by Daniel Pesis

With the presence of social media and review based sites, testimonials and word of mouth reviews are as critical to attracting new clients or retaining old ones as your actual processes or work itself. Don’t get me wrong, advertisements are still paramount for reach, but they most often only succeed as a brand play versus […]

With the presence of social media and review based sites, testimonials and word of mouth reviews are as critical to attracting new clients or retaining old ones as your actual processes or work itself. Don’t get me wrong, advertisements are still paramount for reach, but they most often only succeed as a brand play versus directly engaging you with prospects. This situation is where influencers come into play. These “influencers” can sway sentiments to their audiences and encourage them in a particular direction. They can help create or break a reputation, increase your popularity, or help with potential lead generation.


Here are the three steps to get started:

1. Create a way to track and organize your network!

  • The aforementioned is easy, first identify what information is important to find out. To be basic, I suggest starting with focusing on Name, Role, and email. Once you are more advanced or have identified a specific role they will play, you can expand the fields you need (i.e. Industry, content relevancy, channels, etc.). Here is a cheat sheet you can use!

2. Identify influencers relevant to your business!

 

  • This task is a little trickier. I suggest asking the following questions about your influencer:
    • If this influencer shares your content, will it reach the audience you want?
    • Does this influencer have the tone and personality that resonates with your audience?
    • How effective is this potential influencer with creating/sharing? Is there a schedule they follow for posts?
    • Do people engage with this influencer’s content?
    • Can you afford to get on board with this person?
  • Once you have answered those questions, it’s time to vet the influencer a little bit. Vetting can be broken down into three ways:
    • i. Identify the network of current connections you have to them
    • ii. Perform research on social media of the influencer
    • iii. Perform research on search engines of the influencer

3. Monitor your influencers activity!

 

This step may seem like a given, but it isn’t. Remember, once this person becomes your influencer, they are considered an extension of your brand (especially to their followers). While it’s hard to see the negatives that this can have on your business, it becomes a lot easier if they do something that is provocative. While being “edgy” may be a good way to get “followed” or “liked” it may also be contrary to your business. Think of advertisers pulling out of TV shows for portraying something not in-line with their brand.

  • Here are quick steps to follow:
    • Subscribe and follow them on social media
    • Set up a feed on to monitor them on social media
    • Set Parameters for engaging with them on an ongoing basis (liking them every week, sharing their content, etc.)


Remember, this is a strategy that is proven to work, but it isn’t something that happens overnight. Making a connection with someone takes time, and influencer building is not an exception. The best way to make sure you are on the right track is to build a relationship outside of just work. Create incentives or perks for the team. Make sure to check in regularly on holidays, milestones, victories, etc.  One thing that has worked very well for us is running or co-hosting events and contest. We also set up a compensation plan for our influencers so that they could make money through us.