Partnerships – A Beginners Guide to Expanding Your Audience

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A Beginners Guide to Expanding Your Audience Image

As bloggers, we’re always thinking of new ways to grow our audience.

I for one have come across countless articles about using social media as a gateway to new communities, and Facebook marketing to engage with established groups.

But is there a better way?

The answer is absolutely.

Establishing a partnership with another blogger in the same niche as yours could possibly double your audience.

Think of it this way.

If you establish a relationship with an influencer, and then pitch an offer to him/her, depending on what you offer them, they will either write for you, share your content, feature you, or even promote your product to their email list.

But the questions still remain,

  • What are other benefits of partnering with influencers?
  • How do you land a partnership?
  • How do you pitch an offer to an influencer?

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the necessary knowledge and resources to start reaching out to influencers today.

So let’s get started.

Benefits of Partnerships

It’s all about one word.

Audience.

The audience of an influencer has quite a few advantages.

Some being:

  1. Highly targeted and quality viewers
  2. Ad Swaps
  3. Product promotions

And each one will more than likely grow your blog’s audience like never before. You may double, or even triple your email list!

But remember, not all partnerships will provide you with these 3 benefits. However, let’s talk about each one.

A High Quality Audience

Influencers have years of experience.

They’ve done their research. They’ve established a relationship with their viewers. They’ve learned how to create content that they love. And they know how to talk to them.

In other words, if you land a partnership with an influencer, you’ll gain a thoroughly established community that you could interact with.

Clay Bethune, an entrepreneur and co-founder of 9th & Elm,  wrote an article titled, “Advice for Bloggers: How to Pitch and Land Brand Partnerships.” In this article, he said,

“By working together, bloggers and brands can tap into each other’s networks. You can reach not only fans of the brand, but also other bloggers who have partnered with the brand — expanding your audience and enhancing your network.”

But keep in mind, this is only one advantage to partnering with an influencer! Along with a high quality audience, your partner will likely love to do an ad swap!

Ad Swaps: A Win Win

I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t love a good ol’ fashioned ad swap.

You’re probably wondering, “what in the world is an ad swap?”

Well, for those who don’t know. An ad swap is simply a method of trading ads with your partner and promoting it to your email list.

Ad Swap Image

Ad swaps allow you to gain exposure to other targeted markets and you’ll be able to take advantage of your partner’s marketing efforts.

In addition to potential sales, you’ll be able to drive those potential buyers/subscribers to your site.

Although, not all lists are equal.

You may have a list of 400, or even 4,000. While your partner may have a list of 10,000.

But generally speaking, it stands to reason that the larger your list, the larger the potential to earn big money.

Product Promotions

Ad swaps are a form of product promotions. The only difference is, you’re not obligated to share your partners product.

These promotions can be reviews, recommendations, or even a simple link back to your site.

What’s so great about them is that, if your partner approves of the product, his or her audience will likely purchase it.

Reason for that is because they’ve already built a trustworthy relationship.

So how can you get an influencer to recommend your product?

Create something irresistible!

Ivana Kitanovic, a writer at Rabbut that has become a killer resource for all things blogging, recently wrote the article, “Tricks on Expanding Your Blog and Growing Your Audience,” that received over 450 shares. She said,

“To grow your audience in stunning numbers, you need to get influencers to write for you. Yes, you heard right. Find the top influencers in your field and offer them to write for you. As you know, that’s a tough job, so you’ll need something irresistible to make them accept.”

Make a product that offers as much value as possible before you approach an influencer. This will put you in a situation where you’re able to provide the influencer with a return worth their time.

Landing a Successful Partnership

Even if you’re creating killer content that’s absolutely worth sharing doesn’t mean it’ll get the attention it deserves.

Your content could take years to generate a natural following, and most business/blogs do not have the sort of time.

That’s why landing partnerships is vital to your blog’s success.

So how do you do it?

Well, first you need to find influencers in your industry.

Finding Influencers in Your Niche

The easiest way to find influencers is to use Buzzsumo.

You’ve probably heard of this from previous articles or read about it on other sites, but what it is, is essentially a tool that you can use to research article topics, and influencers on a given topic.

So let’s say you’re stuck on what you should write about next for your lifestyle blog.

You can then head over to Buzzsumo and type in the topic you want to research, we’ll say you have a minimalist lifestyle blog.

So you type in the keyword, “minimalism.”

Buzzsumo Research Image

And seconds later, hundreds of articles will pop up. The awesome thing about this is that you’ll see how many times each one is shared. That’s a little bit of validation for you!

Buzzsumo Research Results Image

But We Want Influencers!

Finding influencers is as easy as clicking a button.

Simply click on the “Influencers” button at the top left of the navigation bar, and then you’re on your way to the races!

Buzzsumo Influencer Button Image

These are all the influencers in your niche that you can reach out to, spark up a conversation with, or even collaborate with!

Buzzsumo Influencer Results Image

You never know until you try. (;

You’re probably wondering how you can approach these people, so let’s cover that now!

Goal Setting for Two

A simple and effective way to land a partnership is by sparking up a simple conversation about a goal or proposition.

If you have a goal in mind, invite an influencer to a conversation and discuss how reaching your goal with their help will benefit them.

Let them know what they’ll get in return for collaborating with you.

In the article, “How to Use Influencers to Build Your Brand’s Own Audience,Aubre Andrus a content strategists and editor for Contently wrote that,

“But the best strategy is simple: Have a clear and comprehensive strategy. Invite the influencer to join the conversation and decide together how this partnership can benefit the both of you. Part of your strategy is goal-setting: Do you want to increase brand awareness? Or sell a product? Or increase attendance for an event? Then decide how you can best reach this goal together.”

The reason for this is because creating a relationship with someone who’s become a staple in your niche takes quite a bit of work. Influencers don’t want to collaborate with just anyone.

They want to see that you absolutely love what you believe in, they want to see how you can offer their community value, and of course what you can offer them.

What if you’re feeling a bit spontaneous one day and decide to just send an email to an influencer without first engaging in a civil conversation?

Pitching a Proposal to an Influencer

When you’re reaching out to a potential partner, you don’t want to say just anything. Chances are, you’ll come off as unprofessional or insincere.

So there’s a few things that you should mention in your email to prevent any unwanted deception. In fact, there’s 4 must-haves that you need to address.

Those 4 are:

  1. Why you want to partner with him/her
  2. How you think you two could benefit from each other ( usually include some statistics about your site )
  3. Your goal to achieve through the partnership
  4. The results you expect to gain from achieving that goal

It’s important to keep your emails short, descriptive and concise. Not everyone has the time to read through a super long email so it’s best to keep each must-have between 2-3 sentences.

It may take some time for you to get a response however. If it turns out that you don’t get one, don’t be discouraged!

We’ve been turned down plenty of times until we were able to actually offer something of real value.

Just know that everyone has different goals, and everyone has different plans for their business.

Don’t Take It For Granted

Too many bloggers have taken partnerships for granted.

After they got what they wanted, they can sometimes fall off the grid.

I get it. There’s no reason to stick around anymore right?

That couldn’t be further from the truth however.

You should appreciate your partnership! They aren’t always available whenever you want them to be. You can easily stay in touch by just sending regular updates, product launches, upcoming events, or even let them know about new ideas you have.

Hell, you can even send them some freebies if you’re feeling generous!

 

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