By Ben Jacobsen
08 Feb 2021

SEO From Home: Outreach Practices During A Pandemic

SEO From Home

We sat down with Danica Laurence from Page One Power to discuss email outreach for SEO, and adjustments you may want to make to your strategy during a pandemic. There are some things that you should be focusing on - and possibly changing about how you are reaching out to your potential sites. 

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If you missed the live presentation, you can watch a recording of the event below! 

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See you next time on SEO From Home!


0:00:06.5 Ben Jacobsen: Welcome back, you guys. My name is Ben Jacobson, I'm the host here at Page One Power of SEO from home, and I'm super excited to be back with you guys again, it's been a couple of weeks, and we're really excited to have our Page One Power, very owned Danica with us and we're gonna be talking about email outreach. We're gonna be covering a handful of topics today as far as how you can be making small tweaks and changes in what you should be doing with your strategy for outreach and link building. So all of that is coming up. We're super excited, if you guys haven't joined us before for SEO from home, this series is basically something that we put together at the beginning of the pandemic, just to try to keep the SEO community connected and try to allow people a platform to continue to share some of their insight and information about SEO. We've done a handful of episodes that are ranging from PPC to site maps, to technical SEO, content writing, everything in between. So today we're gonna be focusing a little bit more on the outreach side of things and how you should be making those adjustments going into this similar unprecedented year. I think everyone is tired of hearing how crazy the world has been lately, and so we're here to just give you some information about how you can be prepared for that.


0:01:32.4 Ben Jacobsen: With today's presentation, we are also going to be recording it, so if you guys have to step away for any time, don't worry, we're gonna have this up on our YouTube channel and on our website, we try to do that by Monday, 24-48 hours if we can, but rest assured, it's gonna be up there. So all of that to say, we are looking forward to seeing how you guys are currently doing your outreach as well, we encourage you guys to ask questions and talk with us. Danica and I are gonna be having a conversation today, we're gonna be covering some general points but we want you guys to chime in as well, if you wanna do that, there's a chat box below or the Q and A box. Either one of those is a great place to reach out to us if you want to chime in. We'll do our best to answer those questions when we can and in the moment, but also if you don't get a chance to ask we’re gonna pull some questions for you guys at the end too, so I will get off my soapbox and take a drink of water here you guys, we have Danica Laurence with us here today.


0:02:35.7 Ben Jacobsen: She's gonna be talking again about email outreach during a pandemic. So Danica, tell us a little bit more about yourself and what we're gonna be talking about today.


0:02:46.8 Danica Laurence: I'm Danica Laurence, I work in the research department of Page One Power production team as a manager, and I work specifically with our outreach team. One of the things that we experienced last year, really when the pandemic really hit and everyone started feeling it was just the struggles and the stressors that came with outreach, we really had to adjust and revisit how we talked to people, how we reached out to people, especially when it came to cold outreach, one of the things that... One of the things that we really noticed is just how the impacts of personal life impact work so much and you see it really amplified during this time. One of the things that really stuck out is just how job descriptions and job responsibilities changed, of the people that we were contacting. As we were really just revisiting our strategies, we found that continuing to be ‘people first’ in our email outreach was super important. And we'll talk about it a little bit more, but you have people who are taking over others job responsibilities, it's a real bummer, but if someone could maintain having a webmaster, there were plenty of schools that we would reach out to where teachers were running their pages when typically a webmaster would...


0:04:35.5 Danica Laurence: So there are tiny changes like that that really, really changed how you talk to people. One of the things that we start with, at least our core, is understanding our business or the business of our client, as well as the products and assets that they provide. We do a lot of outreach for content in our department, it's useful information. Typically, these are guides or how-tos that we provide two different audiences online, so in addition to understanding that content and how it applies in today's world to those online audiences, we found to be very important. A lot of the content that we found to be most useful for people is anything health, mental health-related or covid-related, which I'm sure a lot of you have seen just a boon of covid and Pandemic-related content, this is a pandemic-related content, but there's some real importance to that, especially when you're talking about teachers and students is really a big audience that we hit. Remote learning is really a new and wild west for a lot of individuals, especially with back and forth from at least here in Boise, there's been a lot of back and forth between remote learning and in-person learning.


