In the overlooked world of LinkedIn influencers, a plumber finds a following | CNN Business (2023)

New York CNN Business

At Texas Green Plumbing, a residential plumbing company in Dallas, the setup resembles a traditional workplace: a reception area, several offices and a training space. But one room has been transformed into a home-made studio decked out with a microphone, video camera, lights and a backdrop that features shelves held up by pipes.

That’s where Roger Wakefield, a 56-year-old plumber and owner of the company, spends half of each week filming advice and how-to videos – with the help of a hired videographer – to post to his thousands of followers on LinkedIn, as well as other social media channels.

Mary Orton This tool helps influencers fight back when their content is stolen

With his distinctive horseshoe mustache and penchant for talking about slab leaks and sewer and water testing, Wakefield doesn’t look or sound like your typical social media influencer. But after four decades of working in plumbing on and off, Wakefield has emerged as an unlikely personality on an unlikely platform for social media stars.

(Video) Going From Stuck To Unstoppable! Eliminate Frustration & Build a Life & Business You Love

Wakefield now has about 9,000 followers on LinkedIn. People tune in for his LinkedIn livestreams twice a week to hear plumbing tips or advice on business and building relationships. (He also has a sizable following on YouTube, but on other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, he has fewer than 500 followers.) Last year, he was treated like a minor celebrity at VidCon, the annual conference in Anaheim, California, for social media creators, their fans and brands.

“I had people coming up to me in the hallway [at VidCon], saying ‘Oh my gosh, you’re the plumber’ and ‘we see your videos,’” Wakefield told CNN Business. “It’s just a crazy feeling.” One fan asked to take a selfie with him.

In the overlooked world of LinkedIn influencers, a plumber finds a following | CNN Business (2)

Plumber Roger Wakefield livestreams twice a week on LinkedIn.

(Video) Watch me close on the PHONE - Grant Cardone

In the world of social media influencers, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok reign supreme. These are the platforms where memes, social media stars and much of internet culture are usually born. LinkedIn, by comparison, is still widely viewed as the buttoned-up platform – as demonstrated by a recent meme in which celebrities compared themselves across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder – that gets ribbed by the tech press when it copies features from trendier rivals. It has been described as “boring” and “normcore” in headlines.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that so much LinkedIn influencer content focuses on businessy things. Instead of dance challenges and perfectly-edited travel shots, LinkedIn influencers post about professional achievements, career advice and entrepreneurship. The influencers gaining traction on the platform are a predictable mix of marketing executives and social media experts as well as some fitness gurus and even the occasional teenager who is big on TikTok.

And yet, on this sometimes overlooked corner of the internet, people are making a name for themselves and earning money – whether it be through sponsorships, going on tour and selling LinkedIn bootcamp courses even if some are skeptical or question what they’re doing on LinkedIn.

“People still see it as a job and resume platform because it was for so long. And it’s just not cool,” said Shay Rowbottom, who has nearly 200,000 followers on LinkedIn. “Some people challenge me. I’m 27, so a lot of my friends are kinda like, ‘What are you doing on LinkedIn?’” For Jayde Vincent, an 18-year-old TikTok star with 1.3 million followers on the short-form video platform, the answer, at least in part, was because of her step-dad told her to join LinkedIn. She now has 11,000 LinkedIn followers.

In the overlooked world of LinkedIn influencers, a plumber finds a following | CNN Business (3)

Shay Rowbottom, a LinkedIn influencer, says not a lot of people are "aware" of the opportunity on the platform.

Some of the content that performs well on LinkedIn has included Rowbottom’s comedy skits about office situations (example: “Things sales guys say”), hot takes from marketing executive QuHarrison Terry on buzzy topics such as Apple innovating less without Steve Jobs, and a music video from social media expert Travis Hawley posted on Valentine’s Day about how much he loves LinkedIn.

