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A beginner's guide to approaching influencers

Plan of Attack's Dom Lawrence shares ten tips about getting in touch with content creators and increasing your chance to get a partnership going

Influencers can receive hundreds of emails weekly depending on the size of their following, so to be one of the lucky companies to catch their eye, you need to come with a plan.

Here are ten important things to consider when reaching out to an influencer:

1. The email subject

The email subject is an instant "yes" or "no" when it comes to an influencer deciding whether to even look at your email. It can be one of the key aspects to whether you will be able to succeed in acquiring your potential new client.

Key words are one of the best ways to do this, but before you can do this you must determine what type of project you are trying to sell. Is it a paid promo? Offering a free game key? Or simply showcasing some of the new games you’re working on in hopes that the influencer will take a look at one?

Some of the top ways in creating the perfect subject headline is by using keywords such as "collaboration," "paid," "invitation," "sponsorship," and "promotional." These words are very appealing to many influencers as straight away it conveys whether this is something they might be interested in.

2. Honesty

Many emails influencers get from companies always start with someone mentioning that they love their content and have been watching their videos for a long time. Sometimes this might be true, but in many cases it's not.

Most influencers would rather someone get straight to the point rather than trying to shower them in compliments

Most influencers would rather someone get straight to the point rather than trying to shower them in compliments. Often this sort of nondescript, phony praise can be an instant turn off.

3. Short and sweet pitch

Due to high volumes of emails, influencers will prefer to read a nice, short and sweet pitch. Usually the best way to do this is to throw all the important information into one or two short paragraphs explaining what type of work you are offering or what game you would like them to check out.

Trailers and artwork are very key in these types of emails, as this could instantly grab the attention of your potential influencer.

4. Facts and figures

Influencers always want to make sure they are working with the right people and projects before agreeing to any proposal. One of the key aspects to do this is to provide facts and figures on the game.

For example, if you are promoting an upcoming first-person shooter that has a fast growing player count on Steam, make sure to provide this information as it may interest the influencer to get on top of this before anyone else.

5. Important links

Similar to any other pitch email, it’s very important to include any important links. This could be the Steam page of the game you are promoting or a proposal link if you are offering a paid promo. This way it keeps the email brief, but still offers additional info if you’ve piqued their interest.

Plan of Attack's Dom Lawrence

6. Avoid similar structured scam emails

Over the last three years influencers have seen a huge influx of scam emails. This has resulted in a lot of creators getting hacked – in some cases resulting in whole YouTube channels, Twitch pages, or any other form of social media accounts being stolen. Most scammers try to offer huge sums of money in return for a review on their new software that’s acquired through a dangerous download link. Nine times out of ten, this is a scam.

Due to the rise in these, many influencers are extremely cautious about who they trust and who they will reply to. When contacting the creator it is very important to prove your authenticity as much as possible with all the correct links and contact information. Once provided, there is a much larger chance the creator will want to work with you.

7. Composure and follow-up emails

Having composure when approaching influencers is one of the most important points of the whole process. As mentioned before, due to the high volume of emails, you will have to give an influencer time to get back to you. In some cases this could even take a few months to secure some form of deal.

Where many companies go wrong is they will take some form of offense to the lack of communication, which is a huge turn-off. Many creators will sometimes have month-long projects to work on, or a month of daily streams, so they will put aside any other projects until further notice.

As such, you may have to be patient. If you feel like your email has been missed, there’s nothing wrong with a few follow-up emails but be mindful of not being too pushy.

8. Tone of voice

It’s very important to know what influencer you are targeting and to learn the best way to approach them. Study their page and understand who you are about to talk to.

Before you send that pitch email off to your potential influencer, make sure you know exactly what you want from them

With many creators you will find they are used to the same old repetitive email conversations, so to stand out you’ll want to get on the same level. Ask questions and try to build more of a rapport rather than just following the same old script.

9. Avoid time-wasting

Before you send that pitch email off to your potential influencer, make sure you know exactly what you want from them. If you send off a pitch and change your mind, there is a chance that the influencer will feel jerked around and not want to work with you again. This could severely limit your potential coverage down the line when your next project arises.

10. Learn and research

No matter how big or small a content creator is, every influencer will have a certain expectation for what they want from a deal. It’s important to do your research and figure out what you think is a fair market rate for coverage. You could be having a chat with a YouTuber with 100,000 subscribers and 10,000 average viewers, who is asking for $800 for a 60 second integration, then the next day you could be talking to a YouTuber with 500,000 subscribers and 40,000 average viewers, who’s asking for $750 for a 60 second integration.

So before you act on a campaign the best thing to do is get your research done. Once you’ve got a response from a few influencers, you can start to put together a summary of what you are happy to pay depending on the size of the creator you are working with.

Something to bear in mind is to never rule out smaller creators. A lot of the time you will see some nice results, since that influencer’s coverage will be based around genuine passion.

Dom Lawrence is Plan of Attack's media and influencer account coordinator, as well as an established influencer himself under his YouTube handle LoadedCrysis.

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