How To Get Instagram Influencers To Promote Your Producs For Free

How To Get Instagram Influencers to Promote Your Producs for Free

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In this post, I’m going to be showing you guys how to get Instagram Influencers to promote your website or products completely free. Okay, so we all know that using social media influencers to drive attention to your product or service is one of the fastest, most effective, and even to this day, one of the most cost-effective ways of moving sales into your business.

But here’s the thing. If you guys are starting like I was at, one point I get where you’re coming from. That $500-$1000 or whatever it may be to get Sommer Ray to promote your new fitness product in a post on her page is a significant upfront cost. So, what I’ll be teaching you guys in this post is how to leverage hundreds if not thousands of what I’m calling “micro-influencers” to promote your products for free.

What you’re going to be doing is reaching out to smaller Instagram influencers with five to ten thousand followers.

You will offer them in exchange for posting about your products and putting a link in their bio, a commission for every time they sell one of your products through their association, or sign up for your service.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 1Now, believe it or not, this is way more effective than it sounds. It is a numbers game, though, but once you’ve put in the work, it’s an excellent passive way to drive new leads and traffic to your business. I mean once they set this up on their profiles, they’re going to keep promoting it if it works. So, why exactly is this so effective?

Well A: a lot of these smaller influencers aren’t making that much money off them profiles as it is. So, when you propose something like this to them, it’s smart for them to look into it.

And B: A lot of these other influencers aren’t even in the game to make money, to begin with. A lot of the people who run these Instagram profiles around a certain niche are just really passionate about what they do and the very concept of making money on Instagram, in the words of Jamie Lewis, it’s very exciting.

How to find Instagram influencers for Shopify

Now, I know a lot of you guys run Shopify stores and eCommerce businesses. That’s a big part of my following. So, in this post, when we hop onto my computer here, I’m going to show you how to do it with a Shopify business. I’m going to show you step by step. We’re going to take care of everything. You’re going to watch right over my shoulder. So, I’m going to show you how to set up an affiliate referral program for a Shopify store. So, you send them a link to sign up when you reach out to them, and it basically handles everything.

The commission structures, the payouts, everything is right there, and it even makes accounts so, you’re good to go with that.

I’m going to show you how to find the exact influencers to target and how to get giant lists of them, and then finally I’m going to show you how to contact these influencers hundreds and hundreds at a time in a very ethical way through email.

Influencer marketing

So, it’s a little bit easier than I’m kind of making it sound. It is a lot of grunt work, but it’s not as bad as you may think. So, on that note, let’s hop onto my computer, and let’s get started.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 7Okay so before we start contacting influencers, we need to set up the actual affiliate program inside of your Shopify store. So, when the influencer shares your product, they can earn that commission. They can log in, they can see their numbers, and it’s all pretty much done for you like a lot of other things with Shopify. So, what we want to do is navigate over to the Shopify App Store.

So, it’s apps.myshopfiy.com, and we’re just going to go up here and search for “affiliate” Now to be completely honest a lot of these apps do the exact same thing at the end of the day. Some of the paid ones have a lot of better features in them if you’re doing mass campaigns, for example. I recommend using Grewsome.

This is the affiliate app that we use in a lot more of our established stores where we’re doing big influencer marketing campaigns, and we have a lot of people in the network. It keeps it more organized, it’s easier to manage, but it does come at a pretty high price.

Step 1 – set up your affiliate program

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 6

  1.  Install the app in your store
  2.  Set up your affiliate commission rates
  3.  Customize your automatic emails
  4.  Grab your affiliate signup link.
  5. Add a signup link to your store navigation.

So, what we’re going to be using for this post and it’s great if you’re starting out is this one right here I’ve used before. It’s “Affiliate by Awesome” or AAA Affiliate whatever you want to call it. So, this one here is free up to 100 affiliates which is more than enough to get you started, and even after that if you still just have a small budget, but you want to expand more, their basic plan is kind of cheap, but we’re just going to be using the free one for this example. So, I’m going to click on get, we’re going to login to our Shopify store, and we’re going to click on the “Install app”.

Now on this page that has a pretty simple little setup guide here. And the first thing we want to do is take this link right here, copy it somewhere because this is the link you’re going to be sending influencers to sign up to your affiliate program with. And we also want to add it like they recommend here to your navigation bar. Maybe they’re not even an influencer. They just want to get a little commission when they refer your products to their friends.

