The path to growing any small or medium-sized business (SMB) is not an easy one. That’s why it’s important to learn from those who’ve walked in your shoes.
With the internet, it’s easier than ever before to learn from the best of the best. Whereas 15 years ago you’d have to attend lectures in person, you can now glean outstanding SMB wisdom from the comfort of your living room.
The great news? We uncovered the top six SMB experts you should be following on social media whose mentorship and wisdom will give you the direction you need. Let’s check it out.
Top SMB experts to follow
1. Ramon Ray
Described as “unapologetically positive” and “high energy”, Ramon Ray is a leading expert on personal branding and SMB growth. Ramon is also a serial entrepreneur who has started five businesses and sold three of them. With lots of industry insights to share, Ramon inspires thousands of business owners each year through his wisdom-packed articles, podcasts, and interviews.
And, get this: he once testified to the US Congress about SMB growth and was also invited to the White House to speak about personal branding. Even the government caught wind of his expertise!
2. Neil Patel
Hailed by former President Obama as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30, Neil Patel is nothing short of an SMB wizard. He has worked with companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft and makes frequent appearances at major growth marketing conferences worldwide.
Did we mention he founded a digital marketing agency providing full service SMB marketing dedicated to helping businesses like yours succeed? If you ever have digital marketing, SEO, or content strategy questions, Neil should be your go-to.
3. Melinda Emerson
Referred to as “small biz lady” for good reason, Melinda Emerson is an internationally renowned keynote speaker on SMB development, social selling, and online marketing strategy. She’s been a thriving entrepreneur for over two decades and is the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for SMB owners.
Melinda has devoted her career to advising people on how to grow their businesses via her SmallBizLady brand. Tune into her monthly podcast (while multitasking to cut back on work hours, of course), to learn about her entrepreneurial journey and to get tips on improving your SMB.
4. Rhonda Abrams
We couldn’t complete this list without this legendary SMB guru. Widely recognized as one of America’s top SMB experts and passionate SMB advocates, Rhonda Abrams is an author, entrepreneur, and USA Today columnist who lives and breathes all things SMB. Named “Top 30 Global Guru for Startups”, Rhonda has been around the block and has truly made this her life’s work.
Her books include a best-selling business plan guide, Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies, which was named one of the 100 best business strategy books of all time. On top of that, she’s built and sold four businesses. Need actionable SMB strategies and resources? Head to her regular USA Today columns to find everything you’re on the hunt for.
5. Lisa Barone
Featured in leading publications like Business Week, Forbes, and TechCrunch, Lisa Barone is a well loved writer, columnist, content marketer, and social strategist. Described as having a unique voice and engaging style, her work garners real results. She has showcased a remarkable understanding of the struggles business owners face when speaking with customers—both online and offline. She’s also founded and grown many marketing blogs, earning industry-wide accolades.
And, something you don’t want to miss: In 2011, Barone gave an incredible TED Talk called “what stuttering taught me about running a business” where she talked about the importance of businesses standing out from the crowd by “embracing the weird”. Trust us, it’s worth the watch.
6. Mike Michalowicz
Mike Michalowicz is an entrepreneur and author of seven business books which have over half a million readers. He also is the former host of “Business Rescue'', an MSNBC segment on Your Business. But his resume doesn’t stop there–previously the SMB columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Mike has had immense success throughout his career. This includes having built four multi-million dollar companies, one of which was sold to private equity and the other to a Fortune 500.
Check out his podcast, Mike up in your Business, where you can learn how to grow your business to its fullest potential. Like what you’re hearing? You can even take an online course from Mike on building confidence and “how to sell without selling at all”.
Give them a follow
There’s no official manual for how to run an SMB, so it’s a good thing trailblazers are really paving the way. Go ahead and give each of them a follow–you’ll be glad you did.