Part 1: What is an influencer and where do you find them?
“It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” The adage holds true in marketing, particularly when it comes to marketing a small business. Partnering with an influencer with values in line with your brand can be highly profitable for your salon and building relationships with influencers in your niche over time will bring long-term value.
Movers and Shakers
“Influencer” is Millennial-speak for the movers-and-shakers of the digital age. Usually active on popular social media sites, an influencer has spent years building a social relationship with their followers, harnessing the power of that relationship to sway the purchasing decisions of their loyal audience. Many influencers are creators as well, crafting original content and regularly engaging with the followers in their specific niche.
Those niche sizes may vary wildly, from millions of followers to only a few thousand, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the “quality” of that influencer. An influencer who speaks directly to a market that you serve, even if it’s only a thousand people, is worth more to your business than an influencer with an audience of millions who creates general content that doesn’t resonate with your clientele.
Image: @omgbart via Instagram
Do your research!
Finding an influencer for your specific market isn’t as hard as it may sound. All it takes is a bit of time, a bit of research, and most importantly, a solid handle on your own market. Once you’re able to answer the question “What do my customers like?” you’ll have a good idea of where to start looking for influencers.
Major social media channels like YouTube and Instagram are the next places you should visit in your search for influencers. Use specific hashtags and search terms relevant to your niche, market, and customer likes to filter users. Look for influencers with hyper-relevant content and an audience eager to learn about your product or service. For example, if you’re launching a new skincare product and want to find influencers who are experts in their field, you could browse hashtags on Instagram like #esthetician or #skincareguru. Want to get super specific to your locale? Try adding a city to your hashtag, like #dallasesthetician.
Making the connection
You’ve done your market research and found the perfect influencer. Now what? It’s time to dig deeper, evaluating the influencer’s audience and engagement to ensure they’re the right fit with your business. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your prospect specific questions!
In our next article, we’ll dive into the differences between micro and macro influencers to simplify your search for the perfect influencer for your next collaboration.