A Guide To Connecting With Influencers Online, Even If You’re A “Nobody”

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influencer

Do you ever find that your niche is so crowded, that it’s difficult getting the attention your website deserves?

Perhaps you’ve been writing 3 articles a day and getting no traction. Maybe you feel Google “hates” your site.

Look:

You know who your audience is. You know they’d greatly appreciate your work.

But you’ve realized that simply sending out a message on Facebook and a couple of tweets haven’t really worked.

One of the most effective ways I’ve found getting a foothold is by connecting with those that have captivated your audience.

What better way than working with an influential person in your field?

This form of marketing, called influencer marketing, has been on the rise in marketing circles in the last few years.

Table of Contents

What is Influencer Marketing?

First, it’s valuable to know what influencer marketing is NOT.

Influencers are incredible people who have spent a lot of time building expertise and social collateral.

Therefore:

  • Influencer marketing is NOT a marketing tool to use and abuse.
  • Influencer marketing is NOT a new method to try and if it fails, simply “discard.”

Influential people are humans, just like us.

They deserve respect, and connecting with them isn’t just a one-way street where you win by getting free traffic and referrals.

It’s a two-way street where you offer value and build authentic relationships.

If you are ready to put in the work into building meaningful relationships, this guide is for you.

If you are looking to find “easy wins” from a new marketing method, I’d suggest looking elsewhere.

So, what is influencer marketing?

According to Kyle Wong of Forbes Magazine, influencer marketing is “a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.”

Instead of building an audience from scratch, you provide value to influencers and if they like it, they funnel traffic right to your door. But again, you must treat the relationship with respect.

In fact……as you begin to build relationships with influencers online, slowly you will gain opportunities to connect with them in person.

Ramit Sethi and Jason Quey at the Zero to Launch Platinum Event
Ramit Sethi and I at his exclusive Zero-to-Launch Platinum event

In this guide, I’ll provide you with ready-to-use scripts, case studies, and email templates to help you cut through the noise and get the attention your site deserves.

I’ll share my story, the mistakes I’ve made, and how to add value to their lives.

The main focus of this article is learning how to connect with influencers online

While nothing beats face-to-face interaction, sometimes it’s impractical to do so:

  • They may live in another city (or even country). They’ve got busy schedules, making it hard to meet face-to-face.

It’s definitely worth doing so when you can. So, how do you begin connecting with influencers online?

Perhaps you may be thinking to yourself:

If I send a message to an influencer, it will just be deleted or ignored.

Or worse, they will see it as spammy and annoying. I know I’ve been told to add value to them, but what do I bring to the table?

This guide is 6,600+ words long, packed with practical steps to help you grow your business. Here, I’ll answer these questions and more.

Like most things in life, I’m always on a quest to learn more. As such, I’ll be updating this guide from time to time.

That’s why I’m not going to call this an “ultimate” or “definitive” guide to influencer marketing.

Even if it could get more buzz from using those terms.

I’ve also created a Table of Contents to make it easier for you to find the section to suit your needs.

Let’s dive right in

Six months ago, I was virtually anonymous on the web.

Sure, I’ve had brief moments of Internet fame.

A few years back I created a slogan for the Lee Jeans Modern Man series.

My Lee Jeans Modern Man Submission
My rule in being a modern man.

Total new coaching clients? 0

Total new email subscribers? 0

While it was great to get a free pair of jeans, this didn’t move the needle in my business.

How I Got over 1,800 Social Shares, in 3 Days, Without an Email List

At the time, I was doing the digital marketing strategy for a web hosting startup.

We decided to run a contest to give away free web hosting packages.

To promote the contest, I used Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique to create an article related to SEO.

Instead of simply creating the 50 Top SEO Experts to Follow on Social Media or Top 15 SEO Experts to follow on Twitter, I decided to create a list that would be better than any others out there.

I wanted no one to “skyscraper” my “ultimate” list article.

Not only did I make the list of the Top 100 SEO experts in the world, but I also gave some substance to this number.

Instead of making this my list of favorite influencers to follow, I used a scoring system of averaging the influencer score of Klout, and Followerwonk.

I knew simply creating the article wouldn’t produce any traffic. Conversely, I knew these guys did.

So I emailed them. All 100. Cold turkey.

Results?

