People always ask me “What does it take to get a celebrity or influencer raving about my product or business?”. My answer is that it takes a lot of determination, perseverance, a plan of action, and making use of The Handbook’s celebrity and influencer resource. The platform provides full contact details and audience insights for any global celebrity or influencer. You can try it free today here
I constantly have to remind my members and subscribers that celebrity association should not be an option. It should be part of every company’s marketing plan. In today’s world celebrities and influencers dominate social media, news headlines, TV channels and people’s conversations, with influencers and celebrities gracing the web and getting a stronger online presence than ever through their social media following. Using social media as their online currency, brands can be made or broken through as little as a tweet or a social media post.
Based on a recent Mediakix report, it’s expected that influencer marketing will be worth around $15billion by 2022, and it’s no secret. Our social media platforms, from Instagram through to TikTok, are dominated by celebrities and influencers sharing their lives with us, with many reaching out and doing their bit amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Our scrolling hours are flooded with brand partnerships, gifted products and viral videos of dance challenges. With the rise set to continue throughout 2021,
One thing is certain and that is COVID19 has caused people to spend longer engaging on social media than ever before. According to data from Kantar, social media engagement has increased by 61 percent over normal usage rates. The use of video platforms is also increasing, and we are seeing influencers and celebrities utilising platforms like Instagram Live to entertain and connect with their audiences. Just in March, TikTok saw 6.2 million downloads, a 27 percent increase compared to February. This has been emphasised with influencers pivoting their content too, and the ones that have done well, are those that have tried to give back to their following, and offered support to followers through these very difficult times. From Joe Wicks hosting daily PE classes and Marcus Rashford who earlier in the summer wrote an open letter to the UK government calling on them to provide free school lunches for those children in need and to end UK child poverty. With so many parents out of work due to COVID-19 redundancies and furlough, so many are struggling financially right now, and Rashford’s voice acted as a catalyst for the UK government to do something. Helping to push this forward quicker, the UK government did then agree to providing free school meals during the holiday periods.
It’s all very well using influencer marketing to get your brand across to customers but for optimum engagement and result, brands will need to rethink their marketing strategy to drive engagement and outcome. For example, if your brand is centred around travel, think of ways to utilise the current climate rather than not focusing on advertising at all. While we can’t travel right now, reach out to influencers and celebrities for future projects to help business get back up on its feet when lockdown restrictions are loosened.
French multinational corporation and conglomerate LVMH is a prime example of a brand changing their branding during this unpredictable time, as they pledged to make hand sanitisers to tackle a national shortage in France during the COVID-19 crisis. Brewdog, known for their craft beers and pubs across the UK, have also pivoted their process to making hand sanitisers too, delivering them to the NHS and those most affected by the virus. Take a look at our article on ways influencers, brands and celebrities are changing their branding style to help amidst the crisis.Like all businesses, brand recognition and outreach are exceedingly important to success, using a celebrity to create this recognition can be an excellent tool, . In short, choosing the correct celebrity will create great media exposure. Not only do people pay attention, but they also talk; and with the power of social media, conversation momentum is more important than ever for campaign support and success. Top celebrities and influencers get approached by hundreds of people and companies weekly wanting their support to endorse their product, support their charity, or attend a high-profile event. This means that being able to successfully communicate with the celebrity or influencer of your choice is crucial..
Luckily for you, The Handbook has put together our key tips on how to contact celebrities to ensure you that you get a response!
Like all businesses, brand recognition and outreach are exceedingly important to success, using a celebrity to create this recognition can be an excellent tool. In short, choosing the correct celebrity will create great media exposure. Not only do people pay attention, but they also talk; and with the power of social media, conversation momentum is more important than ever for campaign support and success. Top celebrities and influencers get approached by hundreds of people and companies weekly wanting their support to endorse their product, support their charity, or attend a high-profile event. This means that being able to successfully communicate with the celebrity or influencer of your choice is crucial.
