4 Simple Strategies to Connect with Influencers: Let’s Drive Your Blog From Hobby to Hot!

Do you remember the last job interview you had?  (Don’t get anxious on me…) Do you remember where you were, how you felt, and what you said?

You looked good. You felt good and you had done your homework. You walked into that interview knowing that you were prepared to be the best candidate for the position.

You WANTED that job, bad.

And then… the doors opened to the interview room and *holding your breath…*
you rocked it!

You put your best foot forward: You were savvy. You were genuine in your compliments. You knew your stuff and you were quick to observe where and how you fit in.

That, friend, is the secret to successfully connecting with influencers.

the sits girls

Here are Four Strategies to Make Sure Your Best Foot is Forward …

 

1. Be Savvy
Being savvy in the blog promoting world is all about being in the right place and surrounding yourself with the right people.

  • The Right Place: Different influencers have different influences on different promoting platforms (Wow! That was a lot of differents…) Watch the platforms you are regularly participating in and you will see that one influencer may have an engaged following on Facebook but not so much on Twitter, or Pinterest etc. Make sure that you are connecting with influencers where their influence is most powerful to begin with. For example, if you want to connect with Mari Smith, you’re going to go to Facebook, not Twitter, not Pinterest, not Instagram. Although she has a presence on each platform, Facebook his her thing. That’s her place, so that’s where you should start connecting with her.
  • The Right People: The influencers you choose to connect with has EVERYTHING to do with how successful you are in connecting. Do you have complimentary products? Do you have relatively similar engagement in your communities? Can you add value to one anothers communities? If you are just connecting with people because they have a high number of followers or likes, your wasting your time. Micro target and stay focused when you go out looking for the influencers who will really have an impact on your blog promotion.

 

2. Be Genuine
Every influencer has a nose to sniff out spammers and brown nosers. Don’t be tempted. Be real. Be genuine. Don’t spam every blog post they write with insincere comments or re-tweet everything you see in their stream. Take your time. Engage where it’s most applicable and be steady. Remember, this is about a solid long-term relationship. Nice and easy does it…. every time.

  • Curate, Curate, Curate: Curating (or sharing) is such a great way to get noticed by influencers. When you genuinely share articles that are helpful for your audience and direct your audience to the influencer, they start to warm up to you. The more you share, the more they return. But don’t get spammy. Remember, long-term relationship here, not a one-night stand.
  • Comment: You all are already EXCELLENT at this, so it shouldn’t be too hard to adopt. It’s a natural reaction when you start connecting and curating, commenting is the icing on the cake.
  • Thank: Thank you is such an underrated and underused phrase. There are so many ways to use it. When the influencers you’re focusing on start to respond find nice, simple ways to thank them without groveling. :)

 

3. Know Your Stuff
How do your skills bring value you to their audience and how does your audience bring value to their brand.

  • Identify the skills and assets you have that will add value to the influencers audience. Don’t pitch them out right with your skills, just demonstrate them with the articles you post, the comments you leave and the engagement you have within their communities.

 

4. Be Quick to Observe

  • Know Your Place: This isn’t a hard sell game. This is a long-term relationship. If you really want to attract influencers who eventually advocate for you then you must know your place and accept it. Know when you’re a follower, know when you’re a community member, know when you’re engaged and engaging and know when it’s your time to step up and influence.
  • Know How Your Brands are Complementary: Be quick to observe how your brands work well together. Don’t get stuck looking for influencers in your industry or among competitors. Open the doors to unlimited promotion opportunities by connecting with influencers inside and outside of your niche and industry who have an audience that would benefit from your brand and vice versa.

If you need a jumpstart on uncovering who and where your influencers might be, here are some good ways to start:

  • Make a seed list – use Klout, Alltop and Twitter hashtags to start digging in.
  • Remember that influence isn’t always in numbers – focus on the influencers engagement and response within their communities.
  • Watch for patterns – where are the influencers engaging? Where is their circle of influencers engaging? Go and be there. Scout it out and find your place.
  • Make a short list – Naturally continue engaging with people who are responding to you. If they don’t respond to you after a few shares or introductions, don’t be afraid to drop them like hot cakes. If they don’t have time for you, you shouldn’t be using your precious time on them.

Rinse and repeat. You’ll be on influencers radars in no time!

Once you’re on their radar and you’ve had some interaction and time to meld, then hit them with your best shot, fire away! Ask for the opportunity to guest post or cross-post so you can expose yourself more directly to their audience and continue growing your newfound relationship.

Ready. Set. GO!

If you have questions, fire away in the comments section and I’ll stick around to chat!

p.s. I quoted two songs in this article, I challenge you to find the lyrics and write the titles in the comments, just for fun ;) (Double kudos if you can name the original singers!)

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Comments

  1. Thank you Bonnie. Your article was a great help to me. I’ve been active in social media for a few years but only now starting to engage influencers. Navigating through the process is mind bending for me. Articles like your s are making it more manageable.

    PS: Are you in fact a Pat Benatar fan? Hit Me With Your Best Shot brings back some very bad hair days but it was the 80’s after all. I couldn’t find the second lyric but what a GREAT way to encourage us to take another look at the post!

