How to Make Friends with Influencers
Written by
She Writes
February 2019
Written by
She Writes
February 2019

Social media is king in the 21st century and with so many users turning platforms like Instagram into a full-time job, it opens up opportunities to work with these “influencers” and expand your own audience and social following. Now that you’re on Instagram and learning how to create quality author images, it’s time to learn how to make friends with influencers.

Why influencers?

Before we get into the ways that you can make friends with influencers, it’s important to learn:

  • What an influencer is
  • Which ones you should be working with
  • Why it’s worth your time to create lasting relationships with them 

Established influencers have already done all the grunt work you’re now putting in to building your social following and have come out the other side a major success story.

Today's influencers are most commonly thought of as those who have gained notable fame on social media due to their commitment to a certain niche or hobby. An influencer though is anyone with a large and eager audience. Authors, speakers, bloggers, CEO's, political figures and celebrities are all a type of influencer. 

No matter the number of followers on their account, it’s important to understand that there are many factors that make a great influencer.

  • Engagement - Unfortunately, followers can be bought. Engagement is not so easy to cheat though. Research how this person is interacting with people to help you understand the true reach of their influence.
  • Brand Alignment - A large, engaged audience is great, but does this influencer operate in the same space as you? Yes a fashion blogger might look great holding a copy of your latest novel, but is that what she and her audience are into?
  • Existing Partnerships - Look at what the influencer is currently promoting. Do they only share about their own brand's products? To they appear to work exclusively with a select few brands? You can make friends with anyone, but if your goal is to eventually collaborate with this person, you have to know first if that's even a possiblity. 

The reason for working with influencers is simple: when you make friends with an influencer whose target demographic aligns with your own, you’ll find that something as simple as an Instagram post about your book can yield major results both in sales and building your own following.

How to Make Friends with Influencers

Interact, Interact, Interact

Before approaching influencers with a request to work together or promote your own work, it’s important to show them that you genuinely enjoy their work. Make sure you are actively viewing, liking and commenting on a certain influencer’s posts. This will give your name familiarity when it comes time to reach out regarding partnership opportunities.

Do Your Research

When making friends with influencers, it’s best if you know something about them that isn’t listed in their account’s bio. Go the extra mile and visit the ‘about me’ section on their website or take a look at the accounts they follow on Instagram so when it comes time to make friends with the influencer, you already know that you are a perfect fit for their own brand and mission.

Find Mutual Connections

While many book influencers are very responsive, it never hurts to find a mutual connection and drop a name of someone you both know and love. If you find a certain influencer enjoys the work of an author you know, mention this in your communications. Use it as a simple conversation starter like this: “Your posts about Big Little Lies have me wanting to read it again! Liane Moriarty is a close author friend and very inspiring.” You can get the conversation moving in the direction of your own work and partnership goals while showing that you took the time to look through their profile and recognize your similarities.

Make Your Interactions Personable

Now that you’re well acquainted with your desired influencer’s content, it’s time to reach out. While there’s a fine line between acting like an influencer’s next best friend and a potential business connection, it’s always important to be friendly when approaching influencers. According to book influencers who work with BookSparks, many social media entrepreneurs prefer email outreach over messages sent through apps like Instagram because those messages can get lost in the shuffle. Treat these influencers like people instead of advertisers or a service provider.

Make Your Intentions Clear

You’ve done your research, established a potential partnership and have made a connection with the influencer, now what? If you want said influencer to work with you and promote your title, be clear about what you’re asking for— stylized photo of your book on their feed, shoutout in their Instagram stories, a blog post dedicated to the review of your book, etc. Make sure that you’re asking about compensation and making it crystal-clear that your book and brand are the perfect fit for their platform.

By taking the time to get to know these influencers and being friendly, supportive and direct, you’ll find that locking down a "business deal" with them will go a long way. At the end of the day, marketing and working with these influencers is strictly business. But when you put in the time and effort to make something that resembles a working friendship with these social media gurus, you’ll find that you will get much more out of the overall experience and over time, these relationships can flourish into something unique and mutually beneficial. 

Let's be friends

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