How to Get Noticed by Influencers

Influencers are excellent connections to have for many reasons, especially if you’re looking to build your credibility, produce better content (e.g. interviews) and increase your visibility. However, in order to create these partnerships, you first need to establish a connection with which can be challenging. You are an unknown quantity; influencers are often inundated with requests to connect and you have little to offer the influencer to incentivize them to connect with you.

How to begin a productive relationships with influencers

  1. Have a contribution mindset. Intelligent discussions are what get you on an influencer’s radar. He or she is more likely to notice you if you contribute content that helps their audience. Actions speak louder than words; an influencer is less impressed by compliments and more responsive to content that helps them deliver value to their followers. How can you add value? Some suggestions: create an infographic based on one of their posts; produce a checklist of useful tips; design a logo; write an article that gets you noticed. This last point is important. It’s easy to put an influencer on a pedestal and forget to create work worthy of notice yourself. In other words, you don’t need someone else’s permission or endorsement to be an influencer in your own right. One of the best ways to do this is to write a book, for example.
  2. Study the influencer’s work. Take the time to study blogs/profiles of your chosen influencers. Study their website, read their books, read their About page. If their work is closely related to yours, is there a way you can collaborate? What topic are they specifically interested in at the moment? What are the latest trends and developments in their field? Research the topic and share your findings with the influencer. Are there relevant case studies or articles related to your influencer’s field that can help them?
  3. Start interacting. Start with retweeting, commenting and linking to the expert’s content (many influencers have their blogs set up so they are alerted when someone links back to them). What you want them to see when they visit your site is content that’s useful, engaging and consistent, as well as relevant to them. Don’t hesitate to tweet them if you’ve referenced their post. Of course, your website and your social media have to offer top level user experience – the influencers reading them are going to be experts and won’t be impressed by amateur landing pages and poor content. Show them you’re serious about your work.
  4. Manage your interactions. After Twitter exchanges, contributing and adding value, you and your influencer have grasped an idea of each other, and it is time to take your relationship to the next level, so to speak. Invite them to a webinar or interview them for your website/podcast. Most experts will agree to the request if they like what you’re doing or can see an opportunity to extend their reach.
         If they post case studies related to their product, submit your own. If they accept guest posts, send them a tweet followed by a direct message detailing your proposal. Of course, your messages don’t have to be textual. Some influencers would, for example, be impressed by you making a personalized video where you detail your proposal to them. Be professional, not gimmicky. Basically, a good way to impress an influencer is to show them what you can do for them in a way different from the majority.
  5. Set a tangible connection goal. Setting targets for yourself is a good way to stay focused and make progress. Do you want to establish relationships with a certain number of influencers? Or are you looking to foster a connection with a specific one or several? Whatever the case is, you need to keep that goal in mind and all times and try to meet it within the time period you set for yourself.
    Be selective about the influencers you want to connect with. If an influencer is famous but not particularly relevant to what you do, don’t be afraid to pass. In fact, make a point of connecting with lesser-known influencers – they are more receptive to being approached. What makes an influencer can be subjective. Someone may be working on “the next great thing” but are, for the time being, unknown. Make a point of connecting with people who might be tomorrow’s stars.
  6. Meet them at live events. Are your influencers scheduled to speak at or attend industry events? Face-to-face is by far the best and easiest way to connect with them. Make it a priority to attend the main events of your industry. (John Lee Dumas, the founder of the six-figure per month podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, credits the beginning of his success to attending a leading event where he made enough contacts to get his show off the ground).

Takeaway points

  1. Building meaningful connections takes time.
  2. Approach influencers with a service/contribution mindset, i.e. what can you give rather than what you can take.
  3. In your quest to connect with influencers, don’t forget to create meaningful work yourself – you may be an influencer in your own right without knowing it. Influencers may look at what you’re doing and see you as a peer.

Action steps

  1. What value are you going to bring to help your chosen influencer? How can you help their audience? Perhaps you have valuable information to share? Then offer to write a guest post. Or produce a helpful infographic poster. Or offer a Q&A video. Use your imagination. How can you help your influencer? Do this without expecting or asking for anything in return.
  2. If you’re just starting out and want to connect with influencers, start with those who are on a similar level to you. These could be unknown experts in your field. It’s remarkable how quickly you can grow a network of contacts in this way without even trying: your contacts will refer you to people they know and so on.
  3. Work on building your own influence.

Photo credit: Neil Howard via / CC BY-NC 2.0

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