Kenny Soto Logo 2020
Link Building Done Right with Farzad Rashidi – Episode #128

‚ÄúTurns out it‚Äôs a lot more difficult to get other people to talk about you, compared to you just pulling up a Google Doc and creating a piece of content‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Farzad Rashidi is the lead innovator at Respona (https://respona.com/), the link-building outreach platform that helps businesses increase their organic traffic from Google. He previously ran the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 18 million active users and pass 3.5M monthly organic traffic.

Questions and topics we covered include:

  • The common¬† challenges that the 1st marketing hire of a startup has
  • Why is it difficult to build organic traffic?
  • How can SEO marketers justify budget allocation for their work?
  • What is Respona?
  • How Farzad describes link building to someone who doesn‚Äôt work in SEO or content marketing
  • Is link building still useful?
  • What’s an ideal link building strategy and what does a healthy backlink profile look like?
  • Does domain authority still matter?
  • Does guest posting still work?
  • How to maintain and sustain relationships with publishers?
  • What does the future of link building look like?

And more!

Say hi to Farzad on Twitter –¬† https://twitter.com/The_Farzad

Say hi to Farzad on LinkedIn –¬† https://www.linkedin.com/in/farzadrashidi/

Check out Farzad’s GREAT newsletter Рhttps://www.farzadrashidi.com

Our Podcast Partner – MarketerHire

If you‚Äôre looking to hire expert freelance talent this year to scale your business (and impress your boss), check out MarketerHire. MarketerHire vets freelance talent so when you hire an SEO expert, Email Marketer, or even a Fractional CMO‚ÄĒyou‚Äôre not wasting your money or your time. You can hire your first freelancer and get a $500 credit by visiting: www.kennysoto.com/hire¬†

Full Episode Transcript:

 

Farzad Rashidi  0:00  

Most likely, you’re going to encounter some of the higher tier keywords to be very competitive. And the way Google basically prioritizes these is based on how credible they think you are. And the way they define credibility is in terms of popularity, how other people how other authoritative resources are talking about you, and if they’re mentioning you,

 

Kenny Soto  0:20  

hey there, you just heard a clip from our latest guest on the people’s Digital Marketing Podcast, the number one resource for marketers to impress their bosses, and eventually become their bosses. And that guest is far as odd Rashidi, who is far as far as odd is the lead innovator at risk fauna, the link building outreach platform that helps businesses increase their organic traffic from Google. He previously ran the marketing efforts at visma, where he helped the company gain over 18 million active users and past 3.5 million monthly in organic traffic. And in this episode, a topic that is near and dear to my heart is going to be discussed and that is link building. When it comes to SEO, there are three main pillars that you will have as part of your daily work. One being technical SEO, making sure that the quote unquote plumbing of your website is working so that things are crawlable and indexable. Then you have editorial SEO, essentially, what you’re trying to achieve with editorial SEO is creating quality content that ranks and brings in the type of traffic that can convert into either leads or direct revenue. And lastly, you have link building, getting backlinks and endorsements from other websites so that your content and your website overall seems credible to Google and other search engines. And in my experience as an SEO professional, I am, I would say pretty well versed in both technical SEO and in editorial SEO. But if I’m being honest, I struggle with getting backlinks. It is an art in and of itself. You can have a whole career in just doing backlinking for websites, either as an SEO professional and or someone who works in PR. And in this episode, Farzana is going to unpack this complicated topic. So without further ado, I’m just gonna let us jump right into this conversation I had with FAR Zod and I hope you enjoy it. Hi Farzad, how are you? Hey, Kenny,

 

Farzad Rashidi  2:29  

I’m doing very well. Thanks for having me on the show.

 

Kenny Soto  2:31  

Awesome. So I like to start these episodes off by getting as much context about you as a professional and as a marketer. And also the so the listener can know, who are you in the first place? So I want to start off by just getting a sense of why do you become a marketer?

