You probably heard, when you were starting out to build your business, what I call the “influencer shout out strategy.” You were told to try connecting with those at the top of your industry by sharing their content, commenting on their website and emailing them.
You believe you have to be persistent and add value to get them to connect with you. Your goal, of course is to get a response, kindle a relationship and introduce them to your business with hopes they will promote it to their large audience.
This standard advice is actually a poor way to build your business that takes time from better strategies. Here’s why.
1. Too many people are trying to chase them with you. If you’re trying to connect with an influencer just to promote your business, they’ll see right through it. Influencers are smart entrepreneurs who can smell fake motives a mile away.
Beside yourself, there are countless people trying to connect with them just like you. Chris Gillebeau, the New York Times Best-selling author, told me in an interview that he receives 200 to 300 emails everyday. Chances are a good that many are from people trying to connect with him to promote themselves.
Your attempts to connect with an influencer will get lost in the crowd, and chances are it won’t even be seen because they have protocols in place to keep the multitudes at bay. Persistence will only help you to come off as a stalker.
2. You likely won’t get the result you’re looking for. Influencers are busy entrepreneurs. If you get a response it probably will be tailored to politely not open room for another conversation. If you’re dream is to get that mention on their podcast, or that tweet promoting your business, it probably won’t happen.
3. It’s taking away your time and focus from what’s important. The best use of your time is spent getting new business by growing your email list, social media following and website traffic. Instead of writing email-after-unanswered email to influencers, create content, products and services that wow existing and new customers.
Related: Influence the Influencers
4. Influencers are not the key to your success. What makes you successful is serving your customers and solving their biggest problems.Getting a shout out from someone at the top of your industry isn’t what makes you successful.
Your customers will talke about your business when you take care of them. What they say might get your heroes to notice you but your success doesn't depend on anyone except your customers.
5. You can become an influencer yourself. We live in a pretty amazing time when the old-school gatekeepers can't keep us from doing what we want to do in our business. That is what self-publishing has done for authors.
There are many ways to become an influencer yourself:
- Build a huge social media following.
- Write for an authority website like Entrepreneur, among many others.
- Interview on radio shows, TV shows, and podcasts.
- Serve an industry so well that you become the go-to person in it.
These are a better use of your time. Chasing influencers may have worked in the past, but it’s a played out strategy.
Smart entrepreneurs always focus on innovating. They strive to be “square pegs in the round holes” as Steve Jobs said. What makes you stand out from everyone else that’s doing the same thing is being unique to yourself. Let chasing influencers be someone else’s strategy. Build your business differently.