  • Found 92 of the emails and got a response rate of 82%
  • Over 1,800 shares in 3 days. A spike of 2,300 visitors during that time.

And I did this without an email list.

While by many measures this was a “success,” I did not feel that way. There was still something missing…

I couldn’t quite place my finger on it.

Instead of being paralyzed, I pressed on.

Turning Into The Jason Voorhees of Guest Blogging

As I began planning my next move, I came across Danny Iny’s story of becoming the “Freddy Krueger” of guest blogging.

He wasn’t the only one who used this successfully either:

Turns out, this was also the claim-to-fame for Jon Morrow and Buffer.

So I churned out articles for MadLemmingsWP KubeSearch Decoder, and Firepole Marketing. (Props to my buddy Adam Connell for two of the recommendations).

For my post on MadLemmings, it shot up to be one of the top 3 most shared posts in the last year.

Most shared articles on Mad Lemmings
Top 3 most shared articles on Mad Lemmings. Ah, yeah!

I later asked Ashley, the owner of MadLemmings, how my article did compare to his other posts.

A little over 3x the traffic. Not too shabby!

Yet even with this success, I still had that same nagging feeling something was missing. I could not pinpoint what it was.

But I realized I needed to focus on what I was writing about so that what I wrote would solve the problems was dealing with.

The $3,600 Question

I’ve always prided myself as an innovative bootstrapper.

As others shelled out hundreds of dollars on online products and courses, I was able to learn everything I needed by studying it myself.

Or so I thought…

The problem was that I did not have a solid system in place.

After weighing out 5 different programs, I decided to invest in Ramit Sethi’s Zero-to-Launch program.

I wanted something tested and proven.

Even though some complain his programs don’t work or he’s a fraud, I knew he would not be in business if everyone failed.

Look:

He gets a million or so visitors he gets every month.

They stick around because Ramit understands them and helps them get to where they want to be.

(which, by the way, is the core of every business – helping people achieve what they want in life).

And if his free advice was changing people’s lives, how much better would his paid material be?

Including Ramit’s Accelerator program, I decided to invest $300 a month for the next 12 months.

Now, I know what you might be thinking:

Why would a bootstrapper invest that much into a program?

What I often forget is that bootstrapping is NOT about never spending money.

It’s about keeping your costs low until you’re ready to make the right investments in your business. I needed to realize that time was money.

Why bother trying to reinvent the wheel?

Repeating the mistakes others have already learned from can be expensive in its own right.

The ZTL system has helped provide focus to my ADD entrepreneur brain.

It’s helped me to narrow my focus and begin to understand my audience’s burning pains.

And I finally figured out what was missing:

Connection. Interaction. Trust.

When I began connecting with these internet entrepreneurs, I realized how much I enjoyed learning how to provide value to them.

Looking back, that was what made my articles so successful.

Not because I was some “big shot,” but because some of these influencers were willing to help me in return.

I realize that I want to help bloggers connect with influential internet entrepreneurs so that they can rapidly grow their businesses together.

10 Costly Mistakes I Made (That You Can Avoid)

As I’ve begun connecting with influencers online, here are 10 mistakes I’ve made along the way.

I’ve already paid the price of tuition for you.

Learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them.

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1. Writing drawn out emails

Before getting drawn into the world of internet marketing, I would receive 30 emails a day. Most were junk and hit the trash before even opening them up.

When I got an email worth opening, I never cared about its length. It was something special because it was from someone I cared about. Even if 3/4 of an email didn’t relate to me, I read it.

The problem was taking my assumption and placing it on influencers. Considering they get some 207+ emails a day, it’s no surprise they would not read a wordy email.

2. Getting instead of giving

Back in the day when I wrote on Blogspot (yes, I hear the collective groan of marketers everywhere), I received an email from an anonymous person asking for a link.

While I knew enough of the value of link building, I had no idea why they made this request.

Additionally, I did not see the value of writing an article to suit their needs of adding a link.

And if I had these thoughts when I was getting 30 emails/day, I can only imagine what it’s like for someone like Neil Patel or Rand Fishkin.

What’s challenging is that when I email someone, I am making a request. As a minimum, a request for their time to read and (usually) respond.

However, I’ve found it helpful to frame my request alongside the value they receive.

How can you add value to influencers?

Listen to them. Learn to get inside their head and solve their problems.

I’ll go into more detail on how to add value to influencers’ lives in chapter 5.

