On the internet, everyone is on a level playing field. There is no other business landscape in the world where someone working from home on their computer can compete with a multi-billion dollar company and win time and time again. I’m not saying it’s easy or that it happens all the time, but it is possible. This is the reason why everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days, and why more people are flowing into the world of affiliate marketing as well.
With this in mind, it’s always important to realize that finding success on the internet with a business is more about resources you use and relying on numbers more than anything else. It’s not a matter of if someone is going to buy advertising on your site, or if someone is going to purchase your product — it’s a matter of who and how many.
This is where your advertising, outreach and getting creative with your marketing will come into play. For freelancers, bloggers and smaller businesses that don’t have a massive budget to spend on costly keyword advertising or mass media buying, there are plenty of outreach and research tools to help with this process. Here are a few you can start putting to use today.
Find Anyone’s Corporate Email Address in Seconds
Imagine how much more effective your time and outreach could be if you went directly to the source. We all know and use LinkedIn for business connections, but it can be a huge pain when it comes to getting someone to approve your content request, and then you still need to hope they actually check their account and DMs coming through. LinkedIn is great… but email is still one of the best ways to get immediate results.
One site that is changing the way email research and outreach is taking place is Voilanorbert. Through their email address finder solution, all it takes is a simple personal name and company search and you will be provided with the direct email address of the individual you are looking for.
When you create an account on their site you will get 50 leads for free. Once you run out, you can sign up for one of their plans, or simply pay as you go at just .10 per email search. Try it out and see who you might find the direct email address for.
Impress with Fancy Proposals and Documents
Many freelancers, bloggers or individual marketers are good at creating content and making money online. However, that doesn’t mean that have all the bases covered for when it comes to making new agreements or impressing potential clients and advertisers. In the corporate world, people still like to see professional documents, proposals, invoices and much more — which is something many smaller businesses and brands might not necessarily have in place.
The good news is, gone are the days when you need to hire a professional designer to come up with a fancy letterhead or proposal for your next client. By using a proposal software solution like PandaDoc, anyone can create an account and start building out their own proposals in seconds, while also not requiring any technical skills in the process.
While looking through the collection of templates and pre-built proposals on their site, I was impressed with the selection and quality of the PDFs. As you can see in the screenshot below, many of these proposals would fit perfectly into any online marketing, blogging or social media outreach type of business. The filler content is already provided within each proposal, it’s simply up to the end user or company to tweak the data and make it fit their own needs.
Membership plans start at $19 a month, which provides up to five different templates, unlimited docs and e-signatures, custom branding and email support.
2 Billion+ Personal Interests through Facebook
Facebook just recently passed the 2 billion member mark. While most people are using Facebook just as a way to be on the social platform and connect with friends, it’s can also be an extremely valuable resource for business and networking as well.
Outside of the traditional means of connecting with people and chatting with them through direct messages on Facebook, the real value here is getting to know someone on a more personal level and what they are interested in. In the world of quick second emails and first impressions that need to last, knowing what your next potential client or big contact has personal interests in can go a long way. More often than not, business deals are made over ‘real conversations’ and not through pitching or template based emails.
So what’s the next step here? Spend some time on Facebook and start building connections with other people in your industry that you might be able to work with. Don’t approach them with a pitch right away. Instead, first take a look at what they are writing about, posting pictures on and have a passion for — then maybe start a discussion up in this area.
Best of all, Facebook is free and the knowledge and opportunities provided through it are priceless!
Outreach and First Impressions are Key
When running a business online, always remember that we are all on an equal playing field — some just play it a little better than others. First impressions and the right type of outreach are always going to be key when creating new opportunities and business for your brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger making a few hundred dollars per month, or a full-service company with hundreds of employees. Implementing any or all of the recommendations and tools shown above is a great way to give yourself an extra edge over the competition.