The online market is an information-driven society which is one of the reasons that make forums highly popular. Consumers are getting smarter and most do not rely on one-sided product endorsements anymore. Most consumers rely on forums for exchange of ideas, to get answers to questions, and to find out the best products and services.
WHAT ARE ONLINE FORUMS?
In essence, an online forum is a virtual venue where ideas and views on a specific topic can be discussed. Most online forums follow a conversation-threading format where members can post on the message board either to say something new or reply to a previous post. People join these forums sometimes not just out of need for information but because they enjoy the conversation. We are social beings and forums serve as a great venue for socializing with people you do not know.
WHAT IS SELLING ON FORUMS?
Online forums are not really created for marketing purposes. But due to the traffic and popularity that forums have, a lot of sellers participate in forums in the hopes of promoting their products and services. The goal is not just to sell to forum participants, but to get the word out and reach a wider network.
Forums serve as effective venues for marketing because it is a meeting ground for like-minded people. From a business point of view, a gathering of like-minded people is similar to having a cash cow. It is just a matter of finding the right forum for the product or service that you are offering. With the perfect match, you can easily rouse the interest of people into buying your brand.
WHO SHOULD SELL ON FORUMS
If you have a product or service to offer as a freelancer and you have great people skills, selling on forums would be advantageous for you. For those who are not really great at speaking with people, just try to copy what other people are doing. Try to fit in to the forum first. Learn how they talk and see what common ground the members have. Try to be one of them so that you can get their trust.
HOW TO START SELLING ON FORUMS
Over the years, a lot of sellers have abused their privileges in online forums. Due to the nature of forums, most prohibit direct selling and promoting. Violating such membership stipulations may kick you out from the group.
If you have a page or website, the best way to go over the guidelines is to include your page’s link in your profile or signature. Your job then is to get members to view your profile or click your signature. Otherwise, posting your links directly on the thread may not be very beneficial for you.
EARNING POTENTIAL IN SELLING ON FORUMS
Similar to selling your products and services in other platforms, the bigger your network gets, the more sales you will have so it all depends on how well you promote your services. It may take less than a week to close a sale, but for a more steady income you may have to stay vigilant for a couple of months.
PROMOTING AND SELLING ON FORUMS IS GREAT FOR FREELANCERS
As a freelancer, you are basically on your own. You need to market your products and services to various platforms using different models. Selling on forums is one of these business models that when done the right way will help you build an entire network of customers. To learn more about selling on forums, check out the blueprints below.