Having one or two influencers to guide you can have significant impact on you personally as well as on your business. Not only can you learn a lot from them, the kind of respect that they command helps you connect with others. The Internet – especially social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter – has made it extremely easy to connect with such influencers.
Let me tell you some of the ways I connect with these folks:
Facebook and LinkedIn are the two places that have helped me a lot when it comes to connecting with influencers. I get a 10/10 when I approach them because I have something to offer them. It is usually an interview in any of the magazines I write for, or a mention in an article, and I am more than glad to pick their brains. They are happy to be featured as it gives them good publicity.
Let’s say you don’t have anything to offer. What do you do? Look at their businesses – is there any way you could help them improve their business? Something as simple as even editing a blog post of theirs is enough for them to acknowledge your existence. Remember, it is all about the ‘give’.
I had the opportunity to talk to two entrepreneurs who will guide us through connecting with influencers.
Hira Saeed is a columnist at VentureBeat and Entrepreneur. She defines herself as a tech geek girl who is a writer by passion and a social media & PR consultant by profession. Her experience ranges from remote jobs, startup entrepreneurship, and consultancy to event management and senior-level marketing positions.
“Influencers are humans! Yes, believe it or not, they breathe the same air. Ha! Jokes apart, there is no rocket science involved in connecting with them. What matters is the way you connect with them. Your influencer marketing strategy should not revolve around making connections with influencers but rather making relationships.
“My personal approach is to study the influencer as you would study any subject or research any topic. Read what they write about, learn from their story, pick their niche, and try to initiate a conversation that gets their attention; otherwise, your email or message will stay unread for years, trust me!
To begin with, follow these steps.
- Read whatever they have written so far. (On their blogs, for example)
- Follow them on Twitter and drop them some tweets and retweets. (Please don’t annoy)
- Craft your pitch centered on their content and writing style. (Don’t copy/paste their words, please)
- Take a kind follow-up. (After two weeks)
- If nothing of these works, DO NOT FEEL DISAPPOINTED. (Disappointment doesn’t work either)
- Move to point 3 and work on it until you get it right. (Now, was that too hard?)”
Bhupinder Nayyar is the founder of Burffee, a platform to tell meaningful stories through writings, photos, and videos.
He says, “Influencers don’t want to devalue their time. They can’t say yes to everything. Influencers want to grow upward and they can’t hang out with people who are just beginning in their careers. If you want to connect with influencers online, first, list down people you want to connect with. Analyze what their interests are, what they are into these days, what they are doing (but don’t stalk), and then be genuinely interested in their work.
“How? By appreciating their work, commenting on their Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter posts, giving them feedback, and creating a human connection. Human connection is very important, and you have to start figuring out what value you can give them which can help them grow upward. It can be ideas for their business which can maximize their revenues, it can be constructive feedback for their business/marketing strategies, or you can even recommend books to them.
“You should always be figuring out ways to be in touch with them, be around them, and be genuinely helpful subject to have nothing in return. It’s challenging, but when you want to be in the circle of influencers, you have to be a giver, and that is a likable factor which will help you develop meaningful relations with influencers.
“But hey, remember, it will take a couple of months; you have to be patient, and always anticipate failures. If they don’t revert, wait for a couple of weeks then follow up; but don’t get upset, as this process will frustrate you sometimes, but you should take it as a challenge.”
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