Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
In recent years business outreach has become a popular tool for online marketing, and many industry experts praise it. Often it’s not different from networking or socializing, which is common for everyone. However, when you want to do it with a specific goal, such a method is extremely time-consuming, difficult and ineffective in most cases. This article will address these issues and explain why it’s so hard.
Let’s define what outreach is
Outreach is basically begging for some with more publicity, status and authority to do something for you. It can be about getting more online exposure, endorsing a product or service, asking to get a job or to be introduced to someone. Since everybody knows that asking something for free in business is pointless, good outreach should offer value to the target and not just ask for help. But you can’t deceive these business influencers that easily; they didn’t become successful by being naive. They will see right through you from the beginning, even if you try to mask your outreach as a friendly networking attempt. The fact that you contacted them first already positions you below them in the hierarchy.
Did you notice that majority of today’s business celebrities talk all the time about helping others, but when you actually contact them with a request, they completely ignore you?
This is because they do it solely to inflate their own personal brand by appearing nice and humane. In reality, they couldn’t care less about helping you or anyone else. Unless, of course, that person is also influential and helping him would boost their PR. This may sound cold, but it’s the harsh reality. In business, no one will do anything for you pro-bono. Business is all about trading. If you want something, you need to offer something in return.
The only reason why someone is not answering your messages is because they don’t see you being worthy enough. In this situation, being not worthy means not able to provide value for them. Popular people are often full of themselves, and your outreach only boosts their ego, further proving that their superiority is justified. In their eyes, you are merely a peasantry admirer who has bothered him, the noble influencer, with some trivial issues he overcame himself a long time ago. You and your question are not worth his attention because he receives a bunch of similar ones from other plebs on a daily basis. His valuable time is reserved for things of greater meaning and importance.
It’s clear why there can hardly be any egalitarian interaction with this type of prejudice. There are several ways to overcome this attitude and move the conversation into a position where you both have something that could benefit the other party. The most common tactic is to offer the target something else besides your compliment. This could be offering to promote them on a popular social media account, well-known publication or to introduce them to someone influential. However, most people who do outreach do not have anything this like in their pocket, and this is the reason why they turned to such a futile method in the first place. Instead, many offer their own intellectual services and skills to the target. This is often less effective since you have not established your expertise as something of high quality, and thus they will not trust your knowledge.
The only way of succeeding in the outreach is to convince the target that you are close to his level. This is tremendously hard and is the main reason why most outreach attempts fail.
How to do business outreach?
Even though as we saw that sending outreach messages is time-consuming, difficult and even humiliating, it can still be an effective tactic if mastered. I’m not going to focus on what you should write in the outreach email, as there are many guides about this topic. Instead, I will focus on how to do outreach while saving time and not embarrassing yourself.
If you want to get hands-on tips on what and how to write the outreach, watch this guide.
Don’t outreach before you have built your own personal brand
The more well-known you are, the easier it is to outreach. If the person you are outreaching too actually has heard about you before or follows you on social media, the need to showcase yourself to him will be automatically removed. It’s even possible that he will be flattered that you contacted him yourself, and will feel entitled to collaborate with you. In addition to this, you will receive many outreach messages yourself, and some of them will come from valuable contacts. It will basically create an ideal situation where you don’t have to outreach to anyone, but can choose to who’s outreach to reply.
Don’t do outreach yourself
If you still decided to do outreaching, don’t do it yourself. This is an obvious advice for all activity that is not part of your core business. If you do all the outreach yourself, I can guarantee you, that’s going to be all you will be doing. You won’t have any time for other work, and outreach will also drain all your mental strength. Best way to do outreach is to hire a person who enjoys communicating with other people and has good social skills to do it on your behalf. Thus you will save a lot of time, energy, mental health and probably even get better results. In addition to saving your own time and being more effective, this is particularly good advice for those who don’t like to socialize themselves a lot.
Automate outreach as much as possible
There are several tools that will help you automate the sending process, allowing you to send more emails that are still personalized.
Watch this video to get more information about these tools and how to use them.
Hire virtual assistants to do all the tedious work
Even though you already have a person to do outreaching for you, it doesn’t mean that you should drown them with all the work related to outreaching. There are a lot of easy yet tedious manual tasks that need to be performed. For example, finding an email of a person, you want to contact. Such a task can be easily outsourced to low wage virtual assistant, making the work of your outreach specialist more productive and pleasant.
Bonus Tip: Outreach with a fake email first.
Some influencers are so rude that they will add your email to their blacklist and block you on social media if they didn’t like what wrote to them. This would be destructive to you as it means that you could never contact them again, even if you happen to rise on the social latter. Thus it’s wise at least in the beginning to create an email account specifically for outreach purposes. You should use only public email providers, and never email with your own domain, as the target can add your whole domain to the spam-list. This email should still contain your real name because it will be too late to change it if the outreach works. Since these people received multiple outreach emails per day, it’s not likely that they will remember you by your own name (since they don’t care about you in the first place), they will most likely only mark your email as spam, so by changing email account, you can contact them again with another suggestion. Using a fake email account will also protect your primary email from spam complaints, which can lead to the suspension of your email box or even your whole domain.
The myth of outreach “spam“
Many outreach experts call non-targeted outreach emails spam. In reality, these emails are not even close to spam as they are not trying to sell anything and are not sending in bulk to everyone, but only to selected contacts. Apparently, people who dislike these type of emails are so full of themselves, that they expect everyone to learn their full biography before contacting them. This is the ultimate level of douchiness. They don’t understand that their is value is only what they can provide for others, and if they refuse to provide anything, they are worthless to society.
Offer a deal
In reality, however, “spammy” approach is rarely the true problem. The most common problem with the outreach is that it’s not offering any type of deal; it only asks for a favour or help. Even for some successful businessmen, it’s hard to come up with an idea of what to ask in return, especially if they don’t know what other person has to offer, and thus they will ignore the contact request. The solution would be to include a concrete deal proposal of what you will do in return for their help. For a deal, you can use your imagination and offer anything that has some value; it can be a free sample of your product, money or free promotion online. Offering a deal will instantly turn the desperate outreach into a sold business proposal and raise the success rate.