They click up there, sign up for an account and they’re good to go. So, I’m going to copy this and make a quick note. And I’m also going to look at and show you guys what it looks like here. I’m going to open it up. And all it is is a simple little signup page for your affiliate program, so they come here, they make accounts they can log in whenever they want. But I’m going to close that right now, and we’re going to add it to our navigation.

So, I’ve already copied the link, so I’ll navigate over to our Shopify dashboard. We’ll go to our main menu, and we’re going to add that link in right here so let’s go, referral program, we’ll select that page which it creates automatically.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 5

I’ve been testing some other plugins on here to see which was the best free one for you guys, but it’s going to be this latest one right here. So, I’m going to click on add. We’ll go save menu, and now when someone comes to this website, there’s going to be this referral program link.

They can sign up, and you’re pretty much all set. Now I’m going to close out of that, but first, we’re going to hop back into our commission app, we’re going to set up our commission rate, and we’re also going to give people some resources and some posts they can share on their Instagram page and things that they can download right from inside their affiliate account.

So, it’s cool, if someone signs up to be an affiliate for your store you don’t must, you know, recommend to them what to post, they don’t need to come up with it themselves, so you’re removing that barrier to entry, and all they must do is go download the posts throw them up there with the link, and you’re all set. So, we’re going to head over to commission on the left-hand side, and we’re going to start out at the default 40% commission right here.

The more customers an influencer refers to this app and the same works for a lot of others, the more they’re going to earn per sale. So, as you can see this up the percentage a little bit for each level, for these rights here, this is standard, and I recommend just leaving these as-is.

If you want to change them, that’s fine. If you’re selling a lower margin product, you know, maybe you want to offer a little bit of a higher percentage, so there’s more incentive for them to promote it. If it’s a higher-ticket item and it costs you a lot more to produce and ship to people, you’ll want that a bit lower. But with that said.

I’m going to leave everything here as is, and we’re going to move on to resources I already have this post right here which we’re going to be using in this post, and the store we’re using as the example right here is a Himalayan pink salt lamp magic super vegan bullshit, okay whatever these things are, they work well on Instagram, it’s what we’re using in the example, everybody shut up.

I have a couple of clients who sell these and this store I’m setting up right here. They really can work well on Instagram, and it’s also a big Pinterest thing. So, if you guys are into Pinterest marketing or have big accounts, maybe consider setting up a dropshipping store for these. It is one of those things that’s only going to be a fad for a little bit, I know this is going to die out, but you know, if you guys can go in and make some money off it, great.

Good on you. But I’m going to finish this caption here. Let’s go with the little fire icon there. That looks kind of cool. So, once we have that I’m going to click on submit and there we go your resource has been submitted successfully. So, you can go in and add a bunch more of those.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 4I know some of the other apps even give you the option to upload like story templates. You can do it here, but they’re just mixed in with everything else. You know, guys like I said, all these things basically do the same thing at the end of the day all these affiliate plugins, that’s pretty much it so for this right here that’s all we must do.

You can go into manage emails; these are the automatic emails it’s going to send out when someone signs up for your affiliate program, the emails it sends them when they earn a commission, things like that. You can go and customize these, but these are pretty much fine.

And we’re going to get into the actual emails you will be sending influencers in just a minute here so you guys can look through everything else here. If there’s something else you want to customize that’s fine, but for what we’re doing here you’re pretty much set.

So, on your home page here you can see how many affiliates you have, all their information, how much commission they’ve earned if you want to use that as an incentive for people to sign up down the road, whatever you want to do. That’s how you set up an affiliate program in a Shopify store.

Alright so now that you have your affiliate program set up in your store how do you start recruiting influencers to be affiliates for your products? How do you find the right people and more importantly, how do you find their contact information to start reaching out to them?

Step 2 start collecting a list of micro-influencers 👩‍💻

Now obviously you can do this manually by just pulling out your phone and starting to contact people which I’ll go over here in a minute, but there’s this cool tool called Deep Social that we’ve been using for the past couple of months. It’s completely free to start using we’re not partnered with them in any way, and the free account is fully featured they just limit how many people you can look up at a time and some other things like that.

So, to get started with that we’re going to head over to Deep Social. I’m already signed into my account. I just created a new one for the sake of this post, and we’re going to head over to Influencer Identification.

And by the way, to create an account you don’t even need to fill anything out you just sign in with your Google account or anything else like that, so here we are on their main dashboard. Now basically what this is, is a search engine that’s very detailed to find Instagram influencers.

