GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central
In the beginning, the word on Social Networking was “forums.” Well, actually, that wasn’t the REAL beginning. That was just MY beginning as an Internet Marketer. And that was just a couple of years ago when the terms “Social Media” and “Social Networking” were only just beginning to be used and recognized.
At that time, when I was new to the wonderful world of online marketing, my marketing mentors recommended online business and marketing forums as a great way to begin building your brand and your presence on the Internet.
Like many other marketing newbies, I was slow to get involved with forums. I was timid, inexperienced and didn’t think I had much to offer. Besides that, I was all gung-ho to get my advertising message “out there” and I couldn’t see the value of spending time in discussion forums just “talking” about marketing methods: I wanted to be out there actually selling stuff!
Well, the “selling stuff” aspect of it wasn’t working very well and I soon realized there was more to marketing than just advertising. And that since there were so many aspiring entrepreneurs already pounding the World Wide Web hard with advertising messages, if a person wanted to be successful, they were going to have to do something different from the crowd.
That was when I began to recognize the purpose and value of social networking with entrepreneur forums; forums that catered to people interested and involved in all forms of business and marketing, home business and otherwise.
I realized that forums could provide me with inside knowledge about marketing that could give me the edge on other marketers. Forums were a gathering place for experienced marketers who had the scoop on popular market niches and how to target the most promising prospects.
I learned that online forums, as the forerunners to Social Media sites, allowed entrepreneurs to do a few important things that basic advertising could not do in the same way:
– Immediately socialize with a peer group of like-minded marketers;
– Gather valuable information and personal insight into the best practices of Internet Marketing;
– Develop a presence as either an expert or a preferred source in a particular niche;
– Best of all, advertise and promote products and services in a casual way that is both respectable and acceptable to that particular entrepreneurial community.
Those are the obvious benefits to joining and actively participating in an online business forum.
However, once you have joined a forum, there are some things you should do to help establish a firm foundation for success in the forum. In fact, you should do these things even before you begin posting comments. Briefly, they involve your forum profile, photo (avatar), signature, and becoming familiar with the forum rules. Once these are in place, you then commit to being an active, supportive contributor to the forum.
I will cover each of these elements in greater detail in Part Two of Social Networking With Entrepreneur Forums. Until then, even if you are happily involved in popular Social Media sites like IM faceplate and Facebook, do not overlook the great value that online business and marketing forums still have to offer. My recommendation: find a good forum and join it today!
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* Read "Social Networking With Entrepreneur Forums, Part Two" now
* You might also enjoy this APC blog post: A Friendly Entrepreneur Community
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