In my last article, I began a two-part series on working with micro-influencers and why it’s so beneficial for small business owners to do so. We learned that:
- Micro-influencers are people with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers on a social media platform who create content for a target audience.
- If your niche audience aligns, micro-influencers are ideal for small businesses to reach new potential customers.
- Working with micro-influencers is often much less expensive than working with larger influencers.
- Because micro-influencers have authority and trust with their audience, partnering with them is an excellent way to build your small business brand.
In article 1 of this series, I focused on 6 steps to help you get started working with micro-influencers. Specifically, I guided you through making a list of possibilities and narrowing it down to the most promising options.
In this article, I take it from there! I’ll explain how you should approach micro-influencers and what you should and shouldn’t do when approaching them.
10 Dos and Don’ts for Working with Micro-Influencers
How you approach micro-influencers is important. For positive interactions that develop into mutually beneficial relationships, follow these tips.
1. DON’T rush
If you followed the steps in my last article, you should have generated a good list of potential micro-influencers to approach. But before you send that email or message, take a little more time to explore and understand their brand. What audience do they serve? What kind of content do they publish? How does your audience respond? Follow them on at least two social media platforms (and subscribe to their newsletter if they have a blog), then spend at least a month commenting, sharing, and interacting before sending your message.
2. Find the best contact details
When it’s time to reach out, you’ll want to make sure you have the best contact information. Examine their social media profiles and website to see where they would like to be contacted. That way, you’ll be respectful of their instructions and more likely to get a timely response.
3. DON’T be generic
Customization goes really well with this first message send to a micro-influencer. That said, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you approach someone new. Develop a basic introductory email that you’ll customize for each micro-influencer you reach out to. When you approach them, approach them like a fan. Be polite and compliment them on the brand they’ve created. Since you’ve been following them on social media and participating in the conversation, your message will be genuine and they’ll even recognize you.
4. Build a justification
Council no. 3 is to be complimentary: express praise and admiration for the micro-influencer’s work. This advice is about being complemental: show how you and the micro-influencer fit well. When working with micro-influencers, both parties want to make sure the relationship makes sense and will further their goals. If your brand is unfamiliar, you’ll want to spend some time in your pitch educating the micro-influencer about who you are and what you have in common with them.
5. DO NOT ask for links or posts
Many business owners reach out asking an influencer to add a link to an existing blog or asking them to repost content. It is one of the most important no-nos when working with micro-influencers; don’t do it! People are unlikely to edit their existing content for a request like this (especially since they get a lot of them). Better to ask them if you can write something original for them or find some other creative way to work together.
6. Make a serious offer
Your pitch must have a clear and strong offer for the micro-influencer to consider. And to make a serious offer, you must first consider your goal of working with micro-influencers. Want to expand your reach? Promote a specific product? Get more feedback? The offer should make sense for your goals. Some ideas include sponsored content, product reviews, giveaways, contests, collaborations, platform acquisitions, and long-term ambassadors.
7. Do NOT neglect your part of the deal
Working with micro-influencers can help boost your small business, but what does the micro-influencer get out of it? When you pass your offer on to the micro-influencer, be clear about what they’re getting out of the deal. As I mentioned above, micro-influencers tend to be more affordable than larger influencers. Still, they’ll expect some form of compensation, whether it’s a free product or a small payment for their work.
8. Allow flexibility
It can be tempting to want to tell the micro-influencer exactly what you want them to do and how you want them to do it, but make sure you leave room for flexibility and creativity. After all, the micro-influencer has built his brand and has a deep knowledge of his audience. They know what will resonate with their fans and what will feel authentic. As you negotiate the campaign, listen to their input and create a final deal that is a win-win for both parties.
9. DON’T get discouraged
It’s natural and empowering to have high expectations for working with micro-influencers. But make sure you keep those expectations in check. The micro-influencer may be slow to respond to you or may not respond at all. Don’t take it personally, and don’t deal with frustration or anger in public or online. Wait a week and send them another (polite, respectful) message. If they don’t get back to you, let them go and move on to the next potential micro-influencer.
10. Think long term
Working with micro-influencers can be approached as a one-time gig or a long-term relationship, and I encourage you to do so. Why spend all this research, time and effort to get a unique result? Have a plan for staying in touch after the campaign. Find out what they’re up to next and keep up with them on their social channels. As you build the relationship, you can think of more ways to collaborate in the future.
Working with micro-influencers is a win-win
When you strategically manage influencer marketing, working with micro-influencers can become a win-win for you and the influencer. They have fresh content to share with their community and your business gets more exposure to potential customers in your niche. Follow the dos and don’ts above (and take a look part 1 of this series!), and you’re sure to create profitable and mutually beneficial influencer relationships that will help you grow your small business.