Sometimes, you have to think outside the box. A strong SEO and PPC campaign can only get you so far. To truly build your brand, you’ll need to use influencers to share your content too. Imagine if someone on Instagram with 2 million followers posted a picture with your logo on it and a caption verifying they love your business. That can make a big impact and get their audience to start checking your business out. Don’t know how to reach out to influencers?
That’s fine, not a lot of businesses do. Some fail at establishing a relationship and others assume influencers always want freebies. That’s not how this type of marketing works!
The good news is we’re here to help you succeed. Check out our guide below to learn how to reach out to get influencers to share your content:
Narrow It Down to a Defined Niche
Learning how to reach out to influencers starts by narrowing down your options.
Say for example your blog or business focuses on clothing for men. You can’t simply look for models on Instagram with thousands of followers. Narrow it down even further.
Out of your clothing lines, pick the one you want to market with an influencer and reach out to the influencer to see if they are interested. For this example, let’s say you sell a few hoodies with video game characters printed on them.
Narrow your search for influencers by sticking with those in the fashion niche and also love video games. You can also narrow it the other way around: stick with influencers who prioritize video game content, like people who do reviews on YouTube, but are also known to do clothing sponsorships.
Doing this can help define the similarities in your audiences. Why would the influencer want to promote your content, after all, if there’s only a broad bridge between you two?
Identify Real Influencers
You’ve got your niche narrowed down but now it’s time to pick out who you’ll reach out to. The sad part is there are way too many people and businesses who claim they are influencers when they don’t make a significant dent in the industry. You’ll need to separate the wannabes from the real influencers to reach out to real influencers.
How do you achieve this?
You should start with a few useful tools like FollowerWonk, Post For Rent, and Social Crawlytics. These tools can help you get a list of accounts that cover topics in your niche while also giving you a look at the number of followers they have. That last bit is important because you need a gauge to check their reach.
How many followers should they have? What separates big names from people who take the claim but don’t have enough followers to make a real influence?
You might want to stick with people who have well over 50,000 followers. Anything below that target goal might not make a noticeable difference, no matter how much effort and money you put into it.
Of course, you’ll want to check if all the followers are real people and not paid accounts or bots. You can use tools like HypeAuditor to check validity.
How to Reach Out to Influencers: Build Rapport
Listed down a few influencers you want to reach out to?
Don’t message them yet! If you contact them so abruptly, they might ignore your attempt. They’ll go over your content and social media accounts and look for signs you care about what they do and their audience.
Build rapport first. Establish a relationship before you send your first message.
You can do this by mentioning the influencer in your next tweet or name-dropping them in your next video. Share their Instagram on your social media accounts to let your audience understand you want to get a relationship going.
How does this help?
When the influencer checks your accounts, they’ll see you shared their images or account before. It lets them know your audience and consumers care for the influencers content. Let them see that there’s something that could benefit both parties.
Of course, you should also get in touch with their communities too. If you can, comment on their latest social media posts. Reply to comments too and get in touch with the fans.
Make Content That Works For Them
You also need to start working on making content that the influencer will want to market. You need to create specific content that makes influencer outreach a reasonable next step.
Do you sell makeup and want to reach out to an influencer like Kandee Johnson or Zoe Sugg? Before you do, make sure you have content that clicks with them and their audience. Simply having a product in their general interest won’t suffice.
For example, Kandee Johnson tends to focus on products that promote healthy hair growth or makeup that gives off a sweet look with a hint of modern, gangster styles. You’ll need to post something like a promotional image of a model using your makeup to achieve that kind of look, something Kandee could appreciate.
Let’s go back to the example above. If you sell video game clothing, do you offer something in the franchise that a particular influencer likes? AntDude, for example, loves Kirby so make sure you make it clear you sell clothes that feature the Kirby franchise.
It’s a good idea to check all the previous instances the influencer worked with other businesses. Look at the kind of content they collaborated on and check if you can create something in that style to further get their attention.
Gauging Your Offer
Don’t worry, we’re one step away from contacting the influencer. The last thing you need to do before sending a message is to gauge your offer. What exactly will they get out of the deal?
Remember: these people turned influencer marketing into a career. They need to get some sort of benefit from the deal.
Keep in mind, someone with 100,000 followers will expect a much sweeter deal than the one you might offer to someone with 10,000 followers. The latter might be happy with a couple of hundred bucks but the prior might not. They might want a few mentions on social media, content shares, a feature on your next blog post, and a couple of backlinks to go along with the payment.
Take time to check the influencer’s pages. They might already have a list of requirements and payment details. You should aim to hit the minimum requirements and don’t offer anything below their minimum.
