Don’t limit your search to celebrities with a large following. Influencers have unique and niche audiences. People interested in particular topics follow influencers in those topics closely. It’s in your best benefit to find these influencers. The engagement they are getting from their followers is more important than their follower count. In this stage, ask questions like:
- What areas or topics should we look for influencers in?
- What type of engagement are we looking to get? How big should these influencers be?
- What are some actionable goals that you’re looking to get out of this?
The second question is important. It’ll determine what influencers you reach out to, and how long the process of getting coverage will take.
2. Keep up to date with content they post
You should engage in their stories and persona. Understanding their story helps you understand how you can engage with them. Since even influencers get approached a lot, it’s in your benefit to know their audience. In this stage, ask questions like:
- What could your business offer them?
- What are you looking to get from this influencer? (Post on their social media accounts, review of your product, a contest, etc.)
You can begin by liking their work, posting comments, and other ways to showing that you’re a fan of their work. At this point you can email them about their work, and just start forming a relationship. Don’t pitch them your client yet. Spend some time for them to get to know you.
Follow their work across multiple social networks. If they’re an Instagram influencer, also follow their Twitter, Blog posts, etc.
4. Understand your angle
Now that you have a good idea of their content and audience, it’s time to devise a strategy. You should think and answer some of these questions:
- What’s the time frame that I’m looking at? (If you want to put time pressure on them)
- What am I looking to get out of contacting these influencers? (Sales?)
- What do I think the influencer will get out of partnering with my client? (More followers?)
- What type of content do I want them to share?
- How am I going to approach the influencer? What will I try sell them on?
It’s helpful to understand benefits to both sides, and also evaluating your understanding of their audience. You’re more likely to pitch successfully if you understand what their audience wants.
5. Pitch them your idea
Compile your ideas, and send them an actionable plan. Demonstrate that you understand their audience, and have been following their work.
6. Let them experience your product
If they’re going to be posting about your product - let them experience it. Walk them through the different aspects of your product, and let them use it. This will give them a feel for what they’re posting to their audience, and allow them to fall in love with your product. If it’s a product that their followers will enjoy, they should enjoy it too.
7. Give them respect and creative control
Influencers understand their audience and have a vision for their work. You can give them suggestions, and an overview of the story. But, you should let them come up with the material they are going to share. Be respectable of how they work, and their ideas. They’re sharing your product to their audience for free.
8. Share their posts across social media
Help them share their content across your client’s and your own social media. It’ll help them get more followers, and be exposed to a larger audience. It’s a great way to thank them for their work, and also increase the readership of the post.