0:06:20.6 Danica Laurence: So it's a half and half. And that just, it really changes the different struggles that students have, so when we talk to teachers, typically it's going to be, “Here's why this is helpful for your job, here's why it's helpful for the students who are already struggling to get through just what is unprecedented and his new learning.” So when you're crafting outreach, again, you wanna understand the asset or the business or the service that you're providing, you wanna understand how it pertains to your online audience, and you wanna know what they're going through and really critically think about what's changed in that industry 'cause every industry is different. I've talked about some education-related industries, but there's also just senior and healthcare-related services and businesses and websites, they have an insane change in terms of how they operate, especially with processes as well as how they function, and their websites are going through so many redesigns and updates to accommodate telehealth. There are so many new things that exist, and just being aware of that is really important as you craft your outreach.


0:07:47.8 Ben Jacobsen: Definitely, and I think that with those changes, as you mentioned, you wanna be sensitive to those and you also wanna make sure that you're doing your due diligence and research, just kind of reiterating almost what you said is take that extra couple of minutes to see if you can see any signs that they're changing, if you can tell that a teacher is running their own site, that's a big difference versus having an admin or a webmaster, and the reason why you're getting straight to the source, often I think that in outreach and SEO, we always talk about the gatekeepers, the people that are between you and the decision maker for whether or not that they're going to include your resource. Those roles are changing a lot, and what I've noticed at least is it seems like a lot of people are taking on more responsibility, if anything, and it seems like the roles that people are taking on are expanding, so now we have teachers that are becoming now web admins, and we have people that are managing all these different things, it could even present itself as a unique opportunity because you are able to talk directly to someone to understand that research that you're presenting, so there's other ways to look at it too, where with the right research, you can actually maybe even angle that to be in your advantage.


0:09:16.4 Danica Laurence: Yeah, absolutely, I think, especially this ties into just you can't send emails without having prospects, you have to know who you're going after. For us, we're link building, so we're trying to find different links pages and resource pages, and we're identifying those targets and those contacts, and that's a big portion of the research, right there is after you identify that online audience and who is going to find what you're providing useful or who might need it. That next big step of research is figuring out who you need to talk to and what those changes are, and typically that requires going to social media now is another place that you should be looking at to see what's going on, what updates are happening with the business, but given how there were a handful of layoffs last year, that changes drastically who you're talking to, and as sad as that is, we all still have jobs to do and like who we're connecting with really changes, just day-to-day, and like you said, people's roles and responsibilities are expanding. And that is so true. So when you're looking for people to contact, you wanna find the right addressee or email for our purposes, because if it makes it to someone else who is already doing additional work and that's not part of their purview, they're going to ignore your email because they have so much other stuff happening. And even taking the time to refer you to the appropriate person could be... That's gonna be the bottom of their to-do list, like you...


0:11:13.3 Ben Jacobsen: I’m guilty of that too, right?


0:11:14.8 Danica Laurence: Exactly, same here. There's a magic to prioritizing different things and receiving a cold email from someone is probably not at the top of your list and it's okay, but also understanding that as you're doing your outreach strategy for whatever... SEO marketing aspect that you're doing is just knowing time is another big new thing that we've really realized that there's a lot more delay between hearing back from people, links going live. We have some people who don't respond to us, but end up putting links on their websites because they don't have the time, which is great because at some level, they found the resource or our client's asset useful and decided, “Hey, this is good enough upon the website”, but sending an email off was not important enough for them to say, “Yes, we did this”, they just do it because that's when they have the free time to do it.


0:12:26.0 Ben Jacobsen: I think that that should be something that having done a lot of outreach myself in the past, it's something to keep in mind is just be aware that answering a cold outreach email is going to be super low on everyone's list. Right. I think anyone that's done link-building for any amount of time knows that you're gonna get a lot of just no responses, no one's gonna answer you, or if someone will tell you you reply back and tell you to buzz off, there's going to be so much of that, but just understanding that it is gonna be really low on their list, how many times do you get hit up on LinkedIn or something where someone's like, “Hey, I can offer the X, Y, Z”, it's not something that I'm going to really be like, “Oh man, I need to reach back out to some random guy named Greg that hit me up on LinkedIn”, so understanding and implementing that into your strategy, be upfront with why it's beneficial to them, like if it's low on their priority list, what can you do to bump that up on their priority list, what's something that I show them what the value is.


