Influencer Marketing: Shine a Light That Reflects on Your Business

Recently a friend who is skilled with social media marketing asked me for some help with an event that his non-profit hosts.

While explaining this strategy to him I realized it does not have a name; now it does. It’s the title of this article.

If you know your industry or niche well, you know the major players.There are the influencers in every industry whose perspectives and recommendations others want to hear, and often regardless of the topic.

For example, years ago when I was pitching my book to an editor she explained that she could sell a book on any subject that George Clooney authored. Whereas an unknown like me has to really knock it out of the park.

She made her point. I understood completely.

The secret for bringing attention to your online community is borrowing the influence others, and it’s as easy as being helpful.

Here’s how to do this in 3 easy steps.

#1 – Make a List of Influencers and Reach Out

You recognize your community would love to hear from these influencers. You also know they are busy and have many requests for their time. This is why you have to do this right.

Like anyone else, these influencers appreciate having the spotlight shining on them. This gives them an opportunity to extend their influence into new communities such as yours. That’s the benefit to them, as well as the fact that this will only take a small amount of their time.

The benefit to you and your business is obvious. That’s why you are willing to do the work.

So, the first step is making a list of influencers whose expertise will be valuable to your community. Prioritize the list according to how likely you are to get a response.

Be sure they can all see that they are with a carefully selected group of their peers – other influencers whose names they will recognize. This is essential, because that familiarity alone will be evidence that your list is truly comprised of the “who’s who” of your industry.

The reason for the prioritization is once you get a handful to respond affirmatively, you can use that when you send a reminder. Nobody wants to be left out!

It can read something like this: “Dear Influencer: We’ve already heard from (those that have accepted) and are sending this friendly reminder before we compile our industry report.”

#2 – Do The Work: Compile a Powerful Report

What would your community ask these influencers if they could?

Consider a topic that everyone wants to learn more about. Go into this with plans to do it big. You want to create a report or an article that everyone will be proud to be associated with. This is vital if they are going to share it with their community.

In my arena, a typical report would be like this one where I was a contributor (see #16): 18 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros.

Understand this is an extensive report from one of the largest business blogs on the web. However, do note that every contributor gets a link back to their site. Also, very little of our content was edited. Your contributors have to feel confident you will make them look good, and that means preserving their voice.

That said, anyone can make a mistake so be sure you thoroughly check links, misspellings, and other minor inaccuracies.

#3 – Shine the Light on Your Contributors

What would you do if you were celebrity for a day? When you publish your article, by association with your contributors, this is that day. So, make the most of it.

Be prepared in advance to share your report on multiple channels. Recruit friends who wouldn’t mind getting some additional traffic to their site.

Most important is to give everyone that contributed a heads up when the article goes live. Be sure to include the URL in the email to them.

Important: Do not ask them to share with their community. When you do that you compromise how this works. The idea is to give value and let the larger community decide if your contribution merits sharing.

The bottom line is if you have done your job well, everyone will gladly share, and that will elevate your business to a higher level of influence and authority.

With a little luck, you’ll also make some new friends too!

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Photo Credit

Consistency Builds Social Media Communities

Community Leadership

Consistency may be the most powerful quality that small businesses can implement to build an active online community.

Be honest: Could your social marketing be described as randomly jumping from one social network to another to get your message out? That approach simply doesn’t work in a digital world where precision is possible, and therefore, should be leveraged.

Consistency happens to be a rare quality, which is why it is so powerful for differentiating your business. Use it to build and sustain your online business communities.

Repetition is Memorable

Marketing should be memorable. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as being funny, creative, or provocative. Yet, even though the best minds are hired to create memorable Super Bowl commercials, why is it that only a few are later remembered?

You need to consistently repeat your message for it to be memorable.

Even if you have huge budgets and lots of talent, building a memorable brand can be challenging. In contrast, being consistent with your marketing is a simple as building systems that ensure everything is implemented well, and on time.

When your newsletter, blog post, or other online content is delivered on a consistent basis, you set the expectation of “being there” for your community, thereby encouraging everyone to tune in.

In addition to that, even if you audience does not show up when you publish, the mental association of your digital channel with that particular time will serve as a reminder to tune in the next time.

Consistency Honors the Community

Consistency speaks to your professionalism, commitment, and quality. We all have unforeseen events and circumstances in our businesses that work against this. However, the nature of digital gives you a means for managing it all.

Start building an inventory of content so that you can get and stay up to a month ahead of schedule. This allows you to take time off when you need to, while never letting your community down. This is what I plan to do leading up to the launch of my small business podcast in November. I’ll have at least 25 shows under my belt before we go live.

Attracting an audience is just part of the online marketing equation. You have to continue to earn their attention by engaging with them on a regular basis.

Need a good model to follow? 

In an earlier article I shared 9 tips that help to keep my social media marketing organized. Maybe some of them will work for you.

Another idea is to build a structure that in some way mirrors your life habits. For example, I get my deep thinking done on weekends. This is when I flesh out at a rough draft for my articles, newsletter, etc.

This gets the heavy lifting out of the way, leaving the balance of the week for commenting and sharing in short bursts whenever there is a few idle moments between projects.

How about you? How do you make consistency work to advantage your business marketing?

Leave a comment below?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)