Sometimes in business it’s all about the connections.  It doesn’t take a lot to impact your business when it comes to online influencers.  Their dynamic personalities translate well through online mediums and they command the respect of key players in an industry.  Even one relationship with online influencers can help business owners, as they promote and popularize products and ideas across many channels, giving valuable insight and accessibility.

 

How to Connect

 

The biggest challenge to forming relationships with online influencers is how to find the right person.  LinkedIn, as the largest online network of professionals, can be a great place to start.  Look for second and third connections through people you already know and ask for an introduction.  On Twitter you can find the users who have a verified status that confirms they are in fact an influencer with an active following.
Attending industry events can be one way to connect in the real world.  Find out who is attending a certain event and determine who would be a good contact.  Introduce yourself and start a conversation to see how you can continue to build a connection.

 

Of course there are also your real life friends and colleagues.  Ask a mutual friend to introduce you to an influencer he or she already knows.  To protect your current relationship, make sure that your friend is clearly and frankly representing you, and that the influencer knows he or she is meeting you beforehand.  This way, it’s as if you have both already been vetted and can start off with an existing link.

 

Staying Connected   

 

Once you connect with an influencer, don’t just introduce yourself.  Offer to interview the person, either to feature in a blog or newsletter, or for informational purposes to gain their expertise.  Not only will you have more than a single meeting to establish a relationship, you can be sure you will be remembered and maybe your interview read again later on.

 

If you really want to gain an advocate who can recommend you to others in his or her network, offer your services for free.  Donating your time, graphic design skills, or editing know-how not only provides something of value to the influencer, it also shows what you can do.  Then it is from personal experience that this person can attest to your abilities.
As with any professional or personal relationship, you should be sure to stay engaged with the person and reach out beyond that one link.  Read his or her blogs and follow others who are linked on those sites.  Online users who are active are compelling connections for others as well, making you seem to be somewhat of an influencer yourself.

 

Advance Funds Network has been offering small and medium sized businesses financing since 2007.  Since that time we have seen businesses grow financially and within their respective industries.  Contact us to see if we are the right service for you, and keep on connecting!