When I first started working in SEO in 2006 there were two things that mattered in my life: getting links, and getting a girlfriend.
Unfortunately, my seduction career never went past the research stage (due to a lack of action more than anything), but the lessons I learnt have stuck with me through the last 5 years of outreaching.
Photograph by Christine Roth via Flickr
My experience has shown me that outreach success has more to do with mindset changes than any new technique. As it happens, seduction material for both men and women is all about changing mindsets and I think we can learn a lot from it.
Here are 7 of the most important lessons that seduction teaches and when applied to outreach, can turn you into a true master.
1. It’s all about confidence
Photograph by audio-luci-store via Flickr
Confidence in who you are. It’s the single most attractive quality for both men and women. Most seduction literature is just a guide to becoming more confident with the opposite sex. In outreach, I learnt how powerful confidence can be.
My usual process for creating linkbait was just to get a front page on Digg.com and then hope that big publishers would run the piece. I had been working on a linkbait for one of my own sites – an air purifier affiliate – and I was so proud and confident in my article that I thought “I’m going to tell the big publishers directly”, which was how I achieved my first ‘outreach’ link from Gizmodo and more importantly seeing direct outreach as a viable option.
The confidence in my content didn’t restrict my idea of who would run the piece. I was proud of it and wanted to tell the world.
Photograph by D. Sharon Pruitt via Flickr
Getting a partner by pretending to be someone else is your route to unhappiness.
In outreach, your ultimate goal is to build relationships with publishers. To achieve this you need to be yourself and use your own name and email. Connecting your Twitter or Linkedin to your email is also a good way to verify who you are. We make sure all our outreach teams have relevant profiles linked so that it shows via rapportive when they email. Lots of journalists use this as a way of seeing the fakers.
Remember that trust takes time to build and can be lost in an instant.
As a side note, there was a trend a few years ago for outreachers to try and pretend to be a girl, but how long can you seriously keep that up?
3. Be a value giver
Photograph by epSos via Flickr
When talking with a potential partner in a bar, no one is looking for someone who is negative, complains all the time, or only cares about themselves. The same is true in outreach.
Publishers don’t care about you. They only want to get value from your content, so be sure to offer them that value and do anything in your power to make their life easier. After all, they are the ones taking the time from their busy life to help you, so provide a service.
One of the things that we do at NeoMam is to create a publisher portal where journalists can log in, view the content, access the research and even directly email the researcher who produced the content. It makes life easier so publishers are more likely to run our content.
4. Social Proof – Pre-selection
Photograph by Marco Lazzaroni via Flickr
In seduction education, they look into how men and women take account of social proof when sizing up a potential partner. If the person already has lots of friends/admirers then it’s likely they could be someone who is high value and thus someone we would want to date. The same is true when it comes to outreach.
Let publishers know if your content is going hot on Reddit and let them know if X celebrity has already tweeted your stuff. Publishers are looking for the next viral sensation, so don’t make them guess. Show them how well your content has already done!
Social Media is a good way to test out content and fix any errors before putting it in front of journalists. Small sub-reddits or Stumbleupon paid (less than $25) can be used to see if people enjoy the content first.
Be timely – if your content is on the front page of a subreddit then use this time to quickly outreach to big media and share the Reddit page.
Photograph by Nico Paix via Flickr
In seduction literature, openers are just ways to start a conversation. Choosing something outrageous like Neil Patel’s example of the I think I love you subject line works because it’s different.
When putting your outreach openers together, take time to experiment and think about what will attract certain bloggers. At NeoMam, we utilize the same copywriters who have worked on the content to create an efficient message that stands out from the crowd.
Test different outreach messages using Yesware (www.yesware.com) this lets you see who opens and clicks. Yesware is also good at tracking team members to see who might be having potential problems.
6. Be OK with failure
Photograph by xlibber via Flickr
Asking that hot guy at the bar for his number is at worst going to lead to an awkward silence but the success pay-off is massive. Don’t be afraid of failure.
The same is true of outreach – no one is going to die if the Huffington Post doesn’t run your infographic. But the pay-off if they do could be lots of links plus the potential of a long term relationship with this publisher.
Tools like Buzzstream and Grouphigh can help find and track any outreach work. There’s nothing worse than being outreached by the same person and they don’t even know it. It can also help with things like wanting to know that contact who you spoke to 6 months ago.
Don’t just target the big boys either. Smaller growing blogs as well as big newsletters, large twitter accounts and offline magazines are sometimes just as valuable.
7. Just do it
Photograph by USAFE Public Affairs via Flickr
One of the deadliest enemies to success when dating is not trying something new. You might be too busy making assumptions and taking things personally to just do it.
You can plan, build lists and strategize all you want but at the end of the day you’ve got to get out there and send emails. Lots of them! At NeoMam, for an average infographic we send out 250+ emails but if something isn’t working then we try something else.
Try new styles of email, different content or something weird like the “I think I love you” subject line. As long as you just do it.
Remember: if outreach was easy then everyone would be good at it, and it would have very little value.