Ep. 5 Tim Brown – The Proof is in the Referral Partnership

B2B influencer marketing has been all the rage lately, and we dove into taking advantage of this newer channel in the B2B space with our good friend Tim Brown, of Hook Agency.

Hook Agency focuses on the niche construction and roofing contractor market and was able to build a strategic partnership with a YouTube influencer that drove 40 high-quality leads in 2 weeks, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in closed-won business.  This lead volume is about double what the agency generally received on a weekly basis.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to find the right influencer for your business.
  • A sneaky way to attract said influencer.
  • How to build a relationship with a referral partner.
  • The kinds of co-marketing that can be done with a referral partner.
  • How to create the “attribution story.”

Tim’s Recommendations:

  1. Be useful to the people that know how to get attention in your niche, and start with making a list of the top 10.
  2. Focus on the channels where your influencers are, which may not be the same channels your end users are on.
  3. Don’t worry about a certain amount of competition from your referral partners.
  4. Everything he does in marketing, he believes in part influences potential referral partners.
  5. Get your team involved in being active on social media, and more specifically in the various groups and micro communities where your influencers live.
  6. Send the influencers gifts to “sweeten the deal.”
  7. Don’t “be desperate” – don’t come off like you need business from them now.

You’ll need to listen to the full episode if you want to hear the Lightning Round, but here are a few highlights:

  • Tim is doubling down on YouTube influencers for Hook’s marketing!
  • Tim is a big fan of The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, and apparently, everyone loves to hate this one, so curious what others think.

Proofpoint’s POV:

While Tim is in a very different business than many of our clients, what they have done in terms of focusing on influencers to build up referral partnerships is a great strategy.

Influencers are very much an accepted channel in the B2C space, but it is still often overlooked in the B2B space, and it definitely shouldn’t be. In Tim’s case, his team is focused on YouTube influencers, and I can tell you that just about every industry we work in with our clients has major YouTube influencers.

We work with a company that sells farm management software, and there are a number of major YouTube influencers in the farming industry.

We work with a company that sells restaurant automation technology, and there are a number of influential industry folks on YouTube.

We work with a medical device engineering firm, and there are a bunch of engineers with huge followings on YouTube.

I think you get the point. And it definitely doesn’t have to be YouTube. You might have influencers on LinkedIn, on Twitter, heck even on TikTok. Or you might be looking at micro-influencers that are big in specific micro-communities on Slack. Or, if we want to go a bit more old school, maybe they are influencers inside of your industry trade groups.

Any way you slice it, Tim’s advice is very solid. Find the people that are good at getting attention in your industry, and be helpful to them. This is definitely a long-term play, but it generally has a great payoff.

A bit more about Tim:

Tim is a former musician and the founder of Hook Agency, which he now runs along with his wife Bea Bonte. Having started his career in website design, he got sick of creative beautiful websites no one ever saw, and now helps construction companies have a Google specialized team, to draw people in (the secret sauce is finding what people are searching, and then building compelling content + links.) If you are a construction or roofing contractor looking to scale your business, you would be remiss if you didn’t get in touch with Tim and his team.

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