 

Farzad Rashidi  2:49  

You know, that’s a great question, Kenny, when I was in high school, and I grew up in a Persian household, and as I’m sure it’s a lot of foreign families, they want their kids to either become a doctor or a lawyer or some sort of engineer. So my initial plans were not to become a marketer. At the beginning, I was a pre med in my first semester of college. And Cinderellas, I hated it. And what I was basically more gravitated towards was was marketing. And I didn’t know much about it at the time, but that was sort of where I found how I spend my free time reading about it. And then kind of educating myself since I wasn’t studying that in college. And, and I was like, You know what, life’s too short. Let’s, let’s do what I love and see where this goes, and probably not going to be as lucrative of a career as a doctor. And I’m glad 100 times over that I’d made that decision very early on, and to switch my major and basically get into what I love doing which is, which is sort of marketing. So it was kind of a natural to transition for me kind of a self discovery in a way.

 

Kenny Soto  3:55  

And that’s pretty cool to hear. Because I was a pre med major myself in college, and I had a conversation with my mom, I was like, I want to drop out. She was like, if you drop out, you gotta get a job, and you’re not gonna live with us anymore. And I was like, Okay, so can I least change my major. And then I changed my major to music and long story short, I shifted over to marketing. Gotcha. Now with your career. There’s one particular moment that I want to highlight for the listeners, because eventually, some of us if not most of us will face this challenge, which is being the first marketer in a business being the first marketing hire, and essentially, given the task of building marketing from the ground up. Can you talk about that moment in your career and the challenges that you faced?

 

Farzad Rashidi  4:45  

Sure. So not only it was the first marketing hire, it was also my first marketing job. So not only did the company didn’t know what they were doing, I also didn’t know what I was doing. So it’s kind of an interesting opportunity there. So just to kind of give you a little background, I was basically I was looking to create a presentation and I hated how keynote and PowerPoint look like. So I was actually just looking around for different software that would help me create that a good looking presentation. And I played around with a bunch of tools. But, um, but I really liked this tool called visma, which was basically, you know, sort of not well known at all at the time, and it was kind of a, it’s a sort of hidden tool. So I played around with them, and I loved it, I was like, This is freaking phenomenal. So I actually looked on LinkedIn and found the founder, and I ended up cold emailing him, and I was like, hey, no, I’m a marketing student. And I wanted to, you know, be involved somehow. And let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. So cut their interest, they got back to me, it’s a it was very small company, like less than 10 employees at the time. So I was basically had a Skype chat with the Father and pay mom who’s sitting right next to me right now, and took a flyer on me. And at the time, a thing I started for free, or I just was like, hey, what’s taking up most of your time. And they’re like, Okay, we need like, we don’t have any, like person helping with support. So like, that’s, that can pick it up a lot of my time. And we just had a couple of years. And so I basically started and not necessarily being official title was marketing, but it wasn’t. And I didn’t have a full fledged marketing department at the time. So it was kind of me saying, Hey, I’m free help. So just give me whatever you guys don’t want to do. And I’ll do it for you. And over time, it kind of started going above and beyond, and they built some trust. And so I came up with ideas. I was like, Hey, why don’t we do this, what I’m gonna do this. And they were like, that’s great. But we don’t have anyone to do it. And I was like, I’ll do it. So I started making, I think, when they started paying me like $7 an hour, $8 an hour, it was like a very, very minimal wage type deal at the beginning. And over time, we started basically putting together the key go to market strategy and started investing in Ico and kind of turned into a serious role. Now, the company was certain at that point that, you know, we could start affording hiring other team members. And so I was in charge of obviously, training them getting them on board, not because I was the most qualified person, or experienced person, per se, it was just because I was the only person there at the time, so I knew everything. So then sort of that turned into a director level position. And that I took on after after school, and yeah, so the rest is history.

