Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to work with influencers in different spaces whether it be entrepreneurs, streamers or other professionals and a few things hold true in terms of building relationships and maintaining rapport.
We forget that despite all of what we hope to accomplish individually, it’s rarely how things actually happen. Your ability to break down barriers usually requires help from friends and colleagues.. The crux of any single persons success is dictated by their talents, their execution and the people they know. That’s not to say that people are out to use each other, but instead communities of good like minded people help lift each other up.
In this new influencer world, marketing and self representation is flipping on end and too many people are trying to get in the door with popular folks just to bombard them with some kind of sales pitch down the road. This is where the problem lies.
We forgot that relationships matter so much so that we start selling right out of the gate. This will never work! And it comes from a lack of patience. The best way to improve your skills and reach is to work with others, connect and challenge yourself to be better. What’s the point of working so hard to break through with people you’re interested in if you’re just going to try and sell them something, which ultimately pushes them away?
It makes no sense…
Here are some tips to help you engage with influencers:
- Just be you and nobody else. Don’t be a fake follower in hopes of gaining some kind of personal fame. When you try to be someone you’re not you will fail because authentic interaction is what every single human is looking for. Like what you like and find people that love the same things you do.
- Stop selling. Don’t make friends just to sell something. Creating relationships with influencers and even becoming one yourself means you need to stop selling. Nobody wants to interact with an overly aggressive car salesman. Like, we usually run the other direction. It’s a sixth sense we all have 😆
- Provide incredible value. In order to connect you’re gonna have to provide value whether that’s a shared story, a skill, a talent or monetary investments. Twitch is a great example of where you can connect with streamers via subscriptions and donations. Do this often enough with consistent messaging and it will lead you down a path of them remembering you. However, this still doesn’t give you a license to sell to someone!!!! After all, wouldn’t it just be nice to have a few more friends?
- Do free stuff. If you’re an artist it usually means you’re multi-talented because, well, true artists can never focus on just one form of art 😀 … sometimes the people you’re hoping to connect with are in need of something whether that’s video work, graphics, music or something else. By creating work for free and sharing it on social platforms, you have the slim chance of getting acknowledged and having your work shared by others. This is something I’ve done for Theo Rossi, Anthem, Dr. Lupo, Ninja, Jessica Blevins and Suto for free with no “ask.” This works because I’m legitimately having fun, I’m creating content and I’m building a portfolio of work regardless of anything else. If you have the right expectations, there is no way to lose.
- Just say hello. What most people don’t understand is that influencers are people too. I can’t tell you how often I reach out to someone just to say “hi” and mean it. This again goes back to some of my main points. You gotta make friends! Everyone I reach out to I actually care about. Probably a lot more than they care about me, but that’s not the point. The value I can provide is kindness, friendship, authenticity and maybe a talent. Don’t forget that we all probably know at least 50 people each and connecting with a single person on a real level can open the door for other relationships.
To summarize all of this, stop trying to sell to an influencer. If you’re a brand, that’s different, but if you’re a solo act trying to build your own brand, then you simply need to make friends. Always give as much as you possibly can, but do so thoughtfully and train yourself to step away from situations where there may never be hope to connect.
All that said, make sure to protect yourself from over promising and under delivering. Don’t give with expectation, and you’ll be rewarded. Just don’t give up! Maybe I’ll write another part to this later 🙂
Thanks for reading!