Time and again we see crowdfunders either not knowing who the influencers in their space are and how to approach them; or they were given bad advice which led them to making poor marketing decisions for their crowdfunding campaigns.
That’s why in today’s blog post I will focus on what influencers are, what they are not and show you 7 simple steps to connect with influencers and to get them excited about your campaign.
Let’s start with what influencers are NOT:
- Influencers are not crowdfunding professionals: You’ll read in various blogs how you should go and find “crowdfunding influencers” on social media platforms like Twitter in hopes that they will re-tweet or write up your campaign. Most crowdfunding professionals are in the business of working with campaigns (for a fee), and not to write about or promote random campaigns. Remember, the sheer act of running a crowdfunding campaign really isn’t something that people get excited about anymore. With over 500 campaigns launching every day on Kickstarter and Indiegogo alone, can you imagine how many times these people get hit up by random crowdfunders for support? It’s a waste of your time and a source of aggravation for many crowdfunding professionals.
- Influencers are not backers: The worst mistake you can make is to hit up an influencer for money cold turkey. This will backfire in at least one, possibly two ways. First of all you won’t get what you’re asking for and secondly, if they feel really annoyed they might even lash out against your campaign and let their followers know how they feel.
- Influencers are not re-tweeters: Never ask an influencer to re-tweet your campaign without having built a relationship first. Influencers didn’t become influencers because they re-tweeted everything they were asked to. They’ve spent significant time and energy to build their network and influencer status. Their network is their biggest asset and their credibility is their currency, which means they are very careful what they re-tweet.
OK, now that we have brought the negative stuff behind us and know what doesn’t work, let’s focus on how to actually go about successfully identifying, qualifying and connecting with true influencers.
The following strategy will work for any crowdfunding campaign, rewards, equity or donation based.
7 Steps to Attracting Bloggers & Influencers to Your Crowdfunding Campaign
Step 1: Find Influencers
Identifying the right influencers in your space, those who are worth connecting and nurturing a relationship with is key to the success of your efforts. I mean, who wants to waste their time on people who are unlikely to support their efforts?
Thankfully there’s technology that makes the entire process very easy and turns a firehose approach into a data powered, highly targeted process in which you save time and get better results by only focusing on influencers who are actually likely to engage.
Krowdster’s Influencer Search is an extremely powerful, big data powered search tool that let’s you find, qualify and connect with influencers in any industry, niche or vertical. No matter what your crowdfunding campaign is about, this search tool allows you to search for influencers by keyword and you will see at a glance who is worth connecting and nurturing a relationship with.
How to use the Influencer Marketing search tool:
- Enter a keyword for your target niche or industry
- Filter results by unchecking types you don’t want to see.
- Enter a location filter if you want to limit results to a geographic location.
Step 2: Qualify Influencers
To successfully qualify influencers and figure out who’s worth connecting with, we want to look at the “Reply Ratio” column and the “Average Retweet” column for each influencer on the the search results page.
By default, all search results are sorted by keyword relevancy. We want to look at the Average Retweet number to see who’s tweets get re-tweeted the most by their followers, so change the dropdown selection to the right to “Average Retweets”
What is the Reply Ratio? The reply ratio shows you how likely a person is to respond when directly tweeted at. For example: A Retweet Ratio of 30% means that this user responds to tweets about 30% of the times.
What is Average Retweet? The average retweet column shows you how many times a tweet by that user is retweeted by his audience. It is an indicator how engaged that influencers’ audience is. For example: An Average Retweet value of 3 means that every time that influencer tweets, the tweet is retweeted by his followers 3 times.
My recommendation is to focus on influencers who have a Reply Ratio of 30% or better and an Average Retweet value of 3 or better.
Step 3: Follow Qualified Influencers
The first step in connecting with influencers is to follow them. Follow qualified influencers by clicking the follow buttons without leaving the search result page, however do not tweet at them yet. When you follow someone on Twitter, they get a notification from Twitter which will put you on their radar in a positive manner.
Step 4: Add Influencers to Twitter List
The next step is to create a Twitter list called “Influencers” so you can add your influencers to that list. Adding influencers to their own list will make it much easier to keep them organized and to contact them later. A brilliant side effect is that when you add someone to a list of yours, they get a notification from Twitter saying they were added to a list. As you can imagine, most people feel pretty good when they are added to a Twitter list called “Influencers”. See, before you have contacted them or asked for anything, you’ve scratched their back by following them and adding them to your list of Influencers.
Step 5: Make Contact
When you tweet at your influencers for the first time, be sure not to ask them for anything but rather introduce yourself, complement them and tell them you’re looking forward to their tweets.
Hi @TwitterName, looking forward to reading more of your tweets, keep up the great work!
That’s all you need for your first round of engagement, no pitching or selling.
Step 6: Nurture your Influencer Connections
Over the next week, go through your influencer list on a daily basis and retweet something from each of your influencers. Doing so repeatedly will get them to notice you as an engaged follower and they will perceive you as supporting them.
Step 7: Pitch your Campaign
After about a week of retweeting their tweets and building rapport with your influencers, it’s time to deliver your pitch. You have paid your social media dues by following them and retweeting their tweets, now it’s OK to reach out on behalf of your campaign.
What works well is to ask for their opinion and try to get feedback without asking them to re-tweet or support your campaign.
Hi @TwitterName! I’ve been following on Twitter and would love to get your feedback on my Kickstarter: http://kck.st/url
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from influencers the first time around, contact them again with periodic updates in a respectful, non-spammy fashion but be persistent.
The bottom line: Building a network of influencers doesn’t happen overnight and can take several weeks to a few months, but using search tools such as the Krowdster Influencer Marketing tool will hyper target your efforts without wasting your time on connecting with the wrong prospects.