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Dec. 7, 2015

120: How to Reach Out to Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

120: How to Reach Out to Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

Here's my advice on how to reach out to bloggers, influencers, and anyone else you want to talk about your company. It’s important to remember that bloggers and influencers are busy people being pinged by lots of other brands, so if you’re asking them to take time to use your product, and maybe even post a photo or blog about it - time isn’t free! Listen in to learn how to build a connection, what you can and should offer them, and how to make the relationship last by involving them in your content and programs.

Transcript

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welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximized Social Business, Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Pool Summit. Neil Schaefer Hey, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social Boy. It's been a while, hasn't it? And it's really well, I don't want to apologize because I don't think in this day and age of too much content out there, I don't think content should be forced as I blogged before, and perhaps I mentioned earlier podcast. It's about keeping it real and only publishing content, even though it's not a best practice toe. Have a few months of unpublished time on your podcast, but I really only want a podcast when I am inspired by experience. What have you It's been a crazy last few months. Wow, few updates for you. We just had our second Social Tool Summit in San Francisco, October 27 28. Definitely do a hashtag search for hashtag social tools. 15. There's a lot of great information that you can glean from following the hashtag, and you can purchase the video on demand recordings of all the one and 1/2 days of sessions. That's wow! 10 hours of content, I think for a few $100 to go to social tool summit dot com. If that interests you, the other update and wow, it's probably a few updates. I've put out a new E book called Maximizing Lengthen for Business. And if you pick me, you'll find a link for that. If you haven't gotten access to that by being a member of my social media Centre of Excellence, have also published a new book and employ advocacy with the leading and play Obviously tools vendors Sociable. And I wrote the preface for it on the future of work and the importance of employee because he's part of that. So once again, if you can't find any of these things, the best and you would be tipping me. But I'm also gonna have it on the resource page for this block post. Today I am. I think this is the second time I've done, and I don't recommend you do this all the time or any time, but yes, I am podcasting while I'm driving and I am in my car here in Irvine, California had a meeting with a local clients here in Orange County. Beautiful day. We've had what we call the Santa Ana winds pick up. So it's been really hot, dry air, really windy. It is the day before Halloween as I talk to you. There's a lot of Halloween excitement in the air, especially with my kids. And you know, it's funny because the intro outro music of this podcast. I don't know if you know, but it actually comes from my band that I have When I was in Japan called Jack a Land and I always wanted to figure a way of bringing in my favorite musicians into my podcast, but it would be illegal to use their music in my podcast. But I suppose if it's background music that I listen to while I'm driving and I happen to record this podcast while I'm driving, that it's cool, right? You know, I'm not a lawyer by any means. I don't have any legal understanding of the subject, but anyway, so you're listening in the background to my favorite Japanese artist yada. He told me one of the few who actually listens and responds and social media. She's commented on my pictures over that I took during concerts and thank me for when I wish her happy birthday, her Facebook page. This is really what Social media is all about and how to build passionate fans when you engage them in social. But that's not the subject of this podcast. And let's get to what this party is gonna be about today. The podcast is gonna be how to reach out to, and I put the social media in parentheses. But social media bloggers or social media influencers or people that you want to cover your story. So I get so many pitches on so many things, some more relevant, some not relevant at all that I thought it was time to really publish something so that if you're looking to reach out to people and maybe some of you will not, as I go through this of the experiences you've had as companies reach out to you. So here's the thing, and I talk about this so often, Social media gives you the ability to listen and engage with anybody that's on social media whether they're influencers or average people. And I guess anybody could be an influence or depending on your industry. Right. But here's the thing. Don't just find an email, just connect on LinkedIn and go for the kill. Hey, I saw you tweet or post or published on someone or things. I think you might be interested that were coming out with X product on X Day, X month ex dates. And if you want a sneak preview, you know you can get the free e book or free press release or whatever it is, and you might want to share it with your audience. Here's the thing. Okay, People that blawg like myself, and I don't care what industry Aaron and especially if they have a large social media following a lot of people reaching out to them. You're busy people. Okay, so one of 100 times you're gonna