You can narrow it down by a hashtag or a term they have in their bio, their location, language, what brands they are interested in, what brands their followers are interested in which they’re actually using some pretty deep kind of AI technology to find out a lot of this stuff. I saw a post on one of the pages before. I don’t know if it’s Deep Mind or whatever else they’re using.

You can also target by interest, gender, ethnicity, age, and more important and this is what we’re going to be using for this search right here, you can search by what’s in their bio and how many followers they have. Now we’re targeting smaller influencers who won’t want to get paid upfront but will probably accept a commission for promoting your products.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 3So, what we’re going to do to promote these salt lamp products is, I’m going to go up here, and I’m going to search for the term “lifestyle”. This is a pretty common term that we’ve had some success with promoting these products. So, you know, people calling themselves “lifestyle influencers” or lifestyle blogs or brands or whatever, something like that.

Oh, here we go! So, they’re using something called “Topic Tensor” so I guess it’s like a tensor flow AI kind of thing, so it’s interesting. I don’t know exactly how deep that’s integrated into this or if it’s just like a marketing thing, but that is cool.

 So, we’re using AI to find influencers now. It’s a new world. 

I was just joking with my buddy Jamie the other day about that.

What we’re going to do now is go over to followers, and we’re going to look for influencers with 5,000 followers to 10,000 followers. So, again, people who are small enough to maybe not even be making money off their pages, so it’s going to be a kind of cool opportunity for them to look at. Maybe make some money off their page for the first time. But at the same time, they’re large enough to have a good audience that if we really stack up a couple of these and you have a lot of smaller accounts promoting your products, you can get some decent traffic.

What Deep Social is going to let you do is go down and really do these deep analyzations of all these different influencers about their engagement and where their followers come from, but for what we’re going here we don’t need to get too in-depth on that.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 2

You can go in here and just filter down their engagement a little more like that, but all we’re going to do right now is make a list of these people and start contacting them. This is just specific enough to do what we need to do.

And again, if you do a mass amount of these, you’re going to get some good results. One thing you want to do before we export this list is going up to this button right here and we won’t to only filter out people who have contact details.

You know, for obvious reasons that are going to be helpful for what we’re doing right here. And once you’ve done that you can just go to export search results. 

Now Deep Social uses this credit-based system where you export and do certain actions or a certain amount of them based on how many credits you have, and you spend them and whatever, but the credits themselves are cheap.

We do have a main account where we’re doing that. It’s definitely worth it if you’re doing a lot of influencer marketing stuff, but if not a free account lets you export quite a few and, I don’t know just go keep creating free accounts, be a cheap ass, do whatever you want to do. What we’re going to do here is, let’s export a good list of let’s see, I think we can max this out at 250 with these five credits right now.

You want to include the contact details obviously and okay yeah; 5 credits are going to give you 250 people—more than enough to start with. So, we’re going to click on export. We’re going to let that run, and you want to download a CSV file so like a standard spreadsheet that you would open in excel, or Google Docs or something like that because we’re going to need that in the next step.

So, I’m going to click on that, download that. Now before we move on, I want to show you guys once a quick trick I found for doing this manually on your phone. If you don’t want to use or you can’t afford a tool like Deep Social or one of these other things, let me show you a way to do this manually right on your phone. So, I’m going to minimize this right here and let me bring up my screen recording. So, here I am on Instagram, and let’s say we’re running a fitness page.

So, I’ll go over to search and let’s say, let’s lookup, uh, Gregory Gallagher. Shoutout to my man Greg. Now what you could do is click on this small arrow right here next to the person’s name. Now a lot of you guys already know this, you probably use this all the time, but here’s the thing.

If you keep going down in these search results, and you keep going and going, you’re going to start seeing smaller and smaller influencers. So, if I keep going down here eventually, we’re going to run into someone in the range that we’re looking for.

So, eventually, you’re going to start coming across people like this. Now what you can do is just take the email or the DM template that I’m going to give you guys here in the next step of this post, go up to their profile click Send Message, and just start contacting people that way.

It’s long, it’s tedious, but if you guys want to get anywhere, you got to grind out sometimes. Especially if you can’t afford a tool, if you’re just starting out, you got to put in the hours, no excuses. That’s what you got to do. But if you guys want to find micro-influencers manually, this is a great way to do it.

Alright, guys last but not least I’m going to show you guys how to contact these micro-influencers, what to send to them, how to receipt them into your affiliate program, a free trick that I found to contact hundreds if not thousands of them all at once and all you have to do is repeat this method over and over again.

