Great thoughts on this topic.
Also — keep trying! I think it can be frustrating when you don’t get an answer at all, or get an answer you want. And this speaks back to maybe not spending enough time on the prep work.
One of the things I have found helpful for local influencers I want to work with is to visit them when they do in person events. It sounds basic — but it helps them put a name to a face of someone who has been commenting on their work, or emailing them. It also helps to show them you are supporting their work in whatever way that may mean — whether it’s a book release, a speech they are giving around entrepreneurship, or just helping to be someone in the crowd who may be promoting them on social media.