17+ Awesome Influencer Marketing Strategies

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You probably already know as a content marketer, that if you don’t promote your content, you’re not going to do very well.

According to XYZ, there’s XYZ content published every day, which means competition for organic traffic from platforms like Google, Youtube and Facebook is INSANE.

You need the help of influencers in your space if you want to get traction.

But here’s the deal:

Influencers are people too. So stop treating them like they were put on this earth to promote your content!

Derek Halpern probably says it best:

The internet has turned people into panhandlers… People who wouldn’t be caught dead asking for a dollar on the corner are asking for much more than that in an email…Not only are you going to look like a panhandler, but you’re going to RUIN your first impression with that influential person and they’re going to ignore you forever“.

Luckily, in today’s post I’ll show you exactly how to build relationships the right way with a handful of influencer marketing strategies.

Free Bonus: Get access the 14 foundational principles to relationship building + a step-by-step process of how I implement all of the tactics in this post. 

 

1. Leverage Forums to promote influencers and start conversations

This tip was inspired by my mentors Daniel and Frejya & Dmitry Dragilev.

I know what you’re thinking: Forums are so 1995.

But they’re not, that’s actually dead wrong.

Believe it or not, forums are THE watering hole where your target audience and other influencers hang out.

Forums have stood the test of time and, while they don’t have quantity users of something like Facebook, they’ve got a more concentrated user base than any platform out there.

And at the end of the day, finding laser-focused people is all that really matters anyways.

For you marketers out there, you’ve probably heard of Growth Hackers or Inbound. Maybe even less well known websites like Warrior Forum and Blackhat World.

These are all extremely targeted marketing forums.

In fact, Daniel (who I mentioned earlier) used growth hackers to drive INSERT TRAFFIC STAT to this post alone, which led to the CEO of Microsoft sharing his post…Not bad.

The same goes for Quora and Reddit.

These are also forums, just larger and less focused on one specific topic.

I see some of the best, busiest marketers like Neil Patel posting stuff on Quora literally all the time.

And you know what?

He gets thousands and THOUSANDS of visitors go to his website and starts countless relationships with other influencers because of that. In fact, I just Googled it and found that Neil wrote a post about quora marketing. You can view it here.

I’ll into more detail about pitching press later in this post, but an important takeaway is that journalists are constantly under pressure to write new stories.

You know where they often go for topic ideas?

You guessed it: Forums.

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1) Find a question/thread the influencer would be interested in. Requires research.

Add more.

Step 2) Answer the question in insane depth. This will make you look insanely credible when it comes to step 3. Also, link to them if possible.

Add more.

Step 3) Shoot them an an email. Let them know you linked to them, suggest they get involved.

Add more.

 

2. Scale relationship building with semi-automation

This one comes from my buddy Darren Dematas.

The concept is basically this:

1. Personalize the first half of your email template so you sound like an actual human (and not a spam bot).

2. Automate the bottom half of your email template to streamline the automate-able stuff, when applicable.

If you decide to use one of the other tactics mentioned in this post and it’s applicable to every influencer on your list, like sending a cool SEO article to a bunch of SEO’s, then there’s no reason to manually copy and paste the same link in every single email.

 

Stuff like that should be part of an email template.

The key is to only automate that part. 

Everything else, should be manually written in order to maintain a genuine touch.

If I’m going to email Sujan and include a blurb asking about the weather in Texas, that wouldn’t apply to someone like Neil Patel who lives in Seattle or Brian Dean who jumps around Europe traveling.

The personalization stuff simple should not be automated. Ever. 

Now:

I’ll jump into the step-by-step process for how to do this in a second, but a quick note:

So I’m seriously not here to try to sell you anything but coincidentally Sujan’s email outreach tool, Mailshake, works incredibily well for this strategy.

It’s seamless. A child could figure out how to use Mailshake. It’s intuitive like an Apple product. It’s very simple to understand and just way easier/straightforward than any other outreach tool I’ve used. You don’t have to train your team how to use it  and no customer support phone calls are necessary.

You can check out this demo if you want to see what it looks like.

Here’s a step-by-step process you can follow:

1)

2)

3)

4) 

5) 

3. Use the “Applesauce Technique” (but don’t ask for anything):

The Applesauce technique is a term coined by Brian Dean in module 3 of his link building course, SEO that works.

The concept is this:

Add applesauce to your food, and it instantly makes your food better.

So take that kind of methodology and apply it to your influencer’s blog post.

For example, you might create a custom image for them explaining some data that they included in their post. And boom, you just improved their post by making it more visually appealing, memorable and easier to understand.

Who wouldn’t want a free custom image that helps their blog post?

What Brian teaches is to give them something like this that improves their post in exchange for a link.

But long term, I think this technique is better utilized for relationship building rather than link building.

In other words, just send it to them and not ask for anything rather than trying to scheme a link out of it.

Does it work for getting some quick backlinks? Absolutely.

But can you burn your bridges by asking for a backlink without building a relationship first? Also yes.

That’s why I recommend using the Applsauce Technique, not as a link building method, but as a relationship building method

Here’s how to get started:

1) 

2) 

3) 

 

4. Give feedback on their products 

I kid you not, this is single handedly the exact method I used to start conversations and build sweet relationships with ballers like…

Sujan Patel:

Brian Dean:

and Neil Patel:

And make no mistake:

These guys DO NOT mess around… They’re some of the most sought after marketers in the entire world, with millions and millions of followers.

But because I bought their product THEN took the time to help them make it better, they made the time to respond.

Why does this work?

To be frank, money is something we all pretty much worry about. And I knew that these guys made a lot of their money from online training courses.

When you help make someone’s livelihood a little more sustainable, they will love you for it.

