I’m going to let all you link builders in on a little secret… you don’t always need to be “building relationships” to be “building links”. Tweet this
Yes, a pre-existing relationship, even a passing acquaintance, is going to increase the likelihood that your outreach email will be acted upon. But let’s get serious for a moment most of the recent posts I have read on “relationship building” simply will not scale.
Despite the sinister undertones of forcefully trying to create some sort of relationship, the reason I am saying this is that the tactics people are employing involve putting a lot of focus on just a handful of prospects at a time.
They’ll attach themselves to a prospect and give a little, then wait, then give a little more, then wait…. rinse and repeat.
All you are actually doing is wasting time, not building
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Developing a mutually beneficial relationship can take a very long time and it is normal in the world of link building that no matter how great your pitch, your client or you are that these people you’ve spent time developing a relationship with will say NO.
That’s amazing to believe isn’t it, you’ve invested hours and hours building a “relationship” and when you finally got round to asking for the link they said, no!
What have you been doing on your client’s money for the past month.
I’m sure they can’t wait for their next monthly report…
“Thank goodness I hired that SEO to build relationships for me!”
— Joel K (@cstechjoel) November 20, 2012
If you really, truly, want to develop relationships online in order to build links then you need to change your mindset and begin to think about it in a scalable way.
Find the right people to target
As a link builder it is important that you cast your net far and wide. Don’t just focus on the big fish in the pond. Build up a prospective list of people who are a little lower down the pecking order; find out who is in the extended network of the influencer – oftentimes there are people influencing the influencer who are a lot more accessible.
This can be done with a social media tool such as Mentionmapp which shows you visually see who is talking to who and will help you to identify sub-communities on Twitter; simples.
If you are struggling to find new link prospects for your campaign then consider chunking up, or chunking down.
In NLP ‘chunking up’ refers to moving to a more general or abstract piece of information, ‘chunking down’ means moving to a more specific (niche) or detailed information. They help you think laterally fast. Kieran Flanagan source
If you spend a little time and think creatively you will come up with a lot more prospects in similar niches that you can begin to “build those relationships with” and at the same time developing a serious database of link prospects at various stages of development.
Automation is not a dirty word
What!!! You’re talking about automated link building in these post-penguin deep dark times… yes but not in the way’s you’re thinking about. No I’m talking about automating some of the processes I have discussed earlier in this post.
What you want to do is find tools, build tools or outsource the parts of this job that are so mind numbingly boring and ultimately are so cost inefficient you’re not going to make anywhere near the kind of money you would like.
For example you can use Mechanical Turk to outsource some of these link prospecting tasks for you, below is a video from Ben Wills, Ontolo:
You can also use advanced search operators in tools such as Scrapebox to return lots opportunities in a specific niche, or even a Chrome plugin such as Scraper can help you with this. If you are not sure what to do then this post from Justin Briggs will help you out.
I did say that you don’t need relationships to build links, didn’t I.
Well we can do this by building rapport quickly and not having to spend hours stalking people on social media or including them on a link round up post every few weeks. This involves understanding what motivates your prospect, knowing how to talk to their language and having something valuable to offer them, whether that’s fixing a broken link, offering a guest post or whatever link building tactic floats your boat.
So I’ll leave it to you to decide but I know I’d rather spend my time scaling my link building efforts, developing content that will earn me links and not sitting on Social Media for hours on end +1ing and RTing everything a few people are doing.
The worse your content is, the more you have to build relationships.
— Se▲n (@s_rvll) November 20, 2012