“People don’t actually think of us a place to form community, to be a creator and to really grow,” Kiran Prasad, LinkedIn’s head of consumer products told CNN Business. But he said more than 2 million posts, videos and articles run through the LinkedIn feed each day – and engagement is increasing 25% year over year.

“We’ve been investing very heavily in our creators,” he added. “It’s definitely been a focus for us for a few years, and we’re just starting to see it really take root right now.”

LinkedIn influencers argue the audience is what makes the platform more powerful than other social media networks. “On LinkedIn, people are in a business mindset,” Rowbottom said, arguing that many YouTube and Instagram followers may never convert to a sale or buy an influencer’s products or services.


An AFP collaborator poses for a picture using the smart phone application TikTok on December 14, 2018 in Paris. - TikTok, is a Chinese short-form video-sharing app, which has proved wildly popular this year. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images Behind that teenage TikTok star, there's probably a very confused parent

Terry agrees. “It’s different than going viral on Twitter or Facebook because of the depth of the network you have on LinkedIn,” he said. “These are business decision-makers, HR people. … The audience you’re getting in front of is a lot different.”

And when people share your content, it often results in messages to your inbox. “From a viral tweet, I’m going to get very little inbound action,” he said.

However, some LinkedIn influencers said the platform is far behind other social networks in terms of features and support for content creators. The company didn’t launch the ability to record or upload a video until 2017; a year later, it finally launched livestreaming, called LinkedIn Live, to a limited group of users. Last week, the company announced it would be testing Stories – a format pioneered by Snapchat back in 2013, which has been widely copied by others including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube in recent years.

LinkedIn also removes metrics such as view counts from posts after a certain amount of time, which makes it impossible for content creators to evaluate the performance of old posts. (LinkedIn said it’s working on making view counts available indefinitely, and offering more tools for creators, including the ability to schedule posts and have more insights into their audience.)

“I can see how a 25-year-old or a millennial or someone who is social media savvy could log on for a bit, explore around, experience some of the glitches or just lack of built-out features … and I can see how people could just be turned off, and be like ‘Dude, this platform is whack,’ and then they leave,” Rowbottom said. “It’s also good for me because there’s no competition.”

(Video) Talent Connect Day 1

For Wakefield, at least, none of those issues seem to dampen his enthusiasm for the platform. He’s found success on LinkedIn translates to success offline with his plumbing company.

“It helps my business grow,” he said. “I get calls all the time that say, ‘We watch Roger on LinkedIn. We have a plumbing problem, and we want to get you all to come look at it.’”


Who is the biggest influencer on LinkedIn? ›

Top 20 Most followed Influencers on LinkedIn 2022
  • Bill Gates. 35.9 Million. USA.
  • Richard Branson. 19.7 Million. UK.
  • Jeff Weiner. 10.7 Million. USA.
  • Arianna Huffington. 10.15 Million. USA.
  • Satya Nadella. 10.06 Million. USA.
  • Mark Cuban. 7.57 Million. USA.
  • Tony Robbins. 7.24 Million. USA.
  • Melinda Gates. 7.18 Million. USA.
Nov 20, 2022

Who had the most followers on LinkedIn? ›

1. Bill Gates – Co-chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What are the top LinkedIn influencers called as? ›

What is a LinkedIn influencer? A LinkedIn influencer is a thought leader within a particular industry who shares organic content to a large LinkedIn audience. We'll learn why being a LinkedIn influencer is so valuable. And why it's often a much better investment than becoming a Twitter influencer.

How many followers is considered an influencer on LinkedIn? ›

The general consensus for becoming a LinkedIn influencer is to accrue at least 1,000 followers. It's also important to post regular content on your LinkedIn profile, sharing ideas and thoughts on a regular basis.

Who is the number 1 influencer? ›

Kylie Jenner, American influencer/reality TV star, 450 million followers – Not many social media personalities can keep up with the reach of this businesswoman and socialite.

