Last Updated on: August 1st, 2018
Building relationships with influencers and engaging with them is a great way to build your following and brand. I’ve found that influencers, on average, are more willing to engage with you than non-influencers. Perhaps (at least partly) it is their friendly and positive attitude that has gotten them to where they are!
Nevertheless, influencers are busy people and they have a lot of people messaging them. But there are a few tricks that you can use to successfully engage and get noticed by them.
Building Relationships with Influencers: 7 WAYS
If you want to build genuine relationships with influencers, here are 7 action steps you can take to start making friends and building your own sphere of influence.
1. Comment on Their Blogs
Commenting on someone’s blog is one of the easiest ways to get noticed. And a lot of influential bloggers will even reply to some or all of their comments. It’s a great way to start forming relationships with top bloggers.
Even if the influencers don’t reply to you or your comment, they probably read their blog comments. After all, they wrote the post and are probably curious as to what other people think.
To get noticed, try to make intelligent comments that add value to the post instead of just saying “nice post.” Also, be sure to comment regularly. That doesn’t mean you have to comment on every post, but try to comment every now and then if you have something worth saying.
If you really want to get serious about blog commenting, then sign up for their email list so that you get notified when they publish a new article. You can also subscribe to their blog’s RSS feed with a tool like BlogTrottr if you want to be one of the first commenters.
2. Engage with Them on Twitter
Some influencers are active on Twitter and will engage their fans on there. Pay attention to influencers and see how they are using their Twitter accounts. Are they communicating with other people on Twitter?
If so, then this can be a good way to start connecting with them and building relationships with these influencers. Answer their questions or comment on their messages. Get involved in the conversation if you think you can add something good to it.
Another thing you can do is ReTweet their messages when they are promoting their own posts on Twitter. This is a more passive strategy, but if you keep doing it, then they are going to notice.
3. Other Communities and Social Media Channels
Check to see if they are a part of other communities or social media sites and engage with them on there. Some influencers even have their own communities, so join those and participate. Be sure to read and follow the community rules.
There’s a lot less commenting on Pinterest, so if you comment on their pins, then this might be a way you can get their attention on Pinterest.
A lot of conversations happen in Facebook groups, on Reddit, or in other niche community sites. Find the most popular communities, forums, and groups in your niche and engage in real conversations with influencers via those channels so you can properly build your relationships with influencers.
4. Email Outreach
Sometimes emailing can be an effective way to reach an influencer. You can build a relationship with them by emailing, although emails can sometimes get ignored as well.
When emailing someone, you will have to think of a good reason to reach out to them. Some people will reply and some may not. But if you are providing something valuable to the person, then your chances of getting a reply will increase.
Some of the better reasons to reach out by email are to offer to interview them, ask them to participate in an expert roundup (if they have actively participated in one recently), to guest post (if they advertise that they are accepting guest posts), or to tell them that you have featured them in one of your blog posts (and linked to their article or their infographic).
Emailing can also work better if you’ve already started to build the relationship by commenting on their blog first. They will recognize your name!
5. Meet Them in Real Life!
Influencers often speak at conferences and other events. So a good way to reach influencers is to meet them in real life. Sometimes influencers will post their conference schedule on their website, email their list about it, or Tweet about it.
If you can afford to attend conferences, then do a search for the major conferences in your industry. Then check their websites to see who will be attending and be speaking and also if there are events within the conference where you can meet them. Meeting someone in real life is far more personal and a great way to make a good impression.
You can use a tool like Google Alerts or Talkwalker alerts to monitor any time an influencer’s name is mentioned online. You may discover opportunities to meet your target influencer at a local event, and if you are lucky, they may even speak at free events like Meetups in your area.
6. Take Their Course
This will cost you some money, but it might be worth it to purchase someone’s course. Take their training course, if they offer live coaching as one of the benefits. Sometimes these courses can be inexpensive, but if you have a chance to actually talk and get to know an influencer, then it might very well be worth it.
The primary reason for taking someone’s course is to learn from them or get coaching, but once you’ve made the purchase, be sure to be an active participant if they have live coaching calls or provide email support.
Work hard to become one of their best case studies and you’ll definitely stand out from everyone else.
7. Build Your Own Influence by Creating Your Own Quality Content Consistently
Finally, one of the most important steps that no one ever mentions for building relationships with influencers it to build your own influence at the same time. Creating quality content and showing influencers that you are capable of being one of them encourages them to build a relationship with you as well.
One of the hardest parts about building influence is being consistent with content creation. Set a schedule and create processes to decide exactly what type of content you will create.
Spend extra time on your articles so that you outperform your competitors when you are doing things like guest blogging. Content creation can be challenging at first, but you’ll get better at it and faster as you do more of it.
If you want to stand out, then figure out how you can offer something different than everyone else.
For example, long-form content is really popular in the digital marketing niche to the extent that many people won’t even consider short content. So I wrote an article about how short-form content can actually perform better with the right strategy.
Keep reading and learning from other people as well as experimenting on your own. Remember that a real expert isn’t just a writer, but someone that takes action too.
To Sum It Up
Building relationships with other influencers is a tricky task to incorporate into your schedule, but it’s one of the secret ways smart bloggers and marketers stand out. If you can excel at building relationships AND creating great content, then you can become an influencer yourself in no time.
Brian Liang is the founder of Small Business Ideas Blog and Web Developers Etc, which offers website, hosting and design services. Sign up for his newsletter for more articles and ideas on business, marketing and achieving success.