How to Seduce an Influencer

Are you interested in influencer marketing? Learn how to do it well and it can be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Do it poorly and you’ll waste your time and perhaps even make people mad. Or you just won’t see results.

MarketingSherpa just put out a helpful article on the topic: how to influence influencers. I like to watch how people get my attention (almost never with just 1 try). I resist at first but if they persist I may eventually find myself giving in. Alternatively I want to find and woo influencers I want to work with.

Why do you want to reach influencers? They have far more reach than you do. It’s a difference between you tweeting something and getting a few clicks and having someone with influence send it and getting thousands of clicks.

Who are influencers? It depends who your audience is.

Influencers don’t always have mass followings on Twitter or lots of Facebook friends. They are not necessarily celebrities either. They are more often experts.

A study in the UK found that “most “influential” users on Twitter were actually people with much lower profiles but who were experts in their own fields rather than celebrities with the most followers,” (see Popular Twitter celebrities ‘hold no influence’ online.)

“Influencers in consumer markets are often journalists, publications, website operators and celebrities. Influencers in B2B markets are often individuals rather than organizations. They may be experts in a large company, or they may be consultants who work for several companies.”

RULE: DO NOT use sales techniques on influencers.

“Most influencers have a common trait: they hate being sold to.”

Actually most people hate being sold to but people who are frequent targets hate it the most. They can see through it immediately. They will not like you for trying.

Don’t market to influencers or be pushy.  Give them [relevant] information.

I like this approach a lot – to give influencers enough information so they can form an opinion (which requires they know a bit about you in depth). “We try to reach influencers so they at least have an opinion. We can’t necessarily make that opinion positive, but we want them to have an opinion and we want it to be as informed as possible,” Hayes says.

IDEA: Help Influencers connect with other influencers.

Successful bloggers like to meet other successful bloggers and people. We like to meet people we consider powerful or important because it means we’re part of the same group. Yes it makes us feel important. It also helps us feel part of a successful group of peers. We like to compare notes.

The article suggests giving influencers access to the most powerful people in your company. Don’t have them meet with someone on the marketing team.

Be selective — don’t send your pitches to everyone.

If everyone is special, no one is. You can’t interact and keep relationships going with too many people at once. Start with 10 or even less. That way you can get to know each person. You can find something to appeal to their ego, their interests or their needs. Always think what they may want and how you could help first, then what you hope to get out of the exchange.

Be careful how you word emails – sometimes I can’t tell if a pitch is a mass email or a personal pitch. I’d even suggest following up with a phone call. For me everyone new that I meet online stays virtual to an extent until we talk or converse enough that I remember them.

Example: I was flattered when Love Harnell of Love Jingles reached out to me — but not until I learned that they carefully chose just a short list of bloggers to reach out to. I thought they probably sent their pitch to hundreds of bloggers. If they’d called me or sent another more personal email I would’ve written about the company based on their pitch. Instead I wrote about them later. It was a rare and great example of a social media campaign that had immediate ROI.

I would say something like, “We made of list of 10 of our favorite bloggers and you were one of them. We’ve been a fan of your blog for years.” Just don’t say it if you don’t mean it. This happened to me last week. When I realized the person just fed me a line it felt cheap and again, I like him less.

I like this reason why you should flatter influencers – it makes them feel good: “Some influencers do not realize they are influential and will be delighted by the news. Others are very aware of their power and appreciate the confirmation.”

Even though I don’t like how flippant and crass this is – Shoemoney has very blunt but informative post about getting press. Getting press is a lot like engaging influencers. I’m not a fan of his attitude though. He comes off more like a pickup artist who wants something from you. Then he embarrasses you by telling everyone.

Any tips you want to share?

  1. Elise Lopez September 27, 2010
  2. Online PR September 27, 2010
  3. Elise Lopez September 30, 2010

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