As business owners we all understand the value of a referral. It’s probably the most effective form of marketing – getting someone like a client or friend to refer you to one of their contacts is more often than not a sure fire deal.

This is why groups like BNI and other networking organisations are so successful – they encourage this activity because they understand how powerful it is. BNI even has strict rules to keep the referrals flowing for it’s members.

Influencer marketing has become a popular method of promotion recently for much the same reason.

It’s always been understood that if you can get a popular celebrity to endorse your product that it will generate sales. That’s why there are so many adverts with popular TV celebrities – it drives sales.

The same now applies on the net. Popular internet celebrities earn big bucks for promoting products! In the top echelons of the industry it can be as much as $500,000 PER POST! Build your following on Instagram and you could be generating the same kind of income!

Recently I’ve been looking at how small businesses can also work with online influencers to promote their products and services.

On my Facebook Group (Social Marketing Workshops) members are interested in how to use Instagram so I decided to look into using influencer marketing on Instagram to see if that may be a way to promote a small business.

My recent video post on Social Marketing Workshops where I talked through the results of my first try at influencer marketing on Instagram

For my experiment I used a website called This is a directory of Instagram users where they track their number of followers and how engaged their audience is. These two stats give you an idea of how well your advert could be received by their audience but the important thing when choosing someone to promote you is to pick an influencer who’s relevant to your market.

There’s no point picking an Instagram user who’s focus is on fishing if you sell gym wear so use the search function on ShoutCart to find the most relevant users. When presented with your list of gym monkeys with large followings you can then filter them further down by number of followers and their score (a rating between 0 and 30 for how authentic they are and how engaged they are to their followers).

A search on ShoutCart for the keyword “Fitness” for example, will bring back 4 pages of results of Instagrammers (and it brings in their Twitter following too) with their follower numbers, score and the cost for a single promoted post. You can further filter out your ideal influencer by location, language, gender and even the time of day that they tend to be active.

Quite quickly you can start to see how this can be useful for promoting something like gym wear or any consumer products. As for business products and services – more testing is required!

If you want to see both of my videos where I tested ShoutCart then feel free to join my Facebook Group using the link below.