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How To Reach Out To Instagram Influencers To Maximize Response Rates

1. Find the influencers with the highest potential value for your project.

Measure engagement by dividing an influencer’s average number of likes in post 4–10 by their total number of followers, and multiplying that by 100. You want to measure posts 4–10 because that will be the most accurate representation of the current engagement rate. Measuring post 1–3 won’t be correct because those posts are still getting likes on explorer pages. Measuring after post 10 won’t be very effective because that will be historic engagement and that isn’t as great of a predictor of value in comparison to current engagement.

2. AB Test Your Messaging.

  • Message A (the simple one): “Hey {NAME}! I’d love to gift you some {YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE) and do a paid promo on your Instagram. Let me know what you think? 🙌🏾”
  • Message B (the marketing one): “Hi {NAME}! This is {YOUR NAME} and I’m the person behind {YOUR USERNAME}. We make {PRODUCT OR SERVICE} and I’d love to gift you some for a paid promo on your Instagram. If you’re interested, let me know what you think and what your rates are so we can figure something out. I’m a big fan and I think your followers might be into them.”
Which one would you respond to? Btw, have you every asked yourself if your Instagram is actually even worth growing? If not, you should. It might help save you a whole bunch of time and energy. It’s not worth it for everyone…

3. Use Instagram DMs as your main outreach channel.

  • Use Keyboard Text Replacement: To save yourself some typing time, use text replacement on your phone to send your AB messages quickly. By only having to tap a couple of letters per message instead of having to type everything out every single time, you’ll literally save yourself hours of work every week.
  • Use PayPal for quick payments: A big pain-point for most influencers is having to wait for 30–45 days to get paid for one Instagram promo. Being able to pay an influencer within hours of completing a promo by using PayPal will be a BIG differentiator from other companies who still work with the “invoice me and wait 45 days” model. In the long run, this will create a much more pleasant experience for the influencers you work with and they’ll want to work with you more often (because everyone likes to get paid fast).
  • Have a great looking Instagram: When an influencer receives a DM from you, the first thing they’ll do is tap on your username and check out your Instagram (like this). If your account doesn’t stand out in comparison to other similar brands that are bidding for their attention, they’ll likely just ignore your message. So before you start reaching out, it’s important that you make sure that you have a great-looking Instagram that best showcases your brand. The most important elements that most influencers evaluate are your total number of followers (the higher it is, the more likely they are to respond — social proof is real whether we like it or not), your bio (make it short and clear), your grid (@stefansagmeister, @blessedpoppy, and @tasteofstreep are great examples of clearly differentiated Instagram grids), and your link in bio (it should direct them to a page that’s relevant to your campaign). Make sure you’re executing all of them at a high-level or your response rates will suffer.
Like most of us, influencers will likely evaluate the value of your brand solely on how your Instagram page appears at first glance. Btw, here’s an article about the best Instagram content scheduling and post automation tools. Using them will help your posting process a lot more efficient 👍🏽

4. Use a spreadsheet to stay organized and measure response rates.

You can make it as complex or as simple as you need, but the essential columns for me are: A) URL, where I include a link the Instagram for easy access; B) FOLLOWERS, where I keep track of the number of followers that influencer has; C) ENGAGEMENT RATE, where I calculate the influencer’s engagement rate (=average likes in posts 4 through 10/total number of followers); D) EMAIL, where I include their email if they request to be messaged in that channel; E) ADDRESS, where I keep track of their address for gifting; F) CONTACT DATE, where I note the date I last DM’d them; G) MESSAGE, where I note which AB message I pitched them; H) RESPONDED, where I keep track of who responded; I) GIFTED, where I keep track of everyone who I gifted (or confirmed partnerships with); and J) POSTED, where I keep track of everyone who posted.

Repeat and continue your outreach!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my article! If you enjoyed it, you can support me by signing up to my Instagram Small Business class, sharing this article and giving it a bunch of claps. You can also follow me on Instagram to get updates whenever I publish a new piece ❤

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Eduardo Morales

@pinlord 📌 @potteryforall 🌱 & @macramemakers 🍶on Instagram. Demystifying how Instagram works👌🏽 Follow for updates: https://instagram.com/theeduardomorales