That would be awesome wouldn’t it?
Influencers reading your tweets.
Liking your tweets.
Commenting on your blog posts.
Following you on social media.
Sharing your posts.
Even linking to your posts.
Best of all, you don’t need to beg them for it!
It’s not a fantasy. This is real and it can happen to YOU.
Let me show you how…
The Golden Rule
Before I tell you how to connect with influencers, you need to know about the golden rule.
Without the golden rule, you’ll never ever connect with any influencer in your life.
It’s such a simple principle that many people ignore…
Thou shalt make everything about them and offer them value WITHOUT asking anything in return.
It’s simple isn’t it?
In fact, because it’s so simple, most people find it hard to accept. There must be more than just that!
To be honest with you, I wish there was, because it would give me more to talk about and show off. But there isn’t. That’s all there is to it.
But wait! Don’t hit the back button just yet…
There are tactics you can use to connect with them that I’ll share with you in just a sec.
You should apply them while following the Golden Rule.
Now, without further ado… here are the tactics.
1. Have an Engagement Party
You’ve heard this one haven’t you? Comment, like and share their content.
But that’s not always enough.
With hundreds of people trying to get an influencer’s attention, you’re going to need a lot more than a lousy comment or tweet.
In fact, you’re not really doing them much of a favor with your tweet or comment. You most likely shared their post because it was valuable and it only took you a few seconds.
On the other hand, they spent hours to create that valuable piece of content, to help their audience (including you).
To think influencers should feel indebted to you because you shared their post is infuriating!
Of course, because of their humble nature, kindness and gratitude they’ll be grateful for the share. But please, don’t make them feel like they owe you anything because of your tweet. The worst thing someone can do is, to email the influencer saying…
I tweeted your post.
Here’s a link to my post too.
What’s an engagement party?
Well you see, everyone online has heard the “engage with influencers on social media” advice. It’s getting too old and everyone uses it.
And if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to step up your game.
That means instead of being just another tiny notification out of 81, like this…
You should become an entire set of notifications. Cover their entire notification page like this…
Now that’s what I call an engagement party!
That’ll get their attention a lot more. Do it frequently and they’ll start to recognize you very soon.
But don’t just fill it up with likes and retweets (like the above example). Send a few replies to show you actually read the links they shared and actually read them. Don’t lie.
Because most influencers don’t tweet 30 times a day. You’ll need to space your parties out until they’ve posted enough content you can make a party around it. Typically have a 3 – 5 day break.
2. Help Them With Something Specific
Influencers aren’t perfect. They have a few loopholes here and there. In fact, let me list a few of them…
- Dead Links
- Serious Typos
- Faulty software / tools
- Lack of (or poor) visuals on certain content (images, infographics etc.)
- Poor copy
Influencer’s aren’t “know it alls”. So don’t think they won’t need help from people with different skills than theirs.
So how can you help them?
Actually, let’s start with how not to help.
The worst thing you can ever do is drop an email like this…
I’m Tony Pitt, the VP of Marketing at Blah Blah Company.
You delivered an awesome speech at the LA conference last week.
Let me know how I can be of assistance.
VP of Marketing at Blah Blah Company
If anything… a vague email like that only gives the influencer extra work to do. Because now they have to spend time figuring out how YOU can help them. Obviously, they won’t do that. They’ll simply ignore your useless email.
You need to be specific on how you can help.
- Can you point out those dead links and suggest replacements?
- Can you point out and correct typos? Maybe offer an entire document on them because you want their site to be “perfect”.
- Can you fix errors and problems they’re having with their tools, plugins to speed things up?
- Can you offer high-quality graphics for their text-based content?
- Can you strengthen their website copy?
I could go on and on…
The point is, you’ve got a skill. They’ve got challenges. Your job is to find them and help fix them.
3. Build a Skyscraper & Stamp Your Name On It
Obviously, not a real brick skyscraper (although that could possibly work, too). No, I’m talking about a blog post using Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique.
It’s simple. Influencers love great content. So sending them the best content on a particular topic is a great ice breaker. They’ll know you’re an up and comer.
In fact, because it’s the best, it is very likely they’ll share your post.
If they do, then make sure you add your Twitter handle as a “who to follow” so they can follow you after they share your post on Twitter.
They’ve already taken the time to hit that tweet button. So why not give them the ability to follow you?
You can see how Entrepreneur.com does it…
You’ve most likely seen it 100 times already.
This is the method I used to get followed by some influencers (before I followed them). It’s simple right? Just put your Twitter handle in the “who to follow”.
