Here on ProBlogger, we have a lot of tips on influencer outreach – how to reach out to influencers and pitch to them. Here are just a few of the resources we have available:
- How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche (podcast episode)
- How to Grow Your Blog by Interviewing Influencers
- 7 Powerful Non-SEO Reasons to Try Guest Posting
But in this blog post I want to talk about why you should do it.
One big reason is the diminishing returns social media is providing. Many bloggers I know are struggling to get much traction on social media. It’s becoming a very noisy space, and the algorithms in place are squashing our organic reach.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for advertising (and many bloggers don’t), then social media can feel like shouting into an empty room.
Could influencer outreach be the solution for you?
Networking with influencers in your niche and building relationships with them can lead to any number of opportunities. Here are nine of them.
#1: Increased Traffic
The right influencer linking to your blog (or podcast, video or social media account) at the right time can send you a decent amount of traffic.
One straightforward way to get this benefit is through a guest post. I know that Jon Morrow, who runs the very successful Smart Blogger blog, got a huge surge in traffic when we published his post How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World back in 2011.
Receiving a link from an influential blog in your niche can also send a lot of traffic over time – for example, being featured in a “Top 10” or “Top 100” list of blogs.
#2: Raised Profile
An influencer’s credibility and authority can rub off on you, helping you build your brand. For instance, if they retweet one of your posts it’s a signal to their followers that your blog is reputable and worth reading.
It’s worth keeping in mind that influencers are very aware of how their own brand is affected by what they share and link to. If your blog has hardly any content or your posts are full of typos, they may well avoid promoting you.
#3: Great Testimonials and Social Proof
If an influencer says something nice about you – on their blog, in their email newsletter, or even in a Facebook post or tweet – you may be able to use their words on your own website.
A good example of a blogger using influencers’ words in this way is Jeff Goins. If you go to his website and scroll partway down his front page you’ll see this:
But before you put anyone’s words up on your site like this, make sure get their permission.
#4: Profitable Collaborations
When you build a solid relationship with an influencer, they could potentially become a collaborator or partner. Many influencers reach a certain level in their business where they’re actively looking for other people to work with to grow their business even more.
You might end up joining them on a freelance basis (where you’re paid a set amount for your work) or on a profit-sharing basis (where you and the influencer split the profits from a particular project).
In the past, I’ve seen my own relationships grow and develop into creating products alongside other people – including ebooks and ecourses. If you take a look at the ProBlogger ebooks, you’ll see I’ve partnered with other authors on some of them. Mark Hayward authored ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business, and Shane Tilley developed The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing.
#5: Getting Hired
While landing a job isn’t the most likely outcome of influencer outreach, it does happen. Some influencers will be looking to hire part-time or full-time staff, and it’s only natural for them to favour people they already know and like.
I’ve hired numerous people who initially got to know me through social media. They didn’t reach out to get a job – they were just being friendly or helpful. But out of that initial contact grew a relationship that eventually led to them getting hired.
#6: Getting an Introduction
Influencers tend to know one another, and we talk to each other too. If you get to know one or two key people in your industry, they may be able to open doors for you to meet and connect with other influencers. This in turn can lead to even more opportunities and introductions.
Again, be aware that influencers won’t want to risk their reputation by introducing their friends and colleagues to someone they don’t really know. You’ll need to invest some time into building a relationship before asking for an introduction.
#7: Improved SEO
Getting a link from an influencer can help with your SEO. Some bloggers think of this benefit first and ignore the rest, which is why I’ve put it some way down the list. While SEO is important, it’s not the only thing to think about. And contacting lots of influencers just to ask for a link will likely backfire.
But if you’ve built a relationship with an influencer, there’s no harm in sending them a link to one of your best blog posts that you think will interest them and their audience. They may well be happy to send a link your way. And links from trusted authority sites can help boost your site’s position in Google’s rankings.
#8: Increased Sales
A relationship with an influencer can potentially lead to them recommending your products or services. They may simply link to what you do, or become one of your affiliates.
Again, keep in mind that influencers won’t risk their reputation by promoting a product they’ve barely seen, or something that doesn’t seem high quality. So create the best product/service you can, and make sure you give them full access.
#9: Mentorship and Guidance
Finally, being on good terms with an influencer could potentially lead to a mentoring relationship. This isn’t something you should necessarily expect – many influencers are simply too busy – but it is a possibility. Even if they don’t have much time to spare, they might still be willing to provide occasional advice on a particular question or struggle.
