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SMART Relationship Marketing: investing in relationships
Imagine if entrepreneurs believed, "We thrive when everyone succeeds."
Instead of competing over imaginary pie slices –our collaboration expands the pie into endless opportunities.
By investing in relationships with peers, influencers, and audiences... your voice for impacting others' lives spreads.
They're compelled to hear and share stories about your role for bringing your inspiring vision to life. Overtime, your voice and stories shall resonate with loyal subscribers and customers.
In the meantime, discover how people with influence prefer connections to begin and strengthen....
7 Relationship Marketing Strategy Categories
- How to Wire Yourself for Relationship Success versus Failure (5)
- Ways to First Standout as an Active Participant in an Influencers’ community (2)
- Ideas for Offering Irresistible Value (4)
- How to Communicate to Strengthen Mutually Beneficial Relationships (4)
- Get Rid of Mistakes that Cause Painful Rejections or Time-robbing Failures (2)
- Relationship Marketing Strategies for Getting Requests Accepted (4)
- Secrets of TOP Students for Amplifying Rewards Beyond Your Expectations (4)
How to Wire Yourself for Relationship Success versus Failure
1. Qualities for Deepening Business Relationships also Bond Healthy, Lasting Personal Relationships
About Simon Sinek = optimist, thought leader, author, global speaker, leadership and organization trainer
Simon’s an optimistic thought leader who specializes in inspiring people. Hearing his relationship wisdom eases the complexity of figuring out online business relationships. You’ll appreciate benefits are mutual. Healthy, sustaining relationships aren’t transactional. Your highest rewards are social ones.
Throughout his interview on Inside Quest, Simon shared key relationship points:
- Transitions are key for relationships.
- Connections aren’t formed by doing particular things, from certain events or because of the intensity of doing something.
- CONSISTENCY of your actions and communication is critical for strengthening relationships -people become aware you’re dependable, loyal, and trustworthy.
- Spend time with people you like and want to connect with them.
- Show your respect and care, i.e. Ask about their day. Care about their reply.
Source and video interview
Take-away & Insights:
- Selectively choose 1-3 influencers whose beliefs and values are similar to yours, or ones you admire. Results don’t equate to your specific actions. They come because mentally you’re committed to lasting, stronger connections.
- Cut out and paste Simon’s tips so they’re visible. Pop over to his website for inspiration. (see above link)
2. Mindset for Long-Lasting Relationships with Influencers
About Adam Connell = Content Marketer and CEO for Blogging Wizard
Adam shares his mindset wisdom for successfully connecting with influencers. His comprehensive influencer outreach campaign reveal his steps consider what influencers’ appreciate. Adam respects that relationships are key for influencer outreach success.
Think of this as the first step in creating a relationship which you can develop and nurture as time goes on.
One-time mentions are great but long-term relationships will have a far bigger impact on your blog’s growth.
And this can only be done by helping each other.
All it takes to get the ball rolling is to ask this simple question:
“What else can we do to help each other?”
Take-away: Write out your mantra for devoting energy for loyal relationships with influencers. Keep it visible.
3. Know Who you Desire to Reach through Accessing an Influencers’ Audience
About Garrett Moon = the co-founder and CEO of CoSchedule
As influencers have multiple audiences, research for considerable matches with your ideal audience. Doing this research saves you from networking for minuscule rewards.
Garrett mentions how influencer marketing weaves with content marketing.
The influencers’ layer is made up of the connectors that already know and are connected with the people you should be talking to. You need to cross-pollinate with these groups. Influencers help you bridge the gap between yourself and new audiences. This can be accomplished through strategic partnerships, and even “expert” posts that bring influencers together.
Source and resource comparing blog promotion and PR (public relations)
Take-away & insights: Identifying characteristics of the ideal, new audience you’re striving to reach Helps you find influencers to connect with. The greater your audience overlaps, the more you’ll mutually benefit from your relationship.
4. Showcase Your Leadership Qualities and Attract Influencers
About Ted Rubin = a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and acting CMO of Brand Innovators
Ted evangelized the expression, return on relationships (ROR). He knows the value of emotional intelligence factors, including listening and empathy for facilitating leadership skills.
