Endorsements: Influencer by association
On this website, I mentioned the concept Credibility by Association. Endorsements work similarly: they pass on influence via association. What’s more, when an influencer endorses your product or service, they also pass on trust. Influencers are considered trustworthy sources by their followers. So when they endorse your business, that trust is transferred to you.
Where do you add an endorsement to your website?
Endorsements are a lot like the As Seen On section, except they are much more direct. Whereas a logo in an As Seen On section may imply an endorsement, an actual endorsement clearly states that this influencer recommends your business.
And if you have an endorsement, whether a video or testimonial, I highly recommend flaunting it on your homepage. Videos and testimonials can, after all, easily be added to a designated section on your homepage. But what about other types of endorsements? Sometimes influencer endorsements come in the form of a social media post or a promotional email to their list. When that happens, how do you get that endorsement on your website? Well, you have some options.
You can likely find a way to add their logo to your site’s As Seen On section by slightly altering the headline copy. For example, I could simply add the word “endorsements” to the subheading of my As Seen On section (as I did in the below image) and then slap the logo in there
Alternatively, if influencers have endorsed your product, you likely already have access to them through email, social media or another channel. In this case, just ask them if they can provide a quick testimonial for your website. Follow the testimonial instructions earlier in this book to make it as simple and hassle-free for the influencer as possible. In return, they’ll likely give you an endorsement which you can flaunt on your homepage and throughout your website.
How to score influencer endorsements
Here’s the tricky part. Endorsements are not easy to get. They require one of two valuable commodities: time or money. Let’s start with the money option, as it’s more straightforward.
Paid influencer endorsements
You can buy influencer endorsements via some marketing companies. Alternatively you can contact an influencer directly and offer to pay them. For example, I have a good friend whose brother is an Instagram influencer and he often gets paid to post about Budweiser and other big brands. In other words, he’s giving an endorsement to these companies in exchange for cold, hard cash.
Forming relationships with influencers
The fact of the matter is, forming influencer relationships online takes time, people skills and communication savvy. As I mentioned earlier, I was able to connect with Carol Tice and publish articles on her wildly successful blog. I’ve also made connections with local Thailand influencers that have opened the doors to various job opportunities.
Now when it comes to making these connections, there are two things to consider. Where do you make them? And how do you do it?
Let’s start with the “where” first:
- Online communities: My most valuable connections have been born in online communities. My first was with Carol Tice through her Freelance Writers Den, and more recently Brian Meeks through his advertising community and Chandler Bolt through his Self-Publishing School Mastermind. Online communities present a rare opportunity to get exclusive access to influential people. I highly recommend joining the community of your ideal influencer, even if you have to pay for it.
- Social media: In today’s digital age, influencers are more accessible than ever. And part of the reason for this is that they make themselves available on social media. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all great places to make influencer connections.
Now that you know where to connect with influencers, how do you go about it?
You just use the same skills you would at a networking event. No, that doesn’t mean you need to be desperate to connect or blatantly ask for help on your first meeting. As a former prolific networker who attended well over a hundred networking events in just a few years, I know that the key to networking is very different. It can be summed up in two words: make friends.
How do you make friends with the influencer on social or in his or her community? It’s quite simple. Here are five tactics you can use:
1. Help others
It’s not all about interacting with the influencer, but also the influencer’s followers. Helping followers not only relieves the influencer from having to take the time to help those people, but the act also shows that you’re a good person who provides value and cares about the influencer’s mission to help people.
2. Interact with the influencer
Of course, interacting with the influencer is a must if you wish to form a relationship with him or her and eventually score an endorsement. And getting their attention is not as hard as you think. Over the years I’ve quite easily interacted with New York Times bestselling authors Chris Gullibeua, Ramit Sethi and Lewis Howes. Just tag them in your post, or ask them a question directly through email or a personal message. You’ll be surprised how responsive and accessible influencers are online.
3. Offer value
Always offer value while networking with influencers and their followers. Maybe the value you offer is to simply share the influencer’s post and tag them, answer one of their follower’s questions or provide an insightful comment on their YouTube video. Just provide some form of value, and you will almost certainly get the influencer’s attention in time.
4. Interact a minimum of once a week
If you mingle with your influencer and his or her community once a month, you’ll gain no traction. The influencer won’t know who you are. So you must be active, interacting in the influencer’s community at least once a week. Generally speaking, the more you can publicly engage with your influencer and his or her followers, the quicker you’ll form a relationship. Obviously, don’t be a stalker. But interacting three to five times a week is ideal.
5. Don’t be salesy, sleazy or awkward
Does anyone like the networker who only hands you his business card and walks away? I certainly don’t, and those business cards end up straight in the trash. Again, make friends. Be genuine. There’s no need to be nervous when interacting with an influencer. Just be yourself and good things will happen.
Before we wrap up this chapter, note that your chances of landing an endorsement are better if your product or service aligns with the influencer’s mission. Influencers are just normal people, and if they genuinely like your product or service, they’ll be much keener to endorse it.
If you’d like to learn more about connecting with influencers, I highly recommend Cloris Kylie’s exceptional book Beyond Influencer Marketing.