Influencer marketing is on the rise and expected to be huge in the years ahead, according to Forbes. Over the last few years alone, I've already seen it gain momentum.
We are living in a society that is becoming immune to advertising and no longer trusts it. When we need something we hop on Facebook and ask our friends what they think, we check out online reviews, or look to our favorite role models.
In a poll given on global advertising, Nielson Company found: more than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family.
Social networks influence 74% of consumers' buying decisions. Due to this, the sales process is becoming more people focused and the people who hold a great deal of power are the influencers.
A true influencer is someone who has a following and when they talk people listen - you want these people in your corner. Reaching influencers is easier said than done but however a must. I spoke with four influencers about what it takes to be them and reach them. Read on for the inside scoop.
Eren Mckay, Social Media Strategist and SEO Consultant at Mckay Social
When and how did you realize you were a social media and SEO influencer?
When I started getting a lot of questions from people on how to do SEO or social media. It happened naturally since I would give a lot of advice in different online communities. I started getting client work at Mckay Social without even looking for it and those clients would end up telling others about me.
What does being a positive influencer mean to you?
Being humble and completely sincere. I believe that in order to make an impact in the SEO and social media industries you need to constantly be allocating time to learn and keep up with changes.
In your experience, what has been the best way for everyday folks to reach influencers?
Never brown nose. Most influencers are intelligent people. They can smell manipulation from miles away. Be sincere in your interactions with everyone.
If you want a certain influencer to notice you, interact with them on social media platforms without going overboard. Help them whenever possible. After you've built that rapport, it's okay to approach them and ask for something. Make sure what you're asking is not complicated or too time consuming.
Morgan Molitor, Entrepreneur at construction2style, Director of Social Media at Snap Agency
When and why did you start construction2style?
In 2011 my now husband, Jamie, bought his first home to flip. He was able to take the ugliest thing I had ever seen and turn it into a dream home. I was blown away and needed to show Jamie's talents off to the world. I launched construction2style.com. It started off as a blog that shares our personal remodeling journey. We eventually got inquiries from people to build them custom furniture pieces, launching our furniture business.
What's your background?
Growing up my parents instilled in me the entrepreneurial and DIY mentality, raising us working alongside them at the family business. I later got my degree in fashion merchandising but was lead to getting a second degree in marketing when I needed to make money blogging for construction2style. Now I run the social media department at Snap Agency.
How have you used your marketing background to create a following for construction2style, much like you do at Snap?
I got to know my target customers: who they are, what they do, and what motivates them to follow social channels. Once you know your tribe, you know the content you need to produce and post consistently.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to connect with influencers?
Be picky. Make sure they are a representation of your brand and not only have a high following, but engage and support their community. Also make sure they actually care; after all they are going to be an extension of your business.
Matt Orlic, Entrepreneur and Director of Pro Sports Group
Tell us a little about your background. How did you get started in the sports industry and get to where you are now?
You could say I'm a serial entrepreneur. I started my first company when I was 18 and things have just grown from there. I'm a huge soccer/football fan, so translating the lessons I'd learned from my other companies to Pro Sports Group seemed like a no-brainer. My job involves playing around and innovating soccer equipment and gear all day.
What do you think it takes to be an influencer in the sports space?
Authenticity and hard work. If you don't have a passion for sports, that's going to come through. Usually, the people on the other side of the table are in it for the same reason: "the love of the world game!"
People are going to know right away if you aren't authentic, but it isn't enough to just be authentic either. There are plenty of people out there who love soccer/football, but who aren't willing to work hard to build their brands and products. You really need both to succeed.
What's something you learned about being an influencer?
I'm continually amazed at how much support there is and the ways the Internet brings people together. I love learning through my followers' experiences.
What advice can you offer anyone who wants to connect with influencers?
Be real. Want to get to know an influencer? Connect regularly in ways that add value and don't expect anything in return.
If someone wants to get your attention to partner with you, what should they do?
Interact regularly. Like my photos and leave me comments (good ones, not just "love this" or "nice"). Share things with me that you think I'd like. If you're going to ask me to do something for you, make sure it mutually benefits both of us.
Tara Clapper, Senior Editor at the Geek Initiative, Blog Editor at SEMrush
Disclosure: I have an existing relationship with Tara.
Can you provide an overview on the influential work you do in geek culture?
I founded The Geek Initiative in 2013 after having an unfortunate (but common) negative experience in a comic book shop. With an established background in publishing, I had the power to do something to make geek culture more inclusive for women and other groups being kept out of it. I attempt to facilitate positive change in the community through my publication.
What are some things you've done to build a community in the geek space creating a name for yourself?
Being persistent and consistent have been key!
What does influencer marketing mean to you?
Being genuine and accessible. The best influencer marketing happens naturally.
In your perfect world, what three things would every pitch in the geek space entail?
A bit of background about who you are, links to previously published work, and a pitch that follows any established guidelines.
What advice can you offer to those who'd like to connect with influencers?
Demonstrate that you are genuinely giving to others before you ask anything from an influencer and be sincere.
Photos provided by each respective influencer.