5 Tips to Successfully Utilize the Help of Influencers with Ara Katz, Co-Founder of Spring and Kevin Gould, Founding Partner of Beautycon Media

Are you unsure about how to use influencers to promote your brand or company? Confused about the best practices for building a genuine relationship with an influencer? In this post, we discuss the questions you should ask yourself before paying an influencer and how to grow your company’s community.

Ara Katz, Co-Founder of Spring, and Kevin Gould, Founding Partner of Beautycon Media, shared several important tips for working with influencers at Project Entrepreneur’s 2016 Summit | LA: Know Your Customer. Here are their five tips for growing your company’s customer base through the use of influencers.

1. Define your company or brand mission:

Really understand what you do and what your company purpose is before working to build a relationship with an influencer. Make sure you have clearly defined the mission of your company and then use influencers to strengthen that message. 

2. Define what influence means for your company or brand:

Katz defines an influencer as “The ability to change or evoke a behavior. To actually impact or make somebody do something.” There are many tactics that can be utilized to influence people.

Influence can be achieved via many different social media channels, so make sure you can define what it means for your particular brand. What are your company goals? How have you personally been influenced in the past? What social media channels worked for you?

3. Take the time to build authentic relationships with your influencers:

Influencers can be an incredibly important part of your business strategy and your company’s community. Gould says Beautycon spends a lot of time building relationships with their community of influencers before offering opportunities: “When we come to them with an opportunity, it’s after we’ve had coffee with them three times. We’ve had them to the office. We’ve brought them things where we didn’t even ask for anything.” When building an influencer strategy, don’t underestimate the time it can take to do it the right way.

4. Balancing your budget with your company goals:

Many large brands have started working with influencers thus driving the rates way up. For startups, this can be particularly frustrating since most don’t have the budget to pay someone to post to their Instagram account. Gould suggests being as creative as possible when balancing your budget with your influencer strategy.

Katz recommends weighing your goals with your budget. For example, decide whether spending $50k on one person posting about your company will actually be more worthwhile than hiring a new intern or employee. Oftentimes, the celebrity influencer may not yield the same successful results as a Mom on Facebook or the sorority president who has a large social media following.

5. Be realistic about whether success is replicable:

One success doesn’t mean you should do it the same way several more times. For example, just because an influencer was successful posting your product to a social media channel, doesn’t mean you should sign up for three more posts. As Katz puts it, “Anyone who says something to you, in incrementally different ways, four times, is not going to make it more interesting to you.”

You won’t always know why something did or didn’t work. Don’t immediately assume the same tactics are going to work again. Katz adds that the “Scale and size of an influencer isn’t as important as honing in on who has the most engagement.”

Ara Katz’s and Kevin Gould’s advice comes from the #PESummit workshop, “How to Use Influencers to Grow Your Customer Base.” Listen to the entire workshop on episode 18 of our podcast. For more expert inspiration, read 3 Important Questions to Ask Before you Raise Capital with Monique Woodard, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and Co-Founder of Black Founders