0:13:35.7 Danica Laurence: And that message, clarity and brevity, and we talk about this in our department, but you don't want to include a bunch of fluff, that's the other thing, is people have, people are busy, so the clearer you can be, the more concise you can be with what you're asking them, what that value add is, including a call to action that really just jump starts that conversation to get it happening is super important. I mean, the value adds that we've seen more nowadays is really how our clients work or services are beneficial to how an audience is impacted by today's world. I mentioned teachers and students, that is a huge audience that we talk to, they make up quite a bit of the internet, if you are considering EDs and public schools and districts. And any time we have a resource that is gonna be useful for a teacher or a kid or a parent, helping their child learn from home, that is something that we highlight and who ended up front, and that is something just in general, when you're talking to people and sending cold emails, you're talking to another human, you're gonna be asking them to do something, that they're not like they're doing you a favor essentially, and so connecting with them on that level is really like… That should be a key thought process as you're going through and typing up an email. 


0:15:21.6 Ben Jacobsen: And one thing I was even thinking about the other day, and I feel like since I've transitioned out of doing regular outreach on a daily basis myself, I've started to notice, again, looking at just the... Viewing it more on the receiving end as a webmaster, so it's kind of cool because I've had experience in link building and outreach and things like that, and so it's allowed me to kind of see both sides of the coin. And one thing that stuck out to me the other day was on my phone, when I get notifications, I rarely... Especially emails, if I don't know what the email is for, I'm not expecting it, or it's not something that's grabbing my attention right away, the chances of me ever opening that are ever, ever dwindling. It's not something where... And again, I just think about it, like when you open up your phone and you have all your notifications, you look at it and you kind of do the little swipe down thing, so it'll show more or whatnot, and you get that little tiny snippet, just thinking of like if you're adding a bunch of extra fluff in there or you're like, Hey, we're just reaching out, it's a little cold here in Boise, and I just wanna...


0:16:35.7 Ben Jacobsen: There's a touch of personalization that goes a really long way, but it has to be... Again, I think the term you used earlier as perfect brevity, it needs to be clear, it needs to be concise, and it needs to be genuine to what you're actually offering, I think people can pretty quickly tell when it's like a bulk mass email and there's techniques to working around that, but yeah, be clear, be upfront about what it is that you're after and the benefit as someone who gets outreach for that all the time like, Man, at least if I know what you're outreaching about, maybe four or five months from now. Maybe I'm like, “Dang, I do need someone to come in and caption all of our videos”, that could be a huge thing, but if I have no idea what Jerry or whoever reached out to me about on LinkedIn, I have no idea, and I'll never be able to see his services, but at least the people that are up front, at least I know what they're offering, even if I'm not interested.


0:17:39.6 Danica Laurence: On the flip side too, though... One thing that some members of our team, I've noticed is there are some people who just want to talk, so you send that clear, straightforward message in their initial email when they respond, and they want to have that conversation in that human interaction. Sometimes it's worth it to take the extra time out of your day to talk to those people and just say, “Hey, how's it going?” Because when Susan, who runs pet X, Y and Z website, it's like, “Oh, my dog. Had a great day today.” Respond back with a photo of your dog. It's not going... And it's something I think most people have felt is some of that isolation, especially marketers who are working remotely, from home, they're not seeing people in office, they're asking people in real life a whole bunch, and sometimes people just wanna have that conversation, so it's really important to kind of feel out and see. Start off with that message clarity at brevity, but then read the room when people respond to you, I think there's a lot of social cues that indicate when someone wants to have a conversation or when someone wants to have just a very quick transactional type of conversation.


0:19:06.0 Ben Jacobsen: A very good point. Do you feel like that is something that is... We even talked a little bit before we got started here. I'm kinda feeling the isolation a bit here too, I get to fortunately talk to people on video every day for work, but at the same time, there's still that isolation. Do you feel like your team is noticing that there's people that are kinda trending towards more conversational, or is it just kind of something that you have to feel out as you're doing your outreach?


