A Complete Guide on How to Reach Out to Influencers
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Influencer marketing is hot.
The market size of the global influencer marketing platforms is expected to increase from $5.5 billion in 2019 to $22.3 billion in the next four years. That means the market size is poised to grow at a CAGR of 32.4%.
That’s crazy, right?
Clearly, influencer marketing is going to gain more traction. It is an important strategy to grow your business. But if your small business hasn't dabbled with influencer marketing before, you’re likely to have many questions.
Is influencer marketing relevant for small businesses?
How can a small business reach out to influencers?
Which channels should small businesses use to reach out to influencers?
And most importantly, how can small businesses stand out?
These are common dilemmas that small business owners may face.
If you are wondering how to reach out to influencers and get them to collaborate with your brand, here is a guide for you.
How to Reach Out to Influencers: A 7-Step Guide
Let’s be honest:
You can’t send an email to an influencer with instructions and expect them to post about your brand or products. If you don’t have a proper influencer outreach program in place, chances are you may never receive a response from them.
Remember: Influencers are popular social media personas. They likely receive hundreds of emails every day. Even micro-influencers receive a lot of emails and collaboration requests.
If you want to make sure that your email isn’t lost in their inbox, you need to work on building a relationship with the influencer first.
So, how should you reach out to influencers?
What if you don’t have a big budget as a small business owner?
Not sure where to begin?
Here is a 7-step guide for small business owners on how to reach out to influencers. It will help you get started:
Step 1: Invest Time in Research
Before you reach out to an influencer, it’s important to know their background.
For this, you’ll need to work on your online research skills. Check out their social media profiles on multiple platforms and get to know their aesthetic, content style, and values.
Scan their feed to find sponsored posts that they’ve published in the past. This kind of research will help you gauge whether their values and content are suitable for your brand.
You may be tempted to reach out to influencers who have huge follower counts. But many social media influencers are notorious for buying fake followers. So, you should prioritize authenticity and trust in order to run successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Ideally, your brand’s values should align with those of the influencer that you partner with. In addition to this, you should also see if their posts resonate with your target audience.
The number of comments, likes, and shares on each post should give you a good idea about their reach and engagement rate. These points can help you evaluate if they are the right influencer for your brand.
If they have a website, check out how much traffic they get.
Finding the best social media influencers for your business is a tedious task. If you want to make the process easier, you can leverage our influencer marketing platform, Fourstarzz Media.
Using our tool, you can get access to a large database of the top influencer profiles from multiple social media platforms.
You can search for social media influencers based on which hashtags they use, keywords in their contents or their bio description, brand affinity, and more.
What’s more, you can filter your results based on various criteria, including audience gender split, audience age groups, location, number of followers, engagement, estimated post value, and other parameters.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
You can leverage the unlimited access to our detailed influencer reports to understand where their audience is based, what content resonates the most and to see their fake follower score as well.
And the best part is that you can get access to their contact information as well. This way, you can find the ideal influencers for your influencer marketing campaigns.
Step 2: Compare Levels of Influence
What do you do when you’re buying a new phone? You list the features that you’re looking for, your budget, and then move on to market research, right?
When it comes to reaching out to influencers, small businesses need to follow the same route. Once you’re satisfied with your influencer research, shortlist the ones you’re interested in.
Make sure you’ve done a thorough background check and have noted the important metrics from their profiles such as:
# of followers
# of total
rate Cadence of
posts Quality of
comments (relevant comments vs. not relevant comments)
Compare their metrics and shortlist the influencers who are likely to give you a high campaign ROI. Ideally, the right influencer will be a low risk for you.
Here again, Fourstarzz Media’s influencer marketing platform makes it easy to compare levels of influence.
On our platform, you can create a list of potential influencers for your campaign. Our dashboard shows the reach and engagement rate for each shortlisted influencer. You can also compare their projected fees and CPM before you decide on who the right influencer is for you.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
Step 3: Engage With Shortlisted Influencers
Once you shortlist social media influencers, don’t be in a hurry to begin your influencer outreach email marketing campaign.
Before you reach out to an influencer, it’s a good idea to make them familiar with your brand.
To build a relationship with them the right influencer, start small.
Like the posts that you appreciate, comment on them, and share them. Try to engage with them on different social channels to get their attention.
These are great ways to get on their radar and tell them that you appreciate their work.
However, do not discuss a collaboration publicly in the comments section. You risk coming across as unprofessional.
Instead, just praise their work to break the ice. But don’t post a canned response like “awesome” or “wow.” If you want to get noticed, add a genuine compliment on their latest posts on Instagram and other social channels.