 

Kenny Soto  7:38  

That’s amazing. When it comes to that specific experience, if you can reflect on it. What do you think was, and they may not just be one challenge, but what do you think was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome? As you were growing with the business and the business is growing,

 

Farzad Rashidi  7:56  

I would say any experience, so my experience was pretty much zero at the time, I was learning under job, basically, education because I studied marketing in school, and anybody who’s ever studied business, congratulations, you’re wasting your time. It’s not realistic at all. It’s it’s the way that they teach you it’s it’s academia is normally much slower than real life. So it’s very difficult to catch up. But anyway, so I was basically reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, similar to what a lot of listeners are doing, basically learning from people as we go, and then come up with ideas as like, Okay, I listen to this podcast episode with this other founder, who tried this strategy, and it worked out for them, let’s give it a shot, and then we’ll try it. Eight out of 10 wouldn’t work out two of them did. So we would just ignore stuff that wasn’t working, just double that and stuff the work. Let me give you some examples. Like one of the I would say, first ideas I implemented was this weekly one on one webinar, which was basically going to be sent to anybody who sign up for business at the time to come and basically, Scott, you know, set up a live or attend like a live webinar, which will show like best tips and tricks, etc. And it was live, so could answer questions. And also, the product was evolving very quickly. And that’s something that we started basically advocating, and then lots of people started showing up every week and we still to this day, we’re doing it five, six years. And obviously I don’t do this myself, but some other team members are doing it now. So yeah, so this like, you know, stuff like that are some of them stock? Some of them didn’t. But yeah, I guess, you know, we did some things right, because now his needs a very successful company and over 100 team members and 20 million active users and whatnot.

 

Kenny Soto  9:41  

How did organic traffic and SEO play a key role in the company’s growth?

 

Farzad Rashidi  9:47  

So see, when you when you start a bootstrap company, you’re always dealing with limited resources. So normally, when especially in software, there’s normally Very simple ads, how will we want to call them simple, but like cookie cutter ways of marketing, one is paid advertising. So either way you want to do it, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Twitter. Second is cold outreach or sales. Let me actually dress on one, but one, paid advertising works. Normally better for some of the for b2b is a lot more difficult to make paid ads work in my experience, and some say, no lifestyle products. But there are some products that make it work with paid ads, but they have to find out a ton of cash into it. And what happens is that when you double the budget normally doesn’t double the conversion. So there’s some diminishing returns, which will plateau the the cash or the catches up with your LTV very quickly. Not a scalable channel for us at the time and still is. And to this day, even the best in it call out works very well, especially with top tier like very expensive enterprise grade type products, you’d go door to door store selling hiring SDRs and A’s and whatnot. And at the time, my product was like $15 a month. So we’re keeping it very affordable for SMBs. And it’s just not a channel that makes financial sense to hire us base salespeople to go sell. And so naturally, we’re basically forced into figure out a strategy that would bring us an evergreen flow of customers without having to funnel a ton of cash. So we basically ended up with content marketing. So let’s say Kenny, you want to create a presentation tomorrow. And you don’t want to use for example, the PowerPoints or whatever you having in desktop. How would you go about finding a solution like that?

 

Kenny Soto  11:40  

Usually, first thing I would do is go on Google. Exactly, yeah. And what do you Google normally? presentation software, presentation tools or presentation templates.

 

Farzad Rashidi  11:49  

There you got so now if you actually do me a favor, Kenny just open a little incognito tab in your browser, and just go Google presentation software.

 

Kenny Soto  11:59  

And for the listeners listening I am doing this live, I put it in presentation software on Google and incognito. See a couple ads here. The definition of presentation software and the first organic result is visit me with 15 best presentation software for 2023. A full comparison. Awesome. You beat Zapier, by the way, which is pretty cool.

 

Farzad Rashidi  12:25  

Thank you. So we didn’t get here overnight. So basically what happened was I had read, obviously, the generic traditional advice, okay, you do some keyword research, find out what your customers are searching for. Then you put together some content, and you put on your website, and then people are magically showing up. So you’re like, that’s great. Let’s do it. So we spend months creating all these pieces of content, put it on our site, and guess what happened? In group? Nothing happened? Nothing

 

Kenny Soto  12:55  

that absolutely cricket okay. Okay, so that was level one.

