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7 Ways to Get The Attention of a Big Shot

Okay, so you’re still growing your online business and there are people in your niche you’d like to reach out to. Maybe they have bigger lists, more blog readers, more exposure, more clout and so forth. And like any sane marketer, you’d love to hitch your wagon to their star, or at least make a friend in the business… So how can you do it?

7Ways to Get The Attention of a Big Shot

One way NOT to do it goes like this:

Hi Joe Smith, you don’t know me but I love your (blog / product / website) and would really like it if you would (mention my blog / promote my product / email for me) etc.

Sincerely, New guy

If that sounds even remotely like emails you’ve sent in the past, realize you are not alone – many new marketers make the mistake of starting a correspondence with what the other person can do for them.

And what does the recipient actually hear when they read these messages? Something like, “You’ve worked hard to build your business, now drop everything and let me – a total stranger – piggy back off your success for free.”

Ouch.

Is it any wonder why they seldom respond?

So how do you get better known people and influencers in your niche to pay attention to you? Here are 7 methods proven to work:

Mention and link often. Mention them in a blog post, point to a specific article they wrote and blog about it, share their stuff on social media and so forth. Then TELL them you mentioned them. “John, loved your article on ___, especially what you said about ___. Just wanted to let you know I included you in my latest blog post here ___ and sent your article link to my followers on Twitter, too.”

Make lists, round-ups and recaps. List the 20 most influential bloggers/chefs/snipers/___. Or make a list of the 10 people you most admire and why. Or do a weekly round-up of all the best of the best in your niche for the current week. The main point here again is to link out to the influencers in a very real, authentic way and then let them know about it.

Build on something they’ve done. Let’s say your guru of choice wrote a great post – now you’re going to write your own post that first declares how much you appreciate their post, and secondly builds upon what they said. If they wrote about 10 ways to increase conversions, you might point to their article as being a must read, and then add your own 10 ways for a total of 20. Or you might show how to take what they teach and ramp it up a notch or even throw it into high gear. The point is to acknowledge their work and use it as your own inspiration to create something even better. And remember to email them and let them know about your article – it’s possible they will blast it out through their social media accounts and possibly even to their list.

Repackage what they’ve done. Your favorite influencer wrote a great post on the 20 newest trends of the year? Turn their post into an infographic, video or slideshow presentation, then email them and let them know. If you do this well you are almost assured they will share this with their followers.

Quote them. They’re the expert, right? So when you’re writing a post, quote them as proof of what you’re saying or teaching. Be sure you link to them when you do. And as ever, let them know you quoted them.

Send them a thank you. For no reason, except that they rock. This could be a gift certificate, an actual card in the mail – maybe a book you picked out for them from Amazon. Attach a note that let’s them know this is a thank you for all that they’ve done for you. Used in conjunction with any of the above methods, you will become unforgettable.

Offer to do a service for them. For free. No strings whatsoever, it’s simply your way of thanking them for how their posts, articles, products, etc. have helped you. If you’re good at graphic design or caricatures, create one of them or their product. If you’re good at photos, offer to let them use yours for free. If you’re good at writing emails, offer to write one promoting a product of theirs that you love, and so forth.

Everyone was at one time a complete stranger to everyone else but their own mother. Yet they were able to make connections, and so can you. Don’t let someone’s stature in your niche stop you, just know that the best approaches come from an attitude of gratitude. Be an asset rather than someone looking to get a free step up, and always have the goal of building a long term friendship first, with business coming in a distant second.

10.5 Ways to Make Your Blogging EASIER

One of the toughest things about blogging is the self-imposed pressure to always have a terrific, earth-shattering, life changing blog post that makes people catch fire reading it.

10.5 Ways to Make Your Blogging EASIER

You know what I mean. You’ve got that little voice whispering in your ear that if your posts don’t measure up to some impossibly high standard you’ve set, then all is lost and the world will know that you’re a fraud.

The good news is, it simply isn’t true. You don’t need every post to be a 2,000 word masterpiece or the final definitive word on your topic. Instead, all you need is content that gives your readers what they want. That’s it. Your readers want to know the latest news or the best methods? Then that’s what you give them. Forget trying to be a great writer and instead focus on being your readers’ ‘friend in the business’ and you’ll be an AMAZING blogger.

Here are 10.5 more tips to take some of the blogging pressure off of you and put the fun back into blogging:

Make yourself a posting schedule and then stick to it as regularly as you brush your teeth. Surprisingly, having a blogging schedule actually makes it easier for you to blog. It provides soft deadlines that keep you motivated to sit down and write. You won’t be able to put off your blogging if your readers expect a new post every Tuesday and Friday, and you know it.

Keep a running list of blogging ideas. Use a program like Evernote to keep track of your ideas and the resources you can draw from when writing your posts.

Forget being totally original. Seriously. Every idea is built upon or inspired by some one else’s idea. So give credit where credit is due, provide your own unique twist or take on the subject and relax – no one expects you to reinvent anything.

