Compared to even just a few years ago, the concept of asking niche influencers to help promote products in exchange for money or for free products/services from a company is a relatively new concept. Celebrity endorsements were once reserved for, well, celebrities!
Now, however, many people gain followings of increasing impressiveness in whatever their areas of passion are, and eventually look for a way to monetize that audience. Here, marketers have a golden opportunity to get a recommendation from someone with genuine influence and authority over their target market, but the approach has to be good, and it has to be sincere.
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Step 1) Start as a fan
This is a step that many online marketers and business owners often skip right over, without giving any real thought to. In doing this, they immediately change the position from which they approach the influencer, and drastically reduce their chances of a positive response, especially if they’re reaching out to someone who is fairly new to this type of business interaction.
The best thing you can do is to engage with that person as an audience member first. Like and leave thoughtful comments on their Instagram posts, reply to them on twitter, religiously comment on every blog post they put out for a month and a half.
Step 2) Approach with a value proposition in mind
Many influencers get hit up for ‘freebies’ all the time, so a great way to stand out is to be clear that you will benefit, but that you want to make it worth their time as well. This often means having an idea of your budget in mind from the start and also being able to explain why your product or service might be genuinely useful and of interest to their audience. People work hard for their reputations, and they aren’t keen on throwing them away just because you want to pay them a few extra dollars.
Let them know that you like their work, have interacted with them consistently, and have determined that they’re a good fit for your brand â” this makes it seem less like you’re insincerely hitting up everyone you can find for promotion (even if you sort of are!).
Step 3) Follow through
Even if it isn’t part of your original deal, it’s highly recommended that you continue to interact with your influencer after the promotion, and maybe even give them something extra/unexpected after the fact.
The idea here is to stand out and be gracious. Many of these influencers who start to get some traction have tons of people asking them to promote their things, and most willâ¦
– Haggle/try to lowball them
– Be annoyingly picky about how the sponsored content/posts look
– Not say a word of thanks or keep in touch after the fact.
If you’re the only one who works with them and avoids doing all of these things, you’re going to have a great ally in your niche.
Influencer isn’t hard, but that doesn’t stop people from getting it wrong; hopefully, with these steps, you won’t have to ‘do it wrong’ ever again!