Forum marketing is definitely a cost-free method of marketing your business. In fact, this is one of the reasons why forum marketing is so popular with small businesses. If you have recently started a home-based business or have a small business and need targeted audience then forum marketing is one of the best options you have. How do you get started? Here are some useful tips:Tip #1: Finding the right forum. Forum marketing is effective only if you are targeting the right customers. You will find your target audience in forums that are relevant to your line of business or product or service. Hence, it is essential to find the right forum for marketing your small business.Tip #2: A Signature line is a must. A signature line consists of 2-3 lines of text that shows up with each of your postings on a forum. In order to make your forum marketing strategy effective, your signature line should contain your name, a small tag line, and your website URL. This will help your targeted audience to link to your website with ease.Tip #3: Participate consistently. Once you are enrolled or registered in a forum, you need to participate in sharing of information. This is extremely important otherwise it will become an “out of sight – out of mind” situation. The more consistent you are with your forum postings, the higher your visibility. The more visible you are and your signature line, the more the traffic to your website.Forum promotion is an effective method of internet marketing and if you follow the tips then you can get high volumes of traffic to your website without spending a penny.
1. Know Your Market.To succeed in your home based business start up, find out what your customers want and give it to them. Ensure there is a demand for your product or service by carrying out market research. Know who your target market is. For example, will you be selling to local people or small businesses.Tip: Have a dedicated space in your house for your business and keep it completely separate from your home and family life.2. Be Original and Different.There are a lot of boring companies and products out there. Use original thinking and novel ideas to leap ahead of the competition. You can be different in the way your product is delivered and packaged or add a feature that no one else offers.Tip: Do not try to be different by having a lower price. Add value to your product or service and charge accordingly.3. Pricing.Build in all of your business costs into the pricing of your product or service. That must include marketing and advertising costs, travelling to visit clients, your salary, professional fees and how many sales you hope to make for the effort you are making.Tip: The right price is what your customers are willing to pay and should not be based on your operating costs.4. Decide How Your Business Will Operate.What is your home based business start up going to do and what does it need to do in order to succeed. Do you need a production line, stock or storage space. Are you going to provide a service, if so what tools and equipment do you need.Tip: Try not to buy brand new. Borrow or use free promotions and 30 day trials.5. Selling.As an entrepreneur you will be wearing many different hats, salesperson being one of them. Decide on your method of selling: Is it going to be phone, online, direct or affiliates. Once your business is turning a profit, you should aim to spend at least 50% of your time selling.Tip: Do not take rejection personally. It is a part of business.6. Business Management.Know what is working and what is not working for your home based business start up. You must keep on top of taxation, insurance and accounting. How will you manage the work flow if the business does better or worse than expected. If the business takes off will you need more staff. If so, where will they come from and how will you train them.Tip: Cut out that part of your business which is not making money. Do not be emotional about it.7. Financial Planning.Always do a cash flow forecast to determine your home based business start up costs. Can you carry these start up costs until cash comes in. If not will you need funding. When forecasting do not assume or guess. Base your figures upon experience. Yours or somebody else’s.Tip: Cash is king. Keep an eye on cash flow and make sure your customers pay you on time. Do not give credit unless you absolutely have to.8. Funding.If you need to raise funding for your home based business start up, consider the following sources: Your own savings, credit cards, bank overdraft, venture capitalists, business angels (wealthy individuals) or banks. You may be able to obtain government cash or cash in kind, in the form of training or innovation from the government.Tip: borrowing from family and friends can be more trouble than its worth. Look at other alternatives first.9. Outsource.When you begin your home based business start up, you will be doing all the jobs yourself. But as soon as money starts coming in, start to delegate. This can be in the form of outsourcing the mundane tasks to others. For example, your charge out rate may be $35 per hour. Outsourcing a particular task may only cost you $20/hour.Tip: Think like the business owner, not the employee. Cut costs.10. Wealth Mindset.Having a wealth mindset involves having a burning desire to succeed, faith in yourself and the business and perseverance, amongst other things.Tip: You must acquire this vital quality or you will fail.