Can’t get people to link to you?
I know link building is a really hard old game and believe me when I say this, it’s only going to get tougher as the goal posts continue to move and the bar for entry onto the first page of Google becomes even higher. It’s probably even more annoying when you see successful link builders seemingly build super high quality links with ease.
Most great link builders are very good communicators and whether they know it or not are employing NLP techniques.
What the heck is NLP?
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) in simple terms is the study of how our minds use, interpret and process language and thought. NLP is the process of talking someone into seeing their environment in a different way and was discovered by watching therapeutic experts and modeling their behaviours so that it could be taught to others in their fields.
The basic principles of NLP are:
- Rapport – the practise of building a relationship with an individual and earning their trust
- Anchoring – is a technique where an association is created between two separate entities where none existed before. Anchors are subtle and powerful, especially when they are attached to a strong emotion. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the anchor!
- Swish – is used to replace a negative state of mind with a more positive outlook
- Reframing – works by giving us a new way to look at and old idea (inbound marketing anyone?)
Using NLP in your link building efforts is quite easy if you approach it in an organised and linear fashion. First, you need to determine what it is you want the link prospect to do. That’s what it all comes down to; your link target taking a positive action and linking back to you. Now that you have defined your goal, the next step is to determine the elements of your outreach communication and the anchors that you want to attach to them.
Use representational systems in your link building efforts
Great communicators take advantage of all 4 representational systems to create the maximum impact. When you begin to understand how your link prospects process information, communicate and make decisions you can relate to them much better. When talking with a link prospect, of a different style to your own, it is important to speak their language.
Auditory: people with an auditory preference are great story tellers and love to talk. Ultimately they want to have fun and attend “fun” events. They are big picture orientated so don’t require the details so consider picking up the phone and having a chat.
Auditory Digital: individuals with an auditory digital preference are very detail orientated perfectionists, preferring order over chaos and their personal space. When you write an email to them be specific, prepared and precise & offer them plenty of links and references for further research such as charts and data.
Visual: people with a visual style are driven and very businesslike. They don’t want the detail and need the big picture so make sure your communications with these types of people are brief and to the point. These types of people prefer visualisations (infographics and photos) and very much love to win; so think about blogging competitions and ego bait to get this particular groups attention.
Kinaesthetic: (try saying that after a few sambucas) individuals who have a kinaesthetic preference are doers and want to take action. These types of people enjoy getting out and interacting so why not arrange a meet-up with other webmasters in their location, pick up the phone, invite them for a coffee or host a webinar.
Even though the ultimate point of an outreach campaign is to get something you want, the prospect needs to feel like their own best interests are at the heart of the request. Be very clear about what the reader should do and why s/he should to it in light of how s/he will benefit. Also never underestimate the power of reciprocity. It’s an influential social norm that you can use to your advantage to develop rapport and create an anchor when carrying out link building campaigns and is the true secret behind the nature of many successful link building tactics.