10 Online Influencers That Will Affect Positive Change in Your Business!

by Chris C. Ducker · 68 comments

online influencers

Even the best leaders need to follow, in order to continue to grow. [Tweet This!]

At the end of each year I pick three influencers that I will follow throughout the course of the next year to learn from. I keep these secret (so don’t ask!) and quietly study how they do what they do. I reach out to them, converse with them, become friends with them (if we don’t know each other already!), perhaps get them on my podcast and generally soak up as much knowledge and experience from them as possible.

It’s a great growth strategy which I’ve followed for the last 4-years now, and I strongly suggest you start doing likewise.

In order to help you, I’ve put together the following list (which is presented in no particular order) of all-star influencers that are currently serving up plenty of brilliant content and know-how tips and tactics. You might fancy following some on the list (in full, or part) to learn from.

Let’s get to it!

Michael Hyatt

michael hyattWhy Michael Makes The List - Michael is the online leader to online leaders, in my mind. With a wealth of knowledge and an extremely successful career to back it up, he personifies what it means to be a thought leader.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
Advice to First-Time Authors

Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn 1Why Pat Makes The List - Pat calls himself the crash test dummy of online business. He puts himself through various experiments to find out what works and what doesn’t, so you can ramp up your online business faster.

Must-Consume Piece of Content –
And They Said I Was Stupid

Darren Rowse

Darren RowseWhy Darren Makes The List - Mr. Problogger is one of the longest standing professional bloggers online. He has, literally, written the book on the subject. He’s my personal go-to guy when it comes to everything blogging.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
7 Strategies for Growing Community on your Blog

Lewis Howes

Lewis HowesWhy Lewis Makes The List - Lewis focuses on his podcast more than anything else nowadays, content creation wise, and it’s a good thing he does. It’s excellent! Lewis is inspiring, thought provoking and simply ‘great’.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
Top 10 Ways to Make Money Online with Integrity

John Lee Dumas

John Lee DumasWhy John Makes The List - Is producing revenue totally $232,000 in a month a good enough reason to be respected as an online influencer? Of course it is! John’s entrepreneurial enthusiasm is simply contagious.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
Top 10 Business Books According to 550 Entrepreneurs

good leaders tweet

Michael Stelzner

Michael StelznerjpgWhy Michael Makes The List - Social media has become a leading factor in the overall success of online business owners. And nobody has ‘lead the way’ as much as Mike. His tribe is second to none.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
How to Secure Guests that Become Allies

Brian Clark

Brian ClarkWhy Brian Makes The List - Along with Darren, Brian has been blogging for a very, very long time. He’s a genuine thought leader / provoker in the content marketing space and leads the way in providing related services and products.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
8 Ways a Digital Media Platform is More than ‘Marketing’

James Schramko

james-schramkoWhy James Makes The List - James consistently blows me away with his content creation, marketing and overall business mindset. His easy to follow style is what makes James such a powerhouse – he’s understood by everyone.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
How to Develop Powerful Training Courses

Andrew Warner

Andrew WarnerWhy Andrew Makes The List - Andrew’s reach in the online entrepreneurship world is vast. He’s respected by everyone and inspires hundreds of thousands of business owners all around the world. Mixergy is an institution unto itself!

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
The Entire Archive of Mixergy’s Online Courses

Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrisWhy Tim Makes The List - Hello?! It’s Tim Ferriss… You know, that guy who is single handedly responsible for creating an entire generation of entrepreneurs with his bestseller, The 4-Hour WorkWeek. ‘Nuff said.

Must-Consume Piece of Content -
Relax Like a Pro: 5 Steps to hacking your Sleep


Being ‘Influenced’ is just the Beginning!

It’s all very well following people of influence, to learn from them directly or whatever, but unless you take action it’ll all be a waste of time.

Actually putting pen to paper, planning, developing, launching, marketing… it’s all the difference between truly crushing it, or simply ‘getting by’.

I don’t like getting by. Never have. And knowing my community the way I do, I’m guessing you feel the same way – so… take some action!

Question: What traits do you look for in a leader…? Answer below, and lets share a little. Feel free to list YOUR influencer choices, too!

