Key steps for building yourself as an “expert”, selling a product, or just someone to respect for answers to their question at an online network or forum.

First of all, pick two or three forums or networking sites that you genuinely want to spend time participating in and adding commentary.

Steps to follow when you join a forum or networking site:

1. Set up a readable, attractive, eye catching, profile page with your photo
2. Let people know who you are, your name, your likes and dislikes. Let them know you are a real, live, and caring person.
3. Show up and be counted on to contribute consistently in your area of knowledge. Be an active member in certain groups – jumping from group to group (or network) will not build credibility
4. Set up a signature line to go with your posts to mention website and/or blog
5. Longevity and number of posts -- people do check how long you have been there and how many posts you make
6. Reach out to those with similar interests and start making friends
7. Avoid controversy early on. It is ok and even advisable later to stir things up a little bit. Just being a fly on the wall saying great post to everyone doesn’t work either.
8. When making new contacts concentrate on building the relationship and helping them. Do not start out a relationship with a blatant ad because it will not go anywhere so don’t other.
9. Go back to step 3 – Show up and be counted on to contribute consistently in your area of knowledge and you will gain a following

Forum marketing can be very beneficial and just like in person your first impression is very important so make it a good one. If after awhile you find you are just not fitting in be sure to move on. Don’t waste more time hanging out with the wrong group.

The plan is to spend 30 minutes to two hours a week for at least a month and then evaluate and see where it is going. Happy Networking.

All the Best,

Mark Nehs

Author's Bio: 

Mark Nehs is the founder of Best Self-Help where you will find the Best Self-Help products of all time. Mark is a expert, founder at Beginners Marketing Class, and successful entrepreneur.