Build influencer relationships for a virtual summit

1. Stand out from the crowd and give your influencers exactly what they want and need to establish a positive personal connection straight away.

Personalize your approach and use a combination of these methods to add as much value as you can to the people you want to connect with: Offer to be a case study. Provide a raving, honest testimonial. Comment on their blog posts consistently. Share their content on social media. Review their books or products. Mention them in your blog or podcast. Notify them about mistakes like typo’s or dead links. Introduce them to someone they want to meet. For example, you want to connect with a famous author like Mike Michalowicz, so you follow the CTAs in his books and send him the emails he’s asking for. Once he or his team answers, you demonstrate that you took action on his book and share results.

2. Start building relationships before you need them by reaching out to influencers via social media, their websites, or via email.

Now that you have an idea of how you can add value to even the biggest influencers, it’s time to start building relationships. It takes time to connect with somebody and to earn their trust. By reaching out to an influencer way before you’re making the ask to invite them, you’re proving your authenticity.

3. Build authentic relationships with the influencer's team and other people close to them via social media, their websites, or via email with the goal of eventually being introduced to the influencer.

You might not be able to directly get in touch with high-profile influencers, but you can connect with people who are close to them and build a relationship with those people.

4. Help them spread their content by commenting and sharing on their social media posts, promoting their offers to your audience, and engaging with their audiences.

One thing all influencers want is more influence. Even if you have no audience right now, you can help them spread their content by engaging with their social media updates. Your engagement will trigger the algorithms powering the social media platforms to give their content more organic reach.

5. Align the influencer with other thought leaders in your space by publishing round-up articles or videos that feature multiple thought leaders at once.

A great way to bring together multiple potential speakers for your event is to publish expert round-up posts. Influencers are used to contributing to them and, if done properly, you demonstrate your professionalism in working with thought leaders. Give them a stage in front of your audience.

6. Use smart tools like Ninja Outreach, Contactually, or Boomerang for Gmail in your outreach to save time when reaching out to multiple influencers.

Remember not to overdo it and stay authentic. Be respectful of their time and do not bombard them with messages.

7. Use Airtable or a Google Sheet to keep track of who you've reached out to, the current state of the conversation, the communication channel, and the next follow-up date.

Organizing a virtual summit requires managing many relationships in a short period of time. Keep a spreadsheet or an Airtable document where you track information like influencer name, website, email, social handles, and the value you can deliver to them. Additionally, you’ll want to track whether an influencer has agreed to speaking at your event or whether you’re still in conversations trying to convince her or him.