What if every influencer in the field knew you by name and could recommend you to their audience? That's pretty neat. Check out our webinar with the outreach master Tor Refsland and learn to make friends with the big fish in your niche.
Tor is without doubt one of top authorities in the blogger outreach world. His skills got him featured on 158 top blogs, he went from 0 to 3,645 email subscribers, and created a $3,000 a month income stream in 14 months of his online career - without spending a dime on paid advertising.
That’s number 1. You want to comment on the blog post that the influencer you want to connect with has written. Instead of just writing a comment here and a comment there, put some real effort into it and study their blog post and see what their call to action would be at the end.
They’d probably say:”Do you have any experience in topic X? Share with me.” So they are basically telling you to share it. So don’t write something like:”Uh, great article :)”, do something epic to stand out. Write like a 500 words answer, because the thing is that you’ll immediately provide value and immediately stand out.
The cool thing about it is that the influencer is having their own party so when you comment it’s basically like you’re knocking on the door and say: “Hey Derek Halpern, awesome that you’re having a party, by the way, here’s some beers for it.” That’s how it is when you comment on other people’s blogs and you do it genuinely and consistently. There is no way they won’t notice you.
So how I reached out to him. I knew that he was very active on Twitter. So I found the platform or medium where this specific influencer is very active. Basically I took a look at his website, read his about page to find out a little bit more about him. Than I sent him a tweet with something like:”Hey, I really liked this article. What is your best productivity tip?”
I didn’t actually expect to get response but he responded. And he said:”That’s a good question, Tor, I’ll be answering that in a video.” So he gave me the video and our relationship just started to evolve. I started joining on his twitter chats. He’s hosting this awesome Twitter chats that last for about an hour. So when I was on a Twitter chat I tweeted like crazy. Even more than Evan Carmichael.
And the thing is that I constantly provided value. So when I was on his Twitter chats, I wasn’t sitting on my cellphone, poking people on Facebook or playing Candycrush. I was focused on what I was doing right there to provide massive value for his chat and he recognized that. I immediately stand out and he started giving me a lot of praise and compliments in his chats. He recommended his followers to follow me and stuff like that.
It went further and further. Than suddenly I got invited to his radio show. This was in the very beginning, I just started out. I had maybe two people on my email list – me and my mother. It’s not like influencers will say:”Oh, that was a good comment you posted on my blog but you have just three twitter followers, so I will not respond.” It doesn’t work like that.
Either you provide a massive value or you don’t. Disregard amount of your email subscribers, disregard your own followers on social media – it doesn’t really matter that much because as long as you can provide value – that’s what really counts and that’s what you need to do in the start.
The way I provide value now is abasically the sames I provided value when i just started out. The only difference is that I’ve been doing it for a longer period of time and I’ve been doing it consistently. And that’s why I’ve been able to connect with influencers. So even if they didn’t respond, I’d still be providing value to them.
It’s kind of like you’re in your own apartment you have your mail box. Maybe in the future there will be something cool and new, but email is something that people are used to. And people have the perception that it’s really good to be answering emails. It’s more personal.
Let’s say that you see a piramide. At the bottom you have 90%. 90% of people online are called lurkers or inactive people. They are there but they don’t do anything. Than you have the 9% who are engaging. And at the top you have 1% who really provide a lot of value.
So what I’m trying to say is this, if you comment on a blog, you’re immediately standing out and becoming 1 of those 10% on the top. And if you keep doing it, keep overdelivering consistently you go from being in 10% to being in 1%. And that’s how it works.
Like I just interviewed Neil Patel for my new course. And he’s like the #1 marketer in the world according to Entrepreneur Magazine and he gets ONE THOUSAND emails a day. And from those 1000 if I remember correctly, I think he handles about 400 every single day. And he spends about 3-4 hours doing it.
So to recap: Neil Patel gets 1000 emails a day, some are to his assistants but he personally responds to 300-400 hundred. So if you are one of those people who provide consistent value you will be from the 1%, so that means that out of 400 emails you will be in top 4.
So that’s also a great way to find people. When you found the people pick a list of, say, 50 people and just start engaging with them in a very genuine way and, as I said before, provide value and expect nothing in return. You can basically start by sharing their stuff on social media, but here’s the key – consistently. If you share a tweet of Seth Godin he might not see it but if you do it consistently than you might pop up on his radar. And than you start commenting on his blog and take it to the next level there.
So provide value and stick out. If you want to do it really fast, you can do what i did. I created something called a round-up post. What does that mean. Basically, it means that I reach out to influencers and ask them one specific question. Then I take all the influencers and put them in this mega post. I think I had 80 productivity tips from insanely busy experts. And that blog post generated 20231 page views in 6 days.
