9 Ways To Find Micro Influencers (& How To Vet Them)

October 28, 2022
15 min
Rochi Zalani

There’s no doubt about it: the word about micro-influencers is spreading. In 2021, 91% of all sponsored content on Instagram was created with the help of micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers — small influencers with a following between 10,000 to 100,000 — are becoming a marketer’s top choice for all types of influencer collaborations.

So, what’s with the hype? Whatever happened to go-big or go-home? Let’s find out 👇

3 reasons why you should partner with micro-influencers

At first glance, micro-influencers don’t seem to have a vast influence. They’re your regular Joes — not popular like the Kardashians, but they have a tight-knit audience around a specific niche. And yet, this is exactly the part that makes them so appealing.

1. Micro-influencers allow you to tap into a niche community

With micro-influencers, you can go extra-niche and find someone whose following list closely overlaps with your target audience. Their number of followers might be small, but their demographic is focused.  

Micro-influencers can also be key opinion leaders who are widely sought after and trusted in their community.

2. Micro-influencers have a higher engagement rate (and even higher relatability)

Studies after studies have found micro-influencers offer a much higher engagement rate than their macro and mega-influencer counterparts on every social media platform.

Why? Because of their small following, micro-influencers are more relatable. Data backs this up: 72% of consumers prefer micro-influencers over influencers with large social media following.

3. Micro-influencers are less expensive

The best advantage of all might be the cost-effectiveness of micro-influencers. Since influencers are paid in part for the size of their audience, micro-influencers are more affordable with their small following.

According to research, an Instagram post from a micro-influencer costs $350 on average, while an Instagram Story is just $180 a pop. While obviously rates vary, and everything is negotiable in the world of influencer marketing, it gives you a benchmark.

Convinced about the power of micro-influencers? Let’s cover where you can find them next.

9 ways to find micro-influencers online for your next campaign

1. Use an influencer discovery tool

First, I'll give you the short version. Then I'll elaborate. You can use Modash to search & filter every creator on Earth for Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube with 1k+ followers. It's the fastest way to get a shortlist of creators that match your criteria.

It can also help you:

  • Check audience demographics
  • Check fake followers & engagement rate
  • Get contact emails (in bulk)
  • See most popular posts & hashtags used
  • ...and more

You can try it free for 14 days.

Okay, now onto a more detailed explanation.

Using a software platform like Modash removes many headaches present in other methods. You don’t have to go on a Google hunt, manually check engagement rates, and struggle to scale your influencer marketing efforts.

Here’s some advantages of using Modash:

It has an extensive influencer database: Modash houses over 200M+ creators meaning you never run out of potential micro-influencers. There’s no marketplace discovery model (that lists only those influencers who were selected or influencers who opted to be included) or a limited cap at influencer qualification (Modash lists any profile with more than 1,000 followers).

It has excellent filters to quicken the search process: Modash lets you narrow down your influencer search to a granular level — filter location, platform, growth rate, bio keywords, audience demographics, and more. The best part? Modash has percentage granularity — meaning when you apply an audience filter (like location), you can decide exactly what percentage of the audience must match your filter (like at least 40% of the influencer’s audience must be from your filtered location).

Other influencer search tools lack the level of detail, and have far fewer influencers in their database.

It’s easy to use and has a free trial: Finding the right micro-influencers is hard in itself. You don’t want to add to the burden by also adding ‘learn how to use yet another influencer marketing software’ to your to-do list. Luckily, Modash is super simple to use with no learning curve. It’s feature-rich, yet straightforward to use. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use it well. Not just this: many influencer marketing tools tie you to annual contracts without giving you a test drive of how the software actually works. With Modash, you have a free trial of 14-days to examine all the features and assess if it’s the right fit for you.

Here’s how to find micro-influencers using Modash in three easy steps.

Step 1: Head to discovery, choose your desired platform, and enter a follower-range

Modash has creators from all the big guns — TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. For example, if you want to find TikTok micro-influencers, click on the TikTok tab.

The process works similarly for other social media platforms (and there are even more filter options for Instagram).

Step 2: Start applying filters

When hunting for micro-influencers, the first filter to apply is the follower count. Enter a specific range — like 10,000 to 35,000 followers. You can add other criteria: location, engagement rate, keywords, etc.

⚡Pro-tip: Limit your search filters to two to three initially. Why? You might miss out on influencers who fit your brand perfectly by being too specific in the beginning. Applying one filter, checking your results, then adding more criteria one-by-one (if you still have enough profiles) ensures you don’t accidentally skip through a perfect creator for your company.

