Influencer marketing is a rising trend in the advertising industry. It enables companies to reach their target audience in more direct, organic, and valuable ways than traditional marketing methods like television and print ads.

That being said, if you’ve never worked with an influencer before, it can be difficult to get started. Below, you’ll find seven tips that you can use to make finding influencers for your products easier.

1. Understand Your Niche and Target Audience

You shouldn’t begin reaching out to influencers until you have a strong understanding of your company’s niche and the type of customers you’re trying to appeal to. Your influencer marketing campaign won’t be successful if you simply reach out to influencers with large followings. An influencer with a smaller following, but one more targeted to your niche can be much more valuable.

2. Understand Your Goals

Next, you should also have a strong understanding of what you hope to achieve through your influencer marketing campaign. Are you hoping to increase your store’s brand awareness? Solidify its identity? Generate leads? Increase sales? Answering this question will help you narrow down the field of influencers to a group that’s targetted perfectly for your goals.

3. Find Influencers Who Promote Your Competitors

If you’re unsure of where to begin looking for influencers in your niche, consider seeing who your competitors have hired. Those who have worked with companies in your field before will be more likely to partner with you. They’re also better positioned to help your marketing campaign succeed, given their previous experience.

4. Find Influencers Who Share Your Audience

Another strong tactic is to focus on influencers who have similar audiences to your own. For instance, if you’re trying to appeal to 20-something males, then start looking at social media accounts that are popular with 20-something males. These influencers may have never worked with a company in your industry before. However, they can still provide value to your retail store thanks to their influence with your target audience.

5. Email When Reaching Out to Influencers

Many companies make the mistake of direct messaging the influencers they hope to work with on their social media accounts. However, this is a good way of getting your proposal ignored. Influencers with large followings may receive hundreds or DMs each day. Emailing the ones you’d like to work with is the best way to make sure they actually see your proposal.

6. Be Prepared to Offer Something

Influencer marketing is an industry that’s growing increasingly competitive. If you’re having trouble with finding someone to work with, chances are you’re not offering enough. For the best results, have a deal structure drawn up before you reach out to any influencers. You might want to offer them a percentage of sales they generate, free product, or a flat rate. Being upfront about what you plan to offer increases the chance that influencers will take your company’s proposal seriously.

7. Hire an Agency to Help

If all of this sounds like too much work, you may just want to hire an agency to manage your next influencer marketing campaign. They’ll have a strong understanding of how to market your company in this way, and will be able to add value throughout the campaign. Additionally, an agency can help you measure the results of your influencer marketing campaign, so you can verify its success or failure.