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Craig Kerstiens

Bootstrapped/Startup Marketing Part 2

For the second part of the series we’re going talk a bit about finding the influencers in certain industries. We’ll get to more traditional means that people think of later, and if you’ve missed our first post that dealt mostly with SEO make sure you check it out first. In most online ventures there’s a key set of influencers, often times these are blogs or podcasts. Blogs can receive a huge readership, which are often very loyal.

The first step to taking advantage of this is obviously finding the correct blogs. As a byproduct of being in the valley I spend plenty of time reading Techcrunch among many other blogs. While a post on Techcrunch might result in massive traffic spike, or some moderate feedback, its definitely not in our target demographic. If our goal was investors then Techcrunch might be viable, but here we’re talking about marketing and marketing to core users at that. The blogs for your core demographic should be pretty straight forward and you can find them through google or other basic means.

The hard part might be once you’ve found them, how do you get on them. The first thing to do is work on networking with them if at all possible. If you’re in the same area as bloggers try seeing if they typically attend certain meetups or go one step further and simply organize a meetup or tweetup yourself. Or simply network, find others in your space that can make in intro. Hands down a first person intro will work better than any other method.

If for whatever reason networking and getting directly in touch doesnt work (which can often be the case). You can always resort to cold emailing them. This can work. There’s a few keys to this approach though:

The next step will bleed a bit more into the next post in this series, but here’s a small preview: Advertise to your influencers, not your users. If you have a limited ad budget, don’t advertise to your target user. Advertise to the influencer of your target user. We’ll get into more detail on this in the next post but a quick example:

If you’re building a sports site, why advertise on facebook for people who like sports when you could advertise to someone that works on If the latter notices you and see’s interest they could potentially write you up or refer you to people that might be of interest.