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Navid Moazzez June 5, 2014 at 15:12

Hey Chris,

I couldn’t agree more with this post and love the quote: Even the best leaders need to follow, in order to continue to grow. I actually already follow all of the influencers you listed in this post, but I would also add Chris Ducker to the list of course ;)

Other than that, I follow Ramit Sethi, Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder quite a bit, and they always do awesome product launches.

I also had some amazing entrepreneurs on my podcast, and I really like what Nick Reese is doing with his brand… if you haven’t checked out his site yet, it’s one of the best looking, most thought out designs, I’ve ever seen in this space! If we talk about people who have influenced me a lot over the years with their books, I must say Robert Greene which I also had on my podcast recently, my most popular podcast episode to date!

I really enjoyed the post, keep up the awesome work you do!

– Navid


Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:29

Thanks, Navid. Love the additional mentions.

Ramit, Marie and Laura are also all amazing at what they do and have inspired me in different ways in the past. These are the peeps I’m tuning into more regularly nowadays, however.

Appreciate your kudos, bud.


Robb Gorringe June 5, 2014 at 16:55

Great line-up, Chris— I really like the ‘must-consume piece of content’ for each one as well. Very original, and very classy I must say.

Some of the traits I look for in a leader, and seek in emulate in my own life are: humility, transparency, authenticity, courage, and a willingness to give and serve those who desire to be imparted into. I can’t say that I could pick a ‘favorite’ on your list of amazing online leaders, but I can say that someone with the initials CD sure has been a powerful influence in my own life.



Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:27

Thanks, Robb. Appreciate the kind words and the flattery – it’ll get you everywhere!!!

There are no favorites on this list, they are all equally as fantastic – as are many that I didn’t mention – but, hey – 10 is a nice, round number!


Michael Hyatt June 5, 2014 at 19:16

Thanks so much for including me, Chris. I really appreciate it!


Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:26

My pleasure, Michael.

Thoroughly appreciate your style and influence overall.


Mike Stelzner June 5, 2014 at 20:34

Thanks for mentioning me and my Social Media Marketing podcast Chris!


Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:22

My pleasure, Mike – one of just a handful I subscribe to and devour with every passing episode. :-)


Lizzy Goddard June 5, 2014 at 21:13

They’re all men. Are there really no women ‘online influencers’ about??


Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:21

Hi Lizzy – There are plenty!!!

These just happen to be the peeps that I’m learning a lot from right now, and therefore I’m passing them on.


Daniel Decker June 5, 2014 at 21:39

Lizzy, I don’t think Chris was saying this was a comprehensive list of influencers. By the post title alone it’s just 10 that might have influenced him the most recently. Honestly makes me curious when the male/female remark comes up in situations like this. I did an online summit for Authors (Author Platform Summit) and of the 22 speakers 3 were women. I got blasted, via email, from several ladies who took great offense to the fact that I didn’t have more women represented. What they didn’t know was that I DID ask 7 more women but they all were unable. All that to say, in the world of influence I think it should be sharing who honestly is impacting us, regardless of gender. There are plenty of GREAT female influencers too.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:13

Thanks, Daniel. You bring up some great points, bud.


Kamila Gornia June 8, 2014 at 22:58

I won’t lie – this thought went through my mind at first as well. I say, Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte deserve to be on this list as well. Or at least they are on mine :P


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:00

They are on my lists, too – just different ones. I love both those ladies. But, again, like the post says, this is a list of peeps that are influencing me NOW, currently. Marie (and Danielle) has done plenty of that in the past – especially with video.

Thanks for the comment, Kamila.


John Lee Dumas June 5, 2014 at 21:30

What an incredible article. Packed with value and Entrepreneurial studs! Honored to be included :-)


Chris C. Ducker June 5, 2014 at 21:32

Thanks, John – a pleasure to have you featured, brotha.

Maybe I should rename the article ‘My Fave Men on Fire!’…?!!! LOL


Daniel Decker June 5, 2014 at 21:33

Great list and fully agree. All of these you listed have influenced me in a positive way, each in a unique way. But like you also said, following and soaking it up only impacts us if we put what we learn into practice. I think too many of us, and I’ve been guilty myself, spend too much time absorbing what others have to say vs taking action on it.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:16

Thanks, Daniel. Glad you found the list a solid one…

Bruce Lee said it best:

Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.


