The Ultimate Self-Employed Twitter List: Top 31 Accounts to Follow
February 28, 2019
An “Ultimate Self-Employed Twitter List”? What is this, 2015?
Okay, but this isn’t a regular Twitter list. This is a [cool] list specifically for people who work for themselves. Why? Because it’s hard enough to figure who is or isn’t self-employed on the internet, without wading through the latest wave of memes and outrage. And because it never goes out of style to grow your network and learn by watching talented, inspiring people work out loud.
One of the many things that’s broken about self-employment is the way it feels like an underground economy, spoken of in hushed terms, or—and, seriously we’re not judging—masquerading as companies with multiple employees, instead of companies of one.
We made this list because representation matters, and it helps more than we think to see soloists really, really make it on their own. To that end, we’ve found you 31 great accounts to follow. Start by following pros in your industry. Then, explore the must-reads. Last, because we think that all hustle and no play makes freelancing depressing, we added a “just for fun” section.
The logic behind the list
What’s the thinking behind this list?
- It’s by no means exhaustive, and more like a starting point! Who do you admire? Tweet us and tell us about them.
- Not ranked. Alphabetical. Less like a participation medal and more like “ranking is so subjective, and everyone’s so fabulous anyway.”
- We excluded follower counts. We’re looking for an engaged audience, not a massive but silent one. But click around, and you’ll find that most people have a fairly large (10K and more) following.
- Some people don’t fit neatly into just one category, and that’s awesome. One of the biggest perks of self-employment is bringing your whole self to work.
- Verified, not by Twitter, but by all these lovely people who have self-identified as a freelancer, self-employed entrepreneur, or side-hustler for a significant period of time.
- US-based, because we’re working on making it easier to be self-employed in the US.
Without further ado, here we go.
|Name||Twitter Handle||Claim to Fame|
|Brian Fanzo||@isocialfanz||Brian Fanzo is the founder of iSocialFanz which has helped launch digital and influencer strategies with the world’s most iconic brands like Dell EMC, Adobe, IBM, UFC, Applebees and SAP. Brian hosts two podcasts (FOMOFanz & SMACtalk), and has spoken at many of the world’s largest events including SXSW, Social Media Marketing World, CES, Mobile World Congress.|
|Marie Forleo||@marieforleo||Marie Forleo is a marketing and lifestyle expert and a bestselling author. She leads dynamic training programs that teach individuals to succeed in business and life. She was interviewed by Oprah and Tony Robbins and has mentored young business owners at Richard Branson’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.|
|Cindy Gallop||@cindygallop||Cindy Gallop is the founder of www.IfWeRanTheWorld.com, marketing software (and Harvard Business School case study) that enables co-action for Action Branding: ‘Feel it, do it, be it’; and of www.makelovenotporn.com. She speaks at conferences around the world, consults and describing her consultancy approach as “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.”|
|Chelsea Krost||@ChelseaKrost||Chelsea Krost is one of America’s leading Millennial influencers, LinkedIn Rated Top 20 Millennial marketing and brand strategists, a sought-after keynote speaker, Forbes Contributor, and the #MillennialTalk chat host whose influence shapes marketing strategies of not only small businesses but Fortune 500 corporations.|
|Katie Martell||@KatieMartell||Katie Martell has been named “one of the most interesting people in B2B marketing,” a “marketing expert to follow” and a top marketing writer on LinkedIn. She advises high-growth brands as a consultant, with experience including CMO and co-founder of Cintell and Director of Buzz at NetProspex (a D&B company).|
|Steve Tobak||@SteveTobak||Steve Tobak is a management consultant, columnist, former senior executive, and author of Real Leaders Don’t Follow: Being Extraordinary in the Age of the Entrepreneur (Entrepreneur Press, October 2015). Tobak runs Silicon Valley-based Invisor Consulting and blogs at stevetobak.com, where you can contact him and learn more.|
|April Reign||@ReignofApril||April Reign is the creator of the viral hashtag-turned-movement, #OscarsSoWhite, April has been challenging the lack of representation of marginalized communities in Hollywood and beyond since 2015.Reign is an influential and sought-after media presence, and is highly sought-after for consulting with organizations regarding issues of diversity and inclusion.|
|Name||Twitter Handle||Claim to fame|
|Ari Seth Cohen||@AriSethCohen||Photographer and author, Ari Seth Cohen, is the creator of Advanced style, a project devoted to “capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set.” His blog has been touted by The New York Times, the New Yorker, Vogue and Forbes. His photographic work includes campaigns for Coach, Karen Walker, Vogue Australia and more.|
|Ann Friedman||@annfriedman||Ann Friedman is a journalist who covers gender, politics, technology, and culture for many publications, including New York magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The Gentlewoman. She also co-hosts the podcast Call Your Girlfriend. Find her work and subscribe to her popular weekly email newsletter at annfriedman.com.|
|Jon Friedman||@friedmanjon||Jon Friedman is a writer, comedian, and producer living in Manhattan. He’s produced and hosted the award-winning variety show, The Rejection Show, was a blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and regularly performs at literary events and stand-up comedy venues in NYC.|
|Austin Kleon||@austinkleon||Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His next book is Keep Going, a guide to staying creative in a good times and the bad. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter.|
|Adam J. Kurtz||@adamjk||Adam J. Kurtz is an artist and author whose illustrative work is rooted in honesty, humor, and a little darkness. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages and his “very personal” work for clients like Facebook and Urban Outfitters has been featured in the New Yorker, Vice, Adweek and more.|
