How to Hire Influencers

By Ted Wright December 16, 2008

So you want to hire some influencers to build some buzz and word of mouth for your brand, huh?  At Fizz, we’ve done this a time or two and have perfected a process that finds the right people, the first time around.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you head out on an “influencer hiring adventure”.

First things first: Admit to yourself that this is not a traditional job and you’re not looking for a traditional person.  You’re looking for an influencer who is going to spread word of mouth about your brand and the values your brand stands for.  Staffing this position is a completely different task than any other role you’ll need to fill.

Sifting through the stack of resumes:

Before you start looking at resumes, jot down some things you want to see on the resume.  For example, if you’re looking for someone that can build some relationships with local politicians or the city counsel, then you will want to see something on their resume about community involvement or a passion for local politics.  Think of the resume as a keyword search, and if you see one of those keyword on the resume, they get an interview.  No matter what the rest of the resume says.

Interviewing, 1st Round:

Because the best influencers are almost always going to be better in person than on paper, we believe in conducting a lot of interviews.  But who has time for 25 two-hour interviews?  Neither do we.  That’s why conducting a 15-minute interview is plenty of time for the first round.  15 minutes is enough time to figure out if they can carry on a conversation and it’s not too long if they can’t.  When scheduling the interview, set expectations with the interviewee and tell them that it’s going to be a quickie so they don’t feel awkward when you tell them their time is up.

 Interviewing, 2nd Round:

The second round of interviews should be conducted where the position will be spending most of their time.  Is this person going to be talking to consumers in bars?  Then do the interview in a bar!  Are they going to be interacting with sports fans?  Do the interview at a stadium!  This will help you find out if they’re comfortable in the most important of environments.

The Final Hiring Decision:

Now you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of outstanding candidates and you’re stuck on whom to go with.

·         Do they both have an authentic interest in your category/brand/audience? Check.

·         Are they both comfortable out in the field? Check.

·         Are they both smart, knowledgeable, personable and fit the company culture? Check.

The remaining “X factor” is: Can they walk into a room where they don’t know anyone and walk out with a couple new phone numbers programmed in the cell phone?  This is what separates the person who’s passionate about a brand from the INFLUENCER who lives on word of mouth.  You want the person who has that natural thirst for connecting with new people.  If you have the opportunity, put your candidates in a tough social situation like this, do it.  And if they both thrive in that environment, find a home for both of them.

That’s part the process of how we hire our influencers here at Fizz.  If you’re in the market to hire some of your own, we hope some of these tips will help your selection process.  And of course, if you ever need some assistance with the daunting job of finding, staffing and managing the right people to talk about your brand, you can always call your friends here at Fizz.  We’d be happy to help.


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