Neil Patel

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How to Connect with Rock Stars: 7 Influencer Marketing Hacks to Open Doors & Unlock Deals

influencer marketing hacks

Influencer marketing is capturing everyone’s attention.

All of your marketing buddies keep talking about it, and you can’t seem to escape their conversations or the onlinecharades.

But is all of the buzz worth it?

Does influencer marketing really work?

The short answer is yes, it does.

Think of Gary Vaynerchuk.

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Or consider Grant Cardone, for instance.

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These are just two people who are shaping the world of influencer marketing.

If your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, these two guys might show up more often than your own family sometimes.

They are remarkably active, and for that reason, they’ve forced themselves into influencer positions.

Of course, they are both only influencers in the entrepreneurial world.

But influencers exist for every industry, niche, and product.

If you want to use them to market your business, all you need to do is find them and connect with them.

Of course, that’s easy to say. It’s far more difficult to do.

But before we talk about that, let’s talk about exactly what influencer marketing is so you know how to use it.

What is influencer marketing?

An influencer is someone with — you guessed it — influence.

They’re people who have consistent access to a massive audience of consumers.

But they don’t just have access. They have the ability to influence the decisions of their audience members.

Why? Where do they get that magic?

Well, it’s really quite simple.

Usually, influencers can impact the decisions of their audiences for two basic reasons:

  1. People like them.
  2. People trust them.

And when people like you and trust you, they want to do everything that you do. Let’s be honest: they want to be you.

Here’s what this process looks like when your business comes onto the scene.

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Influencer marketing is a way for your business to access a massive number of people through an influencer.

Building your own audience is difficult, and it takes a lot of time.

That’s why marketers ask influencers to play the role of middleman.

They pay or incentivize the influencer to market their product to the influencer’s existing audience. In turn, the company hopes that some of that audience will buy their products and join their audience.

Then, the business can access those newcomers whenever they like without the help of an influencer.

That’s the function of influencer marketing.

And social media is full of different influencers. They’re people like Nikki Giavasis.

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Tonioskits is another good example.

Tonio Skits tonioskits Instagram photos and videos

Luckily, though, all of those influencers can be good for your business if you use them to your advantage.

But what makes influencer marketing so effective, and why should you consider using it?

We’ll turn to that question next.

Why is influencer marketing so effective?

Influencer marketing is effective because people trust and like influencers.

They like them for a variety of different reasons.

Really, the reason depends on the influencer.

Some consumers like influencers for their style, others for their humor, and others still for their travel photos.

But despite the reason that people like and trust an influencer, there’s no denying the effectiveness of the strategy.

Over the past few years, interest in influencer marketing has risen by more than 90 times.

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And in 2016, 84% of marketers planned at least one influencer-marketing campaign.

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If influencer marketing didn’t work, that would be a lot of hype for nothing.

Most likely, influencer marketing is popular because it works.

And that’s no surprise.

When people trust someone and like someone, they listen to that person’s recommendations.

And if your business is the recommendation, you’ll gain customers. It’s that simple.

In fact, 20% of women consider purchasing products supported by influencers. And conversions can increase by three to ten times when brands use influencers to share content.

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The point is that influencer marketing works, and you’re missing out if you haven’t at least tried it.

But using influencer marketing to your advantage might sound daunting.

How do you connect with influencers?

And perhaps more importantly, how do you make sure you connect with the right influencers?

Well, that’s what you’re here to learn.

Here are seven influencer marketing hacks that you should use to open doors and unlock deals.

1. Find the right influencer, not just any influencer

It’s one thing to work with an influencer.

It’s another thing entirely to work with the right influencer.

But how do you differentiate between the right influencer and the wrong influencer? What do you need to look for? Are certain influencer qualities worth paying attention to more than others?

Well, the real answer is that you need to look for an influencer who fits your business.

One business might use Gary Vaynerchuk to advertise their products. But even though you sell the same products, he might not be a fit for you.

Maybe he’s too free with his language or perhaps he doesn’t match the image that your brand is trying to portray.

Whatever the reason, you need to choose an influencer who matches your business. Don’t just use any influencer.

