Influencers Matter: How to Connect with Industry Leaders the Right Way
Influencers play a critical role in reaching your audience, so learning how to connect with industry leaders the right way is going to be a key factor in your online marketing strategy.
Never lose sight of the fact that the goal of marketing is to communicate with your audience and it’s all about building relationships with real people not just trying to sell a product or service.
There are a lot of benefits to be gained from having good relationships with influencers, industry leaders, and key opinion experts. Whether you’re a small business trying to expand your brand’s reach or a professional wanting to establish a stronger online presence, industry leaders are the ones that can help you connect with the right audience.
Influencers possess the following qualities; which is exactly why they are so important to marketing:
- Trustworthiness. Influencers are the go to sources of information online.
- Thought leadership. Industry leaders already have a loyal following of readers who crave, anticipate, and engage with their content.
- Ability to engage. Influencers engage with their followers and foster their communities.
- Impact. Influencers drive action in their audiences (buy a product, choose one brand over another, etc.).
- Hunger. Influencers lead from a position of curiosity and passion. They acrively add and seek – valuable content.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses are still doing it wrong. Reaching out to influencers is not something you can do through continuous messages on social media or spam emails to their websites contact forms. Here are the tips to follow if you want to connect with industry leaders the right way.
Start with Yourself
One of the first things influencers or industry experts will do is search for more information about you. This could mean checking out your social media profile, doing a quick Google search on you or your brand, and taking other steps to find out more. The last thing you want is for them to discover a less-than-stellar series of information.
You don’t have to rush into connecting with influencers right away, in fact, you shouldn’t. Focus on building a strong and positive online presence for yourself or your brand first. Your social media profiles, for example, should show a nice blend of high-quality content and interaction with other users. Your website must be easy to find and access.
A good first impression will make building a positive relationship with influencers a lot easier to do. Take the necessary steps to ensure yours is a positive one and the rest is downhill from there.
The Right Way to Connect
Never – and I seriously mean NEVER – send a pre-formatted email to a bunch of industry leaders. You want to build a relationship with them and this is the wrong way to start. Instead, compose every email yourself. Even better, find out more about the influencer before making your first attempt to connect with the person. This way, you can say things that are personal and relevant, adding a positive tone to the message.
The way you connect with industry leaders matters, too. Social media comments or messages are the easiest way to get started, although they may not be the most effective due to the high level of noise. You can also rely on tools such as theemailfinder.co to find and verify influencers’ email addresses before reaching out to them personally.
Last, but certainly not least, try to be as genuine as you can. I know the goal is to have influencers helping you reach a wider audience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start by building a genuine relationship with these opinion leaders. Some of the most successful brands on the internet get help from top influencers because they really connect with each other on a more personal level.
Building a strong relationship with influencers will open a lot of new doors. You can reach millions of people who are already following these key opinion leaders on social media and other platforms. Do it right and you’ll be surprised by just how big of an impact it can make.