listening” to, or following, the right people.

Read what they have to say. Retweet their posts to your followers. Reply and add to the conversation.

If you start doing these things, I promise you it will pay off.

To help you figure out which people you should be following, I put together the following list of the top 20 people you should be following if you are a entrepreneur or small business owner.  Here they are!

Who You Must Follow on Twitter

1. Guy Kawasaki, @guykawasaki

Guy was one of the early major tech thought leaders to really embrace Twitter as a promotion tool, saying in 2008 that he would rather go without his cell phone for a week than go without Twitter, and that Twitter was the greatest marketing tool since the invention of television. Those comments definitely got some people’s attention about Twitter, which at the time was still in its early growth stage.

Guy sends out hundreds of tweets per week about every topic under the sun. For example, one of his recent tweets was a link to “20 content ideas for your small business blog.” But he’s just as likely to share pop culture references, stories or funny pictures.

2. John Jantsch, @Ducttape

John is a small business marketing consultant who really understands how to use blogging and Twitter together well.

He writes at least 3-5 noteworthy and extremely relevant blog posts per week on topics such as the five stages of the sales cycle, how to use content to generate business opportunities, and how social media has changed customer service. Similarly, his Twitter feed is filled with relevant advice and articles that are aimed at helping small businesses to succeed.

3. Anita Campbell, @smallbiztrends

Anita Campbell is the CEO of Small Business Trends, an online small business community reaching over 250,000 each month.  In one of her recent tweets, she shared a 15-factor test to determine if you are building a business that someone else would be interested in buying.

4. Alexandra Levit, @alevit

Alexandra describes herself as a “Business/workplace author, speaker, and columnist” who helps people “find meaningful work and succeed once they get there.”

5. Rieva Lesonsky, @Rieva

The former editorial director for Entrepreneur magazine for over 20 years, Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media & She describes herself as a small business advocate, journalist and best-selling author.

In recent posts she turned me on to, which is another but focused on providing deals for small businesses.

6. David Allen, @gtdguy

The author of the productivity book “Getting Things Done” which has a cult-like following, David uses his Twitter posts to share wise suggestions for efficient time management.

7. Chris Brogan, @chrisbrogan

Chris it the president of Human Business Works, a social media consultant, and professional speaker. Although that doesn’t really sum up all the stuff he does.

He has a huge following on Twitter (189,000 as of this writing), and uses it both to share content and to communicate. He’s very good at responding to questions from followers about various business strategies and issues.

He also recently used Twitter to promote a free webinar on how to Leverage Your Blog to Build Your Business.

8. Pat Flynn, @patflynn

Pat runs the extremely popular Smart Passive Income blog, which is aimed at teaching people who to use  online tools to build passive income. The value that he provides is matched only by how nice and accessible he is to his fans.

9. Darren Rowse, @problogger

Darren Rowse’s Problogger is one of the web’s highest trafficked blogs. Darren discovered blogging far earlier than most, and discovered he could make an income to replace his day job income long before thousands of other bloggers followed in his footsteps.  After building a successful digital photography blog, he created Problogger to train others how to generate income from their blogs.

10. Scott Stratten, @unmarketing

Scott is the President of Unmarketing, which is a “Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing” agency. Basically he knows how to use Twitter and other social media tools, and you can learn a lot about how you can use these tools as well by watching what he does.

With 100,000+ followers, he must be doing something right.

11. Laura Fitton, @Pistachio

The co-author of Twitter for Dummies (affiliate link), Laura gives great tips on how to build a following on Twitter, and how to get your followers to share your tweets.

12. Erica Douglass, @ericabiz

Erica is an entrepreneur and blogger who runs a popular blog,, which provides a variety of small business marketing advice aimed at online entrepreneurs.

She established herself by building and selling a web hosting business for $1.1 million – all before the age of 26. Not too shabby. She’s currently building her next fortune with a SEO company she recently launched called Whoosh Traffic.

13. Carrie Wilkerson, @barefoot_exec

Carrie is a Consultant/Strategist for self-employed professionals & small business owners.

She is another one you can learn a lot from. She has over 100,000 followers, and yet most of her tweets in her stream are @ replies to other users. That means she’s mostly having conversations with and engaging with other users.

Compare her approach to Guy Kawasaki’s approach, which is more of a “broadcast” nature with few or no @ replies. Neither approach is the “right” approach, and many Twitter users use a combination of both approaches.  The fact that both Carrie and Guy have built huge followings using different fundamental approaches demonstrates the flexibility of Twitter.

14. Gary Vaynerchuk, @Garyvee

Gary got his start by using social media to turn his wine business into a huge success, and has expanded into advising other businesses in how to use social media.

He hosts the daily Wine Library TV video podcast and is an author of a number of books about business.

Like Carrie Wilkerson, Gary’s Twitter stream is mostly filled with conversations rather than straight broadcast posts, which is fitting because he has built a reputation for a personal touch.

I have read that he has gone so far as to contact people who have written negative reviews of his books on Amazon and offered to talk to them over the phone. I think that says a lot about why he is so successful.

He has around 900,000 followers as of this writing so his approach appears to be working.

15. Melinda Emerson, @smallbizchat

Melinda hosts a weekly Twitter talk show on Wednesdays from 8-9pm EST dedicated to helping people succeed as their own boss.

16. Denise O’Berry, @deniseoberry

Denise O’Berry is a small business consultant who focuses on helping small businesses put their ideas into action. She focuses like a laser beam on getting businesses to focus on cash flow, which she rightly points out is one of the major sources of business failure.

She’s also the author of the book “Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success” (affiliate link).

17. Martin Zwilling, @StartupPro

Martin is a veteran mentor for startups and an angel investor. Martin’s Tweets are heavily focused on providing value for entrepreneurs, with a lot of links to blog posts and articles on topics such as how entrepreneurs can embrace globalization, how starting a business can help you find a job, and legal traps to avoid.

18. Dan Rockwell @Leadershipfreak

Dan’s blog, Leadership Freak, has the tag line of “Helping leaders reach higher in 300 words or less.” One recent blog post talked about how to use praise of employees’ specific behaviors to motivate employees to act.

19. Sean McGinnis @seanmcginnis

Sean is a “Digital Strategy and Marketing Consultant, and his tweets focus on everything from social media to small business tips to tips for a meaningful marriage.

20. Yours Truly, @JohnCorcoran

Of course, I have to include myself on this list! Please follow me at @johncorcoran. Much like this blog, I use Twitter to share helpful advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

If you liked this list, please share it on Twitter or Facebook using one of the links to the left.

You can also follow all of the individuals on this list by clicking on the list here:

Do you have any other great suggestions of people to follow on Twitter for business advice? Please leave suggestions in the comments below!



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Photo credit: Flickr/tashmahal


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