For marketing and PR purposes, one cannot underestimate the importance of networking.
It’s more important than ever before to build valuable connections with influencers in your niche.
Online influencers are people who have an impact on other people. They can affect how people perceive things, and how they react to something.
These people are usually leaders in their niche.
They’re online authorities, with an established audience that listens to them and follows their social media or blogs at all times.
Connecting with these influencers can offer many advantages to online marketers.
For example, it can increase your brand visibility. And if an online influencer promotes your products, their followers are more likely to purchase them.
Plus, influencers know a lot of people. Connecting with them can help you widen your own connection base through networks – which is good if you’re into joint ventures and the like.
But it can be challenging to connect with major influencers. I mean, everyone else and their mother is also vying for their attention.
So what can you do to build relationships with the top influencers in your niche?
1. Find out who they are
If you don’t know who the top networkers in your niche are, then the first step is to find out.
Identify the social media users in your niche who are active, have a lot of connections and active followers, and who engage with their audience. It’s ideal if their messages and posts are shared a lot (retweeted, re-Pinned, has a lot of shares, etc).
Find out who it would be beneficial for you to connect with, and who may not be relevant to you and your niche.
2. Engage and be engaging
Try to be seen as someone who actively communicates with new connections. That can cause other online users to want to connect with you.
Start small – try reaching out to smaller blogs first. Offer to guest blog for them. If you consistently create content and get involved in forums, you’ll be able to connect with the top influencers eventually, once they see that you’re committed to your ideas and products.
3. Take time to build a good relationship
You could ask people to mention you, but if they don’t know you, this isn’t always effective.
Stay back and listen, don’t just rush in and ask for favors.
Listen to what they say, and study their interactions. The better you understand these people, the more effectively you’ll be able to reach out to them later.
4. Make use of mutual friends.
If you can be introduced to someone via a mutual friend, it’s the equivalent of coming with a built-in background check.
Before you meet, make sure the person you’re meeting knows why they are meeting you, and make sure your friend is clear on how to introduce you and what you do.
5. Offer value
Nobody wants to link their name and reputation to something negative.
You need to have a positive online reputation, so influencers will see that you are reliable and good – someone worth linking themselves to.
6. Don’t limit yourself
Follow influencers on their social media networks. Don’t limit yourself to just one social media platform.
Connect with them on their blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – even email if they offer their address for contact.
This will help strengthen your relationship and let them know you really are interested in knowing them.