From a local marketer:

I remember the first time I placed an ad on Facebook. I was really excited because I was spending hundreds of dollars on that ad campaign. At the back of my head, I was convinced that my campaign will not fail. I had back up ads, I’ve written all sorts of copy, and the target website that I’ve set up is very compelling. Well, at least I thought it was.

So after several hundred dollars of campaign buys, it quickly dawned on me that I was throwing good money after bad. It turned out that regardless of what I tried and regardless of how awesome my ad graphics were, somewhere along the line, my content simply was not connecting with people I wanted to reach. There was a disconnect there, and I really can’t quite put my finger on it.

After swearing off paid social media ad campaigns for the better part of a year, I stumbled upon the answer. It turned out that my free campaigns involving social content sharing on Facebook produced better results than my paid ads. How did this happen?

Well, I added one thing to the mix. With this one modification, I was able to transform my results. What did I do different this time around? Well, I was sharing basically the same content, but instead of just paying an ad and boosting posts and just getting in front of eyeballs, I reached out to influence leaders.

Believe or not, regardless of how esoteric or seemingly obscure your niche may be, there are people who specialize in that type of niche. They live, eat, breathe that niche. They can’t enough information involving your niche.

These people have Facebook pages, they have personal accounts, they have blogs—whatever the case may be, people follow them because they know that they are the “go to” source for the specialized type of information they’re interested in.

When I figured out who my niche’s influence leaders were on Facebook, I made it a point to network with them. I told them that I pitched them on my stories. To make a long story short, I told them that I would like to pick their brains regarding topics to write about, and if they could help me spread the word about the resulting articles.

It worked like a charm. Why? People are driven by ego. When you approach these people, you are essentially acknowledging the fact that they are experts. You are bowing down to them. You are stroking their ego.

Second, when you ask for help, they get a chance to contribute to the community. They give you valuable leads, and you produce your content. What do you think their attitude would be about content that was produced with their mental DNA?

Let me tell you, even during those rare times where I produced a complete and total pile of crap, the influence leader that I consulted with when researching materials for the article still published it on her blog. She still talked about it on Twitter. She still posted the link to her blog post which links to my article on her Facebook page. The secret? Emotional investment.

Even if the influence leader knows at the bottom of their hearts that the resulting content that you produced from your collaboration with them isn’t really the best in the world, they would still feel proud about the content. After all, they are mentioned in the content. It helps them feel appreciated. It helps further build their authority and credibility in your niche.

When I did this, I was able to explode my traffic, and guess what? A large chunk of that traffic actually converted into paying customers. People either bought books, signed up for seminars or entered their email addresses for CPA leads. Whatever the case may be, they engaged in behavior that ended up putting extra dollars in my bank account.

The secret? Influence leader outreach. Market to these people, turn them into allies, and they will take care of you.

Now, you may be thinking that this takes a lot of work. You’re absolutely correct. It also takes a lot of time. If you don’t know what you’re doing or if you don’t have a certain strategy going for you, don’t be surprised if you burn up a lot of time, effort and energy, only to end up with a whole lot of nothing.

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