[Brace yourself!] Shocking statement loading in...
I grew my business Basically without promoting my products or business at all.
What??? Grow without promoting! Grow without promoting, really?
I know, that sounds impossible, but I did it, almost by accident in fact.
Rather than promoting my products or business opportunity myself, I simply asked others to promote my products for me.
More specifically, I asked leaders who already had large followings of loyal fans to try my product, and share their enthusiasm for it with their audience.
And not just any followers, but people who were the most likely to be interested in my product.
I have since learned this strategy is called “Influencer Marketing”.
Influential leaders promote your products for you!
Influencer Marketing: Influential leaders promote your products for you!
It sounds too good to be true, but unless you are a ridiculously good salesman (which I am not) this is the best method for growing your business when you are just getting started.
This is especially true if you are an introvert, busy, or you're looking to build your business from home.
And, there are essentially 6 steps to crushing Influencer Marketing, which I'll dive into now.
1. Know Your Avatar
Okay, what in the world is an avatar?
No, this is not an avatar!
Alright, maybe it's an avatar to James Cameron, but for business purposes, this is not an avatar.
So what, or rather who, is an avatar?
An avatar is your ideal, raving, life-long customer who is going to order from you again and again.
This is the opposite of the whole "everyone is your prospect" philosophy. Rather than going broad, you zero-in on one person, your ideal customer.
Who are they, and what do they need help with?
Your avatar is probably someone a lot like you!
Since you love your product, other people who are similar to you are also likely to love your product!
Think of it like being able to find all the people in your town who would love to buy your product, rounding them up, and putting them in one place.
On top of that, these are the people who are most likely to fall in love with your product, and buy again and again!
And, for influencer marketing purposes, you can identify the blogs/influencers that the people who are MOST LIKELY to buy your products follow.
If you want some help figuring out your avatar, just click below to download your Customer Avatar Worksheet.
2. Identify The Influencers Your Avatar Trusts
Who do your ideal customers know, like, and trust?
Start with yourself!
What blogs do you follow, what social media personalities do you trust, what books do you read?
From here, you're going to have to do a little...
- Market Research -
Look up your current customers and/or team members on Facebook or Instagram.
What can you learn about their likes, who they follow, and what else they are interested in?
From here, you want to identify TRENDS.
What interests or influencers do they have in common?
Once you've identified some trends, you can go and look for influencers that cater to those areas.
Note: If you don't have any customers yet, that's totally fine! Just think about who you DO know that would be your ideal customer, and
stalk research them!
For more help with researching your audience, check out this post.
Influencer Marketing Secret #1
Don't necessarily look for the most obviously related topics to your products.
For example, if you were selling hair accessories, you might think someone in the fashion world might be the best influencer to reach out to, but this might not be the case!
My avatar is a busy homeschooling mom, who doesn't have the time to follow the influencers who teach how to do elaborate, fancy hairstyles.
They just want a quick way to do their hair in the morning, and yet still look pretty and put together.
My avatar would be hanging out on mom blogs, or homeschooling blogs, and other weird, unrelated niches that I found...such as cat blogs.
So you might want to start with the obvious, but don't stay there. Really do your market research, and think of it like a game, because this can actually be a ton of fun!
By doing your research, you can find some very interesting, and unexpected, threads that tie your customers together.
3. Research & Evaluate the Influencers
Once you've identified some influencers your avatar follows, you now need to evaluate them to see if they would be effective influencers to work with.
For example, as a general rule, you wouldn't want to work with anyone who is too small, because it can be difficult to get any sales if they just don't have the audience size.
On the other hand, you also don't necessarily want an influencer with a gigantic audience either.
This is because there is a law of diminishing returns where, at a certain point, the influencer doesn't have the same connection with their audience as a smaller influencer would.
So you want to look for that sweet spot, or "Goldilocks Zone." For a blog this is usually between about 60,000 and 600,000 page views per month.
Look for a blog with between 60,000 and 600,000 page views to collaborate with.
