Who To Reach Out To
As the content manager here at CanIRank I know that one of my tasks is to make as many people as possible aware of our (amazing) application. I can, and do, accomplish some of that by telling everyone I know about CanIRank and why it’s a fantastic keyword difficulty checker.
A more efficient way to build awareness though is to leverage other people’s audiences and get already established voices on the internet talking about our product. This is Influencer Marketing. The reason it’s so powerful is that with the help of just one influencer you can get the word out to many many people.Your best chance of a successful relationship is with someone near you in the social strata. Click To Tweet
So, I need to find people who can get other people to do things. What’s the best way to do that? Should I spend a lot of time trying to work with a very select number of very well known influencers or is it better to spend a little less time working with a larger pool of influencers?
My take is that you should follow the Long Tail SEO method and spend your time working to create relationships with a number of influencers who have about the same amount of influence that you do.
The trick here is to assess your influence in your niche and then reach out to those who would probably feel that they have about the same amount of influence that you do.
There is a parallel in real life here in the way that people typically find a romantic relationship. Usually, not always, people date and marry other people who are about as attractive and successful as they are. It doesn’t matter whether you are a A-list celeb or regular ‘ol content marketer. Your highest chances of a successful relationship are with someone who is near you in the social strata.
Horizontal Social Proof
OK, you know where to focus your effort. So what do you do now?
You need to find some people who have at least some audience and establish a connection with them. This is the scary part but, like most of life, it’s pretty much just like high school. In order to find your people you have to make a connection with them over a shared interest. Could be anything, where you grew up, work you are both doing, obsession with pot bellied pigs…Just me?
OK, the fact is I have been floored so many times by the willingness that people have to help out when they feel they have even a remote connection. Not staying in their apartment for a month kind of help but a like, a link, a mention, maybe even an interview.
The thing you want to do is find the person who is most likely to help you AND who has an audience of any size. The “most likely to help you” part is more important than the audience, especially if you are just starting out.Whatever your goal is, leveraging someone else's authority is a great way to work smarter. Click To Tweet
To get started go through your list of contacts and start to think of the people who are at about the same level of success in your niche. Those are the people with whom you will be able to connect with most easily and be authentic with.
I feel like one of the best tips for a place to get started is just to be honest about where you are at. If you don’t have an audience yet then be upfront and that will be your proof. If you are just getting started then write a post about what that is like. Look for people who are also starting out and reach out to them for common experiences.
The beautiful thing is that authenticity works all the way up the chain. Once you have built a little group of people who you have a connection with then you will most likely already have built a few contacts with some people who have a larger audience and then it will be time to reach out to them.
One of the most important things to remember about successful influencer outreach is that it’s like almost everything else that interests people. It works most effectively via storytelling.
Give People a Chance to Tell Their Story
We are all compelled to share our story and one of the best ways to build relationships is to give people an opportunity to tell their story. I don’t mean this in a super literal sense like record someone talking about “that time” in 6th grade but rather allowing people to demonstrate who they are in subtler ways.
If the person that you are reaching out to is an up and comer like you then give them a chance to show the world that they are working hard to make a go of it and explain the challenges they are facing. If the person is a big fish then give them an opportunity to demonstrate their helpfulness when they helped out a small fry like you.
One of the best examples of this is Chris Lema who is a big fish in the WordPress space. Chris has built a solid brand on being an expert as well as a super helpful guy and much of his name recognition is built around helping the people who come to him for advice.
Finding Your Clique
Don’t ignore people who may not have a large audience. Part of building an influencer network is to start with goals that are within reach. Once you have achieved that goal then move on to the next one. If you follow this pattern you will have built a solid foundation for any future relationships.
Outreach success stories make my day. Let me know about yours in the comments.