Still not sure how to reach out to influencers on their social media channels?
Take a look at the screenshot below. In the post, you can see how Chef’n Corporation, a Seattle-based company, admired food influencer, Ida Frosk’s, profile.
Image via Instagram
Step 4: Find Out What Motivates Your Target Influencers
Small business owners, here’s some good news:
Money isn’t everything for influencer marketing.
Different influencers have different motivations.
Before you reach out to an influencer, you should figure out what motivates them. Based on that, you can come up with an influencer outreach plan with fair compensation.
Some common motivators for influencers include:
Strong desire to make a difference in the world
Willingness to inspire others or entertain
Achieving a higher social status
Building a community of like-minded people
Most influencers are likely to be motivated by a combination of these factors.
To figure out an influencer’s motivation, you need to closely follow their content. Try to find out why they’re investing so much time into building an audience and why they may want to partner with you for your influencer marketing campaign.
Are they passionate about a specific social cause?
Is their social media feed aspirational?
These are some of the questions you should ask.
Once you understand their motivation, it’s easier to reach out to an influencer with a campaign proposal they can’t refuse. You can even design your influencer marketing campaign around what motivates them.
While money is a major motivator for many influencers, it’s not always the priority.
For instance, Blair Imani is an Instagram influencer who identifies as a bisexual, black Muslim. She strongly believes in advocating the rights of the LGBTQ community.
In an interview, she said:
“I could not be content with my conscience if I worked with a company that, for example, didn't even hire LGBTQ+ people or didn't donate money back to the community they claimed to care about. I hold myself to a high standard and I want to see other influencers follow suit.”
It’s evident that advocacy for social causes is important to Blair.
While designing their campaign, Toms took note of this. According to Blair, the brand had their LGBTQ + staff help with the creation and marketing processes.
As you can see in thmes to compensatie screenshot below, the brand even pledged to donate a part of their sales to important social causes as a part of their Instagram influencer marketing campaign.
Image via Instagram
Step 5: Decide on Fair Compensation
When you’re planning your influencer marketing strategy, you need to decide on the compensation for the influencers as well. Influencers invest a lot of time and energy into growing a brand. So, it’s obvious that they expect brands to recognize their worth.
While reaching out to social media influencers or bloggers, the burden is on brands to decide on fair compensation.
The problem is, it’s a confusing territory for many small businesses.
But it’s not rocket science.
There is a thin line between undervaluing the efforts of an influencer and splurging beyond your budget.
So, what can a small business owner do to make sure they quote the right price?
While deciding on the compensation, here are a few factors you need to keep in mind:
Requirements for Your Campaign
The economics of your influencer campaign will depend heavily on your campaign requirements. So, before you reach out to an influencer with a rate, you need to list the deliverables you want from them.
For instance, the rate for a long-form video will definitely be more than a 30-second snippet. Similarly, if you want multiple backlinks from their blog, you should be ready to increase your budget.
Content Format and Social Media Channels
When it comes to compensation, content format and social media platforms are also important factors to consider.
For instance, Instagram provides you with the opportunity to create sponsored posts, Stories, and Live videos. On the other hand, YouTube and Twitch are all about publishing video content.
ollowing your work on [Name of
Your influencer marketing spends will vary based on the content format and social media platforms that you choose for your campaign.
When it comes to influencer marketing, not all verticals are created equal.
Rates for sponsored posts and videos vary across industries.
For instance, travel influencers are likely to charge more than art influencers. That’s because the travel industry sells experiences and even luxury goods.
To find out the base price for sponsored posts in your industry, it’s a good idea to invest some time into research.
An influencer’s follower count is an important factor for the compensation of sponsored posts as well.
According to USA Today, the baseline rate for each sponsored post is around one percent of the total number of followers. So, for every 10,000 followers, you can expect to add $100 per sponsored post.
Fake followers are a cause of concern for many marketers.
To find out if an influencer has inflated their follower count on their social media accounts, you can check if it seems appropriate in relation to their engagement rate.
If an influencer has genuine followers, they are likely to engage with their content. For influencer marketing, a higher engagement rate translates into high-quality leads and more sales. This makes engagement rate one of the key performance indicators of an influencer’s social profile.
It’s common practice for businesses to restrict influencers from working with their competitors. However, if it has a huge impact on their finances, they may demand a higher fee.
Adding an exclusivity clause to your influencer agreement can increase your marketing costs.
But what if your small business doesn't have a big influencer marketing budget to spend? How does a small business reach out to an influencer with a small budget?
