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I was fortunate enough to win a pass from SEMPO to attend the Social Fresh West Conference here in San Diego, California. This came at a good time because I’m currently in the process of giving social media a bigger slice of our SEO marketing pie for our clients, because as many of you know, social media is not only getting hotter, it’s also infiltrating the search engine algorithms. So when I was called with the news that I won a pass to learn social media from some true and proven experts, you can imagine how excited I was.

For the next few days, I’m going to provide you with some revised notes I took during this conference. And since I’m an SEO specialist, you can bet that these notes will have some search ideas mixed in with them.

The 1st speaker up was CC Chapman. He’s an ‘influencer’ (someone that can really launch your online presence if they were to tweet, Facebook, blog, etc. something for you). His lecture was titled “Influencer Marketing Done Right”, where he shares from an influencer’s perspective how to pick, pitch and benefit from an influencer.

He 1st gave a quick definition on what is influencer marketing, then dived right into how to do it right…

Here are 15 tips he provided to help us with our influencer marketing efforts:

1. Influencer Marketing Takes Time and Planning (SUCCESS = PLANNING) – You can’t just go do a quick search of influencers, pitch them all something and expect a return without studying which ones would be a good fit, their interests, how they could benefit your campaign and other important factors that will determine if they give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and how involved they will get in your campaign.

2. Two Way Relationship – It’s going to be incredibly hard or cost a ton of money to expect an influencer to want to work with you without having some form of a relationship. Be it personal, professional or because you guys share interests.

3. Time Is Valuable – None of us likes getting emails in our email box that’s a waste of our time, nor should we be wasting others’ time. If you can’t take the time to get on the influencer’s good side, then not only are you wasting their time, it shows what type of respect you have for your own time.

4. Choosing Influencers -Do the research, use tools, stalk, network, whatever it takes to identify the very best person that if mentioned you in their networks could literally boost your business. Just doing a Google search or seeing who has the most followers isn’t going to cut it.

5. Contacting Influencers – When contacting influencers, remember chances are you aren’t the 1st person to contact them today and they are most likely busy people. So keep it straight-up & quick.

6. Clear Expectations – Before you even contact an influencer, make sure you know exactly how you are going to measure success. Once you know that, determine what exactly you need the influencer to do in order for their help to actually help. IE: I need you to tweet this on this day, FB this on that day and share this photo on such and such day. This way you don’t leave any room for the influencer to wonder what the heck you want. If you don’t know what you need, why should an influencer want to have anything to do with you?

7. Provide Them with Everything They’ll Need – Make it real easy for the influcenr to have everything they need; links, videos, images, references, press releases, documents, and maybe even access to a Google Drive or drop box area to download whatever they have in mind. The last thing the influencer wants to do is search the net for a logo or for an article you referenced.

8. Think Beyond the Launch – Okay, so the influcner says “yeah, I’ll do it” and they do. Do you know what to do next? Are you ready to interact with 100 people on social networks or on your blog? Are you’re landing pages, goals, measuring tools in order? Do you have any next steps? These are all questions you need squared away before even looking for the influencer.

9. Build Friendships Between Participants – Whatever you get the influencer to do, aim to get their followers involved  and to participate in something or with each other. If you get 2 followers to connect or follow each other, that can have a lasting effect on your brand and what you did to get them connected.

10. Shine Your Light on All that is Created – Whatever comes out of this campaign make sure you amplify it by tweeting it yourself, sharing it with your friends on FB, blogging about it, sharing on yoru website, etc. The influencer just has the power to get it in front of others. Make sure it’s known that you are the actual brains behind the campaign.

11. Constant Communications – It may take emails, phone calls, chitty chats, before, during and after your influcenr marketing campaign to make the best of it, with both the influencers and the people the influencer’s reach.

12. Adventures Rarely Go as Planned – There are going to be bumps in the road. Don’t expect everything to go as smoothly as you hope. It could be something like the influencer takes weeks to respond or only does these type of things a certain week of the month, or maybe he’s open to all your requests except one. Maybe a few people respond negatively to your campaign or even worst, a form all this was surrounded around broke. Anticipate hiccups so that you are prepared mentally or have plan B’s in place.

13. Whoever is Running the Program is Empowered – If its your receptionist, link builder, social media expert, whoever running this campaign, make sure that person is empowered and has full reign. Give them permissions, options, tools, time, whatever they need to make the campaign a success. The last thing you want is for that person to not know how to respond, not know and answer to a question, or for the campaign to fall short because you couldn’t provide them with a few extra tools, bucks or permissions.

14. Keep Those Relationship Growing – CC made it clear that staying in contact with the influencer well after the campaign is a great form of gratitude and could later turn into more opportunities. Also keep the relationships you created with the influencer’s followers going. Who knows, maybe you are on your way to becoming an influencer yourself.

15. A few Extra Tips – Don’t mail merge. Don’t use name if you don’t know them. Don’t all caps email titles, Don’t be fake (IE: I read your blog, yadayadayada…)

Aren’t these some helpful and powerful tips to keep in mind next time you reach out to someone that could potentially make or break your online marketing efforts?

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