Growing Your Business Through Relationship Based Link Building Part-2 with Michael Rarick

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Part 2 of Joe’s interview with Michael Rarick, CEO of Media Berry, is presented in this episode. In it, they discuss the idea of relationship-based link building, and the finer details that makes a successful link building campaign.

MediaBerry is a hands-off link-building agency that uses relationships and content to build awesome backlinks for SaaS clients.

Topics Discussed

  • Biggest mistakes in link building
  • Measuring the value of a link building campaign
  • MediaBerry Services and Packaging
  • Thoughts on Link Velocity
  • Tips and tricks on replicating Mediaberry’s success
  • Michael’s book recommendation

People and Resources Mentioned

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Joe 0:57

So, let's transition again. And I know people always love when I asked this, like when it comes to when it comes to your forte, right link building? What what do you think are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people out there making, whether it's agencies directly, or you see that SaaS companies after the coming in and asking you for help? And you're doing an audit or whatever? What what do you see as kind of the top three, four mistakes that you're like, man? Maybe they're myths, or like, I just can't believe they're still doing this? Like,I'd love to get your point of view your take on that.

Michael Rarick 1:34

Right. So I think there's really, there's probably three, there's the the big one, where they're not doing anything. That's the majority, right? It's, yeah, I've heard of link building. You know, we've tried it in the past, but we just don't really do anything. Now we're not, you know, that's not or my favorite one is like, yeah, SEO is not a priority for us. Like, okay, you know, if you're a web based company, that probably should be your priority, but that's fine. So that's kind of mistake number one is really not putting any value into the different things. Because I think people are just, you know, why am I not getting more web traffic? Why am I not doing this? Why am I not ranking high enough, they don't really take the time to go look at the core tenants that Google puts it out there for the most part, like, here's what we use, you know, they keep some things in, obviously.

But for them, it's like, you know, we're pretty transparent, like, here's our top tenants of what we look for. Internal and External Link building is always at the top of the list, you know, quality content. Number one, always, you know, content is king. But then backlinks are Queen, that's what I always say. And so number one, they're avoiding it. Number two, they are going too hard, right? They're trying to go to these lists and get all thesequantity links. And so they're just, you know, throwing darts at a board trying to figure out what's going to work and nothing's really working. So then they get frustrated. And then if they are doing backlinking, they're kind of doing it the right way. They're trying to be intentional about it. But they're not monitoring it, right. So you could be building all these great links.

And then two, three months later, that website just redid, you know, their site, they updated some of their blog articles. Now that link is broken, that does nothing to help you. So you're not monitoring and tracking, because you can see like, oh, I built 1015 I built 50 This month, but then I've lost five 520, you know, you really have negated a lot of the progress that you made. So they're either not doing anything, they're doing it the wrong way. Or they're just, you know, not really paying attention to what's being done.

Joe 3:36

Yeah, completely agree with all of those. And I'm sure we all get clients that that are all in similar boats. So it sounds like SAS is SAS is very similar. So we talked a little bit about the the question of like, When am I going to see results? Right? Yeah.What we didn't talk about is like, how do you measure like the value of a link building campaign? Right? Or if you dig in another layer? I'm sure you've been asked a million times. And I have been as well, like, how do we measure the return on investment from this campaign? Joe?

Michael Rarick 4:09

Yeah, sure. Yeah. So I think every client is a little bit different. So one of the main things that we always do during that sales process during the onboarding, is really what is your goal. So if you are an affiliate site, and you're getting paid off of clicks and traffic, you want to just, you know, do a different type of link building, so you're just getting a lot of traffic. Whereas if you areproviding software for architecture and architecture firm, right, that's a very narrow market.

And so you don't necessarily need 10,000 Viewers every single month, you just need 100 really good ones. So we tried to understand in order to give you that ROI, what your intent is, so if I'm the affiliate site, and I want all these links, we're gonna go target different sites that are going to be within your wheelhouse, but then also though, are going to be really hightraffic sites that are going to have the most availability to draw away from that. So if it's like a fight, that page alone is getting 5000 hits per month, then you can guarantee that some of that might be clicking onto your site.

