Here’s something I am sure of about your business/blog.
Thing #1: You’re just starting out and plan to use influencer outreach to get things moving.
Thing #2: You’ve been in it for a while, have seen some degree of success but still use influencer outreach to keep things moving or take things to the next level.
I might not be entirely right about you, but the thing is to succeed online, we need the help of influencers.
That’s when influencer marketing as a whole comes into place.
In this guide, I’ll be walking you through using Twitter to get to influencers’ radar and get them to reply to your emails and want to work with you.
Quietly raise your hand if this matches you.
You plan a new blog post, do your research, put all your ideas together, get to writing, then you hit the Publish button.
No comments. No new subscribers. No shares. Worst of all, no traffic!
You do another round of research, this time how to promote your article, and come across several blog posts that shout “REACH OUT TO INFLUENCERS!”
You craft an excellent outreach plan, and the next thing you know you’ve sent tons of emails to the big guys.
You check your Gmail inbox now and then to see if someone would take the time to reply.
You refresh and refresh. And refresh some more.
Here’s the thing:
Your email isn’t bad. You did your work, but there’s one thing left.
YOU DIDN’T BUILD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE INFLUENCERS!
It’s past that time when you just drop 2-3 comments on the influencer’s blog and expect a reply. Or you tweet out 2 of the influencer latest articles and believe “I’ve done my work.”
A lot of people do this already, so I guess we need to switch things up a bit.
To build relationships with influencers online, you need to “move” with them.
So in this guide, I’ll detail every step you should take using Twitter to build a connection with the biggest influencers in your industry and get replies from them fast.
I know what's probably going through your mind right now.
Over the past few months (almost a year now) in my online business/marketing journey, I've learned a few key things about Twitter I'd personally tell anyone and anything I meet.
Key thing #1: It's the number one social media platform to build relationships with influencers.
Key thing #2: It's a “display social proof” social media platform for businesses and brands.
Here’s the thing about building a connection with influencers.
Thing #1: It’s not easy.
Thing #2: It pays.
In a nutshell, it’s termed “Twitter influencer marketing.”
A lot of marketers have their way of explaining or defining this term, but I believe it all boils down to this:
Twitter influencer marketing is the strategic use of Twitter to connect with influencers (with a targeted following) with the goal of getting them to promote your stuff with their followers.
SN. Have a better definition? Please drop a quick comment and let me know. I’d love to hear yours.
To me, it’s the fastest and easiest medium to create “beautiful relationships” with influencers online.
Yes, you've heard and read of case studies of people crushing it with blog commenting but here's the thing:
Bloggers blog only a few times a week compared to how they tweet. Some even blog once a month but the recommended number of tweets per profile in one single day is pretty high, which means we get to move along with them, their lives, and their businesses better on Twitter (and social media in general) than on their blogs.
Exactly ten months back when I started online, I never knew the goodies behind building friendships with the influencers in my niche and also my target audience until I launched my first free email course, which failed (0 enrolled students) because I never cared to build friendships with influencers even though I knew the benefits.
Fast forward to now, I've learned to build genuine relationships before any other thing, all of which started on Twitter. And that's exactly what I'm going to show you in this guide.
Without wasting much of your time, let me show you how to get influencers to notice you and your brand, and get them to always welcome your emails into their inbox (even if it's the first).
This guide consists of three different stages.
Stage #1: the pre-outreach.
Stage #2: the outreach.
Stage #3: post-outreach.
Stage #1: the pre-outreach
As the name implies, this is what you do to create the perfect relationship before you hit send on that sweet email that has spent decades in your draft receiving all sorts of editing and tweaking, waiting for that day when it’s finally sent to that big guy you want a link or tweet from.
It’s the most important stage of building a relationship with an influencer online.
It's this stage that really determines everything. This is where the influencer gets to know or see your name for the first time.
It's the meaty aspect of this whole outreach thing.
You wouldn’t want to mess that up, right?
Most of us abuse this stage. A lot! Especially we, the new ones. 🙂
All we do is drop spammy comments, retweet thousands of their tweets in one hour, then go ahead with reaching out expecting a reply from the influencer.
I’ve broken down the pre-outreach stage into two simple steps so you wouldn’t get lost.
Step #1: Plan what’s theirs.
Step #2: Get in touch.
Step #1: Plan what’s theirs.
Here’s the thing about online influencer outreach. I guess we should have known this by now:
It’s always a win-win thing. You give value to receive a favor in return. We’ve heard it from them (the influencers).
“If you don’t provide value and only ask them to do something for you, your success rate is going to be extremely low” – Tim Soulo
The first thing to do is to get something really valuable for them. This should be really creative and should stand out.
If you can’t think of something worth it, then you shouldn’t expect anything good.
This can get a little tricky because it means a lot of work. You have to do a lot of research to provide the best value.
