There is a lot of talk and a lot of articles out there about the need to do “influencer outreach” as a part of marketing and launches. Most of these articles share tactics to help you get the attention of influencers so they will promote your products. Approaching influencer outreach with this kind of self-centered mindset is never going to work.
Understand, instead, what the true goal is in doing influencer outreach.
First, reach out to the right influencers.
I like the way Ray Dalio describes this in his book, Principles. He described meaningful work as a mission that you can share with others. Influencer outreach, therefore, is about finding people who are on the same mission you are on and developing a relationship with them. If you are truly engaged in a common mission, then they will want to promote whatever product or book you create to help each other and your audience advance in that mission.
But people are busy. What specific goal should you have in mind?
A mission can be pretty broad. At some point we all narrow our focus on specific problems to solve and solutions to overcome those problems.
The goal of influencer outreach:
The goal of influencer outreach, therefore, is to firmly entrench in their minds which problem and later solution you are trying to solve. They are most likely very busy solving other problems. When someone in their audiences come to ask for help solving the problem you are solving, you want them to recommend you. The goal is to become the name they think of first when someone comes to them asking about that problem.
So, in their minds there should be a connection: Problem + You.
Then, when your product is launching or your book comes out, you can approach them to make an additional connection: Problem + You + Solution (book, product, etc.).
The difference here is that both you and the influencer share in a common mission. There is a lot to do along the way. Your outreach is to let other people know where you are taking the lead within that mission.