If link-building is all about establishing credibility on the Web, think for a moment: if my business and website were top of mind and authoritative, where would I expect it to be listed or referenced on the Internet? Where are my competitors referenced?

The most powerful and credible links on the Internet are those that are placed by individuals who have influence over your online target audience. These influencers are often bloggers, editors, industry speakers and have numerous social media followers. Wouldn’t it be good to have an industry influencer who likes you and promotes your stuff by mentioning your business to his vast audience?

If this is one of your goals, social media sites can be a great resource to identify industry influencers, interact with them, build a relationship with them and win them over to actually promote your ideas to their audience(s). When this happens you will have many new relationships, followers and links to your site.

Here are some of the keys to building relationships with influencers online.

  1. Know what the influencer likes or wants before you introduce yourself. The fastest way to get ignored by the influencer is to try to sell them your idea before they even know who you are (that should be a given in today’s world of email spam filters). Instead, get involved in the group that the influencer is involved in and listen to what he/she is saying. If it’s appropriate provide interesting, thought provoking comments or responses to the influencer. Some influencers aren’t shy at all and tell you flat out what they are looking for. If you possess what the influencer is looking for it’s time to make your introduction.
  2. Introduce yourself to the influencer by letting them know that you might have something they want and then give some details about it in a respectful way.
  3. Wait for their response. If they don’t respond in a reasonable timeframe, find another way to introduce yourself: phone calls often work but the best is to speak with them in person.
  4. At this point it’s assumed that you really do have what they want and that the influencer will act on it immediately. Otherwise, it’s back to step one again and in some cases it’s over for that influencer.

In my industry of SEO professionals, getting in front of an influencer can be very tough, but I’ve done it several times by writing articles that deal with issues few others write about. In particular I try to write articles that editors of well-known blogs will want to publish.

Not long ago I made contact with an editor of a popular blog because I knew he was interested in good SEO articles. I provided him with a sample of my writing; he liked it and gave me access to his blog to post my next article.

Several weeks later when I posted my article in the drafts section, the editor liked it so much he asked if he could publish it in another blog he edited that was much more popular than the one I had already been approved for.

A few things that helped to get my article accepted involved closely reading and following all of the guidelines for guest blog posting and using a professional copywriter to tweak the article after it was written. Don’t make an editor postpone your article because it didn’t meet one of the guidelines.

Within a few days of my article going live, my post was tweeted 15 times by not only the editor but several other industry influencers and I got some encouraging feedback in the comments section.

What about links? Not only did this blog post link to my site but the post itself is linked to from a few places, adding more power to the links in the post.

Other related info:
5 Tips for Promoting Your Business with Facebook

How to Get Re-Tweeted

Tom Shivers
Tom Shivers

I'm a ecommerce SEO consultant and President of Capture Commerce. I've managed digital marketing campaigns for scores of clients since 2000 and found that every business is unique with its own challenges and opportunities. When I see that I have contributed to the success of a business by helping them grow, it makes me feel awesome! That’s the coolest thing and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do this.