Of course, one great way to get mentored by an influencer is to read all their content. Listen to their podcast, buy their books (if applicable), and really try to put what they teach into practice. Chances are if you questions about something that’s not covered or isn’t clear, they’ll almost certainly be happy to cover them.
Some influencers even invite questions and use them as the basis for blog posts. Naomi Dunford is currently doing it on her IttyBiz blog, with posts such as Reader Question: How Do You Expand And Grow When You’re Too Busy?
As I said at the beginning, reaching out to influencers can lead to a lot of opportunities. I realise that reaching out out to the big names in your niche may be daunting. They may be people you’ve admired for months, or even years.
But hopefully I’ve convinced you that influencer outreach is worth the effort. And who knows? One day you may become an influencer yourself, and get to do the same for someone else.
Are you reaching out to influencers? How are you doing it? Tell us about it in the comments.
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash
Insightful post about influencers…. network in always helps
We cannot be intimidated or shy about reaching out to influencers. I have known many that have this problem of connecting with someone because of their accomplishments. We are all human and an influencer is someone who didn’t get there by dumb luck, rather hard and smart work.
Therefore, out of all the nine ways you have given us, I believe Number 2 is a great way to start connecting with influencers. Then a relationship can blossom.
Collaborating with an influencer can be a wonderful learning experience. I call it “hanging out with the big boys.” lol. When we do, both parties benefit in so many ways.
Thanks for writing this article… with so much talk about influencers, this is a great guideline to help people go about things the correct way.
Well, I’ve been blogging about books and linking to writers’ web sites if they have any for years…but I’ve *always* done that to influence local people to buy books from me, so I have to be brutally honest and not claim everything is The Great American Novel, which may turn more writers against me than otherwise. (I’ve tried inviting writers to preview their reviews–they never have! The friendliest response I got was a galley proof to read ;-) )
I’m shy about anything that resembles kissing up…even to writers (Bonnie Prudden, Wendell Berry, Suzette Haden Elgin) who’ve had such a good influence on my life, my whole family’s life, that I think of them as sort of honorary elder relatives.
Love the benefits here.
I am big on giving freely – and generously – before asking any top blogger for some request. But in truth, out of thousands of guest posts and interviews and features I have landed on blogs, I have only asked top bloggers some 5 times for a guest post. Really. Because when you do the influencer marketing thing correctly, a flood of opportunities will flow your way, all the way from top blogs in your niche to lesser known blogs in your niche.
The key is to be generous, to comment on blogs, to promote top bloggers and to interview them. I recall a few months ago being featured on John Chow’s blog as a guy using live video to build my brand, via Zac Johnson’s post. Zac asked me to guest post on Blogging Tips after I commented on his blog a few times and RTed his posts. Then he features me on John Chow a while after. Pretty cool. But the door to connected with the influencer was all about generosity.
We can call it greasing palms, or sweetening the pot, or wining and dining or whatever, but at the end of the day, if you help a human being out, as many ways as possible, and don’t ask for anything in return, the person will remember you, and in some cases, they will befriend you too. As that friendship blossoms they will share your content, or link to your blog, through their posts and guest posts. Just the way it works; you help someone out, become memorable, and some of these bloggers will help you out too, whether they are well known or on the come up.
I’m a beginner, there is no way an influncer going to promote me. But you have pointed out some good ways to make a relationship with influncers. I think for guys like point no.2 twitter seems viable.
anyway nice article.
Very informative post. Influencer outreach is one of the best way to increase your visibility and also help to build the authority online. I personally doing influencer outreach and it helps me to learn more about blogging. It also helps me to gain some traffic as well.
I’m pretty new to the blogging world. This is something I definitely need to get serious with and get busy! Thanks for the information and the push in the right direction!
Darren, all these are very valid points and make total sense to me, although I’m a newbie blogger.
I haven’t really made an effort until now to use influencer marketing for getting traffic and brand building of my blog, but this is in my most important tasks list. I’m going to make the start today itself.
Thanks for inspiring me!
Nice piece of writing, but why would an influencer do that for me and how do i find them is the bigger question.
This is such an important conversation. You can only do so much with your list and your online followers – get on OPP (Other People’s Platforms).