We all know that Internet is a great marketing tool. A website can be a very profitable means of marketing your product or service, and advertising on other people's websites can be very effective as well, but that isn't where advantages stop. Business oriented bulletin boards, discussion groups and chatrooms are all over web, and while they aren't traditionally looked upon as marketing tools, they can be a great way of getting word out about your business.
1. Bulletin Boards:
Bulletin boards are lists of questions or statements and responses in your area of interest that can be viewed on web, usually in a bulleted list format. Do a search, and then read through several bulletin boards that might appeal to people who would buy from your business. Once you're comfortable with format, offer a suggestion, give an opinion, or post a question. Be sure to include your full name at bottom of your post along with your web address and a line that gives a reason for visiting your site. I usually sign my notes:
Kevin Nunley 10,000 marketing tips at http://DrNunley.com
After your posts have appeared regularly for several weeks, people will begin to see you as someone who is involved and ready to help, and they'll check out your website. A new customer is born.
Now, some people say that bulletin boards are declining. Don't listen to them, though. As people are growing more comfortable with web and getting involved with more and more sites, they simply aren't posting as much. That doesn't mean they aren't reading. I recently added a brief tip to several discussion groups that seemed to be a little slow. The results were actually really great. I tracked a number of people clicking from bulletin board to my web site, far more people than had posted in days since my original post.
2. Discussion Groups:
Being recognized as an expert in your field can really boost your sales. When people know you can help their situation with experience and knowledge, they'll come to you, and they won't mind paying for whatever you suggest.
One of Net's best tools to turn yourself into a recognized expert in your field is discussion groups. These can be UseNet newsgroups (check with your Internet Service Provider for how to find them) or they can be discussion groups on web sites. There are also email discussion groups, sometimes called listservs or majordomos.