The team at Image Freedom is obsessed with the Internet. And I mean like really obsessed. There’s not a single meme or viral video out there that we haven’t shared with each other. Usually within minutes of it being posted. But once in a while (on very rare occasions), we like to power down our iMacs, venture out into the blinding Texas sun and interact with real human beings. In real life.
So we gave ourselves a challenge. Come up with 10 ways to build links that don’t require a computer. The results came in very mixed: some ideas could earn you a legitimate link or two, some will get you thrown in jail, and others were just downright ridiculous. But hey, they’ll get people talking about you at the very least, right?
10. Sponsor a Little League team
What could be more adorable than a bunch of nine year olds enjoying America’s favorite pastime? And no one thinks they’re adorable more than their own mothers- who have access to team websites, their own personal blogs, social media profiles of grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. This is a great way to bolster name recognition for your brand while actually contributing positively to society.
9. Create and send care packages to the Armed Forces overseas
Show your company’s appreciation for those who bravely serve and protect our country by creating custom care packages for members of the military. Packages can be themed for various holidays (think Peeps around Easter or some candy corn for Halloween) and lend a personal touch by including a hand-written thank you card. They’ll show their appreciation by talking about you on their personal blogs or social media profiles.
8. Get arrested, have an affair, or pull a Lindsay Lohan (whatever that may be)
We’ve all heard the old adage “Any publicity is good publicity.” And in the modern world of viral Internet news, doing something ridiculous can get you international fame and notoriety in no time. Bonus points if you do something ironic: Are you a bankruptcy attorney? File for Chapter 13. A conservative politician campaigning on a religious platform? Have a salacious affair via TwitPic.
7. Win an award
Local newspapers are always hurting for lighthearted, “feel good”-type stories. Lend them a hand and do something worthy of receiving an award or medal. Everyone loves the hometown hero who did something great against all odds. Not particularly good at anything? Find your nearest engraving store and buy yourself a plaque.
6. Organize a clothing or food drive
Pick a cause you truly feel passionate about and come up with a project that gets your team excited. Sure, some might say this is exploiting a good cause for your own personal gain, but in reality, you’ll probably find that the satisfaction you get out of helping those less fortunate is worth more than any publicity you get for doing it.
5. Hold a workshop and/or class
Organize a Saturday afternoon workshop on whatever area of expertise your business specializes in. It can either be free or deeply discounted from your usual rates. Either way, you’ll have fun showing off what you know while giving people access to your expertise that wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. For example, we offer SEO workshops for small business owners who can’t afford to hire an SEO.
4. Participate in a charity drive, marathon, fundraiser, etc.
If you don’t have the time or manpower to commit to organizing an event, participating in someone else’s is a great way to support a good cause while also getting your name out there. Get together an office Relay for Life team or play in a charity golf tournament.
3. Sue someone
Especially if your case is particularly ridiculous (i.e. The hot coffee you spilled on yourself was hot? That’s shocking, you’re probably owed damages), you will get a lot of media and social sharing attention. Bonus points if you score an epic settlement.
2. Hire people/create jobs/move/renovate
In a sluggish economy, stories of companies going against the grain and prospering are sure to beat out depressing news of massive layoffs. Do what is unexpected and be great. People will naturally want to talk about it. A little shameless self-promotion never hurts either. We’re proud to be bringing creative jobs to our city.
Sorry we’re not sorry about it.
1. Appear (get married) on a reality TV show
Snooki managed to go from just another overly-tanned, big hair-poofed Jersey girl to a household name in a mere few MTV reality episodes. And with the overabundance of reality on our television screens these days, it can’t possibly be that hard to get selected for one. This is particularly effective if you get married on reality TV and then divorced days later. America just eats that up.
Okay, so some of these ideas will probably get you thrown in jail before Open Site Explorer has even had a chance to notice your incoming link. But it just goes to show that linkbuilding is HARD. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out there, have a little fun and get creative with it!
…to be continued!