Influence The Influencers — on Instagram

How to properly approach Influencers and build business relationships with them.

Ads Suck

Plain and simple: We don’t want to see ads that we don’t care about. Watching a tv show, we don’t sit through 2 minutes of commercials. 95% of ads are skipped on YouTube.

Yet we search out reviews

Whole websites are made up of just reviews: Yelp reviews restaurants, Goodreads reviews books, Tripadvisor reviews tourism, Consumer reports reviews products. We’re constantly googling for information for products and things we want. Influencers are those who are expert content creators around a specific topic. Beauty care products (rclbeauty101), flights (ThePointsGuy), yoga (laurasykora).

How to properly approach Influencers and build business relationships with them.

Most companies over look the nuances associated in building influencer relationships. Focusing on business aspect before personal. Talking dollars and cents before trust is built. Leaving a bad taste in the creator’s mouth and pushing away potential partners. Remember influencers are people, not walking billboards. Approach them as such.

Non-Engagements

I’ve read it in various blogs, recommended, to “engage” with an influencer first. They usually go on to say “comment” and “like” their content first. I believe it’s more important to just know what they are doing. You don’t have to actually like and comment for days. Most likely the influencers who matter, don’t want a brand to comment on their account. Keep your relationship professional.

Just Reach Out

Instead, just reach out. Don’t wait. If you think what they create is good and you want to see your brand collaborate with them. Go ahead and email them. Their email will be directly in their profile. IF it isn’t. Go have a look around their website. If they don’t make it easy to contact them, do you really want to work with them? It either means they aren’t professional enough to be reachable or they don’t want to be contacted.

Honesty and Transparency

Influencer marketing should be built on the backbone of transparency. Customers are too wise and too in touch with their community to be fooled by simple plugs or shoutouts. Instead companies need genuine, connected media content to win over the communities trust.

What is influencer marketing anyways?

It’s collaborating with online content creators, who have a specific audience to endorse your product. These creators have huge online communities behind them. They have the ability to engage and inspire their fans. Most importantly their following trusts them and the products they endorse.

You Need Their Trust

If your product is in their world, and they don’t like it, you won’t get far. A bad review will kill sales yet a great review can push you through the roof. You don’t want just a “shoutout” because that shows as a paid ad. We don’t like ads. Therefore the best influencer campaigns show off the usefulness of your products. They’re real. They’re subtle. They’re transparent and it’s long lasting. By doing this you can tap into some pretty amazing communities and reach millions of users.

How can I reach influencers?

The best way to reach influencers is by building trusting personal relationships with them. Offer them the appropriate financial compensation for their work in your first email. The second worst thing you can do is to offer them free products. But that’s not so bad. It’s only bad if you do it in a bubble, without anything else.

But wait, free products are awesome!

Are they? It’s essentially begging for the creator to review you. Alone, It’s desperate. While if contextualized in a relationship builder, it’s awesome. What’s going to happen if you offer someone free products that they don’t want? Likely nothing. And nothing is the 2nd worst thing that can happen.

Criticism

Many influencers will read this and I welcome them to comment or criticize me if I’m wrong in any way or they approach brands differently. Everyone is different and everyone will have different ways go to about the same thing.

Contextualize

Always give more than you expect to gain. That doesn’t mean to crush your margins or do anything that has a negative ROI. What I mean here is be overly abundant with information and positivity. You’ll get a lot of positivity back.

Give a Way Out

When approaching an influencer, give them a way to refuse or negotiate or completely back out. Even a simple “Just not right now” is a great response from an Influencer. Put them back on your list to reach out to again in a few months. They might have grown and you may be able to offer them more. And they may be more valuable.

Let’s Get it Straight from an Influencer

Thanks for reading this far. This is the only time in all these essays that I’m going to stop half way. And not give you the 2nd half of this essay.

Why?

Because what follows in this chapter is a rather amazing, truthful, exchange between a brand and an Influencer. This person has over 1 million twitter followers, has a YouTube Instagram and Facebook pages driving millions of people to brands all the time through influencer marketing. Because this is a draft they haven’t had a chance to review my analysis of the exchanges. It’s back and forth emails they have happily provided for me to give to you, my dear reader.

What’s next?

Well, I’m still editing these drafts. This one you’re reading is chapter 10 of 12 total chapters all about Instagram. You can read the others on my main medium page: Andrew Kamphey.

Next Chapter

Just go on and read the next chapter: Don’t Call It A Contract. (edit: coming out Wednesday) In it I prescribe great methods of actually getting a deal done with an influencer. This chapter you just read was all about approaching influencers. Now let’s go make deals!

No Bots About It! All Chapters

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Any and all edits, suggestions, critiques are welcome.

Final draft of this essay, along with 11 more are to be published as “No Bots About It!”. Each essay hyper focuses on a single aspect of Instagram. Learn what it takes to build and grow an audience on Instagram.

Originally meant to teach e-commerce stores how to Instagram, topics covered have been a huge help to my private clients who include: Actors, Models, Pro Athletes, TV Hosts, Moms, and more. If you have passion, Instagram has your audience.

NoBotsAbout.com for more info.

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Former Santa | Maker | Coffee Drinker

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