 

Farzad Rashidi  12:59  

That was level one. Yeah. And so we’re like, Okay, this is interesting. So I pulled up exactly and did what you did. So do you still have the page on? Yeah, I have orientation. Yeah. You see how right below the search bar, it says how many page pages are found at the top? Yeah. Out of an essence, how many pages 989

 

Kenny Soto  13:18  

million results?

 

Farzad Rashidi  13:22  

To six years or nine? Or nine zeros? And nine zeros? nine zeros. Yeah. Okay. So nine digits? Yeah. Yep. Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, so it’s 900 plus million searches. Exactly. So close to a billion would it be? Yeah. So I was like, Okay, well, let’s say your Google and you’re trying to prioritize his searches, let’s say top 1% Your quality of content, however, when you wanted to find his in the top 1%? Right. If you’re in the top 1% of 1 billion search results, you’re still in the millions. So how would you go about from the million search results to top 10 or top 20? Especially nowadays, that there’s these AI writing tools that can just create like a really, really good piece of content in a matter of a few minutes. Right? So what’s the differentiating factor?

 

Kenny Soto  14:16  

I mean, from my experience, I have to assume has to be a combination of Link credibility, getting those backlinks, and at the same time, just finding ways to create content that tackles longtail keywords that no one else is focusing on, honestly.

 

Farzad Rashidi  14:33  

Yeah, exactly. And it’s a matter of credibility, first and foremost. So yes, you want to prioritize keywords that have lower competition, higher traffic and higher commercial value. So you normally are looking for that sweet spot in the middle. But most likely, you’re going to encounter some of the higher tier keywords to be very competitive. And the way Google basically prioritizes these is based on how credible they think you are and the way they define credibility. Ladies in terms of popularity, how other people how other authoritative resources are talking about you, and if they’re mentioning you. So they’re measured in terms of the links back to your website. So if they’re, if someone’s talking about you, they’re likely her linking to your website. And if they’re authoritative resource is kind of a vote of popularity, nice circle. So we’re like, that’s great, let’s go get them. Turns out, it’s a lot more difficult to get other people to talk about you, compared to you just pulling up Google Doc and creating a piece of content, because that’s fully under control. And that’s why the majority of businesses don’t want to do it, they don’t want to deal with it. And that opens doors for opportunities for businesses that do. So we started investing in proportionately on our office tactics and strategies, which is basically 80%, promotion, 20% creation. And that was really, really started given us that nice hockey stick growth and traffic. And that the whole story of actually getting those mentions of backlinks into our website in organic way, was basically that the genesis of creating response, which was basically an internal software that we had put together at Disney, and it worked ridiculously well, and we decided to release it as a standalone product. And so that kind of does kind of the backstory there,

 

Kenny Soto  16:24  

Respawn solves a key issue, which is helping users get new backlinks. But taking a step back for the listeners who, who need help. And this is something where I’m asking this selfishly, because I’m trying to figure out how to do this as well, who need help justifying off page SEO, budget allocation, investments, time and resources. How would you go about justifying link building in the first place?

 

