3 Ways to Guarantee Getting a Link Request

Link Requests Are Not Always This Easy

I recently received the email below from a student who took my Maximizing Your Visibility: Search and Social Media Marketing courses at SF State College of Extended Learning last year.

Andy was an absolute gem to work with and I’m very excited that his business MealPro has finally launched. I’ve also become a customer and can testify that the meals are delicious, but that’s not what this post is about.

The email below is an example of a perfect link request. As you may know, having more inbound links, or links pointing to your website is important in terms of search engine optimization, because the engines see sites with more (and high quality) inbound links as more valuable when ranking them in search engine results.

Link building is one of the most time consuming and challenging areas of SEO, so its important to be strategic and understand the nuances of link requests.

When requesting a link, it helps to be personal and say something nice to the recipient of your message. Now I know Andy learned a lot in my class, but he didn’t have to say those nice things to ask for a link. In his email, he did three things correctly:

  1. Capture the recipients attention with a personal touch.

    The fact that he reached out though, remembered that I had asked him to keep in touch and went to my website to look around, makes me really want to add a link to his business on my site.

  2. Provide an easy way for the recipient to look at the site you are requesting a link for.

    Andy provided a quick and easy link with a picture and I was very impressed to see the latest version of his site with new logo and fully functioning order processing.

  3. Ask for a link in an unassuming way and show gratitude

    Andy says, “I noticed you have a section on your website for clients you have helped. Please feel free to add MealPro to the list.”
    Not only does he not assume that he will get the link, but he is also saying thank you for my help which makes me feel good and when I feel good it makes me want to help him more.

MealPro Email Screenshot

Well done Andy, you made me proud and I wish you every success with your new business and career!

Your Turn:

What are your favorite ways to ask for links back to your website?

Partnerships, the 6th P in Marketing

Partnerships are key in new media marketing.

What makes perfect partnerships in business?

To be social means to have and form partnerships of all kinds. Whether it’s a partnership in the form of becoming a fan or follower, a friendship with a high school classmate, a business partnership or simply a meetup group for learning and expanding your contacts, partnerships are prevalent in marketing today. They always have been, but if you look at the most successful businesses today, it’s those that have been most strategic and smart with their partnerships.

Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin were the original dream team who started Google. They then hired Eric Schmidt to create a partnership that resulted in the beginning of profits for the company. Google purchased many a young startup company including Blogger, Picasa, and YouTube and those partnerships even if they were acquisitions has served to increase profitability exponentially over time. Google also partners with its customers by helping them make money for themselves through their core product, Google AdWords. They provide many tips, tools and tutorials for advertisers and reward customers who are performing well with better pricing and higher rankings.

Facebook has partnered with several third party application developers, (such as Votigo and Involver) service providers (like Spotify and Instagram) and game developers (like Zynga) in order to keep their user base. We partner with twitter users every time we reciprocate a follow, retweet or enter into public conversations. No solitary person can exist in a vacuum and certainly no marketing can happen without anyone around. In the conversation economy, word of mouth is a world of mouth. People and partnerships are crucial for business and even more crucial in social media marketing.

What are your favorite examples of winning partnerships in business today or from the past? Please add your thoughts in the comments area below.

Participation is Marketing

Participation is Marketing

Participation is Marketing

Brian Solis said, “Participation is marketing.” This has never been truer than with social media marketing. We cannot market unless we participate and being there and showing up is actually just one part of the success model.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter said in a TedX talk called the Six Keys to Leading Positive Change, that the keys all include “ups.” They are:
1. Show Up
2. Speak Up (Use the power of voice to shape and influence others’ thinking)
3. Look Up
4. Team Up (Partners matter)
5. Never Give Up (Everything looks like failure in the middle)
6. Lift Others Up (Find your inner Nelson Mandela)

Nelson Mandela. Participation is Marketing.

All of the above keys embody participation. If you’re just dipping your toe in the ocean of social networks and social media marketing, jump in, because in my humble opinion, learning through experience is the only way to learn.

YouTube Power

Video can be a very effective way to inform your customers and potential customers about your product.

I recently consulted with a very interesting company called iConfident in San Francisco’s Northbeach neighborhood.  They create web-based software, which enables dentists and dental professionals to collaborate and communicate with great ease on things like dental implant parts.

