Connecting with influencers is the most talked about topic in today’s online marketing cacophony. Small business owners, solopreneurs, sales and marketing professionals are constantly working harder and harder to make their voice not just heard but remembered – especially when the online marketing ecosystem is shaking things up in the realm of creating and curating valuable, impactful, and actionable content. To top it off, the attention span to draw more eyeballs for these professionals is very short and tough – yes, really tough.
It takes a ‘good think’ to actually build connections with influencers in your field.
- Understand you niche to the core. First off – before even you move the needle to connect with the key influencers, start to learn the ins and outs, the quirks and kinks of your business. To an extent, it is safe to make calculative assumptions in your business – well, that’s how you pivot yourself as someone who is precognitive enough to see what triggers could lead to bigger waves in your industry.
- Know your why. What is your why? Your purpose? Find out what drives you take your business to the next level. Your purpose propels you to keep marching on while your competitors are still trying to gain some ground. Sink yourself in your life’s purpose. And don’t question, just listen in to your voice – that wise soul – that will guide you to steer through every impediment that comes in your way while following your ‘why’.
- Carve your influencer landscape. Make a list of at least top 100 influencers you’d like to connect with and start perusing their social media presence, understand their passion points, their purpose and connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus from the get-go.
- Create your ideal picture of your influencers’ perception. This goes a long way in creating and sharing content that resonates with them. Actionable points: learn about what kind of topics interests them and what types of content they share with their audience. This way, you will start developing content that is contextual and relevant for your influencers.
- Start your own blog. Thanks to LinkedIn, now anyone can practice being an influencer via LinkedIn publishing platform. Or you can also start your blogging on wordpress and post at least once a week on social media. This will pave a way for your ‘gradual personal brand seeding’ for your influencers.
- Devour, devour, and devour. Read your influencers’ books and blogs, voraciously. When you visit their Web site, start understanding what services they provide, subscribe to the e-books and white papers, follow them on social media. Be curious to learn what sets them apart of the competition in your industry.
- Invest in their content. And they will definitely invest in you – only if you add value to their knowledge bank. Good starting points: guest-blogging or hosting a podcast interview wherein they share their experience and perspectives on topics that trigger their thought process. For this, follow step 6 – and keep following until your live, sleep and breathe their content.
- Craft e-mails, say, ‘from one storyteller to the other’. Make it sound conversational; a genuine interest to help them, even when they are on top of everything in their business. Your gesture in learning intensely about them will please them to share their experiences with you. Connect your pain with theirs – that way, you will connect your personal story with theirs whilst bridging the divide between what they were and what got them here.
- Stand for who you are. You have to sound edgy, sometimes controversial, sometimes a little quirky or maybe sometimes when you touch a topic which hasn’t rung yet in your niche. Good starting points: study your industry’s research reports, read books unrelated to your field (that’s right like fiction, magazines on general topics, etc), and then read books in your field – that way you draw many tangents to the discussion topics in your niche. This draws influencers to your disruptive mind.
And while you are already following these steps, over a period of time, depending on how hungry you are to make your mark in your niche, you might just wake up being an influencer!
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