When doing online marketing of your business, it can be very easy to think that you can hide behind your computer but the truth is, you are dealing with people. And networking exists both online as well as offline. Some of the same principles apply but they are just carried out differently.
For instance, you may or may not have thought of leaving comments on other blogs in your niche as a means of getting your message out about what you do.
And no, it is not about jumping on someone else’s community and trying to insert yourself where you are not required. If you have had a blog for any length of time, you will know just how many spammy comments you get on it (Thank God for Akismet!)
However, there is a reason that the spammers try to get on your site, they want to have links leading back to their site which in theory will give them a bit more brownie points with the search engines.
Yes, there is that benefit on some blogs but that is not the reason that you do it. You do it to get in front of people and show that you have something worthwhile to say. You are building relationships with the bloggers who may be willing at some point to do something mutually beneficial with you. And frankly, they will love to have someone relevant on their blog helping them build the community there and as I already mentioned, you get in front of a new audience. You may even get to write a blog post for them if you keep being a part of the audience.
This is very similar to business networking except you can be exposed to a whole lot more people. It does take some time but if you spend lots of time browsing the web, why not use your time a lot more usefully.
Here are some tips to make this work for you…
1. Use your real name
That can be the very thing that sets you off as a spammer if you try to use your company name. Surely, you just delete everyone that presents on your blog in that way and yes, I understand that you want to tell people what you do but really?! it puts people off to be that person who shoves their business card into the face of everyone with no attempt at making a relationship.
2. Give a meaningful comment or do not say anything!
Try to add value without trying too hard. The problem with using a strategy for business is that you start to sound stilted as you try to put your best foot forward or you sound boring because you cannot think of anything else to say.Ultimately, be yourself and please do not just go around leaving comments like ‘that is a great post’
Read the post and actually write what you think about it even if you disagree. Ask the questions on your mind. Seek to engage with the person behind the blog and their audience.
3. Select a few blogs to regularly visit
Just as you searched yesterday for blogs to guest post on, find blogs in your industry that get great engagement – Buzzsumo is helpful for that and make a decision to regularly visit them and join in the conversation. Start with about 5 and build up to a maximum of about 10. See how it works for you after consistently being present on new posts for a period of about 90 days or so.You will probably find that people start to come visit you and if they like what they see (if they are your people), they may just stick around and move up your engagement and sales funnel.