When you first read the title of this post you might think it’s a useless read. Really now, how hard could it be to talk to people who have the same interests as you?
You could simply say ‘hi’ on social media, drop them an email or show up at an event they are participating in and connect like that.
While some of the above tactics might actually work, that will be solely by accident. And it’s not because you don’t have good communication skills or you aren’t a nice presence but because we are talking about influencers.
Read more: An introduction to influencer marketing
4 Tips on how to approach influencers in your niche
They could be the nicest of people, very open and communicative (they kind of have to be to in order to be successful) but they are almost certainly flooded with friend and promotion requests.
So, here are some tips on how to go about it and what to avoid.
Build yourself first
Since your goal is to convince influencers to promote your online course, it’s compulsory to have it done and get some positive feedback on it. It’s important for them to feel you are worth knowing and your product is qualitative enough to associate with.
Influencers have to be very mindful of what or who they endorse. The online environment is a highly dynamic one and any mistake could lead to a decrease in followers.
In order to get them to even consider vouching for you, your digital presence has to be genuine and credible. It’s good if you can showcase your expertise or, if you are only starting out in that field, display your real interest and willingness to make an effort to constantly improve.
Even if your purpose is to increase your follower base with the aid of influencers, you have to already act as if you had a great audience – post frequently, answer questions, engage those who are already onboard.
Do your homework
With some influencers, it should be fairly easy to figure out how they are reachable as they post the information on their pages.
Others may be a little harder to decipher as they could have multiple social media accounts. It’s important for them to be present in various digital venues but surely, they have a preferred one.
That also goes for you, when you set about in promoting your course. Even if you are most comfortable on Facebook, it might just be that you can get people talking about you on Twitter or Instagram.
Read more: Social media platforms to consider when marketing your online course
Find out where your target audience and the influencers who speak to them hang out, go there and blend in. The principle of liking is of the utmost importance in today’s highly social digital environment. People from all over the world come together because they feel they have something in common and are on the same (albeit virtual) page.
Help them grow and maintain their own audience
Even if you don’t yet have very many people following you, there are still things you can do to expand the audience of the influencers in your niche. Sharing their posts, re-tweeting their tweets or linking your blog posts to their pages are a few ways of helping out.
It’s also good if you mention them in your own posts or even in the offline environment if you are invited to talk to an event or participate in a conference.
Furthermore, if you have your own blog, you could ask to interview them for it. This will show genuine interest and your willingness to make an effort for them as well instead of simply asking for recommendations.
As for keeping the existing audience active, you have to get involved in the community. This means more than just follow and hit the like button. You have to leave comments and reply to the comments of other users and even create content from time to time.
Don’t be insulted if you don’t get an answer
Moving into the ‘what to avoid’ area, it’s important you do not take things personal. Even if the online environment has a very open feel to it, what you are looking for from influencers is to help you with your business.
As you can easily imagine, they probably have a lot of such requests and the fact that they don’t mind yours does not mean they dismiss you personally.
It’s alright if you want to try again and work at building a relationship but do not turn into a stalker. Calling them out on social media and throwing a digital fit because you didn’t get a response is a clear way of getting attention – the negative kind.
It’s better to revise your list and go about it in a dispassionate manner. Surely, you’ll get answers from some influencers and the most successful partnerships are with those who chose you anyway.
All in all
The key to convincing influencers to endorse and promote you is to do so for them in the first place. If you focus on building a relationship before asking for something, the results will be both visible and positive.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.