First, a congratulations is in order. You made the choice to commit, to hold hands in the hallway, to check YES. I must say – you two make a super cute couple.
You’re not necessarily out of the woods yet, but since this client made it through the initial checklist, the good news is that the potential for red flags and backfiring has significantly decreased.
So let’s talk about how to move to a lifetime of happiness with this client.
In an ideal world, the client’s site is an overall easy sell – the site is well-designed, easy to navigate and provides genuinely useful information, the company has a powerful mission and a great reputation, etc. But even in this ideal world, the content they’d like you to promote may not be ideal. And this can be a bumpy road to traverse.
Finding the Perfect Meeting Place
Magnificent, evergreen, authority content is the bee’s knees. But oftentimes, this type of content can be what we call out-of-funnel, which means it will attract links, but won’t be an easy sell to the client.
Thankfully, you like this client, you’ve set up a great foundation for the relationship, and you feel confident in your future together, so this is just a normal not-sure-I-understand-why-we’d-be-promoting-this-when-I-just-want-to-sell-phone-plans bump in the road. It didn’t throw you out of the wagon, it just sort of jostled you a bit.
It’s kind of like when you’re making that tough decision of where to go for dinner — your date loves Mexican food but your favorite is Italian. How do you compromise? (Actually, that’s easy – bourbon.)
No matter the challenge, so it’s valuable to spend time with the client figuring this out before moving forward. In fact, if you try to move forward without figuring this out, you won’t get very far and both parties will likely be unsatisfied in the end.
The client must understand your perspective, and you must understand theirs. There is a happy medium if authority link building was meant to be. Talk through your experiences with the types of content you know will build the kind of attention they’re looking for. Be sure to address exactly why you won’t be able to successfully build attention to their sales pages. Take some time, do your research, come back with title suggestions and see which ones are most appealing to the client.
Choosing the Main Course
Say your client is in the jewelry industry and you’ve agreed to build links to medium-to-high authority sites. There is no existing content to speak of on their site, so you were sure to include content creation in the contract (nice work!). You know that in order to successfully reach out to those agreed-upon medium-to-high authority sites, you’ll need that magnificent, evergreen, authority (potentially out-of-funnel) content. But what topic? Just what exactly will you dine on during your first official date?
This is where we need to bridge the interests of both parties to create a sustainable, long-term solution. When I think of medium-to-high authority sites, and lots of them, I think of educational sites – high schools, colleges, etc. And when I explore educational sites, I notice all types of existing content (and where there is existing content, there can always be more content). I found content targeted toward teachers, supervisors, students, alumni, parents, and donors. In this particular hypothetical case, I would target teachers.
So now we’ve narrowed our topic to: teachers + jewelry.
Jewelry for teachers?
The Guide to Personalized Gifts for Teachers.
Umm, no*. While I’m sure it would be appreciated by hardworking, underpaid teachers to receive something gold and shimmering rather than a coffee mug for Teacher Appreciation Day, I am going to go out on a blinged out limb and say that schools and colleges would not link to this.
*That said, this would potentially be a fun piece for a blog.
Jewelry on teachers?
How to Gauge a Teacher’s Salary Based on His/Her Jewelry.
Ha! But just out of curiosity, there probably is a correlation, right?
Jewelry in the classroom?
The Guide to Jewelry Making for K-12 Classrooms.
OK, so maybe not exactly that, but now it’s starting to get interesting. This would be an easy sell to art teachers everywhere. I could see this in a list of teacher resources on an elementary, middle and/or high school website. One issue is that we’ve ruled out colleges. But, that’s ok! You can’t always do it all with one piece and this would give us enough runway to get started and prove we can build links and move that needle.
Now that you’re on a roll, keep going in this direction and come up with 3-4 more ideas that satisfy the client’s needs as well as yours. And don’t forget to come up with a few ideas that would be interesting to colleges so that you don’t cancel out that linker demographic.
Deciding on a Nightcap
Once you’ve gotten content titles approved, content written, prospects secured and outreach started, you’re well on your way. When the first links start going up, the client will see firsthand the types of links you’re able to earn with this authority content. This goes a long way in proving your expertise and abilities to the client. In other words, a second date is on the horizon.