Hi, my name is Adam Andrews. I’m a social media expert and marketer. In today’s article, I write about how to identify good influencers to use for influencer marketing in your business. Whatever business you may be running or looking for influencer advice for, this article will cover it. This strategy can be used in all different types of industries and works the same across every industry.
Identifying and Building Influencers Profiles
Finding My Ideal Influencer
So the way I go about identifying GOOD influencers to work with is actually a simple process. I emphasize GOOD because nowadays there are so many fake/saturated influencers. Using these influencers will produce you little to no results and hurt your brand. Here is the process I go through to identify good influencers to potentially form a partnership with.
The first thing I do to begin my research is taking out a notebook in a quiet room without distractions and thinking of whom my ideal influencer to work with would be. It’s like the process I use to find my perfect client profile but less intense. These are just some of the things I ask myself about my perfect influencer. What qualities do they hold? Who they associate themselves with? What hobbies they may have? Where do they hangout online? What forums do they post in? What magazines/blogs do they read? What do they watch on YouTube? What is important to them? Etc.
When I am finished with that, I go through the list of things I have written down and who I think my ideal influencer is and create a profile for who they are. So, for example, if I’m looking for a male fitness influencer, I will draw a stick figure in the middle of the page and describe in my mind and on paper who this influencer I am looking for is. Using reference from the notes I took previously and creating a profile describing exactly who he is, what he does on a day to day basis, who his friends are, etc.
Finding My Secondary Influencers
Once I have this profile created, I create a separate profile for another influencer that I would consider bringing onboard to my operation. So, the 1st profile I create is for my 100% Ideal Influencer. This is an influencer who, if you found them, you would definitely work with them. The 2nd profile is for an influencer who is the 2nd option if you can’t find your Ideal Influencer.
I create 2 profiles because often times it’s hard to find a bunch of your ideal influencers. When I’m doing my influencer marketing research, I often only find around 5-10 Ideal Influencers. It’s important to have the 2nd profile created so that when you can no longer find your Ideal Influencers you have a backup influencer profile to refer to and start your search again for these secondary influencers.
Okay, so you have your 2 profiles built and have an idea of who you’re looking for and an idea of where they’ll be hanging out online. Next, we’ll talk about starting the search...
Starting The Search
Keyword Searches Via Facebook
Groups - I will start my search on Facebook through groups and the use of keywords for the niche they are in. If I'm looking for someone who is a Shopify Drop Shipping Expert, for example, I would start searching on Facebook via groups. Any good influencer will have a Facebook group where they share their knowledge and help their community grow. I start my searches here depending on the niche. After identifying some influencers through the searching of groups, I will start my search again through pages.
Pages - After identifying influencers groups, I will start searching on Facebook through pages where they are building their personal brand on Facebook other than their group (if they have one.) Utilizing the influencers names I found through the Groups search, I start with them. Searching for their personal pages to identify further if they fit into my Ideal Influencer profile. After verifying my influencers from the groups, I move onto the keyword search again for people I couldn’t find in any groups. Again, with the example of Shopify Drop Shipping Expert, I will type that into pages and search not only for related pages, but personal profiles made into a page so they can grow past the 5,000 friend limit that Facebook has for personal profiles.
Location - After searching through groups and pages, if I am not satisfied with the number of influencers I’ve found, I will use the location based search feature. Especially if I’m looking for influencers within a certain area. If I am searching for an influencer in a certain location, I will obviously use the location based search feature and search within there to find influencers that fit my profiles.
Keyword Searches Via Instagram
Hashtags - After identifying several influencers via Facebook groups/pages, I move to other social networks. My first go to network after Facebook is Instagram because of the searchability features through hashtags which make it easy to enter a niche and immediately find influencers. Searching within specific niches via use of hashtags is extremely easy and self explanatory. Type your niche keywords like you did on Facebook. The longer the hashtag, the higher chance of spammy, non-related posts you’ll find. So, instead of searching for #malefitness or #shopify I would try searching terms like #malefitnessinfluencers #malefitnessmodel #malefitnessathlete or #shopifydropshipping #shopifystoreexpert #shopifyexpert #shopifycoach etc. The smaller and more specific you get with your hashtag research, the better the results. I spend the most time doing hashtag research because it’s typically the most effective in locating influencers. Now, how do you identify a worthwhile influencer account on Instagram? That’s where things get interesting. Engagement…
Engagement Analysis - I will spend time analyzing the influencer’s engagement rates via comments as well as likes. I weigh comment engagement a lot higher than likes because so does Instagram’s algorithm. To start analyzing the engagement of an account, I start with the top 15 posts. I take the top 15 posts, add up all the likes and divide by 15. That will give you their average likes per post. Some people use the last 12 but I prefer the last 15. All about preference here. Once I have their average likes per photo or LPP for short, I analyze their comments per photo. Same process as the LPP process. Top 15 photos added up and divided by 15 will give you the average CPP. After getting those figures, I analyze the percentage of engagement they receive from their audience. To get this number, I take their total following(TF) and divide into the average LPP resulting in the percentage of engagement. Repeat the same for percentage of engagement for comments. CPP divided by TF.
