While pitch emails are useful, there are many other ways to begin building relationships with influencers. In fact, you might even find they’re more effective than a traditional cold pitch.
- Request a LinkedIn introduction. After identifying your list of target influencers, do a quick search on LinkedIn to see if you have any mutual connections who would be willing to make an introduction, thus transforming you from a complete stranger to a member of an extended network. This is an extremely powerful distinction that greatly increases your odds of being heard.
- Find and participate in the same conversations. If you don’t have an existing connection to an influencer (and even if you do), you can build your own connection by finding, joining and – most importantly – adding value to the discussions they’re already having. Is one of your targets joining a Twitter chat about your industry? Speaking at a nearby event? Hosting an online webinar? Active in a certain LinkedIn group? These are all great ways to connect with your influencers where they already are, rather than try to bring them to you.
- Find points of mutual interest. You probably care about many of the same things as your target influencers, both personally and professionally. Do a little research to find these mutual points of interest (follow anyone on Twitter for a week and you’ll get a good sense of what they care about), and work them into your conversations when the opportunity arises. This is a delicate art, because you must be genuine – don’t force it or pretend to be interested in something you’re not, or you’ll just come across as fake and self-serving.
What do all these tips have in common? They all require you to invest the time in building a relationship. It’s much easier to send 100 cold pitch emails than it is to build real connections with 10 influencers, but if you’re patient and diligent, you’ll find that the latter is much more rewarding, both for your business and, in the long run, for your career.
What alternatives to pitch emails have you tried in your organization? How have they worked?