For instance, Old Navy worked with Megan Rienks, who is an Instagram comedian, to advertise one of their product lines.

This influencer-marketing campaign works because Old Navy’s brand image perfectly matches Megan Rienks’s image.

They are both positive, fun-loving, humorous, and optimistic.

Similarly, Naked Juice used Kate La Vie to market their product on Instagram.

This connection also makes sense.

Naked Juice is primarily a company that caters to healthy, gym-going types of people, and Kate’s post encapsulates that image.

Even if an influencer has a large audience, if they don’t match your brand image, then don’t use them.

If you do, the inconsistency between the influencer’s voice and your business’s voice will hurt your following, not help it.

2. Double check influencers for fake followers

Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to influencer marketing.

You see, many people want to live the life of an influencer without putting in the work.

They want businesses to pay them for talking about their products, but they don’t want to spend the necessary time or energy to gain an authentic and loyal following.

Sadly, some of these people are relentless in their pursuits.

So what do they do?

Well, they buy their followers.

And you, as the business, need to be aware of these kinds of influencers so that you can avoid working with them.

To determine if an influencer bought their followers, simply click on a few of their follower profiles.

Pay special attention to these spots.


If the profile is following way more people than it has in followers, that’s a sign that the account is fake.

Additionally, if all of the posts are shares or retweets (i.e., there’s no original content), that’s another red flag.

And lastly, if the profile bio is basic, grammatically incorrect, or outright awkward, be wary.

If all three of those factors are present, then more often than not, the account is fake.

Here’s another example.


And if the account is fake, then the only way that the influencer acquired their followers was by paying cold, hard cash.

You, of course, want to work with influencers who have a real following, not a fake one.

After all, real people can buy your products and join your newsletter. Fake people can’t.

3. Stay active on your own social media profiles

A lot of times, the best way to connect with influencers is by meeting them on social media.

That’s where they hang out and make a name for themselves, after all.

If you want to befriend influencers for your own benefit, then spend some time posting your own content, commenting on influencer content, and “liking” and sharing other people’s posts.

As you do, you might be surprised by how many influencers reach out to you asking you about yourself.

Of course, this might take some time.

Relationships are complex. You simply can’t build them overnight.

The key is consistency. You need to post, “like,” share, and comment regularly over a long period of time to build a relationship with the people who can raise your business to the next level.

Plus, if you’re not active, people won’t follow you.

On Facebook, you should post once per day.

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On Twitter, you should post 15 times per day.

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On LinkedIn, post once per day.

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And on Instagram, perhaps the most lucrative influencer-marketing channel, you should post one to two times per day.

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And in terms of commenting, “liking,” and sharing influencers’ posts, follow one simple rule:

Do as much as you possibly can without seeming desperate.

You don’t want to seem like some weird business owner with a hidden agenda.

Treat them like the person they are, and they’ll do the same for you. That means that you’ll build a valuable relationship.

But one thing’s for sure:

If you invest enough energy into communicating with the right influencers on social media, then you’ll have connections in no time.

4. Include expert quotes

OK, so maybe you really want to use influencer marketing, but you just don’t have the budget for it.

After all, influencers can get expensive fast.

That’s especially true of the ones with large followings that you actually want to use.

But here’s a strategy you can use regardless of your budget.

Include quotes from influencers in a piece of content. Then, contact the influencer and tell them that you referenced something they said.

If you’re lucky, the influencer might even share the piece of content with their own audience for free.

This article from Shopify, for instance, includes a quote from James Brooks of The Elephant Pants.

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It also has a quote from Rachel Pedersen of RBP Productions.

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You can include quotes that look similarly flattering, contact the influencers you quoted, and then gently ask them to share the article if they enjoy it.

You might not have the budget for other types of influencer marketing. But with this strategy, you literally have nothing to lose.

5. Use influencer testimonials

Are you struggling to get your product off the ground?

Maybe people are visiting your website and interacting with your content, but they aren’t actually buying your inventory.

Or maybe people are getting halfway through your checkout process and then leaving.

