You know you need to network to grow your business, but let’s face it, traditional networking can be tedious and ineffective. The key is to network smarter, not harder. Forget schmoozing with random people at mixers and start focusing your efforts on connecting with influencers in your industry. Influencers already have large networks and audiences, so earning their recommendation or a mention in their content can instantly expose you to new potential customers and partners.
The trick is getting on their radar in the first place. Don’t be intimidated, even the most prominent influencers started somewhere. With the right strategy and genuine outreach, you can build relationships with the influencers who matter most in your niche. In this article, you’ll learn proven tips for networking with influencers and turning those connections into real business opportunities.
Identify Influencers in Your Niche
To network with influencers in your niche, you need to first identify who they are. Do some research on industry leaders, popular bloggers, podcasters, and social media stars in your field. See who has a big, engaged following and a reputation for sharing high-quality content.
Once you’ve found a few good candidates, start engaging with them. Comment on their posts, share their content with your network, and join the conversations they start. Provide value by asking thoughtful questions and sharing useful insights. Over time, as they get to know you, some may follow you back.
Reach out for a quick intro call or virtual coffee meeting. Explain that you’re a big fan of their work and would value their advice. Come prepared with specific questions about their journey and lessons learned. Most influencers are happy to chat, as long as you’re genuine and respectful of their time.
If that initial chat goes well, ask them to collaborate on a social media post, podcast episode, or short video. As you build the relationship, they may start mentioning you to their audience and network, connecting you with new opportunities and partnerships.
Build Relationships With Influencers
To win more customers, you need to connect with the influencers in your industry. These are the people with a big platform and lots of loyal fans. Build relationships with influencers and they can spread the word about your business to their audience.
- Identify influencers in your niche: Look for people with an engaged social media following, popular blogs or podcasts, or who speak at industry events. See who their fans and followers also pay attention to.
- Engage with the influencers you want to connect with: Follow them on social media, comment on their posts, share their content, and like or heart their updates. Start a genuine conversation and look for ways to provide value.
- Pitch the influencers and offer to collaborate: For example, invite them to try your product or service for free in exchange for an honest review. Ask if they’d be open to an interview for your blog or podcast. Look for ways you can cross-promote to each other’s audiences.
- Build real relationships, not just transactions: Don’t just use influencers for promotions and then disappear. Continue engaging with them, commenting on their posts, and sharing their content: Meet up at industry events and stay in regular contact. Help them out when you can. Authentic relationships lead to the best collaborations.
- Be patient and consistent: Don’t get frustrated if influencers don’t respond right away or say no to your initial pitch. Keep engaging and look for new ways to connect and provide value. Building trust and real influence takes time. But staying dedicated can lead to some powerful partnerships and help skyrocket your business.
Provide Value to Influencers
To build strong relationships with influencers in your industry, you need to provide them value. After all, influencers are busy people with many demands on their time. Make it worth their while to connect with you by offering useful information, opportunities, or other benefits.
Share industry insights
Influencers work hard to stay on the cutting edge of trends and news in their field. Provide value by sharing relevant industry reports, news articles, blog posts, or other resources with them. For example, if you come across an insightful report on new technologies shaping your industry, pass it along. Influencers will appreciate you keeping them in the know.
Promote their content
One of the best ways to provide value to influencers is by promoting their content to your own audience. If you don’t have your own Social Media audience and following base, then it’s time to change that! You don’t necessarily have to break the bank! Socialwick is the best platform to help you grow your own audience so that you can start promoting content to them. Share their blog posts, videos, podcasts, or other media on your social platforms. Not only does this provide more visibility and traffic for them, but it positions you as someone who follows and supports their work. Be sure to tag the influencer when you share so they notice your promotion.
Influencers are often open to collaborating with other professionals and brands in creative ways. Propose teaming up with an influencer on a blog post, video, webinar, or other co-created content. Collaboration provides value to both parties by exposing each other’s audiences to the other’s expertise and brand. Come prepared with some ideas for collaborative content you think would resonate with your combined audiences.
If you have a strong, trusting relationship with an influencer, consider referring your clients or customers to them. Referrals are an excellent way to provide value, as they directly impact the influencer’s business and bottom line. Only refer others to influencers you fully support and believe would do an exceptional job. Your reputation is also on the line, so be selective with your referrals.
Stay in Touch and Continue to Nurture the Relationship
Staying in regular contact with your influencer connections is key to building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. Make an effort to nurture these new relationships through ongoing communication and collaboration.
Reach out regularly
Drop your new contacts a quick email, message or tweet every month or so to stay on their radar. Share an article you think they’d find interesting, congratulate them on a recent achievement or just say a quick “hello, hope all is well!”. Little touches like these show you value the relationship and are invested in its success.
Look for opportunities to collaborate
As your relationship develops, look for chances to work together on a project, event or social media campaign. Promoting each other to your respective audiences is a great way to provide value to one another. When the time is right, reach out with a collaborative idea you think would resonate with both of your followers. Be willing to reciprocate if they come to you with an opportunity first.
Meet in person when possible
While digital communication is convenient, face-to-face interaction helps to strengthen connections. If geography allows, suggest grabbing coffee or lunch together. Meeting in person can lead to productive brainstorming, a chance to pitch new ideas or the forging of new professional alliances. Make the most of any in-person contact by being fully present, engaged and open to new possibilities.
Share updates and wins
Keep your influencers in the loop regarding any major accomplishments, product launches, events or milestones. And be sure to celebrate their big wins right along with them. Liking and commenting on their social media posts, sending a congratulatory email and offering to help promote their news are all signs you support them and the success of their business or brand as much as your own.
So, there you have it, some tried and tested tips for networking with influencers and gaining more customers. By focusing on building genuine relationships, adding value, and looking for wins that benefit everyone, you’ll be well on your way to establishing powerful connections and partnerships. Don’t be afraid to think big and reach out to people you admire – you have so much to offer, and influencers are people too. With the right mindset and persistence, you’ll be networking like a pro in no time. Now get out there and start connecting! The opportunities are endless if you open yourself up to them. You’ve got this.