Part of growing a membership site is getting other people to talk about you. And not just anybody, but influencers.
Yes, that’s a horrible, overused cliche of a term, but, what can you do? For the purposes of this email, I’m just going to keep using that word, and let’s both remember I’m not some internet marketer asshole, ok? Cool.
Back to influencers. Building relationships with influencers is a fantastic long term strategy to help grow your site. That can help you in two main ways:
- You can become someone they talk about, mention to their audiences, etc.
- You can get direct access to their audiences, through podcast interviews, guest posts, etc.
But first, you’ve got to find these influencers. Let’s say you run a membership site for mountain bikers, helping them improve their skills (substitute your own industry/topic as necessary). You should make a list of:
- Everyone who spoke at conferences related to mountain biking in the last three years
- Everyone who has published a book on mountain biking in the last ten years
- Everyone who hosts a podcast that comes up in iTunes on the topic of mountain biking
- Everyone who has been a guest on podcasts about mountain biking
- Everyone who writes guest articles on the topic of mountain biking
- Everyone who runs any kind of national mountain biking organization/association
- Everyone who runs a local mountain biking club
- Everyone who works in any kind of marketing/PR capacity for mountain bike & accessories manufacturers
- Everyone who runs a local bike park
From there, you can prioritize the list based on reach/audience size, and start to reach out to these people to build those relationships.
And when I say “reach out”, I don’t mean sending them an email begging for them to promote your site. No, I mean you need to do whatever you can to help them out, over and over and over.
Remember, I said this is a long term strategy. We’re not going for small fries here – you want these people to know and like you so much, they’d mention you in their Oscars speech.
You want to be to them what the word “alright” is to Matthew McConaughey:
P.S. Some of these techniques are shamelessly stolen from my friend Kai Davis, who helped me put them together for my own use in connecting with influencers. Thanks, Kai!