4. Share a Case Study
There’s nothing better than sharing your success results after applying what an influencer taught you. Whether that was through their course, blog post, tweet or whatever.
Influencers love case studies because they show people that what they teach works – which makes the influencer look good.
Not many people take action on an influencer’s advice. Those who do, don’t usually report their results to the influencer. So, coming back to an influencer with impressive results is a great way to start a relationship with that influencer.
Don’t forget your awesome results also show the influencer and other people that you’re successful. And both influencers and regular people like to hang out with successful people.
5. Be the First to Send Them News
Ever noticed how influencers usually follow reporters, thought leaders and other news distributors on Twitter?
Well, that’s for a good reason.
They want to be updated on the latest news, research and findings. Being the first to know helps them preserve their authoritative status. Influencers are usually influencers because they’re the first to tell us about what’s happening in the industry and what they expect to happen in the future based on their experience.
Unfortunately, even though they try to keep up to date, it’s still very hard.
With people tweeting several times a day and the influencer’s busy schedule, it’s very easy for them to miss out on some important stuff. And that’s where you come in.
Your job is to drop them a short and to-the-point tweet or email with a link to news they haven’t seen yet.
This brings up a question… how do you know they haven’t seen it?
You’ll just have to check their social accounts and blog to see if they’ve talked about it. If not, then send it their way.
Oh yeah, and please make sure it’s relevant. Don’t send news about SEO to an athlete… they probably don’t care.
6. Become a Consistent Source of Valuable Content
I’m not trying to brag. But, some influencers have followed me before I ever thought of following them.
Sometimes I end up following back influencers rather than them following me back.
And it’s not because they’re following for a follow back to grow their accounts.
It’s because they liked what I posted.
How can you tell the difference?
Well, if they follow you for no reason, and they’re following thousands of other people, then it’s probably a follow for a follow back. You can also check after a week to check if they’re still following you just to make sure.
On the other hand, if they like or retweet your content, then they follow you… well, congratulations, it’s 99% real!
Either way, you can’t get any influencers to engage with your tweets if you’re not sharing valuable content on a consistent basis.
And posting just once a day isn’t enough for Twitter. You need to be an active distributor of valuable content. In other words, you need to post at least 5 times a day.
But what if you’re too “busy” to post regularly every day?
Once you offer consistent value through Twitter, influencers and regular tweeters will depend on you as a reliable source of information. Now tell me that’s not a good way to connect with influencers?
7. Make Them Something
Are the influencers complaining about anything?
Do they wish there was some sort of tool that could take them out of their misery or help them achieve better results in their business?
Good news for you: many influencers do complain publicly. They’ll tell you about tools and products they wish existed.
And they don’t just tell everyone about it just for fun. They say it because they want someone from their readers to turn it into a reality.
Look at this from Rand Fishkin where he says “someone should really build a Twitter Optimizer”.
Fill a gap in their life and you’ll not only build a connection with the influencer, but you’ll also have a product they’ll promote for free.
Are Those All the Tactics?
Of course not.
You can come up with your own tactics too.
It requires a bit of creativity, but it’s simple.
Just follow the golden rule.
Here, let me show you a real life demonstration of how to come up with your own tactics with the help of the golden rule.
Usually, you’d go through their blog to find out their specific problems and desires.
But for this example, let’s identify a general human desire for the sake of generality…
Everyone likes a nice home. People like to be complimented on the stuff they have.
In that case, maybe sending something like an eye-catching foreign ceramic or pottery would do the trick.
Hmmm, maybe this one?
(Image Source: Flickr.)
Looks good doesn’t it?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Just make sure it looks nice and simple. Don’t send any scary looking ones… like the ones with creepy faces and stuff.
Obviously sending something too big will just occupy a lot of their home space… it could work… but risky. Keep it small.
Also, sending something like a box of chocolates will end up in the trash once consumed. It isn’t very memorable for most influencers. So don’t send consumable goods.
In any case, whatever you do… don’t make them feel obliged to help you just because you sent them a gift. Do it out of your own goodwill.
If they become friends, then great. If they don’t, then you’ve got a ton of other influencers out there who might want to be friends with you. It’s not the end of the world if one influencer doesn’t respond to everything you’ve tried.
Once you follow the golden rule, then you’ll stand out from the crowd of selfish fools.
Because in a world where everyone is a taker. You’ll be a giver and that’s what’s missing these days.
So go and give. You’ll grow much faster that way.
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