Imagine that Gary Vaynerchuk just became your close friend.
Do you think this would change your life somehow?
Whether we like it or not, we’re greatly influenced by people around us.
There’s nothing we can do to resist that influence, but luckily we have the ability to choose the people who influence us.
Tell Me Who Your Friends Are…
According to Jim Rohn, we’re the average of the five people we spend most of our time with.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you to ditch all your under-performing friends all of a sudden.
Instead, I want to remind you of the importance of expanding your network and connecting with new interesting people who will influence you in a positive way.
Let’s be even more specific – I want to talk about “blogger outreach“.
There are a few very effective hacks that I want to share with you today and some actual blogger outreach examples to support them.
But before we begin, here’s one more awesome quote that you can tweet. This time by Sir Richard Branson:
Hack #1: Ben Franklin effect
Have you ever heard of the “Ben Franklin effect”?
It’s a fun psychological phenomenon, which suggests that a person who has done a small favour for someone is more likely to do another favour for that person than they would be if they had actually RECEIVED a favor from that person.
I’ve learned that from a famous Ben Franklin’s autobiography, where he shares the story of dealing with the animosity of his rival in a very surprising way:
He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
How ingenious is that?
As I was checking out people who have tweeted my articles I found her blog and I was amazed by the numbers that I saw on her “pin” buttons.
So immediately I’ve reached out to her:
As you can see, I didn’t actually ask for much – just to share a few links with me where I could read about her strategies.
Sue replied with a very warm email and shared two great Pinterest Marketing articles with me:
To this date we’ve exchanged 16 emails with Sue and I’ve learned quite a few tips from her (plus got a guest post invitation).
And I’m sure our connection doesn’t end there. Right, Sue? ;)
Oh, and by the way… In my email to Sue there were two words that I’ve tried to avoid, because they could easily kill my outreach email. Wanna know which words I’m talking about? Get the free bonus hack below:
HERe’s another fancy box with a content upgrade:
Hack #2: Perfect Reasoning
Let’s be honest. Most of the time we reach out to influential people because we want them to share our articles, right?
But here’s an important question:
WHY would they want to share it?
There are millions of articles published on millions of blogs every single day. Why do you think that your article is the one worthy of their tweet?
Well, maybe you have some reasoning behind it?
Actually I’m giving him 3 different reasons to check my article:
1. “I know you’re a fan of epic articles…”
This short phrase tells Jimmy that I actually follow Vero blog, because quite recently they’ve published a totally epic email marketing guide and followed up with a detailed breakdown of that epic guide.
So that’s my REASON of reaching out to him. I know that Jimmy loves epic articles and I just published one on my blog.
Even if you’re telling the truth, you will still trigger a person’s internal “spammer detection”.
Here’s an example:
Andrea started her email telling me that she’s my long time reader, which was the reason to…
…pitch me their WordPress plugin with a long canned email.
I really doubt that a person who has been “following my blog for a while” would do this to me.
2. “…got featured in “Moz Top 10” newsletter…”
That is a perfect example of “social proof”.
Why Jimmy should care about my article? Because the top SEO community of this planet considered it good enough to include in their weekly newsletter!
Ok. But what if Moz didn’t feature your article?
- Well, maybe someone influential tweeted it?
- Or maybe some popular blog linked to it?
- Or it got upvoted like crazy at inbound.org?
- Or it got over 200 shares on Facebook?
Is there ANYTHING about your article that proves that you’re not the only one who thinks that it’s cool?
3. “…kinda Brian Dean’s “Skyscraper Technique” on steroids…”
I noticed Jimmy mentioning Brian Dean’s famous “Skyscraper Technique” which meant that he enjoyed it.
Well my “Guide To Strategic Writing” was a kind of “more in-depth look into the Skyscraper Technique.” Which could only mean that Jimmy would enjoy it just as much as he enjoyed Brian Dean’s article.
So whenever you see that some blogger is advocating a certain concept, you can use that as a reason to show him your own version of it.
And obviously my email to Jimmy doesn’t have those two awful words that you should never use in your outreach emails:
Hack #3: Ruthless Critique
Actually you’re going to make yourself a lot of enemies if you just go out and critique other bloggers.
So how come I am suggesting you this as an effective outreach hack?
Well, here are two ways to make critique work for you:
1. Wait till they ask for it.
Dainis Graveris, the proud owner of 1stwebdesigner.com is my very close friend.
And our friendship started from my comment to this article, where Dainis was asking his readers to critique his site:
I left him a huge 500-word comment and told him I have even more advice for him if he’s interested.
And guess what? It’s been 5 years and we’re friends ever since!
We have met quite a few times (despite living in different countries) and we often talk on Skype and discuss our business strategies.
But what if none of the bloggers that you follow is requesting to critique them?
2. Ask for their permission.
Here’s a list of 7 videos, where Derek Halpern is showing top bloggers what’s wrong about their websites.
By saying “top bloggers” I mean huge guys like Chris Brogan, Pat Flynn, Jay Baer, etc.
It’s obvious that they didn’t ask anyone to critique their website. It was Derek who reached out to them and offered them his advice. And from what I know, Derek has gained a lot of credibility points from doing that and he’s still friends with all these bloggers.
Here’s another great example where Matthew Woodward allowed Stuart Walker to publicly critique his blog:
And here’s Mitro Patrikainen giving some public advice to Ana Hoffman on her own blog:
So whenever you notice a blogger doing a wrong thing (or not doing a thing, which you know is right) – reach out and ask for permission to critique them.
And please, make sure you avoid using these two words that all influencers hate:
Always. Be. Genuine.
Honestly you can’t “hack” people into liking you.
And there’s no way to maintain a relationship with someone if you’re only willing to use him for your benefit and never actually care about him.
That’s why I pick my outreach targets very carefully. I only reach out to a person who I would still hang out with, even knowing that he will never tweet my articles.
What about you, guys?