People searches: 3 step guide to outreach

Few would disagree that outreach has been well and truly reinvented over recent years. Once upon a time it got as “advanced” as a mail merge. Now, there’s a huge degree of personalization, as companies bid to find those big links which can ultimately send them higher in the search engine rankings.

Unfortunately, contacting and initiating people searches for the relevant individuals is easier said than done. There’s a certain art to it, which is highlighted even more so when you consider the fact that many industry experts are struggling to attain anything close to a 10% success rate.

Bearing this in mind, let’s document a three step process which can help you along your way and hopefully increase the chances of more links hitting your website.

Step #1 – Find relevant content

First and foremost, you need to do something that’s completely unrelated to the content that you have produced. It’s at this point that you need to find someone else’s content, which of course has at least some similarity in the topic with what you are working with.

These pieces of content are easier to find than you might first imagine. A simple search on Google can sometimes suffice, while there are now various tools on the market which can pinpoint existing content which has a lot of links or shares pointing towards it.

Once you have identified these pieces, find out which journalists or bloggers have covered them. Note them down – they will be needed for future steps.

Step #2 – Build relationships

Following on from the above, the next step is to build relationship with said “influencers”. Unfortunately, we live in anything but an ideal world and this means that you can’t simply email them a copy of your content piece, and hope that they publish it. Instead, you need to “warm” them up, and this usually entails building some rapport through social media.

Twitter tends to be the best platform for this and you can start by responding to their tweets, or retweeting their work. If you are feeling particularly daring, you might even connect with them by email, or maybe through a conference. Regardless, you tend to need a couple of months of rapport before you even consider sending over anything self-promotional.

Step #3 – Outreach your content

Finally, this is the step we have all been waiting for. Now that you have gathered your influencer list, and built up those elusive relationships, it’s about utilising these effectively.

Little instruction is required here; it’s all about making contact and pitching your content accordingly. The trick is not being overly commercial, which is almost certain to result in your pitch being rebuffed. Instead, strike up a conversation, remind the person that you have been in contact a lot recently, and perhaps show them a similar piece they have circulated in the past. From this point on, it’s all about crossing your fingers and hoping that you net a conversion.