How to Keep Link Builders Creative
Link building… Sucks! It’s tedious, mind numbing, and typically not very fulfilling. This makes it extremely difficult for link builders to stay motivated, which makes it especially difficult for them to care about the content they’re pushing out. You’ll end up seeing the same ideas recycled over and over, or just a lack of “umph” in their progress.
Here’s a few ways to keep their spark going.
Assign Them to Clients They Actually Like
Don’t roll your eyes yet! I know there are quotas to be met. I know it’s not practical to let them pick their client. Keep in mind though, if you give someone a client they actually want to work with, they’re going to be twice as productive.
Would you rather have a motivated link builder that can handle two clients, or two complacent link builders that can only handle one?
When link builders are working with clients related to their personal interests, they get attached to those clients. You can see tremendous benefit from this especially if they’re socially savvy. They’ll start to network with people related to that industry and drive traffic through more than just organic avenues.
Let Them “Work” Out of The Office
I’m not talking about working at a coffee shop a few blocks away. I mean let them elaborate on a project during company time.
For example, if they’re doing a post on street art, let them walk around and take photos. If they’re writing a post for a cooking blog, let them go home early to bake a recipe for their post. And yes, pay them for it!
You have to remember that by doing this, you’re letting them get more involved in their posts. This has the great side effect of making them feel obligated to put forth more effort.
Let Them Act on Their Ideas
If they have an idea that goes outside the range of link building, let them act on it. Don’t just say “that’s a good idea!” and forget about it. Give them a chance to take control and experiment. The more of a personal connection they have to a project, the more they’re going to give a shit.
This also lets them feel more attached to your company as a whole, making them realize their ideas are being heard. It gives them a reason to brainstorm.
Break Up the Monotony
Give them an alternative to their day to day routine and let them get involved with other projects. Everyone has more than one skill set. If they have interest in design or development, make them a part of it.
This allows them to do something different and keeps them from getting burnt out. It also helps them learn new skills and how to collaborate with others, giving them a sense of ascension.
What About Boring Niches?
I’m going to get this out of the way, because it’s always asked and always answered with a bullshit response, like “No clients are boring, you just need to find the right way to approach it.” Boring clients just lead to distraction and inefficiency.
If you have a client that no one wants to work for… Do you really want them as a client? If that client is so uninteresting that all your employees avoid it like the plague, is it really worth having?
They might have a great budget, but the downside to having clients like this, heavily outweighs the benefit. What’s more money when you have unhappy employees?
It’s more beneficial to have niches your employees actually want to work for. The time and energy you’ll save from this is much better spent finding. More. Clients.
Connect With Your Employees
Don’t be the man behind the curtain hiding in your office down the hall. Pop into the office every now and then and just chit chat with your employees.
If you randomly walk up to your employees one day and tell them to stop what they’re doing – you’re buying them lunch, you will instantly restore their morale tenfold.
Use this as an opportunity to connect with them and figure out their interests. They will be much more open in a new environment than in the office they walk into every day.
Change the Atmosphere
Getting your employees out of the office doesn’t always mean you’re wasting time and money. Find meetups or events going on near your area and offer them incentives to attend (with you!). You’ll get a better response doing this than offering random cash bonuses they never realized they were getting.
Not only does this give them a chance to learn more about the industry, it gives them the chance to mingle with their coworkers.
It’s important for your employees to get to know each other, especially for collaborative efforts.
Most Importantly, Show Some Culture
This is more important than everything I’ve mentioned above. Before your employees can care about your clients, they need to care about you. Your employees have to want your company to grow. They have to be proud of their company.
Put some real effort into having good office culture:
- Hold company exclusive events at least quarterly
- Put up some art on the wall, not funny motivational posters
- Play music so people don’t hear the click clacking of keyboards all day
- Randomly surprise them with beer on Friday
- Let them go home early if it’s an especially slow day
- Don’t be anal about their hours
- Put an arcade machine in the office
- Keep snacks, drinks, etc. in the office
This is a tiny… TINY list compared to the full spectrum of ground you can cover to keep your employees happy. This should always be your main focus.