reach out to someone, and it is just what they're looking for, and they've never heard about it. And they're gonna be like, Wow, but 99% of the time you're gonna be lost or group together with all the other people that are trying to pitch on something. And to be honest with you, people that are content creators are extremely busy people. They have a lot going on. They might be authors. They might be consultants. They might be speakers. They might have their own agency. Whatever my d and you'll be happy to know for those you worry that I'm driving. I just got back to my home office, so we'll put it in Park. But I want to keep the music going on background. I think it also may be as a little nice ambiance, and it gives you an introduction to my world because I listened to you. I don't mean I 9% of the time when I'm driving around an airplane anyway, getting back to the subject at hand. Most people don't care, and you know if they might care. But guess what? Whether it's to tweet something out or to write a block post on something that requires time, time is not free. People are busy. So if you think that they're just, you know. And here's the thing. I understand the analogy. Newspaper reporters always looking for things to write about, always looking for interesting ideas. Pitch me all the time. Pitch me daily, throw me 100 pitches and maybe I'll pick one. And if you're a newspaper reporter and you get paid to do that, that's great. But guess what? Bloggers are not getting paid to do that. More Maur bloggers are getting paid by brands that one to be promoted by influences. Right? So let's stop just pitching any and every blogger on whatever product of price press weeks you have. Okay, that's the number one thing you need to do if you're already doing that. If you're not doing that than either, you haven't been doing it for another reason. Or maybe you haven't been looking in the influence of marketing. And obviously you should. So what? Step number two for any influence that you want to reach out to connect with them on social media, follow them, go to their profiles, follow and like every single social media profile they have and engage with their contents. You know, Buffer is a great example, man Buffer. These guys are so smart when they just at the beginning, when they just had a plug in and they had their their tool, but they started by reaching out to WordPress bloggers in the social media space and trying to convince them that they should, you know, use their plug in and add a buffer button to their blawg. And it was interesting at the beginning because before they even did that, they were commenting on my block on some of my posts, and after a while it's like and they were intelligent comment like, Who are these buffer people? And then I went over and checked them out like hot. It's interesting. And since they were already commenting, I already had a relationship with him, I could reach out to him and say, Hey, you know, tell me more about your tool, Whatever it is now that's only half the story. Buffer ended up buying out Ah, very, very popular social media plug in socially to sharing, playing called Dig Dig. That gave them a lot more real estate in the market. But their whole pitch started by coming on people's blog's. That's a great way to start, build a report right and understand about them. It's funny. One person that went to my social tool, someone who lives in the San Francisco where who we were connected on social media like I'm connected with a lot of other people found out that she went to high school in the same city that I went Thio. And she mentioned that to me, you know, on Facebook. And it built this deeper connection that I would have had if she hadn't have done that. Right? So it's not only following an engaging but also looking for deep connections that make it easy for you to engage with that person. Okay, but right now we're not pitching them. We're not reaching out to them on anything. Step number two. Step number three. When you want to reach out, give them a complete free copy of whatever or for free something of whatever you're doing, okay? And no, I'm not crazy. You cannot expect if you're okay. If you want to pay an influence or to promote something for you. This is another story. But assuming you're trying to go the organic route, okay, let them use your tool. Well, whatever it is, and I've found that and I just had an experience with a company that that did this approach but too much expected something on the return. Let them. Use your tool and expect nothing in return. Okay, And if they don't use your tool, they weren't relevant to begin with, right? If they use your tool, then there's certain relevance. And if your tools that good and really helps them. But whatever product you have, whether you're selling a piece of clothing or jewelry, I don't care what it is, right. Give it away. Get feedback. That feedback you get from these people of influence is probably gonna be as if not more valuable than any tweet they can send out for you. But become their friend naturally, right? It's funny. My daughter, who's in fifth grade right now you're her teacher, says she didn't give enough detail in an answer to a question of an essay that Christopher Columbus Road actually think came from Crystal Columbus's diary. And it was on how, when he first came to America, how he gave loads of gifts to the Indians and in his own words, he gave them gifts because he wanted to become their friends and he wanted, at the end of the day to convert them to Christianity. But he started by giving them gifts. I recommend take the Christopher Columbus approach. If you