LinkedIn Groups, Quora and HighTable are all great Q&A forums that allow you to demonstrate your expertise – and demonstrating your expertise and thought leadership is a great way to generate leads and find new clients.
1. Answer questions
Yes, this is probably obvious, but if you want to really make an impression, you have to go beyond a simple, one-sentence answer. You should back up your answer with statistics or examples of how you’ve successfully done x for clients. Offer tips on how they can do x, along with alternatives they may not have considered.
2. Comment on other answers
If you agree, explain why. If you don’t, be polite and civil while you explain why it might be better to do x this way instead of that way. As above, if you can offer tips on how to do x, all the better.
3. Look for questions on related topics
In business, there is a lot of crossover from one topic and area of expertise to another. Take marketing. Though I am a copywriter and editor, and I know a great deal about social media, branding and marketing strategy. Look for questions on topics that are related to your area of expertise to broaden your reach.
4. Visit forums routinely
As with any part of your marketing strategy, consistency wins the day. Just as you make time to check email and post on your business’s social media accounts every day, visit forums and answer questions on a regular basis, whether it’s once a day or once a week.
If you want to delve into forums deeper, you could start your own forum. However, this is a bit of time commitment that requires continual marketing and engagement. If there are no forums on your topic of expertise, though, it might be worth trying out.
Have you successfully used forums to generate leads? What tactics did you find worked best?
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