If that’s the case with your business, you might want to consider using influencer testimonials to give visitors that extra push.

After all, if the visitor’s favorite people are using the product, then the visitor will be more likely to buy as well.

Simply find influencers who match your brand, give them a free sample of your product, and ask them for a testimonial if they like it.

Then, put the testimonial on your website like this.

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Or, it could look something like this.

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With testimonials from people your ideal customer knows and trusts, they’ll be hard-pressed not to convert.

Often, taking the leap is just a matter of having the right people to guide you.

And influencers make great guides.

6. Offer a special deal for the influencers’ followers

Here’s the thing about influencers.

They all have an image to sustain.

They don’t want to market your products if they’re outrageously expensive, unattractive to their audience, or will hurt their relationships with their followers.

The last thing you want to do is start a relationship with an influencer that ends up hurting the influencer’s following.

In that case, you might get them to work with you once, but they’ll never work with you again.

Not only that, but if you use influencers to market your product and business, but nobody ends up buying from you, then you wasted your whole marketing budget.

For those reasons, it’s in your interest and the influencer’s interest that you make your offer as appealing to the influencer’s audience as possible.

First, influencers will probably only work with you if you add some sort of exclusive discount or offer. And second, you’ll generate far more customers by doing so.

Offering a discount or special deal for the influencers’ followers is a great way to increase the chance that your campaign comes out on top.

It doesn’t need to be a remarkable discount, either. Just make it enough to incentivize the audience.

Even 10% will do.

Consider this influencer marketing campaign between Julianne Hough and Boxed Water.

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Although this marketing campaign doesn’t offer an additional discount, it would be quite simple to add that.

In this case, maybe the incentive wouldn’t be a discount. Maybe it would be additional charity donations for a short time.

Whatever the incentive, there needs to be something extra to make the campaign work to its full potential.

Lewis Howes does this with practically every podcast he records.

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This is a list of his sponsors. But what you don’t see is how, on every single podcast, he offers some sort of discount, free trial, or special offer exclusive to his audience.

And I’ll bet he only works with sponsors who are willing to make those kinds of offers to his audience.

If you want to connect with influencers, then you need to make an offer that will appeal to their audience.

7. Run a giveaway

This tip is similar to the last one, but it’s a bit more specific.

Here’s the reality: influencers will only work with sponsors who have a great offer for their audiences.

And few things are quite as fun or appealing to an influencer’s audience as entering a giveaway for an item that they really want.

In other words, by running a giveaway, you appeal to influencers by appealing first to their audiences.

You know that the key to a parent’s heart is through their children, right?

Well, the key to an influencer’s heart is through their followers.

Consider what Passion Planner did with Celinereads as an example.

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Then, you can ask the influencer to announce the winner with something like this.

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Now, you might be thinking, “But I don’t want to give away a ton of products for free. I want to actually make money.”

But here’s the best part about running a raffle.

The people who sign up for it are primarily those who really want the product you’re giving away.

After they’ve been consistently coming back to your website for weeks dreaming of winning that product, they’ll get more and more excited about it.

If they don’t win, then there’s a high chance that they’ll end up buying the product for themselves after all that hype.

You might only give away one or two items, but all of that brand awareness and revenue potential is well worth a few free giveaways.

Plus, influencers won’t work with you unless you have an enticing offer for their audience.

Free giveaways are about as enticing as exclusive offers get.


Every marketer is talking about their most recent influencer-marketing campaign and how successful it was.

But you’re wondering if the buzz is all that it’s cracked up to be. And if it is, you want to know how you can start leveraging similar strategies.

Well, these seven ways are a great start to drive revenue to your business through influencers.

First, find the right influencers who have real audiences.

Then, stay active on your social media profiles and build relationships with influencers.

Once you connect with an influencer, add a special offer or run a giveaway for their audience to drive even more conversions for your business.

Finally, you can include expert quotes in your content or use influencer testimonials on your product page.

Follow these steps, and you’ll connect with influencers like never before. That means that influencer marketing will turn out to be a real, tangible asset for your business.

What influencer marketing hacks do you use to connect with influencers and drive revenue?

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