Social media influencers are an indispensable part of the modern digital marketing landscape. Influencers are trendsetters, the kind of people who can make or break a business with one recommendation. All it takes is one collaboration with the right influencer and you can transform your business’ fortunes.
However, building a fruitful relationship with an influencer takes time, effort, and the right approach. If you want to start working with a social media influencer to sell your products and services, here’s what you need to do.
Pick the Right Influencer
The most important part of this whole process is going to be finding the right influencer to work with. If you are chasing after the wrong person then no matter what you do, you will struggle to get on their radar and get a response for them. Similarly, if you choose an influencer that you won’t be able to work well with, then even if you manage to get an interaction going with them, you won’t be able to cultivate a profitable relationship.
You need to begin by identifying who the key influencers are in your industry. If at all possible, look for someone who doesn’t just work in the same industry as you but also operates in your specific niche. The good news is that the most valuable influencers are going to have prominent public profiles, so they should be easy enough to find.
A fantastic online tool to help you here is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo will let you find the most popular content relating to a particular topic, as well as who created it and what platforms it is available on.
Follow Them and Connect With Them
Once you have identified the influencer that you want to work with, you then need to get yourself on their radar so that they know you exist. The best way to do this is to play their own game – follow them on all their profiles and look for the platform that they use the most. Once you have identified the ideal platform to reach out to them on, you can start making more detailed plans.
Remember that the biggest influencers are going to be busy people – you won’t be the only person interested in partnering up with them. You can’t simply reach out to them with a message and expect everything else to fall into place. Instead, you need to first work on getting yourself noticed. If they already know you as a long-term fan, this will be a lot easier.
Regardless of your prior contact with them, your first concern should be establishing yourself on the same social media platforms that your chosen influencer uses most. Make sure that you are regularly sharing their content and interacting with them directly. Make sure that when you comment on their content, you make your comments stand out from the rest. If you don’t have anything worthwhile to add, don’t say anything! You might end up reducing your value to them.
It is important that when you do reach out to them you aren’t just telling them what they can do for you; you will need to have something to offer them. It is, therefore, vital that you have a fully formed plan in mind already when you first make contact with your chosen influencer. If you are proposing a one-way relationship with them that disproportionately benefits you, why would an influencer want to work with you?
The most intimidating part of the entire process for many people is actually reaching out to the influencer to try and establish a long-term relationship. Your entire plan can stand or fall on the way that you introduce yourself to the influencer; get this right and everything that follows will be considerably easier.
The most important thing to remember, especially if you are pursuing multiple influencers for partnerships, is to ensure that the message you send to introduce yourself is unique and has been crafted specifically for the influencer you’re sending it to. If you use any automation software to reach out, your influencer is going to be able to tell.
Invite Them to Collaborate
Once you have a firm idea of exactly what it is that you are going to offer to your chosen influencer, you can then begin to think about potential collaborations. If you can come out the gate swinging with a strong offer to present to your influencer, they might just jump at the chance to be involved in your proposed collaboration. This doesn’t have to be your endgame, but collaboration is a fantastic way of establishing a working relationship and proving its financial viability for both of you.
Collaborating on content is effective because any social media influencer is likely to want to share any content that they had a hand in creating. The nature of both your business and the influencer you are targeting will dictate what kind of content you can collaborate on. If you are hoping for the influencer to start wearing your apparel, as an example, you could provide them with some clothes to review.
However, there are much more creative ways of collaborating. Your influencer probably receives hundreds of offers of free stuff to review every week, maybe even every day. If you want your offer to stand out from the rest, make it something more unique than the usual arrangements. If you want to build a profitable relationship with your influencer as quickly as possible, start things off on the right foot with a collaboration offer that they can’t refuse.
Once you have landed your first collaboration with an influencer, you might think the hard part is over. On the contrary, this is where the real challenge begins. You need to keep yourself on the radar of your influencers and continue to collaborate with them in mutually profitable ways. Remember, there will be numerous other businesses and individuals looking to work with your influencer. If you don’t want to be usurped, you need to continue to provide value to them, not just take it.