Master the Art of Selling Yourself in Forums

People are very skeptical when they are doing business online due to the anonymous nature of the Internet, especially with regard to the bad personal experiences and Internet scams witnessed over the years. Naturally, people find it difficult to trust someone they have never met before. So, you need to know how to sell yourself in forums.

In online marketing, you face so many challenges of building loyalty and trust, establishing face-to-face meeting, or physical contact. This is why online forum is there to bridge the gap with people. It is a perfect way of attracting new customers.

By joining a community that shares your area of expertise you will build a solid business relationship that will attract a pool of future customers. There are many forums that deal with any topic you wish.

You are not expected to pay some charges for registration or posting of messages. Some will even allow you to post some self-promotional signatures you can use in promoting your link and business to your website.

Another way of locating a relevant forum for your business is by doing some keyword searches using any of the major search engines. As expert in your chosen area of interest, forum will enable you to gain reputation and share knowledge. You will be sought after for issues relating to your field, people need to be convinced that you have gained the necessary reputation.

Participating in forum is a great way of humanizing your business and yourself. So that when people are dealing with you, they will not entertain any fear. They will be convinced that they are not communicating with a faceless, nameless business entity. Staking an online reputation will do great harm to your business.

If you are a good and honest person generally, then try to show it in your Internet business, because those things that made you likable offline are also capable of making you likable in online endeavors. Truly, establishing meaningful relationship is like attracting new friends online. Another useful key is to create a transparent and open atmosphere.

In responding to public posts in forums, you may use nickname or your real names, but real names should be used strictly in private correspondences. A little display of courtesy could go a long way in building loyalty and trust. Ensure that what you are selling to people is a valuable commodity at highly reduced rates or fair prices. Be very conscious when you are pricing your goods or service. If they are overpriced, other competitors will take advantage of you. Let the pricing be moderate and friendly. It is a good thing to master how to sell yourself in forums.

Types of Online Forums

A forum is basically a medium where people can exchange their ideas and views on a particular issue. It is a sort of online community where visitors can hold conversations i.e. read and post messages of common interest. There are infinite numbers of forums that are running online like internet marketing forum, technical forums, entertainment forums, sports forums, and many more. Let’s discuss a few of them:

Marketing forum: The marketing forum is community where you can read and post messages that are connected with marketing and its various connected fields. Here you can discuss and increase your knowledgebase about topics connected with internet marketing such as search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, pay per click, offline marketing and alike. Whatever you want to market, whether it’s a product or service, you can get lots of information from these forums. Using the techniques mentioned here you can increase the reach of your marketing which thereby helps to enhance your sales and hence can manifold your profits, earnings and turnover.

Search Engine forum: The search engine is basically an encyclopedia of information. The information consists of web pages, images, etc. There are many search engines that are present but the major ones are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The search engine forum mainly consists of conversations that are related to search engine optimization and search engine marketing. This is again a medium of knowledge where you can exchange your ideas and get the solution from various people.

Make Money Online forum: There are money making forums that helps you to find ways with which you can make money online. It provides you various tips and tricks with the help of which you can earn money by sitting in the comfort of your home. The fundamental requirement is internet and dedication to work; and no one can stop you from earning good bucks. There are many ways that you can choose from like business development, ecommerce, content development, and so on. There are eBooks that helps to guide you through the whole process and you can move ahead in this field.

Design and development forum: The design and development forums include discussions on HTML, PHP, web designing and graphics and also the scripting part could also be discussed in these types of forums.

Marketplace forum: In this of forums you find discussions related to buy, sell and trade of products and services. The conversations can be found connected with the deals on domain name sales, website sale, link sale and lot more.

How to Make a "Sticky" Web Site with Web Forums

Internet is all about communication between people. Those people belong to some groups. People with similar interests form groups where they are able to discuss about their area of interest, to help each other and to learn more about other members. One of the most used ways for communication between like-minded people are web forums. How this can help to your business?

In order to have success on the Internet you have to have repeat visits. In order to people visit your site on a regular basis you have to constantly make your content fresh, to make regular updates. You can post articles relevant to your business, you can post the latest industry news and you can have a web forum.

One of the main advantages of web forums over before mentioned techniques for having a “sticky” web site is that after some time, web forums are “self going”, at least in some way. In other words, you won’t have to spend your time in creating fresh content – your forum members will do that instead of you! This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do anything. Depending on the size of the forum, there are people called moderators who take care that the discussion is going on the right way. Companies have management, web forums have moderators. Some popular web forums have more than 50,000 members, and anytime you can find at least 200-300 people online. Corporate forums don’t have that many members but you will also need at least one person who will be responsible for your forum.

Web forums are great because this is one of those ways that help you to stay in touch with your visitors and customers. Visitors need to complete the registration form so this way you will have their names and email addresses. This way you can offer them to subscribe to your email newsletter. Like in subscription forms for email newsletters, don’t require too much information from your visitors. Every member of your forum will have an unique username and a password.

