Let’s talk a bit about networking – networking on forums to be accurate.
As most of us understand, networking is essential to achieve great success in internet marketing. It has numerous benefits, as well as it keeps it a little bit more “social”. When you network on forums, you actually speak with fellow internet marketers, and share knowledge and services. Which is usually a win/win situation.
I thought I’d share some tips on how to do this, since obviously not everyone totally “gets it”. At least that’s what I think after a few bad experiences in different forums, which have almost made me hate a few people. I’m not a hater though, so it doesn’t really matter that much with me, but others might be able, and willing to do BAD things to your reputation – which is something you must avoid at all costs!
So here’s the list of tips for networking on forums with greatest effect:
Send PM’s, and lots of it.
This will get you directly in touch with other people, and nobody knows what you are talking about, so you can be a lot more personal, honest and to the point.
And it’s always exciting to see if you have gotten any new PM’s each time you for example log in to the warriorforum, or trafficdrill, which are the 2 I use the most at this time.
Whenever I can, I try to help people. This does NOT include services that should be paid for, like webdesign, graphics, articles etc. but rather simple tasks they are unable to do on their own.
I personally try to help them to help themselves, but that’s not always the best either. And if I’m unable to help, I’ll tell them how to find someone to help them, or give them contact info to someone I know that can. I usually do “proofreading” of products before they are launched, and provide comments about what I like/don’t like, what I feel is missing etc. and tell them if I get any good idea’s they will benefit from. It’s really simple, useful for people, as well as it gives me free products! Now that’s a win/win already!
Next is that I have someone new in my network, who I can JV with later, or get to do the same for me if I need it. Pretty useful if you ask me =)
Tell people to PM you if they have questions about anything you have written.
This goes for most forums. By getting people to send you a Private Message, you will get directly in touch with them, and then you have it going.
Make sure you don’t “finish” your conversation too early by simply sending an “ending” PM. – A PM tham makes it harder to reply. I usually end my early PM’s with a question, so the people I talk with replies.
Then after a little while, we get to know each other a lot better, and find some shared interests etc. And I have a new contact! Simple as that really. And if they don’t reply… Too bad for them! They have lost the gift of having my creativity at their disposial for free. I just move on.
NB! Don’t abuse this technique! People will consider you annoying if you always reply with a question in the ending. You also need to have a medium-length message as well, and have useful content.
Ask people for people to contact if you need help.
This is just one of the ways you can use your network. Whenever you need help for something specific, ask someone you think might know someone good for what you need. You might even get discounts and improved services! – Contact us if you need rebates for a FANTASTIC web designer ;o)
Stay polite and helpful.
Essential,obvious, yet still worth mentioning. Always be like this, and people will like you, and gladly help you back if you need. It’s also good for NOT getting enemies.
You will get more credibility etc. etc… You get the point.
Here’s another thing about helping other people: you might not always get something back. Trust me, you won’t. There are also quite a few people you help, who won’t be that grateful. But remember that:
- You get a good feeling from helping people anyways.
- Whenever you’re helping people, you will start to feel better and better, and eventually consider yourself an expert.
- They might not have much to offer right now, but in time, they can become great internet marketers. And great internet marketers definitely remember who got them going in the first place, and will definitely help you if you need it.
“Show them what you got”. Focus on a few skills you’re good at.
Whenever you are talking to someone, make sure they know what you are good at, and which services you provide. You might even tell them directly, so they realize they can use you any time. This makes you one of the first persons to consider, when they need what you offer.
Make people know what they might need you for.
This is almost the same as the one above. But this goes for using your network as well. So if you tell them you know a great webdesigner, a good article writer etc., they will ask you for help, and you will be able to help them. This is beneficial both to the one they need, and the one needing help, since they get new customers, and might even become friends. – So your network becomes more “glued up”, meaning your friends are friends with each other as well, which is good for bigger projects.
Tell them why to use you (not 100% direct though).
Tell the people you are talking with, why they should use YOU instead of anyone else. It’s important not to be too forward on this one. You could for example say “Well, contrary to other article writers that charge $8 per article, I also do keyword research and I’m an expert at SEO, so my articles always rank high. That is why it takes a bit more time to write articles, and I have a few ones coming up, so I won’t be able to accept any new tasks before Tuesday.” This is an example for an article writer to discreetly tell people why they are better than others.
Not really a great example, but I hope you get the point. In this context, it could be when someone asks for a trade of services, like link-building for article writing etc. Note! Keep in mind that you should always be honest to the ones you do this with. Don’t make things up.
Answer as quickly as possible.
By answering PM’s and questions quickly, you show people that you are easy to contact, and they are more likely to provide you with tasks of importance to them. This is really important for most Im services, as marketers like to get things done fast and effective. And it’s always good to be accesible, in case they need adjustments at anything fast.
Give people links to websites they might need – it ups your usefulness and credibility.
Kind of self explanatory, but I’ll explain anyways =)
Simply give people links to websites you think they might need. Affiliate links lowers credibility, and regular links builds it.
However, very few people mind it if you give them affiliate links after you have given them great advice, as long as it is affiliate links to products/services you sencerely think they should get. And if you also give them your affiliate link and tell them it’s your affiliate link, along with a direct non-affiliate link, they will click your affiliate link 99% of the time =) I mean, what’s more credible than doing that?!?
Always be honest.
Tricking people into believing that you are and awesome copywriter or graphics designer will quickly show.
I can’t stress this enough. Honesty when networking pays you back tenfold.
If anyone asks you to write their sales letter, and you have never done it before – Tell them! Just say you have read a bit about it, but never have made one (if it’s true of course), but that you are willing to try. Then they won’t have as high expectations, and anything you do will be better than expected.
Have faith in people.
Paying before you get a service is not smart, getting paid before doing a service is not smart either.
By showing that you trust someone, they will trust you back.
So my tip here, is to not pay before you get a service, unless it’s from a famous service provider. – And they usually have 50% now and 50% later.
So paying after you get a service done for you, is what I recommend for smaller businesses, as there are dishonest people out there, as well as bad services.
But getting paid before you have done something for others is not a good idea either, at it puts a lot more pressure on you, as well as you can always protect your work anyways. – Like putting up a “sample” text on graphics in the jpeg etc. before you give it to your customer.
Give people reason to trust you.
For example in this blog, I slaughtered “the top secret magic code” which is something very few people do, because it converts so well and they’re greedy. The fact that I’m telling you about how I increase my credibility is another credibility factor as well! – Honesty all the way!
So give people a good reason to trust you, and they will.
Ask good questions, follow the forum rules, and search before you ask.
Simple guidelines to have success in forums.
Never brake the rules, never spam, post in the right section, and search before you ask simple questions.
This is really important, as there are a lot of people who will go mad if you don’t, and you might get banned, or get other disadvantages.
NEVER make enemies – They could easily ruin your reputation.
To ruin someone’s reputation online isn’t really that hard if you have a reason for it. Especially if you have some authority on a forum.
So whenever you “almost” get into a fight with someone on a forum, stop it. It will do none of you any good. And if they happen to be extremely stubborn, just apologize. That’s “the easy way out”, and you avoid any problems.
Now, I’m not telling you to not tell people about your own opinions, but stop it if it evolves to a fight.
That’s it for networking on forums!