Guest Post by Jason Gracia
Back in college, I toyed with the idea of selling products door to door to help put myself through school. Though the idea eventually fizzled, I learned something in the process that always stuck with me. In fact, it became the bedrock of my traffic strategy that I rely on today.
On my way to class one afternoon, I saw the flyer that first put the idea into my head: Free sales training for any student interested in travel, unlimited income, and an unforgettable experience. Well, I forgot most of what they said at their welcome meeting, but not the question I asked our presenter.
“If the goal is to sell product to parents in town, why not make presentations where they’ve already gathered? Perhaps work a deal with the local community centers or churches?”
“No. Moving on…”
Pleasant fellow. I made a few more comments, which drew looks of annoyance, and decided a few days later that it wasn’t for me. But my time was well spent, for I’ve used that question many times to rapidly grow each of my businesses.
The Key to Rapid Growth: O.P.A.
The key to traffic, to waves of targeted and eager traffic, isn’t going door to door.
This should, of course, be part of a larger traffic strategy (joining online conversations, making one-on-one connections, engaging in social media, etc.), but the key to rapid traffic is contained in three letters: O.P.A.
Other People’s Audiences.
You have two choices: You can spend your waking hours tirelessly trying to reach one person at a time or you can tap into sources that already have your ideal prospects gathered by the tens of thousands.
Sounds like an easy choice, right? In truth, most online entrepreneurs say, “No.”
They agree that speaking to thousands is more efficient than walking “door to door,” but it’s getting in front of those crowds that poses the problem.
Luckily, I have just the solution.
The most common way to reach other people’s audiences, guest posts, are no cakewalk. Unless you have established connections or celebrity, it can take months to get your work featured, if it happens at all.
There’s a better way, a way to increase your chances of exposure tenfold, but to share it we have to take another trip into the past.
Lessons from the 70th Floor
The elevator ticked higher and higher as we climbed toward the roof. I had been to the Empire State Building many times before, having brought friends to Manhattan to visit my brother over the years, but this was my first trip to the top of 30 Rockefeller Center.
As the elevator opened, we were ushered into Disneyesque lines, twisting and turning for as long as the eye could see. We crawled forward. I’m glad we did because the reason for our turtle pace triggered my second light bulb.
When we reached the final room before heading onto the observation deck, my friend and I were asked to sit on a beam, cityscape backdrop behind us, and smile for the camera. Light bulb!
One by one each group sat, smiled, blinked when the flash hit their eyes, and took their ticket, a ticket that matched their photo, ready for purchase within minutes. People gobbled them up. Plain pictures of the building? Not so much.
Customization was the key.
By creating a personalized product, the Rockefeller squad sold thousands of photos. And by creating a personalized piece of content, you’ll reach thousands of fans and followers.
Make ‘em an Offer They Can’t Refuse
As we know, blogs and websites need valuable content for their audiences. And, as we also know, being chosen for a guest post isn’t always an easy road to take.
This is where customization comes into play.
Imagine Sue runs a photography blog. She teaches composition, editing, and even a little business strategy. What she doesn’t cover, however, is equipment. That doesn’t keep her audience from asking about it though.
You also run a photography blog, and because you’ve been studying others in your field, you know that Sue could use some help in this area. You’ve read her posts, the comments, the social media chatter. You know what’s missing and are ready to fill the gap.
With what? Perhaps a short video series on the pros, cons, and best choices for each piece of equipment (including Sue’s affiliate links). Or a report, branded with your company as well as Sue’s, which outlines the essential photography gear needed at each stage of the game. Or maybe a tutorial walking newbies through the process of setting up their camera and lighting to get the best results.
Now, if you were Sue, would you be more likely to share a tired guest post with your audience or a custom-made piece of content that will over deliver on value and thrill your readers?
Now It’s Your Turn
If you’re ready to tap into one of the greatest sources of traffic online, you need to do just three things:
1. Find the Sources: The first thing I want you to do is discover the major blogs, businesses, and outlets in your field. Google keywords in your industry, search for best-sellers on Amazon, find out who’s speaking at industry seminars and conferences, or wade through social media hubs to discover the most popular people in your world.
2. Find the Gap: After pinpointing the major players in your industry, look for gaps you can fill. What does their audience consistently ask for that they don’t have the time or expertise to offer? What is the audience missing that could help them get faster or easier results? What complimentary areas could you speak to that are being ignored? (For instance, a gardening blog opens the door to nutrition, recipes, etc.)
Another, more direct option, is to simply ask. Send an email, tweet, or Facebook message asking where they most need help. You’ll be surprised at how effective this method turns out to be.
3. Fill the Gap: Once you know where the crowds are gathering and what they and their leaders want most, fill the gap with a tailor-made piece of content–something made specifically for that audience.
You can create a video series, audio series, PDF report, or a mixture of all three. You can even create a product and offer it for free. Remember, it’s all about making them an offer they can’t refuse. (To be safe, I suggest you always present the polished idea before creating the content.)
This requires extra effort, but that’s what success always requires. The lazy among us look for shortcuts or loopholes, never finding either. The true successes, the ones who dream, create, and deliver, do what they’ve always done: they go above and beyond, again and again.
Do that, and you’ll have more traffic, subscribers, and customers than you know what to do with.
By Jason Gracia, author of Shifting the Balance and creator of The Six-Figure Expert. If you’re ready to turn your passion or expertise into a six-figure brand and business, visit www.JasonGracia.com for a free copy of the complete blueprint, The Six-Figure Formula.