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Calm is a $2B media empire. Here’s what you can learn from their influencer partnership model

Today, meditation app Calm has over 120M downloads and $23M in in-app revenue.

Lots of smart marketing moves enabled Calm to leapfrog its competitors and become the go-to app for chilling the heck out.

But the one tactic stands out to us was their use of influencer partnerships.

In the saturated meditation apps market, Calm needed a way to stand out.

So instead of developing content on their own, they decided to get celebrities to do it for them.

Here are just two of the ideas they came up with:

  • LeBron James prepping users for a big event with his own calming tips.
  • Matthew McConaughey reading a bedtime story.

This kind of influencer power gave Calm brand awareness and credibility. It also had a ripple effect with users who joined organically, because it featured their favorite celebrities.

And as a result, Calm also got high quality organic PR coverage and reliable backlinks going to partnership pages. Powerful stuff.

Here’s how you can replicate their strategy without investing millions on celebrity features:

First, find experts in your niche. Map out thought leaders from your website and rank them according to which metric is most important to you: followers, authority, etc.

Then, figure out the connection between you and experts. You may have a relationship with experts that already know the people in your list. Use that to build a good pitch.

Brainstorm creative campaigns you can do together. Think of how the experts can fit into your particular brand. For Calm, it was calming content. What can your partnership content look like?

… And finally, make sure both you and the creator benefit from the partnership. This increases the chances of getting partners willing and able to help you, and makes the relationships more profitable for everyone involved.

Best of luck as you build your own media empire!