Luckily for you, The Handbook has put together our key tips on how to contact celebrities to ensure you that you get a response!
Why Listen To Us?
The Handbook has over 260,000 global celebrity and influencer contact details.
Why using our platform is so simple
We wanted to make influencer marketing SUPER simple, and for users to be able to reach influencers SUPER easily, therefore we have created an incredible tool which allows brands to email out to thousands of celebrities and influencers in seconds. Here’s how it works:
- You write an email campaign, this is an email about your product and why the celebrity or influencer will love it
- You select a group to target e.g. beauty influencers (our platform provides all of the contacts for this group and you can refine within a group like beauty influencers that live in London who have 50k-500k followers)
- You hit send and it reaches all of these influencers. Yes, you get to reach thousands of influencers in seconds, what’s clever is our platform inserts the influencer name, and allows you to insert the brand name, so each email appears personalised.
- You can also create your own lists and then email all the contacts on them
- You get responses directly from the influencers and can choose who you work with
Here’s where it all happens.
Here’s how to do it…
1) Have a solid proposition
Using The Handbook celebrity and influencer database email or ring the correct representative with a clear, concise and well thought-out case, stating how you would like the celebrity to get involved with your offering. The best way to contact the celebrity is by emailing the celebrity representative. Celebrities receive so many messages directly on their social media platforms especially from fans meaning that your message could easily get lost amongst them. Instagram is very good at filtering messages which also means your messages will often not reach the targeted celebrity. Instagram organises conversations for celebrities into two groups, primary for family and friends and general for all other messages including fans. If you are looking to book a celebrity for a personal appearance or an event, state the budget that you have and the dates that you would like the celebrity to attend. Many representatives absolutely will not approach their clients about a project unless it is definite, with solid dates and times.
If you are sending a product to a celebrity that you are hoping they may wear, The Handbook recommend that you contact the publicist or manager in advance to check the postal address and the size the item should be sent in. Also, remember to contact the right person. The agents’ main concern is getting commercial bookings for the celebrity, not making sure they hear about or acquire your product. Publicists and managers, on the contrary, are much more likely to pass on your product to the celebrity, rather than just returning to sender. Alternatively, if you can contact the celebrity’s assistant, there’s a high chance they’ll be willing to trial your gift and pass on the recommendation.
2) Check their social media feeds and get to know the celebrity/influencer
This is one of the key things I would always suggest anyone does when gifting to a celebrity or influencer. Actually get to know what the celebrity likes and the sort of things they are likely to promote. As well as what they like, look at what their problems are and how your brand can solve them. When Estée Lauder first started out she gifted celebrities – the company is now worth $5 billion with Kendall Jenner the current face of it. Other smaller brands, such as Rodial, gifted to Kylie Jenner. She Instagrammed the product to her millions of followers, and sales go through the roof, from just the cost of one product.
Be sure to look at their social media following
We all know the value of social media and you can get celebrities and influencers praising your products via their social media, for nothing other than the cost of the product. However, it’s really important to contact celebrities and influencers who are aligned with your brand and proposition. Analysing what accounts the celebrities follow can help you understand what they like to buy and do. This can allow you to personalise gifts for them that they will value and love.
We’ve just launched a really unique tool where you can compare the social following of different celebrities, in the form of growth charts, so you can see which celebrities have risen the most that week in terms of following. You can also compare celebrities in terms of social rank and brand influence. In the case of Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton, whose business My1stYears.com specialises in gift hampers for babies, this means targeting those who have recently had children.
They chose to approach Dannii Minogue, to whom they sent a hamper after the birth of her son Ethan, when Daniel and Jonny’s business was itself in extreme infancy. Dannii loved the product and endorsed the brand. ‘Dannii Minogue was great’, says Daniel, ‘She loved the gift, talked about it, even uploading photos’.
After sending a hamper to Beyoncé and Jay Z after the birth of their baby girl, Blue Ivy, Jonny and Daniel were invited onto The Alan Titchmarsh Show to discuss their products – PR that money just couldn’t buy.
