How To / Startup Life

Cultivating Relationships With Influencers As A Small Business Owner

As we discussed in last months how to collaborate with influencers, this can help grow your business in different and new avenues – if done right. While engaging several of you on social media, I’ve learned there are  misconceptions of how to actually build relationships. Let me point out that you should never just send someone products in hopes they will shout you out. You need a feasible approach that will guarantee results and longevity in the relationship.

Trust, this is something I talk to clients about daily in coaching. I personally have had celebrities such as Angela Simmons and Toya Wright wear garments from my first start up. On the other hand, I’ve had experiences reaching out to some big time reality stars who’s management promised their client would rock something. They received a million things they never wore and proceeded to ignore countless emails about gifts. So let’s talk about doing this right so you can get a return on the investment. 

Digger Deeper Than The Surface

What sites do you read daily? Those sites can be your guide map of who to build relationships with. What influencer or celebrity represents your brand? People email my company daily and ask me to promote their hair line, men’s clothing and more. None of these things are Imperfect Concepts, so why do a sponsor post on them? You have to make sure that their brand and yours align. You don’t have to have the same political views to be a success story together. However, if someone prefers wearing vegan leather and you sale real leather this is a no go. So learn their back story, read those archives, past interviews and more.

Engage, Engage & Engage

I know a plethora of top influencers from around the country, one of their biggest pet peeves is for people to send free stuff but never leave a comment, tweet or even talk to them. They basically want to use them for free press and have their audience swarm their site. Don’t be that person. Before several of the influencers rocked pieces from my boutique, I was a reader. A very loyal reader at that. I would comment on their post, tweet them questions and more. When there was a meet up or in store event I attended it, so they knew me. Engage them on their platform. Meet them where they are.

Reach Out On A Business Level

You have dug deeper into who the person is and you have engaged them on their playing field. Now it’s time to reach out and see if a partnership is possible. First, lets point out: if you only did a 48 hour recon mission on them, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. I would say go a good 90 days of digging and learning. Next, go onto their site and find their contact information. If you live in the same city, I highly suggest asking them out for coffee to learn more about each other. Taking the relationship from online to offline. If not, start emailing them. You want to build a super solid relationship verses going in for the kill with your pitch.

Influencers know their worth and most importantly they want to know this is a partnership with longevity. Do not mention money out the gate, get your foot in the gate first. Mention how you loved the article on how they styled their daughter, or really loved there how to guide on best Mother’s Day gifts.

Now that you have this guide to help you, what are you going to do to ensure you have success working with influencers in your business?

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Photo by Windows on Unsplash

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Imperfect Concepts is the premier destination for the creative women business owners looking for how to guides, tips, motivation & inspiration.

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