An interview with NinjaOutreach Founder / COO Mark Samms.
NinjaOutreach is a SaaS Application that allows subscribers to manage multiple facets of their marketing campaign.
Some of the outreach opportunities you can manage via NinjaOutreach are:
- Outreach to other website owners / bloggers for link opportunities
- Outreach for guest blogging opportunities
- Outreach for B2B services
- Broken Link Outreach
- Find people to interview
- Invite guest Bloggers to post on your website
- Find social media influencers
After trying the application myself for about a month, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out more about the company. In addition to having a very functional platform, they also have an excellent blog focused on marketing, more specifically, Outreach. And after reading many of the posts by their staff and contributing writers, I dug even deeper and found a case study that they published about their company. That led to me reaching out to the founder, Mark Samms, and asking him for an interview.
The following is that interview.
I read your case study on reddit.com and was curious to find out how you and your partners got together?
Mark – I was actually doing a round of podcasts, so I was interviewing a ton of people and I was doing research online and I came across Dave Schneider. I came across his blog selfmadebusinessman. I thought his content was amazing and I reached out to him and interviewed him. We were able to do that interview, then it took me a little while to put the interview up. When I did publish, I reached out to him to let him know. This was when I told him that I’d been working on a software that is going to help people with outreach. That’s when he reached back out to me saying he was working on the same thing. He shared the research he’s done so far, interviews with experts, and stuff like that. It made me think if he was super passionate about it, I’m passionate about it, it’s better to team up with that kind of energy. So I decided to just partner with him instead of being in a competition. My other business partner at the time, Gurpal (he’s more of a silent partner now) — he was my programmer then, and I brought him in. That’s how we all came together (kind of like a godsend).
How did the concept of NinjaOutreach come about?
Mark – It was largely motivated in part by my experience in doing these interviews with so many people. I was thinking, there had to be some way to do this better, and so that’s how I came up with an idea to develop our own solution.
What happened was, I was doing a podcast, reaching out to tons of people already, and I was manually putting lists of people together and people I want to reach out to or work with (didn’t know it was called ‘outreach’ then), then my business partner Gurpal said “well i could automate some of that.” We also got insight from interviewing people. Also, we named it NinjaOutreach because we wanted something easy to remember that also symbolizes the features we wanted, so that’s where “ninja” came from for, you know, something quick, clean, hacking outreach, you get the picture. The word “outreach” is for the function.
What are some key elements to consider in designing an effective outreach plan?
Mark – The first thing is to think about who is the audience you’re going after. Then you want to think about what keyword represents those types of people. And then you want to run searches around those keywords, and then to pooling influencers who are relevant to those particular keywords.
You will spend a bit of time here. You will also need to go deeper, such as going to Quora, putting in main keywords, seeing what questions people are asking about your keywords, and using those questions to formulate your longer tail keywords. Then put together a list of people that basically own the audience that you’re going after. You want to collaborate with people that already own the audience because that allows you to tap into the audience that you want.
The second thing, taking away all of the fluff, is having a really good outreach message. No matter how many good people you have, if your message sucks, you’re going to flop.
Some important elements are: personalization, getting to the point, thinking about what’s the interest of the people you’re reaching out to, offering something about your product, platform, what’s important to them or their audience, and keeping the message in as short and to the point as possible. (Again, no fluff!)
Last thing is, obviously, once you’ve found the right people, you put together a good outreach message and start reaching out. Once you reach out it’s about being on top of managing the responses that come back in, making sure you get back to them ASAP, negotiating, looking for opportunities. Sometimes they seem to say no, but not really. Once they’ve responded and opened the dialogue, get back and try to come back with a different angle (not interested in guest posting? How about getting listed in the resource page? Other options, etc). Bottomline is, what can you do for them?
Also, always be cool. If it’s a no, then that’s it. Make sure you at least, once, follow up with people who don’t respond. You never know why they didn’t respond the first time. Sometimes they just missed it, it came into spam the first time, so just follow up because there may be an opportunity to get more responses from those who didn’t respond the first time
What are some of the most common goals NinjaOutreach users set for their outreach plan?
Mark – There’s a ton of different things you can do but these are the main ones.
- To get accepted for guest blog posting
- To acquire links
- To get product reviews
- Get on people’s podcasts
- Get experts to be part of their expert roundups
- Last but not least is to organize and set up giveaways
What is your favorite success story from a NinjaOutreach user?
Mark – This hasn’t been published yet, but I have a friend (in the casino niche) and they got number 1 positions by using infographic marketing and reaching out to people using NinjaOutreach. Their infographics have been published in big publications in the UK like The Mirror, (kind of like the US’s Huffington post) and other top casino sites. Look out for a case study on that actual success story that’s coming up very soon on the NinjaOutreach blog.
What marketing blogs do you read?
Mark – Quicksprout, Neil Patel blog, Backlinko (Brian Dean), GrooveHQ.
What other online or offline marketing tools or strategies do you use besides NinjaOutreach?
Mark – Retargeted advertising, content marketing, Pushcrew, Getdrip, Clicktotweet, Google docs, Intercom.
For more information and to try NinjaOutreach for a 14 free trial, please visit NinjaOutreach.com.
To learn more about Mark Samms or to connect with him on Social Media visit his Twitter @NinjaSamms