There are paid tools that you may be able to use, such as BuzzSumo or BuzzStream; however, if you are looking for manual methods for building your marketing outreach list then this process document may be useful.
Below I will document the process for building an outreach list manually.

There are 2 types of influencers who will be involved in outreach projects. 

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) influencers and Experts influencers.
Peer-to-Peer influencers are companies and independent specialists from adjacent markets. Experts are opinion leaders, industry influencers, journalists, bloggers, who cover topics that are relevant to your business.

There are many different methods you can use to find influencers. I will walk you through a few that have provided good results.

Google Search 

One way to build your marketing outreach list manually is through Google Search.
First, choose the topic related to your task, for instance, auto insurance rates.
Go to Google Search to find websites (in adjacent markets) that are relevant to your topic.
Pick a website/blog from the list and input the URL, along with the topic into Google Search.

Example:

site:moneywehave.com auto insurance

The goal here is to find influencers who are knowledgeable about the given topic.

If the SERPs show that the website had previously published blogs related to your topic, then we can mark this influencer as a potential influencer. However, we must check for other criteria such as content freshness, social media presence, and most importantly, domain authority.

In the example below I searched for Top Personal Finance Blogs Canada. 

Example — Watch Video

When deciding on an Expert influencer, it is important to check:

  • Domain Authority of their website should be 30+. You may need to use Mozbar
    as it allows you to instantaneously view the DA of each website in the SERPS.
  • Content publication dates should be “fresh”. 
  • The overall look and feel of a blog/news site should be professional, without too many intrusive ads. 

Muck Rack

Muck Rack is a free to use database you can use to find journalists.

Search for your topic in Muck Rack and in the filter column, select your desired location. 

Next, analyze the website and journalist to ensure that they fit the criteria you are looking for. 



Ideally, we are going after the journalist’s website and not large media sites; therefore, in this example, we won’t consider Powell River Peak.

Ahrefs

In this example we’re going to use it to find sites that are relevant to our topic. First, go to Content Explorer and use the appropriate search operators to find blog posts related to your topic.

For example, we can search for something like this: 

(how OR why) (car insurance AND Canada)

Next we need to apply the following filter to the results:

  • Live. We don’t want broken URLs.
  • Domain Rating. This should ideally be 25 -90. It’s not worth spending time on sites with low DR.
  • Published. We should filter for content published within the past year.

Tip: Highlight unlinked domains.

This feature will highlight pages coming from domains that don’t have links to the target domain. You don’t want to reach out to bloggers/journalists who already have our client’s link on their site. Remember we want to acquire new backlinks.

We also need to filter out multiple pages from the same domain as we only want to contact each website once.

To do that, we can turn on the “one page per domain” slider.

Twitter

Open Twitter, then go to Advanced Search. Input your topic under “All of these words”.
Scroll down to set the language and date, then hit Send.

Ensure that the Search Filter is set to “Near You”, if you are looking for influencers in your region.

You should see a list of Journalist, Editors, Media Outlets, News Agencies and Bloggers mentioning your topic. Remember to ignore large media sites and news agencies.

In the example above, I found Andrew Lo, who qualifies as a P2P Management Consultant. He has his own website where he posts articles regarding car insurance.

If you click on Andrew’s profile, and scroll down to the “Who to Follow” section, Twitter will recommend to you a list of professionals in the same or adjacent market.

In this case, a list of Insurance Brokers and Business Coaches are provided. Analyze these business professionals to determine which influencer meets the criteria for your outreach list.

LinkedIN

This final approach is a bit more labor-intensive because not everyone listed in the search results will have a relevant website that you can get a link from. You’ll have to manually analyze individual profiles to see if the person is a good fit. 

Open LinkedIN>Go to the search bar> enter a topic>select Enter>Click “Content”

This method will provide you with varying types of posts, including, job postings, and some irrelevant content. But some of these people will have a website that’s relevant to your topic. So the onus is on you to do your due diligence and seek out valuable link opportunities from the results provided.

Research Tools

Here are some tools you can use to gather contact information:

  • LeadLeaper – Free Chrome Plugin allows you to extract emails from LinkedIn.
  • Hunter.io. – Another free plugin you can use to find email addresses from anywhere on the web.
  • You can also use the freemium RocketReach platform to get contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers.