You know that you are writing great content. You are delivering the answers to questions clients and prospects have, and you are sharing great useful information about your specialist niche. So why aren’t you getting leads from it every day? Well lets face reality, 99% of your audience are not talking about you, and that’s because you haven’t yet found your online influencers who will help you spread the word.

What’s the definition of an influencer?

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines an influencer as

“A person who has a greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace.”

Which sounds very grand.

I describe an influencer as a blogger, competitor, or media organisation that is creating content of interest to your target audience.

How do you find yours?

There are a lot of tools in this space that will help you to find influencers, but most of them come with a hefty price tag that won’t suit the needs of small to medium size business. So what can you do to identify your key players?

Identifying your players

Lets take a look at some ideas that will help you to compile your list of influencers:

  1. Try and find as many industry events as you can. Research past events and also events that are coming up soon. Take note of who the keynote speakers are, or who is leading the conversations at these events. These are your priority influencers. These kind of people are used to being at centre stage and so are happy to fill this role and have a ‘flock of sheep’ following them
  2. Use Social media metrics to help you understand who has the largest influence online. Our favourite tool for this is Klout. The tool is a basic algorithm that scores each user between 1 and 100. The higher your score, the bigger your Klout or influence. The great thing about this platform is that it looks at blog influence. These are the online people you want to engage with to amplify your message online.
  3.  Use Technorati to search for top bloggers in your niche. Technorati is an Internet search engine for searching blogs using keywords. Users submit their blog to Technorati (if you haven’t already you should!) and each blog is given a popularity index, so you know who is worth engaging with.
  4. Use Google for monitoring certain keywords. We couldn’t leave the giant out we still recommend you set up an RSS feed and monitor keywords about your industry (and of course your brand and company name)
  5. …And the G word again for all you Google+ lovers, this time its Google Ripples – with your influencer list you have started check out the ripples and follow the flow – you’ll gain more insight into the audiences of your influencer, and you might find more

So there we go, some ideas about how to create your list of influencers without spending a penny.

Your Takeaway

  1. Give yourself a challenge to find 5 influencers in your industry as a starting point
  2. Use one or more the techniques above to help you.
  3. Connect with these influencers online and amplify the messages they are sending out

That’s it for now as you need to spend a bit of time sharing and engaging on what they are doing before they will help you out. We’ll write another article soon on how you can get these influencers onside to help get those online leads you’re waiting for.