The best way to start growing a network of people is to promote their work. Suppose you read a book that you love. The author is not well known. It’s her first published book and has relatively small sales figures. If you start promoting her book, do you think she will appreciate that? You can bet that she will. And you can be sure that when it comes time for your promotion, she won’t even hesitate to return the favor.
You will notice at the beginning of many books, authors include promotions for books by other authors. If you were to check the other book out, the beginning of that book will have a promotion for the first author’s book. Authors reach out to each other in like genres. They know that people will read more than one book in any genre. This is true for fiction as well as nonfiction.
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This can work for many other products as well. If you include a promotion for a related product on your website, it’s not going to take much for you to get your product listed on that person’s website. The challenge these days is search engines are not overly fond of link exchanges, so you have to handle it carefully. Make sure the people you share with have quality websites.
When promoting the products of others, make sure you are finding people that have an actual interest in those products. Just throwing it out there and seeing what sticks, is not a great technique. You don’t want to tarnish the reputation of the person whose product you are promoting.
This will surely backfire on you.
If you don’t want to promote other peoples’ products, consider helping them increase the channels they are using to sell. Perhaps they are active on Twitter but haven’t done much with Pinterest.
Make suggestions that they can use to increase exposure to their products. Perhaps you can help them come up with a full marketing plan. Another idea is to create useful content for their website in an effort to gain more visitors. These are great ways to help without directly promoting.
No matter which ways you choose to help others get the word out about their products, they will take notice. Do this with many people and in very little time, your following is going to grow along with your influence and authority. This is certainly a much easier way to get more exposure to your products or brand.