Influencer Marketing Guide
How to become a Successful Influencer
Presented by Murray Newlands and Influence You Marketing
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is building a brand, building an audience, and becoming a recognized thought leader in the space, then working with other thought leaders in that space.
At Influence You Marketing, we help you become a thought leader by clarifying and sharing your expert knowledge to change the world, drive sales, develop a network, and get what you want.
We’re going to teach you how to become an expert in your space and be known for that which you want to be known, and that’s going to enable you to build your brand.
Why Influencer Marketing?
• Become a thought leader.
• Build a brand reputation.
• Get customers.
• Stay first in mind.
• Become a speaker.
• Get a new job.
• Building Trust + an Audience + First in Mind = Opportunities
Who are Influencers and why are they influential?
Instead of pitching to mass media, influencers promote their message though key publications and individuals that they pass on to their own audiences, adding trust, engagement and credibility. Becoming an influencer who can create thought leadership and engage buyers creates vital opportunity to turn content into profits.
• Highly engaged
• Have influence
Why not just do PR?
15 years ago, there were two PR people for every reporter in the country. Now there are 4.8 PR people for every reporter, according to Muckrack.com.
In 2000, there were 65,900 news reporters and 128,600 public relations people, but
in 2015 there were 45,800 news reporters and 218,000 public relations people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Why do PR when you can become an influencer and be in charge of your own thought leadership and media presence?
Influencers stay first in mind
In this day and age, you must become the media to grow and maintain an audience where you are first in mind. Consistently publishing great content keeps you first in mind, which re-assures existing customers while also generating new customers.
Becoming an Influencer
To become an influencer requires a true understanding of desires, pain points, challenges, business processes, and the jobs of your audience. It is vital to have clarity of vision that will guide you on your journey forward.
There are a few questions that you must ask yourself before you become an influencer:
• What do you want to be known for?
• What thoughts can you convey, and how do you want to communicate them?
• Who is your audience and what are their needs, pains, and desires?
• What is your content strategy?
• Who are their influencers?
Creating great content
Start by creating content out of your general awareness; great content that really educates people on topics that you know. Picking up a hot-button issue and providing your expertise and your knowledge to that specific area is a great way to start off being an expert. You can expand from that, but start with the interests of your audience, and what topic in which you can grow your expertise over a long period of time.
You’re going to be creating answers to your audience’s problems in many different formats: writing articles for major publications, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, presentations on SlideShare, and even real-life events and real-life speaking. Your content could include creating a blog, creating Twitter content — a range of different types.
TIP: When you’re thinking about content, don’t think about selling your services. You’re not trying to say, “Buy here, buy now.” Hone the message, and make sure you’re marrying it with what your audience needs.
Break it down:
Content Strategy: Why?
Knowledge extraction: What?
Content creation: How?
Publications / blog / social: When?
Understanding what publishers want
When you’re writing for major publications, your content needs to be great, not just good. Publishers need to provide value to their readers for their time, so your articles need to be all about your audience.
• Why does the article matter? Every time you’re submitting an article to a publication, that editor is going to be saying, “Why should my audience care about this content? Why does it matter to them and should I publish it?”
• Why am I creating this content? Who in the audience for this publication is going to care about it? Why are they going to fall in love with it enough to share it?
• What about this content is shareable? Audiences share content because it makes them look smart, funny, and intelligent, or it’s a topic they are passionate about.
• Will my audience click on this title? Great titles are really clickable and really shareable.
• Is this news? Publishers want the most up-to-date content for audiences, so your content needs to reflect the news of the day.
• Can you make the news your own? News-Jacking is when your brand piggybacks on the biggest news stories to draw attention to your own content.
What makes a story newsworthy?
• Is it something new?
• Does your story matter?
• Does it provide excitement and engagement from an external point of view?
• How does it / will it / could it affect people?
• Is It Relevant?
• Does it make sense in the context of the space and time in which it’s presented?
• Does It Serve Our Interests?
o Every pitch should be fine-tuned to make sure it serves the best interests of your brand and your audience.
Content ideas: What should you write about?
First and foremost, your content should be personal. Your audience wants to read and buy from other humans, so make your content about your personal experiences, joys, and lessons from your failures.
• Practical Content
• Case studies and “how to” posts are very valuable.
• Audiences love lists because they can skim quickly and absorb information.
• Holidays, seasons, and events are timely and engaging.
• Ride Trends
o Current events and popular memes allow you to engage crossover audiences.
• Quirky, creative, or unique stories catch people’s attention.
• Conflicts and differences of opinion drive traffic.
• People love numbers, and numbers make great headlines.
IT TAKES A TEAM
Creating, writing, and editing great content takes time and effort, and you cannot do this all by yourself. It takes many people to sustain the journey to influencer.
1. Hire someone who can help you. Like everything in business, if writing is something that is of value to you but you cannot do it amazingly, get help. Hire someone to deliver those things that you want to do, but don’t necessarily have the time commitment or expertise to manage.
2. Edit before your editor.
Once you’ve written a great article, perfect your article by making sure someone else reads, edits, and fact checks it. You don’t want the editor of
the publication, or worse, a reader of the publication to be your editor. Make sure it’s perfect.
3. Interviews are your best friend. Interviews let you include and highlight the knowledge of others, while still making you seem like the expert because you’re sharing this knowledge with the world. Interviews are also a great opportunity to meet other people and network outside your existing ecosystem. Another great benefit is that if you interview people with influence themselves, and put out great content highlighting their accomplishments, they will share the content with their audiences, too. Why wouldn’t they? You both gain influence as experts in front of a wider audience.