Reflect how your emotional intelligence skills benefit negotiating with influencers.
Empathy also helps at the negotiating table. Good negotiators do their homework by finding out as much as possible about the needs and wants of those on the opposite side of the table. When your team members look at the negotiating process from the adversary’s view of the world, it helps them position your solution as a best fit, and sets them up for growing a long-term relationship once the contract is won.
Take-away & Insights: By listening, tuning into influencers’ perspectives, and reflecting on your empathy insights -you’ll focus on needs and wants for influencers. Gradually, you’ll begin to see situations through their eyes.
5. Humanize Influencer Marketing and Skyrocket Your Relations
About Brian Carroll = founder of the B2B Lead Blog, a researcher and lecturer on marketing best practices, and a leader in empathy marketing
Although Brian Carroll’s advice below focuses on relations with customers, it’s priceless when applied to influencers as well.
Switch ‘customer’ with ‘influencer’ while reflecting on his wisdom.
What if you put your full attention on one customer, one potential at a time? Could you do a better job connecting and a building a relationship?All marketing is about one word: relationships. It’s not about technology; it’s about people.
This is from a terrific book, The Passion Conversation:
We form relationships in two ways. The first way is through dialogue, a virtuous circle of interacting through listening and responding that causes more interaction, listening, and responding. Relationships grow through conversation. The second way we form relationships is through a process called reciprocal altruism. That’s a fancy term to explain where people freely give to others with nothing expected in return.
Source and resource article on humanizing marketing and building relationships
Take-away & Insights: If you want to improve your relationship marketing results -facilitate understanding relationships. Then, grow your conversation skills. Develop a habit of generously giving value.People notice your generosity. You could be rewarded by perceptive influencers.:)
Ways to Standout as an Active Participant in an Influencers’ community
6. Let an Influencer Know You Care and are Worthy of Their Attention
About Carol Tice = award-winning freelance writer and owner of Make a Living Writing
Carol is passionate about helping others. She freely blogs about what connection attempts do and don’t impress her and other influential editors.
I end up sharing posts by people I’ve gotten to know, at least a little. I have a sense that the quality of what they write is good, and that even if I don’t have time to fully read the post right now, I can trust that my folks will find their post useful. These are people I follow myself, or they’ve commented on my blog, or been part of my Link Parties. I’ve seen them sharing and commenting on my Twitter or Facebook posts, or we’ve talked in a LinkedIn group. I have some context for that person and a sense that they at least know what I do, if not me. And when I go to their post, it’s something fascinating, fresh, and relevant to my audience. I share that every time.
Take-away & insights: BEFORE reaching out for favors / requests/ pitches, show influencers you’re interested in them and their work using Carol’s suggested examples. Think of ways you could demonstrate you’re part of an influencers’ community.
7. Vary Type, Frequency and Timing for Offering Value
About Brian Dean = SEO expert, entrepreneur and founder of Backlinko
Brian Dean and Jon Morrow combine their proven value ideas on SmartBlogger. I’ve witnessed these strategies recommended and used for strengthening new relationships with influencers.
- Share and their content- Overtime they’ll notice, especially if you add their Twitter handle.
- Respond to questions on social media and leave Facebook comments.
- Comment on their blog -Leave insightful comments that add genuine value to a conversation. Write something that’s complimentary, and adds a new angle or perspective on the blogger’s post.
- Send a complimentary email.
- Reply to their email newsletter complementing their content or blog.
- Point out broken links.
- Offer to improve a resource or page on their site.
Source and resource guide post
Take-away & Insights: Choose several of these techniques to carry out.
***Be considerate with frequency for providing value so you don’t annoy influencers despite your best intentions. If you tell influencers what you’ve done -let them know you don’t expect anything in return -not even a reply or followup, i.e. sign off ‘reply not expected’.
