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Influencing the Influencers

What quality do truly influential people have? What's their secret? Is it just a natural gift or something they work at regularly? 

Whatever the answer is to that question, one thing is becoming increasingly clear to digital marketers: they must become experts at influencing those influencers. 

There has been a great deal of guidance provided about how to find influencers and that certainly proves helpful, but if you cannot influence those capable of quickly and effectively sharing a message and deeper narrative then it will be difficult if not impossible to really thrive in the digital realm today. 

So how do you influence the influencers?

Remember first and foremost that you do have a right to engage anyone and everyone until they tell you to stop, but here are some useful approaches to consider as you develop a more rigorous strategy: 

1) COMPLIMENTS: The first step in influencing anyone is getting to know them. Every interaction you have with another individual is an opportunity to build upon a relationship so why not make it a positive encounter? Offer compliments on the quality of work, past successes and yes, even personal qualities (if appropriate). 

2) PUBLICITY: Once you're "known" by the influencer, the next step is to offer them opportunity. That can come in the form of introducing them to another influencer or promoting their brand to your social followers. Anything that raises the awareness of the influencer among a prospective audience provides an opportunity to influence those most critical to success.

3) MONEY: Paying for influence isn't always a "black hat" practice. As long as all of the proper disclaimers are made, offering an influencer financial compensation in exchange for an action/interaction is effective (with all the required performance contracts in place of course) and increasingly common. If you don't have a "payola" budget at your disposal, at least offer "monies" in other forms - perhaps a complimentary trial of your product, free samples, or even a donation to their favorite charity.

The aforementioned are just some general ideas to get you started thinking about ways that you can influence the influencers.

Remember that influencers are just like everyone else - they have the same wants and needs, and more importantly, typically share the same motivators.

So why not tell them how great they are, tell others how great they are, and bring gifts? There are few digital marketing practices more effective than concentrating your time and financial resources on influencing those with large audiences and loyal followings so make it a priority.

Start thinking now about how your enterprise can build better relationships with influential subject matter experts and you'll be on the fast track to 'Net success. 

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