Influencer marketing is among the most popular methods of growing a business through the social media platform. Influencers have the eyes and ears of hundreds of thousands (and in some cases, millions) of individuals. Their status, reach and willingness to work with businesses makes them a perfect asset for marketing.
But some companies have yet to realize how impactful influencers can be and are reluctant to tap into this form of marketing. Below, 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council share some crucial advice for businesses who are interested in developing a business relationship with influencers but don’t know how to get the ball rolling.
1. Get To Know The Influencer
Take the time to research the influencer and investigate whether your business is really a fit for their audience, before you reach out. Get to know the influencer and understand why people follow that person, then align your pitch to that. Your pitch will be more personalized and effective, and then, when it’s a genuine fit, it will make your influencer more excited to offer you to their audience. – Natalie Ehmka, Natalie Ehmka Coaching & Consulting
2. Confirm Value Alignment First
Influencers create amazing buzz around products, services and even brands, but before partnering up, make sure your values align first. Do your research, get referrals and see their work firsthand! It’s scary to attach your brand to someone else’s, as so much can go wrong. But, if done properly, so much can go right! Ensure proper vetting before taking the leap. – Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken Mastermind Coaching
3. Make Authentic Contact
Research the influencer to discover a recent piece of content they published that you can comment on or purchase their products. When you make contact, you have a better chance of being remembered. Rather than only asking, start off giving. Give them an interview slot on your podcast to promote their product or service and consider amplifying the interview with a press and media release that you promote. – Mike Saunders, MBA, Marketing Huddle, LLC
4. Begin With A Win-Win
Begin with the end in mind. Reciprocity is always a win-win. When reaching out to a marketing influencer, be sure to know about their specific expertise before trying to connect. When you do reach out, be sure to emphasize how collaboration with your business will be a benefit to their bottom line. Authentic connection is most rewarding when all parties benefit from the collaboration. – Dr. Melissa Weathersby, 5-Star Empowerment
5. Build Trust With An Agreement
A marketing influencer contract establishes a foundation to empower and motivate influencers to achieve success in key target markets and help convert the people into loyal customers. Agreed-upon terms will ensure proper management and execution of commitment and results, enabling high consumer loyalty and trust for the company’s brand, products and services. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
6. Articulate Both Value Propositions
You may be able to recruit a few influencers who owe you a favor. But to be truly successful in influencer marketing, there needs to be a quid pro quo. You need to be clear about the value that you will bring to the influencer, as well as the value that you will bring to those with whom they connect you. Be prepared to clearly articulate both value propositions. – Brian Gorman, TransformingLives.Coach
7. Set Clear Goals
Set clear goals and be ready for a long haul to achieve the best results. The questions to ask are, do you want to boost your product sales, gain exposure for your services, position your brand as an industry leader, establish credibility or something else. Next, determine the influencers in your niche that you align with, begin with giving, build a relationship and then reach out with a simple ask. – Divya Parekh, DP Group
8. Make It About Them
The No. 1 thing you must do is your research on the influencer you want to collaborate with. What is meaningful to them? Make it about them and give before you ask. Engage with their content. Be specific and acknowledge what you love about their work. Offer to make an intro, or give a tip. Serve them. When you lead with a give and don’t see the person as being above you, you’ll get their attention! – Christina Jandali, Deliver Your Genius
9. Prepare A Package
If you are going to reach out to influencers, you must make it easy for them to get money and promote you. Put together a package with your sales copy, videos and pics for them to copy and paste as posts. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to promote your product. – Ryan Stewman, Break Free Academy
10. Look For A Long-Term Partner, Not A Quick Fix
I believe that a business and its influencer(s) need to have similar values, target groups and goals in order to succeed. So, have an honest conversation about your expectations, your “why,” deliverables on both sides and interests. See how you can help each other. Make it a fair deal. Give your best to build the foundations for a long-term partnership rather than looking for a quick, cheap fix. – Dr. Natalia Wiechowski, Think Natalia
11. Collide And Meld
Beginning an influencer-brand relationship is grounded in identifying commonalities between the two. How can the brand and influencer collide and meld the approach to lifestyle, aesthetics and target audiences? The answer can be found by first researching the influencer’s current social and commercial attractiveness. The interview process provides the opportunity to confirm the fit. – Deborah Hightower, Deborah Hightower, Inc.