Ideas for Offering Irresistible Value
8. Various Specific Ways of Offering Value
About Dave Schneider = CEO of Ninja Outreach, specializing in blogger outreach and influencer marketing
Because you’re asking for an influencers’ time, effort and access to their audience, they’ll ignore premature requests. Offers received too soon, too often or when lacking value in a relationship get ignored. Relationship exchanges seem one-sided.
Dave provides specific examples of value he appreciates and provides to other influencers.
- Free product.
- A book.
- Affiliate program.
- An introduction.
- Trade a skill (i.e. video production, editing, graphic design work, etc).
- Provide a webinar for their audience.
Source and resource for creative ways to provide value
Take-away & Insights: The better you research and get to know an influencer, you’ll discover their irresistible value (IV). IV combines their TOP reinforcers (i.e. value that results in increased sales or influence, or genuine value that makes them feel amazing), plus HOW they appreciate communicating and receiving value. *Keep in mind rewards from offering high value come as relationships strengthen.
9. Mention Influencers’ Content that’s Relevant for Your Audience and Link from Your Blog or Guest Post
About Ana Hoffman = owner of Traffic Generation Cafe
Ana lets readers know exactly how to impress her as an influencer. She even mentions ways she reinforces value.
Referencing another blogger’s content in your blog posts is the simplest, yet one of the most powerful things you can do to get their attention. I am a complete sucker for blog mentions, I must admit – I always visit blogs that honor me with a shout, ‘mingle’ with the blogger and other commentators, share the posts on social media, and include them in my Weekly Marketing Skinnies.
Side note: Always remember to let bloggers know you mentioned them in your post – don’t ever rely on wordpress pingbacks, or worse yet, hope they’ll just happen to somehow find out about your post. Send them an email or tag them on social media platform of their (not your) choice.
Take-Away & Insights: Influencers who are closer to your influence level, may appreciate and reward your value more than other influencers. Research to discover what the influencers you’d like to connect with value.
10. Boost Your Benefits by Expressing Gratitude in Memorable Ways
About Selena Soo = business & publicity strategist, owner of S2Groupe
Selena has achieved wild success for herself and her clients connecting with influencers, reporters and her network community. When people go out of their way to help you -show genuine appreciation.
Gratitude not only strengthens your relationship, but also entices people to reward you in the future.
Selena shares 5 ways to express gratitude:
- Compose a thoughtful email.
- Mail a handwritten card or note.
- Take them out for a nice lunch or dinner.
- Thank them publicly on social media, a blog or newsletter.
- Send a gift.
Take-away & Insights: Even though your time and effort spent expressing gratitude can equal other value offers -gratitude rewards often accelerate from high appreciation.
11. Your Empathy Gift Helps You Shine Among Competitors
About Tom Southern =owner of Traffic Smart Marketing
Tom’s empathy for relating to challenges experienced by bloggers stands out in the crowded blogosphere. His empathy talents shine through his writing and heartfelt advice.
Have Real Conversations
Influential bloggers, like all of us, like to be recognized for who we are. Let’s face it – a lot of them have earned it.
But, they’re human too.
They have lives beyond their blogs. Often they talk about their lives on their blog, or on social media. This is how I discovered Chris Garrett likes Pink Floyd.
Most people stick to trying to engage influential bloggers just stick to topic-related things like: “Great post!”
Asking an influential blogger about their latest cruise holiday, or their family’s trip to Disney World, or their fondness for Eighties one-hit-wonders will get you noticed. Not just because it will be a refreshing change, but because it shows that you’re not just out for blatant self-interested gains. It shows you’re interested in them as people. It shows you’re human too.
Source for steps for connecting with influencers in ways that consider their perspective
Take-away & Insights: Choose mentors and coaches to guide connections with influencers, wisely. You’ll copy elements of their style –impacting how you relate and appear to others.
How to Communicate to Strengthen Mutually Beneficial Relationships
*NOTE: There are 2 ways to deepen relationships with influencers.
One, is through conversation dialogues (interviews, in-person at an event, somewhat through Skype or phone calls, slightly via online group chats)
The other is through generously providing value without expecting any returns.
Learn the art of communicating rewards so mutual value is perceived.