How many millionaires are there on LinkedIn? ›

37% of millionaires are LinkedIn members

If you're keen to get yourself on the super-rich list, signing up to LinkedIn could be the way to start. LinkedIn is the second most popular social media platform amongst the wealthy elite after Facebook.

Do LinkedIn influencers get paid? ›

They do not get paid by LinkedIn. But they may get paid by brand deals. However, the amount and type of compensation depends on the agreement between the brand and the influencer. Sometimes an influencer will be given free products in exchange for a review or mention on social media.

Are any famous people on LinkedIn? ›

Barack Obama, Martha Stewart, and Diplo Have LinkedIn Profiles.

What are the 4 types of influencers? ›

4 Different Types of Influencers Based on Follower Count
  • #1: Micro-influencers. Number of followers: 5,000 — 100,000. ...
  • #2: Mid-tier influencers. Number of followers: 100,000 — 500,000. ...
  • #3: Macro-influencers. Number of followers: 500,000 — 1M. ...
  • #4: Mega-influencers. Number of followers: 1M+
Oct 7, 2022

Who is the biggest social influencer? ›

The top 5 most followed Instagram celebrity influencers are:
  • Cristiano Ronaldo @cristiano (537M followers)
  • Lionel Messi @leomessi (422M followers)
  • Kylie Jenner @kyliejenner (378M followers)
  • Selena Gomez @selenagomez (372M followers)
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson @therock (359M followers)
Feb 14, 2023

Who is the 1 social media influencer? ›

Who Has the Most Overall Followers on Social Media?
RankNameTotal Followers
#1Cristiano Ronaldo517M
#2Justin Bieber455M
#3Ariana Grande429M
#4Selena Gomez425M
6 more rows
May 14, 2021

How much do LinkedIn influencers charge per post? ›

Mega influencers charge between `1-5 lakh per post while nano-influencers charge up to `2,000 per post but most often end up in deals where they accept samples or products from the brand. “At the moment brands are setting aside around 30-40% of their influencer marketing budgets for nano-influencers,” Gupta says.

How much do LinkedIn influencers charge? ›

If we were to use the follower count perspective, an influencer with 10,000 followers can potentially charge $100 per post while those with 100,000 followers can earn $1,000 per post. Big influencers with 1 million followers and above could charge $10,000 per sponsored post.

How many followers do you need to be a full time influencer? ›

1,000–10,000 followers = Nano-influencer. 10,000–50,000 followers = Micro-influencer. 50,000–500,000 followers = Mid-tier influencer. 500,000–1,000,000 followers = Macro-influencer.

Who is the highest paid influencer? ›

20 Highest-Paid Instagram Influencers
  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) Number of Followers: 545 M. ...
  2. Leo Messi (@leomessi) Number of Followers: 427 M. ...
  3. Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner) ...
  4. Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) ...
  5. Dwayne Johson (@therock) ...
  6. Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) ...
  7. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian) ...
  8. Beyonce Knowles (@beyonce)
Feb 16, 2023

Who is the biggest TikTok influencer? ›

The most popular TikTok influencer is Charli D'amelio, who has over 148 million followers. Other TikTok influencers with high follower counts include Bella Poarch (92.4m), Addison Rae (88.7m), and Zach King (70.9m).

What do people use LinkedIn the most for? ›

The following statistics show how successful the platform is at connecting professionals with the right job.
  • 101 Job Seekers Submit an Application on LinkedIn Every Second. ...
  • Every Minute 8 People Are Hired on LinkedIn. ...
  • There Was an 88% Increase in Hires in 2022. ...
  • 57% of Job Seekers Use LinkedIn to Find New Job Opportunities.
Feb 23, 2023

What industry uses LinkedIn the most? ›

Information Technology and Services use LinkedIn the most.

The second-most-popular industry on LinkedIn is Hospital Health Care, followed by Construction, Retail, and Education Management. These top five are usually at the top from year to year.

What profession has the most millionaires? ›

In broader terms, the finance and investment profession has the most millionaires.

