7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers

We all know them, the people who know their stuff inside out and we look to for guidance and advice.7 Ways to Find Powerful Influencers

They are not just experts, they are influencers.

Influencers are hubs of information, they have many followers who respect their recommendations and opinions and being featured by them sends a powerful amount of targeted traffic your way.

It is the ripple effect.

If you want to grow your business you need to know who the influencers are in your field, learn from their expertise and build a productive professional relationship with them.

The Leverage of Influence

Influencers are important to your business because of the size of their audience and the influence they exert. It is good old fashion word of mouth recommendations on steroids.

So if you want to grow your business or profile online it only makes sense to find the right influencers, learn all you can and build excellent working relationships with them.

Finding Influencers

Here are 7 ways to find powerful influencers:

#1. Industry Awards

These are a great way to find who’s achieving results, they’ll showcase the who’s who and provide links to their blogs, websites and social media.

#2. Be Influenced

Ask others who they recommend and follow – this can result in some amazing finds.

#3. Listen

As influencers are inherently very well connected within their tribe, find out who they are in conversation and working with, sharing content and promoting.

#4. Industry Events and the Presenters

The larger conferences can be great for getting a big overview while the smaller seminars and events are ideal for actually getting to meet the influencers and having your specific questions answered during question and networking time.

#5. Podcasts and Webinars

These are another great way to find key influencers – whether it is through interviews, presentations, information products of their own or curated information by others.

#6. Twitter Lists

Twitter is a great untapped resource for finding influencers and keep track of what they are publishing. You can join public lists created by others as well as create your own private or public lists.

#7. Groups and Forums

These are also valuable sources of information. Often those that are the most active are growing their own circles of influence and know who the experts to learn from are.

Building Relationships with Influencers

It may take some time to build a relationship with an influencer, particularly as they are being regularly approached by people who want something from them, but the rewards can be more than you expect.

There are many ways to build relationships with influencers. Here are 9 ways to build relationships:

  1. Connect through the social media platforms they use.
  2. Share the posts that are of value to your audience; retweet and quote their content, share, comment and like their Facebook posts.
  3. Help promote what they are involved with, including charity causes, seminars and conferences, publications and promotions.
  4. Attend the events and conferences where they are presenting and Tweet their presentations, being sure to tag them and the event’s hashtag.
  5. Ask them your questions, either through social media, direct messages, at events or in forums.
  6. Share your original content and ask their opinions.
  7. Show through your actions that you respect their work, business, time and privacy.
  8. Be helpful with introductions – while influencers are very well connected, key introductions can be very useful.
  9. Offer to be of service to them, whether that is to help with an event they are putting on, promoting their latest product or simply answering a call out they make, be ready to get involved in a positive and constructive manner.

What about you?

Have you found developing relationships with influencers to be useful? Who’s on your influencer lists?

How to you build relationships with influencers? What would you recommend?

Guest Author: Belinda Stinson is the editor of the online magazine “She Inspires” and organiser of the She Inspires Social Media Seminars. She has a passion for writing, social media marketing, connecting people and ideas. Connect with Belinda via @she_inspires on Twitter.

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Comments

  • http://gplus.to/imizze Michelle Marie

    I know this is a touchy subject for some, but since it wasn’t mentioned, Klout can be a good platform to search out influencers by topic searches. Although the list of users Klout generates may not be accurate in all cases, at least it provides a starting point if you’re lost on where to look for key influencers.

  • Jocelyn Smith

    I have just subscribed to your posts Jeff, so I consider you one of my new Influencers!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      That is awesome and welcome aboard :)

  • http://www.commun.it SharelOmer

    Love it! “build Relationahip with influencers ” is a great goal to follow.. However how do u know who are your already engaged influancials , where can you see full relationship with them and build relationship over time ? Not trivial, however if you want to take this marketing tactic to practice you need a solution … A toll that focus you on your influancials and build relationshp over time :) for Twitter we tried to provide such a tool! It’s called Commun.it – it take into practice this process and more :) its free . We will love to give u pro version to test drive it :)

    • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

      Commun.it is a great addition for sure.

      • http://www.commun.it SharelOmer

        Go @askaaronlee:disqus thank you so much for sharing dear friend! we love @jeffbullas:disqus blog!

  • Carmelo

    Thanks, Belinda. You’re so right about this topic. It takes some research and dedication but think of the time it can save. Your ideas on how to interact with them are helpful too. If one is serious about this, it shouldn’t be too hard to “get in” with the influencers. Just will take some time to get trusted and I’d say also that you better be adding value. As you said.

    • Belinda Stinson

      You’re welcome Carmelo. It is a long term strategy but it is also about getting to learn from these passionate and inspiring people too. There’s a lot of benefit for all involved.

  • http://twitter.com/knowmysource Jeremy Brown

    definitely going to check out the book
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088IESDG

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Love the honesty :)

  • http://twitter.com/BrazenCW Stacey Herbert

    This post was really timely for me as I have decided to take my content strategy in a different direction. A big part of being able to deliver the type of information that will be of value to the audience I want to reach, will be my ability to connect with influencers. Some of your points here will take me to the next step in working out a strategy that works for both parties. Thanks

  • http://b2bdigital.net/ Eric Wittlake

    You should definitely add Plexus Engine to your list of ways to identify influencers as well.
    http://plexusengine.com/ (no, I’m not associated with them, just a fan of Marshall’s work on it).

  • http://www.PuraVidaMultiMedia.com/ CAELAN HUNTRESS

    I found this article while trolling Twitter for influencers and building up some strategic Twitter lists. You’ve given me a couple of new ideas. Thanks, Jeff!

  • Ashley John

    Cool tips for us sme business guys! Thanks for the info

  • Lucas

    This article was great! Tons of quality insight about the benefits to defining and engaging influencers in your market. There seems to be a lot of content on influencers out there, some not so good, some that is awesome. Refreshing to read content that makes sense. Does anyone else on this thread have additional articles I should check out relating to this? I found this similar article to be insightful also: http://www.searchtoppers.com/blog/social-media/identifying-digital-influencers-expand-engagement-and-strengthen-brand-image.html

  • Victor Foucault

    Influencers strategies are more and more valuable for PR teams today…

    Here you will find a very interesting guide about this subject!

    http://www.augure.com/resources/whitepapers/guide-influencers-strategy?goback=%2Egde_3859898_member_5799529206207504386#chapter1

  • Cheval John

    Thank you, Jeff for this post. Definitely doing some of these recommendations one day at a time.

  • Gaynor Brown

    A really informative and helpful article – as always! Thank you for sharing this info!

  • http://turn2studio.com Ron Guzman

    Great advice and smart tips at all stages. People are more responsive and able to connect with another person that wants to engage vice coming across as being one way.

  • http://www.passionatebloggingpoint.com/ Naveed Ahmed

    Thanks for this helpful tutorial. Your tips are always practical and doable.

  • tinasyhsu

    Another way is to use tools that measures Influencer’s exposure on certain topics. This way, you don’t have to guess-work their impact.

  • http://www.iamjoedaniels.com Joe Daniels

    Connecting with influencers is a great way to tap into their followers and increase your presence. Another useful tool is Email Hunter, a Chrome add-on I used when it came to outreaching to influencers for my blog!

    iamjoedaniels.com

    • Lesia Lichonczak

      Yes, Joe! Email Hunter is one of new favorite extensions.