What Influencers Want Businesses to Know

If you aren’t doing these things, you’re doing Influencer Marketing wrong.

As far as my full-time work goes, I have been a marketing manager for several years for a big business I love.

As far as all my other work goes, I am classified as an “influencer.”

For over 6 years I have traveled all over the country as a multi-award winning speaker, author to a best-selling book, and have a large social media following.

So, between the 2 dynamics I feel qualified to address a few things all businesses should know.

First things first: If you aren’t doing influencer marketing in your company, you’re doing something wrong. But I’m not going to convince you on why. This is for all the smart companies who are and make sure you’re doing it right.

What an influencer wants you to know:

1. GET TO THE POINT, FIRST.

We get a TON of emails. While you may be tempted to go on and on about how great your company is and all that it’s accomplished — if you start your email with this — you’ve already lost us. 95% of the time we won’t even finish reading to see what you’re asking us about. Reword your email to have what you want from us first for better chances of us to: 1. See what you want from us 2. Respond 3. Care. (We usually only care about your company when we first care about your offer).

2. WE CAN TELL WHEN YOU DON’T CARE.

And if you don’t care about us, why should we care about helping you? Nothing is more offensive than an email that is CLEARLY copied and pasted from who knows how many other people you’re reaching out to. WAIT — yes there is — your copied and pasted message that you didn’t change the name on it from the previous influencer you tried to reach out to. Obviously, my name is Al, (any one can know that by looking anywhere on my platforms), and I don’t know who “Jessica” is, but me caring about whatever it is you want from me, is over.

3. THEY HAVE A LOT OF PRIDE IN THEIR BRAND

Successful influencers are smart. They have a large following because they’ve figured something out that works and connects with people and have built up a community on their platforms. And whatever their brand, it is something they are very passionate about. The best way to reach out to them is saying something short at the beginning recognizing their work. “Hey Al, we love seeing what you’re doing on your pages and the good that it’s doing to help others.” (Then, ask what you want from them, then lastly, talk about your company).

As a business, what you need to know about influencers:

1. MATCH YOUR OBJECTIVE WITH THEIR BRAND

Clearly know where you are, and where you want to go and accomplish with your company, and your campaign. You want to reach out to an influencer that matches your goals. If you are not reaching a certain demographic, find an influencer whose following is where you want to grow in. My following is youth, millennials, moms, members of the Latter-day Saint church. If you want to reach males in their 40’s-60’s who are interested in hiking, I’m not a good fit. (Seems pretty obvious when I say it like that, right? But it’s easy to overlook when you want to reach out to someone just because you think they’re “cool”).

2. IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW MANY FOLLOWERS THEY HAVE.

Kind of. Having a large following is great, only if they are getting engagement that matches it. If they have 100K followers on Instagram, cool. But if they are only getting a few hundred likes on their pictures with only 2–3 comments, then their large following means nothing to you and your company. Stay. Away.

3. GET THEM TO LIKE YOU

They are called an influencer because they have built up a community where they do exactly that. Their recommendations to their followers are trusted recommendations. An influencer saying they like something on their platform is exactly like hearing it from a best friend, even if they’ve never (and probably never will) meet in person. You treat them good, you get them to genuinely like you, and they will willingly do wonders to talk up your business and get you the growth you’ll love.

4. TRUST THEM CREATIVELY

Their followers are following them because they like their style and design and messaging. Don’t rob them of that, leverage that. Let them create their own content around your product. Let them take pictures or create memes or videos, rather than sharing yours. When it is done in their own way, with their own feel to it, it will successfully resonate with their followers and you will get the engagement you want to have an impact and growth on your end.

Al Carraway is an award-winning LDS speaker, author to best-selling book, “More Than the Tattooed Mormon.” She is native to New York, but currently lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and 2 kids. She writes at alcarraway.com and can be followed at @22alfox.