Farzad Rashidi  16:55  

If you have to justify it, don’t do it. It has to be crystal clear. Because it’s such a difficult thing now unless the business really, truly understands it and relies on it. It’s not worth doing. So nine out of 10 times when people ask me, Hey, I want to do link building. I tell them don’t. I’m like, How are you currently getting your customers? What’s working right now? Go do what’s working. If you’re selling T shirts and shirts, and E commerce stores, and Facebook is bringing results, phone diverted away from Facebook, put all of your budgets, go take out a loan and put it into a Facebook, right? If you’re selling hospital MRI machines, and you have a sales team, and they’re selling, and they’re hitting their quota, keep doing that, hire more salespeople don’t dilute your funds and kind of water things down to invest in and strategy. That’s a whole nother universe in and of itself. So understanding what type of businesses this is actually helpful for you, you have to answer two questions. One, are your customers aware of the problems that you’re solving? And if the answer is yes, how are they looking for a product or solution like yours? So if I know I have a need, I need to create backlinks on my site. What’s the first thing I do? I go on Google, like what are some of the link building tools? And so that buyer journey tells me that SEO is the most important channel for Ashmont. But I don’t buy my shirts like that, right? I walk to a store and buy so maybe retail is your best bet. Or maybe Tiktok influencers is your best bet. Right? So this is not to say that Link building is the answer to everybody’s questions. There is a very small subset of businesses that this is actually helpful for. And we found that SAS companies that are normally product lead and content, rely on content to generate inbound signups. As we were talking, I can tell you right now, probably a handful of people have signed up for a response while we’re having this conversation. We don’t have a sales team, we spend $0 in ads, and we do absolutely no marketing, except for our continent SEO. So this works if your customers are the type of people that would come across solutions like you and are actively searching and seeking solutions. So having those two answered then it’s almost idiotic not to mess in your SEO. So you need to answer that right and so once you’re like okay, we need to get our SEO done done and that’s something that is a very critical important thing to our business. Okay. That as a as a puzzle, right? So you basically have your on page stuff okay keyword research writing content, creating landing pages, yada yada yada. Of your technical stuff. Okay, let’s make sure I meta titles and tags are optimized. Let’s make sure our site loads fast and mobile friendly. And golf off fish. You can’t do one without the other. So okay, how do we actually put this all together? It’s going to be crickets. How do we actually promote the site and how to actually get some people to Mike back to us. Now there are shortcuts to every single one of these. Right? For our on page, you can you can generate content very quickly with AI, you can not to say I’m against it, there’s definitely ways that you can make it work and we use it in our content team. But I don’t not a biggest fan of just putting content out for the sake of putting content, I have to actually add some housing. There are ways you can buy backlinks right from Fiverr, or some other shady places. And it might give you a temporary boost. But it’s kind of like eating sugar, right at some point is going to come crashing down, eat the elements each are nuts, right, do it the right way. If you want to build a sustainable business over two decades, the next decade or two,

 

Kenny Soto  20:42  

hey there, I want to talk to you about a great platform that you can use to support your business, support your team and get through this tough market, especially if you’re trying to continue growing your marketing, but you need more support. And that’s marketer hire what’s marketer hire, marketer hires a platform similar to Upwork and Fiverr, where you can hire feted freelancers that can help you with your marketing. The difference between Upwork and Fiverr is that every single Freelancer that’s on the platform is vetted, evaluated for their skills, and they only get the top 1% of practitioners in the space. You can get SEO, marketers, email, marketers, even fractional CMOS on this platform. And what’s even better is thanks to a partnership that I have with them, you can get your first $500 off in a credit, when you hire your first Freelancer on the platform, all you need to do is go to Kenny soto.com, forward slash hire, that’s Kenny Soto rock comm forward slash H AI R E to get your first $500 off on your first freelance higher. And again, this is a great platform that you can use at any time whenever you’re trying to scale your business at any stage of your business. So if you have a business that you’re trying to grow, or if you just want to help support your team and impress your boss, visit Kenny soto.com, forward slash hire to get your first freelancer to support your team today. So we can go a lot of places, I feel like we’ve already established what Link building is and how to justify or just how to move forward knowing that Link building is right for your business. Let’s talk about the quality of backlinks. I feel like in my eight years of being a marketer, I’ve seen more scams than legitimate opportunities to build links for my clients or any team that I’m working with. How do you recommend listeners evaluate opportunities? What is the criteria you use to find the right person to reach out to in the first place?

