I spend a lot of time every day reaching out and marketing to various influencers.
It’s not easy, especially since the internet is so saturated with marketers trying to get ahold of one another and many have no sense of boundaries. Simply asking for a favor is just not enough anymore.
You have to be willing to reach out so well they can’t say no. But what does that entail?
How do you convince the top marketing gurus to share your content with the rest of the world?
To answer that last question in complete honesty, it’s nothing. There’s nothing that make you so much more special than every marketer out there, so you’d better offer the influencer an excellent partnership.
At Venngage, we did this with the magic of an infographic. Here’s the process we used, so you can start getting your own results.
To learn more about how to build relationships with influencers, read our guide to influencer marketing.
Track down a bunch of influencers
The SumoMe blog has a very useful and actionable guide on putting together a content calendar and growing your website’s traffic. It explained a method you should consider when putting together a list of influencers.
Start by creating an Excel document listing out some “top tier” influencers you would like to work with. If you need a reference, this outreach guide highlights my personal tips for getting in contact with them.
You should end up with something looking roughly like this:
Start filling it in with influencer names and links to their best content. Make sure the people you include in the spreadsheet have audiences that would find your product useful and engaging. You want to ensure that you’re relevant to every influencer on the list.
After all, would a cat open up a dog training school? No, because that’s crazy. Don’t be crazy.
Give yourself a day to fill your spreadsheet with as many names as possible. By the end of the day, you should have at least 20-30 contacts for each column.
Start your analysis
Okay, so this is the time-consuming part. If you want to max out your potential for working with influencers and strengthening your relationship with them, you’ve got to do your research.
Start by finding important points from each of the influencer’s articles. The reason you have multiple columns is to find multiple opportunities for infographics to create, but also so you can tackle your analysis bit by bit.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “But Nadya, I thought you said I should aim to fill each column with 50 contacts? You expect me to analyze 250 articles?”
I said it was a lot of work. You don’t need to study each blog post thoroughly, though. That would take you a lifetime, and by then someone would have definitely beaten you to the punch.
Rather, try to skim posts, and pick out the first nugget that really stands out. Don’t spend more than 30 seconds to one minute per post.
In another spreadsheet, list out the specific statistics, tips and takeaways that you consider the most useful and actionable from the blog posts. Do this for each column.
Hypothetically, you should be able to do 250 articles in about 4 hours.
Here’s what it might start to look like:
You also want to leave a column for documenting their email address or Twitter handle for contacting people.
Begin your outreach
Once your spreadsheet is full of condensed and practical insight from the pros, you can start to do your outreach. Do this before you begin to create the infographics to make sure there’s at least some interest in what you’re making.
Try something along the lines of:
“Hey [FIRST NAME]
I’m working on an infographic about [SUBJECT] called [TITLE]. I read this article [URL] that you wrote, and pulled out some of the juiciest and most actionable tips from it.
Would you be interested in taking a look once it’s complete?”
That’s it. Don’t ask them to post it on their blog, don’t ask them to share it. Don’t ask them for anything! Just see if you can glean any interest.
Not everyone will get back to you, but the ones that do, keep their responses in a separate folder in your email. After a few days, you should have a pretty decent sized list of positive responses. Those are whose tips and tactics you actually include in the infographic.
If, however, you’re lucky enough that everyone wants to see the infographic, you can narrow down the information nuggets you found and see if any two are similar. You can combine the two separate nuggets into one bigger point.
Making your infographic
At last, it’s time to create your infographic! You have a couple of options: 1) you can design your own infographic, or 2) you can hire a designer.
If you’re up for the challenge and have the time, you could make your own infographic. Not only will it give you great practice, but it’ll be a lot cheaper. You can use an infographic maker like Venngage, which costs $19 a month, versus hiring a designer at $20-200 an hour. It’s totally doable to make a great infographic without a designer.
If this sounds like a personal nightmare, and you’re sweating at the sheer thought of having to take on an artistic challenge, it’s not the end of the world. Hire designer to give you a hand – feel free to reach out to me for some personal recommendations or check out sites like Upwork or Visual.ly.
Revise, and revise some more
Once your infographic is done and ready, revise it a few times. And then get someone else to revise it as well. You’ll be surprised at how frequently little mistakes go unnoticed.
Share your infographic with the world
Finally, once everything feels like it’s coming along, you can send your infographic to all those influencers who showed interest. Don’t forget to include the sources and links to their blog posts at the bottom of your infographic.
Now’s where you can ask them to share the infographic or add it to the existing post.
Why do I recommend you suggest adding it to a very specific article they’ve already written? Because these people are busy and don’t want to do extra work, especially if it’s for you. Because if you recall, you’re not special. Right?
If the infographic is specifically geared towards that content, and includes exact quotes from their article with a source link pointing to that blog post, it’s a win-win situation for them.
You want to make influencers think that everything you’re doing is for their benefit. Ideally, you’re going to be working with someone who’s more than willing to give you a hand, but not everyone has that attitude.
Using content to build relationships
Building relationships with influencers within your niche is a very important step in your marketing strategy. These are people with large audiences who might be looking for the exact thing you’re offering.