The 1 Hour Hack To Connect With 100+ Influencers (With Templates)


One challenge that every business faces is getting attention from journalists, bloggers and influencers.

These days more attention is swayed by bloggers and social media denizens, so doing a press release isn’t the way to spread the word about yourself most effectively. It’s more effective to do your research on who’s writing about your niche across the media and blog landscape and to reach out to them personally.

That kind of thing can take up quite a bit of time if you do it wrong, though. Don’t spend that unnecessary overhead on this.

Don’t give up and go spend big money on an outsourced PR firm or misguided virtual assistant, either . Do it right.

And here’s the thing: this shouldn’t take much more than two hours to set up.

In the end, you’ll get a great response from the influencers you email and a killer list for future announcements.

I’ve seen this process work for app launches, pivots, and even pre-launch beta coverage.

The Influencer Outreach Hack

First we’re going to identify and prepare to contact a big group of influencers. Then a virtual assistant will grab their contact info. At the end, we’ll send personalized emails to each of them.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Set up your target spreadsheet and swipe file.

For a swipe file, you can use a Google Drive document or an Evernote doc – doesn’t really matter. You’ll just want to be able to share it easily.

In fact, we made a swipe file starter document you can copy here (you’ll just need to click File > Make a copy…)

Then, set up a spreadsheet at Google Drive to track your targets. Use Google Drive for this because sharing it is so easy, and we’ll need to share it with a virtual assistant in Step 4.

Use the following headers:

  • URL
  • Author Name
  • Author Email
  • Blog Name
  • Blog Email

Actually, just use ours located here (again click File > Make a copy…) – it has some optional column headers for the future if you keep using the document for other purposes.

SuperRewards PR Hack Spreadsheet

This target list will be a valuable list for all of your future announcements as well.

Step 2: Fast research at AllTop, Google News and Topsy.

Make note, all you’re doing on this step is plugging in search terms and dropping the results link in your swipe file. Don’t spend valuable time digging into the results beyond a cursory glance. 

At AllTop, do a broad search for the category of focus for your app. You’ll  end up with a handful of tags in their orange dropdown.


Pick a few that relate to your niche.

As an example, assume I was building a puzzle game; I searched “online game” and chose the following sub-tags:

Put those links in your swipe file.

At Topsy, do a similar broad search (in our case “puzzle game”).

In the left sidebar, click on Tweets, then Influencers and grab both links. :

Note on Influencers: if you want to go deep on this list you’ll need to do a free 14 day trial.

Put those links in your swipe file.

At Google News, do a few similar broad searches. We did “puzzle game” and “elearning game”.

Swipe those too.

Step 3: Auto-generate leads using InkyBee.

Start an InkyBee account here (30 day free trial). Use throwaway login details, as I’m going to tell you to share them with a virtual assistant in the next step.

Once you’ve confirmed your email you should click on Lists, and create a new one or edit the starter list they provide for you. The list will be empty.

Click on “Add a Discovery Job” and you’ll see a screen like this:

Screenshot 2013-11-25 16.28.03Use one term at a time (you can make multiple Discover Jobs). Be sure to use language you’d find in articles and blog posts that your influencers are writing – expressive terms tend to work well. This isn’t keywords for Google.

We used “puzzle game”, “online gaming”, “gaming”, and “puzzles”.

Once the Discovery Jobs are set up, leave it and move onto the next step. The initial results will show up within the hour, with more every couple of hours.

Step 4: Hire a virtual data entry assistant for $5.

You can use oDesk or Elance for this step, but I tend to prefer Fiverr, which offers you all kinds of outsourced tasks for $5. 

You have a swipe file listing blogs and journalists that you care about, and you have a ready-made spreadsheet waiting for contact data. All you need is someone to do the legwork involved with finding the data and entering it into your spreadsheet.

At Fiverr, search for “data entry” and sort the results by “Highest Rated” or “Recommended”. Choose someone that resonates with you.

SuperRewards Fiverr Hack

Once you’ve got your person and bought a gig from them, send them your swipe file and target spreadsheet and these instructions:

  • Visit each link in the attached swipe file document: [link to swipe file]
  • These are my InkyBee login details: [inkybee logins]
  • Visit each of the blogs and articles listed at those links.
  • Retrieve contact information for all the authors at those listed links. First name and email at minimum.
  • Input that contact information in this spreadsheet: [link to your spreadsheet]

Go have a coffee. You’re on break until your VA finishes this data entry.

Step 5: Send the personalized emails.

There are a few ways to skin the cat on sending these emails, including more technical tools like Mailgun or SendGrid. Those tools require a bit of dev work, so I’m using Mailchimp in this example.

Now that you have a list of names and emails, clean it up a bit by getting all your contacts into two columns. Here is another spreadsheet to drop in your info.

Authors’ contact info is higher priority than blog/site contact info, obviously. You want to be writing real people if at all possible.

Upload that new list to Mailchimp and set up your email using their merge tags.

Mailchimp SuperRewards Contact Hack

The email should contain:

  • A name (*|FNAME|*) in the subject line. You can use merge tags in the subject.
  • A personal greeting; “Dear *|FNAME|*,”.
  • A short and friendly blurb about your app.
  • A request for coverage and feedback.
  • A link* to your media kit, which should include stats, screenshots, bios, and anything else to help a busy writer get their piece written.

*Do not include an attachment in your email. Links only.

SuperRewards Outreach Hack

Push send. Have a moment of glory.

There, that wasn’t so bad, right?

Building influencer lists and doing initial outreach to them doesn’t have to burn a lot of your resources, even if you’re a bigger team and can dedicate someone to the task specifically. If you complement something like this with a strong social media strategy, you should be able to build a very strong presence in a short amount of time.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!


Photo credit yourdan. Hat tip to & for elements which led to this particular process.


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