|Aminatou Sou||@aminatou||Aminatou Sou is a United States-based businesswoman, digital strategist, writer, podcast host, and co-founder of Tech Lady Mafia. She cohosts the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, with her friend, the journalist and editor Ann Friedman.|
|Jonathan Sun||@jonnysun||Jonathan Sun ins an interdisciplinary researcher, designer, engineer, artist, comedian, author, and playwright. He is a doctoral student at MIT, an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for internet and society at Harvard, and a creative researcher at the Harvard metaLAB, where he studies social media, AI, and online community.|
|Tobias Van Schneider||@vanschneider||Tobias Van Schneider is a designer, founder, speaker, mentor, and maker. He has many, many awards and has developed products and services for companies such as Red Bull, Google, NASA, BMW, Wacom, Sony, Fantasy Interactive, and many more. He is a former longtime solopreneur.|
|Name||Twitter Handle||Claim to Fame|
|Macieg Cecglowski||@Pinboard||Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard.In, an “antisocial” bookmarking site, and the sharp and funny author of their Twitter account, which functions as a public changelog but also delivers sharp and funny observations on Silicon Valley. Prior to beginning work as an independent contractor, Ceglowski worked as the first engineer at Yahoo!’s Brickhouse. He has written for Wired and The New York Times, and has been quoted in Time, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The Economist among others.|
|Tracy Chou||@triketora||From 2011 to 2016 Tracy Chou was an engineer and tech lead at Pinterest, with roles on home feed and recommendations, ads products, web, infrastructure, API, email, and growth. Before Pinterest, she worked at Quora, also as an early engineer there. During the previous federal administration she was on reserve with the U.S. Digital Service as a technical consultant.|
|Ashe Dryden||@ashedryden||Ashe Dryden is a programmer, diversity advocate and consultant, prolific writer, speaker, and creator of AlterConf. She’s one of the foremost experts on diversity in the tech industry. She’s currently writing two books: The Diverse Team and The Inclusive Event. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, NPR, and more.|
|Brad Frost||@brad_frost||Brad Frost is a web designer, speaker, writer, and consultant located in beautiful Pittsburgh, PA. He’s the author of Atomic Design, and has also helped create several tools and resources for web designers, including This Is Responsive, Pattern Lab, Styleguides.io, WTF Mobile Web, and Mobile Web Best Practices.|
|Jason Kottke||@jkottke||Jason Kottke is the creator of Kottke.org, which has influenced the design and format of social media on the web since it’s inception. His work on kottke.org has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wired, and dozens of other media outlets. He has headlined at SXSW Interactive and spoken at MoMA, Ars Electronica, and Webstock.|
|Jessica Naziri||@jessicanaziri||Working with brands including Intel, Dell, Samsung and more, creating video and social media content to get their message to millennial women around the world, Jessica Naziri is a tech influencer, a thought leader, and is passionate about empowering and educating modern women through technology.|
|Heydon Pickering||@heydonworks||HeydonWorks (like “Steelworks”) is the blog of Heydon Pickering, a freelance web accessibility consultant, interface designer and writer. Heydon writes and edits for the most popular web design blog in the world, Smashing Magazine. Heydon’s recent open source experiments include forceFeed.js, which helps you test your interface’s tolerance of dynamic content, and a Sass mixin to help you author SVG-based cel animations.|
|Christina Xu||@xuhulk||Christina Xu is an independent ethnographic researcher (UX researcher) and writer who thinks about how we socialize with and through our technology. Xu also teaches entrepreneurial Design at SVA’s MFA in Interaction Design program and serves as an advisor to Public Lab, Orbital, the Data and Society Research Institute, and the Fine Chocolate and Cacao Institute.|
|Name||Twitter Handle||Claim to Fame|
|Chris Guilleabeau||@chrisguilleabeau||Chris Guillebeau is a New York Times bestselling author and modern-day explorer. Chris’s first book, The Art of Non-Conformity, was translated into more than twenty languages. His second book, The $100 Startup, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide. His third book, The Happiness of Pursuit, was published in September 2014 and was also a New York Times bestseller. His fourth book, Born for This, will help you find the work you were meant to do. His newest book, Side Hustle, will help you create a new source of income in 27 days.|
|Paul Jarvis||@pjrvs||Paul Jarvis is a designer who likes writing (or vice versa) and has worked for himself since the 90s. He wrote a book called Company of One (Jan 15, 2019), published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His courses—Creative Class and Chimp Essentials—have been taken by more than 13,564 paying students. He’s worked with clients, such as Microsoft, Danielle LaPorte, Mercedes-Benz, Marie Forleo and Warner Music.|
|Christopher Lochhead||@lochhead||Christopher Lochhead is a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, entrepreneur and category designer. The Marketing Journal calls him “One The Best Minds in Marketing,” Fast Company Magazine calls him a “Human Exclamation Point,” The Economist calls him “off -putting to some” and NBA legend Bill Walton calls him “a quasar.” He is the author of “Niche Down: How to Become Legendary By Being Different”, and “Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets.”|
|Srinivas Rao||@UnmistakeableCEO||Srinivas Rao is host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast and the author of 3 books: the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Art of Being Unmistakable, Unmistakable: Why Only is Better than Best, and An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Inc, Business Insider, and The Blaze.|
Just for fun
|Twitter Handle||Claim to Fame|
|@FreelanceWars||Weekly updates from a galaxy far, far away. Basically, freelance life as depicted by Star Wars gifs.|
|@TheStrangeLog||A bot that documents the strange poetry of changelogs and patch notes. All tweets are unedited and selected verbatim.|
|@OHNewsroom||Delivers the best overheard comments in any newsroom ➡️ #OHnewsroom your tweets.|
|@iamdevloper||Startup and developer humor.|