How To Do Influencer Marketing for Free

One of the quickest ways to visibility is when an influencer promotes your content or business.

Nowadays it's called “influencer marketing” and the way it’s usually done is to pay an influencer (such as a popular Instagram star) to post about your product, service, brand, or message.

This can work if your product is proven to sell, and your budget for an Ad can be several hundred dollars (or thousands) to experiment with.

There’s another way that is free, but requires more time:

To create content that makes the influencer want to share it with their audience.

Why would they?
When you create content that paints them in a positive light!

Use your content strength.

If you are a good writer: write a quality article that features that influencer, and highlights the good work they are doing.

This is what one of my regular readers did recently.

​Not surprisingly, I promoted it:

If you have a podcast or video channel: then create a quality episode that is all about that influencer.

If you’re a good interviewer, or are willing to carefully edit an interview to help the influencer shine, then invite them to the interview.

Some examples of my own clients interviewing me:

Get the influencer’s feedback.

Before you promote it, send a draft to the influencer, to see if they want to make any changes.

If they are too busy to respond, send them another message letting them know that if you don’t hear back with any suggested changes you will promote it starting a specific date (give them 1–2 weeks.)

Promote the content.

Be sure to put that influencer’s name in the first few words of the content’s title, so that it clearly signals to the search engines that this content is about them. Where possible, also tag/mention the influencer or use a few hashtags they often use or that reference them.
Post this piece of content everywhere that you use social media. Post it more than once if possible. Show the influencer that you are proud to promote it.

If you can, put some advertising dollars to promote that piece of content, e.g. boosting it with a Facebook Ad.

Tell the influencer.

Once you’ve promoted the content, tell the influencer.

If your social media post about them has gotten some positive comments, then go ahead and just email that thread URL so they can check it out for themselves. 

Otherwise, simply post to their social media channel, e.g. Tweet to them, Post on their FB Page, and tag their name on Linkedin, giving the link to your blog post / video / podcast episode about them.

Make it an uplifting post that they might enjoy re-sharing forward with their audience.

If you haven't already, privately message them that you’ve promoted it, with the link(s) to where you did so. Don’t pressure them to re-share it, but say that you’d be honored if they did.

Become a case study.

Another way to get an influencer’s attention is to either become their client, or join their program.

Or if you cannot financially, then diligently apply their free advice.

Either way, the key is to show that their advice really works!

The influencer will likely want to promote a piece of content that demonstrates the effectiveness of their advice. It builds their credibility.

As an example, I feature my own clients on a regular basis, and some of them go the extra mile to mention how working with me has positively impacted them.

See the example below. In the interview, I was intending to only talk about Scott’s work… but then he took the initiative without my prompting to talk about how my program impacts him:

Reaching out to influencers is one of the main ways I built my audience in the beginning. Consider how you might use these strategies to grow your audience, by connecting thoughtfully and caringly with influencers in your own industry.

Find influencers with audiences larger than yours — but not too large.

Choose influencers that have a larger audience than you, but not a huge audience (because the famous people will already have too many people reaching out to them). If you have a couple hundred Facebook fans, reach out to someone with a couple thousand fans, for example.

Step by step, you can build a network of mutual benefit with people you genuinely respect!