tedster - 2:08 am on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
It's certain that the best backlinking strategy these days is to go VERY light in what links you arrange - if in fact you arrange any links at all. Google is all over backlinks that they think were created rather than those that they see as "natural", and at a certain point, you're very likely to trash any rankings you had going.
If you can find a good directory on your topic, that would be one place to try. And possibly just one or two other spots. If the competition is really low, then that should do it.
If those exact match searches are long phrases (it sounds like they might be) you still might be outranked by sites that don't include all the words but have been established longer. And I completely agree that you will need some good quality content. Otherwise, the Panda may well give your new site a big bear hug too.