So that's one approach. The other one, if you're more narrow, we're just gonna really like hammer down on trying to get you on the the best sites that are talking about architecture, right? So it doesn't really do you a favor. If you're doing some of these other sites, your intent is to get more clients in the architecture firm coming to your site. So for the ROI is definitely one that it's you know, what is your intent, we will figure that out. And then together, we can come up with a plan to develop the best link building campaign or the content one, right? You know, I mentioned that we have a whole content team, we have 17 writers on staff right now. And they just specialize in producing amazing content. So making sure that we understand the intent of what the client is trying to convey, and then how we can create the content around it.

Joe 6:01

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I saw you guys have I think packages, and it seems like some of them are monthly for a longer term. And maybe some are more, I don't know, quarterly annually, something like that. Can you talk a little bit about how you guys have set up your, your packages or your pricing?

Michael Rarick 6:17

Yeah. So originally, what we had done was more of the, you know, like the retainer basis where you have a budget of 5000 per month, I'll try to build as many links within these pricing tiers. And that works fine. And a lot of clients, you know, kind of get frustrated, sometimes it's like, you know, last month you were able to build 10, this month, you're able to do five. And so it's, you know, it's like, yeah, well, last month, we were doing a lot of seven days, this month, we try to focus more on the 90, so there's fewer sites cost a little bit more. So on the site, right now, we are actually updating that. So we're moving it from kind of like these two different packages. Now we have like multiple packages. So you kind of start off at the smaller end, where you're only getting a few links per month, and then moving up to a larger one that we have been testing with some of our clients, right now we've gotten a lot of positive feedback. So we're going to be like rolling that out.But it's one of those things where you have a certain amount of budget allocated to do you know, this type of SEO work. So you want to make sure that it's consistent across the board. So for us, trying to make sure that we're working with our clients to deliver consistency is key. So having some of these packages we think is a little bit better where we're guaranteeing you'll get five, seven years to 60s 150. Right, instead of just you know, we'll just try to get where we can. Sure.

Joe 7:39

What are your thoughts, then on link velocity? You touched on it a little bit? Right. But like you want to have long term, you know, link building efforts, not short term. So what are your thoughts when it comes to link velocity? Like? Are most of your clients sticking around like, really, really long term? Is that something you guys are really focused on? Or so concerned about the link velocity?

Michael Rarick 7:58

Yeah, I mean, I think client retention is good for any business, right? I mean, the longer you work with somebody, the more familiar you're going to be with them, the better you can deploy your resources for on their behalf, because you understand, you know, what their pain points are, what they're trying to accomplish. Whereas if you're constantly churning out clients, you're having to figure that out kind of on the fly every single month. So but at the same time, we understand that directions, change, priorities, change, budgets, get cut, budgets get added. So it's just you know, it's different every time. But for us, it's, you know, we do everything month to month, some people will probably hear that and like cringe, but for me, like, I hate getting tight into long term contracts, and sothat month to month really allows us to be able toput a fire under us to to make sure that we're delivering the best results so that a client is willing to continue on with us every month. And then as far as, like the long term commitment with us, you know, we've seenclients, they'll work with us for one or two months, and they leave, you know, just because they were like, yeah, just wanted to try it out. And then we have these other ones that are have been with us since the beginning. Right, they, you know, we've been around since 19. So about three years.

Michael Rarick 9:16

And, you know, they just love what we're doing. And, you know, seeing a lot of great results. And you know, it's relatively affordable for them. So we keep going. But you know, we are, we're good to kind of go anywhere, you know, I would love to have the client that sticks around forever. And you know, we get to work with them for the long term. But I'm also okay to work with the people on the short term, just because that's your intent. And I understand that as a business owner, I understand that as like a startup founder, that you are just, you know, limited to what you can do. So, you know, I'm willing to work with you. Because what we do is that relationship driven, right, so that doesn't stop that just like our partner sites that we're building the song that goes to our clients as well. Like, if you're gonna be with us for a few months, that's great. Let's end it on a great note and then hopefully, maybe down the road, we can pick this up again.