And you think you can control your own schedule, you think you have no boss. But that’s not how it works. If you start as an entrepreneur, if you want to succeed you need to work like crazy. And that’s just the way it is. The people who say that you don’t need to work like crazy if you start from scratch those are usually people who haven’t made it at all.
You need to work a lot at the start to get traction. You need to build up your brand and get your first clients and you need to build momentum. I worked like crazy at the start and it was something I was able to do. When you grow, you will be able to outsource that.
Because basically you begin to focus on your most income generating tasks in your business. Whether it’s online or brick and mortar business – it doesn’t matter. You need to focus on your most income generating tasks. And it will change because in the start you have no customers, you have no followers. So you need to hustle like crazy to find your audience,to build your tribe, build your brand and get customers.
Once you get customers and the money you can outsource some of the social media tasks and other kind of things. Cause for an online business there are mostly just two things that matter. Get new subscribers on the email list or new leads into their funnel. And then it’s basically converting those people, to treat them really well and overdeliver and in the future actually get new clients.
That’s the thing. You need to do everything you can in order to get new customers and once you have the customers. Most people are like:”Oh, It’s so hard to get a new customer.” No, it’s not that hard, but what people kind of have the misconception of is that when you get the customer the work is done. No, the work just starts. Now you need to pull up your sleeves and really overdeliver.
You don’t want to just deliver, you want to freakin overdeliver. Give the customer specific results. Make them happy. And last but not least you want that customer to extend the contract with you. Extend the duration of the cooperation. Cause it’s so much easier to have a customer and overdeliver and extend the contract and simply do a decent job. And that you have to go out and work ten times as hard to get the new customer. That’s really what it’s all about.
So let’s say you have zero subscribers and your goal is to get more subscribers. What you need to be doing is identifying the blogs in your niche within the same market that accept guest posting. And than you should pitch and get your guest post to publish. There are two ways to do that. The best and the hard way is..If you’re good at writing and you have the ability to analyze.
You will go to the blog within your niche and see that they accept guest posts. What you should do is research this website to see what’s the standard, what’s the quality on the guest posts. Than go deeper and find the top guest posts on that website. Those posts will be the bar where your quality is. If you can honestly say with your hand on your heart that your quality is as good as an average guest post than just write the guest post and pitch it.
Your work will tell for itself. That was what it did with my first guest post on Time Management Ninja back when I started in productivity niche.
This guy Craig Jarrow he was like:”We are very selective with who we accept, one of the people who wrote an article for us was Chris Brogan.” And I was like:”Oh, Chris Brogan, oh, I’m not good enough. Tor, calm down.” Than I just started to read the guest posts that have been published and thought:”Seriously? I can write as good as this!” I wrote the guest post and I pitched it and it got accepted. So that was my way in. I have also commented on a blog post of Craig, but it didn’t matter this much because my post was good enough.
Like for example. I’ve gotten to know John Lee Dumas from EOFire.com – like biggest podcast in the world, at least the entrepreneur area. I built a good relations with him, I even tried to pitch myself to get featured on his site. And he said yes. But the thing is, if my stuff sucked it wouldn’t matter if I sent him cookies in the mail or a free car, I would still not get on his show if my stuff sucked.
When it comes to guest posting and writing articles it basically works like this. Go and take a look at the website you want to guest post on and you will see the standard, the quality of the guest post. If you’re a new blogger or a startup and you want to write about marketing and you haven’t written guest posts before.
Don’t go and try to get published on SumoMe, don’t try to get published on CopyBlogger because those are high end.Those are the premier league, the top tire. Start with the tire below. It works like this, it the start you want to be strategic, you kind of need to see yourself as a work in progress. Because writing is a skill, like any skill and the more you practice it the better you will become.
So my tip would be to kind of go for the medium size blogs and try it out there, because once you can land one guest post, you’ll become more confident, you will maybe get more feedback and you will become a better writer in the process.
To answer your first question, how do you find your voice. For my part, I’m just a dude, sitting here in my home-office in Norway. English is like my third language. People have too many excuses. If you want to become better in writing, you need to write.
So what I did I found people who are good in writing. If you want to guest blog, you need to find and read best bloggers to follow. You can’t start analyzing some of the best writers in the world like Stephen King, because the way he writes is completely different from how Jon Morrow from Boost Blog Traffic is writing his blog post. Your goal is the blog post.
You need to find bloggers and see how they are structuring. I would pick 5 to 10 people who are really good bloggers and than follow what they do. You find a blogger, go to their website and you can see the most popular articles. So you don’t waste time. Pick the top articles and read through. Even take notes. It’s gotten a lot of social shares, it’s gotten a lot of comments. Why? What’s the introduction? How does that person open? What’s the headline. How’s the body of the post and how’s the call to action at the end.
