Who here today participates in online Forums?
What is an Online Forum?
It’s an online community with an open discussion that allows you to ‘Post’ questions and answers related to a specific topic. You can find Forums online related to any topic under the sun.
Use Forums to:
~ Post questions (what is the best way to advertise on a tight budget?) and get answers.
~ Establish yourself as a subject matter expert as you post answers and advice.
~ Drive traffic to your website.
Regardless of the subject matter, there is a Forum out there with hundreds or thousands of members ready to give you helpful Tips and Advice to answer your questions.
Using Forums to Promote Your Business
Using online forums, also called message boards, can be a fun way to promote your business in a low key way.
You cultivate relationships with others.
You learn about all kinds of topics.
Your marketing message is presented without screaming advertisement.
By answering questions related to your topic, you are positioned as an expert in your field.
How to Use a Forum for Promotion:
First, find a forum that is of interest to you and frequented by people in your target market. A great place to start is to go to ezboard.com and search for forums by keywords that reflect your target market. Next, “lurk” or just watch the activity for a few days to get a feel for the tone of the forum. When you feel confident this is an appropriate place to represent your business, introduce yourself. Often message boards have a ‘New Members’ place to post your first, introductory message. After you have been welcomed, scan through the topics and post answers to questions others may have about your area of expertise. Repeat daily or weekly.
Of utmost importance is to have a signature line that is added to the end of each message you post. This is like your calling card, and is what makes this method of business “promotion” so subtle. You may be posting a famous recipe, but everyone who checks it out will see your business name. Most forums have an account setting or options area where you can set up an automatic signature.
Don’t spam Forums by visiting once and posting a promotional message everywhere. It will give you a bad reputation.
Check the regulations of the board to be sure signature lines are allowed. Some forums strictly prohibit marketing of any type.
Revisit your posting frequently to address any replies. Also, add new postings of interest every few days to keep your business in the Forum participants’ eyes.
Message boards and forums can be a very valuable marketing tool. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the fun topics, too!
Megan Corwin is a personal coach who enjoys helping work at home professionals grow their businesses while maintaining an organized household. Download Megan’s free ebook “How to Market Your Small Business Online for FREE”: http:/marketonlinefree.wahwoman.com