There are many experts recognized worldwide with a wide reach that can help you build your business.
They can support you by giving advice, sharing their experience or even giving tips on how to grow in the market.
If your relationship grows stronger and lasts longer, those influencers might even help you promote your company image.
But first thing’s first.
Before you can take advantage of all these perks, you need to find the influencers, get in touch with them and make them interested and engaged.
But how do you do that, knowing that your ‘targets’ are extremely busy and used to people trying to contact them?
This question may seem trivial, but do you know exactly who your audience is?
Do you know their expectations, priorities and objectives? Are you aware of where and how they function on the internet?
After all, you need to know what and who they listen to in order to identify the influencers that appeal to them in your industry. Both, in order to reach out to your community, as well as to be aware what people are most followed.
To speed up the process, I use Brand24, which provides tools for monitoring the internet.
In my project, you can see that I have set keywords that relate not only to my brand (so that I know who, when, how often and in what context talks about it), but also those that relate to my business.
Thanks to that, I can see ongoing discussions and I can get involved and offer assistance.
A feature that is very useful in Brand24, is a tab called “most popular authors”.
It allows me to reach people who speak on topics that interest me and find out who is the most popular influencer online.
It’s also important that at the same time I gain access to other sources: blogs, forums and comments.
Even if their range is smaller, the content can be very valuable and the co-operation itself can still bring mutual benefits.
It is essential that you really know the influencers you’re approaching.
I know how tempting is to automate your messages when you want to reach a lot of people in a short period of time.
In the end, the statistics should work, right?
No, that’s not necessarily the case.
Relationships are based largely on emotions and feelings, and can be quite resistant to cold outreach attempts.
Believe me, it is extremely easy to figure out if that the message you just sent also went to 120 other people.
A custom message, that is individualised and was written specifically for the influencer, puts you in a much better light.
Do good research.
What exactly is “your expert” interested in? Maybe they’ve just written an article, a book, recorded a cool podcast and maybe bought a dog? Try to think broadly.
There’s a human being on the other end of that ethernet cable.
If you show that you have put effort into it, to learn more about them and their work, it won’t go unnoticed (and will even probably be appreciated).
Let’s be honest here, I know that you want to reach the influencer for one reason (excuse the directness) – because there’s something you want from them.
Perhaps, it’s to familiarizing them with your product, make them try it, telling them about it or even promoting it to their customers.
However, the principle is the same as everywhere else – if you want to get something, you have to offer something in return.
It can be your product itself, or your service (but you know, something exclusive and not just a free sample anyone can get). Let it be something unique. Or significant.
Show your initiative – “I’m very willing to give you something special and would be delighted if you gave your opinion”.
Do not force it. Remember, the expert doesn’t have to cooperate, they can choose whether or not to do so. Make sure you make it worth their while.
In every communication, whether with experts or not, mutual respect and empathy is essential.
In my opinion, those are the two most important ingredients of “the magic sauce“.
Respect the influencer and respect their time.
It’s kind of a quick tip, but very important to remember.
In messages, do not confuse names, do not use abbreviations and watch out for typos.
Stick to the short ones, so that after more or less 5 seconds of reading it, it is more or less clear what you’re writing about and what it is that you want.
Keep your messages clear and transparent.
Courtesy may be a cliché, but it is vital. Be honest. I mean, write as if you were writing to someone you already knew and liked (after all you’ve done good research, haven’t you?).
This is what I mean by empathy.
You know, everything revolves around business, but do not forget the fact that you’re doing business with real people.
You have to have a little bit of sympathy if you want the same in return.
Building relationships with influencers is a very demanding task. You do not have too many chances to make a good impression. It would be foolish to lose valuable opportunities by skipping the basic elements of good manners in communication.
If you managed to track down your experts, got to know them, contacted them and got what you expected in the first place, do not forget about those who helped you.
I have the impression that for many people the relationship ends with the satisfaction of mutual needs. It does not work like that.
After all, you’re building relationships, not trading goods in the marketplace.
Keeping in touch with people that have helped you is in good taste, but it also simply shows your manners.
To be clear, I’m not talking about weekly spam with the question “how are you today”.
It’s more about remembering things (here again, empathy shows up). You need to follow your intuition.
If your product has a new feature, your tool has been improved – say it.
Send a brief information, offer testing in exchange for free products. You can also compliment a good speech, a successful completion of the project or anything else that you know your influencer has going on.
Don’t let these relationships fade away into oblivion.
The same rule applies even if you failed to close a deal. Show that you appreciate someone else’s work not only when you want to benefit from it.
When building a relationship, the most important thing is to remain humane and honest. It is not important whether this relationship is strictly business or private. Honesty, respect, empathy, and memory is valid everywhere.
Remember this and you will also be remembered positively.
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