Than analyze and dissect it to find out what you need to do. That was basically what i did in the start. I found bloggers that were really good and I just started studying them and after a while I just became more and more confident about my writing. I felt that I found my own voice.
There are few things you need to do in order to find your own voice. You need to be confident. Be ready to go outside your comfort zone. Because most people are like:”I can’t write a blog post, I don’t want to be myself, because people might say bad things, people might dislike it..” And it’s natural. Hey, If you’re going to succeed as a blogger, it’s pretty scary.
One of my articles was something like “Why You Should Do Business Nude” and it had a picture of me from the waist up nude. And I was pointing like this on the picture. Even though I pushed my comfort zone it was weird even for me. So I had to ask Sarah and my friends online if I was too crazy, is this way too much? So I did it.
It works like this. The more you share of yourself, the more vulnerable you become the more scary it becomes. However that’s the only way to build your own tribe. If you don’t share people won’t see your personality. I’m kind of a goofy person. I joke a bit. You can see it in my blog posts, in the way I write. I think of it like this and it’s very important for bloggers, entrepreneurs and startupers – you don’t want to please them all. If you have 100 people in the room, you don’t want all of them to say that your post is great. Because it’s all about narrowing down your target audience.
So if your goal is to try to please most people you’ll actually not please anyone because you’ll be on the mid level. If you try to please everyone you will not build a good connection because you won’t give much of yourself. But the more you can do that and the more you can share of your own stuff the easier it is to find your voice and to actually attract right people. I’m a business blogger, I talk about business. I can share my personal stuff, but for me it’s more about bringing my personality. I don’t talk about what I do before I go to bed, about the fact that when I was in the town I bought a bagel and a coffee. Why? Because it’s really not interesting.
That’s not why people are following me, it’s because I provide value. I show how to position your brand and how to get massive exposure and freaking stand out. That’s what i write about. If you want to talk about your personal life – that’s cool but then they will follow other people. So that’s how you attract the right audience. You have to be giving.
So how can people increase the traffic to a website? Most people are like:”If you have big email list you can send emails to your subscribers.” Yes, you can, but what you’ll do is you send an email and get people to click on a link to get traffic to your website.
But it’s basically the same people visiting your website. It’s not a bad thing cause it’s a good way to build relationships but what you really want to do is to attract new people. Traffic works like this: influencers out there, what do they have? Big following on social media, big email lists and a lot of traffic to their website. So wouldn’t it be easier if you could get them to share your post?
It’s not like they will be like:”Oh no, all of my followers will unfollow me because I tweeted this link.” It doesn’t work like this. A social media share is very easy. Back to your question: With 20231 page views in 6 days what did I do?
I picked influencers. I had 80 influencers in the post and all of them had big following. And what did I do when i published the post? Naturally, I asked them to share it. And apparently they did.
One of them is Evan Carmichael, he has 265 000 subscribers on YouTube and he’s an introvert. Yaro Starak is also an introvert. But if you go to his website you’ll see that he’s interviewing people from Tim Ferriss to mega millionaires and he’s really good at talking to them and all that kind of stuff. The short answer will be, you don’t need to be outgoing, an extrovert, you can be an introvert to succeed.
Like if you are in the nutrition niche, you can reach out and cooperate with people who are in the fitness niche. Who are in the bodybuilding niche, training niche, jogging niche. Because that can be aligned together, it can be tied together. So if I was an expert nutritionist I would think outside the box.
I’d connect with all the nutritionists and start a relationship with the top influencers there and also with people that are on the same level. Cause that’s something that’s really important. It’s not just about connecting with influencers, it’s about connecting with people that are on the same level as you and than you can grow together.
To make a long story short. In my previous job I was working in one of big companies in Norway earning 6 figures. It was a boring IT position. But in addition I had this fear of speaking in public so what I did was I joined a network marketing company to push myself out of the comfort zone.
And when I started with network marketing company i was taught completely wrong so I got 41 nos in a row. Most people would have quit after three nos, cause getting nos is really uncomfortable. After you get 3-10 nos it doesn’t get any easier really. But the harder it became the more persistent I became.
I said to myself:”Tor, if you can do this, you can do anything.” Long story short i persisted, I cracked the code and I was able to build a network of 1500 people is less than 2 years part time. I build one of the fastest growing teams internationally and the reason why I could do it is that I was really good in taking a system and breaking it down into a very simple step by step process that anyone can duplicate.
Anyone can use the system and get results. So that were the three things I was really good at – networking with people, creating systems that worked and teaching others to do the exactly same thing.
So that’s the story behind it. Long story short I have over 10 years of experience when it comes to networking in real life. And here’s the kicker: networking with people online and in real life is almost identical.