Step 3: Analyze micro-influencer profiles

Once you have the list of potential micro-influencers, open their profile summary. Modash’s influencer analytics gives you the in-depth inside scoop on every individual micro-influencer. Engagement for recent posts, audience data, popular content — you name it, Modash gives it.

Doing this step ensures every creator outreach you do is to genuine micro-influencers who post relevant content, align with your target audience, and have good engagement from their followers.

2. Search for micro-influencers within your following list and employees

Would you believe me if I said your fits-like-a-glove micro-influencer is already sniffing around for a partnership with you?

  • Search who follows your brand on social media — some micro-influencers who love your products might already be on there
  • Similarly, check if any of your employees are also side-hustling as content creators with a tightly-knit community
  • Even loyal customers with a decent online following also aid in advocacy marketing

3. Find micro-influencers already posting about your product

Micro-influencers are proactive in hunting for new products that might be helpful for their audience. Keep an eye out for small creators already posting reviews about your products or tagging you in their relevant posts — they might already find your brand interesting and your merchandise useful.

For example, beauty and wellness micro-influencer, Lily, posted casual photos about everyday things and included BlendJet (along with some other brands) in her post without being asked or paid.

She has over 26K followers and would make an excellent micro-influencer for BlendJet as she already uses their product and has a decent audience size.

4. Hunt for micro-influencers within social media apps (and their native creator marketplaces)

Hashtags work on all social media platforms — whether it’s Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. Search for relevant hashtags within your industry and find potential micro-influencers who post high-quality content and can meet your brand’s goals. For example, if you’re a skincare brand finding Instagram influencers, you can search the hashtag #skincareproducts.

While it’s a good method if you want something free, the problems with this method are glaring, obvious, and plenty:

  • You’ll still need to cross-examine the audiences of these micro-influencers using an influencer analysis tool
  • It’s painfully time-consuming to look at every post for a hashtag and evaluate potential micro-influencers
  • Hashtag searches show the most popular videos — which aren’t always necessarily from micro-influencers

Even native creator marketplaces for these social media platforms — like the TikTok creator marketplace and the Instagram creator marketplace — are futile because they don’t list every micro-influencer on the social media app.

Other issues with creator marketplaces are:

  • They are available in limited countries — meaning partnering with local influencers would be impossible for some target markets
  • Marketplaces can’t help you find influencers across all platforms. The TikTok creator marketplace will only help you find TikTok influencers

5. Find influencer lookalikes

Have you previously seen some success with micro-influencer marketing? If yes, find similar micro-influencers who cater to the same audience.

How to find these lookalikes? There are four ways:

  • Use Modash’s influencer lookalike tool. For example, if you want to find TikTok influencers similar to @u_beautylauren, enter her profile URL in the ‘Search by Username’ tag, and Modash will give you a list of influencer lookalikes who have the same type of audience and produce similar content.
  • Search your favorite micro-influencer’s ‘Following’ list. Micro-influencers often follow other micro-influencers in their niche. This process can get a little manual, though — especially if the micro-influencer follows many accounts.
  • Use the down arrow and the ‘For You’ page. On both Instagram and TikTok, there’s a downwards button 🔽 that shows suggested accounts creating similar content for the same type of audience. You can sort through these accounts and see if any potential micro-influencers are a good fit for your brand.
  • Also keep an eye out on your ‘For You’ page on Instagram and TikTok if your brand is already engaging with relevant influencer content. The algorithm is fast and will start recommending similar influencer content in your industry. YouTube doesn’t have a similar downward arrow or ‘for you’ page, but its algorithm is skilled at suggesting similar creators and picking up the kind of content you’d like.  

6. Ask for referrals

The influencer marketing industry is a tightly-knit community. If micro-influencer marketing isn’t your first rodeo, ask your old pals for recommendations for other good micro-influencers. They might have names to offer or know mutual micro-influencers who are a good fit for your brand.

Also check for any micro-influencers your previous influencer partners have collaborated with on content creation in the past. They cater to a similar audience and can be potential micro-influencers to add to your roster.

7. Work with an influencer marketing agency

The influencer marketing industry is full of agencies that can help you find the perfect micro-influencers for your brand. The pros of working with a full-fledged influencer marketing agency are they’re experts in their field, so you aren’t gambling your hard-earned money.

Another advantage is agencies do the heavy lifting for you — from influencer hunting, managing influencer payments, drafting influencer contracts, and maintaining influencer relationships.

The downside is working with an agency can be heavy on the pocket, and there’s no guarantee an influencer marketing agency will have a large enough database of micro-influencers for you.