The bottom line: Help improve THEIR bottom line. 

Here’s how to get started:

1)

2) 

3) 

 

5. Point out Errors on their website (Especially blog posts)

Appealing to a similar sentiment as found in strategy #4, people also want their website to be as good as possible too.

Why?

Well in today’s digital age, your website is pretty much your headquarters.

People don’t look to yellowpages anymore to learn about your brand, they use the internet.

By using the internet, a person can learn all about your company in seconds and even buy from you.

Especially if you’re doing a lot of content marketing for your brand, your website is the hub where you establish your credibility, authority and reputation in your industry.

The three main tactics I look for are:

1. Broken links.

2. Spelling and Grammer mistakes.

3. Google Pagespeed insights.

How to find broken links 

How to indentify spelling and grammer mistakes 

How to use Google Page Speed Insights 

 

6. Use the “Double Warm Up Technique”

This is about engaging with them in social media groups that they belong to.

Linkedin groups, Facebook groups, etc.

Go to a place like Facebook or Linkedin and search by keyword. You’ll find a bunch of groups. And these groups are FILLED with influencers.

The best part?

You’ve just joined their community so engaging with them isn’t awkward. It’s also not cold outreach.

it’s like “warming them up” on social media, but on steroids.

Why?

Because it’s not even a cold warm up, if that makes sense.

It’s a warm up inside of a warm up. Two layers!

Image result for inception leonardo we need to go deeper

 

 

4. Create a Content Network 

I learned this one from Module 33 of Neil Patel’s Advanced Marketing Program.

You’ll have to leverage other techniques in this post to get to this point, but once the relationships are somewhat built, you can start leveraging this tactic.

 

 

7. Interview them (and link to them) on your Podcast 

Not something you want to do right off the bat either, since it’s kind of an ask.

Even though it adds value to the influencer, your first emails should be 0% effort to them.

But once you’ve emailed them a couple times and added some great value to their lives with ease, you can use this tactic.

 

8. Send them Quotes and Data that Help their Post 

This is something you can use right off the bat. It can be one of your first emails to an influencer.

Don’t send them YOUR quotes/data though.

Instead, send them quotes/data from someone they would know. 

For example, if you’re a marketer:

Send quotes/data from authorities they’re familiar with like Rand Fishkin, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferris, etc.

Or if you’re going to send from publications, send quotes/data from Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, Digital Marketer, marketingProfs, etc.

 

 

9. Send them Cool Articles (especially if it’s a good article idea) 

This is especially useful when you’re pitching press, who are constantly scrampling to find stories.

Journalists at publications like Tech Crunch, Wall Street Journal and New York times have to write multiple articles every week.

And they’re pressed for time (funny joke right? :D).

An email you can send them right off the bat.

 

10. Offer them Marketing Advice 

If you’re reading this post and you’re looking for outreach advice, then you also probably know a good deal about marketing too.

Things like SEO, PPC, social media, web design, conversion rate optimization, email marketing, etc.

Most people are not great marketers.

They don’t see the value in collecting emails or how to do it.

But if you’re coming from a non-salesperson giving advice, they’re going to be totally cool with whatever advice you give them.

 

11. Convert their Post into a free E-book using (software name) 

 

12. Follow their Advice, Implement, and Offer Proof 

People LOVE it when you take their advice and follow through on it.

People, in general, feel under appreciated.

Take it a step further. Offer to write up a case study for them.

 

13. Introduce them to or make them look good in front of someone they’d want to add to their network.

I did this with Derek Halpern and Daniel-Danies Hutt.

 

14. Send them a Client

 

15. Send them a meme they’d like (depends on how casual your industry is). 

Who doesn’t like to laugh?

But depending on how professional your industry is (and the person you’re emailing), be careful.

 

16. Troll them and send them stuff they’d appreciate

Think about that time Dmitry Dragilev got that guy from TechCrunch to respond to him when he sent basketball tapes from his hightschool.

 

17. Link to them wherever possible 

Your posts (think roundup posts + Awardsbait + Crowdsource Manual)

Guest posts.

In forums.

Social media.

etc.

 

18. Say thank you after reading one of their posts.

Only like a 2 sentence email.

1) Thank you, that was exactly what I was looking for & I’m glad you were so thorough.

2) Looking forward to your next post – what else are you going to be writing about?

 

19. Comment (the right way)

Get a gravatar.

 

20. Interact on social (the right way)

 

21. Get them involved with your content

(Later on)

22. Interact on their Facebook page

23. Endorse on Linkedin

24. Feedback on their Articles

I loved XYZ, but still struggling with ABC. Would love to see you cover this in more detail int he future.

25. Become an Advocate (Endorse them via social when people have questions about something, and tag them in it)

26. Offer to be a testimonial

Influencers Part 3: Give Value And Stand Out

27. Get them press

28. Do what you do for free for them (services)

29. Help them get what they want

30. Reply to their Autosenders

31. Say “No need to reply”

32. Meet in person

33. Send handwritten notes

34. Help them get what they want (you have to read their posts to get here).

17+ Add more examples from interview notes

Now it’s your turn: 

Taking this approach is definitely a long game, but investing in the long run is what will make your business truly grow…

…And I encourage you to put at least one of them into practice TODAY. Don’t wait, just take action.

If you have any questions or maybe I left out some good strategies, please leave a comment below. I will respond to each and every comment you leave.

Also, don’t forget to download this free bonus (below) which explains 14 fundamental principles to influencer marketing + a step-by-step formula for putting these principles into action.

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Foundational Rules 

  1. 1. Keep your first 3 emails extremely short to maximize response rate

Seriously, less than 100 words.

This is some advice I learned for Derek Halpern in this video a while back.