Cold calls are always difficult, even when they’re emails. You want something, and you’re contacting someone who is in a position of power and asking him to give it to you. This is not a role that anyone enjoys being in, but the most successful salespeople and marketers put that aside and master the art of initial contact.
Think about how much you want social media success (or the business success that is on the other side of social media success). What are you willing to do to achieve that.
All you need to do initially is get your foot in the door with one good, solid influential mention on social media. Then you’ll use that first big mention to get the attention of other influencers. Even among the top people on social media, everyone wants to be in with the “cool kids.
” That first mention becomes the best method of obtaining mentions from others, so invest big in your first major influencer outreach effort. From that point forward, it gets easier.
Get contact information
Certainly, if you can get someone’s phone number and you’re fairly certain she’d be receptive to a quick phone conversation, then give her a call and follow up at an appropriate time with an email. Some people are more inclined to respond on-network (a message sent on the social network they participate in), and some are more receptive to email.
Sometimes, email is better because it’s more personal and is more easily noticed. Some influencers are so popular that they don’t check their in-network messages at all—they get inundated with notifications and frequent messages from raving fans—but they almost certainly check their email.
Getting someone’s email address can be tough and time-consuming. If you find yourself spending an unreasonable amount of effort trying to get the email address of someone who has taken great pains to hide it from the public, then fall back to tweeting @ her on Twitter. Once you have a relationship with her there, you can simply ask her if you can send her an email, and she may provide it to you.
Pay for reviews
If you are trying to reach a product reviewer, be warned: some high-level reviewers may ask you for money in exchange for a review. Among journalists this is highly unethical, but bloggers and social media power users don’t always fall into the “journalism” category. In the United States, anyone who posts a product review, whether she considers herself a professional reviewer or not, must disclose the fact that she received compensation (including a free product) for it.
First, you need good unique content. A lot of social media gurus will tell you that you should try to build followers by linking to interesting stories. That will get you a small amount of success. If you want major success, though, you’ve got to be the source of interesting information, not just someone who links to it first.
Start with a pool of unpublished articles that can be customized somewhat. They should be mostly or completely written, but don’t tell anyone about that. The point of your influencer outreach email is to ask for help or input on an article you’re currently writing. You will, of course, quote or cite the influencer as a source. Quoting experts for articles is one of the best ways to get them to link to you or mention you on social media.