12. Six Communication Skills Add Power to Relationships
About Leo Gua = coach, researcher and owner of Actualized.org
When you communicate well -people take you, plus your intentions, ideas and requests seriously.
Hence, you’d benefit from communicating with influencers using Leo’s 6 communication skills.
- Assertive - Clearly communicate your intentions and requests.
- Authentic - Communicate as your true, inner self.
- Open-mindedness - You're willing to consider other ideas, and you limit judging others’ perspective.
- Concise / clarity - Consider what the other person hears and perceives from your communication.
- Empathy - Tune into others point of view so you’ll relate to their emotions, thoughts, language and beliefs.
- Listening - Hear others for their words, meaning and point of view.
Source and video link for descriptions of tips
Take-away & Insights: As you improve with these 6 communication skills -you’ll add and benefit more from your relationships.
13. Networking with Influencers is Beneficial when You Converse and Listen Well
About Celeste Headlee = an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, public speaker, author
Celeste’s viral Ted Talk on Ten Ways to Have Better Conversations proves it’s a hot topic.
Celeste shares ingredients for great conversations: Honesty, brevity, clarity, presence and a healthy amount of listening. She recommends several conversation rules including: Go talk to people and listen. And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.
Source and video resource for conversation rules
Take-away & Insights: Balancing listening with speaking makes you a better conversation partner. Aim for coherent, confident conversations with influencers.
14. Spread Your Ideas in Front of an Influencers’ Audience and Conquer your Public Speaking Fears
About Susan Harrow - A media coach, publicity expert and owner of PR Secrets.
Reporters can also be influencers who’ll give you access to share ideas with new audiences.Ever wonder how PR and media pros frequently get free exposure for their own business?
They keep in touch with reporters and continuously offer high or extreme value. They refer clients who have fascinating story angles that wow audiences.
Susan shares tips for having fun and downplaying fear while speaking to a television or radio audience.
- Role-play in real life situations.
- Receive feedback about your speaking and then practice.
- Plan and prepare to prevent mistakes from logistics.
- Try calming strategies. Breathe slow and low from your diaphragm.
- Focus on speaking for your audience or purpose.
Source and more info
Take-away and Insights: If trying Susan’s tips don’t help -consider contacting a coach or therapist to help overcome your public speaking fear. Feeding public speaking anxiety increases it.
15. Communicate in Ways Influencers want to Listen to
About Julian Treasure = founder & chair of the Sound Agency, an international speaker and author
Ever feel people tune you out at networking or social events or even in Facebook groups?
Think about whether you were using one or more of the 7 ‘deadly sins’ of conversation that Julian shared in his viral Ted Talk.
Now imagine the impression an influencer who leads that Facebook group or heard you during a networking event or podcast interview has of you.
Source and info for ways to enhance speech and communication
Take away & Insights: Write down Julian’s 7 ‘conversation sins’ as cues to avoid or catch yourself using when conversing or chatting in public.Would an influencer want to feature your content in front of their audience if you have a habit of negative communication?
Get Rid of Mistakes that Cause Painful Rejections or Time-robbing Failures
16. Caution: False Knowledge that Burns Influencer Relations
About Ramit Sethi - Author, business coach and founder of I will Teach You to be Rich
As you improve your understanding of networking and value from the perspective of influencers -you’ll prevent forming negative impressions or harming your relationships.
Ramit Sethi doesn’t hold back when sharing advice, opinions, wisdom or demonstrating strategies. He shares social faux pax for networking steps and mindsets with very important people (VIPs), like himself.
Building a network is not about sending a fake email to someone, pretending to be interested in them, then asking for a job. Building real relationships is about investing in them first, figuring out what they want and love, and then helping them get it — NOT instantly expecting a magical job offer. In fact, most of the “networking” you do will simply be helping people and getting nothing back in return. When you change your mentality about networking, understanding that it’s about adding value instead of extracting it, you will see massive changes in your life.
Source and resources for the ‘briefcase’ impression and ‘close the loop’ follow-up techniques
Take-away & Insights: Prevent harming relations with VIPs by writing down social mishaps to remember, avoid and trade with peers. Store in a notepad or file.
