Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most powerful form of marketing. People are much more likely to trust products and services based on a recommendation from friends or industry experts than an advertisement. This is why influencer marketing is so important!

You’ve probably already come across this idea in your business. They’re called referrals! Imagine having this influence amplified across multiple channels for little-to-no cost. Sound impossible?

It’s actually very possible. Influencer marketing is a proven way to raise awareness of your brand and engage with your audience. These tips have helped successful freelancers make six figures a year. We show you how to define, identify, and connect with influencers to grow your entrepreneur business.

Let’s dive into the details.

1) How Do I Define My Ideal Influencers

Before we talk about how to describe an ideal influencer, let’s take a minute to define what an influencer is.

An influencer is a person whose thoughts and actions drive wide-scale engagement with a product or service. You’ll often find influencers using their social media channels to create and share content with their large followings.=

Of course, there are influencers for every conceivable industry. That’s why it’s so important to define the influencers that have authority in your niche. When describing your ideal influencer, keep these traits in mind:

  • Topics They Write About

Focus on a central topic or small set of topics to promote. Your niche is a good starting point, along with any supporting industries that tie in. Once you know what topics to focus on, you can find influencers who write frequently about these topics on social media.

  • Style of Their Content

Each influencer has a unique style and brand. Take the time to define how your ideal influencer will align with the mission and values of your business. For instance, if one of your business values is sustainability, describe how your model influencer emphasizes sustainability in their content.

  • Social Media Following

This metric is pretty much a numbers game. For each ideal influencer, write how many followers and average engagements on social media you want them to have. Remember that you may have a better chance connecting with influencers with smaller followings, at first. Here’s an example using Twitter.

  • John Doe – Followers: 20,000+; Engagements (Avg.): 200 per tweet

2) Where Can I Find Them?

Now that you have defined our ideal influencers, it’s time to target influencers where they are.

Based on your descriptions, you can find your ideal influencers on various social media channels. They may be spread across YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms.

In any case, it’s time to do research.

Now, this research process can be tedious. You’ll be monitoring your chosen social media platforms for posts about your niche. Luckily, there are blogger outreach tools that make it a lot easier to find influencers. These are just a few tools that can help you discover influencers more quickly:

  • Hootsuite: a social media marketing platform that allows you to track topics that relate to your niche and organize your list of influencers
  • BuzzSumo: a research tool to filter influencers, brands, and top content shared on social media
  • Inkybee: a tool that allows you to search for the top bloggers that relate to your niche and additional influencers

By using these tools and others, you can use data and automation to guide your influencer outreach strategy.

3) What Should I Do to Connect?

 After you define and identify potential influencers, the last (and most important) step is to reach out to them.

* A quick note on language: Most influencers are NOT business people. They are regular folks that talk casually with their followers. Thus, use less formal language when you email an influencer about working together.

 Email is the preferred method to reach out to influencers. Send a short email to introduce yourself, explain why you like their content, and how working together could be of mutual benefit. End your email by asking for a Skype call to meet and talk details.

After connecting with an influencer, it’s time to drive content initiatives.

For example, send a free trial sample to your identified influencers to review. A recommendation from an influencer can open your business to a new audience. Another idea is to encourage previous clients to upload photos or videos of your work to social media in exchange for a shoutout, giveaway, or discount on your service.

What We Learned About Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to drive awareness and engagement with your brand without an expensive marketing campaign. Entrepreneurs can partner with influencers to create and distribute valuable content to a large audience.

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