In my last post, I talked about the effectiveness of connecting with popular bloggers. If you want more traffic and sales to your web business, landing a popular blogger as a client is great idea.
However, it can be difficult to get the attention of a popular internet personality. Here are some principles to consider.
Persistence is the Key
Because of their popularity, famous bloggers get contacted a lot. You’ll have to be persistent to get noticed and build a relationship with them. Now you don’t have to be overbearing but you do need to be consistent.
I think you should spend at least a month contacting a popular blogger before you pitch them with your services. Here are some ways to make those initial contacts.
Blog comments: If you comment consistently for a month, you should get the attention of a blogger. Some bloggers get a lot of comments on each post. For these bloggers, you can stand out from the crowd by being one of the first ones to comment.
Email: Most bloggers check their email so you’ll probably get noticed with your email message. However, email is also known for being a spam channel. Make sure to focus on them instead of yourself in your initial messages. I’ll talk more about this principle in the next section.
Twitter: Twitter has turned out to be a great way to network with many popular bloggers. In fact, some bloggers today are easier to contact through Twitter than email. Not everyone uses Twitter, but the number of Twitter users is rising by the minute.
Other social media sites: If they have a LinkedIn, MySpace, or Facebook account, you can connect with them through those sites. If they hang out at a forum, you can participate in the threads they start.
Blogging: If you want to make it easy to network with many people at the same time, you should start a blog. With a blog, you can contact anyone and point them to your blog so they can learn more about you. You won’t have to repeat your story over and over. Instead, you can just link to the relevant content on your blog. Also, some clients may find your blog through the search engines.
Focus on Them, Not Yourself
When you make the initial contacts, the temptation is to start talking about yourself and your business. However, this turns people off. Instead, focus first on them before yourself. You can do this in a couple of ways.
- Find interesting and/or useful links in their industry and send it to them through email or twitter.
- Share unique and useful tips.
- Find mentions of them in the press and tell them about it. This tactic has been effective for savvy offline networkers.
- Ask them to do an interview.
- Offer a quality guest post.
- Ask them questions where they can help you or questions that can start a great discussion.
- Link to their posts or and email them telling them about your links and complimenting them on their posts.
- Submit or vote for their posts on a social voting site like Digg or StumbleUpon. Tell them about the submissions/votes and again compliment them on their posts.
- Read their blog and find out if they have any goals. Then, figure out a way to help them meet those goals.
- Sometimes bloggers ask their audience questions through their blog or Twitter. So, follow them on Twitter and subscribe to their RSS feed. If they ask a question, try to answer it.
Ask For Referrals in Your Pitch
After a month of consistent relationship building, you can make your pitch.
Even if the blogger doesn’t need your services, you can leverage his fame by asking for referrals. (This is a good strategy regardless of the popularity of the blogger since many bloggers know other webmasters.)
When you make your pitch, ask them if they know of anyone who might need you services. They may not need your services but they might know some people who do.
When you go to the people they recommend, you won’t be “cold calling”. Instead, you’ll say that the popular blogger referred them to you.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Once someone gets to know you, they’ll be glad to help.