Influencer Marketing & Publicity for Books and Authors: Don’t Get Hung up on the Numbers

This is a big one.


Quick review: I wrote a piece recently called 5 Tips to Help you Get Better Results with Influencer Marketing. You’ll find it here.


Since then, I’ve been taking each of the 5 tips and building on it, beginning with Tip #1, which is knowing what you want. Tip #2, It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Tip #3, Start with one platform, and now we’re up to tip #4, which is:


Don’t get hung up on the numbers.


Easier said than done, especially with so many people judging importance and popularity by  those numbers. Resist the temptation, and at the very least, don’t judge yourself by what your own numbers are.


In addition to not judging yourself, be careful about judging influencers only by the numbers. I have found this to be the most significant mistake authors make with this type of marketing: Only looking at people with big follower counts.


How often have you seen someone with a high follower count, but when the person actually posts something, there is very little response. Maybe you’ve never really noticed this before, so I’m suggesting that you begin paying attention to this. And, by the way, just because you haven’t noticed before, doesn’t mean others haven’t been watching. When someone has a big following with no response or engagement with the audience, something is truly wrong. It looks odd. It is odd. And, by the way, an argument can be made here that a person with high numbers and little engagement really is NOT an influencer, but that’s another story.


It’s much better to evaluate potential influencers by how much engagement they create with their followers, and whether or not they are speaking to the same target audience as you are. This can be an influencer who is very engaged with their large audience, and it can also help you identify “micro-influencers:” Influencers who are highly engaged with their smaller audiences.


Once you’ve identified the influencers you would like to connect with, be sure and do what you can to drive traffic to their message. This will get you noticed, and greatly appreciated.
I can’t tell you how many people have come to me with a big request, but have never even bothered to connect with me on social media, much less bothered to share my message before asking me to help them. (I don’t fault them; I just figure they don’t know any better…yet.)
This has probably happened to you, too, so who are you more included to help: Thoughtful people who want to help you too? Or those who are more “takers?”
I rest my case.


Don’t be one of them.

Start with influencers you already admire and start amplifying their content by sharing it on your own social media networks. Be sure to tag the influencer so he or she knows what you’re doing.
Once you’ve done some of that and have built some social capital, then you can reach out to them  directly for what you want. Don’t be surprised if they ask for payment. Marketing is different from publicity in this way and many influencers do charge money, although some will promote your book simply because they like it and won’t charge you anything. That’s always a nice result.
Some prominent influencers may charge more than you are willing to spend. Do the math. Calculate how many books you would need to sell, or how many programs you would need people to purchase  – and based on that number, decide what you are willing to spend for marketing with that influencer.


While I’d like to say building relationships is always the answer, sometimes it’s not enough.  Many influencers need something a bit more tangible than just you sharing their message, so you need to entice them.


How can you help them get even more exposure? This is worth putting some thought into. Do you have a big blog following? Offer to make him or her a featured guest on your blog, or on your podcast if you have a good-sized audience. It could take the form of a charitable donation in the influencer’s name to a cause he or she believes in. Brainstorm a number of different ideas and be ready to use them.

Approaching influencers is different from approaching regular users and bloggers. They have a big audience, they have influence, and they know it. They want to present their audience with something big, important, revolutionary, game changers. Don’t be afraid to use those words and remember: You do have to be able to deliver.


And finally, once you have reached out, following up is important. Top influencers are busy, so be patient. Give them some time to get back to you, and please don’t email them on Saturday morning and wonder why you haven’t heard back by Sunday evening. Don’t spam them. Don’t automatically add them to your newsletter list.


Not that any of my Savvy Pros would do that, but there are those who simply don’t understand this yet. Share this newsletter with them if you know someone who needs it! They can sign up here.


Remember the Golden Rule. It applies with influencer marketing and publicity too.


To your success!



P.S. I had a little fun with the video cam yesterday. I’m always looking to try simple little things to help my Savvy Sunday readers, and others in my network to feel more connected. When someone decides they want to do a Media Strategy Session with me, here’s the confirmation they get when they sign up. Simple and fun. 🙂







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