Re-purpose your content and other people’s content, too. Curate, list, pull bits and pieces from here and there – it’s all good. Just give credit to everyone you sourced from. And go back to your own content and see if you can’t update it, re-purpose it, mix it up or whatever. Odds are if you’ve been blogging for more than a year then you’ve got a small goldmine of content you can mine to create new content.

Be more of a reporter and less of an expert. Being the go-to expert in your niche is difficult, especially when you’re new to blogging. The pressure can become so unbearable that you cease to write, afraid you’ll pen something that will make you look foolish in your readers’ eyes.

But if you place your focus on reporting instead of being the absolute authority, magic will happen. You’ll feel freer to express your own opinions, you’ll find it’s far easier to write posts, and because you are referencing other authorities and experts in your niche, you become your own authority to your readers.

Mix up your content. Are you only writing blog posts? Then add videos. Are you only podcasting? Then write blog posts. If you limit yourself to one media, you’re also limiting the number of people who will engage in and benefit from your content.

Short is great. So is long. There was a time when it was suggested (actually, I saw this again quite recently) that no post should be under 2,000 words, and all posts should take days to write and be the absolute authority on whatever you’re writing about.

Hogwash. I briefly mentioned this in the beginning – write as much as you need to. If you can cover your topic in 200 words, DO IT. If it takes 2,000 words, then just make sure you’re holding your readers’ attention for the ENTIRE 2,000.

This reminds me of the “short sales letter vs long sales letter” debate. It’s a stupid, ridiculous debate, and here’s why: A blog post or a sales letter should be exactly as long as it needs to be and no longer. Period.

Stop leaving terrific blog comments on other people’s blogs. Seriously. You just read a post on a high traffic blog and you’ve got your own opinion or insight you want to share that you’re sure will help that blog’s readers.

Don’t do it. Instead, create your own post on your own blog and link back to the original blog. Then let the original blog know that you mentioned and linked to them in your post. This way your blog has more great content and who knows? You might get a backlink from the blog you referenced.

Use images. Every. Time. Maybe more than once, too. It’s irrefutable that images work at grabbing attention, so make sure that every post you make has at least one image. And be sure to place a caption under the image, because people are far more likely to read the image caption than anything else on the page (other than the headline, of course.)

Publish your articles on other sites. Sites like LinkedIn, The Huffington Post and many, many others allow content to be republished on their sites as long as it fits their guidelines. This is a terrific way to pick up new subscribers by posting a link back to your own profile or blog.

And what about Google’s duplicate content penalty? The duplicate content penalty doesn’t apply to syndication or curation. If it did, you’d never see a major news site appear in the top of the search results because they all subscribe to services that helps them get duplicate content, such as the Associated Press. And bloggers who frequently syndicate their content to other quality sites report that they receive no penalties what-so-ever.

10.5. Ask for the subscribe. Ask. And ask. But don’t be obnoxious. You wrote a post on getting traffic, and you’ve got a free report on even more ways to get traffic? Ask them to subscribe right there at the end of your post. “To get 27 more ways to get targeted, free traffic with the push of a button, simply tell me where to send the report and it’s yours.”

If you’ve been having trouble blogging on a regular basis, hopefully reading this has made you realize that blogging doesn’t need to be stressful. The rules are not as rigid and some would have you believe, and the most important thing of all is to simply give your readers what they want and lots of it, in whatever form it might take.

Relax, It’s Not About You (It’s About Them)

I see new marketers all the time freeze up with fear. They’ll have a great idea for their business and start to act on it, all excited. Then something happens, something that plants the seed of doubt, and suddenly they’re asking, “Who am I to be doing this?”

Relax,It's Not About You (It's About Them)

Maybe they have something great to teach that would help others, or they have a different way of doing things that would solve people’s problems. Whatever their idea or their business, that seed of doubt takes root. They get scared. They become self-conscious. And they doubt themselves and their abilities.

This is when I tell them, “It’s not about you, it’s about your customers. It’s about the people you’re going to help.”

Imagine you’re about to go on stage to present information that will change the lives of your audience. But you’re nervous. You think you’re not a good presenter. You’re focused on how you’ll look and how you’ll sound and what the audience will think about you.

This is the wrong focus.

If you focus instead on helping those people, if you focus on THEM and not YOU, then you will find it easy to give your message.

I’ll give you an example: Just as you’re going on stage to make your presentation, someone whispers in your ear, “The building is on fire, we’ve got to evacuate these people NOW!”

Do you hesitate? Do you wonder what you’ll say at the microphone? Do you worry about how you’ll look and sound? NO! You rush onto the stage and immediately start directing people to find the nearest exit and go to it now. You tell them to stay calm, to move swiftly, to leave no one behind. If you see smoke coming from the back, you direct people to the front. You say and do whatever it takes to get those people out of there.

And lo and behold, not ONCE during that process did you think about YOURSELF.

Magic indeed.

If you have doubt – If you’re worried – If you’re scared – Then you’re thinking about yourself and you’re NOT thinking about your customer.

Remember, it’s not about you – it’s about them.

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