Finding ways to get your home business noticed has always been at the forefront of a successful home business.
With the Internet giving us all a much more level-playing field, the opportunties for getting your home business noticed by potential new customers is through a networking strategy.
There are many ways to network your business but in this article I am looking at just the one: networking through online forums.
Online forums have never been as popular as they are today. Basically, a forum is a online public meeting place of like-minded individuals who raise and discuss topics of interest.
The beauty of online forums is that you are not restricted by your location. You are potentially networking with anybody, anywhere. Some bigger forums have members into the tens of thousands from all across the world.
With so many forums to choose from it is best to select a few and dedicate your time to those, remembering that it is better to go after quality and not quantity. What I mean is that it is very easy to find 15, 20, even 40 forums that you could easily join. But you will be spreading yourself far too thin.
My suggestion is that you select at most, 5 forums and focus.
Most forums have an introduction section, where new forum members can introduce themselves. What you will want to do though is, before posting, go through the forum and get a feel for it. Notice the type and tone of the discussions. Is it dry and serious? Is it light and funny? Is it a tough and dirty place?
Once you feel comfortable with a forum start posting. Most newbies (that's what you are called when you first join up a forum) maybe hesitant to get into it, feeling they may make themselves look silly. There's no need. Most forums are very open and helpful to newbies.
Make sure you ask and answer posts as well. Don't just make a quick introduction and come back every other week, expecting leads to come your way. Visit every day, post welcome posts to other newbies, answer questions you know, even chip in with your views.
Sure enough, you will develop a reputation. Hopefully, one of a person that is helpful and knows what they're on about. This translates into an asset for your business. As you gain credibility amongst your potential market, the barriers to a successful business: building trust, are well ... being built day-in, day-out.
From a home business perspective, developing a forum strategy is a highly cost-effective way of marketing your business and building your credibility.
Conducted with a long-term view, networking via forums can lead to a strong and loyal customer base.
Martin Neumann is the publisher of HomeOfficeVoice.com ... for the internet-savvy home business entrepreneur, HomeOfficeVoice provides news, reviews and commentary in the world of online home business.