    Best,
    Luke Reichle

    “Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

  2. Great post, Thank you so much! I do take the time to respond to each and every comment on my blog unless they are a No-Reply blogger then it makes it difficult to interact with those readers. It is very time consuming at times, especially on those days that a provide a good post. I don’t mind it, I just wish that I could find a more efficient way to reply.

    I think my biggest struggle as a blogger is trying to figure out how to get sponsors or how to approach companies. I would appreciate any help on that.

    I have definitely learned a lot in the past couple years. It’s been a lot of trial and error, but a great learning experience. It has helped me grow and evolve into a better blogger. Also with the help of great posts like this one.

    Thank you!!

    • Denyse, great questions!

      Ok, as far as the sponsorship goes, can you give me a little more detail? What’s your main goal in attracting sponsors and what kind of sponsors are you looking for? Is it to monetize your blog (which every blogger should be doing) or is it for reviews… There are so many different approaches that I’ll be able to help more when I know specifically your purpose for attracting sponsors :)

      • Thanks for getting back to me, Bonnie!

        I don’t mind doing reviews. It depends what the product/review is. I have been having a hard time finding companies that will send me products to review or even worthy give-away’s. I am going into my 3rd year of blogging and I would like to start making a little money. At least enough to pay for me to keep up on my blog and to provide me with a little more funds to get the things I need to give my readers good content.

        I’ve signed up with a few of the sites that work with bloggers, at least the ones I know about. But, I just don’t know how to approach anything else beyond that.

        My focus for so long was finding my niche and building my following. Now I’m reading to run out of the gate ;-)

        • Ok, I’ll add your question to my marketing & promoting your blog series this week! Great questions and I think I have some good tools up my sleeve for you :) Finding a niche is definitely the first step to ramping up monetizing solutions, so way to go! It looks like you’ve found yours :) (love the brick backsplash!)

  3. All of these are very right. Starting blog with your favorite contents which you are interested in is good choice. Someday, with these tips from this article, your blog may become “hot blog”. I believe.

  4. Thank you SO much for offering this information!! I am delving into attempts to drive more traffic and gain followers and I am soaking up as much help and advice as I can!!! I will read and re-read this post!!! :)

    Question: If you spend hours (and I mean HOURS) commenting on other sites within your niche, is this efficient use of your time? I am drowning in this, but want to reach out and support fellow bloggers in hopes to connect and develop those relationships! I have done several guest posts at my place and through that, I have been asked to guest at other blogs. I still seem to keep similar numbers though. What am I doing wrong?

    • Chris, excellent question! First, kudos to you, you have great comment engagement on your blog, so what your doing is working :) Second, you’re right, you can spend hours commenting and marketing your brand through social interactions. I hesitate to encourage that at broad. I would say as long as you can directly correlate your commenting with your main goals, then you are in your engagement sweet spot.

      This is a great question and I could write an epistle on how I feel and what I think about it. Instead of eating up comment space, I’ll write a post tomorrow on my blog to answer your question :)

      Have a fantastic day!

  5. Heather says:

    This site is amazing not only will i be able to get help but also
    connect with wonderful people and learn by example what works and what does not
    if by choosing this I get good ideas and clarity I going to be open to any suggestion that fellow readers have for me
    with choosing a great blog and how to do.
    thank you readers for taking time to check out my page
    look forward to more inviting followers

  6. So glad I don’t have to deal with job interviews anymore.

    I agree with the others in that this is great post with great advice.

    I’ve been at this for a year now and it was interacting with other bloggers and building relationships that opened a lot of new doors for me such as guest blogging.

    Enjoyed the post and looking forward to reading more.

    • Thanks for connecting, Corina. Guest posting is a fantastic way to connect. I’m glad you brought it up! For anyone reading who may be timid about it, I’ll connect a recent article I wrote about guest posting… (and p.s. I am SO glad I haven’t had to deal with job interviews for years too! Congrats to you for the same :) )

  7. Thank you for posting these tips. I have been in the social media but I feel like I am still not getting much love in the blogesphere. There are people who make comments without even reading your post and I think it’s terrible so I like the fact that you had that as a tip because in reality we are all about helping each other. I still have much to learn but I can’t wait to see how these tips are going to help me. Thanks again!

    • The blogosphere takes a little more time to nurture. It’s all about participating in communities. The SITSGirls is a great place to start since there is such a wonderful, active community of bloggers and they are very welcoming. Don’t give up!

  8. Thank you for the tips and how easy you explain it. I am all excited to get started.

    I got Hit Me with Your Best shot by the great Pat Benatar (who I recently blogged about) but the other song I missed probably because I am not familiar with Michael Buble’s music.

    • Yay, Michael! You got it, the other one is buried in point #2, think Frank Sinatra…

      I’m glad to hear that you’re excited to get started, that’s always the most rewarding thing to hear!

  9. Great tips! I agree that if you are real – real in you comments, shares and interactions – relationships will just form naturally.

  10. Great info and all, and I should prolly be getting in on stuff like this but honestly I have more interesting things to do :P And I’m lazy.

