🗒️ Key Takeaways
- High end link building is about relationships, not just mindless outreach
- Getting to know your prospect makes a HUGE difference
- Building up your network of contacts will make things MUCH easier
It’s time for a link-building episode!
We know you love them, but coming up with useful, actionable tips for you guys isn’t easy without repeating the same advice.
That’s why this week we’re joined by veteran link-building experts Sebastian and Eric of DoFollow.io to get the lowdown on their latest and greatest techniques.
So, how do they do it? Let’s find out.
Actions speak louder than words.
That’s why we tasked the guys to go out and actually build us some high quality links rather than just tell us about how they do it.
So every tactic we go through in the episode is backed up by a real-life, high-authority link from a reputable source. Here are the links they got for us:
Eric claims their whole link building process is centered around relationship building. But that’s not just some buzzword, as you’ll soon find out.
Q.: So overall, how do you approach link building?
Seb and Eric consider building links a networking activity.
They build up a network of contacts who need different things. And in short, they give them those things.
In some cases, that means providing them a link somewhere, or maybe they just need cash to do it.
When it comes to finding those people, they believe that finding the right person and connecting with them properly is the way forward. That means no irrelevant mass outreach.
They’ll figure out the best person to contact, usually on LinkedIn, and provide a compelling reason to reply.
As Eric puts it, they try their best to “get their guard down”.
But it’s important to realize that everyone has different “guards” up in the first place, so that’s where the right outreach angle is critical.
Q.: What’s your usual outreach angle?
So how do you break down those guards?
Well Eric and Seb have a few tactics.
First and foremost, they try to ensure that their initial messaging does something to catch them off their guard in the first place. A few examples of that might include:
- Reaching out in their native language
- Giving them a clear, compelling reason to link upfront (e.g, a link from somewhere else)
- Offering some kind of exchange with a relevant site
And this is where the unique nature of their outreach comes in.
Let’s look at a few examples.
If they’re reaching out to a company in Hungary, and have a Hungarian speaker, they’ll have them write a native language outreach message to them.
That act alone puts them ahead of the competition.
Or perhaps in other scenarios, they might reach out to someone and bring up the fact that they have a mutual contact who they know very well. Again a unique outreach message that helps reduce the friction in that initial interaction.
They have built a network of people they can utilize to get the best possible outcome.
But they stress that this isn’t something you can just go in and do from day one. It’s taken them years to build up this network.
If you’re just starting out, they suggest that you start small and take your time. While in the beginning, you might just be doing exchanges and collaborations with one or two people, those numbers slowly build up.
Q.: Tell us more about your unique outreach angles
They talked about getting people to lower their guards, but agreed this is just one side of the picture.
The other is actually getting them to do what you’re asking.
But again, this is where a unique approach matters.
For example, if you’re reaching out to a freelance writer, they’re much more likely to care about monetary compensation rather than getting the company they work for a high DR link.
On the flip side, the SEO manager of a company is going to be much more interested in reporting back to their manager that they just landed a high authority link,
It’s nothing groundbreaking, but rather, it’s these little things that make the bigger difference.
Q.: If you’re paying freelancers for links, aren’t you concerned they might all get removed one day if someone finds out?
This question led into another important aspect of how Seb and Eric do things.
Part of their strategy lies in quality. They are working with people who have content that would never have a reason to become unlinked.
The idea is that the links should stand up on their own, even if you hadn’t reached out to get it inserted. This mitigates the risk.
They don’t view link building as “Get 100 links to X Commercial page”, but rather “Get my awesome content featured in the right places and on high quality sites!”.
Q.: Who is the best person to reach out to?
Where possible, they always go to the people with editorial power. The less friction between departments and managers the better.
Again, that requires research and time. They figure out the structure of the business and see who’s who to work out the best contact.
In some cases, that’s the writer; in others, it might go higher up.
They stressed that good quality outreach and research aren’t done overnight. If you want to do this right, expect to take the time to do things properly.
Q.: Which tools do you use?
Believe it or not, Eric and Seb don’t use the typical tools like Buzzstream or Pitchbox.
In fact, they use Airtable to manage their business.
BUT they don’t necessarily think that you should follow suit. No. Instead, they think you should stop chasing the “best” tool, and instead focus on the “right” tool.
They personally like Airtable due to the features that matter most to them – for Seb that’s automation in particular.
But they also highlight that getting locked into the idea of using one tool can be dangerous if it’s not right for you. Instead, play around and figure out what you need, then find a tool that does what you need.
And in some cases, that also means stacking tools. While Hunter might be seen as the best email finding tool, Snovio is great too…so why not both!?
Q.: How can others do what you do?
They agree that most people listening will already have a head start because they (hopefully!) know their niche and the people in it.
From there, it’s about building up a network. Who do you know? How can you work with these people?
They also highlighted that while SOPs and structure are great, there’s also such a thing as being too structured. There neds to be a level of flexibility at some point.
They adapted as time went on to become what they are now.
They also emphasized the importance of quality. This isn’t just a thing that Google wants, it’s a thing that everyone wants.
People are much more likely to work with you if you put the time and effort into everything you do, from content to design.
Q.: How do you approach hiring and training?
They rarely go for experienced people, but rather people with a proven track record of high achieving.
When it comes to training people, it’s a case of giving them the basics and then working on continual improvement.
One aspect of this involves varying the people that train them. After the first month, they work with someone else to coach them because they appreciate that everyone has different ideas and things to teach. The more exposure they get to this, the better.
exec producers, the basics, no expertise
training process is tons of shadowing
1 month training, get their client, but then get tutors by someone else not the main trainer, for one month at a time, everyone thinks different and has their own info to share
Q.: How do you feel about AI?
To put it simply, they believe AI has no place in the unique people-oriented approach they take.
While AI can automate a lot of things, they believe the heart of link building comes in networking. And as they put it, people don’t want to network with machines.
So for them, it’s a non-issue.
Q.: Tell us more about DoFollow
DoFollow.io specialises in B2B outreach, mainly for SAAS companies, but also the wider software niche.
They emphasize that they only work with clients who they believe meet the quality threshold to create truly unique links that aren’t attainable through regular outreach.
They want people who have good quality content and mean business.
If this sounds like you, then be sure to check them out!