Now, that's just a rule of thumb that worked for me, but that might not necessarily be the case for you.
There are no hard and fast rules here, so you really have to do your research, and experiment as well.
So how do you get the stats to begin to evaluate the potential influencers you'd like to collaborate with?
Some influencers will have a media kit on their website where you can see their stats at a glance.
Or, you might have to send them an email and ask for it.
However, the influencer's stats are just a starting point.
"Monthly page views" is the statistic most everyone starts with to assess a particular web site or blog, but there are other stats that will help you refine your evaluation and hone in on the influencers who will offer the most potential for your particular effort.
Unique page views, social media followers, and demographics, are some of the other metrics that lead to what is a much bigger factor than "Monthly Page Views."
A much bigger key to a particular influencer's potential is ENGAGEMENT.
Engagement trumps numbers.
So you can get away with going with an influencer with a smaller audience if they have a really engaged and loyal following.
4. Connect with those who make the cut
In years past, it was really easy to send an email to an influencer and get a response...
But today, everything has grown so much that a lot of influencers are flooded with so many inquiries that they may not even respond back.
Influencer Marketing Secret #2
The secret to getting an influencer to respond back to your inquiry is to build a relationship with them first.
The secret to getting an influencer to respond back to your inquiry is to build a relationship with them first.
That might sound kinda scary, and difficult at first, but it really isn't.
Here are some ideas you try for establishing that relationship:
This way, they get to know your name, and you're a little bit more familiar to them, so when you do contact them, you're not really starting a conversation from scratch.
You already have that connection, and you're much more likely to get a response.
5. Collaborate with the influencers to open the door to your avatar
There are many different ways to collaborate with influencers, such as interviews, or creating content for each other's platforms, and the list goes on and on.
However, one of the best ways (and the way I got started) is doing a "Review & Giveaway".
The way this works is... you send the influencer one or two of your products, ideally from your company's flagship/most popular product line.
- 1You send the influencer one or two of your products, ideally from your company's flagship/most popular product line.
- 2Have them try it out, but make sure you give them clear instructions on how to use your product if it isn't obvious.
- 3If your company has a great product, and you've picked the right niche, then the influencer should fall in love with it. You really want the influencer to love it, as this will make them gush about it to their audience!
- 4From there, the influencer would set up a Review & Giveaway for you on their blog, and it's just what it sounds like.
- 5They review the product, gushing about how much they love it, and how their audience should definitely give it a try.
In the post, the influencer also mentions that you're giving away a number of units of your product for free, and the influencer's readers can enter to win.
Having a giveaway tied to the review is going to make people pay much more attention, since everyone wants to win something, whereas not everyone is interested in a product review.
Now when you run the giveaway, you'll give entrants the ability to increase their total number of entries by doing things such as:
Whatever you'd like your potential customers to do, you can have them do in order to get extra entries.
Of course, the most important thing you want is a way to build a relationship with entrants, even after the giveaway is over.
So no matter what you do...
Influencer Marketing Secret #3
Always, always, ALWAYS capture the contact information of those who enter your giveaways.
And here, "contact information" means email at the very least.
This is essential to get WAY more value out of your giveaways, because you are able to follow up with those who enter to generate sales long after the giveaway ends.
The #2 thing you'd like to have entrants do, is join your VIP Facebook group (if you have one), since this allows you to build a relationship as well.
But #1, by a long shot, is getting their email address.
Now, when we run giveaways, we ALWAYS get the email address of those who enter, and this allows us to stay in the forefront of their minds.
This is key because people generally aren't ready to buy your product the first time they hear about it, even if it's being endorsed by someone they know, like, and trust, like the blogger.
Being on your email list allows them to get to know you better, hear more about your product, and not just forget about you after the giveaway ends.
The fortune is in the follow-up!
The easiest method we have found so far for capturing email addresses is using Google Forms to collect the entries.
6. Become one Your Avatar Trusts
The last step is to BECOME the one your avatar knows, likes, and trusts.