3. Just wanting to connect (no purpose)

I’ve always thought it would be cool to get an email response from Jeff Bezos, chief of Amazon.

But aside from the ego trip, I doubt it would do me any good If he would even write back.

Why?

I don’t have anything I could add value to him.

More importantly, there is little relevant value he could give to my business.

4. Not doing the remarkable

I once wrote an email to Seth Godin. Three times, actually. In one instance, I went on and on about a project I came across (failing point 1).

Really, it wasn’t all that earth-shattering either. In short, some musicians had learned to synchronize their videos to play in harmony with each other (failing point #2).

Even IF I had done the above two points well, it would have failed the test of remarkability. It didn’t help that the website was designed 10 years ago.

What’s the best way to cut through the noise? Do the remarkable. Do something worth remarking about.

To be clear, I’m not saying *I* need to be remarkable before approaching them

Quite the opposite.

This guide is to give guidance to people of any level of social clout.

But if I’m creating a copy-and-paste Amazon affiliate site, why would someone get fired up about my project?

5. Asking too much at one time

A month ago, I was working on a project for Mastermind Talks.

This event is like a TED Talk for entrepreneurs and has featured speakers like Tim Ferriss, Mark Ecko, Dan Martell, and Guy Kawasaki.

Jayson Gaignard, the event host, has always gone the extra mile. In fact, he landed his guests without paying a dollar in marketing.

So I emailed 10 entrepreneurs who attended this event and asked 3 relevant questions.

I kept the email short.
I demonstrated the purpose of connecting with them.
I got a response back from four, but only one really answered every question.

Yes, I was very thankful for getting any response at all. But it also taught me the importance of only asking what I need to ask and no more.

6. Having absurd expectations

When I was doing the marketing for a web host startup, I tried experimenting with influencer marketing.

I knew one of the fastest ways to grow was to provide value to those who held influence over our audience. My goal was to allow bloggers to do a giveaway for their audience with our product.

But there was one thing I failed to account for. Most bloggers did not wish to give a product they perceived wasn’t fully tested.

It is, I’m using their hosting now. And I enjoy the comfort of having my own developer on hand at a fraction of the cost. perception is not always the same as reality.

7. Being impatient

When I began to build my blogging empire, I knew asking for a quote from an expert could be a great way to get free traffic.

While there is no guarantee (see mistake 8), by getting their contribution, they are more likely to share. Especially if it is remarkable (hence the value of point 3).

So I asked Ross Simmonds for a quote for my article on 10 DIY Marketing Studies.

I waited. And waited. Turns out, he was down in Mexico on vacation.

The reality is that these entrepreneurs are not sitting around, waiting for my email. In fact, what made these entrepreneurs great was NOT getting bogged down by email. They’ve got lives too.

In a week, my buddy Adam Connell launched an online productivity magazine and became the marketing director at UK Linkology.

That’s on top of managing the popular Blogging Wizard website and co-running WP Superstars. I was in no rush for a response.

But goes to show that people have a life outside of our own.

8. Thinking email templates will magically work

Templates have been a lifesaver.

Okay, okay, I’d still be alive without them too. But seeing an example to use, it gives me a glimpse into how an influencer likes to be approached.

However, I’ve found two issues I’ve had in using templates.

1. I don’t communicate the same way others do

If you look around the Internet, you’ll find plenty of email templates to build links, land guest posts, or ask for shares. But each of these people communicates in a different way than I do.

Therefore, it would be inauthentic for me to write like that. And even though they may not be able to pinpoint why influencers will notice.

2. If everyone is using the same template, influencers will get a glut of the same email

This goes back to point #3. If everyone is doing the same thing, you won’t stand out.

9. I could magically bend someone’s desires to my will using marketing psychology

It has always fascinated me to see how psychologists are able to tap into our core desires.

Business psychology can help us to understand how we think, feel, and behave.

While it can increase the odds of your desired goal, there is no guarantee that it will always work.

10. Letting it all go to my head

When I created the top 100 SEO article, I was honored by how many were willing to share the article. From observation, even some big-name blogs MAY have one article crack 1,000 shares in a year.

Needless to say, this was a huge rush of pride to my head.

And it’s not usually long before pride comes before a fall.