want to make friends, Bloggers don't have a lot of money. Don't have a lot of time. If you're a company, you have an asset. Which is your product. Send it over. Don't be stingy about it. Right. And don't just do a free seven day try or 30 day Tre. Let him have access for a lifetime. And maybe you do it. Buffer did. And Buffer did the same thing. And then after a few years, they said, Hey, you have the equivalent of $99 month plan. We're gonna start charged you 9 99 a month. We hope you don't mind. And guess what? I didn't mind it, all right? I'm still getting value from it. And I still talk about buffer like I'm doing in this podcast. But give the product away. Okay, Step four, do a follow up and say, hey, wondering how you're getting along with the tool, wondering if there is, you know, any feedback you have for us? Wonder if maybe we can do a call. Do a demo for you. Help you. I understand how to utilize it or if it's a fashion item or a fitness club, whatever it is. Hey, have you worn it? Do you have any pictures? And if they've already published something about it, obviously you want to promote the heck out of it to your network as a company. And really, you know that the fifth phase is really including this person or you know, or company whoever that influence might be as a brand investor, I've written about this and podcasts about it as well. That was a brand ambassador for own upon Airways, but it's not a one night stand. It's a long term relationship. Figure out a way to derive value out of that relationship over a longer term by letting that person test out new beta product that you might have or, you know, when you're doing ah, block post of including their content, or maybe bringing them on as a guest blogger because they have so much great content to share. Promote the heck out of them, right? This is the way you work with influencers if you're not gonna pay to play, if you pay to play, this is a whole other story, and their market places out there like tap influence or the social tool Someone. We had a company called Fame Beat that primarily worked with YouTube video creators. But now they're expanding that the Twitter Instagram There's tons of these marketplaces where if you want to pay, however you know x hundreds of dollars of thousands of dollars per influencer, they could be yours. But guess what? It's not gonna be as authentic as if someone naturally becomes your friend. And you know what? If your product and really helped them, then it should be pretty easy to be friends with them in this day and age of social media. So, to me, this is the common sense of 2015. The common sense of 2015 is not connecting with someone a linked in and then sending them a template email. Hey, we're coming out with this new product. Check out our press release. You might want to share it with your friends or sending an email saying, Hey, I notice you tweeted about content marketing. You may enjoy our content marketing. Infographic, stop the silliness. It might be cheap to hire someone to do that for you on mass scale, or if your PR agency is doing that stop. There's so many better ways of more effectively using that PR firm without employees, according to this five step process had just told you, which is Number one. Do a reset in all its Stop doing What you've been doing. Number two following Engage in social number three in the words of Red hot Chili peppers. Give it away. Give it away. Give it away Number four. Extend that relationship by going the extra mile. How can we help you like a demo? You have any pictures? Any ideas and Step five really include them as part of a formalized program. You know, Microsoft has, like an M V P program, big companies of these big programs for the community. If you don't have on create one and focus on those influencers, that's the common sense way of working with parentheses, social media and the parentheses. Bloggers or influencers In this day and age open made sense to you if you have other experience. If this is what you're already doing it up to here, if it's not what you're doing, you think it makes sense each right at any of the results. Let me hear from you as well. If you are a blogger, influencer content creator in your own right, I'd like to hear from you as well. So after this is podcast, I'd really appreciate a comment whether beyond the maximize your social block post whether it be tossing something up on iTunes or some cloud that really make my day. So I appreciate you. I appreciate this fantastic social media industry that continues to grow. And for all of you that have already downloaded one of my e books or maybe came to the social tool Summit and I look forward to Boy, I have a lot of great content on this podcast in the pipeline. And, hey, if you enjoy having some music in the background and made it more easier to listen to I'd like that feedback as well. Sick. Neil. It didn't work. Let me know. I really appreciate your feedback. So until next time, and I'll be around here and I'll be going iron in December. But for the month of November, I should be here. Podcasting from the home office in beautiful Orange County, California. Wherever you are in the world, I'm signing off here, wishing you a great social day. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening. To maximize your social, we appreciate all of your iTunes inscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neo Schaffer at meal at Maximize Your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's New Community Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media, c o e dot com, as well as Neil Social Media Conference, The Social Tools Summit.