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5 Steps to Building Authentic Relationships with Influencers

Posted on Mar 13th, 2023
Written by Alex White
In this article

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    TopRank Marketing drives results with content, influencer, SEO & social media marketing.

    Has there ever been a time when you were trying to work with an influencer, but found it challenging to get their attention? Having your emails go unanswered and being left unread on LinkedIn is a silent form of rejection we’ve all encountered at some point in time — it’s just inevitable. But there is a method to increasing the chances the expert you have your eye on not only replies to your messages but does plenty more — and I’m not talking about simply using money as a motivator.

    1 — Don’t jump directly into their DMs

    After hours of searching, you finally find an influencer who’s the perfect candidate for your campaign. Is your first thought to send them a message on social media? You’re not alone. That said, it’s important to hold off for the time being and do some homework.

    2 — Find out what they’re passionate about

    You’ve scoured their social and know all about the kinds of content they create, and you have a good hold on their areas of expertise. But is there anything on their social feeds that tells you about them as a person? Do some digging. Identify something they’re passionate about. Maybe their technology’s role is in equity, or perhaps they leverage their platform to speak on climate change and sustainability. Knowing the influencer as an individual with unique traits and interests is just as important as knowing them as the subject matter expert they’re hired for. It will come in handy further down the line.

    “Knowing the influencer as an individual with unique traits and interests is just as important as knowing them as the subject matter expert they're hired for.” — Alex White of @TopRank Click To Tweet

    3 — Be thoughtful with your engagement

    It’s incredibly easy to like or react to someone’s social content. Anyone can do it and it takes practically no effort. And if the influencer you have your eyes on receives a high rate of engagement, it’s likely your one-click effort to get their attention will go without notice. Do you know what else is easy? Writing a short comment. So often do I see comments such as “love this,” “great share,” and some short iteration of “nice post.” Take the time to write a thoughtful remark — something that they’ll remember when they see your name in their inbox.

    4 — Send a creative, one-of-a-kind outreach message

    How many salesy, copy-and-paste messages do you get a week? I average around 15 a week and I rarely read past the first sentence. It’s extremely clear that I’m part of some automated email marketing list. Now, imagine how many your average influencer gets. Stand out from the crowd by taking a creative approach to outreach. It helps to draft a message that makes it clear the message wasn’t duplicated and sent to 50 other individuals. Start with something that makes it clear that you did your research on them. Perhaps a compliment on a recent piece of content they created, or even sending congratulations for a recent achievement.

    “Stand out from the crowd by taking a creative approach to outreach.” — Alex White of @TopRank Click To Tweet

    5 — Connect but don’t neglect

    By this point, you’ve been nurturing your prospective influencer for at least two weeks. They’ve accepted your connection request, you now have a dialogue outside of their preferred social media platforms, they’ve agreed to lend their talents to your brand, and you have everything you need from them to include them in your brand’s next campaign.

    Time to thank them and just say goodbye? Think again.

    Once the project is complete, thank the influencer and let them know you’ll keep them in mind for future collaborations. (This is of course assuming all went well).

    Continue to engage with them on your personal social media channels when possible. This is a simple way to stay on their radar and build on the relationship you worked so hard to establish in the first place. Chances are, you’ll have another opportunity for them in the future.

    The 5 steps above may seem simple, but the vast majority of influencers we engage with have told us that they are much more likely to respond to correspondence from someone who follows a similar iteration of the method above. Good luck with your search!

    If you are looking for a strategic partner to help elevate your current B2B influencer marketing strategy, reach out to connect with our team of experts.