Supplier Outreach – Links For Boring Industries

By  May 15th, 2017



Asides from “just writing stuff”, I manage content for a construction merchant.

Bricks, plaster, and copper pipe; all pretty boring. Chrome copper pipe is definitely the most exciting.

Link building with content can be a struggle (a blog post for another day).

So, I feel your pain.

But, there is a way to build links for every single boring industry.

Really fast.

5 links in the SEO niche is nothing. Because everyone talks about links, thinks about links, and links…all day long.

Don’t beat yourself up. Seeing SEM blogs gaining “127 referring domains in 72 hours” is demoralising. But, it’s not relative.

Our niches are so boring, many competitors have nothing but citations (that’s a good thing).

Suddenly, 5 links are worth something.

Imagine if you had similar much better content, and links? This guy >>> .

Here’s an example of a site I’ve been monitoring for a competitor.

No links. Just citations and content. And, I can tell you right now, I’ve ran PPC campaigns for some of their top keywords, they are over £4 ($5 USD, $7 CAD) per click, and they are still highly profitable!

Crazy, right?

SEMRush organic clicks graph

And, this is great. I feel their writer is using word count as a “target”, something I mention (not to do) in my evergreen content writing piece.

And, they have no links. This guy again >>> .

Let’s go.

Step 1: Export Supplier Data

If you’re as fortunate as me. You’ll have a CRM system. And that shows exact spend with each supplier.

  • Export supplier’s email and spend.
  • Export area manager/sales rep contact information.

Unfortunately, if you can’t export, you’ll be down to manually logging brands/suppliers.

Step 2: Find Your Sherpa

It doesn’t matter if you’re an agency, or a secretary at the company. If you don’t deal with the sales manager or sales office of your link prospects, you’re going to fall short.

Just stop a second and re-read that. I used to work at the construction company mentioned above. And, no supplier would listen to me.

So, I figured out who ordered what, from where. The results were night and day.

You need to find out who deals with each supplier on a daily/weekly basis.

This is your Sherpa. They are good people.

Step 3: Write A Template, And Then Sherpa-rise It

Your Sherpa won’t care about links or probably even understand why you want them.

Whoever employed you does.

  1. Inform the person that signs the cheques why you need the Sherpa.
  2. Have they ever told you about their closest competitor? Find and show them the one competitor that’s killing them (on SEMRUSH), just to get some management buy-in.
  3. Write an email template for the Sherpa, and spend 10 minutes with them re-writing it in their own words (it’s got to feel natural).

Step 4: Find Valuable Link Opportunities

Most suppliers have a link opportunities.

Here’s a good example; maps.

Maps for stockists, suppliers and installers of products.

So, I go through the list of brands we stock (or install), and find relevant maps. I’m seeing some that don’t offer an actual link, but it’s still a solid citation.

Let’s say I sell gardening equipment, machinery and tools.

Everyone knows STIHL, right? And, you guessed it, they have a stockist map.

I don’t have to run a backlink profile to know I want that link. And seriously, those are the links you want.

But, if you must…


Once we’ve worked our magic, we’ll get something like this…


You get the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Step 5: Email Suppliers

I don’t need to repeat what’s on 100s of other blogs in huge detail.

  1. Use first names (if your Sherpa agrees)
  2. Feel free to drop in your monthly spend (let’s guilt trip those sales people!)
  3. Respond to the last encounter the Sherpa and the person they are contacting had

Your template (from your Sherpa) might be as simple as this.

“Hi Dave,

Thanks for sorting the returns out!

Our marketing guy is bugging me (seriously) because we’re not on the supplier map here [link].

He’s asked me to ask you if you can add the following details for us. [details]

Also, he saw this [blog post link] and asked if you could link the words “eco-friendly building materials” to what we have here [link] which explains them in more detail, as well as which ones are the best depending on the build.

Give us a shout when it’s done.

Cheers Buddy!


What supplier outreach links have you managed to obtain?


* Adapted lead image:  Public Domain, via


About the Author: Grant Draper

Grant Draper owns Vibe Tech Media.

Vibe Tech Media


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