The funny thing about entrepreneurship is that there are no IQ tests or certifications required to add that title to your LinkedIn profile. So as it turns out, a bunch of us are doing some boneheaded things in the name of entrepreneurs everywhere. At the top of the list is pissing-off influential bloggers with insulting self-promotional request.
At the same time, one of the best things about being an entrepreneur in today’s era is the vast amount of helpful tips, strategies, and pitfalls available to learn from. Entrepreneurs are quite helpful when it comes to blogging about their experience to help other entrepreneurs through their journey.
That is why I want to help you through your journey today by helping you not make one of these 5 boneheaded mistakes as you add influencer marketing to your word-of mouth marketing strategy.
1.Not Reading the Influencers Blog
Q: What is your blog about?
The #1 boneheaded mistake entrepreneurs (as well as many Fortune 1000 corporations) make is to approach an influential blogger about a sponsorship without ever reading their blog. Ever!
This is just a plain ol’ dumb move.
According to Technorati’s 2013 digital influencer report, irrelevant pitches from brands is the #1 mistake made by brands and influencers #2 pain point.
This translates into an utter disregard of the bloggers audience and the time they have put into building that audience.
What makes you think that your new ebook about weight loss is something a blogger that writes about travel would be interested in?
The problem is that you thought you were just pitching a faceless Mom Blogger, who was one of 50 Mom Bloggers you added to a list to spam sponsorship opportunities.
Not even once did you consider reading each of the blogs before you pitched them on your weight loss ebook.
All Mom Bloggers don’t cover the same topic. Each one is unique. Surprise, Surprise.
This goes for every category of blogger. Every blogger is unique. Never assume anything.
Ideally, subscribe to the blogs email newsletter and rss feed for a few weeks and learn all about them before you pitch anything.
2. Requesting Something for Nothing
Q: Can you tweet about my product for free?
This is a neck and neck tie with the #1 boneheaded mistake. For whatever reason, entrepreneurs (as well as many Fortune 1000 corps) feel entitled.
Entitled to get free publicity about their upcoming product launch.
I know, I know. Writing a blog post reviewing your product doesn’t cost a blogger anything. Especially if you send them the content right? Sending a tweet or posting a Facebook update…forget about it.
An influential blogger should do this for you for free because you are such a great guy and it would really help you get your business off the ground.
Everyone knows that a bootstrapping entrepreneur like you is broke, and helping you out is the right thing to do for the economy right? Wrong!
Influential bloggers are entrepreneurs just like you. They need to pay the bills just like you. They were broke just like you before they became one of the top bloggers in their niche. The reason they’re not broke now is because they finally started charging what they’re worth.
Chances are an influential blogger is not going to sell themselves short by discounting their worth for anyone.
Especially if you haven’t been one of their best fans since before they became “internet famous.” Especially if you aren’t even subscribed to their email newsletter. Especially if you haven’t liked their Facebook page. Especially if you haven’t’ followed them on Twitter.
Don’t even think about getting something for nothing.
3. Being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
Q: Can you write a review of my product for half your published rate?
If an influential blogger is up for a sponsored post, doing product reviews, or hosting a contest on your behalf, they likely have a standard rate card they are comfortable with.
Their blog is their pride and joy, and it’s valued accordingly. However, for some boneheaded reason entrepreneurs (as well as many Fortune 1000 corps) feel the need to negotiate down the Bloggers rate.
Take if from me, never negotiate like it’s Don King vs. Jerry Maguire.
Most influential bloggers don’t have agents and are not in the business of negotiating. How excited and passionate do you think they will be to write a post about your product after you have negotiated away their baby’s new shoes? Not very!
When you invest in influencer marketing, you are not investing in an intangible object.
You are investing in a real human being with feelings that will either translate into passionate support for your business or a lack luster money grab.
The influencers audience can tell the difference, believe me. If you are going to do influencer marketing then you must be ready to make a commitment not to grind down every cost savings you can from the blogger. It’s. Not. Worth. It.
4. Trying to Squeeze Wine from a Raisin
Q: Can we add just one more mention for the 12th time?
We get it. You have to get the most out of your marketing budget to deliver the best return on investment possible. However, time is money. There are only so many phone calls and email response you are going to get out of an influential blogger.
Too much back and forth, constant request for changes, and your attempt to slide in additional brand mentions is going to tank your marketing campaign.
Don’t even think about it…
It’s your job to have really clear and concise terms, requirements, and contract language up front. Stick to it and don’t ask for any changes.
Influential bloggers don’t have a lot of time to deal with your indecisiveness. It’s a huge turn off. It’s a deal breaker.
If one of your email threads with a blogger goes into the double digits, STOP. You are doing something terribly wrong.
5. Thinking that You’re the Boss
Q: Can’t you just promote my product the same way this other blogger did it?
Listen up and listen good.
“You are not the boss of me or anyone else except maybe your kids.”
This is exactly the type of response you’re going to get if you try to tell an influential blogger how and what they should do to help you promote your product or service.
Nearly 1/3 of of influencers have been blogging for over 5 years, and 52% of them operate 2 to 5 blogs. They know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to promoting stuff to their audience.
Don’t assume you know more than them about marketing, your industry, or anything else. It is very likely you don’t.
As the saying goes, you have 2 ears and one mouth. Make sure you are listening more than talking when planning your promotion.
If you avoid these 5 things you have a good chance of finding success with influencer marketing.
You should also be sure to read my 21 techniques to influence the marketing influencers for a step by step guide to finding influencers and getting your brand included in that influencer’s conversation. Good luck!