Whether you have a small business or a well-established business, influencers can be a very important part of your marketing efforts.I am often asked how to go about setting up a program so I thought I would share these three quick hits to start an Influencer Relations Program. Once you have followed these steps, you will want to consider next steps as outlined in a previous post.
1. Define What an Influencer is!
There are many definitions for what an influencer is. It is important that you and your organization come to an agreement on who you consider an influencer. Keep in mind that some influencers will be easier to engage than others.
For example let’s say that you produce sunglasses and you want celebrities to take notice and talk about your product. That would be an awesome accomplishment, but depending on a number of variables, reaching that demographic and impressing them might be a hard sell.
Instead you might pursue another route, the one I typically recommend. Look instead to those individuals who are industry experts and well respected in your specific sector, business or industry.
2. Remember You Need to Build Relationships
You know the saying: Rome was not built in a day. The same can be said for nurturing relationships with Influencers. After all, they are people with the same basic needs and wants that you have. They want to be respected. They want to treated well. Most of the time, people want relationships. So take your time and get to know people.
Reaching out to people that you don’t know and asking for something rarely works…unless of course you are offering something that they want and need in return.
3. Determine What Type of Program that You Want and Need
Keep in mind that some Influencers will want to help you for the sake of helping you out, once you have established a relationship. Others will want compensation for helping you out. There is nothing wrong with that. It is their business model. You really need to know and understand this in order to make the right decisions. This will help you decide what type of program you want and need.
If you do choose the later, be sure to be transparent about paying your influencers. Being up front about the relationship will benefit you greatly and save you from potential embarrassment.