 

Farzad Rashidi  22:50  

Right? So here’s the thing, that’s where we enter this space is because there’s so much malpractice on, it wasn’t done the right way that we’re like, okay, we want to get into this space. Because if that problem is already solved, then there’s no reason for us to invest millions into building it software company in this space, right? So obviously, we set opportunity, that’s what we’re here to solve that problem. So what happens with a lot of Lync dollars that they come across websites that are just built for selling links, right, so you come across the where we call these private blogger networks that are basically just pumping out a bunch of content pieces that look like news sites that are just right about anything and everything that are basically just selling links, and you can go buy them through a variety of vendors, there is a lot of backlink marketplaces that you can place an order to get a backlink from the site. The site from the fact that it’s straight up against Google policy, as sooner or later might get caught. This, the way I look at it is that the type of websites that sell backlinks are not the type of site that would help you get get up in the search results in the first place. So the sites that actually are important for you to get a link from are the sites that you don’t normally can pay, for example, response, I could care less about a couple 100 bucks to get these emails every day ourselves and our support. Everybody’s like, hey, I want to buy a guest posting your site, newer respond to them and block them immediately. So the type of sites that you want to link from our links are websites that don’t sell backlinks and normally aren’t on marketplaces. So immediately, that part goes out the window. So how do you actually start getting links? Right? So that’s the golden question. As I you might be wondering, okay, how in the world you’re getting links, I’m gonna answer your question very, very simply. This is what I’m doing right now. I’m getting a link from your own website.

 

Kenny Soto  24:45  

collaborations. Kenny soto.com. See, I see. Exactly.

 

Farzad Rashidi  24:49  

So. So, there you go. So one out of a gazillion different strategies is being a guest on other people’s podcasts. I just recently wrote a newsletter. around this, I’ve been on podcast once a week, every week for the past a year or so. And, and it’s a great way to meet smart people like yourself, right? It’s not to say that’s just to get a backlink, obviously, you know, we’re building this relationship to, it’s free advertising to a niche audience, whoever, if you’re listening to the show, you’ve heard a respondent now, objective, complex, right? I don’t expect anybody to go sign up for it right away. But that’s one marketing touch. That’s one of the seven touch points before you make a purchase. Right. And three, you put this show together, and you are going to link back to a response from the show notes. Nobody got scammed. Nobody got scammed. I didn’t mean that for it to rain. But and so I’m helping you create this piece of content, right? I spend an hour my time chatting with you and helping you create an episode together. So you’re winning, for, for his podcast to have regular content. And I’m winning, because we’re getting the word out about responding. And so it’s a mutual benefit of collaboration with relevant, authoritative publications in our space. That

 

Kenny Soto  26:06  

makes sense. I’ve I, I would love to know your opinion on this. Because in the past, I’ve leveraged platforms where you’re not buying backlinks, but you’re pitching to have a backlink by providing expertise. So Haro Help a Reporter Out and quoted you WOTD. I’ve used these two platforms, and they’ve helped me get backlinks. But the amount of time it takes just to get one backlink was usually like one to two months of just constant daily pitch. Does that strategy work anymore?

 

Farzad Rashidi  26:42  

I would say yes. And so this, these are stuff that has been a help sweater. So we built a solution to save time, because a lot of the stuff that a respondent does, you can do it yourself manually, it’s just gonna take 10 times as much more time. So for podcasts, for example, I mentioned respondent helps you Okay, who’s in your industry that’s been on other people’s podcasts. That’s how my team actually find your podcast, to actually listen to that episode. They’re like, okay, Farson may be a good fit for this. So they actually got in touch with you. So we’re smart enough to streamline the whole process from discovery to getting your contact or reach out to personalization. For apparel, for example, we have auto filter that would get input general keywords, and it will only find Herrick, the opportunities that come out that are valid, that matches your keyword and quality criteria and inputs in front of us it takes five minutes to just send out a pitch once at once or twice a week that comes across opportunity instead of you getting this newsletter email samox every day. So again, we build this solution that’s that’s that’s the problem that we’re solving is that yes, we know that it’s very time consuming to do these campaigns. That’s why we built this solution to kind of help with

 

Kenny Soto  27:44  

that, because you’re deep in the weeds of things. I want to know your opinion, does Domain Authority still matter when it comes to getting a backlink?