0:19:38.7 Danica Laurence: It's just something you have to feel out. One thing, I think in terms of just commonality between some of those has been typically people who I mentioned, Susan at X Y  Z pet website, we're talking about people who are small business owners that maybe don't see a ton of people, hobbyists I think are another big group of people who... They're engaging with people, it's not just a marketing job for them, it's like, it's true, it's passion behind what they're doing, and those typically, even prior to February or March of last year, those are the people who wanna talk anyways and have more conversation and say like, “Oh, this is a real person. Oh my gosh, they actually looked at my website and they do understand why it's so important to me or why I'm doing what I am”, and those people really... you can tell when someone responds back in an email and says, “Oh, this is a really great resource, I'm gonna look at it. Are there any other resources you guys provide?” We have people to respond, “how is your day going?” Which as a marketer, as someone sending cold outreach, that's a pleasant surprise for someone  to respond and say, “Oh, how are you”, like...


0:21:14.7 Danica Laurence: That’s definitely an anomaly, and really when it comes to email fundamentals, you wanna make sure you're talking to the right person, you wanna make sure your subject line stands out and it's clear, so that whoever you're sending it to knows what the email is going to be about, you want your message and your value add to be straightforward, and calls to action you have should emphasize why it's important for them and their audience. The other thing too, to just remember that I think sometimes, especially I haven't seen this happen, but I have read online in different forums over the past six or seven months, but don't forget to also be professional, include an email signature. I know we're working from home, we're wearing leggings and sweatpants and professional tops, right, but there are still certain things that you also wanna keep in mind as you're going along and doing your outreach and just revisiting your strategy. One thing that our department has been talking about is making video calls available, like an option for the people we're reaching out to, is including options to have Zooms or Google Meets.


0:22:48.6 Danica Laurence: Will that help people with outreach, is it worth the time to send an email, send a personalized email, but then also encourage them to not just reach out to you in a response but maybe set up a call, is a 15-minute call more worthwhile than having five or 10 email exchanges? Maybe. It's not something we've tried yet, but it is something to be thinking about, Zoom has become... Zoom and just video meets have become such a normal aspect of people's lives.


0:23:28.6 Ben Jacobsen: I think that the common place of video conferencing and video calls now is just so ubiquitous that I had someone try to schedule a call with me yesterday, and I was surprised that it wasn't a video call. I was like, “Oh, I'm ready to go. I got my lights on, I'm good to go, ready?” And then were like, “Alright, I'll call you in five minutes. On your phone”, and I'm like, “Oh, okay, well, that's fine too”. But just having that, I think... At least when I was doing outreach and stuff, I was always a little bit more timid, just kind of assuming... I don't know, I think that maybe I got beat down a little bit, but just kind of assuming that people aren't really interested in that, but the reality is, is that I think people are becoming more savvy and more in tune with that to where... Man, if you can put... For 15 minutes, if you can explain why your resource is valuable and they know that you're a real person and you're even willing to be on video, that gives a huge air of authority and verification, I guess there's so many people get...


0:24:44.9 Ben Jacobsen: Webmasters, especially, I get hit all the time for link requests, and there's a lot of spammy requests, there's a lot of bots out there. There's a... Just mass crap... For lack of better term, like if you're like, I really think it shows that you're willing to take that extra or next step, it doesn't seem like a lot on its face maybe, but I think just putting yourself out there and being vulnerable with them, and I'm like, “Hey, you can talk to me on the phone if you want to”, I think that gives them way more confidence in what you're providing and what you're providing isn't like some scamming campaign or something... Right, they're gonna see the opportunity to talk to a real person and that... That's important.


0:25:49.1 Danica Laurence: And just taking the times for responses, whether it is via video conference or phone or email, it's another thing that we've noticed, there's been a few times over the last year where individuals have taken over running their website and they have no idea how to add a link to their website. So taking the time to explain it, even though it seems very silly to people in SEO or marketing about here’s how you go to the back end of your website, here are the different codes that you put in and the text that you put in to create a link on this specific page. It is something that we've had to do, and that's something that like being compassionate in your responses is super important, and if it means getting on the phone, being on a video call or screen share, like that's something our department is starting to look into... Because times are changing, and even after things really become more normal, or at least our new norm is established, I think we're still maybe in a transition period, but once a new norm really is established, I would foresee that being a huge part of email marketing is pearling into conversations, pearling into ranchers and really just...


0:27:24.4 Danica Laurence: I don't think conversations are gonna stay email to email, and that's okay. I think starting out with email outreach is super valuable because you can start that conversation off right, but being open to other people's methods of communication and their comfort is super important.