In terms of endorsement, the products impressed Elton John when their hamper full of personalised goodies was chosen to be gifted to him and his partner David Furnish by Heart FM, when their son Zachary arrived. The contents included a teddy bear embroidered with ‘Tiny Dancer’. Elton’s subsequent enthusiastic reaction to the hamper was captured online and has proved especially valuable to the company. As always, make sure you approach the right celebrity or in uencer on social media – the worst thing you can do is to try and link with celebrities just because of who they are, and try to get a celebrity that is totally inappropriate for your brand.
Endorsement can also be gained via social media. Many celebrities and influencers will tweet about a product or service to their followers – for a price. While this is still likely to cost thousands of pounds, it is more affordable than a traditional advertising campaign. Agencies such as Adly.com specialise in creating Twitter and Facebook campaigns using celebrities and influencers.
There are other, cheaper ways though. For example, Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur extraordinaire of Dragons’ Den, runs Small Business Sunday (or #SBS), entirely through Twitter. Every week, small businesses are encouraged to tweet him (@TheoPaphitis) describing their business in one tweet (including the hashtag #SBS) in a set timeframe. Each Sunday, Theo chooses his favourite six and retweets them to his 230,000 followers.
It took Stephen Barton, whose craft business Krasnaya started producing Russian doll kits in 2009, nine months to win the SBS in 2011. ‘Having Theo’s name associated with the business has helped us enormously’, he explains. Not only did he gain valuable publicity, but the business was also approached to start exporting to the US soon afterwards – something Stephen credits to enhanced credibility, stemming from Theo’s endorsement.
Often, celebrities and influencers will have more Twitter followers than magazines will have readers. For example, Theo Paphitis shares relevant tweets to his 468k followers. This may not be getting the product straight into their hands but see the next point…
3) Get closer to the celebrity’s inner circle.
Get to know more about the people surrounding the celebrity on a day- to-day basis such as their makeup artist, personal trainer and friends and family. For example, if you got to know Emily Blunt’s makeup artist Jenn Streicher, you could reach out to her and she could recommend different gift ideas for Emily which she is bound to like.
4) Ask for something small
For example, directly asking a celebrity or influencer to use your product in public is a large and perhaps costly request, but you could mention that if they didn’t want to do this they could do something smaller, like tweet about it. If you can get them to comply with this small request, they may be more likely to follow up a larger request at a later date.
The process is about sending a great product that’s going to add great value to someone. So instead of screaming for attention, you attract attention by giving value before there is a hint of asking for anything in return. Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers. Giving something as a whole is a lot easier than trying to pay for promotion, throughout this entire sequence you’re layering in all the mental triggers. Since you’re sending a free gift, you will hit the reciprocity trigger and by showing your knowledge of the topic and your position, therefore you hit the authority trigger. The more you reach out to them, the trust will become stronger between you and that person resulting in more feedback and hopefully their thank you’s will help build a community and endorsement.
5) Book a celebrity or influencer in advance
If you are looking to book a celebrity for an event or interview please do so in advance as celebrities get booked up very quickly. If you are looking to book a celebrity for an endorsement or a commercial booking then we do offer this service, contact email email@example.com. Please note we only deal with commercial appearances with a budget, if you are a charity or have a limited budget please contact the agent directly.
6) Hit the nail on the head! Unique angle examples
If you are approaching a celebrity regarding a charity engagement, please provide clear details about the charity and how their contribution can help that particular charity. Please explain what the charity is looking to raise from a specific event or the celebrity being involved, and state clearly what involvement the celebrity will need to have and how much time it is likely to take. Breakthrough Breast Cancer (now called Breast Cancer Now) hit the nail on the head with their 2010 campaign, “Too Many Women”. Regarded as one of the most innovative charitable campaigns to date, “Too Many Women” sought 201 ambassadors to each raise £500 and recruit nine other women to do the same, representing the one in nine chance of women getting breast cancer. Female powerhouses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Sienna Miller and Pippa Middleton got behind the cause, immediately giving the campaign global credibility. The charity is now one of the largest global breast cancer charities with celebrity ambassadors including Prince Charles, Alan Carr and Kate Moss.
