Who is the first person that springs to mind when I say: Industry influencer? Or thought leader?
Now imagine that person starts noticing YOU. They like what you’re about, and they start sharing your content with their gazillion followers.
The glory! The fame!
The reality is much different, but industry influencers can have a powerful impact on your visibility.
So, how do you get them to notice you?
At a conference?
Meeting an industry influencer at a conference can be like the business version of Mission Impossible.
First, you locate your target.
You assess the surroundings. Are they talking to anyone? Yes. Of course. How many people?
You wait for an opportunity to break into the conversation without sounding like a groupie.
Moments pass. You’re listening without participating. Just another face in the sea of admirers.
When will there be a gap in the conversation?! You’re sure you could add something quite mind blowing.
Then there is a pause… Your tongue is suddenly dry and fat, and the words don’t come.
You slink away until the next break.
Or if you do manage to corner them between the bathrooms and the coffee, you’re trying so hard to make an impression that you leave them feeling like they’ve been conversationally frisked.
If you’ve read any blog posts about how to get the attention of an industry influencer, they usually recommend email as the first point of contact. Yes, you can introduce yourself over email, but this is the equivalent of a cold call. Most people don’t respond well to cold introductions.
Why? Because the subtext is usually: Hi, industry influencer! Can I sell my stuff to the audience you’ve spent the last few years conscientiously building?
On their blog? Or on social media?
In the good old days, lively discussions were common in the comments of big blogs.
That’s where industry influencers could cosily chat with their fans and followers, taking the ideas in the blog content to interesting places.
For many years, this was a fantastic way to get the attention of big blog owners and build relationships that could lead to something wonderful. I mean a guest blog, endorsement or collaboration (not whatever you were thinking).
But then, thanks to the persistent work of spammers, big industry blogs started closing down their comments sections. Now they let discussions happen on various social media platforms. While it’s still possible to get industry influencers’ attention by diligently and persistently talking to them on social media, there is an easier way.
What if I told you there was a simple way to get a VIP backstage pass to some pretty massive blogs and industry influencers.… Would you be interested?
Using this technique, I’ve been chatting with Sonia Simone, Amy Harrison, Pamela Wilson, Demian Farnsworth, Jerod Morris and Sean D’Souza. I’ve been one of a small handful of people in the conversation. Now these might not be your influencers of choice, but chatting with them made my palms a bit sweaty, as I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for them as thought leaders in the marketing world (amongst a great number of others, of course!).
I’m actually having second thoughts about sharing this. I mean, it seems obvious, but not that many people are doing it.
But, of course, I will share it. Because that’s how I do things.
So what is this backstage pass I keep hinting at?
Their podcast episodes.
That’s it. Get involved with their podcast episodes.
Podcasts are HUGE right now. In fact, I’d say that podcasts are the new blogs.
Many industry influencers have had a podcast for years, but now every content marketer worth their salt is adding podcasts to the ways they reach their audience.
Even I have a podcast about copywriting! (You should check it out, by the way.)
How do get involved? Easy. Leave comments.
You might protest that podcasts live on iTunes or Stitcher and ask where can you possibly engage with the host directly? Well, every podcast also has a website, and more often than not, each podcast has open comments you can add to.
And that space hasn’t been ruined yet. It’s the green room, and you can hang out there without a gazillion other people taking up space.
It’s on podcast website pages that I’ve mingled with industry influencers. I’ve been able to smoothly carry the conversation onto social media. Then, when I’ve been at a conference with them, the introductions are a lot less awkward. We’ve swiftly moved into friendly conversation. When an opportunity comes up, I’m on their radar. I firmly believe that’s how I landed on Copyblogger.
But leaving any old comment isn’t enough.
You still have to leave a good impression with thoughtful and insightful comments. Not “Great post.”
My tips on leaving memorable comments, worthy of a response:
- Mention your favourite point from the podcast.
- Talk about changes you’re going to make as a result of listening.
- Share a similar challenge you faced and your solution.
Your goal is to take the conversion further.
Jump into Q&As
Most podcasts will host a Q&A episode somewhere along the track. That’s when the hosts call to for questions from their listeners. And that’s when you get to shine! My questions have been answered on Sonia Simone’s Confessions of a Pink Haired Marketer podcast and Jerod Morris’s The Showrunner podcast.
Those questions helped the hosts get to know me a little better and I was linked to in their shownotes and on social media. Naturally, the answers helped me nut through some challenges I was having. It’s a WIN for me on all fronts!
Name your influencer and find their podcast.
Then, be part of the conversation happening.
When you do, consistently, and you follow up on other platforms like social media, forums and in-person events, you will begin to see some results. You won’t be an industry groupie; you’ll be an industry contact.
I’d love to know if this is new to you. Or have you been doing this for a while now?
The Copy Detective