When you begin marketing your book it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. It makes sense that you would want an endorsement from a high-profile person in your field. It can provide a huge boost of much needed visibility for your book or product. According to content marketing platform BuzzSumo, a post shared by one influencer resulted in 31.8% more social shares, three influencers doubled the total number of shares, and five influencers quadrupled it. So while endorsements from these influencers are difficult to achieve, they are certainly worth the time and effort.
Keep in mind, influencers are probably contacted on a regular basis for endorsements, so no matter where you are in the pitching process for endorsements, I have come up with some suggestions to help you identify, approach, and pitch the appropriate influencers:
Network: Your search for endorsements will be more successful if you have already been building relationships in your field; influencers are more willing to endorse your product if they know who you are. That being said, networking is always a good idea if you want to establish yourself as a credible expert in your field.
Research: Look for high-profile people who speak directly about your topic. You’re much more likely to get an endorsement from someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about that specific topic than just blindly pitching someone who is well known, but not as well versed in your topic. Once you have identified those high-profile individuals you believe are best suited for your topic, get to know them as a person, and save that information for your pitch. It doesn’t have to be all industry-related, either. Learn about their hobbies, activities they’re involved in etc., and see if that’s something you can include to personalize your pitch. This also shows your influencer that you took the time to learn about him or her.
Prioritize your pitching: During the research phase, flag influencers who have their own book or product coming out soon. While, this doesn’t necessarily eliminate them as a prospect, it may make them a less desirable target. Instead, try and build a relationship with them for a future endorsement. Again, networking is always a good idea. A good way to start is by offering to share their product with your followers. Even if you have a smaller audience, most influencers will appreciate the offer of free exposure to an additional audience.
It’s not about you: One of the best ways to build relationships in your field is to be helpful before you seek help. Can you offer an endorsement? Perhaps you can publicize their latest project to your followers. If you’re just looking for perks for yourself you probably won’t get any takers.
Follow email etiquette: The people that you are approaching are busy, and get hundreds of emails a day. Make sure that your email is short, to the point (one paragraph max), and not a part of a mass pitch. Be complimentary, but don’t be a suck up. Explain why their endorsement matters. In your pitch focus on how the endorsement will help you reach more readers so they can experience the benefits your book or product provides.
Once you have researched and prioritized your pitching targets, how should you contact them? Consider the following options:
Live events: If you’re able to attend an event where your influencer is speaking or attending, it’s worth trying to meet them in person. The best way to do this is to follow the hashtag for the event on social media. Get involved, share that person’s content, join discussions, and let that person know you look forward to their event.
Social media: If meeting in person is not an option, you can still become acquainted on social media. Start by sharing their content, and responding to their blog posts.
Successful pitch tips: Once you have that person’s attention, you only have one shot to pitch your product. Have two copies of your book or product on hand, along with a letter asking for the endorsement, and include your business card so they have your contact information. This may sound like overkill, but tape your business card to your product or book so it won’t get lost. Have a brief pitch ready – two to three sentences, tops, because that’s all the time you’ll get. Make the most of it.
Touch base: Ask how you can check back with him or her. Look for a method for you to contact your influencer so you can be sure you get to follow through on your endorsement request.
If you research thoroughly, network, and find the appropriate high-profile individuals, seeking an endorsement could be the beginning of a great relationship. Remember to focus on what you can offer them, and finally, think of this as a long-term strategy, as a single endorsement can turn into a long-term relationship. It may seem daunting, but now you have the tools to garner a great endorsement.