"How do I build a list of influencers in my industry?"

Friend-of-the-site Travis of MemberUp.co writes in with this question:

Let’s say I wanted to build a list of “influencers in the membership space”. What would your approach be, broadly? Compiling a list of people to befriend/guest post/guest podcast/exchange gifs on twitter with, etc.

SO, for the Chi Marketing Machine, you have a few potential goals in play. One or more of:

  • Get them to try your stuff
  • Get them to talk about your stuff
  • Talk with them about the problems they’re having (so you can see if that should mean they should use Chi)
  • Talk to their audience about your stuff

So I think it’s safe to go broad scope in terms of who you’re looking to reach. Anyone who is an influencer in the membership space.

I’d do this to identify them. Make a list of:

  • Everyone who spoke at conferences related to your industry in the last three years
  • Everyone who has published a book on the topic in the last ten years
  • Everyone who has a book on the topic on Amazon
  • Everyone who hosts a podcast that comes up in iTunes on the topic of Membership Sites
  • Everyone who, relevantly, guests on podcasts about Membership Sites
  • Everyone who writes guest articles on the topic of membership sites
  • Everyone who has a product, plugin, or paid product related to membership sites
  • And more esoteric but listing it here, everyone who is running visible code on their site that means they’re running a piece of technology (like a membership platform), ranked in order by the number of referring domains pointing to their site

Basically, we’re choosing one of many different channels that we can use and then pulling out the data for that channel.

Then, for outreach, you’d want to figure out what your specific ask is. First ask needs to be to determine if they’re experiencing the pain/problem that you solve.

Step 1 is, of course, build a natural relationship with them.