In Marvel’s comic book and cinematic universe there are a lot of powerful individuals, but not many quite as powerful as Professor Charles Xavier. Even though Marvel has created such characters as Apocalypse, Galactus and Franklin Richards, who can easily destroy entire worlds as well as God-like creatures from different planets and dimensions, not many of them can hold a candle to Professor X.
I’m not talking about his actual mutant powers here. No. Even though Professor X has more than a few cool tricks up his sleeve, I strongly believe that what truly sets this character apart from other Marvel’s celebrated names is his ability to build strong and lasting links!
Seeing how we’re in the business of creating such things with various different and powerful players within our or our client’s niche, I think there are a lot of lessons that we could learn from this character when it comes to the art of link building.
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 3 decades, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with Professor Charles Xavier. He’s an extremely powerful mutant who has appeared in many comics, cartoons and feature films. In most adaptations, he is depicted as a bald paraplegic confined to either a wheelchair or some sort of a futuristic personal hovercraft. He is also known as the founder of the X-Men and the creator of Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, located in upstate New York.
According to the X-Men comics narrative, Mr. Xavier is the most powerful telepath on Earth. The ability to induce in others mental illusions, temporary mental or physical paralysis and loss of specific memories or total amnesia; the projection of “mental bolts” to stun or render a person unconscious; astral projection; the ability to sense other superhuman mutants within a small radius – these are just some of the powers that set this character apart from other A-list Marvel names.
His telepathic power started emerging back when he was a boy, but over the years he has learned how to bend it to his will. Being a brilliant man with a heart of gold, Professor X has never abused his gift. In fact, he has used it only for good. Over the years, Professor X has saved numerous lives, both in the comics and films as well.
Unlike most of Marvel’s fictional characters, he doesn’t need to punch his way out of a jam. No. That’s not his style. He’s a helper, a healer, an educator, and above all – a pacifist. Mr. Xavier has managed to come to aid of a lot of mutants during their journey to self-realization and self-acceptance. He has helped numerous individuals to find their place in the world.
As a person who enjoys reading comics and watching superhero films, I have crossed ways with this particular character on more than a few occasions. Reading, re-watching and over-analyzing some of my favorite X-Men adventures, Xavier’s character always made me think about his actions and look for a deeper context behind his decisions. So, without further delay, here are just some of the things I’ve picked up from Professor X about link building:
1. Focus On Building a Greater Future
Everyone knows that Professor X is a person who truly believes that humans and mutants can peacefully coexist together. In every X-Men film we have seen this character tirelessly promote the peaceful affirmation of mutant rights. He’s truly dedicated to protecting “the gifted” from dangerous humans, and vice versa.
I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. Even though a lot of business owners are scared of their competition, they still know that they can never truly destroy their rivals. Having this in mind, isn’t it better to stop wasting energy on going head-to-head with each other and actually focus on creating relationships that will work best for all the parties involved?
This is basically the whole philosophy behind my link building outreach efforts. I make it sure that my prospects clearly see that we need from each other.
Regardless of the fact that in today’s digital world websites cannot survive without steady new flow of links, a lot of brands out there are still frightened to feature links on other domains within their niche. Like I wrote above, they’re still scared that they’re going to steal their customers away from them. You and I both know that’s complete BS.
Generating more and more quality links was, is, and always will be the best strategy for improving your search visibility. Links increase your brand exposure, send positive signals to Google and improve your backlink profile. Quality links also naturally complement your other activities. That’s why Professor X is determined to make everyone get along. Together we can achieve anything.
So, having all this in mind, even though you might be scared of top players from your niche who target the same consumers as you do, same as the people are afraid of the X-Men and vice versa, the truth is – you need them. Your link building strategy needs them to be as big and powerful as they possibly can be. Only then you’ll truly capitalize from backlinking.
If you want to stay relevant, you need to play ball and learn to accept other brands that work within your industry. You also need to do your best to create smart relationships with them and focus on making the most of your joined efforts.
