If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know,” you will get an idea of just how important it is to network regularly in your business, and in particular, to connect with top influencers in your niche.
Niche Influencers - What and Why
A niche influencer is a person who has an established name in their field of expertise and within the social networks through the content they publish online and their niche-related activities, such as appearing in interviews, conferences and more. If we hear the names Bill Gates, Emeril, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil we immediately know what niche they are associated with, and the fact that they are high-profile because of the media attention their activities garner.
Connecting with a few key online influencers will can give you far better results than connecting with lots of people who have no influence, don’t know that much about the niche, and don’t know or care who you are or what you do. If you can get their attention, it can open up a new range of opportunities and a much wider audience.
The trouble is that everyone and their dog will want to connect with these influences too. Here are some top tips for connecting with niche influencers successfully to grow your brand and increase your profits.
Know your niche. Know where your ideal customer is hanging out, who they are paying attention to, and who they are buying from.
Identify top influencers. Find out who the influencers are in your niche and where they are. Use tools to accomplish this, such as BuzzSumo, BirdSong Analytics, and Twellow.
Follow the influencers. See what kind of content they are publishing in relation to your niche. What kinds of products and services are they selling? What kinds of feedback are they getting? Make notes as you go along to inspire you in terms of trying to do things better, faster, and cheaper. Also, note ways in which you complement each other, rather than compete with each other.
Spruce up your professional profile. Create an awesome profile for every network you are on. While you are following the influencers, check out their profiles. Do you see something you'd like to add to your own profile? If so, add something similar while also making it unique to you.
Interact with the influencers. Once you have been following them for a while and have got your profile up and running, you can start to interact with the influencers in a low-key way. Comment, like, and share in a structured way related to your marketing strategy, that is, what you wish to accomplish.
Contact influencers. When you do contact influencers, be specific. What do you want from them and what can you bring to the table? If you would like to be a guest blogger, give them samples of your work. If you would like them to be a guest blogger, or allow you to interview them, make sure your site looks great and is packed with niche-related content that their audience will be interested in as well.
Be patient. Plan to do things or make changes over a 6 month period. Take your time to get to know them, and vice versa. The better you understand them and their product line and influence in your niche, the more likely they will want to work with you down the line. You knowledge will shine through compared to the many people who want to connect with them for the own benefit.
While these top tips for connecting with niche influencers will increase your chances, it's up to you to make it worth their while. So, start your transformation into becoming an influencer in your own right and see how many niche influencers you can connect with on a meaningful level.