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Monday, August 4, 2014

Influencer Marketing 101. Operate Your Influencer Network. Rules 4-5

Rule 4. In time, invest in a good influencer relations management software suite

For now, after I've done preliminary research before actually trying software products, my personal favorite in terms of influencer relationship management is Traackr. It focuses on nurturing relationships rather than capitalizing on them. All in all, a business tool with a human face. I will dedicate a separate IM 101 chapter to its features, but in terms of impact-measuring tools, let me just say this: Traackr measures reach, relevance, and resonance.

Metatag Hag: Next week, I will get a demo and do a test drive of Traackr's platform. Then, we will discuss it in more detail, but for now, from what I have gotten from their guides and manuals, theirs is a very thorough yet user-friendly approach to influencer relations management. For now, though, if you want to do your homework, follow the link above and download Traackr's free guides and ebooks. To rephrase a well-known school song, there's a lot of interesting stuff worthy of filling your head.

For instance, here is a quote from their Guide to Influencer Marketing:

In this highly social web, information travels like waves. These waves are created by people who generate content and build followings. A subset of these people create stronger waves than others. These wavemakers drive their audiences to believe, buy and care. So, what makes someone a wavemaker? Influence. 

Of course, the analogy seems accurate, but we always have to be careful with analogies. As you know, many things create many different waves. It can be a small stone (but, say, dropped from a high altitude), or it can be a tsunami reaching across oceans.

One should always have different approaches to things different in their nature. That is why my focus is mostly on influencer psychology - we have to understand how small stones work and what kind of butterfly wing's flutter it takes to stir a hurricane.

Re: influencer relations management software suites. There is also Onalytica, but it's way too serious for an individual - it's all about math and stats, brand awareness, sales conversions... it's worth spending money on it if you have a start-up or if you want to revamp your small business.

I'm telling you about all these corporate solutions also to point your attention to the fact that they offer lots of free ebooks and white papers, which is pure informational gold delivered to you on a platter. They also have blogs worth reading.

Metatag Hag: Yeah. You can start reading without wasting time on pawing through huge amounts of information online, 90% of which can be interesting but irrelevant or downright wrong. Or too complicated, but you have me and Anastasia to bring it to you simply.

Rule 5. Watch your presentation

Let us reiterate that the individual approach and the corporate approach have tangencies but are not the same thing. Corporations depend on buyer's decision a lot. You, as a young talent looking to be "adopted" by a corp, must also "sell yourself". But seeing as you're selling your current results AND, to a great extent, your potential/your future ability to create more product with high purchasing power, you must focus more on presenting yourself correctly rather than on pushing your "homemade" product at each and every corner. From the consumer's point of view, people prefer to consume something endorsed by a big name and loyal followers.

Metatag Hag: Of course, you can take a leaf out of Hugh Howie's book and become "the poster boy/girl" of your own niche or go indie, no one is stopping you. But trust me, now that you are still alone, you cannot build a brand. First of all, you need a team for that. Unless you are a web designer, but then, if you are one, you've probably found your niche. And if you are an aspiring songwriter to boot, you probably built your own site. But even if you're King Versatile, you as an individual cannot replace a team, even if you have a small niche brand in mind. 

But if you built a team of enthusiasts who are also the specialists you need, well, kudos and good luck! We'll write Project Management for Rookies for you next.

Be careful to present yourself well to top influencers and on building relationships with various influencers function of their psychology. Trust me, agents and headhunters keep their eyes peeled for hens who can lay golden eggs, so focus on:

- honing your skills,
- enhancing your potential,
- learning from peers and stars,
- improving your demo product,
- and presenting all this in the right light to your network of influencers.

As I said before, review and rethink what you said from time to time, and if you feel it was inappropriate or plain stupid, go back and delete it.

Among other things, focus on posting top quality content on your blog. If you cannot come up with something really interesting every day, post some of your old texts that seem good, quote some classics that have a tangency to what you do. Just keep it buzzing.

Metatag Hag: As for your Twitter account, keep in mind that you never know who may see what you chirrup about. And it's not so difficult to shine on Twitter where
- 80% is advertising;
- 10% are quoted platitudes and banalities no one really cares for, although they're all supposed to make you "learn";
- 9% is other various cr... er, I mean, content;
- 1% are things worth Retweeting and the occasional Keats line.

To be continued...

Thank you!

Anastasia Stratu and The Metatag Hag