How To Make Online Forums Work For You
by Jessica Swanson
There are literally thousands of forums on the internet. If used correctly, forums can be a very powerful way to promote your business and/or services on a shoestring budget.
The basic idea behind forum marketing is relatively simple. You enter into the forum in order to form relationships with other individuals. You are there to get to know them. And, the most important thing to know about forum marketing is that you are absolutely not there to sell your wares. People will recognize right away if you are there "selling yourself."
Of course, each time you make a post, you will sign your name using what is known as a "signature file." This is the only way that you will promote your business. If people get to know you and like what you have to say, they'll click on your signature file to learn more about you.
Here Are Five Ways To Use Forums Effectively:
1. Answer questions. If you have expertise on a particular topic, go ahead and answer questions. This will quickly give you and your business attention.
2. Ask a question. Forums are also the perfect place to ask questions about topics that you need more information about. You will receive good advice and make many friends in the process.
3. Ask for a critique. When you write an article, blog post, etc. tell people in the forum about it and ask for their critiques. This will give you additional exposure for your business.
4. Ask for an opinion. Another great way to use forums is to ask for the opinions of others in the forum about a particular product or service. You will get a lot of opinions (some good, some bad) on the product or service that you are looking for advice on.
5. Post an article, blog post, YouTube Video, etc. If you have written an article, posted to your blog, made a YouTube Video (or anything else of this nature), submit a post that lets people know about your information. If it's helpful, you will certainly bring exposure to your business. There are a variety of forums out there. To get started, go to Google and type in your business niche followed by the word "forums" For instance, if you are a dog trainer, go to Google and type "dog training forums." You will be presented with several dog training forums. Go check them out and start making some friends.
Once You Are Inside Of The Forum:
•Create your free account (including username and password; keep the same username, password and signature for all the forums that you belong to).
•Create your signature file (an ad placed at the end of each of your forum posts). This signature file is of the upmost importance! It advertises your business to everyone that is in these forums. The more posts that you make on online forums, the more people will potentially be exposed to your website (through your signature file).
Rules For Forum Posting:
•You can post in any forum that is interesting to you. Although the "Main Discussion" areas will have the most activity. Experiment and get to know the people in the different online communities. You will find that they offer an enormous amount of support and free tips. They will, in essence, become your friends as you travel through your online adventures.
•Make sure that when you respond to posts you never blatantly advertise your business. Instead, offer comments, suggestions, and questions. Remember, your advertising is in your sig file.
•In addition, your posts should always add fresh insight to the discussion.
•If you decide to begin a new post, take the time to look back over the previous original posts to make sure that no one has posted on that topic before. If there is a similar post, join that discussion instead.
Again, using forums to develop new relationships and give exposure to your business can be an incredibly profitable use of your time.
Most importantly, make sure that you are presenting yourself as a leader in your industry and offering good advice and helpful information to others. If you do, you will soon find that your business is doing better than ever!
Jessica Swanson may be contacted at http://www.shoestringmarketingkit.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Swanson, “The Shoestring Marketer,” has helped entrepreneurs, all over the world, explode their businesses using cutting-edge, proven and completely free marketing strategies. To download your FREE Marketing Kit, which has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, just like you, learn the exact techniques for marketing their businesses for NO-COST, visit: Shoestring Marketing Kit