4 Effective Steps on How to Contact Influencers – Complete Guide
It is easy to get writing cramps when you are in a new area where you have no previous experience. Sending your first email to an influencer can feel tricky, how do you best formulate yourself? What information should you include? In this blog post, we will guide you through this process and give our best tips to increase the opportunities for you and your company to make a good impression and to establish collaborations with influencers.
Step 1 – Find contact information
What information do I need?
Once you have decided which influencers you want to work with, it is time to start the actual work of activating the initiative. The most common and often most flexible way to contact influencers is via email. This for many reasons; many influencers are multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial and have busy schedules with irregular times, they do not always sit down at a desk ready to take a stand on collaborations. They may also have sponsors or other collaborations that they need to agree on an approval from before they can take a position or simply have to check their calendar, or take a closer look at your company to know if they want to collaborate with you.
An email that goes through details and terms gives the influencer a chance to do this research in peace and quiet and then return with questions or answers. If you instead take this directly over the phone, it is initially difficult to find a location where it fits in time, but it is also often a lot of details that are difficult for the influencer to memorize, and it is often most stressful and pressured. If you have sent an email, you can always follow up with a call to see if it has arrived and hear what the interest looks like.
Where can I find the information?
Most influencers who are interested in collaborations print their email in their profile on Instagram, in “About me” in the blog or in their “About” tab on YouTube or similar. Go through these and see if you can find an email address or contact information there. If you do not find an email address, you can, for example, try sending a DM on Instagram and briefly explain that you are interested in making a paid collaboration with the influencer. If you do this, it can be good to comment on one of the profile’s posts that you DMed them – it is common that it is not frequently checked through.
Many influencers also know each other, so if you have contact with one, you can ask for an introduction to the one you want to reach and go that way. In one way or another, it is always possible to find contact information, but sometimes you have to be stubborn and determined and go several ways and stubbornly do not give up if you do not get an answer the first time.
Step 2 – Write the email
How should I formulate myself?
Once you have found an email address, it is time to start composing a first email. The rule of thumb is to keep it professional, simple and clear, but still with a personal touch. Warning for writing a similar email and sending it out to everyone, it is quickly seen through and does not give the best impression. Bring something personal about the influencer’s channel or life in general, something unique is always to be highlighted. Do not get too personal though, if you have never met the person before it will only be strange if you formulate yourself as a friend. Professional, but with a personal touch! And do not end your email with a “hug” – it is a business relationship you are initially building right now.
Keep in mind that influencers receive lots of inquiries and often have an overcrowded mailbox, so have the details ready so that they become clear already in a first email. The approach should of course be open to discussion, and it is important to give the influencer space for personal creativity, but some form of guidelines and framework in a brief is preferable for the influencer to be able to decide whether it feels like a relevant collaboration or not .
Questions that should be answered in the email:
Who are you and what product do you offer? Briefly!
Why do you want to work with this particular influencer?
What do you want to push for? Is it a new launch or a summer campaign or is it branding that is the purpose?
Which channel or channels are you interested in?
To what extent do you want to collaborate? Does it apply to several channels? How many publications and for how long? Long-termism is preferable and is often appreciated
When in time do you think the publications will go live?
Discount code and linking – will you want to link and or use discount code (s)? Then be clear about this early
What are you willing to pay? Compensation is always a key issue, so offer a sum or ask what the influencer would want in compensation.
What compensation should we offer?
Do you really have to pay for an influencer, are products not enough? What you are asking the influencer to do is do a job for you, so offering a financial compensation is a matter of course, with few exceptions. A serious influencer will put many hours of work into your collaboration, and just like us all need money to pay for housing and food on the table. A goodie bag with products is of course nice to get, but hardly something that pays for food and accommodation, so always assume that the influencer must receive financial compensation. If you have products with a very high value, they can be counted as part of the compensation, but you must agree with the influencer. In general, influencers direct inquiries where companies want to cooperate without financial compensation, so think smart and avoid scaring away talented influencers who can generate a huge ROI for you.
It is worth remembering that prices per publication will often be lower if you buy several publications at the same time and make a longer collaboration, or if you buy publications in several channels. Feel free to ask how the influencer can reduce prices if you book more publications. Many influencers are only interested in longer collaborations where a series of publications are made, then the credibility is built up publication for publication and it often becomes more affordable for you. You also get a chance to build more of a relationship with the influencer, which increases his loyalty and commitment. Win-win from many aspects in other words!
If you feel that you have a good idea of what an influencer should take for the collaboration, do not feel afraid to offer a fixed compensation. But then do your research and take into account, for example, category, scope and commitment so that you do not come up with a shameful offer that can scare away the influencer. Making a concrete offer shows that you are prepared to pay and gives the influencer something to take a direct stand on, but if you are unsure – ask! It is unusual for an influencer to set extreme premiums, they have their reputation and brand to think about and usually have a template or even price list they are based on.
Step 3 – To build a relationship during the course of the collaboration
Professional and present
Building and maintaining a good relationship with an influencer is not really different from the relationships we have with colleagues and clients or other professional relationships. For example, answering questions quickly, always being there if ideas need to be balled down and acting fairly and honestly is as basic as ever. It builds trust and creates mutual respect. See the influencer as a colleague who helps you in your marketing by stepping in with their skills and channels and doing things that you yourself do not actually have the opportunity to do.
Transparent and honest
Always be as transparent as you can, without revealing trade secrets for that matter. Remember to never use a young and inexperienced influencer who asks for an unreasonably modest compensation, instead build trust by putting some on the compensation claim and expect to get a grateful and loyal influencer in return. To skimp and take advantage of different situations usually punishes itself in the long run when the influencer has gained more experience or talked to industry colleagues, so always act nicely – you have it again! If you have a very limited budget, be honest with it, and the influencer must decide for themselves whether it is possible to carry out the collaboration for the money you have to offer.
Sit back and let influencers do what they do best
As long as you have submitted a clear brief to the influencer where specific details for the design of text and image as well as conditions regarding, for example, publication date appear, you should not really have to go in and poke too much during the collaboration. Rather sit back and let influencers use their creativity and create personal content. Of course, be involved to the extent they want if they want to brainstorm an idea or question, but do not lie down and get annoying – no one likes to feel locked in and controlled in their creative work – and it can hinder the opportunity to continue collaborating in the future.
Step 4 – To maintain a good relationship after the collaboration
Make influencers feel involved and valuable
To keep a relationship alive even after or between collaborations, make sure to involve influencers. Feel free to invite influencers if you have events or mingling of any kind, are you going to open a new store, or launch a new product that the influencer can have a chance to partake of before everyone else? Make influencers feel important, valuable and included, it is always appreciated and keeps you top of mind with influencers!
Influencer Marketing is an exciting and incredibly fun industry! Partly because so much happens and because things are constantly changing, but also because it means that you get a chance to work with so many talented and inspiring people who have let their passion become their work. Influencers can be a huge asset for companies when the right matching takes place and when the collaborations are carried out in a good way, so nurture the relationships with influencers and see them for the incredible resources they really are!