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Published on January 7th, 2014 | by 011100110110010

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Simple Things You Probably Forget During Outreach

Hey kids! Today we’re going to talk about outreach or in most cases, self centred email spam. This post will either be:

1) Simplistic stuff that you have perhaps forgotten and are extremely glad of the recap.

or

2) Mind blowingly exceptional advice that changes the way you and your company work.

Either way I fully expect you to share this post with your internet friends, whether they work in the industry or not.

I know people write about outreach all the time so I’m hopefully going to point out a few things but without researching other people’s posts to see what they said before regurgitating it for the SEO post starved masses.

Actually that would make a good post within itself, the thirst of the SEOsphere! What would happen if no-one could post about SEO or online marketing for a day/week/month? I’d fathom an increase in productivity, decreased anxiety as SEO’s stop worrying about the new shiny thing and focus on improving their current processes and knowledge of the basics and tres, tres happy clients? Oui?

I realise that this post is only adding to the reeking, decrepit colostomy bag that is our blogosphere.

but I’d sure like to see it burst open, even a little.

Back to the job in hand of course. A few things I’ve recently thought about in terms of outreach.

  1. The person at the other end of the email doesn’t know anything about you until you tell them. So when you write ‘I have some creative ideas I think you’ll enjoy’ they don’t know that you’re an oddball writing genius, they think that your ‘creative’ ideas are just like everyone else’s, shit.
  2. Real websites don’t look for guest writers they look for contributors a subtle difference when everyone is asking for a guest post.
  3. Similarly don’t use words like links, website or post (maybe?). Use words like source, brand and article instead.
  4. Trust, trust, trust. Who are you, what do you do, why should I care as quickly, concisely and interestingly as possible. Why are you different and how can you portray this and trustfulness within 2/3 paragraphs?
  5. Remember the difference between morning and afternoon…
  6. Tweak, tweak, tweak. It’s easy to bombard people with the same message, sit back and question why you got no/little response. I’m not just talking about the individual message that you send but also the template/foundation that you base it around. Adapt your email to speak the recipient’s language and you’ll increase your success rate. This is weird fluffy advice and I can only make it worse by saying that you’ll know when you’re doing it right/wrong (hopefully). Personally I think a lot of this work is gut feeling and monitoring where you went right/wrong.
  7. The world of outreach is a schizophrenic one. You need different personalities per client, per sector, per contact. Keeping multiple conversations going when you are juggling other stuff isn’t easy and requires decent concentration skills, a good process and a positive attitude.

I’m sure there are a fuckload more points to make but these are the ones I’ve noticed recently.

For now.

p.s – to actually invite you here and give you nothing of value is a bit unkind so I’d recommend you read these covering ‘Now Provided’

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About the Author

One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



8 Responses to Simple Things You Probably Forget During Outreach

  1. Seymour says:

    Also, be a girl. Helps.

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  2. This is spot on Sean.
    I think the lingo change is so necessary.

    Nothing breaks the ice as well as using not only ‘non SEO’ language (so avoiding ‘links’ for example as you mentioned) but also using the prospect’s lingo.

    Huge difference between a generic email and a custom crafted email that cites events relevant to the person’s life, using the language they use.

    I think we also often forget that they are real people – whom we should respect, not just expect a link from.

    Thanks for the cool post!
    (hilarious p.s btw)

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    • Yo, Glad you enjoyed the read. I’m not the 1st to mention the lingo change but it’s quite obvious when you think about it. It’s like flirting with a girl but talking to her like you do with your mum (I know some guys who specialise in such chat some intentionally others not).

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  3. Gaz Copeland says:

    Hey Sean,

    I think you’ve nailed home a few good points there and I’d like to add a couple of earth shattering ideas of my own if that’s ok?

    Firstly, when you do outreach have something of *value* to offer, because if you haven’t people wont care about how honed your outreach email is.

    Secondly, send outreach to people you *genuinely* believe will agree that what you’re offering has value.

    If those 2 things are in place chances are the rest will be much easier.

    Gaz

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    • Afternoon squire.

      Both good points and ones that will make your life easier. If you have something of value and you have researched the people that will be happiest to find this valuable thing then you’re on to a winner. This is why people should be spending more time creating their own content than continuously searching for yet another site to write for.

      Basically:

      1 – Write for 5/10/20 sites on a ‘consistent’ basis
      2 – Create interesting/question answering, timely or mindblowingly awesome content
      3 – Share it

      I think there might be a strategy there…

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  4. Great stuff – the only thing I would really add is just make sure the person your reaching out to really has the ideal audience for your content and it isn’t just to get a link. Focus more on the type of traffic you’d be getting from it.

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  5. Dustin Verburg says:

    Also, mention Tupac whenever possible.

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