I've found myself guilty of skipping this aspect, and I've since regretted it.
Here are few practical examples to get you started:
- At the bottom of this article on Smart Passive Income, Eric provided value to the readers by creating an Excel file to complement the article in exchange for a link.
- How Bryan Harris of Videofruit neatly outlined his “what's in it for them” during a Leadpages giveaway he did a while back.
I would love for you to take your time coming up with something really valuable, something they’ll have trouble rejecting.
To increase the odds of getting that reply you want, you need to increase the value in what you give.
Bonus tip: Something I find myself mostly missing is I forget to clearly state my “what's in it for them” in the outreach email.
Detail why they should reply, read, or tweet your article. If possible, state the reasons in list or bullet form.
Step #2: Get in touch.
Here’s how to use Twitter to know exactly what Twitter influencers are interested in. Here’s a trick I’ve been using. It works.
Here are two things you'll need to focus on:
- Who they like
- What they love
Who they like
I always use this trick to get to influencers’ radar even before I engage directly with them.
When you know who they like and engage with the most, you can start getting on their radar easily. And trust me, they’ll get the feeling you are original.
You don’t just wake up one morning and start retweeting their tweets just to get something from them. It shows “I know you through this guy you like.”
Much better, right?
Here’s how you do it.
Use a tool like Twitonomy to know who your influencers retweet the most.
Log in using your Twitter account and then authorize.
Plug in the Twitter handle of the influencer and search. (I am using @melyssa_griffin.)
Now that you know who your influencers connect with the most, go ahead and be friends with them.
But a word of caution: A lot of us mess around with how we engage with people on Twitter and social media in general.
Please don't just jump onto their profiles and start replying to all their tweets.
Don't reply to a tweet you don't like. When you like one of their tweets, drop a really sweet comment.
I'd prefer you reply to those tweets that are non-promotional. I mean something like this:
Wow, that's cool, Ben
— Simon Zaku (@S_Zakuu) May 24, 2017
Haha, thanks Simon! We're WAY more excited about donuts than cake.
— Ben Sailer (@Ben_CoSchedule) May 24, 2017
They don't promote anything. They mostly talk about something personal.
I’ll shout this over and over again.
Don't reply to tweets you don't like. I repeat, don't reply to tweets you don't like.
Like the tweets in their conversations with your target influencer. Reply to those you can. Please don't force it. Let it flow. It's what works.
What they like
Visit their profiles and get a feel for what they talk about the most. What content do they talk about? What are they most interested in?
Here's how you do it:
Step #1: Visit their profiles. Check their feeds and look for repeating trends in the types of things they share.
Here's what I mean.
3 Things You Need To Do To Make Money Blogging https://t.co/y80b5sPTBI pic.twitter.com/KG5nAgBqUR
— Sue Anne Dunlevie (@SueAnneDunlevie) July 9, 2017
Discover the best way to make money online. https://t.co/KHJQCge8hf
— Sue Anne Dunlevie (@SueAnneDunlevie) July 9, 2017
How to Make Money Writing a Blog https://t.co/hCD1xq9yJF
— Sue Anne Dunlevie (@SueAnneDunlevie) July 9, 2017
3 out of 6 tweets by Sue Anne Dunlevie in the last 24 hours are about “making money with a blog.”
Engage with those. Ask questions.
Make friends with their friends. You wouldn't look spammy. Make this a routine. It's never a one-day thing.
After you've gotten a bit onto their radar, you now know, your target influencer has seen notifications like these.
Now you are ready to hit the nail and get directly on their radar. Sincerely speaking, if you've carried out the previous tasks, then this wouldn't be a problem.
They would have noticed you've engaged with a good friend (or two) of theirs. You've commented and loved their stuff, so hitting them up would be the next best thing you will do.
Here's an engagement technique that works like magic.
I refer to it as the “revolutionary Twitter technique.”
Here's how it works. I mostly carry out this technique in 7-10 days. I always advise anyone do so, too.
Favorite and drop a perfect-flowing comment in a discussion that both your target influencer and the friend (you’ve connected with) are mentioned in.
Here’s how you do it:
Go to Twitter’s advanced search. Then input the following:
Your target influencer’s Twitter handle in the “From these accounts” box, then his good friend in the following box.
Select from the results the best discussion you can fit in smoothly.
SN. Don’t engage with all the tweets you get from the results because that’s not how the tweets would show up on their respective Twitter feeds. How can you engage with ten tweets (different dates) of 2 specific people in just a day?
If the influencer’s friend has a guest post (or guest appearance) on the influencer’s blog, then tweet it out and tag them both.
Let me show you how to do it.
Find out if there’s any guest post the influencer’s good friend dropped on the influencer’s blog.
Google search “influencer’s good friend” + “target influencer’s blog” + “guest post.”