Web forums are consisted of categories. So if you are in Internet marketing business your forum can have categories like Email Marketing, Search Engines, Domain Names, Web Hosting, Web Services and etc. For the start, it is better to have fewer categories that will be more general. Later you can make more categories that will be more specific. Every category should have a moderator who is usually very knowledgeable person about that category who will start interesting discussions and, therefore, engage other members to post their answers.

The most important thing in having a successful web forum is quality of posts and then number of posts. Quality and only after that quantity. When you start your forum, you will probably have a low posting activity. That’s why you will have to “persuade” your forum members to be posters and not only lurkers. This won’t be so easy.

At first, in lack of discussion, maybe you will need to post interesting news about your industry and to post smart tips that you know that are of interest of you members. Later, with increasing your forum membership base you will have more and more posting activity. In order to build your membership base you can ask your members to invite their friends to join the forum. Also, you can offer a contest based on quality and number of messages. For example, you can start with choosing the Member of the Month. Winner will be chosen by other members based on quality of his/her posts. It is great for increasing loyalty. Another good thing for increasing your forum activity is to say, for example, that people with more that 30 posts will get an e-book and members with more than 100 posts discount on your products. Usually web forum software categorize members in groups so new members with less than 10 posts can be in Newbies group, with less than 100 posts in Juniors category and with more than 100 posts Addicts. Forum software usually offers a so called Avatars feature so your members will be able to place an image below their username. There they can place their photos, too. Also, quality web forums software offers that members rate posts.

Web forums are great supplement for articles and email newsletters, for getting a better feedback. For example, when you post an article on your web site or in your email newsletter, at the end of your article you can make a link to a discussion about that article and topic on your web forum. Also, you can include subjects of your most popular threads on your main page.

Having a corporate web forum is a value-added service to your visitors. If you build a quality web forum they will appreciate it very much because you are the one who provides them with source for gaining new knowledge. Also, with web forums you are building ongoing relationship with your members. Some of them are your clients and many of them can be your clients. It is up to you. With providing great answers in your forums you will increase your credibility that can persuade your members to buy your services. People buy from companies they trust.

Web forums are very useful for companies in one more way. For example, if you are a software company, you can (and you should) make several categories in your forum for your products and services. There, your members will be able to ask about your software, to give tips for maximizing its possibilities, to give suggestions for future upgrades… So this way, many of your forum members will serve as your technical stuff. Did I say free of charge?

Quality web forum makes the web site very “sticky”. People are coming back to read new messages, to check if they have private messages, to post new messages… They will be notified each time someone replies in thread they watch, if they chose that option.

Actually, the only disadvantage of web forums is the amount of time to get it up and running, to have an ongoing conversation and good members activity. Later you will have to spend your time for moderation, in order to make sure that members post appropriate messages, that they are not spamming and that the discussion is on the right track. However, good news that your reward will be higher profit, as well.

There are quality free and fee based web forum software. Recommendation for free forum software goes to Simple Machines – http://www.simplemachines.org and for fee-based forum software for vBulletin http://www.vbulletin.com.

How Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Use Online Forums For Marketing Research

Market researchers have many options available to them as they explore their target customers and try to understand how they think. Each of these methods involves tradeoffs, so none of them is necessarily better than any of the others. Forums can be a powerful tool for market researchers, particularly entrepreneurs who have limited resources. Since most forums allow members to view and post for free, they serve as one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to conduct marketing research. In addition to being low cost, forums have a few other advantages. Unlike most surveys, respondents can give detailed descriptions regarding how they feel about a particular product, service or issue. Forum respondents are more patient participating in forum discussions than in market surveys because they typically are participating on their own volition.

Since they are not being pressured into responding and don’t have to give up a single, sizable chunk of their time as they would in a survey, they are willing to reply to more than one threaded discussion or post more than once to a thread. Reading all of the posts that a user places on a forum can give market researchers a more thorough understanding of their preferences and opinions. Forum respondents are also often more likely to be honest if they feel that they can respond with anonymity. The biggest challenge that market researchers face is not in acquiring data, but rather analyzing it. When people post in forums it is typically difficult to authenticate what they are saying or why they are saying it.

Forum users could post overly positive information because they have a vested interest in promoting a specific type of service or product or post negative feedback because of a grudge they hold. Another problem is that it is difficult to develop a true and accurate assessment of the demographic information of the posters, which is obviously a very important element of any marketing research study. Fortunately, there are ways that market researchers can address these shortcomings. With experience, researchers can learn to identify when forum users seem to be straightforward and when they seem to have ulterior motives for what they are saying. Of course, given the anonymous nature of the Internet, it is never possible to determine for certain whether or not they are being completely honest. Many forums give users the opportunity to create profile pages describing themselves.

