Finding Influencers

“How do I reach influencers in my field?”, asked one of my followers. Here are my top tips for finding influencers in your chosen field.
My first caution is: be clear why you want to reach influencers in your field. Is it to obtain some endorsement from them
to build your credibility, or is it likely that they could become your customer? Could you be their supplier?

My advice will be highly dependent upon which of these objectives you have in mind.

If reaching influencers in your field is to obtain some endorsement from them to enhance your reputation.

  • The first step with reaching strong voices in your field will always be to get active in your field yourself. Identify who is already in your space and follow them and comment whenever there’s an opportunity to do so. If they pose a question you must answer it. Participation is important, and that’s where the power of social media lies.
  • Don’t be shy; be prepared to allow yourself to get noticed. Obviously, you must behave in an appropriate way for whichever platform you’re in at the time. It might be right to be flippant in twitter but not in the highly professional context of Linkedin
  • Make a connection wherever possible – has the influencer mentioned an event that they’re hosting or attending? Might you be able to go to meet them in person? Most people will be flattered to have been actively sought, especially if there’s a genuine potential business benefit for them in meeting you
  • Look for opportunities to assist the influencer – is there an opportunity for you to submit a guest blog post to their site?
  • Don’t underestimate the little people, “micro influencers”, those with smaller followings
  • Try to become a frequent voice trusted by your potential customers, especially if you’re running a local business where a few key people might be tapped into the communities which you’re keen to reach. I cannot prove it yet, but I strongly suspect that a level of trustworthiness is inversely proportionate to the number of followers which an individual can boast.
  • Are there relevant meetings or gatherings which you can attend?
  • Social media is a great way to connect with those far away, extending your reach significantly, but since “people buy people”nothing really beats looking into someone’s eyes and having real world contact for making a genuine connection
  • In an online world, I always remember the words of social media marketing guru David Meerman-Scott:”You are what you publish”. This final point will be critical if you might potentially sell to or supply to an influencer, as they will want to see what you do.
  • Sometimes influencers might be happy to take the time to connect with you in a non-public arena. I’ve been lucky to have private DM chats with influencers, such as the #1 digital marketing influencer, Sam Hurley and engagement manager, David Shaw, who kindly gave me some valuable encouragement and advice. Thank you, David!

If you need help to identify your potential customers and influencers contact me [email protected]’d like to hear your thoughts