Do billionaires use LinkedIn? ›

Using the Forbes List for the Richest People on the Planet, I went about finding who on the list is on LinkedIn. In addition to that? It's just hard to tell if the people are real. I do know that less than 20% of the world's billionaires are on LinkedIn.

Is LinkedIn losing popularity? ›

LinkedIn is not dying—it's just changing.

Just looking at it based on user account, they now have over 660 million people on the platform. And that number is still growing. The so called "death" we think we're witnessing with LinkedIn is actually just change. The way people have used it has changed dramatically.

Who are the highest paid social influencers? ›

These are the highest paid social media influencers:
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, who makes $2,4 million per sponsored post.
  • Kylie Jenner, who earns nearly $1,8 million per sponsored post.
  • Selena Gomez, who makes nearly $1,7 million per sponsored post.
  • Kim Kardashian-West, who makes $1,6 million per sponsored post.
Feb 1, 2023

What happens when you get 5000 connections on LinkedIn? ›

Do you know what happens to your profile when you get 5,000 connections on LinkedIn? Absolutely nothing! Well, to be clear, nothing actually happens to your profile. But with 5,000 contacts you open yourself up to that many more opportunities.

How many LinkedIn followers is a lot? ›

The average number of connections per LinkedIn profile is around the 500-999 mark. So logic suggests the more people you are connected with on LinkedIn, the higher the total engagement score (likes, re-shares, comments, etc) vs. someone with a lower count.

Are people dating on LinkedIn? ›

This is also why, on the flip side, some people have boldly turned to social media platforms outside of dating sites in their quest for love. One example: LinkedIn. Despite it being designed to be a professional networking site, some have openly blogged about finding their significant other via the platform.

Do professionals still use LinkedIn? ›

LinkedIn is the most widely used professional network available today.

Who is the average LinkedIn user? ›

57.2% of LinkedIn users are males, while 42.8% are females. People aged 25 to 34 account for 59.1% of the LinkedIn user base.

What is another name for an influencer? ›

Sometimes, influencers are also called leaders, bellwethers, motivators, inspirers, trendsetters, fashionistas, or celebrities.

Who is an example of an influencer? ›

This is the most important characteristic when targeting the right influencers for your brand. For example, Justin Bieber is known as one of the most “influential” social media users with his 37+ million followers. Would his tweet about your software really bring in sales, though?

How much money does the average influencer make? ›

How much does a Social Media Influencer make? As of Mar 3, 2023, the average annual pay for a Social Media Influencer in the United States is $57,262 a year.

Who is the most-followed person on all social media? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo has one of the most popular Instagram accounts as of January 2023. The Portuguese footballer is the most-followed person on the photo sharing app platform with 539 million followers.

Who is the most famous influencer on Facebook? ›

The Top 10 Influencers on Facebook in 2023
  1. Cristiano Ronaldo. With 161m followers, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most popular athletes on Facebook. ...
  2. Shakira. ...
  3. Will Smith. ...
  4. Lionel Messi. ...
  5. Vin Diesel. ...
  6. Rihanna. ...
  7. Eminem. ...
  8. Justin Bieber.

What do influencers spend their time doing? ›

They make regular posts about that topic on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. Brands love social media influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.

Do you pay influencers before or after? ›

This decision is entirely up to the brand but data suggests that influencers prefer to be paid upfront for their content. Research highlights that 68% of influencers require brands to pay them before they begin their sponsorship.

How much should a beginner influencer charge per post? ›

Nano influencers (1000 - 10,000 followers): $10 - $100 per post. Micro influencers (10,000 - 50,000 followers): $100 - $500 per post. Mid-tier influencers (50,000 - 500,000 followers): $500 - $5,000 per post. Macro influencers (500,000 - 1,000,000 followers): $5000 - $10,000 per post.