Market researchers should try to focus on using these forums, because they can read these profile pages to learn more about the forum users. If such information is not displayed on a profile page, researchers can scan the posts they have made in the entire forum to see what demographic information they have said about themselves. Forums can be a tremendous medium for market research but has been largely overlooked by researchers because they feel that it is difficult to authenticate the information being posted. However, there are a few approaches that they can use to authenticate this information to open up a new channel for conducting marketing research. On the other hand, social media sites can still be better for niche research because demographic information is more readily available.

Building Your Brand Through Forums and Online Groups

Let's talk about forums and online groups. People talk all the time about how difficult it is in forums and online groups. I don't get it, I've gotten some of my best traffic in the world from forums, and I've had clients that have done amazing well with forums. Yes, it's mindless work. Yes, it's a matter of finding the right post to respond to. Yes, it's a matter of becoming a trusted poster so that you can put a squeeze page in your signatures. No, that's not easy. Yes, it takes 2 to 3 months to do. And if you're not willing to invest 2, 3 months in building a source of great traffic, then Forums and Communities are not for you.

You're posting great content with a few videos, and you're posting in a forum or community. Now layer on interviews. Where do I get interviews? Here's the thing, if you write enough articles, people will ask you to be interviewed. I get interview requests a lot. I turn most of them down, because I just don't have the time anymore. In fact, I wish that I had found a way to do them all, I really do. But, if all I did was interviews, I couldn't create trainings like this. I couldn't do all the other things that I hope add value to the world. If when you're starting out, you write a few hundred articles and put them on your website, and you write a few hundred more, and you get them posted here and there, and you start ranking in Lifehack, and you start ranking in the websites in your niche, and you start ranking in the forums … I can almost guarantee you'll get interview requests.

You may say, how do I figure out if it's a good interview or not? Do them all! Do them all until you're overwhelmed! Then we'll talk about when to cut back. And then you start noticing things, cut back. Here's what you do, when somebody interviews you, you're going to post that interview. The first thing you do when someone asks you to interview is, you ask, "Can I have the right to record it as well, and use it in my marketing the same way you're going to use it in yours?" They'll almost always say yes, and if they say no, say no thank you. Unless it's obviously somewhere you're setting out to be interviewed by.

When they interview you, you record it as well, and you put it on your website as the interview by so and so. It creates instant credibility for you and you share it on Facebook, you share it on G +, and you get instant credibility. And when 50 different people over the next year interviewed you, and all of those are showing up on the front page of your website, and they're starting to show up in Google, what's going to happen? You're going to have instant credibility.

Before we go any further, I'm going to touch on about three more things that I want to give you. Some of you are still asking, where's the 1-2-3 formula? THERE ISN'T ONE!

Hopefully by now you've got this idea that you've got to know what your website is going to look like, you've got to know how you're going to change the world, and you've got to start changing the world right there on your website, and then tell everybody that you know about it.

One thing I've talked about in the past is, you've got a list of 100 Facebook friends. And most of you probably have 100 Facebook friends. You should be able to post a post on your Facebook page that says, "hey, as you know I've been working on starting my own business, and I've started one. How to create a scrapbook is my new business, and I know you're probably not interested in scrapbooks, but could you please tell everybody you know that might be interested in scrapbooks? " Here's the thing, if anybody unfriends you, because you spammed them on Facebook, because you told your friends about your personal pet project. Do you REALLY want to be Facebook friends with that person?

If you're scared to tell your friends about your business, maybe you need to create a business that your friends would like. Or maybe you need to reevaluate some of your friends. I'm serious! Your friends should be the # 1 people that are supporting you. You say, "well, so and so does not support me," maybe you just need to unfriend them for 3 months. I don't know what the answer is, I don't know all the social etiquette rules, I don't know if you unfriend somebody that your kid goes to school with and they won't speak to you anymore, and your kids Can't play together. I don't know how all that stuff works. You're going to have to figure that out on your end, I'm not a relationship expert.

What I'm saying is, if somebody dislikes the business that you're building so much that they want to unfriend you? I question their friendliness.

I believe you should be able to tell everybody. I believe that you should be able to go get a business card made up that all it has on it is your website name, and your logo.

And any time you meet people in the grocery store, and you're talking, and you say "hey, what do you do," and they tell you, and they ask you what you do, you pull out your card and you say , "I run this website." Doesn't make any difference if you started 3 days ago, you run that scrapbooking website, right? Great, "I run this website, and let me ask you this, do you know anybody that's interested in scrapbooking? Here's another card." You may not want to be that aggressive, but I'm just trying to give you the point, you can do this offline as well. This should not be some secret project that you have online. Do you think that Dropbox was a secret project? Do you think that Taskrabbit was a secret project? Is Google a secret project? Is Facebook a secret project. Is Business Insider a secret project?

NO! They're not secret projects, they're social projects!

When you take your website and allow it to become a social project, you'll find that amazing things are going to happen.