Joe 9:58

Yeah, makes perfect sense. So I think a lot of people in the link building space, I think in all marketing, but really in the link building space, feel some type of way, right? A lot of people are jaded. In the link building space, I think that probably by you guys offering flexibility, I bet that you get people in the door to purchase into try it that probably wouldn't have. And then I bet with the quality that you guys provide, and the results that you provide, you actually probably have a good chance at catching them and keeping them right because of, of your quality.

Michael Rarick 10:33

Yeah, I had worked for a company kind of like, a few years ago, it was awholesale distribution company. They were owned by one of the largest companies in the world. You know, fortunately, I think 100. So they're the guy that I was working for there really taught me a good lesson about, you know, that long term commitment. So if he could not sign a long term contract, he would do that aggressively. So whenever we were betting vendors, it was, you know, yeah, if you know, we're gonna commit you to a one year contract, it was like, Okay, well, can we do that six, can we not do a contract, and we're willing to pay a little bit more, because it helps the for you as the client to, you know, have that outro on, you know, I have a terrible service, but I'm locked in this contract, I'm going to be paying all these fees to get out of it, or I'm gonna have to, like get legal involved. So it's super annoying, if you're not living up to your expectation.

While you know, on theprovider standpoint, like, if I know that you have the ability to leave whenever, you know, I'm not going to just, I'm not gonna mess around here, and I'm not gonna slack off for a couple of months, I'm gonna really try to do my best effort and make sure that I'm winning your business every single month. So for us, yeah, I mean, it's a little bit scary, you know, it's, it's never great, you know, having somebody work with you, that could just leave at any second, that's not fun. But at the same time, it, you know, is good in the long run, I think for both parties to, you know, hold that accountability, because, you know, we want them to stick around and they want us to, you know, do the service that they're paying for.

Joe 12:09

Yeah, makes perfect sense. I think I'm looking at your guys's site as well, you guys have obviously done a really good job. Probably one of the best jobs I've seen as an agency actually building out their site. Right? Most agencies are like, you know, do this, I'm telling you, it'll work, but don't look at what I'm doing. Because it's not very good. You know, I think you guys have lots of good content on your site, you've done a really good build out. You talked about being around for like, you know, roughly two years. I mean, you guys are a Dr. 62. So for other agencies looking to maybe following your guys's footsteps, any any tips on undoing, you know, replicating some of your guys's success there?

Michael Rarick 12:51

Yeah, I'm glad that you you like our site, too, especially the DR rating, because I'm always looking at like, we should be better, right. And that's just, you know, as the owner, you just, you want the best. And I think my advice would be, if you are an agency or service provider, you should be client number one. So, you know, for us, you know, we should treat ourselves like we should be looking at our links, we should be looking at our content. And that wasn't always a priority, you know, you definitely want to do that. So get your foot in the door. But you know, there are times there are months, there are periods in our business, we're just so focused on doing all these things for our clients, or trying to build our team out or, you know, make sure our think is taken care of you're onboarding into a new system behind the scenes, you know, a lot of that takes time. So then you're kind of forgetting about your site, you're forgetting about kind of what you're doing as well.

So making sure that's at the forefront of your mind and saying, like, you know, we're another client, we need to be building our links, we need to be producing this content is really key. And that's been a really big focus for us this year. You know, especially on the content side, where we have these great writers and we weren't kind of updating our, our site as much as we should. Like, we had some articles that were like, Yeah, best, you know, software for 2019 2022. Right. And that's like one of the first things that you're seeing on there, it's like, Okay, let's get this updated ASAP.So that's, that's been a big priority for us. So I would just recommend that.You know, if you're inviting people over to your house for a party, they might all come but if you didn't clean or do anything else, they might not have a good time when you're there. So, you know, try to just keep yourself as a priority as well.

