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Andy’s Answers: How to engage influential talkers

While your biggest fans are still your greatest word-of-mouth asset, reaching out to key influencers can help expose your stuff to a whole new audience. Though there’s no shortcut for building strong relationships with key influencers, you can start identifying and reaching out to them in just a few simple steps.

What to do:

  • Make a list. Create a target list of key influencers in your industry by using free tools like Technorati or Twitter Search to find talkers with large followings.
  • Use multiple channels to contact them. Well-timed and relevant blog comments, e-mails, Twitter replies — and best of all, snail mail — can be great ways to get on the radar of big talkers.
  • Ask. Most bloggers are always looking for a relevant, interesting new story lead. Sometimes a polite request or a heads-up on something new you’re doing is enough.