Tips for charities can be found here
7) The Handbook advises having a list of 5- 10 celebrities minimum that could be suitable for your requirements so that you increase your chances of a good response. In most instances, there will be various celebrities that can support your cause or endorse your brand, so it is important not to put all your eggs in one basket!
8) Select celebrities that best suit what you need
Do they share the same values and interests? ? In choosing a celebrity/influencer to promote your product, it is important this decision is based not only on their image in the public eye but also to ensure their core values are largely in line with your own values. You don’t want a celebrity or influencer to go off the rails and taking your brand down with them. Kate Moss has been the face of a number of popular brands and was then caught snorting cocaine in publicly. Would they be suitable in regards to the audience you are targeting? What appeals to you personally should play very little part in your decision making. Do they avoid the spotlight? Do they have a personal connection to your cause? All these points should play a part in what celebrity you select. It is also important for you to decide which social media platform is best suited to advertise your brand which in turn can influence celebrity/influencers you decide to target.
9) Look out for fake followers
Many celebrities have been found out with a huge number of fake followers. In 2014 it was found that Kim Kardashian had 1.5 million fake followers and in 2017 it was also found that Donald Trump had bought more than 15 million fake followers. You may wonder why it matters if they pay for fake followers because at the end of the day they are still celebrities. Whilst this might be true for huge stars such as Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, you may only have a budget to focus on less well known celebrities which means you will have to understand how many of their followers are actually fake. It will also damage your brand if your company is seen to be using a celebrity with a lot of fake followers. The cost of using a celebrity for advertising is driven by their number of followers so it is important to work out whether their followers are real or fake. There are a few things to keep in an eye out for when it comes to fake followers. Don’t just look at the celebrity followers alone but also look at how well their audiences are engaged by looking at how many people are actually liking and commenting on their posts. If a celebrity has thousands of followers but only a handful of comments and likes on their posts, it is very likely that they will have a significant number of fake followers. It is also possible for celebrities to buy likes which can make the puzzle even more confusing! So look at the ratio between likes and comments. If the influencer/celebrity posts are getting 2,000+ likes but only a handful of comments, it is likely they’re buying a lot of likes!
10) Remember to get to the point rather quickly
These are all very busy people who are approached constantly. Try to grab their attention right away and be clear about what you want. This applies to phone calls and emails alike. Nothing turns a busy person away more than having to dredge through a lengthy email or waste time on a long phone call just trying to figure out what it is you are after. It is super important to also not come across too strong and pushy when emailing, and instead build a relationship and make them realise how great you and your brand are. Try not to make it seem like a business deal but just a friendly relationship.
11) Grab their attention
Mention things like how thousands of people will be watching, name drop or talk about the potential for social good in their participation. You can also include money. Even if you aren’t necessarily promising to pay the celebrity, just seeing dollar signs can boost a person’s interest in your event or product. So if you are working on raising $1 million or are pursuing a $2 billion project, mention it.
That said, it is important to be honest. Don’t oversell your position or the opportunities you are offering to the celebrity. No one wants to be misled, and you will quickly be written off if you are too unrealistic about your claims.
12) Be positive and hopeful
Explain how and why the celebrity can personally make a difference for your cause, event or project. However, do not come off desperate. Show that you are taking steps to put your product out there, but not as quickly or grandly as you could with their support.
13) Approach a celebrity in person and be friendly
Admittedly, this means to an end may be reserved for the more bold individuals. Just being photographed with a celebrity can do wonders for your reputation even if its not directly related to the product. Find out where celebrities will be appearing, for example club nights, product launches, book signings or charity events If you want to check if any celebrities are in town this week, or check out some great celebrity events click here.