Brian Clark June 5, 2014 at 21:34

Honored to be included, thank you, Chris!


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:14

My pleasure, Brian. Thank you for being great at what you do, and how you do it.


Beth June 5, 2014 at 21:38

Great to see so many women on the list!


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:14

Beth – please see my reply to Gabrielle, for my reply to this type of comment. Thanks.


Rob Russo June 5, 2014 at 21:46

Nice roundup, Chris. And I agree that the must-consume content is an original/classy way to present these top-notch leaders.

I’ve heard of – and follow – many of these guys but you’ve introduced me to some new “biz bros” to check out.



Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:13

Brilliant. Thanks, Rob. Glad the post was useful for you.


Gabrielle June 5, 2014 at 22:11

If only men are influencing him, then that is a closed-mindedness that is unfortunate.

I didn’t want him to have women in there for the sake of having women, but if the top 10 influencers in his life are ALL men, then maybe he needs to expand his world. Sorry Chris.

Very few great people have been influenced by only one gender….trust me, I’ve spent my days with CEOs of some of the top Fortune 500 and met some of the most influential people in the world.

No one becomes great by only being influenced by people similar to themselves.

Still wish you the best Chris.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:13

Hi Gabrielle – don’t look too far into things. As the beginning of the post states, these are people that are influencing me currently, NOW. Many lady entrepreneurs have (and will no doubt again in the future) influenced me in a lot of different ways.

This is not a ‘Top 10′ list of any kind at all. I did not use that word in my title, or the post itself. My world is a LOT bigger than that, I assure you.

It’s just a CURRENT list of ‘additional reading’ for my subscribers and readers. Thats all :-)


marc thom June 5, 2014 at 22:21

What an awesome list! I listen to a few of these guys, through there podcasts. They have really impacted me in a few short weeks of listening. It’s cool to hangout with people who love life and what they do and are passionate about people.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:10

Brilliant, Marc. Thanks for dropping by.


Crystal Foth June 5, 2014 at 22:58

Great post Chris! I follow many of the entrepreneurs you listed above. You’re on my list also! :) Great picks and solid advice to learn from!


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:10

Glad I’m on your list, too, Crystal – thanks for that! ;-)


Sean June 5, 2014 at 23:10

Great list Chris. But you forgot one, you! I’m not trying to flatter you (ok, a little) but really, your stuff has been a big inspiration to me. Tim Ferriss got me started on my journey but you and a few others on this list have been instrumental in helping me know how to put it all into place – on a daily basis. I used your Virtual Staff Finder program and still have my team almost a year later! Thank you again for this list and the good info!


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:09

Haha. Thanks, Sean – appreciate the kudos, bud.

Glad that you’ve gotten so much out of my content and I want to thank you for supporting me by simply consuming and sharing it – thats all I ever ask for when I put something together. Thank you again, buddy.


Regie Bariuan June 5, 2014 at 23:22

Hey Chris,

I follow 60% from your list. What I’m looking for with a leader is integrity. It would take time for me to trust an influencer. I look for results before I can conclude that this person is credible. I also noticed that each influencer has their own strengths that resonates well with their followers. Like for podcasting, where I consider John Lee Dumas as my top reference. Go Paradisians!

Other influencers that I follow are Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Noah Kagan and a man who goes by the name of Chris Ducker. :)

There are a lot of notable women like Marie Forleo (i love her videos!), Amy Porterfield and Jamie Tardy.

PS. You still owe me coffee. :)



Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:08

Great, Regie. Glad you appreciated the list, bud.

Appreciate your kind words, too. Location63 coffee is good :-)


Val June 6, 2014 at 02:16

Hi Chris,

First, good read & I appreciate your list.

Of course, it has already been highlighted through previous comments about the lack of Oprah, I mean influential women on your list of influences. :)

One could speculate that the term ‘Influence’ is subjective. All of the listed are largely ‘Entrepreneurial-type Marketers’. With all due respect, I use the word ‘type’ because according to their public stories, it did not appear that any of the mentioned set out from Day 1 with the clear intention of building an actual company (With the exception of two mentioned on the list and you), but rather a business resulted from some type of fluke marketing activity.

