Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard a lot about Snapchat, the instant video and photo sharing mobile app that has taken the world by storm the past two years. But what was once known as a mobile app to send dirty pictures actually presents an incredible opportunity for business professionals.

Think about it. How many cold emails, calls or LinkedIn messages do you get in a day? No matter how compelling your message might be, it often times gets lost in the shuffle. Snapchat is a different story. It allows you to highlight your personality in short 10-second increments and cut through the clutter. Unless you're a celebrity, you probably get significantly less messages on Snapchat than your other social networks; and that's where the business opportunity lies.

There are 5 business influencers in particular you need to start following today, each with their own unique style, flair and content focus.

  1. Mark Suster: General Partner, Upfront Ventures (msuster) - Well-known for his topical "snapstorms," Mark shares his advice for entrepreneurs around specific challenges and his thoughts on industry trends. He specializes in tech, software and SaaS, so if you're in either of those industries or looking to learn from a fellow investor, Mark is your guy for future trends and operational excellence.
  2. Gary Vaynerchuk: CEO, VaynerMedia (garyvee) - Probably the second most famous business Snapchat influencer behind DJ Khaled (more on him later), Gary Vaynerchuk personifies the hustle and "take nothing for granted" mindset of entrepreneurship. For first-time entrepreneurs or small business owners looking to grow their businesses, Gary is a must-follow account.
  3. Jordan Zimmerman: Founder & Chairman, Zimmerman Advertising (jzspeaks) - Jordan is an entrepreneur and advertising guru. Starting Zimmerman Advertising, one of the largest ad agencies in the US, from his garage as a young adult, Jordan stresses the importance of education and shares tips about the future of marketing. A must-follow account for college students interested in marketing.
  4. Virginia Salas Kastilio: Snapchat + YouTube Influencer (ginicanbreathe) - The upcoming host of the First Annual Snapchat Awards held in London, Gina is a Snapchat expert that is helping the world's largest brands figure out how to use the platform. She shares great advice for your personal social media strategy and even runs online classes you can sign up for to learn how to maximize Snapchat!
  5. DJ Khaled (djkhaled305) - What Snapchat list is complete without a DJ Khaled reference? While his daily posts more regularly will make you laugh and shake your head, don't underestimate the business advice he sprinkles in, including his "major keys" to success and making sure you avoid "they". It's also refreshing to see people we associate with the pinnacle of success still staying up late into the night working on their craft.

There you have it! Plenty of great content to be learned from the above five influencers. If you're interested in more entrepreneurship or startup content, a quick plug, feel free to follow me on Snapchat at jlacoste as well!