***

Of course, there are other pitfalls to avoid when connecting with influencers. For further mistakes you should avoid, I’d recommend reading, “Influencer Outreach – 5 Ways to Fail” by Lee Odden.

How to Meaningfully Connect With Influencers Online

Now that you know what not to do, let’s take a look at what you should be doing.

Know your goals

Before you begin, it’s valuable to understand what exactly you are trying to achieve.

Peter Drucker once stated, “What gets measured, gets managed.”

If you don’t know your goal, how will you know you’ve achieved what you are trying to accomplish?

More importantly, how will you determine if it was a valuable investment? Here are some potential objectives to keep in mind.

1. Social proof

When Ecko Unlimited first began, Marc Ecko wanted his clothing worn by those he admired in the music industry.

He knew that by impressing key influencers, his target audience would soon flock to purchase his brand.

However, many people give products to celebrities, hoping they will so much as send out a tweet.

To cut through the noise, instead of sending just a sample set of clothing for them to wear, he did the remarkable by giving them a “swag bomb.”

By surrounding his brand with successful influencers, he tapped into the musicians’ influence to turn his brand into a global corporation.

2. Free Press Coverage

Journalists are always on the hunt to cover the latest news breaking story.

In fact, it’s common for many of them to closely watch industry celebrities. Even the slightest sign of “something significant” can get news coverage.

If you do something remarkable and start getting the attention it deserves, you might notice you start to get press coverage without having to pitch journalists.

For example, when I wrote my top 100 SEO article, it got links from the Search Engine Journal and SEM Rush.

3. Free traffic

Looking for free traffic, but unsure how SEO exactly works?

One of the easiest ways for a new site to get attention is through industry roundup posts. In these articles, a blogger collects a bunch of links, quotes, insight, or opinions of experts.

Let’s go over some of the ways bloggers have used this:

Link round-up

Every day, Marketing Land publishes a list of valuable Market resources that came out that day (example).

As there is very little substance to this approach, I would NOT recommend going this route, unless you’ve already established your site, particularly as it fails the test of remarkability.

When I look at the page, I simply see a wall of text. There’s no story that pulls me in.

A better example would be Adrienne Smith’s Magical Mondays. In every article she curates, she gives a brief description and her own personal take.

42 tools of choice, 80 habits of highly successful entrepreneurs, and other listicles

Have you wondered what are the top productivity tips from incredibly busy experts?

Or maybe the 42 least talked about tools used by Internet marketers?

These articles invoke curiosity in readers as they desire to be in the know with the latest-and-greatest gizmo or gadget.

When you ask for the expert’s input, they are inclined to share the article as it frames them alongside others worth following.

Robbie Richards has successfully used this approach to scale his new blog from 0 to 100,000 page views, on a budget of $48.

By connecting with marketers who share his audience, Robbie was able to quickly grow his site. What’s more impressive is that he typically only writes one article a month.

After deciding on a topic to write about, a blogger begins reaching out to industry experts via email to get their input.

Top [number] [industry] experts to follow

Another common way to get free traffic using influencer marketing is by creating articles like 55 Digital Marketing Experts You Should Follow on Social Media.

When I created the article for the top 100 SEO experts in the world, I took a “scientific” approach to stand out from the crowd.

By doing so, I was able to get 1,800 social shares in less than a week, without an email list.

As I had the time, I wanted this piece to clearly be the best list post.

Using the Skyscraper technique, I made it bigger, better, and more up-to-date.

I did not want anyone to write something better anytime soon.

Here’s a step-by-step approach to how I did it, and how you can too for your industry.

1. Curate the names of several experts in your field

Honestly, I knew very few names in the SEO world.

And if I wanted to back up my claim that these were the most influential people in the world, I needed a fairly comprehensive list.

How did I find a list of names when I knew no one?

The simplest way was using Google to curate from other top SEO list articles.

WeFollow also proved useful to find others these experts weren’t aware of.

You can also brainstorm the names of those you follow or search for relevant Twitter lists to find the names of people in your industry.

2. Provide “scientific” backing

People are intrigued by any information that is also backed by research.

Why?

It’s often new and refreshing.

Science (should) give us a better understanding at what is true. Then, what is read is not just one man’s opinion, but has been tested, weighed, and measured.

To provide this data, I took an average of their influence score using Klout, and FollowerWonk.

In doing so, this gave some amount of objectivity to who were the top people to follow.

