This is a guest post from Bailey Richert! Bailey is a business coach who helps individuals launch profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value and profit by sharing their passions with others in a manner that supports their ideal lifestyles. You can find Bailey here: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest
I’ve got to be honest. When I joined Twitter in May 2010 (as my profile bio reminds me every time I log in), I didn’t really ‘get’ it. I was already being pestered by my friends’ cat photos in my Facebook newsfeed; why would I want to scroll through strangers’ status updates? Sorry, Jane, I do not care that your “Froot Loops were #amazing this morning!”
But then there came a tipping point when I started to become an infopreneur that made me realize just how valuable Twitter really is. The reason I disliked it before became the very reason it’s so incredibly worthwhile to be on it: you can connect directly with other people, even strangers, in a non-creepy way.
Emphasis on the ‘non-creepy’ part. Let’s be real: no prior connection to is 1) awkward and 2) really transparent. The only reason you’re emailing me out of the blue is because you want something; otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting your time.
Twitter, on the other hand, lets you prime the relationship with these folks before you send that email so you can get a little name recognition first. It’s like when you’re meeting your friend’s friend for the first time. You’ve seen their picture floating around Facebook; you’ve heard their name mentioned in conversation before. You are running in close social circles; they just haven’t merged yet. Twitter lets all that pre-meeting stuff happen online so that when you finally do want to ‘meet’ via email, a networking event, conference or other infopreneur activity, it’s no longer weird.
So how do you do it, then? How do you use Twitter to prime the relationships with influencers? Here are my strategies:
1) Don’t stalk them. Don’t be the hopeless romantic jilted lover who sends them 20 tweets a day, who retweets and likes every single one of their tweets, desperately hoping they might respond. Engage with what they post, but in a normal amount.
2) Be unique in your interactions. Well-known people in your niche are not going to respond to tweets like “Great post today!” They get that from so many others. You need to directly compliment, question or comment on a specific aspect of a post they just released, training they just held, or email blast they just sent out. Give them a reason to want to interact with you.
3) Share their body of work, and let them know you’re doing so. Link back to a blog post of theirs in a blog post of yours, then share your post on Twitter and tweet it to them. They might share it with their followers. Or, simply craft a tweet sharing the influencer’s content directed to your audience but tag them to let them know you’re sharing it.
4) Act like a peer, not a follower. If the influencer doesn’t know you, they might assume that you are an influencer too. They certainly won’t, however, if you tweet at them, “OMG this very basic issue was so hard until I read your post..thank you SO much for saving me!” Converse with them online like you would if you wanted to appear their equal in person.
5) Participate in their Twitter chats. Many influencers or their companies host Twitter Chats during the week: a time where interested Twitter users can get online at the same time and share thoughts on topics by using a specific hashtag. It’s a group conversation instead of a one-on-one exchange. If your targeted influencer hosts or is present during a Twitter Chat regularly, you should be too. The more times you ‘run into one another’ during this time, the more likely he/she is to remember you in the future.
6) Follow up via Email. The entire point of connecting with influencers on Twitter is so that you can take the conversation off social media and form a working relationship in your actual business, which usually requires email correspondence next. Use opportunities as they arise on Twitter to follow up via email. Here are two ways I like to do this:
- If an influencer shares a piece of your content, email them directly to say thanks.
- If an influencer asks a question, email them your answer with a relevant piece of your own content.
Twitter can be an incredibly valuable tool for meeting and connecting with others in your niche, including influencers with whom your relationship can be incredibly valuable to your business. The key is to form the foundation of those relationships in a way that is respectful and mutual.
So tell us, how do you build relationships with influencers on Twitter? We would love to know!
Bailey Richert is a business coach who helps individuals launch profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value and profit by sharing their passions with others in a manner that supports their ideal lifestyles. You can find Bailey here: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest
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