Participating in forums and other discussion groups can be advantageous in building your online presence which often translates into more website traffic. There are three essential things to do when getting involved in any forum, advice column or group; participate in the topics, ask questions and offer solutions. These three key areas enable people to know that they are dealing with a knowledgeable person in their field.
Forums and groups benefit the individuals involved through the blending of practical and entrepreneurial knowledge. This way, business operators can build success in their organisations fast and conveniently. It’s a kind of mentoring opportunity. There are many experts who are often available in forums and groups discussing their experience and strengths that have enabled them to be successful in business. Small business operators may opt to put in place the recommended strategies learnt in such forums to enhance their success in their own business.
Always remind yourself to Give More Take Less whenever you are using a forum or discussion board. Contribute more in value to the other members’ needs and go the extra mile to help those who need it or offer advice that you think would be of value to people. This builds trust and a member who is selfless is the one who will reap the most benefit out of the forum. How? By building this trust within the forum, you are giving the moderators what they want, no spam. Therefore, an occasional link to your website shall not only be welcomed but you will be seen to be providing valuable information.
Forums are also a great place to find out what people are talking about and interested in. This information can be the seed to many blog posts or articles that will generate interest in your own blog.
There are many benefits to being a forum contributor:
- Build a personal profile
- Encourage questions from others and possibly these can become sales leads
- Establish your business brand to a targeted community
- Learn about potential customers and new product ideas
- Don’t spam – in other words don’t try to sell your products via the forum
- Only give advice and ask and answer questions
- Always be respectful and never post derogatory comments
- Go the extra mile and find answers for people who seek them
- Get to know the ‘feel’ of the forum before posting