After doing all of that analysis, I check to see whether they’re engaging back with their audience in the comments. To do this, I just go into the comments of their top 15 posts and see if they’re responding to their audiences comments. If they are, great, if not that puts them lower on my list of outreach.
Location - Same process I use for the Facebook location based searching except for on Instagram it’s “Places”. You can search in places or even places hashtags. For example, if I was searching in San Diego, CA I might search the hashtag #sandiego and check out what influencers are on that hashtag as well as the location.
Tagged Photos - After identifying a few (10-20) influencers, I will start searching within their friend's list and looking through their posts to see if I can identify someone they have a lot of respect for, or work with. If they are working with them or recommending their audience/community to follow them or check out what they are doing within the niche, they are probably a good influencer to look at. An extremely easy way to do this is to go into their tagged posts and look around. This can be done on Facebook and Instagram easily. Now, the main thing you have to look for when doing this is that the posts aren’t paid or sponsored by the smaller influencer. A good micro influencer knows how to grow and is utilizing paid promotions/sponsorships with larger influencers in the same niche because they know it’s a good way to grow. If it’s a collaboration then that’s totally fine but just be aware of paid promos/sponsorships.
Verifying Influencers Friends - Look for genuine posts recommending one influencer’s audience to check out another. Not those that seem paid for. For example, if the influencer you’re looking at has 310,000 followers and they’re recommending you to go check out someone that has 5,000 followers it is most likely a paid promotion. This is not the truth in all situations but look carefully and try to find this same smaller influencer on the larger influencer’s social media consistently. There is a strong identifying factor that they are indeed friends or business colleague. If it seems like a genuine post recommending a friend or business colleague, then I suggest checking out what that smaller influencer has going on and seeing if it matches to your influencer profiles you have built.
Spreadsheet - This is what goes onto my Google Docs Spreadsheet when I’m doing influencer marketing outreach.
- Influencers @names
- Links to social media. FB, IG, SC, YT, LI (All that are relevant)
- Business Only Emails or any emails found while researching.
- Follower Count. For each social media channel and total following.
- Influencer Profile Rating 1-10. 1 being least likely to do a partnership with and 10 being most likely your ideal influencer.
Selfie Video - After identifying around 50 influencers, I will begin outreach. That’s just the number I typically go with before starting outreach because it takes a while to go through a full list of 50 influencers. The outreach strategy I use is very "GaryVee" style. I start with my 10/10 rated influencers and go down from there. One by one, I will go down the list starting with 10/10 then 9/10 until I’m done and film a selfie style video explaining why I'm reaching out to them specifically. What I'm looking to do FOR THEM (major key to get responses) and why I chose them to reach out to. I will explain to them that I choose my partnerships extremely carefully and only want amazing people to be apart of what I am doing. I go through the values that I see in them as well as what I think the partnership between each other could mean. (i.e., money, free promotions, free merchandise, free knowledge, etc. Whatever your partnership entails) Then I close the video by saying “thank you for listening to what I have to say and I hope to hear back from you soon as I am excited to start an amazing relationship with them.”
I will send this video to their email first and track whether they respond to that or not. The email tracking software I use is YesWare. If they do not respond to that, I will hit them with a short follow up email asking if they received my video and what they thought about it. Then, if I still have no response, I will reach out to them across all of their social media platforms to hopefully get in contact with them on one. If the video is short enough for direct messages, I will send it via their social media messaging.
This is a much more time-consuming process than just reaching out to a massive amount of general influencers within your niche. This strategy works and should be used to find valuable influencers to increase your brand reputation while creating value in the marketplace for both you, the influencer and both your audiences. If you are planning on using this strategy, I highly recommend clearing your schedule for a full 8 hours to complete this entire process. After you’ve done that and start getting responses from influencers, it’s just a communication game then. Communicate the details of what you’re offering them effectively, how long you see the partnership lasting, etc.
From there, it’s up to you to create an amazing, long-lasting relationship with that influencer. I hope you learned something new today and if not I hope you strive to learn something new today and every day. Have an amazing day and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my social media that I will have attached.