Don’t hesitate to offer more than the minimum. There are likely a dozen other businesses hoping to work with the influencer so you’ll have to make your offer sweeter than theirs.
Contact and Make a Deal
Now it’s time to send a message. Check the influencer’s pages first and look for contact details. Some people might not want you to send a private message on Instagram and might prefer all business offers to go through email.
How should you structure your message? Let’s break it down this way:
Start with a simple greeting. Don’t make it too long because then they might assume it’s a spam message or they might get bored and won’t continue reading. You should then immediately introduce who you are and what you do.
If you’re writing on behalf of a small business, make sure to make that detail clear. Give them the full name of your business and in one sentence, try to explain what your business sells or offers.
From there, you need to get down to business. Start your next paragraph by letting them know you have a good grasp of the influencer’s work. State something along the lines of “we love your video about…” or “we are big fans of the work you did at the ABC event.”
Doing this lets the influencer know you’re not randomly picking people on social media. It can pique their interest and encourage them to check your business website or social media accounts, where they’ll see you’ve shared their content before.
The next step is to lay down your offer. Keep it brief but exact. Tell them straight up you want them to feature your business and endorse it to their audience and what they’ll get out of the deal.
Keep your message short and straight to the point. Avoid all the flowery fluff to ensure the influencer understands the purpose of your message.
Get Specific With the Details
Here’s something most people forget when it comes to how to reach out to influencers: always be specific with the details!
For example: make sure the influencer knows exactly what you want them to do. Are they supposed to feature your product in their next three Instagram posts? Are they supposed to do a 30-second clip endorsing your product in five of their YouTube marketing videos or do you simply want them to wear your brand for five posts?
If there are do’s and don’ts, make sure you get those regulations across too. Some brands don’t want to see their logos beside a competitor’s logo, for example. You might want to make sure your brand doesn’t get obscured or that the influencer tastefully features your brand.
Do you want them to use a specific hashtag? Do you have specific products or a spiel to deliver? Make sure you include these details in your official offer.
Clarify What They Get
Make it a point to list down the benefits they can reap too. This can help avoid confusion or miscommunication when it’s time to pay them.
If you aim to pay them cash and feature them in a post, make sure they know about it. If you aim to offer them free products or let them enjoy your services for a discount then include that in the message too. They shouldn’t have to guess what they’ll benefit from endorsing your business.
You may have to negotiate terms. The influencer might like the concept of the deal but not what you offer them. Some of them might like your business more than your competitors but your offer might not be as enticing as theirs.
Sweeten the deal if you have to but don’t break your budget.
Also, make it a point that they understand they’ll only get what you offered. If there are fees not printed down, like service charges or production costs, both parties need to discuss how to cover them. At the end of the day, both you and the influencer should understand what each one gets from the deal and what you’ll both spend to make the deal happen.
Make It Easier For Them
Do you want to reach out to influencers who say yes quickly? Of course, higher payment is a good way to get their attention but you can also entice them by doing some of the work for them.
For example, why not include a script or spiel they can deliver on an Instagram video or YouTube clip? This reduces the work they’ll do and it’ll become an issue of performance instead. You’ve taken a heavy load off their shoulders.
How about sending them products to feature and let them keep them? This is a 1-2 punch: not only did you give them some form of payment/incentive but you also provided them with materials for the endorsement. Now they don’t have to purchase and wait for the package before getting to work.
Doing some of the work to make it easier for the influencer can make them agree to the deal. After all, who wouldn’t want to get paid for doing minimal work? As long as they do their end of the bargain and you get a boost in traffic, sales, and leads thanks to the exposure to their audience then what’s there to complain about?
Didn’t get a reply? Make sure to send a follow-up message but don’t go overboard! Don’t send too many messages every day because then they’ll get annoyed or consider your messages as spam.
They likely had too many messages and yours got buried or they didn’t have time yet to get to it. They probably did read it but you didn’t clarify the details or the benefits they’ll reap. It’s possible you didn’t clarify the goals of the partnership or they simply checked your accounts and saw you didn’t do the work to build rapport.
Stay patient and work it out. Ask for a follow-up, even if the reply is a rejection. This can at least let you know it’s time to try approaching someone else.
Get In Touch With the Best Influencers Now!
With this guide, you should now know how to reach out to influencers and get their audiences buzzing about your business and brand. Don’t hesitate to keep coming back to this guide to know where you’re at and what to do next.
Of course, it doesn’t end here. If you want to learn more, feel free to go over our other blog posts today, like this one discussing how you can start an online business for less than $100!