Joe 14:29

100% Yeah, I think that's super important these days. I think like you said, you know, expertise is important, being niche relevant, relevance important. I think, you know, if if we all as marketers looked at our businesses, like we look at our clients, businesses, right, when we're doing our competitive analysis and figuring out what they need to do to rank like, we'd all be much better off. So definitely agree with you. So cool, man, this has been been really valuable. I'm sure people are gonna love this. If somebody wants to connect with you personally, Michael, what's the best is the social platform replaced to do that?

Michael Rarick 15:03 Yeah. I mean, I basically live in LinkedIn. So yeah, go ahead and add me, everybody that helps, you know, get more connections there.Actually don't I'm not huge on social media, like I'm in marketing, but I just, I mean, I have Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and all these other things. I just actually deleted like all the apps off of my phone. I'm just busy doing other things. And it's just a time suck for me. So LinkedIn is great. You can also right on our site, you know, reach out to us, we have contact form in there. And then my you can always email me too. It's just Michael at media Pretty straightforward. So yeah, I mean, great to connect with anybody who's listening.

Joe 15:42

Yeah, for sure. So definitely recommend you guys check out media Berry and what they're up to. I definitely like what they're doing. I like their approach. If you got a client, maybe where you have an opportunity to refer them to immediate Berry, definitely check them out. And wrapping up, Michael, I always ask for one book recommendation from each of our guests that we have on the show, I feel like a lot of people ask for like three, I'm a little add, like, I've recently giving, giving myself permission to if I don't like love a book to actually put it down into knots. Which, which has been key for me because I suffered through a lot of really bad books. So whenever I get the opportunity to chat with somebody smart like yourself, somebody I admire somebody that's doing cool, cool things. I always like to ask them for their favorite book.

Michael Rarick 16:31

Yeah, no, I definitely that's good about putting the book down. Right? It's, I have done that as well, where it's like, yeah, I started the book, I'm gonna finish it. And by the time you're done, like, this could have been like a one paragraph, you basically just expanded into information, but it's like, Thank you for wasting my time. But yeah, so for me, I think one of them a really good book, and one that I recommend a lot is from Dan Pink, it's called Drive. Okay, so his whole book is looking at what motivates people and what you know, has the intrinsic value versus x Trinsic value.

So they did like a really great study and did a lot of research on, you know, these performance based incentives, if you were doing X amount of work, you're going to receive a 20% comp, bonus, or whatever. And they actually found that the more you incentivize people financially, the worst that their performance did, which is counter to American culture, capitalism, you know, a lot of the things that we're told is like, yeah, you know, I'll do really well, if you pay me. But when you boil it down, more people really just want to have value, they want to see that the company that they're working for, is doing something good in the world, and thattheir job has meaning because I think, you know, two generations probably ahead of us, it was just, you know, you stayed at the same company for 40 plus years, just doing the same task repetitively for 40 years, and you know, so if I just did a little bit faster, I'll get paid a little bit more.

And that's where that kind of performance incentive really comes into play. But then, you know, moving now into more of this kind of like high level, working, it's less routine tasks, because we have software to automate a lot of that for us. So it's like, you know, a lot of great brain.We have to figure out different ways to motivate our employees. So I think that one is a really good one to kind of think about the way that you are running your business in a different light and how you are motivating your employees and even motivating yourself to be working at the best level.

Joe 18:36

Yeah, love it. Thanks for the recommendation, actually haven't heard of that one. And for me, that's what it's all about is like that perspective, shift of like, you get to the end, and you're like, Wow, I'm thinking about this differently. Now. I have a new point of view. And I think that's where all the the big breakthroughs come from come from.

Michael Rarick 18:54

So I mean, if you do suffer from ADD and reading books, he has like a TED Talk. That's eight minutes talks about the whole thing. So it's a lot easier to get that concept now.

Joe 19:04

All right. All right, Eduardo. Make sure when you're listening to this and you do the post production, let's put that in the show notes for everybody that has ADB, just like I do, and that'd be Michael to and Michael, man. Thanks for coming on the show. Really appreciate it. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, definitely a great episode that I know people are gonna enjoy.

Michael Rarick 19:21

Yeah, great talking to you.


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