Build your audience faster with influencer outreach

Influencer outreach will fast-track your business growth

All business owners need to spend the majority of their time on marketing. Tara McMullin, founder of the What Works community, stated in a virtual conference that 50% of your time should be spent on it.

If your prospects primarily come from word-of-mouth than arguably that can jump down to 20%. However if you are ready to hit the next level in revenue, you’ll want to bump that up.

But time spent is really just an arbitrary metric. An entrepreneur can spend all their time on marketing without getting significant results.

If you don’t think the marketing tactics you’re implementing are working well enough then keep reading.

Influencer outreach might just be what’s missing … if not the only thing required, to build your audience fast.

What you’re not tracking, you shouldn’t be doing

Even when you finally get traction in your business, you’ll have a hard time being efficient and profitable when there’s not enough data to support your marketing investment choices.

Marketing plans need to be strategic & intentional. Your goal is to narrow down your channels and find a way to increase the ROI on each of them. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting money. Or getting frustrated and stopping altogether. Taking a break, then starting the chaos again.

If this applies to you, maybe now is the time to pause and take a long hard look at what’s working and what isn’t working within your marketing. It’s best to do this before you embark on another marketing strategy such as influencer outreach.

Without data you’ll be spinning your wheels, a lot of the time. Start with a basic system to track how leads are generated, when they turn into prospects and what makes them convert into customers. I keep is so simple and use Excel. Why complicate things? 

You probably already have a good sense of what channels are bringing in the kinds of leads that turn into ideal customers. If you haven’t already, start your system by writing those down.

Three marketing styles

Marketing styles can be summarized into three categories – slow, bold or by hustling. If you’re like me who’s ambitious and wants things to happen yesterday, slow’s not an option. And if you prioritize a healthy lifestyle, then hustling is also not an option.

If you’ve been doing it slow or hustling, it might mean you don’t have enough information gathered to invest wisely in marketing. Stalling on marketing or doing everything all the time, are both extremes that come from operating in the dark.

That leaves us with bold. Bold marketing is about going directly to the source – ensuring everything you do is designed for maximum output from minimum effort.

Bold replaces hustling and can move your brand just as fast and in many cases, even faster. This is why I am a big believer in focusing on marketing outreach strategies.

My favorite of those being influencer outreach.

Influencer outreach – the ultimate bold marketing strategy

Influencer marketing is part publicity, part networking and has its own marketing funnel. It’s systematic and powerful.

It may be the most important start-up strategy, if you have an area of expertise that’s dialed-in and you have confidence in your ability.

And it could be a next level strategy for established entrepreneurs who’re making a living in their business and want a growth push. In order to do so, connecting with industry leaders is necessary. In a blog post, Neil Patel says:

Influencer outreach … is beneficial for relationship development, link building, and content promotion. Moreover, it helps your company exchange value with industry leaders and increase your awareness of future trends.

Your goals for doing it can be very specific or you can have a few outcomes. Either way, you can experience many positive, unexpected positive outcomes such as:

  • Lucrative mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Organic shout-outs & referrals by people with desirable audiences
  • Free high level mentorship
  • Rockstar clients that provide social proof
  • Invitations to circles & events you didn’t know existed

And the best thing about this strategy is you can become an influencer or thought leader (my preferred term) yourself. Most people become or are at the level of the closest people who surround them. Have you heard that theory before? 

How to reach out to influencers

There are many different reasons to reach influencers and ways to reach them. Your first step is to get clear on your goals. Some of the top reasons for outreach are to gain:,

  1. traffic from appearing on their channels,
  2. ideal clients,
  3. learning directly from experts, and
  4. co-creation opportunities.

Note that these reasons don’t have to be different than your goals for any other marketing channel (speaking, social media, blogging, video, etc.).

However, if done right, outreach will get you there faster and require less energy.

Three ways to build your audience faster through connections from influencer outreach

1) Podcasts

One of the best ways to connect with thought leaders is to appear on their podcasts. Both Josh Haynam of Interact Quizzes and Kai Davis a consultant to freelancers did extensive podcast outreach campaigns to get their brand known. You don’t have to start your own to be an excellent guest on someone else’s platform. Being on the podcast of an influencer is an indirect endorsement by them for you and your brand.

