This guest post is by Tom Meitner of The Practical Nerd.
The other night, I found out author/marketer Chris Brogan was in town. I am a big fan of his and his book Trust Agents, so I wanted to go meet him. I’m not going to go through all of the details of the tweet exchange—you can read about how I wound up not meeting him after all on my blog.
However, as a result of trying to meet him, I had a conversation with him via Twitter. So, I wrote up a post about what I learned from not meeting him, and I put his name in the title when I tweeted it out to my followers. Chris was notified, and he retweeted it to his followers, with the tag, “Very nice story.”
That doesn’t sound that interesting, does it? I mean, Chris doesn’t know me, has really never met me, and it was one tweet. But by putting his stamp of approval on it, Chris was publicly inviting people to read my article—and he has over 177,000 followers. In a matter of minutes, I had an influx of traffic (see the screenshot below). These are by no means numbers to write home about, but when you average 50-60 visitors a day, 185 sure is a big jump—especially in the span of a couple of hours!
It never would have happened if I had decided to go meet Chris but didn’t tell him about it. I had to break the ice with him first and give it a shot. Through that, I got on his radar, and that’s how my post was tweeted out to his followers.
It also taught me a few very important lessons about networking:
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the big dogs. Chris Brogan, in the small interaction I’ve had with him, seems to be a pretty genuinely nice guy, and my post only brought more people who told me the same thing about him. Twitter has such a low barrier to entry that it gives you the opportunity to connect with just about anybody who’s there, and most of them are just normal people.
- You have to be genuine. If I had gone into this interaction with Chris and was purely motivated by the thought, “Hey, maybe I can score some free traffic to my blog,” he would have sniffed that out pretty quickly. He wouldn’t want anything to do with me—and he’d be right. Sometimes you have to catch it, and remind yourself of the motivation for your actions. The rest of it will take care of itself. Just focus on building the relationship. That was the opportunity I saw when I found out Chris was in town.
- Be proactive in your efforts. One of my favorite stories of networking is my friend Jacob Sokol’s adventure of taking author and well-known entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk to a New York Jets football game. He reached out to Gary proactively and regularly to get noticed—and on Gary’s terms. Sometimes it will feel like a throwaway; I tweeted Chris that I was heading downtown to see him just on a whim in case he checked his Twitter feed while he was out. I never thought he would reply, let alone do any of this. But that happened because I took action.
- Don’t ask for anything. This goes along with being genuine. I did not ask Chris to tweet my post. I did hope he would read it, but I didn’t ask him to read it. I merely let him know it was there. It’s the same thing I did when I got 19 other people to share their small achievements with me: I told them, “Here it is, it’s done, read it if you want, and thank you.” Most of them took it upon themselves to share it with their followers. Instead of asking for something, work hard to make what you are doing to be noticeable and different. Let your sincerity show through, and that’s what motivates people to share your stuff—not because you asked, but because they want to.
As a result, I have new readers and a few new followers on Twitter—and I never even met the guy.
Have you had any experiences like this, where a small contact led to a traffic burst for your blog? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Tom Meitner is a writer who helps people break through their boundaries at The Practical Nerd. Check out what he’s reading and sharing on Twitter @TomMeitner.
Interesting Tom! Nice story by the way…
Thanks, Macy! And thanks for reading!
All excellent points & tips~! The funny thing about giving advice to people about how to be sincere, is that if they really ARE sincere, they will usually just show it naturally.
I love that you are bolstering the confidence of sincere people who may be too timid to approach a social media star like Chris Brogan and yes, brother, like you~!
Haha! I love it, Anita! It actually cracks me up that “being sincere” has to be taught – or at least reminded. Thanks for the support! :-)
Chris Brogan is a super nice down to earth person, you can see it in his videos, But not only that I replied to one of his newsletter emails recently and he replied right back. And when I mentioned “Gee Thanks” for replying, He said “But of Course.” So he definitely knows how to make you feel like he’s there and he’s listening. His advice is also very supportive.
You got that right, Tina. It’s funny how a few words from somebody that you KNOW is busy can mean so much!
I have had a Stumble on StumbleUpon lead visits my way, tweets … not usually. I am usually the one who seems to get other people clicks & visits with my tweets, so I have the influence at times via Twitter for others depending upon the topic.
That’s great, Brandy. It’s important to recognize where your own influence lies! I find that StumbleUpon can send a boatload of traffic my way, but they never really stick around. I prefer the more “organic” (shall we say) form of getting traffic. But whatever works for you!
It’s great idea to use twitter in a effective and different way to get traffic,instead of simply posting a link to the blog post.
You’re right! Too many Twitter accounts are wasted with automatic post tweets and auto-DMs. Taking the time to use it and get involved in the conversations can pay off big dividends – and not just in traffic numbers!
Awesome post as I just started my own blog for the first time. I was wondering how to get it out to the public and this is just another avenue. Thanks for all the great information and another idea to my list.
You bet, Bill! And good luck! My best advice to you is to just take your time and be yourself. Build relationships with the people around you, and your readers, and you’ll do great!
It’s very, very true! I introduced myself to him a few weeks back and linked him a post (http://bit.ly/fJNeqs) I thought he would like. I didn’t expect him to tweet it or anything but he did, and left me a nice comment. I came in from grabbing dinner, logged into GetClicky and had a TON of folks on my site! I’ve never had so much traffic! The residue from his one tweet lasted for days, too, and the article was retweeted by others.
But I wasn’t in his face about it, and didn’t ask him for anything. He’s a super nice guy and like Tina says above, he makes you feel like he’s there and listening.
Sorry to sound like a raving fanboy but I had to comment! :-D
Like I said above, Geoff, this post and these comments are probably doing wonders for Chris’s ego. :-) Thanks for reading!
LOL np Tom! I liked this article so much I extended it over on my own blog (with a link to this post hehe).
Thanks for writing it! :-)
Oops! Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/dGig2J
Twitter is surely a great way to generate traffic to your blog i wasn’t getting much traffic before but some days back i reopen my twitter account and now i see 40% of my traffic comes for twitter only.
Chris is great. I think since Chris is known to the industry, he had many followers which drives traffic to your sites when he re-tweet your post. On the other hand, you did a very good job of getting noticed by Chris, tom. Your ideas are unique and genuine, which make it differs from others. Keep up the good work.
I had the same happen to me when I shared a review of Scott Stratten’s (@unmarketing) UnMarketing on my blog and tweeted about it. Scott shared my review with his followers and the hits on my blog that day were substantial. I’m not sure, however, about how many readers stuck around… would be interesting to find out!
You’re very good in creating/telling a story. You’ve made Chris recognized you for tweeting your story and oh well another great story you’ve done. Encouraging and influential context. You’re genuine and captivating.
Very informative article. Implementing a twitter feed is really an effective way to increase the traffic. You can automatically update your facebook and twitter account as you publish a new post.
This is the first i have to come accross to you ,you’re doing a good job to increase yoir traffic engine
i want cooperate with you more
Nice story. I am a big fan of Chris as well. Interesting to see how a small attention from him meant a huge jump in traffic for you.