If you could connect your nonprofit with any influencer in your industry, who would it be? Forget about the limitations for a second. What influential person shares your audience and has the same values as your nonprofit?
An influencer could be anyone who’s gained a large following from the content they share. For example, Michael Hyatt is an influencer in the leadership space. Dan Miller is an influencer in the entrepreneurial and career space. And our own Brian Lord is an upcoming influencer in the nonprofit space! 🙂
Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of incredible influencers. In this post I’m going to give you a few strategies to help you do the same.
Why is it important to connect with influencers?
Your nonprofit does not exist in a vacuum. I believe in surrounding yourself with people who constantly help you grow, challenge you and hold you responsible to your goals.
It’s easy to get distracted, though. When we get too busy, proximity often beats quality of people, and we lose sight of expanding our circles. But you can use proximity to your advantage. Start by discovering influencers right where you are. These are influential people who live near you and automatically have something common with you. This gives you an excuse to reach out to them and a great way to start the conversation.
Another reason to reach out to influencers is to ask for help in promoting your nonprofit with a blog post or interview. I use this strategy when working with authors during their book launch. We help them identify blogs that share their target audience and would benefit from a guest post that’s related to the person’s blog, NOT about the author’s book.
The Top Reasons to Contact an Influencer/Blogger
- Guest Posting on their blog
- Invite them to guest post on your blog
- Build Relationships
- Strategic Partnerships
- Permission to use content
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about this, and it’s all in the execution and intent. Enter into every guest posting opportunity looking for a win-win-win outcome. A win for you to make it worth the effort, a win for the blogger to make it worth their time, and a win for their audience to find value in the post.
How can make sure it’s a win for everyone? Start by personalizing your outreach email (or any other type of communication.) Make sure the influencer knows the message was written specifically for them. Also, be sure to have a goal in mind before you start. Don’t reach out “just because” or you’ll be wasting valuable time.
How do you find influencers online?
Here’s my secret: The most interesting people often aren’t the most popular people.
Just because someone has a huge following doesn’t mean the quality of the audience is there. Many times, a bigger audience just means they are less targeted. I’d rather have 100 super targeted and engaged readers who take action after reading, rather than 500 un-targeted readers on a blog that specializes in five different things.
One way to quickly find influential people in any industry is to let others do the work for you. Here’s what I mean. Head over to Google and type in “top + your industry/location + blogs” For example, “Top nonprofit blogs” or “top nonprofit bloggers Nashville”.
Someone else has already done the work to scour Google for great blogs in almost every industry. Why not start with them? Use the results to start making a list of influencers to contact.
Questions to Ask Before Reaching Out
Now that you’re finding more bloggers than you know what to do with, how do you qualify them? Which ones are good quality and which ones aren’t a good fit for your nonprofit? Ask these questions:
- Does the influencer have a history of guest posts? If not, they might be less open to a guest post.
- What is the consistency of their monthly traffic?
- Do they engage with their audience through comments and social media?
- Are they active on other social channels?
- Do they provide a way to contact them? Do they even want to be contacted?
If you have a positive answer to those questions, you’re ready to start connecting with influential bloggers in your industry. Remember, increase your chances of a positive response by personalizing your outreach email and have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish.
What questions do you have about reaching out to influencers? Let me know in the comments!