0:27:50.1 Ben Jacobsen: One thing that even... I've been kind of halfway considering in the back of my mind in the last couple of weeks is using the example of people reaching out on LinkedIn again, there's some really awesome software out there, you guys that you can actually just do a quick little video intro in your email or in your message, that could be super helpful if you are saying, “Hey, we have a resource that I think that would be great on your website, and it's about disaster relief, or it's about how to stay safe in the pandemic”, like you have these resources. But the outreach, instead of just being an email is like a little 30-second video of you saying, “Hey, I went to your website, pets dot X Y Z, and it has excellent content, but I think that you can use this”, and if you just show them and you can even do a screencap of your screen, there's some really advanced tools that can really set yourself apart from other people that are outreaching. Again, I think it's something about the idea of offering a video call or even just proactively sending them a video of what you're talking about, and I'm busy sometimes if I see a few paragraphs of text when I don't know what's going on, or I don't know who it's from. I'm less likely to read that then, maybe just clicking a play button, so who knows... But there's so many different opportunities out there as far as how you can connect with people, and especially now, I feel like that's changing super rapidly.


0:29:28.2 Danica Laurence: And even even when you're going through and considering that stuff, just looking at the targets and the people that you’re reaching out to and understanding their values is something that will really help inform what you're doing, especially if someone says, Don't call me or don't email me, that's something you should take seriously, they wouldn't put that on their web page or their contact form if they didn't mean it. Following those instructions when someone does include that in terms of this is the best way to contact me, or if you're asking about X, Y and Z, put a link here, like Email this person instead, that's something that you should be considerate of and definitely keep an eye out for when you are researching how to contact and who to contact, the prospects that you're looking at. You're right, there are a ton of tools and a lot of outreach tools now including different features that help you include links to videos and making it more user-friendly and not glitchy. People are working through those softwares, it's growing... It's a growing opportunity. Definitely.


0:30:58.1 Ben Jacobsen: Yeah, and to your point of adhering to, “Hey, don't reach out to me via email.” And if you are going out of your way to put that on your site or put that on your contact area or wherever that's listed, the chances are that you've been bombarded with people and you've had to go out of your way to be explicit about that because if you're reading that, then you're probably not the first person that's tried to hit up this webmaster. Especially if they respond back to an email that's like, “please stop emailing me”, even just the idea of replying back and being like, “Okay, thanks”. Like even that, I just don't... If I reply back to a spam email that's like, Do not email me again, don't email them. I've had to go out of my way to reply back to that, whereas normal delete or move on or whatever, but if someone's going out of their way, just be aware of that. I think of yourself, put yourself in their position, but really... How annoyed would you have to be to respond back to a cold email that's like, Stop.


0:32:14.0 Ben Jacobsen: If you've gotten to that point, stop pushing, you're not gonna get a link...


0:32:18.6 Danica Laurence: I think too, going off of that point, any time you send an email, you should be okay with receiving that email yourself, whether it's an initial email, a follow-up email, just responses that you're having with people, if you wouldn't say it to someone in person, don't put it in an email, if you wouldn't be okay receiving that email, don't send it like... I think that's a really good gut check to live by, especially if you don't have co-workers to audit or read what you're sending, which is a really valuable tool, the people around you have really great collective knowledge and utilizing that is super important when you're sending emails but if you aren't or you're just really in the zone and working autonomously, if you wouldn't send it to yourself or be okay receiving it, and you wouldn't say it in person to another person, just don't send it. 


0:33:26.3 Ben Jacobsen: I feel like that could be kind of a good rule of thumb, let’s call it what it is, link building and SEO and outreach and stuff already is trying to rebuild its reputation inside of the marketing space. It's been played by the idea of spammy backlink requests, do your part to try to squash that and be... Just be respectful and be straightforward with what's going on and why it's beneficial to people. I think that, again, if you're doing something that's truly in the benefit of the person you're reaching out to, that gut check should be a real easy thing to check off, if you're actually targeting the right sites and you're actually providing real value like you shouldn't have any fears or hesitations of sending that because you're actually doing something that could be really beneficial for someone.


