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Using forums to find new prospects

Using Forums to Find New Prospects

Most business owners are always looking for ways to reach new prospects while investing as little money as possible. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do just that.

Today we’re going to focus on internet forums as a prospecting tool because they meet many of the needs that business owners have. They are easy to use, they cater to an extremely focused niche, and they are free to participate in.

What does a forum allow you to do?

A forum allows you to interact with extremely targeted prospects by participating in discussions with forum members – usually initiated by them. In doing so you’ll have the opportunity to develop a rapport with these members while demonstrating your level of skill and experience in your field.

Participation in a forum also gives you an opportunity to create lasting exposure and branding for your company with signatures and avatars. A signature is simply a snippet of text or even an image that is attached to the bottom of each post you make. This is stored in the forum’s database and can be changed as needed, and any changes will be reflected site wide. At the least, your signature should contain your company name and a link to your web site. This allows anyone that views your post to quickly and easily get in touch with you by visiting your web site. An avatar is simply an image that is attached to the left of each post you make. Depending on your industry, this could either be your logo (in most cases) or a picture of yourself (if you were a real estate agent for example).

Another benefit of participating in a forum is that you can get a more accurate idea of what your prospects needs and wants are because they are communicating in a neutral environment. This will give you an advantage over your competitors.

What do I need to participate in a forum?

If you’re ready to start participating in a forum, you’ll need nothing more than an internet connection, a computer and knowledge of your industry. Simply search for a forum relevant to your target market in your favorite search engine. For example, if you are a Florida real estate agent, you could visit a Florida real estate forum. You would then browse the forum and answer some of the questions that the members have or even start your own new posts. Remember – the key is to provide useful information to the members, not blatant self-promotion. To avoid any problems, be sure to check out the forum rules. Over time, you’ll develop a reputation of an expert in your field and you can potentially generate a tremendous amount of business from the little bit of time that you put into the forum.

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