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Finding and pitching to the right influencers when promoting your online course

Influencer marketing is still a rather recent thing yet it has taken off in an impressive way. Due to the speed with which everything seems to be evolving these days, influencers are now recognized as the best ambassadors for brands, products and services overtaking traditional advertising by a landslide.

Influencer marketing has 11 times the ROI of traditional digital marketing, as reported by Established companies are already on board with this and invest in extensive campaigns meant to reach elusive demographics and build brand awareness and trust.

As an entrepreneur it may seem harder to get to the trending influencers since the budget is obviously more restrictive but that’s not really an insurmountable hurdle.

Read more: An introduction to influencer marketing

Find the right influencers for your product

The key to finding the right influencers is to remember that the more you know about your target, the better you can create a description that will prove engaging enough so that they are sold on your idea. Maybe you are likely to already have in mind some people that you follow on social media and are probably more easily approachable.

Even if you don’t, that’s not an issue because there are dedicated tools, such as BuzzSumo. You can find content that is most shared on social media channels and find influencers that are related to a particular topic that interests you. Once you get a list, you can start weighing your options.

A small crowd can go a long way

At first glance, the more followers an influencer has, the better the chances of your course to get promoted. However, your work is probably targeted at a selective audience so going with nano-influencers who are niche specific might be more beneficial to getting an audience of your own.

To get an idea of what ‘nano’ means in terms of online followers, here are the numbers:

  • Nano-Influencers - Social media users with 1,000-10,000 followers who engage a small, niche audience.
  • Micro-Influencers - Social media users with followings between 10,000-50,000 who hold an impressive status with a wider audience.
  • Mid-Tier Influencers - Social media users with 50,000-500,000 followers who have climbed the ranks among a large audience.
  • Macro-Influencers - Social media superstars with followings between 500,000-1,000,000 who have earned premiere status as social media noisemakers.
  • Mega-Influencers - Social media powerhouses with 1,000,000-5,000,000 followers who have attained followership that puts them in a category similar to celebrities.
  • Celebrities - Well-known personalities whose fame translates into prestigious social media status with more than 5,000,000 followers.

The big numbers come from the smaller influencers

Apart from the fact that nano-influencers will be a lot easier to get in touch with, research shows that the conversion rates they achieve are superior to mega-influencers and even celebrities. One study showed that nano-influencers achieved 22.2 times more conversations than average when they recommended products to their audience.

Demonstrating the high impact of these recommendations, 82 percent of consumers who were surveyed in this research declared that it was highly likely they follow recommendations made by a nano influencer.

With our lives severely artificially beautified on all social media platforms, people look for and appreciate genuine interest and passion so when somebody who exhibits those attributes gets on their online radar they gladly hit the ‘follow’ button and value the opinions that are expressed.

Think about what you can afford to pay before starting a conversation

Influencers may be very into what they do but it’s also the way they make a living so the bottom line is that since you are looking to make money by selling your course and one of the ways to sell it is through their recommendation, some form of compensation is fair.

While most influencers will prefer the money, there are a lot of creative ways to reward them – from shout-outs in your online modules to free enrollments (maybe even as contest prizes for their followers) and even setting up an affiliate marketing solution.

Read more: How to use affiliate marketing to promote your online course

A very viable option especially for Millennial and Gen Z influencer is to pledge a certain percentage of your earnings to projects or causes they are supporting or are passionate about.

Make an honest pitch

Influencers expect to be approached about endorsing or promoting various products and services. If you have done your homework about the ones you would like to work with, it should be rather easy to start a conversation.

It is very important, however, that it be a very sincere one. It’s good to let them know that you are yourself a follower but too much flattery will only damage your case. The feel of authenticity is what makes people read every blog post, watch every video or listen to each podcast. Influencers don’t sound like old school advertisements and neither should you.

Referencing what of their recent content has resonated with you so that you decided to reach out to them is a great ice-breaker.

Finally, don’t put all your eggs in one basket

The saying may be old but it is still very true. Online marketing is not easy peasy just because you get to do it from your own kitchen, wearing comfortable sweats and drinking coffee from your favorite mug. It takes time, it takes persistence and it demands being almost constantly connected in order not to miss important messages an opportunities.

Influencers are usually busy people and they may not respond to you instantly so it’s wise to reach out to several of them, cultivate the relationships that start right away and keep working on the ones that are lagging behind. Even if one (or several) turn you down for one particular project, they may prove to be reliable partners in the future.

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