0:34:24.5 Danica Laurence: Absolutely, and I think on that note too, one of the things that we talk about a lot, at least at our organization is content and the quality of content, and that's something as you're continuing to create content, just considering who online is needing, what type of content of course, considering keywords and all of the natural SEO check marks that you would consider, also just considering who you're gonna be talking to and what they're going through right now is important just in general as a broad audience, like... One thing that we've done is we talk about seasonality between different... Between different niches and organizations, tax season is here, so reaching out to CPAs maybe isn't the best time... The best time spent for you or for the people that you're reaching out to, but considering that those types of situations and scenarios as you're creating content and as you're drafting outreach, like... You should know that talking to a financial aid’s admissions office in August is probably not going to get you anywhere. If anything, you'll just frustrate who you're trying to contact, thinking of those different seasonality that can impact what your target contact is doing is super important as well.


0:36:20.2 Danica Laurence: It's great because in online marketing, right, we're marketing all the time, and we're at our computers pretty consistently pretty regularly, but people right now too, or they're working from home with kids and pets, and just understanding that and taking that into account can really change the outcome of your outreach attempts like, you don't want to message a mommy blogger and say that work should be prioritized or send them an asset about how work is more important than trying to balance your work life, I don't think, I have a toddler and that is not something that would resonate with me. Especially now, when I work from home two days a week with her. It's just something to consider.


0:37:20.4 Ben Jacobsen: And I feel like I have to say this every SEO from home, but it's like, again, just remember that you're talking to humans, you're pitching to humans, very... You're designing SEO, you're writing content for humans, you're looking for links that are valuable to humans, and it's one of those things where we do outreach or we'll be doing creating content like day in and day out, and granted, it for sure is going to become just a job. It doesn't take long until it's just like, Okay, I'm just doing a task, I'm going through the things you're going through this steps, which is fine, but just still keeping that air of like, Oh yeah, I know that this is just another outreach, I'm not putting  a face with this email address. But really it is, it's people, and if you just take that extra couple of seconds to consider what is this scenario, what's the situation potentially like for this person, you're reaching out to... A perfect example, if you're talking with a mommy blogger that focuses on family and children and raising kids and being a part-time entrepreneur along with how to raise kids, some of those things that are all about very niche specific subjects, like you would wanna pitch something to them that's completely outside of that sphere.


0:38:57.4 Ben Jacobsen: You wouldn't wanna pitch them like a resource about what to do after a hurricane, that's not gonna be super relevant on their website, same sort of thing with the outreach, you would do that with your resource, you wouldn't wanna pitch them a completely off the wall resource and the same sort of thing with how you're actually interacting and engaging with them, you're gonna be like, :Hey, hey, Judy, how's it going? Do you guys catch the game..”. You wanna try to talk to your audience. I talk to them or open up with things that are going to be pertinent to what's going on, like if you're talking to a mommy blogger, maybe talking about a super bowl, or maybe talking about X, Y, Z, the automotive industry. That has nothing to do with what her blog is, and so why would you reach out with completely irrelevant information is... Don't reach out at irrelevant times, or if it's a... You're reaching out to someone in the finance industry or CPAs right now, they're gonna be a long time before they get back to you and it might be about four times without a response, and then they're kind of like, Get out of here.


0:40:05.5 Ben Jacobsen: I don't wanna talk to you.


0:40:06.9 Danica Laurence: Right? I think another thing to you, at least as you're emailing and drafting emails and just sending or working on outreach campaigns is addressing people by their names. Right, you should be able to do the research and find out who you're talking to, if it just says S Smith at X, Y and Z dot com, I go figure out what the S stands for. There are some nifty tricks you can do because it really is that human connection, I wouldn't refer to you as B Jacobson in person, I'm gonna say “Hi Ben”. There's a difference in the tonality when you do that, and it really can just make or break the communication and the persuasion you have, if people can trust what you're saying, believe you're real and that you're providing valuable things, like it can go a very long way in terms of making your outreach campaigns successful.