2. Mutual Benefit Is the Cornerstone of Influencer Outreach
As you know, Professor X is pretty good at locating gifted individuals who are not quite that reachable, gathering them under the same roof and making them believe in a common goal. Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters is designed with only one purpose in mind: to round up all the mutants under a safe roof, teach them to only use their powers for good and respect those who are different from them.
As a person who communicates with a lot of influencers and tries to make them join my cause, I know that there’s only one to talk to them:
By presenting yourself as a trustworthy source who knows his prospects.
Before you ask an influencer for a favor, you first need to win their trust. You need to learn everything there is to learn about them, what are their likes and dislikes, so you could present your case to someone that could earn some benefits by contributing to it. If there’s no real value in joining your cause (like saving the world or protecting all the mutants from other nutty mutants), no one will play ball with you. You won’t get an opportunity to write a guest post for respectable blog and you won’t earn that high-quality link if you don’t bring something new and valuable to the table.
3. Regardless How Powerful You Might Be, You Still Need to Use Quality Tools to Locate Amazing Link Prospects
Yes, Professor X is an extremely powerful mutant who has the ability to mess with human and mutant minds alike, but he still needs to rely on his tools to help him find great new linking prospects. I’m talking about Cerebro of course – the machine that amplifies his natural ability to search for other mutants and recognize their potential. Even though you can never get your hands on such a device, there are still a few amazing tools, like our Dibz for example, that could help you find high-quality link building opportunities.
This software offers an immediate insight into the quality of your linking prospects. In that way (unlike Charles Xavier), if you use Dibz, you can actually see just how good certain prospects are. Search, sort, filter, pick the opportunities you like the most, and build yourself an amazing back linking profile that’s stronger even than the X-Men.
4. In-kind Sponsorship: Give, And You Shall Receive
When you really sit down and think about it, Professor X’s home is probably his most powerful link building weapon. He rents his mansion to all sorts of different mutants, offers them warm food, friendly environment and understanding and in return they reward him by wearing his tacky uniforms and fighting for his cause.
In SEO, we call this in-kind sponsorship and this is how it works:
If you, like Charles Xavier, have a product (in this case, a mansion) that you can trade/give away in promotional purposes, you start by searching for local community groups which would benefit from your products or services. The more closely related to your or your client’s niche, the better.
Once you’re done, once you’ve finished adding names to your list, you reach out to a couple address at the time and offer them your support by donating your products or your services. If you, like us, run an SEO consulting company and you don’t have any products to give, you can offer your time and expertise instead. We used to do this for all sorts of different non-profits. A significant number of local communities and causes have accepted our help. Even though they didn’t have money to pay us for our services, they repaid us by writing blog posts about what we did for them and some of them even featured our link on their sponsored page.
Despite the fact that most people think that we are suckers for working for free, the truth is quite the opposite. For a tiny amount of work, we received some highly contextual links from domains that have real value to us. We didn’t have to pay anything nor beg anyone to send some link juice our way. This way everyone got what they needed – neat, right?
5. Reclaim All the Broken Links
Professor X deals with a lot of mutants on regular basis. Some of them live in his house, other are located nearby. Reading over the X-Men comics, I have learned that a lot of them tend to get lost along the way. Some of them choose to pursue their own adventures, others get kidnapped or tricked to do things that they don’t really want to do, while a few just fade away. Regardless of the scenario, Professor X’s job is to track them down and make sure that they’re ok.
I tend to do the same. Links get broken every day and it’s my job to track them down and make sure they start working again. Using such Software like Screaming Frog and Checkmylinks, I track down broken links on high authority sites within a particular niche or industry. Whenever I locate a problem, I write a fresh piece of content that could replace that broken link. Then I reach out to a person in charge of that particular site and offer my content as a replacement for his broken one – for a backlink in return, of course. This strategy works extremely well because no one likes broken links and fresh content always helps bring in new traffic that could, if interesting enough, improve your conversion rates.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
‘Till next time,