Creator Prospecting

How to find more influencers for your brand (bottleneck resolution!)

Think you’re running out of creators? Here’s how to find more
Posted on
May 7, 2022
3 minute read
Yash Chavan
Founder at SARAL

Once you get your program running and have established a cadence of finding influencers, you may feel some anxiety every week deciding on the next batch of influencers to scout for.

  • Which hashtag should I search for?
  • What niche should I dig deeper into?
  • Am I literally running out of influencers?

Questions like this will pop up. The goal of writing this post is to help simplify these decisions for you. Here’s how to deal with common roadblocks in influencer prospecting and keep your program going.

Are you running out of Influencers?

First things first, no you are likely not running out of influencers. You may think you are, and you may be running out of influencers under your first couple of core hashtags. But you’re just getting started, there’s more in store. Don’t take my word for it, here are the numbers from a study done by Mediakix.

How many YouTube influencers exist

There are, on average, 125K influencers bigger than 100K on just Youtube. This number is higher if you’re targeting micro influencers (as you should be).

How many TikTok influencers exist

There are, on average, 17K, influencers bigger than 100K on TikTok. The study is a bit old and TikTok has grown in popularity, so this number is likely a lot higher now.

How many Instagram influencers are there

There are, on average, 1.15M influencers bigger than 100K on Instagram alone.

Even if these numbers are not large enough, if you think your niche is too narrow, I’ll show you how to mitigate that and find more influencers than the ones available on these platforms.

How to find more influencers for your brand

Use these tactics to find more influencers and make IM the gift that just keeps on giving.

Tangential Hashtags

Your brand will have 3-5 core hashtags (if you have more, distill them down to just 3-5). If you think you’ve exhausted all the influencers posting content about these hashtags, across all audience sizes, then try searching for tangential hashtags.

Tangential hashtags are related to your core hashtags, but not too directly. They touch on a similar topic that your potential buyers may be interested in.

Eg: #crossfittraining is a tangential hashtag to #mixedmartialarts, #intermittentfasting is tangential to #ketodiet. You get the idea.

A tangential hashtag has a value and theme of it’s own, it’s simply related in a small way to your niche. For every core hashtag, write down 5-10 tangential hashtags, this way you’d have 5x-ed your potential creator pool at minimum. Use tools like keywordtool to spark imagination.

Reach out to creators posting under these hashtags and this tactic in itself should save you from running out of people to reach out to.

Lookalikes

You want to be able to find creators that look like your active ambassadors. You can see who pops up in the follow recommendations or see the “Channels” tab on their Youtube.

Instagram and TikTok’s recommended feeds are also a good way to explore around and find creators producing content in your niche.

You can also use technology to your advantage and simply use Saral’s chrome extension to do all the hard work for you.

💡 Pro Tip: Find lookalike hashtags by plugging one of your core hashtags into a research tool and checking out the recommendations. Then use these hashtags to find more creators.

Competitor’s influencers

Go see who your competitor’s are partnering with. It doesn’t have to be a business competitor, it can be a content competitor too (someone who posts content around the same themes as yours).

On Instagram, you can check out their tagged posts. On Youtube, just search for your competitor’s keywords to find them.

This method also applies to any other brands that sell to the same buyer as you.

📌 Pro Tip

I spoke to Ashwath Narayanan, who is the founder at Social Currant, a TikTok influencer agency that drives growth via creators. He recommends two tactics in case you think you're running out of creators.

  1. See if there are other creators commenting, liking, and interacting with your current roster of creators. Reach out to them!
  2. Just ask your current partners for referrals to 3-5 similar creators whom they know. This is like the "lookalike" strategy but better as it's actual human input.

I've personally used both these tactics in some shape or form, and they totally work. In case of the latter, you may choose to incentivize them further for a referral. It also improves your chances with the newer creator. They're more likely to work with you if your brand is referred by a current ambassador!

Vary your size criteria

Sometimes brands get stuck collaborating with only a certain size of an influencer. Eg: “between 50k-250k followers”. This is kind of arbitrary and there’s no reason why you can’t go any lower or higher.

If you choose to involve nano influencers and micro influencers in your strategy, you’ve pretty much doubled or tripled your potential influencer pool. Take all the niches you’ve prospected in so far and change the follower count to increase your potential roster by many fold.

Platform diversification

Just like being fixated on the number of followers is working against you, so is being fixated on the platforms you prospect on. If you’re just going after social media influencers, you’re doing yourself a major disservice.

People with influence exist across multiple platforms, and even independent of platforms. Check out podcasts in your niche, bloggers, and creators on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. As long as your buyers are engaging with them - you should be partnering with them! Platforms don’t matter, only influence does.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

📌 Pro Tip

We spoke to Influencer Marketing expert Urszula Trinh and she recommends googling for “Top influencers in {{your niche}}” to make things faster, there are some curated lists out there. She also says delegating the prospecting to freelancers helps remove mental roadblocks you may have. Another pro-tip I learned from her was to check for tags and followers of influencers (they follow each other) to expand your horizons if you think you're running out of creators to collaborate with!

Broader interest groups

All the methods mentioned so far work 99% of the time. If they don’t, the only solution is to go broader.

If your current hashtags and targeting are too narrow and niched-down, you need to find influencers in broader categories.

Eg: Go for #fitnessgram if you sell vitamin supplements, go for #petsofinstagram if you sell fur coats for pet racoons, etc.

I strongly believe that your targeting is what matters the most. So only do this as a last resort. Only do this if:

  • You’ve exhausted ~50 tangential hashtags.
  • You’ve made a list of all your competitor’s influencers and reached out.
  • You’ve found lookalikes of every single good brand ambassador.
  • You’ve covered all different sizes in your niche (nano, micro, macro, celebrity).
  • You’ve diversified into all other platforms and other types of content.

IF you have done all this and still think you need more influencers, go broader. In most cases, you likely have not done all that. So do that first before you go broad.

Broader interest-based targeting may end up working equally as well as your core & tangential hashtags did.

That’s pretty much it, all these tactics 10x the amount of influencers you can reach out to. Go all in and execute now! Sign up for our influence marketing letter for more such tips :)