As a solo entrepreneur, it’s vital that you’re as resourceful as possible. This often means that you’ll need to use every piece of technology available to you in order to grow your business and reach a wider audience, and this typically means that you’ll need to rely on social media outreach and search engine optimization.
As you may know, SEO is important to help your website reach a higher Google rank, but that alone won’t increase engagement. Instead, you need to learn how to interact with your customers and also draw them in with the help of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. In fact, even services like YouTube can generate a lot of attention if used correctly.
In this article, we’re going to be talking about the basics of social media outreach and how you can build backlinks with minimal capital and external help. We’ll be explaining how you can make the most of social media and how you can utilize these different platforms in order to grow your business.
What is Outreach?
First, let’s define outreach. Outreach is a form of marketing that aims to use word of mouth as the main propagator. It focuses on human interactions instead of algorithms and digital tools, so in a way, it goes back to the basics of marketing that existed before global communications. It plays on basic consumer psychology and it aims to prevent buzzwords from taking over the marketing industry. Instead, it focuses on simple, tried-and-tested methods of growing a business where you create connections with both consumers and influencers.
You’ll typically develop an outlook strategy based on the idea that humans want to learn and hear about new things. They want to see something spectacular, they want to see something game-changing and they want to share it with their friends to spread the word. That’s why social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are ideal for solo entrepreneurs to work with; because of the wide audience they can reach, and they can do it with almost no capital or help.
Backlinks are essential links that lead to your website. In the past, this was perhaps the biggest component of good SEO. Sadly, this meant it was abused and many websites spammed links that were invisible or hidden in order to increase the search ranking of their main website. This is known as black-hat SEO and is largely frowned upon. In fact, if Google detects that you’re using these methods to gain an advantage, you’ll actually be blacklisted by the search engine and removed.
However, gaining organic backlinks is still one of the best ways to improve your search ranking and there are many ways to do it.
One of the simplest methods to build backlinks is to actually reach out to webmasters of relevant websites. For instance, maybe you’ve been reading a long-standing tech blog that has links to various products and deals, but you’ve noticed that some of the links are broken and lead to dead websites. You could contact the webmaster to report these broken links, and also suggest replacements to fill the gaps in their content. This is known as the broken-link building method and is a popular strategy when working with older blogs and websites.
Social media outreach is also a fantastic way to build backlinks. Since you’ll be in constant contact with influencers and consumers, you can get them talking on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and even their own blogs. Influencers love it when they have a source of new content, so if you’re able to offer something new and innovative to the audience, bloggers will want to benefit by becoming one of the first to cover any changes in your business that could create new content for their website.
In general, building backlinks requires you to be social. Whether it be on social media platforms or by directly contacting webmasters and giving them an opportunity to write about content that relates to your products and services.
You can also read: 10 Effective ways of Building Backlinks on your Blog
Building an Outreach List
Link building requires you to build an outreach list. It starts with a simple connection on social media–another reason why the platforms are so popular. When building a list, try to categorize the types of back linking and sort your contacts based on those groups.
For instance, for webmasters, you want to contact about broken links, class them as “broken links” outreach contacts. For those that are based in certain locations, class them as “location-based” social media outreach. There are many different types of outreach contacts and the way you classify them will make things easier in the future.
That’s because you can easily create email or messaging templates based on each one. For example, if you’re using Twitter to send direct messages to influencers or even consumers to spread the word about your product, you can make a simple template so that you don’t have to rewrite similar messages over and over. This will help you reach more people more quickly and saves you a lot of time.
You should also know that building an outreach list takes time. Even though the benefits are mutual for both you and the influencers or websites that you reach, not everyone is going to be on-board with your ideas. At first, they’re going to be skeptical about what you’re offering, and then they’re going to question whether or not you’re legitimate or not. It’s far better to be honest and work together with a well-known website, as opposed to working with several lesser-known sites that could tarnish your brand.
You also need to be ruthless in your approach. If a website has far too many advertisements then you’re not going to get much exposure no matter how much you work with them. If the blogger you contact posts only once a week then it’s probably not going to be a very popular place to put your products. If a website has low engagement, then it’s probably not reaching a wide audience despite their claims, and you want to stop working with these types of websites.
Social media outreach is a brilliant way to start growing your exposure, but it does take some time to build an outreach list. Remove all of the low-quality websites from your list, ensure that you’re active on social media and follow trends to get the most exposure.
About the author: Michael Zima
Digital Nomad @ zimamedia.com Mike is the co-founder and digital nomad at Zima Media and an industry SEO and advertising expert. He previously worked for the largest SEO agency in North America and has over 10 years of professional SEO experience working with major brands. Originally a Chicagoan, Mike moved to Spain 3 years ago.