No doubt you’ve gotten how much WORK it is to build an audience. And there is nothing more annoying than when someone wants to just glide in and access your audience like it is no big deal.
First of all, you’ve worked super hard (and maybe spent some money) to find these people and second of all, you feel like you need to protect the people you like online from predatory jerks.
But you’ve figured out the other side of this coin, which is that one way to grow your audience without doing all the work over and over… is to get in front of someone else’s audience.
So to do this, you need to understand whatever you propose has to benefit you AND the person you are approaching.
Here are a few ways you can work with other people/businesses:
Guest Posts: You can write a blog entry that lives on someone else’s website. You get author credit and a link to your site as compensation. Before approaching a blogger, check if they have a guest post policy… and maybe don’t approach them with a fully written article as they might have ideas for what they would want for content on their site! (Do bring ideas of course but be flexible.)
Influencers: These are people that have followings. You’d enter an agreement with them and they’d post about your company to their followers. You might have a bit of editorial input but the idea of influencers is they have to be authentic to their audience and have some amount of creative input in what they create. There are companies that will help you connect with influencers ($$) or you can find and approach influencers yourself (ex: You can follow certain hashtags and see who comes up as someone who posts about that kind of subject matter.) Remember though exposure doesn’t mean sales so manage your expections. Yes, you need to pay influencers, otherwise why would they spend all that time making content for your business? (I’m checking out the Discover.ly Google Chrome extension at the moment, that might help with this.)
Affiliates: These are people who have a special relationship with your business. They get a special code and/or URL and if someone purchases from it, they get a financial kickback of some sort (typically a fee per sale or percentage of sales). Commission Junction and Shareasale are large companies that manage affiliates for hundreds or thousands of businesses but you can also set them up with your own shopping cart.
Partners: In terms of an equitable relationship, this is it. Usually a partnership is a short term thing that is mutually beneficial (otherwise you and this other person would just be in business together). Maybe you’re a hairdresser and you partner with a nail salon for a package for Mother’s Day. Or maybe if someone buys internet marketing from me, they get a coupon for my friend’s hosting company (and vice versa). This is the most squishy relationship but it might be something to try.
Get creative, this pandemic is making us all have to be more clever!
✅ Decide which one of these, if any, speaks to how you want to grow your business by getting in front of people.
✅ Send a message or otherwise get the conversation started with your prospective blog person/partner/affiliate/influencer. Hint: some people will say no so try, like, ten options. 🙂