Having said, I have in the past consumed the content (Blogs, books, etc.), listened to the podcasts of those mentioned and agree that each presents a unique form of content marketing strategy, but few on the list are known outside of the Internet Marketing community or known for starting one particularly great brand name company that serves the general consumer.

Regarding those on your list who podcast, I definitely find inspiration in listening to their actual guests (The non-marketers), not the point of view of the host, as many of the guests are Entrepreneurs who intentionally set out to start a company and share their journey of how they achieved success (How they acquired the first few customers, hired employees, made difficult decisions, grew sales, differentiation from competitors, address customer needs, et al). These are the big picture real strategic issues and decisions, not just about which current marketing tactic to use in the hope of making a sale.

The point: There is a significant difference between being an Entrepreneur and being the CEO of a real company that provides tangible value. It requires leadership and long-term vision. For this reason, I am not aligning with a few of the choices on your list – but that’s okay, I am sure that we all have different types of influential people on various lists, for various reasons at various stages on our path.

As always, thank you for the super, thought provoking post!



Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:07

Totally, completely and utterly agree with you, Val.

As someone that has owned operated (and continues to!) brick n mortar ‘real’ businesses I couldn’t agree more. However, lets be honest, too – the word ‘business’ has changed a lot in its meaning over the last 5-10 years – because of the internet. All that being said… My view of an entrepreneur is to create things that solve peoples problems, and all of the influencers on this list (plus many more that aren’t here) do that.

Appreciate your comment and insight, Val. Sincerely.


Vagabond Elmer June 6, 2014 at 04:38

This guys are amazing and a must read for anyone with an online biz. Thanks for sharing Chris


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:05

Thank you, Elmer. Appreciate you dropping by and commenting.


Paul Caffrey June 6, 2014 at 06:37

Great list, really makes me want to diversify my online business


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:04

That’s kinda the point, Paul :-)

Appreciate the kind words.


Ricardo Nuñez June 6, 2014 at 11:30

Nice list Chris.
I like that you added the “Must-Consume Piece of Content”. All great posts.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:04

Yeah, wanted to add a little more than just “Check this person out…” Glad you appreciated it, Ricardo.


Chris Guthrie June 6, 2014 at 12:19

I’m under the influence right now. Does that count?


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:04

Haha. Of course it does… especially if you’re visiting my site. Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Chris. Hope all is good.


Amy June 6, 2014 at 13:55

Wow! This is a powerhouse list. Great insight as to why they are leaders to follow, Chris. I look for leaders that are not only performing well, but can teach others. Sometimes the two skills don’t overlap. I have a few more online biz leaders to learn from! Thank you.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:03

Brilliant – thanks for the kind comment, Amy. Appreciate you popping by.


Stefan June 6, 2014 at 17:51

Thanks for the examples of people that influence you, Chris.
I know some of them, but not all. I’ll check the rest for sure.
Some posts here complains about you haven’t named any female marketers, but I can’t see that they mention anyone either.
I think that is sad. It’s a perfect opportunity for them to do that. :-)



Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:03

Appreciate the comment and the kind words, Stefan – I’m happy to introduce you to a few new faces, too!

Enjoy getting to know them.


Andrew Warner June 7, 2014 at 04:03

Thanks for including me on the list.

One of the best parts of doing interviews is getting to meet great people, like you.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:02

Likewise, Andrew. Appreciate you for being a genuine influencer and a great guy! Keep rockin.


Kamila Gornia June 8, 2014 at 22:57

Awesome list, Chris! I’m happy to see I already follow a few of these but will follow the rest right now!

For me, a leader is someone who inspires others to take action. They work with integrity and natural brilliance that has the good of others in mind (as well as herself). It’s someone I can relate to AS WELL AS look up to.


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 18:00

Love it – you struck the nail firmly on the head across the board with this comment, Kamila. Thanks for commenting.


