The term “influencer marketing” may evoke a particular image — social media gurus on Instagram and TikTok, posting about makeup or protein powder to their millions of followers.
But did you know that influencers also exist on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is more than just a networking and recruiting platform. It’s also a goldmine of valuable information and thought leadership for B2B brands. The numbers back this up: 74% of B2B marketers say that influencer marketing improves customer experience, while 63% say that B2B influencer marketing programs have the potential to improve marketing success.
With more than 800 million people on the platform, where can you find the best Linkedin influencers? In this article, we'll explore the world of LinkedIn influencing — what it is, why it matters, and a list of the top LinkedIn influencers you should be following.
What Are LinkedIn Influencers?
If you’re on the Internet, the term “influencer” probably isn’t new to you. But LinkedIn influencers are a uniquely powerful force in the world of social media, especially when it comes to business.
Unlike other influencer-driven platforms like Instagram or TikTok, LinkedIn is a professional networking site. That means people who stand out on the platform are the thought leaders, experts, and innovators of their industry.
Getting popular on LinkedIn is about more than likes and follows. It’s a way to drive leads, influence a broader community, and establish credibility in your field.
Best Influencers to Follow on LinkedIn
With so many competing voices on LinkedIn, expectations are high for influencers sharing content. Sharing generic advice won’t cut it anymore, especially on a highly rated professional platform like LinkedIn.
The experts on this list all have a track record of sharing powerful insight and starting meaningful conversations with their followers. From audience engagement to industry expertise, here are 10 of the best influencers to follow on LinkedIn, no matter your industry.
1. Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely isn’t just the founder of one of America’s most famous underwear and body shaper brands, SPANX. She’s also known for building an authentic personal brand as an influencer on LinkedIn.
As a female entrepreneur herself, Blakely promotes the importance of empowerment for women in the business space. On her page, you might find anything from inspirational selfies to articles about embracing uniqueness. She’s also not shy about posting her personal life, opening up to her followers about issues like the pressure to get married or the ups and downs of building her business empire.
2. Ben Owen
To say that Ben Owen runs a data intelligence company would only be scratching the surface. According to his LinkedIn bio, he escaped life on the streets as an addicted and alcoholic army veteran. Now, his mission is to help those who are struggling the way he did. His company BlackRifle Co. uses data intelligence and behavioral data to find missing people, fight human trafficking, and assist in evacuation efforts.
While he’s an entrepreneur, Owen dedicates his content to humanitarianism. In his posts, he sheds light on the realities of army life and rescue ops, along with powerful inspiration about mental health. He isn’t afraid to get gritty and real in his posts as he showcases the authenticity of both his business and volunteer efforts.
3. Bruce Merrill
If there’s one thing Bruce Merrill learned from his background, it’s that making mistakes and taking risks is all a part of the journey. As the founder of Cleverly, the #1 rated marketing agency on TrustPilot, he’s passionate about lead generation on LinkedIn.
Using his own LinkedIn account, Merrill shares the personal story behind his business Cleverly. And now that his successful B2B operation is off the ground, he offers powerful insight into the inner workings of LinkedIn, from successful outreach strategies to lead generation tips.
4. Matt Gray
For Matt Gray, building three successful companies was just the tip of the iceberg. As the founder of Herb, Bitmaker, and the Founder OS program, he’s made a passionate career out of helping entrepreneurs with their content strategy and growth. But what's perhaps more impressive is his reach. Over the last decade, he's cultivated a community of over 14 million people.
On LinkedIn, Gray has carved out his reputation as a thought leader and industry expert. He shares his best advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, business leaders, and coaches seeking to build brands of their own.
5. Justin Welsh
Branded as “The Diversified Solopreneur,” Justin Welsh is an expert on one-person businesses. While he started out building Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) companies and raising over $300 million in venture capital, Welsh soon found himself burned out. As a result, he walked away from his high-paying executive job — and into a whole new career path.
He only started building his LinkedIn brand in 2019, but he now boasts an audience of more than 330,000. As a successful investor, advisor, and mentor, he’s showing other creators how to do the same. With his articles, he shares some of the proven strategies that helped him grow on LinkedIn.
6. Nick Verity
For Nick Verity, the CEO of the highly rated lead generation business Cleverly, his LinkedIn profile is all about connecting with potential clients. In his bio, he appeals to B2B business owners on the challenges of landing qualified leads. However, he isn’t just here to commiserate — he’s here to present a solution.
Verity’s profile shows off the best his lead generation company has to offer, showing potential clients exactly what his team can accomplish with just a week of work. He also highlights some glowing testimonials from past clients who are more than satisfied with their results.
7. Amy Volas
There’s only one thing that gets Amy Volas out of bed in the morning: making the SaaS recruitment process better than ever before. As a business leader, she’s personally closed more than $100 million in deals, founded three companies, and was named a LinkedIn Top Voice in sales.
With her LinkedIn brand, Volas makes it her mission to share everything she knows about the hiring process for high-growth SaaS startups. From openly discussing huge hiring mistakes to highlighting must-know trends in the industry, Volas has plenty to share from her wealth of knowledge.
8. Sahil Mansuri
Over his career, Sahil Mansuri has done it all — from working on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign to leading sales teams at Glassdoor. Now, he’s the CEO of Bravado, the world’s largest community for B2B salespeople.
His passion for sales also helped him build a community on LinkedIn. On his page, he shares honest opinions about the future of sales and up-to-date advice on the latest industry trends. He also isn’t afraid to share a meme or two to poke fun at the world of marketing.
9. Jess Mah
Entrepreneur Jess Mah has been building six-figure businesses since she was still in middle school. Now, she has a portfolio of companies at over $500 million in value. The companies she founded include: accounting and tax company inDinero, biotech startup Astonishing Labs, and venture builder Mahway. If those accolades weren’t enough, she’s also been featured in the Forbes and Inc 30 Under 30 lists.
On her LinkedIn — to an audience of almost 40,000 — Mah shares some honest stories about her early mistakes as a young business founder. She also explores all the things it takes to build a business of your own.
10. Jason M. Lemkin
Jason M Lemkin has no shortage of powerful responsibility on his plate. Not only does he run SaaStr, the world’s largest community for B2B and SaaS founders, but he’s also the managing director of a $90 million venture capital firm focused on early-stage enterprise investments.
Despite his heavy-hitting accomplishments, Lemkin uses his LinkedIn to talk about what really matters to him: helping people become their best. In his bio, he says helping, founding, funding, and growing B2B startups is his mission. On his page, he shares some of his best insider tips, everything from making the process more fun to things all first-time CEOs should know.
How to Be a Top LinkedIn Influencer
Looking at this list, it’s clear why these influencers made their way to the top. It takes a powerful voice and industry-leading commentary to build a brand on a crowded platform like LinkedIn.
Success on the platform isn’t always about business credentials. Those who can deliver insightful advice, authentic content, and create a meaningful connection with their audience can become a top LinkedIn influencer.
Do you want to become a LinkedIn influencer yourself? Check out our article How To Become A LinkedIn Influencer to learn how you can tap into the lead-generating potential of thw world’s largest professional network.
At Cleverly, we also know how hard it can be to get a foothold on LinkedIn’s ever-growing and ever-changing platform. That’s why we’ve created a formula for success — developed from the data of thousands of campaigns — to help you tell your story and get noticed on LinkedIn. Learn more about how our content service can help you build your brand on LinkedIn and drive leads from scratch.