Are you actively trying to engage established names within your niche? Are you not doing it because you think it is a waste of time, and there is little chance of success? Those are the first steps to setting up yourself for failure, because the right way to do is to start (try) no matter what. It’s possible to make relationships with established names, you only have to trust yourself, and be confident enough to prove your worth.
Whether through social media or email, actively pursuing top names to share my content and to leave feedback for it, has not only helped me to understand this particular niche better, but it has helped me to land some amazing opportunities and relationships along the way. Some of the content here on CodeCondo has been shared over 100,000 times — and it would not have been possible without the participation of great talent.
The road is bumpy, but if you keep going and never think about giving up, you eventually arrive at your destination — with a few lessons learned, and some interesting exchanges under your belt. It’s up to you to decide what is the main purpose to reach out to influencers, but here is the four steps to put in place once you do.
1. Who are they?
First of, we need to know who the influencers are. There are several ways of finding out who the main influencers in your niche are, one is to use services such as Klout, the other is to use the Google Search engine to look for specific topics in your niche and see who’s ranking at the top for them. Hootsuite wrote about this last year.
I recommend to look for individuals, rather than companies, because companies are usually run by an individual anyway. I learned that it’s important to find people who are truly passionate about their work, and spend most of their time dedicated to their craft — because this puts them in front of other like-minded people, who could then become your allies as you begin to establish your first influencer relationships.
2. What do they do?
If you follow the techniques above, eventually you will end up with a number of people who are your potential influencers. Feel free to follow them around and engage them neutrally where possible. The next step is to learn a little bit more about them through their social media activities:
- What exactly they represent and what is their main medium of outreach? Is it an app, a blog, or a website?
- What kind of content are they sharing on regular basis? Can you match this?
- Who are they mostly engaging with? Replying to “customers” or being free to talk to anyone?
- What’s their most shared/popular content you can find, and can you resonate with it?
it saves you time from having to email them and ask these questions individually. The influencer in hand will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to get to know them before reaching out. It’s just how it works.
3. Start talking to them.
Once you’ve got the above nicely done and organized, you’re pretty much ready to send out your first outreach campaign. I do recommend that you get straight with yourself about the reasons of reaching out, and whether you’re able to back yourself up on your promises. If you’re looking for a guest blogging opportunity — make sure that you’re capable of providing content that will be of quality that of the influencer himself.
It’s not up to you to tell an influencer that your product is ‘market-leading’ or ‘at the cusp of innovation.’ People can make their own minds up about that.
Just tell them, in plain English, what your product or campaign is all about and why you think it would interest them. The more honest and human you are, the less likely they are to ignore you. — Jack Simpson
If you’ve written an article and have given them a mention, be brief about your notification to them. Keep it sweet, but short. There’s no need to write a long introduction that nobody is going to read, and will in fact use against you, keeping it short is what most of internet communication is about anyway.
4. Continue to grow…
Your first successes will be the turning points for understanding how to talk to and how to communicate with an influencer. One day, you might actually end up being one yourself, so the journey is well-worth learning. On top of that, I also recommend that you continue keeping a sweet relationship with those influencers who found the time to be kind to you, even if that means flying out to another country to spend time in an isolated conference for a few days in their presence. Anything that could give you, your ideas, and your product the boost that it needs.