2) Live networking

Meeting influencers or influencers-to-be at conferences and local events is another excellent way to meet people where they are and when they have the capacity to speak. If they are speaking or a designated expert, they’ll be energized and ready to serve their audience. Chances are if they are attending the whole event, they’ll be happy to connect. Be clear on the goal of your interaction with them and add value.

3) Direct email

And one way you can start doing right now is reaching out via email. The requests can vary from submitting a podcast interview to asking for help or offering to help on a specific task. It depends on the goal of your influencer marketing campaign. This is the least done strategy that can have the best outcomes.

In one 30 day push, I received a reply from 80% of my personal emails to leading business owners.  

Becoming a strong relationship builder through email

Getting mentally ready to do the outreach is important. It can feel super scary to put yourself out there for potential rejection. Firstly, I can vouch that it gets easier the more you do it. And secondly, remember that you are rad at what you do and people need you.

However, you may need to do the mindset work around becoming a bold business owner. Remember this is the bold strategy. Not the slow one or the hide behind too much activity one.

Here’s all it takes to get it started:

  1. Pick a goal.
  2. Do the research.
  3. Craft personal messages.
  4. Just press send.
  5. Follow up.

Yes, it’s as simple as this 5 step strategy.

Pick a goal

Getting clear on the metrics is one way of taking the fear out of the process. When you look at sales as a numbers game, you’ll begin to see it more objectively. “It’s just a matter of time”.

If you know you want 2 new clients, be featured on 5 podcasts or simply have 10 new affiliate partners you can work backwards easily from that.

In a blog post Brigitte Lyons, a PR expert, suggests that a hopeful response rate for PR pitches is 15-20%. Using those numbers (which sound reasonable), if you have a goal of 2 new clients, 5 guest podcasts interviews and 10 new affiliate partners you’ll need to contact 15 ideal clients, 35 podcasts and 65 partners. It’s doable.

Do the research

Next you’ll need to figure out who are the influencers you need to know. This research part can take a while at first but once you get in the groove it gets faster and faster.

You’ll want to find people who aren’t so out of reach that you know they have a massive team and it’ll be hard to get through. But if you are like Nathan Chan from Foundr Magazine, who was determined to launch his brand with Richard Branson as his first guest podcast, you can set your goal high and be tenacious. It took him 8-10 months but he achieved his goal.

Sometimes all it takes is one. One person to refer you to others, one person to become your dream client, one person to endorse you over and over again.

One contact can have an incredibly powerful influence.

Craft a personal message

The success of this strategy hinges on making personal connections. And to do so you must get personal. The best way to do this is to write your email right after you’ve researched each person. While the main body of your email could be standard, the first part of it is your chance to let them know you respect and admire them. Be specific in what you appreciate about them and mention any common connections so their more likely to trust you.

People want to avoid making decisions because they are energy draining. Use a personalized message to help them make up their mind quickly that a conversation with you would be mutually beneficial.

Just press send

Really, the most important step with all of this is to stop worrying about being perfect and just send the dang email.

Think about how many strong relationships you’d have now if you had sent out a quick message to people the moment you felt a connection. As long as you’ve thought through the goal of the email (because you don’t want to be ambiguous) let your emotions guide your action.

Follow up religiously

The entire effectiveness of the influencer outreach strategy rests on consistent follow up. Remember that it’s actually a form of relationship marketing which hinges on building relationships one at a time. It’s a totally different than digital marketing which puts out content to attract whoever bites.

In contrast, you’re trying to get each individual influencer to notice you and shift from, “why do I need to know this person” –> ignore, to “okay, you’ve got my attention now” –> respond.

How to build your influencer outreach campaign

Your influencer outreach campaign is part of your bold marketing plan.

Get the Influencer Outreach checklist that’ll show you how to begin building your audience to build real connections with prospects, step-by-step.