Influencer marketing has been a term turn thrown around liberally with the past 10 years. It took over for viral marketing as one of the top marketing terms of the last half decade.

With the surge in popularity he would think that people are getting it right and it was working. The reality is that most online entrepreneurs are getting it dead wrong. Are you one of these entrepreneurs?

 

This article is for any solopreneur who has an online course, blog, podcast, or coaching business. This is not for the mega corporations or traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

 

Most online entrepreneurs believe the hype that getting a single highly influential individual to mention or promote their stuff will lead to inevitable success of their own. The reality is quite different.

 

Most influencers are approached on a daily basis to do something for other entrepreneurs. Whether it is to share a blog post, give feedback, try their new tool, or become an affiliate, it can be exhausting for them to say no. So most of the time they say nothing.

 

I personally receive at least a dozen such requests due to my online following in the digital marketing space and my Facebook Group of nearly 2,000 members, dedicated to harnessing the power of storytelling.

 

They always start the same:
"Hey Keith, I loved your ______. I was wondering if you would be willing to ______."
This is followed by three more paragraphs of details that I have not even said yes to yet.

 

Or even worse, I get the ones that just ask to talk about an "opportunity".

 

So here is the trick:

The ones that come from people I know will actually get opened, read, and responded to. Sometimes I even take them up on the offer or request.

 

Now the thing is, most entrepreneurs are asking for the wrong thing. If you hang on until the end I will share with you the right things to ask for and how to leverage them to make influencer Marketing work. Before we get there, here are a two critical tips that make me and other influencers consider saying yes:

  1. There is something in it for the influencer. This is usually exposure to a new audience that could become leads for them. Other times it is good content for their channels. No matter what, it should be the first thing mentioned in the request and should be something the influencer desires. Don't offer a blogger content for their blog when they don't accept guest posts.
  2. Get to know them before making the request. They should know you too. This is true of all forms of marketing. We work with who we know, like, and trust. The easiest way to do all three is to determine their weakest channel, usually a social media channel that they actively post on but have a little engagement. Go to that channel and become extremely active sharing their content, commenting, and inviting others into the conversation. Once you have built a small network of influencers, try introducing them to each other to help on a particular project. This will produce a snowball effect and can be the most valuable thing you can do for an influencer.

Once you have the influencers attention, you need to maximize the effect this influence or will have on your business. If you were asking them for feedback, to try or tool, or some other fleeting advantage then you're wasting the effort.

 

Instead you should try asking for something you'll be able to leverage long term. Try asking for an interview for your podcast, video blog, or some other media outlet.

 

Why ask for this?

This create content that you can use for evermore as your own. You now have the ability to associate yourself with that influencer. This can help facilitate many more influencer interactions in your future.

 

Try to do an interview with the person. Be sure to record this and if you can turn into a live webinar event that is even better.

Here are six reasons the above method is the best way I've found to leverage influencer marketing:

  1. You immediately have a way to associate yourself with that influencer without needing them to be there in person.
  2. People will view the content and you will inherit some of their influence automatically by having access to them.
  3. You will build instant report with this influencer by speaking in person or via Skype and they will know you moving forward. This was incredibly powerful for me when I was getting my start. I didn't realize how important this was until people started mentioning my interviews with them and how it changed their perception of my business.
  4. Other influencers will see this person in your social channels and be more apt to work with you.
  5. At the end of the interview you can ask them for introductions to other people who are influencers you could interview.
  6. If you do a video interview, you can take still images and place them on your Facebook profile in your featured images area, share them on Instagram, and place them on other social media channels. You can also take the audio and use it in a podcast and then transcribe the audio to use it in a blog post. You can leverage the video on YouTube by using targeted keywords and an image of the influencer beside you as the featured image on the video.  This can increase views.

 

So in the end, and set of trying to get something from the influencer, try to find a way to give something to the influencer a value and generate content for yourself in the process.

 

Do you agree? Have you found other ways to leverage influencer marketing for long-term success as an online entrepreneur?