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How to Start Working with Influencers

Love them or hate them, influencers are here to stay. It seems like every company, from mainstream to niche, is pairing up with popular figures to help promote their products or services. Although there’s still some debate regarding the validity of using influencers, there’s also evidence that pairing brands with an influencer has some merit. If you want to try this strategy in your space, one big challenge is knowing exactly where to start. Read on for some steps on how to find and start working with influencers.

1. Research where your audience spends their time.

Before you dive into working with influencers, you need to discover where your audience spends their time online. Specifically, where are the key decision-makers spending time and who are they listening to? Before you make a quick decision, take the time to research the space and its leaders. You’ll want to make sure you understand the space well before you start representing your brand there.

2. Identify potential influencers.

Once you’ve established where your audience spends their time, you need to look for influencers within this space. To start, simply look for which people and accounts are getting shared and talked about. Once you’ve found the ones who have traction, study them and make sure they align with your brand’s core values. Far too often, brands have rushed into partnerships without studying their partner. A failure to research is a surefire way to get yourself into trouble.

3. Make a connection.

Once you’ve found your space and identified potential influencers, you’ll need to need to make the connection. How you go about making the connection will largely depend on the space you’re working within. Once you’ve connected, you need to quickly establish your intentions. It’s imperative to spell out both what you’re looking for and what success looks like. Make sure you prioritize quality connections and engagement over accounts with lots of followers. You’re looking to build a healthy partnership here so don’t hesitate to be clear with your needs and expectations.

4. Determine the best approach.

With your connections established, decide on the best approach for promoting your partnership. Each approach will look different, depending on your industry, platform, brand and influencer, but the core concept should always be the same. You’re working with the influencer to grow your brand. Don’t hesitate to get creative and lean into the process.Make sure you clearly establish what metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) matter to your brand.

5. Refine your tactics.

Finally, continue to evaluate and refine your partnership. After you establish and start working with influencers, it is easy to sit back and just let it be, but you need to stay focused. Set weekly, monthly or quarterly checkups to analyze the success of your partnerships. If any influencers are underperforming, don’t hesitate to change directions. Make sure you are continually monitoring and analyzing these partnerships just like you would with any other form of marketing.

Keep in mind that working with influencers is a process and won’t happen overnight, but this should give you a place to start. Have a question? Let us know in the comments.

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