So, we have our spreadsheet here we downloaded from Deep Social, but we must upload it into something like Google Sheets or Google Docs to make it a little bit more manageable. So, I’m going to open that up right here. I’m going to sign into Google Sheets and… oh… oh. Let me just uh…

Okay so we’re going to upload a new file an I’m just going to drag that CSV file right in here. We’ll let that upload and as you guys can see we have this list of really detailed data on all of these micro-influencers including their Instagram profile URL, their username, their email address, their first or last name, their contact info, the kind of things they are interested in, what brands that are associated with their account and their audience.

This is valuable stuff that you can just go out there and scrape all of this for free. But for what we’re doing here, one, this is kind of overkill, and this isn’t usable unless we’re going to go in here and email these people one by one which doesn’t worry, you do not have to do.

Step 3 – contact your new list of influencers

What we want to do is send out what’s called a mail merge. A mail merge is a cold email technique that a lot of professional agencies use to reach out to a lot of people at once through email, and you can even have them really detailed and customized. For my business, we use a tool called Yes Ware.

I think it’s very underpriced. You can even do these detailed Mail Merges where you can send sequences of emails. You can program login into them so if the client replies to an email don’t send them another one if they don’t reply or don’t open it for so many days send them this one like you can do a lot of great stuff, it plugs right into your Gmail account.

So, if you have something like this, this is differently the tool that you want to use for this data. But I always like to show you guys who are just starting out a free way to do all this stuff. Thankfully, there is a free add-on for Google Sheets that are called Mail Merge with Attachments.

I’m going to put the link to this down in the post description, and this essentially will let you do a very simplified version of a mail merge like Yes Ware or some other software would do, but it’s completely free, so I’m going to click on the install button let’s get that in there, I’m going to click on continue.

We’ll give it permission in the account, and now we have that installed. Cool. So, I’m going to close out these tabs I’m going to go back to our main sheet right here and what we’re going to do is I’ll go up to add-ons, and you’re going to see mail merge with attachments.

How To Get Instagram Influencers For Free 8So, what we’ll do from here is click on mail merge template and what that’s going to do is it’s going to add a new tab into that same spreadsheet with the format you’re going to need to send these out. So, mail merges can get very complicated especially if you’re doing a lot of customizations so inserting the person’s first and last name, their business name, or let’s say their Instagram username like we’re going to do here.

We’re only going to go a few levels deep on customization, but these can get very complicated, and it’s a great skill to learn. Honestly, I may make a post on how to send cold emails like that. It’s extremely effective, we’ve grown our marketing agency to over six-figures just with cold email alone.

It’s really astonishing what you can do if you’re just willing to put in the work, what we need to do right now if we want to go back to our tab right here and we want to find the column with their emails. I’m going to click on the top one right here. We’re going to scroll down to the last one on the list, hold down shift, click that one and Command + C to copy and we’re just going to paste that into the email column in the template.

So, there we go. Now what we also want to do is, I’m going to go back here, and we’re going to do the same thing with the Instagram account’s username. So, I’m going to click the top one, scroll down to the bottom, we’re going to copy that, and now obviously this template doesn’t have any Instagram username section, but it doesn’t matter.

We’re just going to use the last name section for that. So, I’ll go here, and I’ll paste those in, and the last thing we need to do is, unfortunately, the only real grueling part of this whole process. I am collecting the person’s first name. Now me for my opinion, when doing this, this really is something you want to do, the more personalized you can make the emails the more effective they’re going to be and the better response rate you’re going to get.

And one thing to remember to guys is, all these email addresses are on these Instagram profiles for business inquiries, so it may not seem as much like spam as you might think it will. If we go back to our sheet here, you’re going to see that the full name right here is not really the person’s name and you can’t really use these names right here. It’s not exactly going to look very professional. Now it’s very important to understand the email template that you’re going to be using.

This is the one that I’m going to use for these, and I’ll paste this down in the description for you guys to copy and use yourself. It goes:

Hey {{First Name}}

My name is Matt, and we run a store called “[YOUR STORE / COMPANY NAME]” where we sell [YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE] all over the world. 🔥

We came across your Instagram page @{{Last Name}} today and wanted to know if you wanted to earn some money from it? 🤑 All you would need to do is put our custom link in your bio and maybe share a couple of posts about our products (which we’ll provide everything!)

