Despite having the technology to be connected to more people than at any other time in history, it can be difficult to get your content gets shared and you attract more visitors to your website. Everyone is competing for attention so how do you stand out and get heard?
One solution is to seek help from people who are influential within your niche. Top influencers within your niche are not only connected to large populations, they also have the ability to set the agenda and influence others to take particular actions. Hence being endorsed or promoted by a recognised thought leader will boost your standing. It will also expose you to many new connections who are eager to linked with you because you’ve been given the “cool” stamp by someone whose opinion they value.
Unfortunately, you’re not the only person looking to reach out to top influencers. They probably receive hundreds of approaches every day. Therefore if you don’t want your approach to be confined to the recycling bin or spam folder, it has to shout benefits or better still mutual benefits so that it is clear from the outset that you are seeking to build a meaningful relationship.
Here are three easy to follow tips for approaching top influencers that will start you off on the right foot
Identify a list of top influencers
As with actors there are different grades of influencers. There are the A listers and then there are the Bs and the Cs. Whilst it’s possible to engage with any grade of influencer it follows that the demand to be noticed by the A listers is going to be greater than the demand to be noticed by the minor celebrities. Consequently having a mixed list is likely to get result faster. Regardless of what category of influencer you are targeting it is wise to set some criteria for whom to include on your list based on the type of content you both share. Focusing on one or two topics per influencer will make it easier for them to discern a pattern to your engagement. If you limit your sharing and comments to a few topics it will look more like genuine engagement; as opposed to sharing every thing they post which looks more like stalking. See below for details on how to share your influencers content in the most effective way.
Build a relationship
Simply turning up and asking for a favour out of the blue is going to sound like a begging letter. The issue with begging letters is that no matter how sad the story, there is always another one immediately behind it that is just as deserving. You see the problem – how do you decide who or who not to help? What tends to happen is everyone gets ignored. On the other hand it is much easier to respond positively to someone you know like and trust. Get yourself noticed by your top influencers by commenting on their content, re sharing it or offering added insights. To do this employ the Social Media 4-1-1 strategy. Developed by Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, Social Media 4-1-1 is a sharing system that has be proven to get content sharers greater visibility with social influencers. The numbers relate to the balance between the content you share from your influencers compared to your own and your promotions
For every six pieces of content you share on any one platform, for example Google plus:
Four should be content from your influencer(s) that you are re sharing which is relevant to your audience. In other words 67% of the content you share will be focused on highlighting content from your influencers group. If this seems like a lot the up side is that you will have much more material to share.
One piece should be original, educational content that you have created.
One piece should be sales/promotion related with your call to action, e.g press releases, special offers, details of events, coupons etc.
If you highlight your influencers in this way, it may take a while but if you are consistent, eventually they will notice you and start to return your generosity by sharing your stuff or acknowledging you publicly. What’s more if you have been consistently generous over a long period of time (a few months) when you do ask them for something specific, like the opportunity to guest post, they are far more likely to respond positively.
When your influencers respond by acknowledging you or sharing your content you can take this as a clear indication that they are willing to engage with you. However, don’t immediately bombard them with requests. When you make a request it is better to be clear and specific about what you require from them and how it will be of mutual benefit. Offering something that appears to only benefits the influencer can give the impression that you are being dishonest by pretending that there isn’t anything in it for you too.
Demonstrate that you value their expertise
Everyone likes to feel flattered and influencers are no different. A sincere way to flatter anyone is to demonstrate that you value their expertise and you can do this by asking them questions. The best questions will be related to the influencer’s area of expertise or their personal journey and story rather than what you ultimately want them to do for you. Try to find less obvious questions that allows your influencer to demonstrate a particular nuance of their expertise that they may not have been able to show case in that way before. Remember the fastest way to build rapport is to listen and let people talk about themselves: asking questions is a way in which you can accomplish this online.
Connecting with top influencers is an effective way of boosting your reach and promoting yourself on line. These general rules are only a starting point. It is important that you discover the best way of reaching the people you want to influence and you can only do this by thorough research then testing and measuring your results.
Have you been successful in reaching out to influencers and having them promote your content? Please share the strategies you found to be most effective. Big Hugs
By Ola Agbaimoni
Image: “Social Media Written On Chalkboard” by KROMKRATHOG
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