Brands just getting started with influencer campaigns don’t necessarily need to budget a ton of funds toward the cause, says Yash Chavan, Founder of Saral, a tool designed to help emerging DTC brands build profitable influencer marketing campaigns.

Yash offers a six-step strategy for getting started, beginning with coming up with three to five core hashtags. Start by searching for related hashtags on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

Then using those hashtags, find influencers with a following of between 3000 and 20,000. From those, scale your list down to 100 influencers. Email the prospects – don’t DM them because those messages get buried, Yash says.

Make your pitch a personal one – don’t copy and paste a message, he says. Be specific in your request. Pitch your product. Offer an affiliate deal. Send them the product. And then track the results.

“Everything’s done for free: Email is free. Prospecting is free. Talking to them is free. Zoom is free,” Yash says. “The barrier for entry is literally in your head. So get out of your head and start executing.”

When Yash began building Saral, he talked with dozens of e-commerce founders along with influencer marketers, and everyone said they wanted the same thing – a platform. While Yash says all brands can use the Saral platform, emerging brands are the focus for now.

“We want to build for those and grow with those,” says Yash, who’s had a passion for early brands.

“One of my first jobs was at an early-stage startup. I was, I think, the fifth or the sixth employee there,” he says. “A brand is more human. You relate to the founder, you relate to the team, to the message of the brand. So I think it’s an exciting market for me personally.”

Yash has words of wisdom for entrepreneurs like himself and those building a brand.

“Stop waiting for help or funding … God helps those who help themselves,” he says. “If you’re an e-commerce company, you first need to go to your customers. See if there’s a need for it. See if you can validate the same outcome without building a tool or without building a brand out of it. But then just start with the small steps, and you’ll eventually compound that into something much bigger.”

In Part 2, Yash talks about:

* Six steps to starting a social influencer program.
* What parts of a social influencer program can be done for free.
* Why building relationships with influencers will yield oversized results.
* What the onboarding process is like.
* Advice to fellow entrepreneurs.

Join Ramon Vela and Yash Chavan as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

For more on Saral, visit: 

If you want to get more best practices around influencer marketing, Yash is offering a “Free ebook” for listeners:

This episode is brought to you by Sendlane.

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