 

Farzad Rashidi  27:54  

I mean, Domain Authority is a made up metric by an SEO company called Moz. There are other variations of it like domain rating by a trust or domain authority score by SEMrush. And they might vary significantly. But it’s one of the best metrics that we have. So I wouldn’t normally isolate it as as the only metric we’re normally combine that with a few things like for example, that that domain traffic. So how much that website is getting traffic from Google, how many keywords are actually ranking for is this all like just in one keyword or are actually ranking consistently for a few things. So combining normally just three gives you a much better picture of the website and our authoritativeness by the end of the day, you gotta have to take a look to say and see if it’s relevant, right? So if it’s something that, for example, is from a legitimate business, that you’re like, Okay, great. This is this type of website want to work with. But if it’s one of those junk sites, again, those junk sites might have a ways to manipulate domain authority and their ways to temporarily boost your traffic numbers. And obviously, you can really smell it from a mile away when you take a look at the site. So I would say that it’s one of the good, better metrics that we have, but it’s not the only one I know you should look at

 

Kenny Soto  29:16  

for the marketer who was able to successfully get that backlink. Are there any opportunities to maintain the relationship so that you can get another backlink in the future? Have you seen that be done before?

 

Farzad Rashidi  29:33  

Oh, yes, yes, absolutely. So let me walk you through another golden nugget. So normally, we have these fundadores strategies where we normally use them as conversation openers. So for example, let’s say we reach out to her like Hey, Kenny, you know, I love your whatever guy do you put the guy guy to podcast and you put together and I’m actually happened to be right and get another guest posts on an on podcast.com And we’d love to actually reference your guide and guest posts that I’m writing. Man, as a thank you, I was wondering if you’d be open to having a content collaboration with us. So you don’t know us, you don’t care about us, right? And so we come across with a very clear value prop, they’ll be like this, what we can do for you? Are you open to collaborating and normally get a 10% reply rate and say, yes, some of whom are interested. So we open up conversation, and then what we do so once we normally have that transactional relationship normally trying to see if we can deepen that. So then what we do is, we run your domain through SEM, Rush re drafts, and see what other competitors in your space are ranking for that you aren’t. So we’re like, hey, for example. podcast.co is ranking for, you know, best mics for podcasting, and you don’t seem to have a content for it. Here’s a screenshot. And I happen to be podcasting for quite some time. And I know quite a lot of Mike’s. Would it be okay, if I put together a content piece, no pressure, if you don’t want to put it, publish it, but gonna send it over for you to take a look? 98% say yes, because you already have a relationship with that site. And you don’t have anything to lose, and you get a free piece got that they can put on your site, so why not? So there we go. So then we can take that step forward, and kind of build on that relationship later on. But yeah, 100%. And you know, once you have a yes from someone, you have your fundadores variety of different ways and how you can work on that relationship.

 

Kenny Soto  31:28  

Two more questions for you. My next one is about the future, do you suspect that the future of Link building is going to change or just based on your years as a marketer, that things are going to remain the same to a certain degree, it’s all about just sustaining relationships over time, providing value first and making sure that the person you’re having conversation with is relevant to both audiences.

 

