How to Start Influencer Marketing

how-to-start-influencer-marketingI have talked to quite a few business owners recently that told me their goal for this year is to start influencer marketing, but they aren’t sure where to begin. Because of this, I decided to put together a high-level post on how to start influencer marketing for your business.


1. Identify your buyer persona

With any type of marketing, this is the first step. Take time to outline exactly who you want to reach. Make sure to include your buyer persona’s demographic, interests, location, income, education-level, and anything else that you think is necessary to build a picture of them. I find it helpful to even give them a name and find a photo that represents your buyer persona. This will ensure that you actually think about them as a real person as you begin building your campaign. Keep in mind that you can have a couple buyer personas, but don’t make too many or you will dilute your campaign.


2. Make a list of who your buyer persona follows on social media

Do they follow certain celebrities? Do they follow fashion/travel/lifestyle bloggers?- If so, research a few they would follow. This is a great way to get some top targets for your influencer campaign. What brands do they follow on social media?  I find the lists of these brands they follow extremely helpful. Look at these brand’s social media profiles; see who they are paying to post about their product.


3. Make a list of influencers that you would like to post about your brand

Make a list of double the amount of influencers that you would like to post about your product. If you have made it to this step, you may want to start looking into some tools to make your job easier. Check out my post on Influencer Marketing Platforms vs. DIY Influencer Marketing to see which option is right for you.


4. Create Campaign

Identify the specific product or service that you want them to promote and make a list of all of the actions that you want your influencers to take (i.e. number of posts on each social network, number of photos of your product, required talking points, etc.). Then look at the influencers from your list. Do they currently work with brands? If so look at the types of sponsored posts that they have completed to see if they have experience with these types of posts.


5. Create Pitch Emails

Start by creating a template that tells the influencer about your brand and campaign and how you want them to be a part of it. Don’t get into the nitty gritty just yet with this email. Keep it simple, but leave spots to personalize the email for each influencer. Leave a part where you can reference your favorite post from their profile and why you think your brand is a good fit for their audience (not the other way around). Finish this email by asking if they are interested and if they have typical rates for sponsored posts. (NOTE: if they are a less experienced influencer you might want to leave out the part asking for rates).


6. Negotiate

Typically they will email you back within 3-7 days letting you know if they are interested and give you their typical rates (remember that for a lot of these people this is not their primary job, so leave enough time for them to respond). These rates are usually up for negotiation, so you may go back and forth a couple times before you both agree on a price.


7. Make Requirement Sheet / Informal contract

Once you have agreed on a price you can send over a sheet outlining everything they must complete in order to get paid. This does not need to be a super formal contract, just enough so you both are on the same page. Make sure that you also require them to disclose they are being compensated for this post. They can do this by simply adding a hashtag (for example, “#ad”) in social posts and mentioning that they are partnering with your brand for this post in their blog. This will ensure you are not breaking any advertising guidelines.

NOTE: If your product has legal disclosures or certain claims that cannot legally be made, be sure to outline them for your influencer at this time.


8. Pay influencer and Promote the post

Once the influencer completes all of the required posts make sure to pay them (you can do this by check, Paypal, etc.). Now that you have successfully gotten the influencer to post make sure that you promote it on your brand’s social networks. This is the most critical part. Re-tweet, Re-blog, Re-post! Don’t be afraid to boost it with some extra budget on your different social channels. You did all the hard work so you might as well make the most of it.



If you don’t think that you have the time or resources to do all of these steps, you may want to look into a service like Statusphere. We do all the hard work for you, and only charge you for the influencers that actually post you. If you would like to learn more, click here to sign-up for a 15 minute call, or click the link below to fill out our brand application.

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