There isn’t one.

three word shortcut to influencer relations

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of pitches from companies wanting to “leverage” my “influence.” That’s not surprising, since “influencer marketing” is the buzzword du jour.

So it’s also not surprising that for every company or marketer who’s trying to do this thoughtfully, there are tens, if not hundreds, of others, trying to make a quick buck by creating an influencer marketplace.

The thing is, you can create any kind of marketplace. You can line up any number of vendors to attract buyers, and you can promise tons of buyers to your vendors, to attract them to your particular marketplace.

Heck, you even give the vendors a cut to come to your marketplace, rather than someone else’s.

Maybe a good percentage of vendors and buyers show up. And maybe some of them even buy stuff. And maybe some vendors make a little bit of money (most probably won’t).

At the end of the day, though, all that has happened here is a bunch of transactions. And while the vendors may have made some money, they’re not really thinking about how they can help you next.

Because while relationships often entail some element of transaction, that’s not all they are about.

Relationships take time.

Think the vendors hold you in high esteem, and want to do their best to help you out, because they know you’ll help them solve their customers’ problems?

Think the vendors are intimately acquainted with the specific pain points the buyers have?

Think the buyers really care about the vendors… or about you?


There is no shortcut to building great relationships, and that includes with influencers.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke