Step by Step Outreach Plan for Lasting Success
I’m glad to say that in recent years many SEO clients seem to get it. They inquire for very specific services revolving around outreach and content. On the other hand many of them still approach new school SEO with an old school SEO mindset. That’s “get links quick” usually.
Outreach when executed hastily and based on the wrong assumptions leads to ostracized influencers you can’t approach anymore in the future.
Recently I got a few inquiries aiming for what I’d like to call content-centric outreach. I have tried to convince these people to embrace a step by step plan for lasting outreach success instead of the nowadays more common quick and dirty cold outreach. So what are the actual steps to make your outreach work in the long run?
First you have to find out what the niche, industry or country you want to optimize for is all about. Do people blog about it? Is this a topic nobody wants to cover because it’s not sexy? Is there a lot of noise?
Who exactly is covering the niche already and why?
Maybe it’s just your direct competition dealing with it? What is lacking in that particular niche? For example the SEO niche is very crowded with lots of “me too” content. Why not provide a solution for that?
Now that you know who blogs in your niche and why and what they really need you can start approaching them. Of course the outcome of your market research can also be that nobody blogs about it yet. That’s great. You’ll be the first! Of course you need to change your outreach plan accordingly.
You may want to try to connect with active members of forums and communities too.
So you reach out to these bloggers or active users and just help them without wanting anything in return. You are just friendly and helpful! In any case: don’t be selfish!
Yes, that’s right. You befriend these people be being friendly and supportive. The great thing about hands on support is that you can’t fake. You stay connected. You chat with them from time to time. By chat I mean converse in a casual manner not using a chat software or something.
In short you are the actual person you’d like to befriend.
You don’t annoy people by contacting them over and over you just are around whenever they need you. You answer their question, give them feedback or support them on social media. That’s not difficult. It’s just common sense of dealing with other people in general. Why would you be rude doing business relations?
Now that you know what the niche is about, who the people are who cover it and what these people actually like and need you can start thinking about content ideas. You need to give them what they want but don’t have yet. Don’t create just another generic content piece like everybody else does. Be specific about the topic and the goal you want to do outreach for.
What is the goal? Making your friends happy.
Then one day they may spread the word about you. This may be an industry survey on how much people earn or what the most pressing issues are they face. In case a survey is too much of work, a group interview might already suffice. In the SEO niche it does. In other niches a presentation or video might be better.
After becoming friends with some industry covering bloggers (I don’t say influencers because you don’t want to go after the few people everybody else is trying to win over already) . These people value you as a supporter.
Once you have come up with the perfect content idea you can make your connections work for you.
The term promotion doesn’t mean of course pushing your content on them. Either you include them in the content itself as experts etc. or it’s so useful that they are actually glad when you send them over a link or short note detailing your idea.
Hooray, that’s it! Most probably you have created a win to win situation for both of you, you and your new friends. Ideally you stay in touch for future collaborations. How long did this take? I’d estimate six month or so.
You don’t make friends over night.
After a few weeks and some minor cases of smalltalk in their comment section etc. they may remember your name or avatar but only meaningful engagement and support over a substantial amount of time makes someone actually like you.
Once you have established yourself not only as a supportive individual but also as someone who can provide outstanding content other people will even approach you to spread the word or simply do it organically!
* Creative Commons image by eflon.