Networking with Others Whose Products/Services Complement Yours

We’re more than halfway through this series on the importance of building community in blogging. I hope the posts have been helpful for you. So far we’ve covered:

The next item I shared in the original post was to, “Get to know business owners who offer complementary services and offer to guest post.” As I was thinking of how I could expand this bullet for this deeper dive, I realized that if you haven’t thought of this previously you may also want to know how to engage with them so you can get to know them before you offer to guest post for them. As we take this deeper dive today, note that these are folks who haven’t stopped by your blog yet so you haven’t been engaging with them already. I will save the guest post note for last because you may also want to ask them to guest post for you.

Reach Out to Them Via Phone or Email

If someone looks like they offer products or services that complement yours really well AND you like what they have to offer on their blog and website, I believe it’s worth sending them an email or calling them to introduce yourself and learn about them and the types of clients they take on. Why? You never know when you are going to need someone’s help with a client.

Think of your clients that the services or products they may require that you don’t offer. Then go out and find folks who offer those services and connect with them. Some may not have blogs and that’s okay even though this series is about building a community through blogging. As you reach out to folks, they may not have blogs but YOU DO! Ensure they know how to find your blog and social media so you can stay engaged.

Engage with Their Blog Posts

If you find some folks who have nice blogs but whose services you wouldn’t use often, follow their blog and make comments as you can and develop a relationship with them through those interactions. When they post new posts that you like, be sure to hit the “like” button. Comment when you have something to offer to the conversation. Show them support.

One great way to engage with a post you really enjoy is to share it by linking to it on your blog. You could write a post about the service you don’t provide and acknowledge its important and then share the other blogger’s name as a service provider in this area. This gives your audience one less search to make. (I typically don’t do this until I have been following someone for a while and know they offer quality or have had some interaction with them through comments already).

Ask them to Guest Post on Your Blog

When you find someone who offers a great service or product that would benefit your clients, ask them if they would be interested in guest posting on your blog to share their knowledge with your audience. Be specific about what you are looking for and offer to do the same for them if they would find it beneficial. Some bloggers will trade you guest post for guest post, while others will want payment for guest posting or a barter option. You can do what you feel is best for your business at this point. Be sure if you pay them that you note in a disclaimer that it’s a paid post so your audience is fully aware of that.

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