There are a few out there who will say that reaching out to influencers is a thing of the past, and that it doesn't work. I am here to tell you that they are mistaken. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that you should work to become an influencer in your own right. But as experts Derek Halpurn like will tell you, there is a lot to be gained by listing your name along side an influencer.
The questions I get asked most are how did you get Barbara Corcoran to endorse your book? And how did you land an interview with Donald Miller? Etc. I get it. Years ago I would have been asking the same questions.
Beyond choosing the right influencer, and, oh, you know, actually engaging with them on their site or on social media, Here is the issue I see most often when people reach out to influencers:
Reaching out for an endorsement, an interview, or a guest post before your brand, book, product, podcast is ready, is a lot like trying to polish a turd. Excuse the analogy but guys, it fits.
I recently wrote a post about the importance of waiting until you are ready to reach out for that big endorsement, so today I want to explain how to know when you ARE ready. Here are the signs that you're ready:
You have invested time.
You need to have spent a LOT of time on your book, product or podcast. It took me months to put my book together, and it was compiled from years worth of notes I had jotted. You can't slap an influencers name on a poorly-written book, or a product that doesn't work well, and expect success.
You have invested money.
It doesn't have to be a lot of money, but if you haven't hired at least a professional designer for your book cover, podcast logo, or website design, you're kidding yourself. Aesthetics matter! I knew the pilot episode would be the key to launching The Pursuit, so I spent the money to have it shot and edited professionally. Choose your priorities and invest. A good starting place might be to invest in a coach or consultant to guide you in the right direction so you spend your money on the right things.
You have gained momentum.
Momentum doesn't have to mean a million followers or even one thousand. Momentum means you can show growth and excitement around what you're doing. People want to be part of something exciting and interesting! Start where you are, can you get reviews and interviews in your home town? Can you start in your niche before you branch out? You need to land a few solid yesses from people within or near your circle before you can land a Yes from a Mark Cuban or Jon Acuff.
You are not desperate.
There is no bigger turn off than desperation. Desperation is an aroma that implies you're selling crap. If you've done the above three things, you are on your way to becoming an influencer already, and you realize that your momentum is taking you places. A No here and there is no big deal because you have yesses coming in.
Your project, product or idea is WORTH the time and investment to do it right! Take the proper steps, and watch the yesses roll in!
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