I have been using the Eightfold Linker Marketplace since its first beta, so I was delighted when Pelin asked me to add what little wisdom I may to the pot. My world is quite narrow. I don’t want to hitch up with eCommerce sites or even sites particularly in Canada or America. It’s not that I am averse to those sorts of sites – it’s just that I don’t want a hundred contacts that mean nothing. Nor do you. That’s not what I am trying to get out of the system.
Link building – most experts agree – is about relationships, not blue text on a web page. I use Linker to help me foster quality relationships. The last three tie ups I had through Linker produced far more depth than you might initially imagine. Here are some facts about them: Because my industry is quite a closed shop, I actually KNEW two out my last three tie ups personally already. This did not mean the tie-in was a waste. To the contrary, it told me that I was on the right path using the system to build relationships – because the people I already trusted were also using the system. What’s more, it helped me see where our agendas overlapped – that we were all looking to cross pollinate ideas and share.
Since then I have written articles for one and also had other members of my team write articles as well. The result is a richer experience. We have also started a banner advertising campaign on one site. Small industries have niche marketing needs and these relationships and link ups help to define the audience almost down to a tee – making every marketing dollar go so much further. A banner campaign to a select audience for a few hundred dollars trumps a display campaign to a huge more general audience, costing a few thousand dollars.
But the relationships go deeper than that. The “new boy” in my inbox was not someone I had heard of before – but whilst we have now reviewed each other’s services (and talked about them online) we have also linked up on Twitter and LinkedIN and we are now looking out for each other at conferences. I liked his take on my market and he was at least not derogatory about our product. With another match, we are geared up for a radio show. On another we have collaborated on some joint research.
Building your audience online is not about LINKS. It’s about RELATIONSHIPS. And that is exactly what you should be getting out of the Eightfold Linker Marketplace right now. To get into the system, people have to do just a little work to show that they understand the way in which the system sets up introductions. But you need a plan of action on how to build a relationship out of that introduction. Here’s a little “workflow” for you to mess around with in your head: When you get an introduction, be relaxed on accepting it, but then quickly find out what you have in common, by looking at the website and emailing the match with some questions about who they are and what aspirations they may have from the introduction.
- If there is plenty in common, continue. If not… go and relook at your profile on Linker – you got something wrong to get the match in the first place.
If you have things in common, have a look at what strengths they have that you don’t. For example:
- Do they have lots more twitter followers than you> If so, is the quality of those followers something to work on?
- Do they have a blog with a wider audience than yours that you can buy into?
- Do they run events that you might want to attend / sponsor / talk at?
- Are they cash rich, time poor or cash poor, time rich? Either is useful… just offer to trade ideas on their terms.
Once you have assessed their strengths, also look at their weaknesses and see where you are strong on that list. That’s where you can make headway – to find a relationship which is win-win. This workflow/thought process should only take a couple of minutes – not hours. One email to the introduction with some basic questions, a review of their site and you should have a plan of action.
It’s not rocket science… it’s chemistry.