You’ll get 40% of every item sold through your link straight to your PayPal or bank account every month.

If you’re interested, just go here and create a free account on our website:

[YOUR AFFILIATE SIGN UP LINK]

Thanks! –

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR STORE / COMPANY NAME]

So, how do we get these people’s first names? Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy way to do this for this one, so all you’re honestly going to do is, well, this guy’s name looks like it’s Rich, here we have uh, Lauren and if there isn’t an obvious name in the mail or the username, just type Guys.

Because again, understanding your template is important. If it says “Hey Guys” it’s obviously not as personalized as you would like it to be, but it still works. So, if there’s no obvious name, just put guys, that’s fine. This is Ivan, this one here is going to be guys, guys again, this person’s name is Julia, we have Antonio. Peter, Peter? Peter? Pete? Pete? Another guy, we’ll do it again. This guy’s name is Michael, and you guys essentially get the point so as you can see, I just did 15 right there. It didn’t take that long.

It’s worth the work if you put it in and you just want to go in and fill out this entire sheet. Once you’ve done that, how do we take this and send it as an email to all these contacts? You’ll go back up to add-ons, mail merges, configure mail merge. Now the plugin is going to send this from the email address associated with your Google Account so make sure you’re logged into your business account for the store that you’re promoting.

Now believe it or not this simple plugin does allow you to track link clicks and email opens. So, it’ll give you a notification every time someone opens your email or every time someone clicks on your affiliate link, so that’s cool. Again, if you have more professional software though, that’s kind of a give in.

Apparently, they want you to upgrade to do that or something, but it’s not really a big deal for this. We’ll just click on continue. Now we’ll go up to select an email template, and we’re going to go write our own. So, I’m going to copy this one.

Again, the text template is written above. You guys can grab that. I’ll paste it here and for the subject line what I want to do is a business proposal for and let’s go with their Instagram username. Which in this case, we put under the last name field?

Which we just went over We’ll double-check this right here.

You can send a test email if you want just to make sure all your tags are working and everything and once we have everything all set, you just want to go and click on run mail merge. And that’s pretty much it there we go so I went into my Google Account, and I looked at one of these emails it started to send out. I started and stopped it obviously I don’t want to bother these people for a store that we’re just using as an example.

But as you can see what it did right here is

Hey Rich, my name is Matt. I run a store called blah blah blah. We came across your Instagram page.

It put his username in there perfectly, also did the same thing for the subject line.

So, just like that within a matter of 20-30 minutes, you just sent 250+ emails out to a bunch of micro-influencers to recruit them into your affiliate program. So, you can send those out on mass, if you do want to do it manually on your phone and you don’t want to use these tools you’re more than welcome, just go and paste this template or whatever you’re using in your notes on your phone, copy and paste this into the DMs.

Just make sure you switch it up once and a while because Instagram will ban you and with good reason. You know, don’t just go and spam people too much. I know you could argue that we’re kind of doing that here, but we’re doing a genuine thing, it’s an actual proposal.

All we’re doing as I said in my last post is using automation to do something that we would do ourselves or have an employee do. But just use your own gut, but that pretty much wraps this up. So, now that we have email covered there’s one last thing, I want to show you guys too.How to Use Stories to Engage Audiences and Buy Followers on Instagram

If we go back to our Deep Social data here, we’ll go back to our main sheet, and we expand the contacts column right here, you’re going to see the tool also scrapes phone numbers, and if you want to just get these on your phone, if you go to sometimes a business profile on Instagram you’ll see a little call button or send a message button, or it depends on the way they have it set up, but you can get these without using a tool like this too, you can do it right in Instagram.

If we start taking these here, what I want you guys to do is just go down this list copy these numbers, we’ll note the name, and you’re just going to want to go into your messages app, or you can just do this on your phone. I’m going to paste it in here, and we’re going to go.

Hey James, just sent you guys an email about a business proposal for your Instagram account. Get back to me ASAP.

How to find influencers for your brand – last advice

So, you guys can go down that same list that we scraped that we sent the emails with and go and just contact all these people by text by phone, whatever you want to do now if you’re going to be one of those people where you’re like, oh I don’t want to use my personal phone number, this and that, one, get over yourself, get a life and two, stop making excuses.

Go out there and do some work.

Now that pretty much concludes everything that I wanted to show you guys. That’s how you can go find the perfect influencers to target, how to get their contact info, how to send proposals to them, and start implementing this method in your own business.

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