If you have the budget, you can ease some of these cons by thoroughly examining influencer marketing agencies before committing to one. Some questions you should ask are:

  • What does this influencer marketing agency specialize in? They might be known for a particular industry, like fitness brands, or perhaps their expertise is in one platform, like Instagram.
  • Who are the faces behind the influencer marketing agency? If the agency is run by well-known experts who have run successful influencer marketing campaigns in the past, you know you’re in good hands.
  • How many influencers does the agency have access to? Some agencies strictly use their own network of influencers, while others have a more detail-oriented approach of using tools and manual vetting. You want the latter to access a large pool of micro-influencers.

8. Search on Google

It can be a little cumbersome, but you can find listicles of excellent micro-influencers on Google. Enter “your industry + micro-influencer” and you’ll get a list of articles (like this) detailing the specifics of each influencer.

If you opt to search for your ideal micro-influencer on Google:

  • Rely on recent articles because influencer metrics evolve by the minute
  • Go through a couple of pieces to have a large pool of micro-influencers to evaluate
  • Get as specific as possible to find exactly the types of micro-influencers you’re looking for

9. Create a brand ambassador program

Building a brand ambassador program is one of the best ways to have influencers come to you rather than the other way around. It attracts micro-influencers who genuinely love your products and are interested in partnering with you long-term.

Create a landing page for your ambassador marketing to get inbound traffic from Google and promote the exclusivity and benefits of your ambassador program on social media.

Take Bolt — it has over 500 ambassadors across 18 countries. Its ambassador program with month-over-month Instagram campaigns with so many brand ambassadors is one of the primary reasons for becoming the third-fastest growing European company.

Micro-influencers seeking out reliable, regular partnerships and ambassador programs are a great way to create a win-win situation for you and the influencer.

But the work’s not done even after you shortlist micro-influencers. What factors should you look for to ensure a high-ROI influencer partnership?

What makes a good micro-influencer: 3 factors to look for

Finding the right micro-influencers for your brand is no cakewalk. Some influencers don’t meet your ideal target audience. Other creators have a plethora of fake followers and are only in influencer marketing to make easy money. And the remaining micro-influencers fizzle out after a campaign or two. Here are three questions you should ask each micro-influencer you shortlist to avoid partnering with the wrong creator:

1. How many fake followers does the micro-influencer have?

More than 49% of influencers were involved in fraud in 2021. The practice of purchasing fake followers (and even fake engagement) is rampant in the influencer community. How to steer clear of micro-influencers with inflated numbers?

Enter: Modash’ fake follower tool. You can easily filter Instagram accounts with a high percentage of fake followers and choose to work only with creators in the ‘less than 25%’ bracket.

And voila! Now you’re no more paying for fraudulent influencers promising a non-existent reach.

2. What is the micro-influencers’ growth rate?

Sure, micro-influencers are small presently. But the best micro-influencers don’t plan on staying that way. Many of them are rapidly growing creators — gaining significant follower jumps week by week — on their way to becoming the next mega-influencer.

You want dibs on these booming influencers before they pop to maximize ROI and lay the groundwork for a long-term compounding investment.

How to find fast-growing influencers? Don’t scratch your head doing the math. Use Modash’s growth rate filter.

Enter the minimum growth rate you want in your micro-influencers, and the platform will show you only those creators who meet this criteria.

3. Does the micro-influencer have a solid connection with their audience?

The best part about micro-influencers is their deep connection with their community. They aren’t aloof like mega-influencers who can’t respond to the 10,000+ comments they get.

Once you shortlist your potential micro-influencers, check if they frequently communicate with their followers. This might be through posting interactive stories, replying to comments, and producing content their audience asks for. For example, see how beauty influencer Hailey Marie responds to almost all comments she gets that ask her a follow-up question about her content.

The micro-influencer doesn’t need to overdo it here and respond to every DM, comment, and question they receive, but an overall trusted bond with their community is essential. It’s what makes them trustworthy and relatable — and by extension, what makes their audience vouch for the micro-influencers’ brand recommendations.

Micro-influencers for the win!

Micro-influencers are having a moment right now, and it’s for all the right reasons. Bigger isn’t always better.

But there are anywhere between 3.2 million and 37.8 million influencers in the world. Finding good micro-influencers (ones that actually fit with your brand) is like searching for gold in a sea of trash. Hopefully, with this guide, you have all the resources you need to hunt for relevant micro-influencers for your brand.

What’s even better? With Modash, taking the first step is not so hard. There’s no learning curve, it has data for the 3 major influencer marketing platforms, and it’s an all-in-one tool to manage every step of your influencer marketing campaign. See how it all works with a free trial of Modash today.

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