There has been a post recently released on the bible of SEO that is Moz discussing the options of ‘How to Build Links in Person’. I’ve taken inspiration from this, and I’m writing our own post to put our thoughts forward on this theory.
It’s not me, it’s you
It’s undeniable that linking is all about building relationships and ensuring that they are earned as opposed to paid for – but who decides who gets what and when?
The argument goes;
“I’m offering some really valuable content then should I not have the final say whether I deserve a link?”
“But without my blog/website there would be no one to share your content, so I’ll decide whether I link back.”
It’s tricky, but it goes back to the point of finding the balance to support both parties. Work together and don’t build a relationship based on what either of you gets out of it, build it on what the reader gets.
Ruth Burr Reedy from BigWing Interactive says in her post;
“When you ask someone to read and possibly share your content, even if it’s content you think they will really like, you’re essentially asking them to do you a favour.”
(Internet) Safety in Numbers
These days, many people are suspicious of strangers – especially online – so finding opportunities to meet in person can offer many benefits that email can’t.
However, Burr Reedy highlights the feasibility of this in her list of ‘A Few Caveats’;
- No budget: Like many content building and link outreach strategies, some of the in-person link building tactics I outline below will require a financial outlay, which not everybody can swing.
- No time: In-person link outreach takes a lot of time, and some of it will almost certainly need to be spent outside of work hours (or during work hours, but not at work).
- Too far away: If you’re not located in the same city/state/country as your client, it’s going to be harder for you to build links for them in person.
- Not a people person: If you dread talking to people, especially people you don’t know, this strategy is going to be massively unpleasant for you.
If there is one thing that I’d say about the post, is that it offers perfect advice for a small agency or in-house role (which Ruth states clearly within her post).
But Creare would immensely struggle to undertake this for our 1k+ client base. Finding conferences, events to network for the dozens of industries that we work would be extremely hard (and expensive).
However, that said…
What we’ve taken from this is really important – networking counts and we all do that from time to time. We’ve had personal connections with journalists, fashion bloggers and members of the council which have certainly helped us in increasing the exposure of our clients. It’s also important to find out about existing relationships that clients have in their industry – this has proved very successful for us in the past!
Whether it’s with our parent’s friends, friends of partners, school teachers and colleagues, there are people we build relationships up with all the time, so take note and apply it to help with your marketing campaign.