“bryan harris + Okdork + guest article”
Day 4 and 5
Find helpful things from their blog posts/podcast appearances and quote them in a tweet.
Tweet an article of theirs (on their website or blog). Do not use the default tweet text. Instead, craft your own.
Here's an example:
When tweeting this article by Marina Barayeva on HubSpot, Melyssa Griffin edited the default tweet text to:
We all want more people to click on our blog posts and emails, right? Writing better headlines is the key: https://t.co/uH7qxOvt0g @hubspot
— Melyssa Griffin (@melyssa_griffin) July 8, 2017
How to Write Better Headlines [Infographic] https://t.co/oMHYvpJdd6 via @hubspot @MarinaBarayeva
— Simon Zaku (@S_Zakuu) July 10, 2017
Like seriously, Melyssa crushes when it comes to this.
Subscribe to their email list and tweet out one of their freebies (e.g., a free email course you get upon signing up).
Reply to a non-promotional tweet. Make it sweet and let it flow.
The longer, the better. This works like magic. You can also refer to it as the “revolutionary Twitter technique.”
Here’s a key thing you should know about this technique. Keep an eye on when that influencer engages back, i.e., when he/she replies back to you or favorites your tweet.
Because most influencers don’t have time for social media, hence they set out specific times/days to engage on social platforms.
For instance, if you’re planning to carry out this technique on an influencer and then he replies to one of your comment on his tweet, mark the date.
Tweet at him around that period. It might be his “Twitter time.”
Stage #2: the outreach
At this stage, there are four main things.
Thing #1: Kindly ask for the best way to reach out.
Thing #2: Email them.
Thing #3: Let them know you've emailed.
Thing #4: A quick reminder (i.e., if there's no response in about 5-7 days).
After you've gotten on the influencer’s radar, you can now in a tweet (or reply) ask for the best way to contact them.
They wouldn't hesitate to let you know the best way to get in touch with them.
“Trust me; most people will eagerly answer such message. Just make sure you have a real Twitter profile that clearly states who you are” - Nick Churrick
So send them a quick and short tweet like this:
“Hey, @(influencer’s handle). What's the best email to get in touch with you?”
Don't complicate it. Just keep it simple, sweet, and short.
Send them an email. I wouldn't talk much about how to craft the best outreach email to an influencer, but here are a few resources to get you going.
Check out these articles for detailed guides on how to do this:
How to do blogger outreach the right way by Tim Soulo.
Five elements to consider in your cold outreach email before hitting send by David Schneider.
How to craft a perfect outreach email by Sujan Patel
Let them know you've emailed them.
— Simon Zaku (@S_Zakuu) May 22, 2017
It's optional but advisable.
If, after a few days you still don't get a reply, remind them in case they've forgotten.
Stage #3: the post-outreach
This is just to keep things going.
You can do this by sending a quick “thank you” tweet and let them know you are glad they replied.
Don't forget to keep it short and sweet.
Here's something I’ve learned in my short journey:
Never start an engagement with an influencer then disappear after you get what you want. Make it a routine to check that influencer’s Twitter feed and connect with him/her.
In some cases, I even turn on notifications for some of my influencers. How you plan this out depends on you.
But here's how I do mine.
I have an app on my phone called “Goal Tracker.” (Not sure if it has an iPhone version.)
Looks something like this. It reminds me to do something to keep/build a relationship with an influencer.
This is how it works. Every week, it notifies me to do something that will help build relationships with certain influencers.
For example, it notifies me to drop a reply to a tweet by Ryan Biddulph.
PS. Don't hesitate to let me know in the comments if there's a better way I could do this.
Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in this article
- The pre-outreach stage. This is where you build a relationship by engaging with the influencer and what matters to them
- The outreach stage. Ask for the best way to reach out. Craft the perfect email. Notify them. Remind them if they've forgotten.
- The post-outreach stage. Keep things going by keeping the engagement moving. Make it a routine to check their stuff out.
If you love the idea of building friendships with influencers in this post, I've created a free downloadable file for you.
A checklist to guide you with this technique
- The one useful technique I use that saves me hours and energy, plus strengthens the relationship building. I call it the “auto-drive technique” (just 2 PDF pages).
All for free!
Here are two simple things I want you to do right now.
#1: Think about one of the best ways you connected with an influencer on Twitter and share it with us in the comments. I'd love to know about it.
#2: If you're just starting out on Twitter and probably haven't been fortunate to connect with the big guys, also feel free to drop in the comments how you plan to do so..
Also feel free to leave your business Twitter handle.
That's it. See you around in the comments.
SN. A big thumbs up to all the influencers I've mentioned in this article. You rock!
Simon Zaku is a twitter management and marketing specialist for businesses. He created a free downloadable bonus file for you. Get yours here. Check out his website simonzaku.com and follow him on Twitter.