Let's face it, we all want to be associated with people who are influential. One of the best things that can happen for sales is to have an industry influencer speak, blog or Tweet positive comments about your product and/or service. Having this third party endorsement from an independent thought leader can be gold. So, how do you go about creating an environment that can foster organic influencer commentary?  It is not as difficult as you may think. Here are five ways to get started: 

1. Have a great product/service

The first step should be no surprise. You need a product or service that is top-notch. For an industry influencer to promote something it can’t just be good, it has to be great! Focus on being great.

 2. Delight your customers 

You need to make your customers happy. Delighted customers talk and unhappy customers talk even more. As momentum builds, and word of your outstanding customer experience spreads, industry influencer's interest will be piqued.

 3. Identify your influencers

Think about the people in your industry who are of interest to you. Who inspires you?  What books are you reading?  What blogs do you follow?  Who would you like to emulate and/or be your mentor? Chances are, these people are your industry influencers. Build a list of these individuals and then create a database for easy tracking and future reporting.

 4. Follow them, but don’t stalk them

Follow your industry influencers on all of their social channels. Some information may be the same, but since each channel can be used differently, following in all could expose you to different content and, through engagement, you could meet different people and expand your network.

That being said, just because you follow an industry influencer does not mean that you are best buds. It takes time to build a relationship, particularly online. To help build that relationship, comment on their blog, ask thoughtful questions, and offer additional insight. Over time you will build a relationship.

5. Determine your objectives and execute

Once you've done 1 through 4, determine the goals of your Influencer Program. To help keep you focused, avoid the 5 Myths About Influencer Relationships and align your objectives to your top three business KPIs and start to execute.  Just remember Rome wasn’t build in a day.


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