3. Include as much value as possible

After completing the list and filling out each profile, I used Buzzsumo to find their most viral and relevant articles in the past year.

I included the article under each influencer’s name so if anyone wanted to learn more about them, they could quickly find their best material.

4. Reach out to each influencer via email

Before publishing the article, I attempted to send an email to all influencers on my list.

Though most were brief (this was intentional), I was honored to get a response even from those like Danny Sullivan, Rand Fishkin, Matt Cutts, Dharmesh Shah, and Lee Odden.

Here’s what the emails I sent looked like:

email doug

Why did I attempt to get a response before the article went live?

This allowed each person to contribute something more if they desired.

By getting their buy-in and becoming part of the creation process, they will feel a sense of ownership.

While it took over 11 hours to find all the emails, the free traffic more than made up for the time spent.

Now I use 5 tools to find almost any email in 3 minutes or less (details below).

5. Publish the article and let ‘er fly!

After several hours, my masterpiece was finished.

Having told them a deadline, I had to pull an all-nighter to get everything read (a little poor planning on my part, but was an enjoyable rush).

I hit publish. I included the article on Reddit and Inbound.org.

…And nothing happened.

Without sending a follow up email, there was no way for the influencers to know I had actually published my article.

So I sent an email to them.

email matt

Aww, much better!

When I first started out, there was a lot to learn. One of the most helpful articles I used was “How to get the attention of your favorite expert,” by Selena Soo.

In order to effectively reach out to influencers, you need to be able to find their email. So here are…

5 incredible tools I use to discover (almost) any email in 3 minutes or less

There are multiple ways you can begin building relationships. But I’ve always found email to be the most sustainable over the long haul.

It’s personal, easy to add value, and from my experience, takes less time to build a strong connection.

So how do you find an influencer’s email?

Here are the 5 strategies and tools I use to find almost any influencer’s email.

I’ve even found the 18 time, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

On top of the step-by-step instructions, I mention the exact reasons I would use one tool over another.

1. EmailHunter.co

Jayson Gaignard, host of the Mastermind Talks, introduced this tool to me.

Simply by entering the URL of the website you are researching, it immediately spits out the emails of anyone who works at that company.

What I Like: It’s fast. Like Google fast.

What I Don’t Like: I’ve found it misses most emails and at times, very inaccurate with those it “finds.” Like 40% inaccurate.

How to Compensate: I have Rapportive installed to minimize the amount of inaccurate email addresses I find. In fact, I’d highly suggest using Rapportive to any serious marketer.

If it weren’t for the lightning speed of Email Hunter, I’d start with…

2. Content Marketer

Sujan Patel wanted to create ContentMarketer.io after spending 100s of hours manually finding and sending emails to promote his content.

So he teamed up with Colin Mathews to create this awesome tool.

What I Like:

1. Can find emails by scanning a website, inputting a name, or Twitter handle.

2. I’d estimate an accuracy rating of 92.8%. 94% when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. 🙂

3. Provides an estimate of how accurate the email is.

4. Includes over 50 email templates for you to use.

5. Enables you to scan your articles to find anyone you mention. <– This is a HUGE time saver for me.

6. Simple step-by-step tutorials.

7. Email support via Intercom.io.

You might be surprised at the emails it will find for you…

Send Michael Phelps fan email

What I Don’t Like:

1. Bigger sites take a bit more time, which isn’t helpful if you are only looking for one email.

2. Sometimes multiple emails get tagged to the same person, which aren’t always accurate.

Really not a big hassle. And compared to the other options, this tool still saves me a TON of time.

How to Compensate:

1. If it’s taking too long to load results, there’s a button that says, “Check on this later.”

2. Often you can use deductive reasoning to know which email is correct.

What I know of Sujan, I’m sure he is constantly finding ways to make this tool well worth the investment.

Best of all, you can also try it out for 14 days, no credit card needed.

Through Content Marketer, Sujan was able to receive over 900 shares and 25k visitors reaching out to just 17 bloggers.

He’s also used it to secure guest posts on Business Insider and a weekly column in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Content Marketer is very accurate and thorough.

There are some rare instances when I’m not able to find every email.

So, I move on to what I call…

3. “The Subscriber Trick”

One important element to growing a website is a way to capture emails.