Don’t worry, small businesses are still in the race.
You can negotiate with influencers to give them discounts, freebies, or entry to special events in exchange for a lower fee.
If you can reach out to influencers with an attractive and unique deal, you can expect to seal the deal.
Step 6: Reach out to Influencers via DM and Email
So, you’ve zeroed in on the perfect influencer and decided on fair compensation.
What's the next step for your influencer outreach strategy?
You need to reach out to them via a direct message or email marketing.
Slide into their DMs to tell them about your brand. It doesn’t need to be a long message. Just communicate your interest in collaboration.
Here is a sample message that small businesses can use as a reference to reach out to an influencer:
“Hey [Name of Influencer],
We, at _______ [Name of your brand], love your content and style. We’re a company that specializes in ________ [Write about your brand]. We’d love to collaborate with you. What do you think?”
To discuss more details, you should take the conversation over to the email. You can find the email addresses of the influencers through our platform, Fourstarzz Media, as well.
Make sure you personalize your email message. A generic email doesn’t reflect professionalism on your part. Adding a personal touch also shows that you care about the collaboration.
Of course, it may take a little longer to craft a personalized message. But it’s a necessity.
In your email, expand upon your work and brand values. Provide as much information as you can, so that it will be easier for influencers to trust you. Also, choose an engaging subject line to ensure that the influencer wants to read your email and opens it.
After the Fyre Festival debacle, influencers have become more cautious. Before they collaborate with a brand, they want to make sure that the brand is credible, well-intentioned, and legitimate.
In an interview, Instagram influencer, Kendall Jenner, said that she does as much research as she can. “You get reached out to, by people, to whether it be to promote or help or whatever, and you never know how these things are going to turn out, sometimes it’s a risk,” she said.
When you reach out to influencers, make sure you’re polite, concise, and straightforward.
Your subject line and email should also highlight what’s in it for them. Tell them how they can benefit from the collaboration. Also, make it clear the type of content you’re looking for and what you would like to achieve from the campaign.
Step 7: Send a Follow-Up Email
Reaching out to influencers is only half the job done.
If you don’t receive a response within 2-3 days, send them a follow-up email. This is an important step to make sure they haven’t missed out on reading your email.
Your follow-up email should be an extension of your first email. It should include a clear call-to-action, so they know what to do next.
In your follow-up email, you can also make changes to what you offer them if you think it will help spark their interest.
Make sure to space out all of your follow-up emails or you may come across as pushy or annoying.
Influencer Outreach Email Templates
Here are two email templates that small businesses can take inspiration from while reaching out to influencers for collaborations.
How to Reach Out to Influencers: Email Template
“Dear [Name of Influencer],
I am [Your Name], [Designation] at [Name of Your Company].
[Introduce what your brand does in a sentence]
Our company has been following your work on [Name of social media platform] for a while and we love your style and content. We have even shared some of your posts that could resonate with our audience on our social media profiles.
We’re planning to launch a campaign on [Write campaign theme] on [Name of social media platform] soon and would love to invite you to collaborate with us.
How You Can Benefit From The Collaboration:
[bullet points on benefits] [bullet points on benefits] [bullet points on benefits] [bullet points on benefits] [bullet points on benefits]
If you’re interested in the collaboration, please respond to this email so we can take the conversation further.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks in advance!
How to Reach Out to Influencers: Email Template For Follow-Ups
Hello [Name of Influencer],
I am [Your Name], [Designation] at [Name of Your Company].
I know that you are busy and might receive multiple requests. As I think this opportunity could be mutually beneficial, I just wanted to make sure that you have not overlooked my last email.
If you are interested, please respond to this email. To discuss the possibilities, we could also jump on a call.
Looking forward to your response.
Influencers are busy people. They often receive hundreds of emails every day. If your small business wants to get their attention, you need to make sure you’ve done thorough research.
Before reaching out to them, you should invest some time into checking out their content, style, and performance metrics. You should also try to gauge what motivates them so you can offer an attractive compensation plan.
Your small business can get on their radar by engaging with them on social media. Next, you can reach out to them on direct message (DM) and introduce your brand.
For details on the collaboration, it’s advisable to write them a professional email with an appealing subject line. To improve the chances of getting a reply from them, highlight the benefits for them in the email’s content. If your small business doesn’t receive a response, you can follow-up with them after 2-3 days.
Do you have any questions about reaching out to influencers? Please share them in the comments section.
Discover, filter, and contact influencers easily using Fourstarzz Media’s influencer marketing platform. Get instant access to our tool NOW!