Influencer marketing is a key element of any modern marketing mix, but it can be trickier than the old school way of placing ad buys or other traditional “transactional” methods commonly found in advertising.Not only do you need to recruit the right influencers for your brand, you also need to consider where your authentic influencers have followings. They can have communities on one or many channels, like blogs, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, for example.This means finding the right mix of influencers often becomes a laborious hunting expedition. Spending the time to research all of these platforms can make it hard for brands to determine which influencers to partner with efficiently and reliably.That’s why we’ve broken down the most important steps to find and connect with your brand’s ideal influencer – so you can save time searching and spend more time building your business.4 Essential Steps to Find and Connect with InfluencersStep 1: Determine Your KPIsBefore you start knocking on digital doors and sliding into DMs, ask yourself what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be for any given influencer:Do you want to improve brand affinity in a certain market?Go to market with a new product or service?Position your brand as a thought leader?Invigorate sales with a particular demographic?Fill your database with more qualified leads by X%?These are very important questions to clarify. The more detailed you can be about your goals, the easier it will be to recruit the right creators.Answering these questions will shape who you target as a potential partner for an authentic influencer relationship – and help you establish shared goals and expectations once you do find the right influencers for your brand.Step 2: Create Your ListOnce you know what your KPIs are, you can start making a long list of names.Traditionally, you would search hashtags and keywords on various platforms to start your hunt. You could google articles and investigate who the authors are. Depending on your industry, you may even choose to ask colleagues or put out the word on LinkedIn.Of course, that “spray and pray” method has worked in the past… but smart modern marketers beeline to the one-stop-shop platform Creatable, where you can “shop” a marketplace of influencers by industry, interest group and additional filters, as well as get a customized report to connect with them effectively.Step 3: Recruit StrategicallyOnce you have your list, you’ll want to ask the following questions to make sure that the person you’ve found is a good fit for your brand:Do they walk the walk? Although finding an authentic influencer can be tricky, it is essential that the people you choose to collaborate with know how to speak to their audience in an honest, relatable way. These days, it’s about more than just doing lip service about values. It’s about consistently taking action and creating messaging that communicates to followers where the influencer stands… particularly when it’s relation to your brand.Do they know their stuff? A funny thing happened in the last couple of years… influencers earned a higher trust rating among young people than the news. And they’re also turning away from celebrity-endorsed products, seeing them as blatant money-grabs. As a brand, it’s vital that you join forces with an authentic influencer who has passionate followers with interest in your shared niche. While an influencer may have strong numbers and the audience you want, if they’re not genuinely interested or knowledgeable in your offering, the audience will feel the struggle and it won’t convert for you.What are their metrics? Influencer marketing is a blend of art and science. While it’s important to align with an authentic creator with the right kind of audience, you also need to know their numbers. And so do they. You want an influencer who understands and cares about their metrics – and can communicate truthfully about what works and doesn’t for their community. When you are both on the same page about what data points are important and relevant, as well as expectations, you can establish a collaborative relationship built on trust and shared goals.Step 4: Make the ConnectionWhen you’ve finally got your list of potential influencers narrowed down and you’ve gone through all the steps to make sure they’re a great match for your brand, there’s some key relationship-building steps you’ll want to take:Prepare your offer. Influencers (whether they’re micro, nano, or seasoned veterans your competition has already leveraged) are constantly being courted by would-be brand partners. Create a strong, clear offer with personalized information showing you took the time to approach them specifically.Focus on the WIIFM proposition. Include the all-important “What’s In It For Me” statement – the benefits of working with you beyond the dollars and cents part of the equation. Be able to communicate that you understand the “why” behind what the influencer does and you don’t pose a risk to their own brand reputation.Have a video conference where the influencer can meet the whole team. Remember that an influencer, unlike a traditional media buy, is a real person. They want to know who you are, who they’ll be working with, and develop a relationship that lasts longer than a TikTok video.Many brands spend most of their time in Steps 2 and 3. This can lead to frustration and missed opportunities given how long it takes to find the ideal influencers and then vet them. When you work with Creatable, we take the pain out of influencer marketing, so you can find, vet, and recruit creators with ease.Not only can you expedite and streamline this recruitment process, campaigns are created and launched right in the platform. With this unique method, you’re able to see direct ROI with clear, reliable metrics using first party tracking. And you can review and approve campaigns, as well as pay your brand’s influencers all within the Creatable platform.If you value your time and expect high quality results, let’s connect. Request a no-obligation Creatable demo here.