0:41:13.5 Ben Jacobsen: And that makes total sense. Again, just putting yourself back in that position, what would you want... And I think that's such a good witness test just to kinda know if you're heading in the right direction. I also really liked what you said before about using other people to bounce your ideas off and say, “Hey, I wrote this outreach, does this sound... Does it sound like it would be effective? Does it sound like it would be something that's reasonable request?” Also, read your audience, I look at the blog, look at their website, look at their LinkedIn, trying to figure out what you can about the site, there's so many resources, and there's so many tools that give you insight into everything. We live in an age where there's not a lot that you can't figure out with the right detective sleuthing online. I feel half of the people here, like semi-amateur FBI agents of investigation, it's crazy what you can find out about a business and who is running it and what they're doing, and man, if you find someone that's running a website about cooking or something, it's a recipe site, and you go to their LinkedIn, you find out they're also in a mountain biking or something like...


0:42:37.6 Ben Jacobsen: You could have a really good edge by making some weird passing mention of like, Oh, I just got done riding and I saw this, I thought this would be a great use those small little nuggets to where you're showing that you're providing more insight into like, “Oh, they know who I am, they know me”. If you can have something that makes you stand out just a little bit, and something that makes it seem like you're not a bot like if you're not a robot. Anything like that, to where it's like, “Oh, that's awesome”. Or you can be like, “Hey, I see that you are also in Seattle, cool.” Make connections in commonality, and that's a really easy way to have a small bit of that small talk without having... It seemed like, “How's the weather over there?”


0:43:27.3 Danica Laurence: One thing I talk about with our new hires is just reading people's About pages can give you so much good information about what their values are, learn the different vernaculars people use. I think it's down to let... Think of Cola soda, soda, pop. There are different places that use those terms more commonly, and when you're talking to someone using the same vernaculars that they do is super important because that's an underlying... That's an underlying connection that resonates with them, so even though you're not flat out saying, “Hey, I'm from the Pacific NorthWest in Boise Idaho, if you're talking to someone in Seattle, just including PNW, we people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho know what that stands for. That is pretty much a given, and just using that type of sleuthing skills can really, really have a great impact on what you're connecting and who you're connecting with.


0:44:49.4 Ben Jacobsen: Love it. Well, we are 45 minutes into this already, I feel like it's been flying by, I just wanted to remind you guys, if you do have any questions, go ahead and pop those in the chat here, we'll probably be wrapping this up here, probably in the next little bit, chose to the top of the hour, I wanted to ask, are you seeing anything right now to where maybe on the other side of the coin, like what are you seeing that you would advise people to avoid. What would be some ideas or things that maybe you've seen where it's like, this is... Maybe you should maybe avoid this.


0:45:26.5 Danica Laurence: I think anything disingenuine where you introduce yourself and part of your message you say, “Oh, I found your blog and your page while I was looking at X, Y and Z”, those are things that people... That we still see that on its face value might seem like, “Oh, I want them to know that I... Like, this is how I found it. This is how I saw their website”. It just doesn't come across well, at least as reading into it, I think another thing that can go both ways is getting very creative with how you're addressing people from a professional versus casual conversation, I think in some instances, in some industries, it makes sense to drop the professionalism, if anything, it's more valuable to talk to a hobbyist who has their own personal website because they love photography and that's just their personal website, they're sharing some things. It's not a professional photographer, but it's just Look at this cool thing I found, or Here are some products that I really like, here are links to some fun local pages. You don't have to use a professional stigma, you can be a little bit more casual, and I think, again, that's something that people forget now that still happens is that you don't have to always be super professional, there are times and places to be very niche and casual and you should use that opportunity.


0:47:11.9 Danica Laurence: I think those are very genuine opportunities, and I would say we don't see enough of those, and granted, as an organization, we are representing our clients, so maintaining that professionalism is super important, but if you're working for yourself and feel comfortable identifying a website where you can probably be a bit more casual. You should do it, that can really go a long way in terms of making you a real person and not a bot., It sounds silly. And again, for professional marketers and people who are running campaigns for their clients can be a little bit finicky in terms of how you're representing your clients, but if you do have the opportunity and you have the capabilities to be a little bit more casual when the time... When there's an appropriate time and place to do it, that's something that some of our tenured employees really advocate for, and there's a reason they do because it really helps with that communication and connection.


