Ask any forward-thinking marketing strategist about what marketing strategies they think will be vital in the coming years, and I’m willing to bet influencer marketing will come up time and time again.

Influencers are real people that can connect with your customers on a truly personal level. They have built a following of loyal, dedicated audiences that trust them and value their opinion. This influence that they wield can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool if leveraged correctly.

That’s why any startup or company striving for growth should be working with influencers as closely as possible. But that begs the question, where do you find these influencers? And how do you connect with them? Here are 3 answers for you…

1. Influencer Agencies

Influencer agencies are essential ‘talent pools’ of micro-influencers. The agency works as a middleman, connecting these influencers to brands seeking partnerships. It’s a convenient, easy way for brands to instantly connect with dozens of influencers with a targeted, dedicated following that aligns to their brand.

“At H, we’re proudly pioneering a slow content movement. Our platform, The Hub is a highly curated community of creators who make work with integrity. We partner with only those creators whose content, relationships, and identities can’t be churned out on demand. Only those creators whose work ultimately offers those coveted intangibles that only organic, free-range creativity can truly deliver. Mass produced is traded in for handmade in all it’s authentic and imperfect authenticity.” – James Cole, The H Hub

Influencer agencies offer probably the easiest way for brands looking for a quick solution to connect with influencers.

2. Instagram and other social channels

An alternative way to connect with influencers is to reach out to them directly. The first step here would be to pick a platform that you think would represent the most effective marketing platform for your brand.

For example, fashion brands may want to target Instagram influencers, as visuals will be more important. Other industries may benefit more from influencers with audiences on other platforms, such as blog sites or YouTube.

The second step would be to find the business contact information for these influencers and send an inquiry about a possible partnership opportunity. Outline why you think your brand would be a good fit for their target audience. For bloggers, this contact information will usually be given on their website. For YouTubers and Instagrammers, you may need to go through their digital agency.

3. Networking events

A final way to find and connect with influencers is at networking events. These events are great as they allow you to interact face-to-face which can lead to more productive discussions about partnership deals.