When it comes to marketing methods, there are a ton of options that can help attract new clients and generate buzz for your business. One fairly new tactic to consider? Launching a blogger outreach campaign. You may have heard the term used before — but what exactly does it involve? “The ultimate goal of any influencer or blogger outreach campaign is to get a trusted, third party source to write about and/or review your business,” explains influencer marketing specialist Maree Jones. “In turn, their readers or followers will read about it and (hopefully) feel inspired or well-informed enough to visit your business.”

What makes this strategy more effective than traditional advertising? “Many bloggers are considered to be professional consumers,” Jones explains, “and they have passionate followers who regularly stay updated on things they publish. This gives businesses or companies a chance to get in front of potential customers in a way that’s not as sales-y as traditional marketing can often be.”

Ready to launch a blogger outreach campaign of your own? Here are a few steps to help get you started.

Decide what you need from your bloggers

Are you looking for bloggers to promote a new class or workout? Do you want them to help spread the word about your latest promotion? Jones says that getting clear on what you need from your blogger will help determine your course of action. “The first step is to decide what it is that you would like the bloggers to do, and what you will give them in return,” says Jones. “Think of it as a value proposition for this campaign. If you can answer the question as to why bloggers would want to work with you, you’re already off to a great start!” As far as figuring out what to offer in return, Jones says that bloggers in the fitness space love trying out new studio services complimentary. “Many bloggers love having access to the kinds of exclusive experiences that fitness studios could provide,” says Jones, “such as a free membership, a consultation or new workout technique. By providing these types of experiences (or finding another way to compensate these bloggers), businesses have a great chance at gaining positive buzz and publicity online.”

Identify bloggers that would benefit your business

Once you know what you need, it’s time to seek out bloggers to partner with. “For a fitness studio, your search might be contained to a local area,” says Jones. “One place I like to start searching for influencers and bloggers is social media. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram have tremendous search function capabilities that allow you to target by hashtag or location.” Jones also recommends leveraging online groups dedicated to creating these types of partnerships. “Be sure to Google if there are any blogging groups or networks in your area,” she suggests. “Partnering with one of these groups could lead to several partnerships at once, thereby making your search easier.” Once you’ve found a few bloggers that might be a good fit, Jones recommends doing a quick review to make sure they’ll deliver on what you’re looking to achieve. “When working with bloggers and influencers, I recommend a manual scan of their website or social media channels to be sure that they regularly publish and keep their sites fresh, that they have an active readership and audience, and their tone of voice and content aligns well with your brand,” she says.

Pitch your partnership

“Blogger outreach is a lot like dating,” says Jones. When you’re ready to reach out to potential partners, you want to connect with each blogger on a personal level before talking business. “It can be as simple as an email, a Tweet or a text message asking if they’d be interested in working with you or reviewing your products or services,” says Jones. “Begin with an introduction, get to know the person, and then you can talk about money and the important stuff.” Once you’ve fostered a connection, Jones says that media kits are a great source of information for what working with each blogger will be like. “Many bloggers will also have media kits that they could send you in a digital format, outlining their monthly metrics, prices or rates, and any other pertinent information,” says Jones. “And, as it is in dating, don’t make it all about you and your business. Work together with bloggers in a true partnership and find ways to help one another.”