0:48:23.7 Ben Jacobsen: It's always best to be more professional than not... Yes, I would definitely say that it can work to be a little bit more casual for sure. I've always, I've always kind of default into just more professional than not, and just airing on that side and then kinda gauge their reaction, like How are they talking back... If they respond back to you and they're like, Yeah, sure. You might be able to do something a little bit more casual. And to your point earlier, reading the room. Look at the site, look at the industry, look at how they're writing in their blogs, I look at their About page, it's an excellent tip. If you're seeing on their about page, they're talking about a lot of their personal life and they're very casual with how they're mentioning things or in their blog, if they use curse words, I know that they're probably a little bit more casual. And that's okay, I would recommend using curse words in your outreach, that's probably a bad idea, but


0:49:36.9 Danica Laurence: Writing in all lower case, there are definitely things to not do... You have to maintain some professionalism, but there is room, there is a room, and I think it's important to know that there is that room to be less of an organization, corporate marketer with a business suit and tie.


0:50:02.7 Ben Jacobsen: Because honestly, that can also push people away, even if you're talking with someone that is kind of professional and your typical business owner, they have an air of professionalism about them, but they're a normal person, if you're too professional, that can also push people away too, 'cause then they're weary... They're like, “What are you trying to sell me?” Right, exactly. So it is, it's kind of a balance. It's a teeter totter of go in, be professional, but also you're willing to talk with them and meet them where they are... For sure. Awesome, well, we are just about at the top of the hour... It's crazy. That's been flying by, I feel like we just started. I did want to mention, we do have a handful of email outreach templates, Danica has actually put together for you guys as a download on mobile, so I'm gonna go ahead and post those in the chat, if you guys just open those up, what that does is it's going to ask you to make a copy of the outreach, but that is a Google Docs, if you click copy, then you can just go in and you can make all the changes you want, but she's included a handful of really great options and examples of maybe different outreach styles that you can do and different things that you can kind of build off of when you're doing your outreach.


0:51:30.9 Ben Jacobsen: Additionally also, Danica did have an excellent article that she wrote on the Page One Power blog, kinda surrounding this topic as well, so if you guys wanna check that out, it puts that on in the chat for you as well, so if you guys have more questions, you can always, of course, reach out to us at Page One Power, you can go to our website,, or of course you can always say this up on our social media, but I think that... We're just about wrapping up. If you guys do have any other questions or anything, go ahead and pop those in in the last couple of minutes here while we're getting wrapped up, Danica, do you have any other final points or anything that you wanted to cover today?


0:52:12.0 Danica Laurence: I think the overall takeaway really is, everyone's going through some weird times right now, and just understanding, even before this, understanding who you're talking to, what they're going through, and just knowing your audience as you talk to them is something that regardless of whether we're in a pandemic, or post-pandemic, and we have that norm, is something you should just consider every time I send a mail is who am I talking to? Why are they… oh it looks like we're missing links. Really just being aware of that is super important. And that, I think would be the most important takeaway is, as you're talking to people, know who you're talking to, personalize those emails and really just keep an eye on... Keep an eye on what's happening with your audiences, you should know that.


0:53:12.0 Ben Jacobsen: Yeah, and I think that's probably a good lesson to be used in just about every aspect of what you're doing with marketing, understand that everyone's gonna be a little bit different and read your audience read the room. Awesome, real quick, Alicia, I saw it in there that you guys weren't seeing the links, I think I had it set to the wrong setting, can you guys let me know if that's working in the chat for you there. I just wanna make sure you guys get a chance to check those out if you need to, I think I have it set to just send them to Danica and myself. Awesome, cool, thank you so much for letting us know, I'll also be putting these in the description and the show notes of the show, so if you guys are catching this afterwards, watching on YouTube or on our website, we'll also include links to the article as well as that email template, outreach for you guys, Danica, thank you so much for joining us. I know that we had to do a little bit of reschedule from last week, I appreciate you being flexible on that. Thank you guys all for joining in, I can't wait to see you guys on the next one, we have a couple of really awesome episodes coming up, excited to tell you about it.


0:54:23.1 Ben Jacobsen: In the meantime, I hope you guys are staying safe out there and trying to get some interaction with other humans in the safest way you can... Yeah, I appreciate you guys tuning in, and Danica, thanks again for joining me. Yeah, thanks Ben! Awesome, later guys, thanks again. I will see you guys in the next one. 


Ben Jacobsen

Ben Jacobsen: Marketer, Photographer, and perpetual tinkerer. If he isn't behind a keyboard, he's traveling in the mountains looking for the next adventure.