Relationships are one of your most important assets as an influencer. As with many things in life, success as an influencer is often about connections. Your connections on social media, in real life, in publications and within your own industry will help you immensely as you move forward with publishing and sharing your content.
Build a relationship with publications. It may be that you’re able to meet editors and publishers at events on a one-to-one basis and get to know them that way. It may be that you’re introduced to them by people that you know, or by contacts or a PR agency. There are many different ways to get to know those editors.
If you don’t know the right people, either you have to learn to get to know them yourself, or you have to hire someone who has those connections to help you make those introductions. It’s great to find someone who also writes and really understands that process to help you navigate through that.
This is not a one-night stand.
Building relationships will take time and effort, but will benefit you greatly in the long run. Start by identifying people in your space with whom you could share a mutually beneficial connection. Re-tweet them, comment on their posts, and share their content so that you start to appear on their radar. Then send a message: what would they like to do next? How can you help them? Are there events you are both going to?
HOW TO GET INTO BIGGER PUBLICATIONS
As mentioned previously, the more connections you have, the easier it will be to get into bigger publications. The right people can introduce you to editors and publishers who may be willing to take a look at your portfolio.
2. Great content
Having stellar content will always put you ahead of the pack, especially if your content is getting shares and engagement.
3. Work you way up
Start writing for smaller publications and work your way up. You might have a company blog or a trade publication that is desperate for content that will take your initial post and help you establish yourself as a writer.
4. Be consistent and build your portfolio
Having some published articles on your topic helps you to say, “I’m an expert on this topic. You should include me. I’m a great writer.” Publications are looking for consistency, as hiring writers who submit often makes their job easier. The more you publish, the more valuable you are.
10 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR FAN BASE
1. Create Unique Content – creating content that stands out is your goal. Use your voice and personality to appeal to new followers.
2. Interact With Your Fans – your followers deserve your time and attention, and they will share your content if they feel a personal connection with you. More eyes = more fans.
3. Collaborate – Not only are relationships key, but collaboration can spark creativity plus give you twice the audience you would’ve had on your own.
4. Offer Incentives – Free products, samples, or downloads are great incentives, especially if you get an email, follow, or signup in return.
5. Stay Current – Pay attention to what’s happening online and in the news; what’s trending on Twitter? Utilize hashtags, mentions, and topics in your content to capitalize on that attention.
6. Use Contests – contests are great catalyzers: 35% of Facebook users will like a page to participate in a contest. You can expand your audience and conversions quite a bit if the entry fee you charge is a follow, like, and/or share.
7. Take Advantage of Free Tools – Tools like Nearby Tweets, InboxQ, TwitDom, and Tweepi are great resources for finding new followers and contributing to conversations that will gain you new followers. Headline analyzers and analytic tools show you where you can grow.
8. Use Facebook Ads – There are incredible tools and analytics inside Facebook ads to target and gain likes from the audience that you need.
9. Use Twitter & Pinterest Effectively – Images within Twitter increase retweets by 150%! Pinterest works best with really amazing visual content, so use it only after you’ve got some awesome pictures.
10. Use Your Fans as Marketers
Who Employs Influencers
Influencers work in every industry, and are employed by others or entrepreneurs making their own way.
If you’re an influencer for your own company, obviously it could help you get clients and funding through the prestige and expertise you’re exuding. Being an influencer can also help you engage, enthuse more staff, and help you get business partnerships from business relationships as you become known in that field as a true expert and thought leader.
But becoming an influencer is not just for the boss. If you’re working for a large corporation, being an influencer can mean potentially getting new business deals, advancements, and the opportunity to move up the corporate ladder. As you build the image for the job you want, being an influencer can help you stand out and get promoted. You will also network with more people and be able to get more speaking opportunities around the world.
Your influence can also help to shape the industry. Think of those thought leaders who are outspoken. Mark Cuban is a billionaire, but also a thought leader and an expert through his work. Richard Branson is a phenomenal PR example; he’s good both at creating his own content as well as being the subject of more content.
Whomever you’re working for, being an influencer will create more opportunities for you that will benefit you and your company.
Why all entrepreneurs should become influencers
Running your own business is difficult, but becoming an influencer can help you in some key areas:
• Leading the field
• Becoming a speaker
The content that you create has a great impact on your entire business. Many people who have written thought leadership pieces generate phenomenal traffic back to themselves. Usually when you’re writing, you’re allowed to have a bio in the footer of your article with links to your other content or your blog. By writing for other publications, you direct lots of traffic back to your site.
Who Am I?
I’m Murray Newlands, and I’ve been in marketing most of my professional life. Instead of writing a blog about marketing like everyone else, I grew and developed an audience by contributing to other sites. Leading publishers John Wiley & Sons gave me a book deal, which led to me getting my Green Card and gaining recognition by the U.S. government as an alien of extraordinary ability.
Being a thought leader and an influencer has helped me land paid speaking gigs around the world and television appearances on local American television shows, syndicated networks, and even on BBC World Service. My writing has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. , and more, and I have 1 Million followers on Twitter, 50K on Facebook, 390K on Vine, 30K on YouTube, 40K on Pinterest, and 14K on Periscope.
Thought leadership led to many different business opportunities, such as meeting the CEOs of companies who saw my content everywhere. I was top-of-mind with them as an expert, and showed that I was someone to hire to help them become thought leaders. I’ve since worked with many brands and CEOs to help them market themselves.