Farzad Rashidi  31:55  

So I may say this, maybe I’m biased because I want it to be true, right? A lot of a lot of times humans form opinions, because it’s to their benefit to hear that. So. So take it with a grain of salt. But since you asked for my personal opinion, this is why I think it’s true. I think the way humans interact with the web is going to change significantly over the next five to 10 years. Right now, computers have come to the stage of their evolution that they can create. We didn’t have that ability before. So that’s kind of the whole new era of generative AI, which is like a big buzzword now. But the way I look at it is based on what I’m seeing what the trends are, we’re going to be able to get a lot of our answers a lot quicker, without us having to do the scouring. All right ourselves. And, and so the website in and out of itself, that it’s a static webpage that users come that may be tours, not anytime soon, but over the next decade or so, we’d be obsolete. And the way a lot of folks do SEO now is is like how do we get our content piece on Google to rank for this keyword? So let’s try to hack our way to it. I think what’s going to happen next, and the next step of the whole state of internet is how do we get people to talk about you? Because guess where does AI get their ideas from, from training data that comes from the web? Yeah, and so for, for not necessarily getting to hyperlink to your site, but actually getting people to talk about you and vouch for you, based on the sentiment that what they’re saying about you is going to take a lot more prominence than just getting your website up in the search results. Because that’s where a lot of that AI and or other search engines of the future are gonna get the ideas from is what other people are saying. So how are we way that are expressing it and could be under website, it could be on their sub stack, it could be on medium, right? I feel like that the whole concept of user generated content is going to play a bigger role than it is doing today. And I think that getting more people to talk about you is going to be critical to getting the name out there versus just focusing on your own website, and getting your own pages up. So I personally foresee this to be the outreach part, not necessarily for the purpose of link building per se, but for the purpose of raising awareness, connecting with other people in your space, that’s going to take a much bigger role than it is doing today. And so I think we’re very well positioned to kind of capitalize on that in the future. But yet, as I mentioned, from the very beginning, this is what I want to be true. So that’s why I have a strong opinion out there. But obviously, you never know what’s going to happen. So we’ll have to wait and see as

 

Kenny Soto  34:52  

far as my last question for you is hypothetical because time machines didn’t exist. But if one did and you could go back in For the past about 10 years, knowing everything you know, today, how would you specifically accelerate the speed of your career?

 

Farzad Rashidi  35:08  

It’s a great question

 

I would probably move to a bigger city sooner. Geography is very important, believe it or not, and I feel like a lot of us nowadays, obviously, there’s zoom, there’s but there’s nothing really beats that, you know, face to face interaction. And I feel like having and being in a position or being in a city or in a geographic area that helps it kind of build those connections, go to meetups, meet some friends and daps are friends, you go on, grab drinks and dinner, those opens a lot of doors in ways that you can’t even think of. And having kind of that geography I think plays a big role. I went to school in a very, very small town in the middle of nowhere. I’m sorry that I think that hurt a lot. My career so kind of positioning yourself, where where there’s opportunity, you have the chance to come across it

 

Kenny Soto  36:05  

perfect. And if anyone wants to find you online, where can they go to say I,

 

Farzad Rashidi  36:10  

you know, I’ll want to this is the first podcast I’m actually disclosing this. So before what I would say and again, it’s true today so you can just find me on LinkedIn, Farzad Rashidi, there aren’t a whole lot of us out there. So pretty easy to spot. But I have recently started the substack newsletter. So I like to send people because I’d like it’s a lot more personal. Obviously, I have my community there. And so far, so brushy d.com. That takes it to my newsletter. So if you’re interested in what I have to say my blab rings, that that’s the place to look so yes, and that first podcast, I’m making that plug.

 

Kenny Soto  36:50  

Awesome. I feel honored. Well, thanks again for Zod. Thank you for your time today. And thank you to you the listener for listening to another episode of the people Digital Marketing podcast. And if you haven’t done so, subscribe, and rate us on Apple or Spotify or Google podcasts because these ratings help us get discovered and get more listeners like yourself. And as always, I hope everyone has a great day. Thanks again for listening to Episode 128 of the people of Digital Marketing podcast. If you’ve gotten this far, thank you so much for being part of this journey and being part of this community. On episode 129. I will have Alex Levin, the co founder and CEO of regal voice on the show. Alex is a phenomenal CEO. And as someone who is selling a marketing tool, I was interested in talking to him about this concept of phone marketing, which is essentially using SMS as a channel. But also how can you use phone calls to convert leads into customers and how you can use this channel that being the phone, SMS and phone calls, both in b2b and b2c business models. So if you’re interested in learning more about another marketing channel, this next episodes for you if you haven’t done so please subscribe. And as always, thanks for listening. Peace out

 

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