An influencer is someone who has influence on a large group of followers on social media. When it comes to marketing, influencers can persuade their followers to watch their videos, buy their books, and so on through, “virtue of their authenticity and reach,” shared Pixlee. Influencers are basically a type of celebrity.
Examples of influencers include Lily Singh (AKA Superwoman on YouTube), entrepreneur Lewis Howes, and actress Madeleine Petsch. The reason why it’s important to connect with them on a business level is because influencers can take your brand or business to a whole other level, because they’re helping you spread your word—or promote. Because their followers love them, they’re likely to purchase/read/etc. something they’ve recommended.
Now that you know what an influencer is and the importance of connecting with them, let’s talk about how you can connect with them, specifically, through Instagram.
A step-by-step guide to connecting with influencers on instagram
1. Follow them everywhere
You don’t just want to follow the person that you want to connect with on Instagram; you want to follow them everywhere. This means subscribing to their email list, YouTube channel (if they have one), and following their other social media accounts.
When you finally connect with this influencer through Instagram, you don’t want them to know that you only like their pictures but don’t actually read their blog posts or watch their content. You want to show that you’re an actual fan.
That’s the general rule: You have to be a fan first!
2. Like/comment on their photos
Now that you’ve followed this influencer, it’s time to like and comment on all their photos—not their past ones, but the ones they upload from now on. If you don’t want to miss a post, then you can turn on the notification bell to get notified every time they upload a new picture or video.
You want to like their posts, and comment on every picture. You don’t have to comment ten sentences, but comment something meaningful. If you comment one word like “Yes!” or an emoji, then they’ll just scroll by your comment. Write something that will catch their attention, and do it so often that one day they’ll recognize your name.
Pop into their Instagram lives, too! Ask them questions, comment on what they’re saying, and if they’re asking, go live with them! I know the last option is scary, but that’s already a huge leap toward connecting with them.
3. Share their stuff
People appreciate when you share their content, products, and what not. It feels good! If you’ve had someone share a piece of content of yours that you didn’t send them, it’s validating to know that you made something worth posting about.
Share an article they wrote, make a story commentating on what their caption said on their latest post, and always tag them. If you don’t tag this person in your post or on your Instagram story, then they’re not going to see it because they don’t follow you.
4. DM them about how they’ve helped you
It’s been a good month of you following this person, commenting on their posts, and sharing their content now, and you might even be on the radar of this influencer. The next step is to DM them. You’re not going to DM them (yet) about how you want something from them, but you are going to tell them how much you appreciate them.
Here are a few examples of what you can say to them:
“Hey [blank], I just wanted to say that I’ve been following you for a while now, and you’ve really turned my life around. I hope that one day I can repay you for all the good you’ve done!”
“Hi [blank]! Wanted to let you know that I loved your last [blank]. It helped me overcome [blank] by doing [blank]. I’m glad to have found you, and I can’t wait to see what else you put out. You’ve inspired me so much already!”
5. DM them about how you want to help them (and/or their readers)
That’s what you need to offer. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been following this influencer, liked all their pictures, and so on (well, it does matter, but it’s not the only thing that matters). Now that you’ve followed all of those steps, you have to offer them your services and provide them value.
This means that you send them another direct message in which you say something along the lines of this:
“Hello, [blank]. I love what you’ve been sharing with us lately. It’s really inspiring to know that you believe in [blank] and [blank]. I have a similar view to yours, and I’m so grateful to be able to connect with you. In addition to what you said, I also believe [blank]. I think your followers, based on their response to your last post, would be interested in knowing more about that topic. Would you be interested if I wrote a blog post for you in which [layout]? Of course, I would do it for free! You’ve changed my life, and I just want to offer your readers more value. Thanks for taking time to read this! If you have time, let me know what you think. Have a good one.”
The truth is that the person might not get back to you right away. Not even the second time you try or the fifth, but by the eighth time you try, you’ll find that you actually have a message from them.
It’s been months now. You’ve done all of these steps, you got to help this influencer out, and you remained in touch. Maybe you’re not close friends, but you know each other enough that if someone mentions you to this influencer they can say, “Oh yeah, I know them.”
This is when you finally make the ask to get the thing that you want. You send a message that says something like:
“Hey [blank], I would really appreciate your help with something! [Explanation]. Let me know what you think, and if you can help me out. Thanks for your time!”
That’s how you connect with an influencer. Remember, it’s all about the value that you provide them. It’s not about what’s in it for you, but what’s in it for them.