  11. Great post, Bonnie! Thank you! I have a question – what are your thoughts on going ahead and integrating advertising early on? I’m considering swapping ad space with bloggers who have relevant content that I enjoy. I’ve been blogging since 2011 but had to take a break this Fall and am just now thinking about promotion. Is there a certain point I should reach before doing that or just go ahead and jump in? Thanks!

    • Thanks Christina! Have I mentioned that I LOVE your blog title. It makes me smile when I see it :)

      Great question and even better timing. I’m about to release a series of blog posts next week that will answer the classic promotion questions: who, when, where, what…. Right now I’ll tell you, it’s never to early to start promoting. You just don’t want to do it in a way that jeopardizes future engagement. I’ll get into that more next week on my blog.

      For now, it sounds like your really just swapping links? If yes, as long as what they have adds value to your readers, that’s fantastic! Don’t hesitate. Let me know any additional specific questions you have about it and I’m happy to make sure I cover them next week in detail!

      • Thanks! You’re so helpful! I’m 100% in agreement regarding not doing anything that might jeopardize future engagement. We’ve all seen blogs that are so ad heavy you can’t even find the posts. It is overwhelming and cheapens the overall experience! Boy, I don’t want to be like that! I’m thinking about swapping to help broaden my audience and do the same for other bloggers. If you have experience with this I’d be curious how you go about it – I’d feel like I’m asking someone out on a date! ;) I’m considering using something like Passionfruit so a blogger could have some ad space in my sidebar. I’d want to limit it to just a few so there’s no clutter and familiarize myself with those bloggers so I feel confident that what they talk about it something I can support.

  12. Thanks for the great advice. Being new to the game can be very intimidating sometimes. It helps to have solid advice to lean on.

    • Mishka, thanks for connecting! Just remember it’s a long term strategy, don’t hustle yourself or your influencers for overnight responses, but don’t wait to long to move on things either :)

  13. Thanks so much for these great tips. I didn’t know about AllTop.

  14. I love the first tip about going where they are. I love Twitter so I assume everyone else does to. I need to branch out and go where the people I want to connect with are.

    • Carli, I’ve done the same thing (I think we all do). I tend to connect with people where I’m comfortable, but it’s SO much more effective when you’re on their home turf :) Let me know how it goes!

  15. great tips and advice.
    thank you, bonnie.

    the best

  16. What a great post on how to get started on this. Thank you so much.

    blessings,
    Shan
    The How to Guru

  17. Great tips Bonnie! I’m ready to sit and figure out which influencers most connect with my blog. And build, build, build from there!

    • PS- I saw “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, which I believe was originally done by Pat Benatar, but I didn’t see the other song!

      • YES!!! Go Kristen! Right on.

        I’m going to have to come up with some kind of fun bonus for you! I have a new product coming out in about four weeks and I’ll put you on the bonus (possible freebie) list. Way to pay attention and be the first one to respond! ;) The other song is buried in point 2… think old-skool

        Let me know how your influencer list goes.. I’d love to hear!

  18. Great advice, once again!! Thank you!!!

  19. Thanks for the tips. I try to follow each one already, except for posting brands or selling ad space on my site. I don’t think that’s for me or my blog. Everything else is great. I appreciate your post. Have a blessed day!

  20. I am obsessed with marketing. Your points hit the spot!

  21. This is great! It made me think of one of the blogs that I’ve followed for a long time. I enjoy their posts and they are a high number blog that matches my lifestyle nice but anytime I’ve tried to engage, they will post my comment but never respond back. It makes me rethink if they are a good match for me after all. Lifestyle to me equals personalize. It equals down-to-earth. You’ve given me some great things to think about.

    http://www.girlsandhappiness.com

    • Laurali, great lesson there for all of us. It’s the classic quality vs. quantity debate. I have always found better success rates in targeted, relevant niches over going for the gurus who ‘know it all.’ Food for thought….

  22. Wow! That is a great post. I have been focusing on trying to get everything squared away with just starting back up, so now it’s time to really start reaching out to people. I remember grueling job interviews…WHOA!

    • Yay! For getting revved up again. I’m a relatively new kid on the SITS block where I first connected with you and I wouldn’t have guessed you were just coming back… Glad you enjoyed the post.

  23. Great tips! I agree that if you are real – real in you comments, shares and interactions – relationships will just form naturally. Leaving sincere comments and being an active participant in communities is beneficial to everyone.

  24. Be genuine is so important! Great tips again, Bonnie.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 4 Simple Strategies to Connect with Online Influencers [...]

  2. [...] Great post, Bonnie! Thank you! I have a question – what are your thoughts on going ahead and integrating advertising early on? I’m considering swapping ad space with bloggers who have relevant content that I enjoy. I’ve been blogging since 2011 but had to take a break this Fall and am just now thinking about promotion. Is there a certain point I should reach before doing that or just go ahead and jump in? Thanks! [...]

  3. [...] I you need a jump-start, you can check out my guest post over at The SITS Girls: 4 Simple Strategies to Connect with Influencers [...]

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