17. Costly Guest-Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
About Josh Steimle = author, founder & CEO of MWI
Josh is a content marketing influencer and previous Forbes contributor who guides entrepreneurs and marketers with becoming influencers. He shares several coaching tips for avoiding guest-blogging mistakes.
- Pitch without proof of your best blogging work.
- Pitch the wrong publication, editor or person.
- Overuse spelling or grammar errors.
- Request their conversation time
- Offer little or undesired value.
Source and resource with elaborated tips for guest-blogging mistakes and effective tactics.
Take-away & Insights: Read and re-read guidelines before submitting guest-blogging pitches. Research to see if the site owner or editor has shared their expectations anywhere else online or in an interview.
Relationship Marketing Strategies for Getting Requests Accepted
18. 10 Ways to Entice Influencers to Read and Agree to your Email Pitches
About Ryan Robinson = lead content marketer for CreativeLive and owner of Ryrob.com
As an influencer who receives email pitches, and someone who sends hundreds of pitches, Ryan Robinson proves his tips work.
Each email pitch tip helps you mirror how influencers’ communicate, and consider what impresses them.
- Research influencers -Let them know why you chose them.
- Perfect the subject line -Grab their attention by describing an opportunity for THEM.
- Establish relevance -Get right to your purpose right away.
- Identify and build a connection -Let them know how you’re connected or why you’re a fan.
- Entice them to like you -People prefer others who communicate like they do, and in ways that favor them.
- Inspire reciprocity -Offer value they’d appreciate first.
- Convey your authority -Mention why you and your intention are important.
- Use an appropriate voice and tone -Pay attention to and mimic their communication style.
- Include a very specific ask.
- Show your appreciation -Avoid indicating you expect follow-up as it takes up their time. Express thanks after receiving any favours.
Source and resource for expanded tips.
Take-Away: Follow a Formula and NEVER a Template for Getting Email Pitches Read and Replied to. Templates are perceived as boring, impersonal and lacking effort. Perceptions impact your impressions.
19. Make Requests Appealing for Influencers
About The story of cofounders, Brian Halligan and Darmesh Shah
Influencers are more willing to help out the easier you make your request.HubSpot’s influencer marketing guide for content marketers, includes examples for simplifying expectations for pitch requests.
If you want influencers to contribute content to your blog, make sure you give a good background on who the audience is, what topics will resonate best, and the tone of voice your audience have come to expect from your blog.
Similarly, if you want them to add credibility or insights to your content by adding commentary or quotes, give them exclusive access to it before you launch it to the public. And if you want them to share your content, you need to provide them with the right messaging, imagery, and a reason why they should share your content. Unfortunately, there is rarely such thing as a free lunch so you need to communicate the value they’ll receive by implementing your request.
Source and guide resource
Take-away: Providing all information reduces decision making and effort. You’ll increase success for your requests the simpler they are to read and carryout. Mention what you’ll take care of.
Most noteworthy -indicate how helping out benefits an influencer.
20. Interview like a Pro whose Interview Opportunities Benefit Influencers
About Tim Denning = a thought leader in the personal development, entrepreneur and startup fields. He’s an author on Addicted2Success.com
Tim describes how the founder of Addicted2Success, and his mentor, Joel Brown taught him the art of contacting influential people for interviews.
Notice differences for planning interviews that yield higher relationship returns.
- When first contacting someone, try for a warm introduction. Next attempt contact via their personal assistant. Finally, try a LinkedIn or email pitch.
- Let the influencer know WHY you do what you do.
- Research so you already know their story and what they’ve previously shared in interviews.
- Send interview questions in advance.
- Plans questions in sets. Aim for longer replies. Allow room for spontaneity.
- Try to get one ‘lightbulb’ moment to later highlight.
Source and expanded interview plan
Take-away: Copy Tim. Find a mentor to learn the art of interviewing.Interviewing is a skill for offering high value and receiving endless relationship rewards.
As a bonus you can feature insights from interviews in blogs and guest-posts.
