More often than not I meet business owners at a particular point in their business journey, and this might be where I’m meeting you here.
You’ve started their business based on an idea, a gut feeling. You’re good at your ‘thing’ whether it’s yoga, making cakes, selling toys, being a psychologist. And you’re not sure what to do next. You might have a website and be on Facebook and Instagram, you may even have ventured into online video and YouTube.
Now you’re stuck. You feel like you’re constantly having to sell yourself and your business. You feel like there’s no other way other than constantly having to post about what it is that you do and sell because that’s how online marketing works right? You hammer home the message until someone gives in and buys your product.
It’s time to thinking laterally about your business and who or what you can collaborate with in order to spread the word about your business in different ways.
#1 Do Your Research
One of the best ways to spread the word about your business is by being featured on other blogs. They can be an excellent way to direct traffic to your website and be found in strange and unique places.
A few years ago I was working for a fashion company. By using Google Analytics I noticed that a really old post on a fashion bloggers website was still directing at least 50 hits to our website every month. Not a huge number but there were no other websites doing the same.
I found out that this blogger would be in our town in the coming weeks and I approached her with the offer of a free dress if she came into the store – no obligation required – and she accepted. She liked our dress so much she took a photo of herself and posted it on Instagram. We sold over 30 of these dresses over the weekend and the owner had to call me on Saturday night to find out what the hell was going on.
It may seem daunting at first to contact bloggers to ‘feature’ you, especially if they serve the same industry as you. However, as I said before you need to think laterally about your business. What other niches can you fit in?
#2 Think About Your Customers Interests
Think about your customers interests, what else might they read? If your target market is parents, check out parenting blogs. If you know that they may buy your product because they’re into healthy paleo eating, Google that.
#3 Ask For Help
If you don’t know, ask a friend or family to help you, aka ask everyone you know on Facebook. You could also put it out on your Facebook business page “Doing some research for a friend, what podcasts do you listen to?” Because if you think there’s no one you can collaborate with you won’t go far. You need other people to champion you and the work you do
#4 Get Smart in Your Approach
Approach the bloggers that you find with an idea in your mind as to how you can collaborate together. Asking can you feature me on your blog will get you nowhere. Read through their other posts or blogs on their site and come up with an idea that is complimentary.
When you write this blog, it also doesn’t have to be about you. For example (if you sell children’s toys) top 10 ways to keep kids entertained on a car ride, or 7 types of food not to eat before bed (sleep products). All the ways listed don’t need to be your products and it’s probably better if they don’t
#5 The Benefits of Bloggers
The other benefit of approaching blogs is that it’s a lot easier to get featured than it is writing a press release and sending it to the local newspaper or radio station. Firstly, you have the benefit that there’s more blogs and which makes more opportunities to receive coverage
Secondly, bloggers are often hungry for content. If you’re able to give them content that they don’t have to create themselves, then you’re going to be doing them a favour. It could also be the start of a long and fruitful relationship
Take action now:
- Think about your business in a broad sense, what types of other industry niches would be interested in what you do
- Go to Google and search for these
- Read and find blogs
- Come up with some relevant guest blogging ideas (you don’t have to come up with more than one per blogger but you do need to have a couple of different ones in case someone says no that you’re not repeating content)
- Contact the bloggers
- Go for it