Approach an influencer for a partnership

Business Benefits

Expand reach to your target audience.


Determine the goals for your influencer campaign by discussing with sales and marketing, and social media teams.

For example, goals may be increasing sales of a certain product by 20% within the next three months or increasing social media following by 10% within the next three months.

Knowing your goals is pivotal to know what you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign. You can then establish the parameters of your campaign, including the details in your outreach.

Determine the requirements for your influencer campaign, like how often you’d like them to post and what content type, based on your goals.

A good place to start is to require your influencers to post about your company or products once per week. If they post sponsored posts more often, it can make posts stand out in a bad way and look suspicious to their followers.

Depending on your current bandwidth and how strict you want to be with content, you can either provide your influencers with the post copy and images, or ask them to create the post copy and images themselves based on your guidelines. For example, if you allow the influencer to write their own copy, you can advise them how long the post should be and ask them to tag your company’s profile in each post.

Be sure to provide instructions for how your influencers can disclose the partnership, which is required by the FTC. It prevents influencers from trying to deceive their followers by passing off a sponsored post as an organic post. You can do this by asking them to start each post with the hashtags #ad or #sponsoredpost.

Decide how you want to pay your influencers by considering your current revenue, target gross profit margins, and influencer marketing budget. Include compensation information in your outreach.

There are several ways you can compensate your influencers:

  • Percentage-based commissions: Pay a 25% commission of the total cost of each sale they generate.
  • Pay-per-click: Pay the influencer a flat rate for each click to your website they generate.
  • Cost-per-action: Pay the influencer a flat rate every time someone purchases something using the influencer’s discount code or affiliate link.
  • Pay-per-post: Pay the influencer a flat rate for each sponsored post they share with their followers. A good guideline is to offer 10% of their total number of followers. So if an influencer has 50,000 followers, pay them $500 for each sponsored post.

You can also offer influencers other perks such as discounts to purchase your products or services, free products, and access to exclusive products or events that aren’t available to the public.

Review an influencer’s social media profiles and website to see the type of content they produce, how many likes and comments their posts get, and if they are a good fit for your company.

You can manually keep track of an influencer’s engagements in an Excel spreadsheet or use influencer software such as Grin or Upfluence. Reviewing their content before you reach out to them will allow you to craft a personalized message, which helps you come across as authentic and relatable. It also increases your chances of getting a response because it shows you’ve been paying attention to them.

Write an outreach template that sounds enticing to an influencer to join your program by explaining why you want to work with them and how your offer will benefit them.

Influencers are busy and receive a lot of requests for partnerships. Keep your message short and simple, and get to the important details right away. Include personal touches to prevent your message from coming across as too generic. For example, let them know you enjoyed one of their recent blog posts or podcasts and share how their content aligns with your company’s values.

Include a CTA so they know what to do next. Do you want them to respond directly back to you? Should they send an email to someone else on your team? Be clear about what their next steps are.

Contact an influencer via direct message on social media or email.

Some influencers will include instructions on how to contact them for partnerships in their social media profiles. If they also have a website or blog, you can check there for instructions about contacting them about collaborations. If you’re reaching out via direct messaging on social media, get right to the point of your message and send it.

If you’re reaching out via email, create a subject line that will make them want to open your message. Don’t mention monetary rewards, and keep emojis and punctuation marks to a minimum to prevent your email from being flagged as spam. You can include the influencer’s name in the subject line, but this may also trigger spam filters. Examples of subject lines include:

  • Hi, [Influencer name]! I’d love your opinion on our [product name].
  • [Influencer name], your audience will love our [product name].

Send a follow up message if you don’t hear back from an influencer in about five days.

Keep your follow up message simple and remind them about your offer. You can follow up a second time after another few days if they still don’t respond, but after that, it’s best to move on.