Being a small business starter grappling with the existing businesses feels daunting. It’s intimidating, and we’ve all been there. Hardly any business owner started without the anxiety, but that’s part of the task. One of your tasks as a newbie is to find people who can help you send your message to more people. We used to pay advertisers to do it. However, as people are fleeing ads, if not ignoring, them a new strategy has recently arisen in response to the widespread cynicism against ads.
Because influencer marketing involves content marketing — as a matter of fact, they go hand in hand — it makes sense to do both. In other words, incorporate content generation and marketing strategies into your goal to get to influencers.
Identify the influencers first! They are the people in your niche with established reputation, people who have huge numbers of followers. They may be experts in your niche. They may be hobbyists. The common denominator is they have lots of followers and lots of engagement in their posts. Best of all, their followers trust them.
Write to them!
It may seem like a stupid idea but one that’s worth trying. After all, you can just move forward if you don’t get any response or you get a rejection reply — very much like what you’d do when applying for jobs. Sorry about the comparison, but it somewhat feels like you’re hunting for a job.
Pitching is basic. You have to be concise and upfront. Introduce yourself. Do a bit of flattery. Tell them you’ve heard great things about them. Then get right to the point.
More importantly, express what they may gain from helping you (e.g. greater reach and opportunity to showcase their expertise). Give them a reason to help you.
Use the social media.
When your emails get ignored, try to contact them via social media channels. This is why we still use Twitter. It’s a frill-free affair. They get the message they are tagged in, and it signals them to act on it, unless they are really uninterested. Sure, it’s scary, but you won’t find anyone willing to check your brand out if you take zero risks.
Stroke their ego.
Make them think that you view them as esteemed experts in the industry and because of that you need them to share an idea, tip, or advice. When they do share a piece of their expertise with your audience, you will, of course, feature them. That seems counterintuitive. It’s like driving your own people to them. That’s okay. It’s actually good for your reputation that your people find you making connections with reputable personalities in your field.
In many cases, the other person may just reciprocate, featuring you on their social media channels and driving their audience to your pages. The goal is to make them reciprocate.
Once you established that connection, nurture it. No, don’t bombard them with daily inspirational quotes. Instead, treat them like you would treat professional associates. Send them weekly emails. Share how much their tip or advice has helped you. Respond to their posts. Be friendly with their followers!
Make deeper connections by suggesting projects you can do together, such as doing a demo together on live video or hosting a contest or an event your followers can participate in. And when they do ask you to be part of their project, be attentive and proactive! That’s your chance right there. Seize it!