Google+ Followers

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Influencer Marketing 101. Building your Influencer Network. Part 2

Dear reader,

We continue today with more advice on building your influencer network.

4. Do not rush to start pushing your product immediately.

In your pre-launch phase, just mention it from time to time. Otherwise, you will be no different from a door-to-door salesperson. Talk about related topics intelligently, smartly; quote some classics - a versatile person is always respected.

Be modest and don't dish out "I'm a misunderstood genius" messages. 

It's OK if you use sarcasm and are a bit caustic some times. Do not fear being a sharp but objective critic. Just do not be offensive and do not criticize anyone personally.

A cookie-cutter example on how to be a critic: if you find something is stupid, say "This is done stupidly for reasons I do not know" and not "What you've done is stupid because you're stupid". Learning how to stay polite when you're saying harsh things is great training for a potential public speaker.

Metatag Hag: Show you're worthy of attention. Thus, you will prepare your network for the fact that your product is worthy of attention, too.

5. Let your best influencers help you - learn from their networks.

Find your best influencer - for instance, whom do you want to produce your TV show? If it's a sitcom, is it Chuck Lorre? If it's sci-fi, is it J. Michael Straczynski? Make a list of your top five influencers, then follow everyone relevant from their follower lists. Trust me, you will find treasures there.

5. Follow successful peers.

Befriend those who work in the same field but have already reached more or less wide acclaim. Do not try to save time on building friendships in this level of influencers. Unlike decision-makers, many peers have started where you are starting now, and they still remember the struggle. Their psychology has not yet shifted to celebrity psychology; however:

Metatag Hag: Be deferential and respectful, and act as if your peer friend is already a celebrity. Well, compared to you, they are.

Peers can help you establish contacts in the respective industry, and maybe recommend you to the top influencer who helped them. Do not impose yourself, though; do not ask for favors. Treat people as people, not tools. Wait for an offer to introduce you to someone, but never beg for it. You will lose both the opportunity and the friendship.

6. Find influencers who help rookies.

A notable example in the literary world is Janet Reid, literary agent and owner of FinePrint Literary Management. Her alter ego, the Query Shark, invites every beginner writer to submit their attempts for query letters, and gives constructive critique. Query letters are cover letters with which aspiring authors accompany their submissions to agents and publishers. The service is absolutely free of charge.

Metatag Hag: This is why the Query Shark aka Ms. Reid is in my top five sharks people to respect. She does a huge load of difficult time-consuming work helping both individuals and a major community - without needing to show off a particular evening gown as she does it.

Yes, she is largely demonized, and this graphic short story shows her in a nutshell. Yet most fail to understand the magnitude of the community service this woman provides, except maybe those authors whose success story started with the words "Dear QueryShark". If you find this kind of "villain" in your own industry, follow his or her advice to a T. 

Well, to rephrase Princess Tiana, nothing's going to stop you now, even if you're not almost there. Frankly, you're not even close, but it's a start. You follow 2,000 people whose Tweets are a bonanza of precious information. If they are within a single industry, most of them know each other. If at least one of them will get to notice how talented you really are, you're on the right track.

As you Tweet in turn, always keep in mind that someone important may see your words. And never forget that we don't get a second chance to create a first impression. Even if you Twitted a perfect humbug, take the time to look back on your recent Tweets or posts. Delete it if your "Oh, how could I Tweet this stupid thing!" test renders positive results.

Metatag Hag: And if you chuckle at an old joke you made some time ago, do not hesitate to recycle it!

Next time, we will talk about software tools to help you in your work, like Social Oomph or Traackr.

Sincerely yours,
Anastasia Stratu aka Metatag Hag