“Perennial Seller” by Ryan Holiday

How to Work with Influencers (7 Steps)

7 tips on working with influencers from “Perennial Seller” by Ryan Holiday

Parker Klein ✌️
3 min readJan 30, 2024

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1. The first step is the hardest

Make something really awesome that exceeds the expectations even of busy, important people with exacting taste.

Influencers are typically hyperfans and their continued success depends on being seen as tastemakers and leaders.

2. Focus on making their audience look good

Even better, forget the “looking” part — just make them good, period.

Or, as Sierra puts it, make them “badasses.

3. Do research

Who seems to have a big following?

Who has a reputation as a tastemaker or trendsetter?

Who seems to be highly connected or to hold a position of prominence in your industry?

Who seems to have a hunger for films, apps, food, or services like yours?

4. Don’t ask

What’s the best way to ask someone to endorse or share your work? Trick question. The best way is not to ask.

Marc Ecko never asked for anything — he just made great work and sent it to select influencers he knew might appreciate it. Eventually, he got his first shout-out on the air, and the brand was never the same.

5. Hold on

When you find an influencer who likes your product, hold on for dear life. (Send them more stuff than they know what to do with — chances are they have influencer friends!)

6. Always put yourself in their shoes

How would you feel if everyone wanted a piece of you?

How would you feel if you got dozens of emails a day from total strangers trying to trick you into endorsing products, essentially for free?

You’d be overwhelmed.

Or you’d be jaded.

The fact that most creators — especially big companies — just hire PR agencies to do this pitching for them is an opportunity for the DIY creators who don’t.

Be a person.

Be nice.

Think relationship first, transaction second.

7. Think outside the box

Authors are inundated with requests for blurbs from other authors; meanwhile, generals, academics, and CEOs are asked much more rarely.

Who would be better to go after, then?

Try to find the people least likely to get a request from someone like you, and approach them first, instead of going where everyone else is going.

Be bold and brash and counterintuitive not only in how you create your work, but also in who you use to market it.

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Parker Klein ✌️

Former @Google @Qualcomm @PizzaNova. Building the best place to write, remember & share *things*: Twos (www.TwosApp.com?code=baller)