I actually think that the term ‘influential people’ sounds very judgmental, and makes it seem like the majority of online bloggers and marketers have got nothing of value to add, that of course is not correct – as there is plenty a smaller blogger can add to your business.
It is however the will of the majority of online population, that there are two sides – those who’ve been recognized, and those who’ve yet to be recognized. What better way to build our way up, than by reaching out to those who’ve already made it? You only need a little bit of courtesy, and perhaps a clear goal in mind – you’re bound to make new friends.
Why do I have to reach out to others? How do I reach out and engage politely? How can I give back? How much does it cost? What should I say? All of these questions might be running through our heads, when we’re first considering to create an outreach program in order to help our business grow.
Which are the main channels of connecting with people, and of course the most efficient?
- Social Media
- Blog Discussion
I’m currently experimenting, and working closely with all of the above channels. I’m gonna go a little bit into detail about each, and by the end of it – you should be able to understand better how easy it is to actually gain a link back, or a social mention if you’re putting in the right amount of work.
Reaching out to influential people and brands through email is still one of the most effective ways of communication, and engagement. The first couple of times are the hardest, as you’re learning what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to receiving positive responses. You need to let go of the expectation that each email is going to be a ‘yes’ – because it wont be!
First, you need a reason for reaching out to the given person. On the top of my head, these are reasons I’ve been reaching out to people lately:
- free marketing
- website / blog mentions
- link opportunities
- guest posting
- general queries and questions
I’m mostly focusing on building some authority, and so it may seem like a lot of the emails are just back and forth ‘begging’ for a mention or some other form of recognition. You shouldn’t think of it that way, always remember that there is a bigger opportunity available than just sending out emails to each other.
The email template I use, which grants me a solid response rate is this:
I’m [name], and I’m the managing editor at a website called [domain] – we specialize in [topic].
I wrote a new post for our website just a few days ago, and because I have used some of your ideas and material, I thought it would be a good idea to reach out and let you know about it,
[link to the post]
I’d appreciate for you to take a look, and I welcome all types of feedback. I know you’re probably busy most of the time, but it would mean the world to me if you could help me with promotion, or even give me some pointers from your own experience.
I’ll usually adjust to the needs of the person I’m sending the email to, and I also wanted to say that I don’t bother with out of this world influencers, who’ve lost all of their precious time to other tasks and you stand no chance of getting a response from them – you know who they are.
You have to remember, reaching out for no reason is probably going to yield no result at all. I’m engaging in a conversation with influential people only when I’ve got a good reason for it, and usually that reason is that I’ve used their material in my blog post, directly.
It’s not like they’re stupid, and of course they understand that you need help – and in order to get help, you better make sure you stand out from everyone else who’s doing the same thing you are. It’s reality, not a game.
We use social media to engage others in order to bring forth attention to ourselves, as well as to cultivate mentions, and other free promotional tactics. You’ll be doing this till the day that you realize that being everywhere at once is impossible, and a couple of really meaningful relationships can stretch much longer than a thousand less meaningful ones.
The best way to engage on these sites is by asking questions directly, and looking for than in-depth knowledge which can be turned either into a quote, or even a full-scale blog post – which is essentially what you’re after, as it gives you the momentum of being able to trace back your data to the given influential person.
You can also check out my recent post on 25 social media tips that should be in everyone’s social media strategy. The main goal you’re after is transparency, and it has been proven numerous times that simply asking for a retweet or a mention does not work.
The last method, and probably the most transparent comes in the form of blog commenting / discussion. This takes away all of the secrecy that an email outreach program might provide, and instead you’re left with your own ideas and openness in order to catch the attention of a given blogger. I’ve been thinking about blog discussions a lot, and I’ve come up with a concept that might appeal to others, more than it does to myself.
The concept is that before we make any type of connection with the given blogger – one we’d like to partner up with – we take the time to browse and explore their blog / community and spend a couple of weeks commenting on their stuff, to make them notice our frequency of visits and engagement.
In return, when you’re reaching out to that blogger in email – it’s guaranteed that he’s going to remember / know you from the comments. Any professional enough blogger knows, that blog comments are like a treasure chest, to be treated with care and accuracy. I think this concept can be applied to really difficult to earn relationships, and should only work if you’re able to provide the intellectual capacity for discussion and new ideas.
Influential Brands, People & Businesses
I hope that my initial wish of teaching you something new and even inspiring you, worked, and you’ll know feel more confident when it comes to reaching out to other bloggers and influential figures. It’s difficult when you’re just starting out, because there is nobody to back your claims up.
I only started this blog in early December, 2013. By February, 2014 – I had nearly 10 guest blogging opportunities lined up for me, and I was already engaging in conversations with other influential bloggers from around the world. I only did what I had to do – I put in the right amount of hard work, and it started to pay off.
You can do the same exact thing, and it doesn’t matter from within which niche you’re working from, as the general idea of a kind and helping person stays the same.
photo by buzzshift