How to use the subscriber trick:

1. Subscribe to the blog.

2. Wait to get the confirmation email

3. See what goodies you find!

What I Like: 98.7% accurate.

What I Don’t Like: If it’s a company blog, I may not always get the right email.

At this point, if I still haven’t found the person I’m looking for, I move on to…

4. The Ole Rapportive Technique

This strategy has been the bread-and-butter of email sleuths for the past 3 years. Probably because it is so darn effective.

As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit. As such, there tends to be a certain format used to make an email address Most who share the Rapportive trick will start by creating a list with some combination of a person’s first name, last name, and the email domain name.

Thankfully, our kind friends over at Distilled have given us just the tool you need to expedite this process 7 fold.

If you can’t find someone’s middle name, no worries, the trick often works without it.

Can’t find anything using their company email?

Try using gmail.com, yahoo.com, or outlook.com. These are the 3 most used email service providers.

What I Like: Very thorough.

What I Don’t Like: Very time-consuming.

It’s rare that I need to make it to this step. But when all else fails…

5. Use a Contact Box

If the site has a contact page, this can be a great place to contact the person you’re looking to connect with.

Why not begin here?

1. Not all websites have these on their site.

2. If there are multiple people on a website, chances are slim your email will go to the right person.

3. If it goes to someone else, they may not forward the email.

4. If it does go to the right person, sometimes the contact box limits what you can do(i.e. include URLs, attachments, etc).

In the last 3 months, I’ve only had to use this about 3 times out of the 175+ emails to influential entrepreneurs.

More often than not, you will find what you are looking for in one of the above tools.

Keep in mind that these tools only use publicly available data.

They can’t help you find the email address of people who want to keep it hidden (trust me, I’ve tried).

The Essential Influencer Outreach Process

Now that you’ve found the email, how do you know what you should say to them?

There’s a lot to keep in mind when learning how to work with influential people.

On the Social Media Examiner, Doug Karr breaks down the best way to work with influencers and get in front of your audience.

A lot of this also came from Adam Connell’s article How To Achieve Incredible Results With Blogger Outreach. Great articles I’d highly recommend.

Here are 8 things I keep in mind when I send out any email

1. Make the message about them

Whether you are trying to land a guest post, get a link, ask them to share, or anything else, rule #1 is figure out WIIFT (what’s in it for them).

2. Be clear

What are you asking for? Now’s not time to play guessing games. If you are wanting to pitch a giveaway to promote the product, ask for it, and explain why you would be a good fit.

Looking to help them market their course? Show (don’t tell) them specifically how you will do this.

3. Personalize your email

Until I think they know my name, I always include their first name in the subject line. This immediately sets you apart from 97.2% of junk emails.

But go beyond that. Do they have any relevance to your project? Let them know why are you approaching them specifically.

4. Keep it short

These influencers got big because they keep themselves productive. I’ve always tried to ask myself if I can communicate the message in less words. If so, then I start deleting.

As a rule, I aim to keep an email to 4 paragraphs at 2-3 sentences at the MAX.

Bonus: I also ask myself if there’s a way to minimize the needed response for the expert. See point #8.

5. Avoid red flags

Every time I buy a new web domain.

Flags on the field!

There are certain buzz words it would be wise to avoid.

For those in marketing, I’d highly recommend you avoid mentioning the terms SEO or link building.

Here are some other red alert terms to avoid: Meet singles, home-based business, online biz opportunity, while you sleep, article spinner, removes wrinkles, cures baldness, and join millions.

For a full list, check out The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words.

6. Offer social proof

What credibility do you have in what you are doing?

If you don’t have anything relevant, that’s okay. Can you borrow the credibility of others?

Let’s say I’m going to do an article on the top social media experts to follow.

If I was going to email Ian Anderson Gray about how to become a Twitter power user, I might say:

Hey Ian,

I’m writing an article about the best Twitter tools to use.,

I want to inform my readers about the best image creation tools, management & analytics platforms, and social sharing tools.

I’m looking to get the input of 9 other social media experts like Ileane Smith, Mike Allton, and yourself.

My buddy Ashley Faulkes said you are a great go-to guy who has helped him a lot.

What has been your favorite tool to use and why is it important to you?

Thanks, Ian,

~Jason

(Do note this isn’t an actual email I’ve sent, but what I might say if I wanted to get their advice about Twitter. Also, if you want to
know more about Twitter, click on their names above. I linked to some of their most shared Twitter articles.)