It sounds kind of silly but now I know that my posts will go viral before I publish them. Cause it’s all very strategic. Thing is that I took this whole process and put it in a very simple system of how people can actually build their business and build their brand really fast.
And that’s really what people want. And that’s probably why you listen to this webinar. Either you want more traffic to your website, more subscribers on your list or you want more clients. This system will teach you how to do everything, all those three things. More traffic, more subscribers and more clients. Whenever you want, but you need to network with influencers the right way in order to get it.
So that’s basically what the course is all about. It will be a six weeks mentoring program. It’s going to be crazy cause not only am I going to teach the modules myself. It will be a weekly question and answer module, weekly course material and weekly assignments.
Cool thing is that I brought in some of the biggest influencers in the world to teach you guys. So I’ll be picking their brain for their best techniques on how to network with other influencers. I got big names like Neil Patel, Yaro Starak, Jon Lee Dumas.
I got like 18 people and it’s growing. And that’s just the bonus which material i worth about $10000 but I’m giving it away for free when you buy my course. So it’s really about just taking my system that works and teaching this system.
What you need to do is reach out to them and start a genuine conversation. You basically say:”Hey! I took a look at your website. It’s really interesting how you have optin box at the top left, what’s the conversion on it?” You see? You don’t go for the pitch, you just ask questions cause you’re interested and that the person will respond and you can build on that conversation.
But your outreach needs to be authentic. You need to care about the person first. And if you do and this person knows that you care than you can probably take it to the next level. And than you can say like “Hey! I actually have a few great ideas on how you can increase conversion on your website in order to attract the right subscribers or whatever. What to jump of Skype for a chat?
But you need to have the genuine relationships first and than you can take it to the next level. And if they say yes to Skype and you go on that chat you need to freaking overdeliver like your life was depending on it. You need to overdeliver first and at the end close the deal if it’s a good fit.
And from my 158 blogs that I got featured on I think only 35 or 36 are guest posts so that means that way over hundred blogs have been featuring me as an expert. Just asking me to give them a quote. I’ve been featured on the huge sites like the Huffington Post, Inc, Ahrefs, SemRush, etc and the reason why is because I overdeliver when it comes to content.
When I got invited to get featured for the first time I was jumping and I decided to do something to test if that works. I decided to say yes to every invitation I get to get featured and I’m going to overdeliver like crazy. So my contribution was maybe 400-500 words.
So you have other like 50 experts on this post: name A – 2 lines, name B – 4 lines, Tor Refsland – oh my God, it’s almost like a huge blog post. That’s the way you stand out. That’s the way I got invited again and again. That’s how you build momentum.
When you get featured you need to always overdeliver so when people see your name they think:”Oh, that’s the guy or gal that always overdelivers! That’s awesome, I want this person on my blog!” So if there’s a person that writes a huge blog post for Huffington Post they are like:”Oh, I want Jeff Bell cause he always overdelivers!”
So that’s how it works, just overdeliver every single time. Because as I said before, it doesn’t matter how good you are with people, it doesn’t matter how good your relationships are is your content sucks.
I need to show Jeff that I can provide some awesome value. Connect with him on Twitter, share his stuff, start engagement, some funny comments that stick out. I would go to his blog and write a thought through answer on the question or the topic that’s in the blog post and that it would do it consistently.
If I do that every single week at least with the blog posts Jeff would notice me. Trust me, he would notice me. And that after a while I can send him an email. For example if people have like a broken link on their website you can just send an email saying hey, listen, I saw that you have a broken link on your website, you might want to fix that. Love this article, bla bla bla and keep blogging. Best, Tor. The thing is that i gave value and I don’t ask for anything in return.
What you need to do is you need to stand out with your content and when your content is good, it’s so much easier to promote it to influencers and that’s why I’m able to connect with a lot of influencers even though I perhaps not have been connecting with them before. Because I share some stuff that I included them in.
Basically it comes down to creating something good that stands out. You don’t want to become like everyone else. Because if you are like everyone else, why should i follow you. A good website or a good blog is a blog that brings something extra. And if you do that consistently people will know it and it’ll just be a matter of time things go up and traffic will arise and social shares and everything will rise. I’ve done it myself and it works every single time.
So I’d advise you to try and find your own voice and check out the advanced course that I’m offering. And it’s not because I’m selling a course, it’s basically something people have asked me to create for them and it’s also like 30 days money back guarantee. The course will start on the second of May and that’s when the 30 days money back guarantee starts too. You’ll be able to go through 60% of the course and if it’s not for you, well no worries.
That’s really what I would want you to do if you want to learn to network with influencers the right way you should at least take a look at the information on the course. Because there’s no one else out there who does this like me. It’s a very special course and that’s why I got Neil Patel and Jon Lee Dumas to contribute to the course cause it’s actually doing the work.
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