In my last article, I started 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 1,000 to 100,000 followers on a social media platform who create content for a targeted niche audience.
- If your niche audience aligns, micro-influencers are ideal for small businesses to reach new prospects.
- 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 should not do when reaching out.
10 Dos and Don’ts for Working with Micro-Influencers
The way you approach micro-influencers matters. For positive interactions that blossom 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 nice list of possible micro-influencers to approach. But before you send that email or message, take a little extra time to explore and understand their brand. What audience do they serve? What kind of content do they post? How does their 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 one month commenting, sharing, and interacting before you send your message.
2. DO Find the Best Contact Details
When it’s time to reach out, you’ll want to ensure you have the best contact details. Examine their social media profiles and website to see where they would like to be contacted. This way, you’ll be respectful of their instructions and more likely to get a response in a timely manner.
3. DON’T Be Generic
Personalization goes a long way with that first message you send to a micro-influencer. That said, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel whenever you approach someone new. Develop a basic pitch email that you will customize for each micro-influencer you contact. When you approach them, approach them like a fan. Be polite and congratulate them on the brand they’ve built. Since you’ve been following them on social channels and participating in the conversation, your message will be genuine, and they might even recognize you.
4. DO Build a Rationale
Tip #3 is about being complimentary—expressing praise and admiration for the micro-influencer’s work. This tip is about being complementary—showing how you and the micro-influencer fit well together. When working with micro-influencers, both parties want to be sure that the relationship makes sense and will further their goals. If your brand is unknown, you’ll want to spend some time in your pitch to educate the micro-influencer on who you are and what you have in common with them.
5. DON’T Ask for Links or Reposts
Many business owners reach out asking for an influencer to add a link to an existing blog or asking them to repost content. It’s one of the biggest no-nos in 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 many). It’s better to ask if you can write something original for them or find some other creative way you can work together.
6. DO Make a Serious Offer
Your pitch should have a clear and solid offer for the micro-influencer to consider. And to make a serious offer, you must first consider your goal of working with micro-influencers. Do you want to expand your reach? Promote a specific product? Get more reviews? The offer should make sense for the goals you have. Some ideas include sponsored content, product reviews, giveaways, contests, collaborations, platform ‘takeovers,’ and long-term ambassadors.
7. DON’T Neglect Their 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 conveying your offer to the micro-influencer, be clear about what they get out of the deal. As I mentioned earlier, micro-influencers are usually more affordable than larger influencers. Still, they will expect some kind of compensation, whether it is a free product or a small payment for their work.
8. DO Allow for 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 to allow some room for flexibility and creativity. After all, the micro-influencer has built their brand and has in-depth knowledge about their audience. They know what will resonate with their followers and what will feel authentic. As you negotiate the campaign, listen to their input and create a final arrangement that is a win-win for both sides.
9. DON’T Get Discouraged
It’s natural and empowering to have big expectations for working with micro-influencers. But make sure you keep those expectations in check. The micro-influencer may be slow to get back to you or may not respond at all. Don’t take it personally, and don’t lash out in frustration or anger in public or online. Wait a week and send one more (polite, respectful) message to them. If they don’t get back to you, let it go and move on to the next potential micro-influencer.
10. DO 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 the latter. Why put in all this research, time, and effort for a one-time result? Have a plan to stay in touch after the campaign is over. Find out what they are doing next and keep up with them on their social channels. As you build the relationship, you may think of more ways to collaborate in the future.
Working With Micro-Influencers Is a Win-Win
When you strategically handle influencer marketing, working with micro-influencers can become a win-win for you and the influencer. They have new content to share with their community, and your business gets more exposure to prospects in your niche. Follow the do’s and don’ts above (and check out part 1 of this series!), and you’re sure to create profitable, mutually-beneficial influencer relationships that will help you grow your small business.