Marketing Your Ebook Business in Online Forums
The best promotional strategies target the perfect customers where they live. Online forums are ideal for this. However, while marketing your ebook business in online forums can be a great way to attract new business, you have to be careful to do in the proper fashion.
Here’s what you need to know.
Find The Proper Venues
Your first step should be to identify several forums directly related to your offerings. To find some, simply run a search for “(insert topic name) forum.” Once you’ve located a few that look promising, sign up to become a full-fledged member so you can comment on posts and generate new ones. Post your first message in the new member section to introduce yourself. Be apprised though, under no circumstances should your first message ever be a sales pitch. You’ll get a few welcomes and you can start interacting with the other members.
Learn the Lay of the Land
While forums represent an outstanding opportunity for self-promotion, if you walk in pushing your ebooks before demonstrating your presence is of value, you’ll find yourself (and your business) relegated to pariah status rather quickly. Take some time to get familiar with the forum to learn its mores. Read through recent posts and provide helpful answers to questions falling within the realm of your expertise. Make this a daily habit. The more active you are, the more attention you will attract, which will lead to you gaining a reputation as an expert more quickly.
Don’t Be a Big Fat (Insert Expletive Here)
Always keep it classy. Most forums do a pretty good job of keeping trolls in check, but you will occasionally run into people who think they know more than they really do and won’t be bothered to do any research to learn otherwise. When you’re challenged by one of these people, present your perspective in a respectful and professional manner, backed up by links to solid supporting material. Keep your discussions based on the facts and never resort to personal insults. Remember, you’re there to represent your business selling ebooks online and most forums are crawled by search engines. If you say something stupid, it will be all over the internet in minutes.
Monitor Your Posts Regularly
When you begin posting original topics (based, of course, upon the subject matter of your ebooks), keep an eye on them so you can answer questions as soon as possible. Most forums will send you a message when one of your posts gets a question or a comment. Your goal is to develop a reputation for being knowledgeable and responsive so people can ask you questions and feel confident you’ll reply with good information in a timely fashion.
Plant Your Flag
If the forum permits, add a signature line to your posts in which you include a link to your ebook store. Many forums will allow you to include the name of your business and even a bit about being an author or a seller of ebooks, as long as they’re related to the subject around which the forum exists. Just make sure this is cool where you are, as some forums eschew overt advertising efforts of this nature.
Right Place, Right Time
When marketing your ebook business in online forums, the most important thing is to be certain you’re talking to the proper audience within the established ground rules of the group. With forums, you can build a solid following for your ebook business without resorting to overt marketing messages if you pay attention to the culture and interact appropriately.