“This is where I wanna be – grouch paradise! Just look it at. It’s like a work of art.” – Oscar the Grouch in Follow that Bird (1985)
Oscar is a character, but not much of a charmer. He would make a horrific outreach specialist! However, his gravitation toward the used entities of others makes for an interesting outreach concept…
Users interact with the Web in real time. Then the real-time artifacts are left as monuments. The artifacts are not trash per se; but like discarded trash, become idle elements, prime for perusal.
Akin to whatOscar admits, it’s like one big ‘work of art’ you can rummage through…
Let’s assume we want to learn more about particular individuals for outreach purposes. Rather than cold calling for their attention, let’s warm our knowledge by the fire of their online ‘art.’
I used ‘logged-off’ Google Images searches to conduct the following social experimentations:
Birds of a Feather
Sometimes one becomes ‘cool’ with others through mutual acquaintances. Let’s use Wayne Barker as an example (We know that stellar chap, eh?) Let’s say I don’t know Wayne; but I know Anthony Nelson. Anthony appears on the Google Images search for ‘Wayne Barker SEO’?
Ah, I see. Wayne liked and shared an Anthony Nelson interview.
He may now know (or want to better know) Anthony. Anthony is the ‘common relation factor.’ The mutual acquaintance/interest can (perhaps) help forge relations with Wayne.
In a future outreach attempt, I could include the fact that I know Anthony (maybe also read the interview) and could introduce them (if they are not already well acquainted).
“…I noticed you read Alessio’s interview of Anthony Nelson. Anthony is a good online acquaintance of mine. Perhaps I could send him your email if you were also interested in interviewing him…”
Remember, outreach is about them. (Thank you, John Doherty)
Most of us have immediate and extended families. There’s a common bond there. I often notice people share information about their families. Family matters. (Hey, that includes dogs and kitties too!) In perusing our ‘Wayne Barker SEO’ Google Images search, I see Wayne is with child in a Linked In photo.
The SEO master and toddler toter are one in the same!
In future attempts in contacting Wayne, I wouldn’t mention looking at pictures with him holding children. (That’s creepy.) Rather, if I (have children, babysit, teach toddlers, etc) I may passively mention it for commonality’s sake.
For instance, “Hope you’re having a productive day. I’ve been juggling toddlers, working, and making dinner (hope I didn’t mix any of those up! Ha ha!)”
Again, it’s a common bond. Relations are formed through common associations.
Patterns of Professional Interest
What if I want to better communicate with Wayne on a professional level? I know he is interested in “SEO.” But what are his refined online marketing interests. User experience? Pay-per-click? Link building?
Let’s use our ‘Wayne Barker SEO’ image search again, looking for clues associated with Wayne’s specific interests. Combing through the first few pages of the search, I notice Wayne is a reader of Triple SEO, Chris Dyson’s blog.
Chris is well-attuned to marketing, specifically link building. Actually, I noticed a number of personalities related to link building within the first few pages of results, namely Ian Howells, Julie Joyce, and Anthony Nelson.
Done and done. If I wanted to better professionally associate with Wayne, I’d tailor my recognition to his interests.
Example: “Hey Wayne, I noticed your specific interest in link building. I’ve read a few personalities lately (Julie Joyce, Ian Howells, Anthony Nelson, etc.) I’d love to know your perspective on the topic for an interview. Alternatively, I’d really appreciate the possibility of doing a guest post for you on the topic…”
Patterns of Personal Interest
Let’s be honest. You’re at a convention. You spark a convo with a peer. Do you want strictly speak ‘shop,’ or does some other interest affect your being? Oh, good. What are a particular person’s interests? Do you share any in common?
I recently wrote a post, championing the notions of using graphics for further entertainment and education. AJ Kohn’s cattraction toward felines was used as an example. Coincidentally, AJ came across the post and got a giggle out of my observation.
If I wanted to conduct an outreach to AJ I may get a better reaction, form a better initial relation, by mentioning his interest. As Chris Countey once humorously recognized, AJ also entertains Google Plus followers with images from around the world.
Let’s use an example: “…I notice your fervor for travel. I love traveling, have done it extensively. Where’s your favorite spot?”
Again, it’s a commonality. We’re observing from afar, taking interest, and engaging with better associative power. You want someone’s interest? Take interest in them.
Grouch-Pro Rummaging Tips
I used Google Image search to showcase concepts. But see the forest through the ‘debris trees.’ Use other platforms for image perusal too!
- Other search engine image engines
- Peoples’ Twitter recent images
- Pinterest board
- Facebook pictures
Wil Reynolds’ ‘stalking for links’ presentation was definitely an inspiration for this post. I hope readers understand the notion of learning about the targeted individual before approach. I understand, amid a largely-scaled link building our outreach campaign, such devotion takes time.
A maxim states, “A pictures speaks a thousand words.” Hopefully, considering the visual and timely notion of glaring at pictures saves time while (still) genuinely aiding in outreach and forming relations. Thanks for reading!
This is a guest post by Anthony Pensabene, the king of commenting and social interaction. Follow him on twitter @content_muse, add him to your Google+ circles and read his blog for online marketing inspiration.