Before we explain how to earn backlinks from influencers, we must stress that this SEO tactic will only work if you are publishing high-quality content people are engaging with. If not, make that your priority.
Influencers are like gold dust to an online business. Once you get an influential web celebrity or industry authority in your corner you can expect to increase your online profile, increase traffic and acquire new customers.
The first task is to identify influencers in your industry. This is important. There is no point making friends with people just because they have a large following. There has to be relevancy otherwise you will not connect with the right audience.
The best way to find influencers is through search engines and on social media. Get to know them and understand how they think before you approach. Follow their social feeds and read their blogs.
It is important to understand what type of character the influencer is, what they most love to talk about, what sense of humour they have. This type of character profiling will pay dividends later on when you come to building a rapport.
Take an active interest
Now you have learned a little about the influencers you would like to target, you can confidently make comments on their blog posts and social media feeds. Like their posts, share their content.
Never approach influencers outright asking for help. You have to take a genuine interest in their work. It's even better, of course, if you do have a genuine interest in their work.
They will gradually notice you and may even respond – even if it’s just a thank you.
The comments you leave are important. Don’t just agree with everything they say, or make non-descript comments like, “Nice post. Thanks.” Your comment should stand out.
Pick up on a point the influencer has made and expand on it. Give your point of view and show them you are an expert in the field as well. Influencers appreciate like-minded people they can share ideas and information with. Furthermore, their audience also see your comments. Drop breadcrumbs.
When you feel the time is ripe, you should make your approach. Ideally you want to try and engage them in a discussion and get them interested in your work too. Otherwise you can send a Christmas card or birthday card. But be subtle.
The most important thing to remember when approaching influencers is to be personal. For example, if you do send a card, write it out by hand and post it. If you approach them digitally such as social media, send them a link or a Meme of something you know they will appreciate.
If you send an email, compliment them on their latest post. Ideally the latest post will relate to a relevant body of work you have also published or a project you are working on. If the influencer has not already shown an interest in your work, this is your opportunity to do so.
Build a rapport
Don’t dive straight in and ask an influencer to get involved in a project.
It is important that you build a rapport first – most likely through social media. Once you have done this, ask them if they will give you an interview, or some advice for a blog piece you are writing.
If they agree to assist, they are more inclined to share your article on their website and social media networks.
Inbound links to your website still positively improve your search engine rankings and earned media is the best way to receive organic backlinks.
The process takes time, and you need to be patient, but the rewards are worth the effort.