21. Plan How You’ll Amaze an Influencer’s Audience so Your Pitch Gets Accepted
About Chris Anderson = curator of TED, international speaker, author
Because public speakers strive to impact their audience in positive, memorable ways –you can learn tremendously from what’s effective for public speakers.In one of his Ted Talks, Chris shares authority advice for a knockout speech.
Although there’s NO formula or single best approach, it’s helpful to consider Chris’ 4 points when creating your content:
- Focus on one major idea -keep it consistent throughout.
- Give people a reason to care.
- Build your idea with familiar concepts or metaphors -especially important for abstract or unfamiliar concepts.
- Make your idea worth sharing -not only to benefit your personal goal.
Source and Ted Talk presentation
Take-away & Insights: As you follow Chris’ techniques -aim to create content that readers or an audience would love.Guess what impresses an influencer?In your pitch, briefly mention plans to get feedback by reading your content out loud to people.If feedback isn’t possible, link to a sample where your previous content connected with readers or listeners.
Rewards Amplify for Raising the Impression Bar Leaving Competitors Behind
22. Show an Influencer You’re a Fan of their Work
About Bushra Azhar = a persuasion strategist, owner of The Persuasion Revolution
Bushra graduated as one of Ramit Sethi’s top successful students. She analyzes how Ramit masters psychology persuasion tactics throughout his online business.
- Place testimonials where they support sales points on a website or sales letter.
- Highlight key psychology facts for sales success.
- Share your prior, unsophisticated self to show you relates to your audience.
- Uses different bios for different results.
Source and video resource delving into Ramit’s success at persuading buyers
Take-away & Insights: Create blog, video or artistic content highlighting a key aspect of an influencer’s work. You’ll introduce your audience to their work, and let the influencer know they’ve impacted your business.
23. Multiply Your Benefits: Become One of an Influencers’ Top Students
About Carol Tice = award winning freelance writer and owner of Make a Living Writing
Carol still recommends her advice for people growing their audience. Carol not only impressed an influencer instructor by becoming a top student. She also caught the attention of a rising influencer for a writing contest invitation.
Take an influencers’ class. Not the kind that runs on autopilot, but the type where the teacher is directly involved with students.
If you are a highly engaged participant, it will give you a chance to interact directly with your target influencer. And it’ll be worth every dime. In my case, I was a super-engaged member of A-List, leaving literally hundreds of comments and questions on their forums. This brought me to the attention of one of A-List’s other leaders, Mary Jaksch.
Source and expanded resource
Take-away & Insights: Become a top student that influencers love promoting and recommending. Offer to provide a testimonial, highlighting screenshot proof of results. Unlike school -online instructors don’t cap how many students they reward.Who else could you impress as a top student?
24. Include Influencers in a Roundup Post on a Popular Website
About Tor Refsland = owner of Time Management Chef blog
Before Tor began epic round-up posts, he connected with influencers via social media, courses, a mastermind group and online networking. Tor utilizes his strengths for quickly thanking, following-up, taking action, and concisely communicating with influencers.
Thank people who say they have shared posts, respond to every single comment on your roundup post, and reply to your social shares.
Because you are standing out by showing appreciation and thanking every single one. It’s also important to connect with people (including the influencers). My roundup post would not have been so successful if I hadn’t reached out to the influencers in advance.
Source and resource guide on promoting and connecting influencers via epic roundup posts
Take-away & Insights: Keep in touch with and giving value for 10 or more influencers in your niche to network online with. You never know when opportunity knocks to feature them in a roundup post, for an incredibly relevant topic, on a high profile site.
25. Become a Super-Connector Star like James Altucher
About James Altucher = famous for his writing, owner of his JamerAltucher.com blog
Long before James became an influencer, he mastered connections. It doesn’t matter whether James grows his influence or savours joy from his good deeds.
2 super-connector ideas from James
- Introduce two influencers - indicate an idea in mind for their connection.
- Host a physical or online event -arrange for an influencer to meet people interested in them and their work, or for multiple influencers to meet.
Source and idea elaboration
Take-away & Insights: Connecting influencers grows their influence. Even simple introductions with a purpose that makes sense for their connection can be valuable.
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