You can pick & choose which influencers to engage with, but not which influencers exist.

A few months back we were talking with a prospective Identification Program client. After a ten minute explanation of our methodology I was asked if we really had to include a number of influencers who the client wasn’t personally interested in. We were asked to ignore any competitors, anyone considered ‘out of reach for marketing purposes’ and any already being engaged with. Could we not discard anyone ‘untouchable’ by their marketing outreach? What we were really being asked for were the names of only the lowest hanging fruit, those most likely to be available for partnerships. The ones who would sign-up to ‘pay for play’.

I had to explain that while we have no issue with our clients subsequently prioritising those people, our original research has to include all those genuinely influencing their marketplace, whether they like the prospect of those individuals or not. The client didn’t appreciate my answer. The more I thought about it, I didn’t appreciate their question. We both agreed we weren’t a good fit for their needs.

They’d be an ideal fit for the blogger influencer peddlers.