How do you get paid for LinkedIn followers? ›

How to buy LinkedIn followers?
  1. 🔵 Go to a site that offers this feature: below, we recommend two reliable sites that we have tested.
  2. 🔵 Enter the URL of your LinkedIn profile or company page.
  3. 🔵 Select the offer of your choice: usually it's per 100 subscribers.
  4. 🔵 Proceed to payment.

How much does Instagram pay for 1,000 views? ›

How much do you get paid for 1,000 views on Instagram. According to research from Influencer Marketing Hub and Neil Schaffer, a social media marketing expert, you could expect to earn: $10 – $100 for 1000 to 10,000 followers. Genrally, the CPM is between $5 and $10 per 1,000 views, but it can range from as low as $0.

How much does an influencer with 100k followers make? ›

For instance, less famous influencers with up to 10k followers may set their rates at $25-$50 per post, an established one with 30-80k followers may charge $150 or $350 a post, while a celebrity with over 100k followers can charge between $1,000 and $500,000 a post. They use other factors when setting these figures.

Do influencers pay for followers? ›

Additionally, research conducted by IMAI, my company's influencer marketing technology that analyzes 130 million profiles, revealed that 1 in 4 Instagram influencers purchased 15% of their total followers and every 3 in 4 influencers purchased over 10,000 followers.

How much does an influencer with 50k followers make? ›

This is the average price range of a single post on an Instagram influencer page. The cost varies depending on what tier the influencers are in.
The more followers they have, the higher the price sets.
Influencer TierFollower RangeRate per Post in USD
Mid-tier50k – 500k500-3,000
4 more rows

How much does an influencer with 1 million followers make per post? ›

Instagram influencers' earnings can vary widely depending on their niche, their audience size, and the type of content they produce. For example, an influencer with 1 million followers could potentially earn anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 per sponsored post.

How much Instagram pay for 2 million followers? ›

How much do Instagram influencers make with 2 million followers? Nano influencers (having between 1K and 10K followers) earn $1,420 per month, for an average annual income of around $17,000. Mega influencers (having over 1 million followers) earn $15,356 per month, totaling an average annual income of over $180,000.

Who are the main LinkedIn users? ›

190.0 million users aged 18 to 24 (21.7% of LinkedIn's total ad audience) 520.0 million users aged 25 to 34 (60.0% of LinkedIn's total ad audience) 120.0 million users aged 35 to 54 (15.4% of LinkedIn's total ad audience) 21.0 million users aged 55 and above (2.8% of LinkedIn's total ad audience)

How much do followers cost on LinkedIn? ›

✨ For LinkedIn, you have the possibility to buy followers or likes. You have several options when it comes to purchasing LinkedIn followers, in increments ranging from 100 to 10,000 subs and prices that range from $8.99 to $299.99!

Who is the biggest influencer on TikTok? ›

The most popular TikTok influencer is Charli D'amelio, who has over 148 million followers. Other TikTok influencers with high follower counts include Bella Poarch (92.4m), Addison Rae (88.7m), and Zach King (70.9m).

Do millionaires use LinkedIn? ›

41% of millionaires use LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn doesn't mean you'll become a millionaire.

Who is LinkedIn best for? ›

Who should be joining LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a platform for anyone who is looking to advance their career. This can include people from various professional backgrounds, such as small business owners, students, and job seekers.

What type of users does LinkedIn target the most? ›

With its niche business network, it is one of the only social media platforms that is specific for business professionals.


1. Catch Randal Constant on the #PirateBroadcast™
(Russ Johns)
2. Personal Branding: Driving Revenue, Influencer Marketing and Growth Hacking with Brittany Krystle
3. Google+ for Business - just about everything you'll need to know!
(Plus Your Business)
4. 15 Ways to Market Your #PublicAdjusting Business on Facebook
5. LinkedIn for Business Leverage Your Network
(Louisville Small Business Development Center)
6. How to grow your business via influencer marketing with Mike Allton
(InVideo For Content Creators)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 01/20/2023

Views: 5683

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.