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How to Pitch Influencers to Endorse your Small Business

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July 7,2016


By Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU & CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

 

How do you make your product or business stand out from the crowd? Even with something spectacular to offer, it can be tough when you first start out. Having an endorsement from a high-profile influencer can provide a huge boost for your visibility! According to content marketing platform BuzzSumo, a post shared by one influencer resulted in 31.8% more social shares, three influencers doubled total shares, and five influencers quadrupled them. So while securing these endorsements can be difficult to achieve, reaching out to them is certainly worth your time and effort.

Influencers are regularly contacted for endorsements or reviews, so it’s important to capture their attention. Regardless of where you are in the endorsement pitching process, here are some suggestions I’ve put together to help you identify, approach, and pitch the appropriate influencers:

 

Network: As with all marketing efforts, your search for endorsements will be more successful if you already have taken steps to build relationships. If they already know who you are, influencers will be more willing to consider your product.

Research: Consider who is already talking directly about your topic. High-profile people who are already knowledgeable and passionate about a specific subject are more likely give you endorsements than a well-known influencer who is not as well versed in your area of focus. Once you have identified the high-profile individuals best-suited to endorse your product or business, reach out and get to know them. It doesn’t have to be all industry-related, either. Take some time to learn about their other interests, and personalize your pitch and/or conversations with these details. This also shows your influencer that you took the time to learn about him or her.

Prioritize your pitching: During the research phase, flag influencers who have their own book or product coming out soon. If they’re launching a new product, their time may be even more limited than normal, making them a less desirable target. Instead, try starting a conversation with them and build your relationship for a future endorsement. Perhaps you’ll want to start out by offering to share their product with your followers. Even if your audience is smaller, most influencers will appreciate the offer of free added exposure.

It’s not about you: Build relationships by offering to be helpful before you ask for a favor. Maybe you can endorsement their product or business. Perhaps you can publicize their latest project to your followers. As with life, if you’re focused on what others can do for you rather than what you can offer them, you’re not likely to get any takers.

Follow email etiquette: Everyone is busy, but more so the people you’re approaching. For your email to stand out from the hundreds of emails they receive on a daily basis, ensure yours is short, to the point (one paragraph max), and not a part of a mass pitch. Compliment them and try to pique their interest, but don’t suck up. In your pitch, be sure to tell them why you want their endorsement, and the benefits your product/service offers to their audience.

 

Once you have researched and prioritized your pitching targets, how should you contact them? Consider the following options:

Live events: If you have the opportunity to meet your influencer in person, then definitely attend an event where they speaking or attending. Check out the online agenda, or follow the event’s social media hashtag. Get involved, share his or her content, join discussions, and let them know you look forward to their event.

Social media: If you cannot meet them in person, reach out to them on social media. Start by sharing their content, and responding to their blog posts.

Successful pitch tips: Once you have that person’s attention, you only have one shot to pitch your product. Have two copies of your product or business profile on hand. Include a letter asking for the endorsement and your business card so they can contact you. This may sound like overkill, but tape your business card to your product or profile so it won’t get lost. Be sure to have your short pitch prepared – a max of a few sentences. That’s all the time you’ll have to make your impression, so make the most of it.

Touch base: Ask how you can check back with him or her – whether by phone, email or social media, and then follow through on your endorsement request.

 

If you follow these steps – research thoroughly, network, and find the right influencers to pitch for an endorsement, you could have the beginning of a great business relationship and possibly even a friendship. Remember to focus on what you can offer them, and finally, think of this as a long-term strategy. It may seem daunting, but now you have the tools to garner a great endorsement.

 


 


Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. Follow on Twitter @Bookgal.

 

 

 


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