By referencing these other experts, it shows you are connecting with others who they probably know as well.

Now you may say to yourself, “I don’t know Ashley Faulkes, what should I say then?”

Another route is to simply state why you believe Ian has an opinion worth sharing.

Additionally, the email above also uses the social proof of Ileane and Mike.

Whatever you do, do NOT say something that is false.

Someone may get away with it for a while. But it will be their demise once the web of lies comes undone.

7. Be wise in the follow-up

Sent the email and haven’t received a response back yet?

First, remember they’ve got a life too.

Give it a few days. Then, if you don’t hear back, reply to the email you sent.

In doing so, they don’t need to dig for the original email you sent.

How should you respond?

Try something like this:

“Hey [name],

Had not heard back from you yet. I’m sure you get a lot of emails, so I just wanted to float this to the top, just in case it got lost.”

Keep it polite and keep it simple.

8. Do you need a response?

This might seem strange since the point is to reach out to someone. But if you are trying to add value to someone’s life, you shouldn’t make every email transactional.

Recently, I saw that Evernote is now found on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

While this was not something I find hugely valuable, I knew those in the SEO world might find it valuable.

So, I shot Dan Shure of Evolving SEO this email:

evernote.JPG

If Dan wanted to write a blog post about it, he’s got an idea to use.

Or if he decided to send it out as a tweet (which he did do), he’s got a snapshot to use.

Notice that last sentence:

No need to respond.

This is a trick I learned from Ramit Sethi’s definitive guide to building your network (with scripts).

If you don’t need a response, let them know.

This adds value to their lives without needing to take anything from them.

Why would I do this if have no “use” in connecting with Dan?

That’s a mental script I had to overcome.

The goal is to add value to others, not expect anything in return.

I chose Dan out of the 100 SEO experts because I simply enjoyed the email conversation we had before.

I admit this exact example in adding value to others won’t come up often.

So I came up with 5 other ways you can help those you are wanting to connect with.

Influencer Marketing is All About Adding Value. Here’s how to do it:

1. Read their advice, implement, and share it

A question I often have while writing articles is, “Will this actually help anyone?” My goal in blogging isn’t simply to write good advice. It’s to motivate people to take action.

So when someone emails me a couple weeks telling me about the results they got from following my advice, I would be on cloud 9!

Even better…

2. Be their case study

If you’ve documented your results, share that with them!

They’d love to hear how you’ve taken massive action based on their advice.

Offer to write a guest post detailing your results.

After I had finished the top 100 SEO experts article, I went back to Adam to let him know how his blogger outreach article had helped me secure the 1,800 social shares.

3. Comment, share and be a true fan

One way to start getting on the radar is by sharing valuable comments on a blog.

Not simply, “Hey, great article.” But actually detailing what you found to be great.

Then share the article and tag them, if possible.

Every influencer is different. Not all will respond.

But most tend to notice those who communicate with them and share their material.

4. Write about them in a good light

About to write an article about your industry? Why not talk about that expert and give your readers reasons to follow them on their site?

Those who are observant probably can see those who I will let know about this article. If they choose to share or link to it, great! But even if they don’t, my goal is to add value to them.

5. Make introductions

As you begin to connect with others, one of the best ways to add value to multiple people is to make introductions. After getting permission from both parties, you can write an email like this My goal was to put both parties in a great light towards each other and add the context why they should connect.

Although I had already done so individually, I put it all together in one email.

Looking for more was to add value to influencers?

Check out 17 epic opportunities for reaching influencers by Dan Norris.

How to take action and where to go from here…

If you’ve made it this far, props to you for getting this far.

If you’ve found a lot of value from this guide, feel free to share it on Facebook, email it to a friend or co-worker.

For your convenience, here’s a template you can use:

“Hey NAME,

I’ve found this great guide on how to connect with influential people online to rapidly grow your business.

I think you’ll love it because it has a lot of specific stories, scripts, examples and systems in there that you can put into action right away!

Would love to hear your thoughts when done,

YOUR NAME”

(If you have an email client setup, click here to have this email pre-filled for you).

I know there have been several articles I’ve read, but never taken action on.

Think about where your life would be if you were able to connect with any influencer online; whether a blogger, marketer or internet entrepreneur.

Got it? Great.