How NOT to Ask Connections to Backlink Your Content — Based on True Events.

I have been doing outreach to support an upcoming launch. A few of the initiatives require social media engagement. For this reason, I reached out to connections and asked for nonmonetary support. Personal and business connections are fantastic for early support. These are often like minded people whom either love your product or have fantastic industry knowledge and want to help.

Other business connections are a bit one sided when it comes to personal gain. Sometimes they may seem pushy, but still polite. Sadly, I had my first run in with an impolite business connection.

This person interviewed me on a podcast a while back. They have since asked me several times to send their content out to my company’s audience. Problem is… For a long time, we had no blog, no email newsletter or list, and we weren’t even tweeting. 😱

The Conversation

Here is our conversation on LinkedIn that started a few months ago. This is the first time, since the week of the podcast, that I was asked to post the episode.

I completely understand following up with someone. I’m a big Steli Efti fan, which means I believe people are too busy to answer, so keep trying them. However, I believe things got out of hand in this case of asking for a backlink.

Respect the Follow Up

I do respect the follow-up, but I suppose my intentions to post the podcast on our blog didn’t settle the need for a backlink. There seemed to be a desire for me to post the content, but at the time this person was fishing in a pond with no water.

Backlink is Up

When we finally got a blog up and running, I created a new header image that would fit the dimensions of Medium. Then, I copied and pasted the text along with the links to a new article on Medium. In addition to notifying this person that I posted it, I asked them to support us on Thunderclap. Support for TC is fulfilled by agreeing to send a tweet at a future time.

I Made a Mistake

I was too hasty in posting the episode to our blog. I pasted the links but one letter was not lower case.

Ex: “xxxxxxxxxx.com/Sxxx000"

For this reason, I was requested to change it.

This is totally fine, I admitted my fault and changed the link to the one, “I have always provided to you”.

From here everything is nice and dandy, or so I thought…

The Tables Turn

Things were going fantastic! This person was going to speak about our company on their next episode, “that would be fantastic for the launch”, I thought.

This person mentioned my fix still wasn’t correct. Again, no worries, I would have fixed it. However, before I could, this person started to under-appreciate the outlet we chose.

For some reason, our Medium was, “the unimportant site.” I’m not sure they took the 2 seconds to see if we had any other outlets.

I instantly took offense to this and let them know our one, and the only outlet is Medium.

The team understood some of the cons to this, but we really didn’t care. Medium is easy, it looks good, and we use it for that reason.

I’m not certain the link was broken since I hyperlinked it. I went back to check it again, but before I could work to fix the link, a rant began to flood my notifications.

They mention the post was unimportant to me, and I should feel bad about that. However, the blog post was the newest, and so it was at the top.

Keep Your Cool

In this situation, I would never let myself have an outburst. “This is LinkedIn and it is not the place for a mindless rant”, I thought to myself.

They started to complain that I didn’t have permission to post it to Medium. I kindly replied that I would remove the post and that I appreciate any opportunities provided.

After my apologies, I was spitefully wished good luck with long term relationships. Upon confirmation that I removed the post, the person didn’t seem too happy. In the end, their content would not make it on to this blog.

How to Deal

This is my first experience with someone getting angry over promotion/posting content. For this reason, I feel guilty. Maybe I was too slow to reply. Maybe I should have done something differently.

I suppose the insight here is to push feelings to the side, and keep it professional, even if others don’t. You gotta just keep chugging along. From my experience, people don’t like being pushed around, and we all make mistakes. Taking a step back to reassess will help you through any new or difficult situation.

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