14) It’s a numbers game
Whilst you’re waiting for one celebrity to get back to you, be sure to contact others. The more celebrities you write to, the better your chance of a productive outcome. If you have not heard back, you can always follow up, doing this via phone conversation or even a handwritten letter generally yields the best results. Remember that celebrities and their agents are being constantly bombarded with products and letters, so do not despair if you do not immediately get a response. As they say, Rome didn’t get built in a day.
15) Consider Company Equity Share
If you’re just starting out and have very limited funds at the moment but really need a high level of celebrity or influencer endorsement to elevate your brand to the next level, another option to consider is giving the celebrity an equity stake in your company. This option really only works when the conditions are absolutely right; for example, you need to be sure that the celebrity is committed to maintaining their support of your brand over the long haul and won’t just stop pushing your product after a while.
You also have to be confident that the celebrity you’re asking to endorse your product has staying power. The last thing you want to do is give equity to a celebrity who will fade from the public eye in less than a year but will continue to take a cut of your company’s profits long after their value as an endorser is gone. If all the conditions line up perfectly and you have tried gifting without success, equity can be a great way to secure a long-term celebrity endorsement, but you need to be absolutely certain that the deal works for both parties in the long-term before offering it.
16) Consider Revenue Share
If you’ve tried some of the other suggestions and perhaps have not had much luck, or if you want to guarantee high levels of celebrity endorsement, then consider revenue sharing. This is a great way to secure a celebrity endorsement without putting down more money up-front than you can comfortably afford to spend. Revenue sharing simply involved partnering with a celebrity or influencer who will represent your brand in the public eye; in return, the celebrity or influencer will receive a percentage of your sales. Unlike equity, however, the celebrity or influencer does not have an ownership stake in your company.
If you target up and coming celebrities and influencers, you will likely be able to offer far less share in your business. However celebrities and influencers will still only work with products they like and many will still often want some sort of up-front payment for their work. But if you have enough money to cover that up- front fee, revenue sharing can be a good (and creative) way to secure a celebrity endorsement with limited upfront cost to you.
17) Offering free merchandise
Offering free merchandise is a great way to get your brand’s name out there without incurring costs you can’t afford.
We’ve talked a lot about gifting, many clothing companies will send free merchandise to celebrities and influencers in the hopes that they will be photographed wearing the clothes; if the brand is really lucky, the celebrity will be so happy with the new clothes that they’ll post about them on social media for free. For example, Juicy Couture believes their exponential growth is all down to celebrity gifting. Juicy Couture knew Cameron Diaz loved the colour blue so they sent her all of their new pieces in blue which she was frequently spotted out and about it.
18) Consider discounts for your chosen influencers and celebrities
We’re all suckers for a good bargain and this is the same for influencers. You can give them great discounts and commission based on their sales volume and this will encourage them to work more closely with you. Specific promotion codes can be provided for this which will also allow you to track their success. This can be helpful to see how useful the influencer/celebrity has been for your company and help you decide whether or not you should continue work with them.
19) Gifting, it’s all about the great customised gift
If you are sending a product to a celebrity or influencer that you are hoping they may wear, I recommend that you contact the publicist or manager in advance to check the postal address and the size of the item should be sent in. Also, remember to contact the right person. The agent’s main concern is getting commercial bookings for the celebrity, not making sure they hear about or acquire your product.
Publicists and managers, on the contrary, are much more likely to pass on your product to the celebrity or influencer, rather than just returning to the sender. Alternatively, if you can contact the celebrity’s assistant, there’s a high chance they’ll be willing to trial your gift and pass on the recommendation. Celebrity bookers will generally take a fee, but they help make the process seamless, as they often have a tight contract and can suggest suitable talent. They will also generally attend the event to ensure the smooth running of it.
Make sure your package stands out so there is more chance of it getting noticed, send a handwritten personalised note. Also follow the celebrity or influencer on social media to make sure what you are sending is something they may like and you can even mention that in your note. For example, if on social media the celebrity or influencer says she loves hair masks, then mention that in the note, or if she’s recently had a hair cut, say that you think this mask would be great for her new hair style.