Before this step, you've just been borrowing the influence of others, but what's even better, is if YOU become the influencer. You become the person your avatar knows, likes, and trusts.
This way, when you recommend something, they will want to buy.
And the easiest way to become an influencer is to provide value by teaching.
The easiest way to become an influencer is to provide value by teaching.
What do you teach?
You teach tips and strategies to help your avatar overcome their biggest problems and pain points.
Again, going back to my avatar who is a busy mom who doesn't have a lot of time to spend on their hair in the morning, I started providing quick and easy hairstyling tutorials, using my company's product.
It doesn't have to be fancy or professionally done, in fact, the more you just be yourself and seem like a REAL person, the better!
From there, you just have to deliver this valuable content to your audience, and the easiest way to do that is simply by emailing it to the list of people you now have from your giveaways, and sharing it to your Facebook page or group.
The Value You Provide Doesn't Have To Be Directly Related To Your Product.
For example, I have a team member who gives advice on cleaning your house, and how to keep it organized.
She started a YouTube channel and just began posting videos, and built a following through that.
She is providing value to her avatar, even though it's not exactly related to her product. However, when she does recommend the product, her viewers are primed to listen to her, because she has been helping them solve their problems.
Influencer Marketing Secret #4
Another great way to help establish yourself as an influencer is to build a relationship with your customers by "friending" them on Facebook.
Now, I don't "friend" ALL of my customers on Facebook. I only "friend" those whom I would actually like to be friends with in real life.
People I have things in common with, and people whom I would naturally like engaging with, on or offline.
This can help you build up a relationship, and people like to buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Even if they never buy from me again, I've gained a friend in the process!
Build relationships with your customers by "friending" them on Facebook, and adding them to a "list".
But don't do this if you are JUST trying to squeeze more cash out of them. Not only is it crass and repugnant, but people can spot those intentions a mile away...which is not good for your business.
A second big benefit is that once they are "friends," Facebook will notify your customers when you post to your profile, or in your VIP Facebook group, so they don't miss anything you post.
Then, as you friend your customers on Facebook, you can put your friends into "Lists". You can put all of your customers into a "customer list" and this will ensure that they don't get lost in the endless Facebook newsfeed.
When you want to engage with your customers, all you have to do is go to the left sidebar, click on your customer list, and presto! Your Facebook newsfeed ONLY shows posts by your customers.
And boom, boom, boom! You can go through and engage with them and comment or react to their posts.
Ready for the gentle and quiet path to cRUSHING IT in your business?
As you have read, Influencer Marketing is truly THE BEST way to get started building your network marketing business online if you are busy, introverted, or just don't want to leave home to build your business.
Now, this strategy is still going to take quite a bit of work and time, and there is no guarantee that you will get results right away.
However, if you commit to it, you really can build an amazing business that brings in residual income every month.
You can build a huge team, and a massive list of die-hard customers who buy from you again and again for years.
And you can do it all without leaving home, hustling to vender events, home parties, bugging friends and family, or trying to be someone you're not.
All you need for this strategy to work is to be yourself, care about others, and be resourceful.
If you're ready to begin, then grab my free guide and learn my full strategy so you get started with influencer marketing today.
Free Online Marketing Quickstart Guide
Discover how to get hundreds of leads for your network marketing business, increase sales and grow your team online without social media, Facebook parties, messaging strangers, or bugging friends and family.
This will be especially beneficial if you never want to do another vendor show or home party ever again!
I hope you found this post on how I, a Busy Homeschooling Mom Built a Huge Direct Sales Team using ONLY the Internet, helpful! If I can do it, so can you!
Please feel free to share if you got value, and let me know in the comments below...
What questions do you have about Influencer Marketing?
Hi, I'm Paula Ramm
I’m a homeschooling mom of 7, living in the sunny state of Florida. I’ve been in direct sales for over 7 years and managed to build a multi-million dollar revenue-generating team of over 6,000 amazing consultants.
I love to help other ladies build their own thriving businesses from home, so they can spend more time with their families and be able to focus on the truly important things in life.