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What’s an influencer marketing campaign without an influencer? Non-existent. An influencer marketing campaign’s success depends on the reach and social engagement of the influencers you hire. It also depends on how good of a fit an influencer is for your brand. Don’t just hire any random social media user with a large following. You want someone who’s influential. You have two options when it comes to finding and hiring influencers: You can do it the easy way or the hard way. Here’s how to find and hire influencers it the easy way.

The Easy Way: Step 1 – Find Influencers

The first step to finding an influencer is to sign up for an influencer marketing platform. Think of the platform or influencer marketplace as your one-stop shop for influencers of all types.

Instead of having to search through each social media network individually, you’ll have influencers from all over, working in various industries and niches, and with varying following sizes and levels of engagement.

Trying to find the right influencer on your own is similar to looking for a very specific needle in a haystack full of needles. Using an influencer marketplace lets you search for influencers by industry, following size, and social media network. Influencer marketing platforms take a lot of the hassle out of finding the right influencer for your campaign.

The Easy Way: Step 2 – Contact Influencers

You’ve found an influencer who seems perfect — hurray! The next step is to use the platform to contact your potential influencer.

There are a few reasons why influencer marketing platforms make it easier to connect brands with influencers. For one thing, you’re more likely to hear back from an influencer with either a yes or no when you contact him or her through a marketplace. For another thing, using a marketplace to connect with influencers gives them some assurance that you’re legit and aren’t looking to scam them.

Additionally, you get to look at an influencer’s past experience and the results of previous campaigns. You get a glimpse at the influencer’s bio and can see what he or she has recently posted. Using a marketplace provides a more in-depth look into who the influencer is and what they can do for your brand.

The Easy Way: Step 3 – Hire Influencers

Once you’ve made contact with the influencer, the next step is to put together a campaign and determine how much you’ll pay them for their services. Content and influencer marketing platforms use a bidding system so that you and your influencers can negotiate rates of payment after a bit of back and forth if needed.

Influencer marketplaces also include tools to help you put together your content. And they also make sure that your influencers are in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission’s rules regarding sponsored social content and promoted posts. According to the State of the Creator Economy (SOCE) study, two-thirds of influencers and creators are familiar with and understand the FTC’s rules, but it’s still helpful to have software that makes sure your campaign is in compliance.

The Hard Way to Find, Contact & Hire Influencers

What’s the hard way to find an influencer? That would be doing it all yourself. You can locate influencers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook by searching profiles in your industry. But you then have to work to establish connections with those influencers from the ground up. They don’t know you, and there’s no guarantee that they’re even interested in promotion or influencer marketing work.

Taking the DIY approach to finding influencers can lead to a fair amount of frustration. You’ll have to reach out to a lot of people before you find someone who wants to work with you. After you’ve made the connection, you’re still on your own. Good luck with negotiating price, putting together the campaign, and tracking its success.

Why do it all on your own when a influencer marketing platform makes finding and hiring an influencer so easy?