People often forget an untapped market for your products is a wealth of forums and discussion boards filled with potential buyers of your products. These prospective buyers join forums for many different reasons. They could include social contacts, the search for solutions to problems and the hunt for great bargains offered by other members.
When you do any search for a list of forums you will see several thousand on almost any subjects you can imagine. You have an unlimited audience worldwide to choose from so you have the opportunity to easily sell products to niche markets all over the globe. There can be millions of forum members looking for solutions to their problems and they will buy products that provide those solutions.
As you visit forums and look for potential buyers to market your products, there are several protocols to keep in mind. When you get started and register with the forum don’t immediately start promoting your stuff. That will get you kicked off the forum or labeled as predatory and not professional. Start by becoming an active community member by helping “neighbors” with answers to their questions or links to resources.
As you become established, add a link to one of your products in your forum signature. People are very curious creatures in forums and that will get many to follow the link just to see what you are up to. After a reasonable time, you might post a special offer on one of your products just for forum members. Forum moderators usually will allow exceptional deals posted for their members because they want to keep their members interested.
Don’t be bothered by the forums deeply discounted price. You can always raise your price by the same discount percentage you are offering forum members on your website. Many will check your site to see if your offer is a valid discount. While you are running your forum discount, you might pick up some sales at the higher price from your website.
Once your forum sale is over, adjust your website price, or not. Your increased price on your website might have made your product seem more valuable to those customers. Be sure to limit the time for your forum discount and state the time limit in your offer. It will provide a sense of urgency to the offer.
Also remember that adding a good selection of useful bonuses will increase your sales. Everybody likes to get free items they can use and forum members are no exception. If you’ve been active in the forum for any time at all, you will discover the questions and problems other other members regularly post and will have a working list of reports and ebooks you can write or purchase as bonuses.
If you are providing better than good customer service, it will go a long way with your customers. Because when you market in a forum, people will expect quick responses to their questions and will normally provide instant feedback to your offers. Members will also give their honest opinions of the usefulness or value of your products, without holding back on what they think.
They will also ask lots of questions, even ones you have already answered in one way or the other. If you start getting lots of questions about your product, check your sales copy for gaps in the presentation and rewrite it if necessary. Always answer all questions directly, politely and immediately, including emails.
I can think of at least three things that can really irritate your customers. Making a customer jump through idiotic hoops when they ask questions, not having All their questions answered and getting impersonal canned answers that don’t deal with the actual questions they asked. Believe me when I say that forum members will tell others when they get good service or bad service. I am sure you can think of other reasons as well.
Always remember that in the service industry, the perception is the customer is always right. If a refund is necessary, do it immediately. Making a customer jump through hoops to get a refund from you is a good way to lose customers. In the case of conflicts, a private email or phone call will do more good than harm and it avoids the gossip and sniping that can spread like wildfire on a forum. Use your common sense here.
Do you remember when you were selling lemonade to your neighbors from a table on the side walk? Or how about going door-to-door offering your neighbors the chance to buy calendars or seeds for a school project? Your neighborhood has just expanded to cover the entire planet. Now go market to it.