I was working with them as part of a new venture with Click To Play Media and I was extremely impressed to learn of the success of a video produced by Click To Play Media, which has helped iConfident increase referrals by 70%.  By adding the video to their “tell-a-colleague” form, they found that 70% more doctors and dentists were likely to send the referral along to their colleagues for a free trial as opposed to when there was no video.  That is a huge difference.

So why is video so effective?  Because the moving image is the closest thing to real life.  If a video is well done, it can tell a story in a much shorter amount of time than it would take someone to read a description and it is easier to digest, because it is inherently entertaining and interesting.  If you think about it, with moving pictures and audio, you have a much richer experience and it is far easier to grasp the gist of the story or idea.  Since it’s more like You, you respond to it more quickly than plain text.

Click To Play Media captured testimonials of professionals using the product in a way that makes it easy for doctors who haven’t heard about the product understand the benefits and how iConfident can increase efficiency and save them money.

If you’re interested in creating a video for your company or product, please visit Click to Play Media and tell Anna you were referred by Susby.

Facebook or Twitter?

For the past two days I have been talking about why I am not convinced that Facebook is better for business than twitter.  This is the third in five posts I am writing in response to 5 Reasons why Facebook is better than Twitter for your business.

3.  Viral Promotion

Quoting from William Smith’s article:

In a sense, social media marketing is about giving your fans a platform to talk about you in a positive way – something Facebook makes seemless. If a fan of your Facebook business page decides to comment on something you’ve posted, their friends will see that action in their news feed. If your fans mark a photo as something that they “like” then their friends will see that, likewise, if they sign up to attend an event by sending in their RSVP, it shows up for all of their friends to see. In this way, Facebook can make any content viral.

Similarly if someone talks about you in a positive way on Twitter, and you’re listening to the conversation, you can thank them for their comment.  This will then show up in your timeline which will be available for all your followers to see.  Also, if a person is commenting about you on Twitter, it’s available to the whole world and often indexed by Google.  Have you ever tried Google Alerts? On Facebook, the comment is limited to the network of friends of the fan who posted the comment.  Twitter can have a similar viral effect as Facebook, because the core of both services is the sharing.  Retweeting is prolific on Twitter and if you engage with the people who are interested in your product or service they can become advocates of your brand.

Facebook or Twitter?

Yesterday I posted about my thoughts on the community and size of Facebook versus Twitter based in response to a recent blogpost touting Facebook being better for business than Twitter.  That was reason number one.  Here is reason number two:

2.  Analytics
Yes, it is important to track your ROI (return on investment and now also known as return on influence).  Yes, Facebook provides interesting analytical data for business owners inside of the Facebook site and there isn’t anything coming directly from Twitter to show statistics yet.  However, just because Twitter doesn’t include an analytics package service on the site, doesn’t mean there is no way to see data about your twitter profile and how many people are following you.

Just as there are numerous developers creating applications for use on Facebook, there are also numbers developers building tools that work off the Twiiter API.

For example, you can track how many people followed any link you posted on Twitter through services like http://tr.im and http://bit.ly.  There are ways to see where your followers are tweeting from, tools to track demographics, how quickly people grew their followers and thousands more.  Granted, it takes a twitter-nut to find all of the relevant tracking tools, but saying there aren’t any is incorrect. Sysomos, for example offers a wide range of analytics on social media. It’s not free, but there are plenty of others if you have the time to try them out.

Twitter Users By Age Group

Do Teens Really Not Use Twitter?

As Chris Brogan says, the first one there wins the game, but what if the game isn’t whether to use Facebook or Twitter?  What if you really need to participate on both?


Well after nearly four months of getting the business up and running, here we are finally with our brand new site.  We hope you like it.

What is “Susby” you’re wondering, right?  Well let me tell you:

When I was in high school in Cape Town, South Africa, my friends called me Suse (pronouce: “Sooz”).  Then there was another Susan, go figure – there are millions, and even more “Susan Barnes”es – just look at Google and you’ll see.

Anyway, I became Suse B, short for Susan B.  I also created handmade birthday cards for all of my friends and family and signed them with By Suse.  So Margaret Barlow, choir mistress and piano teacher extraordinaire started calling me “SusBy” – for By Sus(e).  From then on I have been SusBy or just Susby and that’s the name of my new consulting firm.  I am Susan Barnes, aka Susby and the firm is Susby Internet Solutions Consulting, aka Susby IS Consulting.

Short sweet, nothing to do with bees or honey, sorry.  Oh, and yes, the licence plate is real.  I have had it since 2006.  I must have been dreaming of owning my own business since then.  Be careful what you wish for… 🙂