Edward June 9, 2014 at 00:55

I agree about having go to people Like Pat Flynn and Tim Ferriss as a means to gain more knowledge to grow your own business. As they have done it and they know what they are doing.

Getting advice and influence from people like you, Chris to help grow your business is a must.

All The Best


Chris C. Ducker June 9, 2014 at 17:59

Thanks, Edward. Appreciate your comment and for reaching out.


Kate June 9, 2014 at 19:29

Hi Chris, that’s such a clever idea to study 3 influencers each year. At the moment, as I’m just in the process of building my blog, it’s you guys who are getting me there with all your combined experience and expertise. I don’t think I could have got to where I am without all your precious information. All of you rock and I’m sending you all a massive thank you. Once I’m up and running I think I’ll use your technique to eek out the very best of all of you. Thanks again, hugely.


Chris C. Ducker June 10, 2014 at 14:52

Thanks so much for the kind words, Kate – so nice of you to say so, and of course, it only spurs us (me and my fellow influencers) on to continue to try and help as best as we can.

Appreciate you commenting. Stay tuned! :-)


Nate June 10, 2014 at 01:39

I appreciate the list Chris! I’ve been following several of these guys for a while now, and you’ve introduced a few new ones I need to checkout!


Chris C. Ducker June 10, 2014 at 14:45

Thanks, Nate – glad I could intro you to a few new people to become acquainted with. Happy surfing!


Norma Maxwell June 14, 2014 at 03:00

Good list, Chris. I think it could be longer–but that’s just it–there are so, so many inspirational people online right now. After taking just one year off for family reasons, I am stunned as I’ve come back just recently, by the explosion of experts that have surfaced. I’m sure most have been working diligently for a long time and now are just everywhere–though it seems sudden, it probably isn’t really.

The trick for me now, will be to hone in on the few I can really learn from, and not take too much time away from my own business trying to absorb it all! I guess it’s just an embarrassment of riches and that’s nothing to complain about :) ~N


Chris C. Ducker June 14, 2014 at 12:33

Thanks for the comment, Norma – glad you enjoyed the round-up so much.

I don’t think the ‘experts’ have come out of nowhere, per se, but more so that they’ve starting to realize their impact more and have started also to focus on building their brands to help as many people as possible in the process.

Either way, its good for everyone out there needing the guidance and help, right?! :-)


Bryce Welker June 16, 2014 at 14:06

Thanks for all the great insights Chris! Love seeing the different ways you continually push yourself to be better and achieve more, such an entrepreneurial rockstar mindset. I’m taking notes from your playbook (as usual)..


Chris C. Ducker June 16, 2014 at 14:53

Thanks, Bryce. Glad you’re enjoying the content, buddy.

Stay tuned! :-)


Kyle Reed July 12, 2014 at 02:40

Great list. Definitely agree. The opportunity to be inspired by others is the lifeblood of any leader. Learning is growing.

I am interested though to see if you get any blowback for not having a female on the list? Not saying it was intentional, just curious if anyone has expressed concern?

PS: Would love to see Jeff Goins on this list as well.


Chris C. Ducker July 13, 2014 at 01:25

Thanks, Kyle. Glad you enjoyed the post and yes, Jeff is also a rockstar – I just had dinner with him a couple of nights ago -expect him on the podcast soon, too…


Ram Kr Shukla July 17, 2014 at 17:45

Appreciate your effort to collate all leaders at one platform. More than the speakers descriptions I loved “Must-Consume Piece of Content”. All the resources you referred are great. Again thanks for sharing


Chris C. Ducker July 29, 2014 at 18:29

Thanks, Ram. Glad you enjoyed the article.


Go For Launch August 12, 2014 at 03:41

Thanks, Chris! We are launching soon and are inspired by everyone on this list, and that includes you!


Lynzi Behrtel October 14, 2014 at 04:22

Having a list of entrepreneurs to follow and influence you is a great idea. It is never to late to learn something new no matter how long you have been an entrepreneur. Learning something is a part of growing and will also grow your business.

Each entrepreneur has a different field in which he/she specialize in and therefor keeping a wide variety of entrepreneurs on your list can help you in all different aspects of your business.


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