Local business owners can grow their email list tremendously by joining online forums related to their niche. So many forums exist on the internet as likeminded people gather together to share and help one another in areas of common interest. By joining these forums, your local business can gain a lot of insight into the real needs of your target market and as you actively participate in the discussions you can provide links back to your website.
Here are 3 ways to find online forums
1. Type in the word “niche forums” into any search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing, where niche represents your local business keywords. For example if you run a school, then you can type in ‘school forums’ or ‘PTA Forums’ (parent - teacher association). If you are a cosmetic surgeon, you would type in ‘cosmetic surgery forums’, ‘beauty forums’ and so on
2. Go to Google Groups and select the category that relates to your local business. Continue drilling down further in the ensuing windows specifying the size of the groups, their location, the languages used and so on.
3. Log into your Facebook account and using the search option, type in your local business keywords and press enter. Once the search results appear, click on Pages on the left hand side of the screen and this will filter the search results so that only Fanpages appear. From the list choose fanpages that would benefit from your local business.
Once you have found a forum, sign up by creating an account or ‘like’ the Facebook Fanpage.
Create your signature link. This is a line of text that always appears at the end of your post. It should have an appealing and relevant headline and text link to your websites squeeze page. For example, if you are a hair stylist , your signature might be “ How to get the perfect hair style." Always follow forum rules. Contact the forum moderator and find out if you can insert links to your local business website, so that you don’t get suspended from the forum. Usually you need to have been a forum member for some time who has positively contributed to the group before you can start posting links
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