I had such a great response to my blog post on Finding The Right Influencer To Work With that I decided to expand on the subject in more detail. Connecting with influencers is another great topic that I get asked about a lot, and it is not as simple as it sounds. You need to do more than just send someone a casual letter of introduction and hope for the best; far more than that, in fact!
When you are looking for an influencer to work alongside your business and promote a product or service, you need to make sure that they fit 100% with your brand. Perhaps you have a short list of influencers who you would love to work with, or maybe you are still in the research stages?
If you are not sure where to begin, then Buzzsumo may be helpful. If you search for a particular keyword related to your industry, you will be presented with a list of all the bloggers and writers sharing articles on your specific niche. It is a goldmine of information. Klout can also be useful in finding experts in a particular field. Just list the topic and watch the results.
Once you have a few names noted down, it is worth following their social media accounts for a while to see if they act and communicate in accordance with your values and overall mission. Don’t leave anything out – follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and watch them interact with others.
As a professional in business, you want to make sure that the personality of the influencer doesn’t overtake the value or reputation of your brand. Remember that just because you like someone, doesn’t mean that they will be the ideal influencer for you! Put all of their details into a spreadsheet for ease, noting names, company name and contact information. If all seems okay, then connect with them on social media and start to develop a relationship – regardless of how obscure you might feel. Join in conversations, comment on their blog posts, share helpful insights and engage as much as you can.
When you are comfortable with connecting with them on a personal basis, it is best to do so via email to avoid the clutter and noise of social media. A word of warning here – don’t make it all about you.
Ask yourself these questions.
- What do you want to gain from the relationship?
- What can you offer them in return?
- Why are they the right fit for your product or service?
Then pen a draft email detailing an offer that answers these questions and resonates with their market. Don’t forget to add your business and social media links in case they are not familiar with your brand. If you have not had an opportunity to transfer your free email accounts over to your business email account, then now is a good time. One of my pet peeves is when someone contacts me from a Gmail or unrecognisable email account. It just makes me think that they don’t care much about their business. 90% of the time I hit delete when I receive them. Make sure you change them over, so the same doesn’t happen to you.
As someone who runs a network of like-minded office professionals, I am constantly surprised by the number of people who blatantly ask me to promote a link which does not even fit my brand, let alone theirs. I cannot stress that you have to ensure that the deal is worthy of both the influencer and your business. It should not just be about the money – you need to find an influencer who is going to do your product or service justice.
The ultimate plan is to grow your reputation and diversify the traffic that comes your way. The process is not necessarily a fast one and sourcing and connecting with influencers will not happen overnight. Be patient and above all, diligent. It doesn’t matter whether you are a startup or have been in the industry for quite a while, the right influencer should boost your visibility and extend your connections with dramatic results.