Another tip is it’s best to use next day, special day delivery or Federal Express. FedEx has a delivery option called Express Saver that’s cheaper but it has a better chance to get into the right hands and past the gatekeepers because it’s in a FedEx envelope, and people will see it as more important.
Celebrities and influencers like products that are customised. If you have a way to customise your product such as an engraving or embossing something like their initials, then the product is much more likely to be shared on social media and get noticed.
Make sure you include all of your contact details and some info on the product. Try to also include a photo of you using the product, or other celebrities using it. If you don’t hear back then follow up to check they received your gift and see if they liked it.
20) Gift your products to celebrity assistants
Sometimes taking the indirect route can work – contact the celebrity’s assistant. It’s the assistant who is likely to write back via email etc – these people are the gate keepers and the celebrity communicates with them every day. Also if you send something amazing they might speak highly of you to the celebrity and encourage them to work with you. Some celebrities even end up in personal relationships with their assistant, for example, Kristen Stewart and her assistant Alicia Cargile. For more tips on how to gift to celebrities and influencers click here
21) Customise your product for a celebrity or influencer
Celebrities and influencers are more likely to wear a product if it is customised – it may take longer but you will reap the rewards. For example, ClaireaBella gifted bags to Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore and Binky from Made in Chelsea.
Juicy Couture is another great example of a brand that grew from nothing. They set up the company with $200 and it has since grown into a multi-million pound business with the likes of Madonna and Paris Hilton frequently wearing their products. The owners Gela and Pamela turned it into a multi million pound business, and the growth was largely down to celebrity gifting and sending out personalised gifts. They sent out a personalised hoodie to Madonna and it went all around the world, so they then sent them to Cameron Diaz with ‘Cameron’ on, and one to Drew Barrymore with ‘Mrs Green’ on, as she was married to ‘Tom Green’ at the time. Any time someone got married, the business women sent them personalised tracksuits. Find out how to reach celebrities and influencers through gifting click here
22) Create a niche product
Some of you may feel you’re a real expert in skin products, dating or weight loss. But the money is not in the submarket. To make your product stand out and get noticed you might want to consider choosing a niche. What can you offer people that is special and different? The goal is to carve out a unique spot. Don’t go after the same market as everyone else, and don’t market in the same way as everyone else, if you do this you’ll only ever get marginal competitive advantage if you are better than them. Find your niche e.g. if your area of expertise is nutrition don’t just be another nutritionist but hone in on a specific area that you can specialise in, for example nutrition for fertility or create a nutrition plan for those with skin problems. Then become number one expert in your field at this and think outside of the box, market your business differently, don’t be the same.
23) Create Belief and Sell The Transformation
Everything comes down to one thing – belief. Belief creates the customer, belief creates the results. To be successful in business you must persuade people to believe in what you are doing, and a great way to do this is through the art of honesty and storytelling don’t be afraid to share with your audience. You don’t have to be perfect, be real and they will identify with you and want you to succeed. I always tell my sales team don’t sell people the features, sell the transformation, for example if you own a clothing brand and are selling a pair of leggings don’t talk about the colour, the fabric the texture, talk about how this product will transform your butt like nothing has ever done before!
24) Consider targeting micro-influencers
You don’t have to aim for the influencers with the most followers. Micro-influencers might be your sweet spot with between 5k and 100k followers, they’re more likely to engage with loyal audiences as opposed to the audiences that huge celebrities with millions of followers might have, and the engagement per follower is often much higher. Micro influencer will also be cheaper and easier to get in touch with. They are followed by a huge number of people who really respect their opinions and lifestyle choices – micro influencers are great options!
25) Be polite and thankful
Being polite always goes a long way and this is no different when dealing with celebrities and influencers. Make sure to show your gratitude for their help which will keep the relationship positive and fresh!
If you want further tips check out our endorsement tips section here
If you are a charity, click here for tips on getting celebrities to support your charity
Good luck! If you need help do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org