Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are You Using Forums to Build Relationships for Your Business?

As with any online networking, it’s all about building relationships. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I hold value and content marketing in the highest regard.

Adding forums to your online marketing mix in addition to Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking platforms, will further expand your contact base. How I use forums on a daily basis is devoting 30 minutes without any distraction. Meaning, I log in, participate, and make a point to wrap it up after 30 minutes. Do this every day and you will quickly see a positive return on your investment.

How you attract people’s attention and start building relationships with them is you. You are the platform and it matters a great deal the quality of your engagement. If you’re using it just to promote your products or get people to join your business opportunity, you will see very little results, if any.

You will gain more friends and eventually business if you use these platforms to connect with people and add some value to their business. The best way to use these forums is to let your signature do the marketing while you focus on engaging with others, without promoting your products or business opportunity!

Here are 5 free sources of traffic to promote your blog or website:

Better Networker

Better Networker is a high quality site with some of the most successful network marketers in the business like Mike Dillard. On a side note: my business has experienced a huge spike since I’ve started learning from him.

In addition to an active forum, there are a ton of useful information on network marketing in general. It’s a fantastic resource!

Ryze

Ryze is one of the early networking sites. It’s free to join and there’s also a paid membership that allows you to network with additional members. Although start with the free membership. You can set up a profile and start building a network within Ryze. WIN is a good group with active members that are very helpful.

WAHM

WAHM is one of my favorite forums with a lot of active members and lively discussions on a daily basis. Unfortunately you won’t be able to have a personalized signature until you’ve contributed at least 30 posts. The fastest way to get the 30 posts is to introduce yourself and replying to other threads. Keep it short so you can quickly build up the 30 posts to get a personalized signature. Your signature is your free business promotion tool.

Sales Moms Forum

It’s similar to WAHM. Again, lots of active members and another good forum. There’s a nice section on local expos and online events. Before you invest your time in any forums, make sure to participate in a discussion that’s the most current. You don’t want to add to a discussion from 6 months ago.

The Wahm Zone

The Wahm Zone is a little different from WAHM and Sales Moms Forum. You can exchange a link with the site and submit articles. If you’re starting out and want to get the most traffic for your blog, article submission is one of the most effective ways to get a backlink to your blog.

So there you have it, five free sources to get more traffic to your blog. Check out these sites too: MLM Forum, Warrior Forums, and Ning.

How are you using forums to build relationships for your business? Would love to hear your comments, questions in the Comment section.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

6 Quick Tips To Get Your Direct Sales, Home Party Plan Business on Google

For many direct sales, home party plan consultants starting out, knowing where to advertise your business online can be a challenge. If you’re a new consultant on a budget, here are 6 places to advertise your business for free. I’ve had good results with a few. Besides the fact that it will give your direct sales or home party plan business indexed on search engines like Google, it’s a great opportunity to get your name and business online, on a budget. You can always upgrade to a premium listing if you notice that a particular site generates quality traffic for you.

First thing first: make sure you’re able to use your company’s logo and your company’s name in the advertisement. Some companies have strict rules as to what you can and cannot promote in the ad. Be sure to check in the back office under policies and procedures before you start.

1. Merchant Circle

Merchant Circle is more than an advertisement. It’s a merchant community with these features: rate your favorite merchant, answer questions similar to Yahoo Answers, or add merchants to your network.

For example, if you’re in a skin care business, you can provide answers to questions like what’s a good skin care product for acne prone skin? You can even create a blog, newsletter and import your existing email list to generate a weekly or monthly newsletter and add a coupon to attract new customers, or offer to give away free skin care samples.

2. Link Referral

I’ve had good amount of traffic coming from LinkReferral. The concept built around LinkReferral is similar to network marketing and direct sales. That is, you’ll get the most out of your link if you review other sites and refer sites, and they review yours and refer yours, and so forth. There’s also the forum to network although I haven’t participated in it so I can’t vouch for the quality. I also like the notifications from LinkReferral whenever my site has been viewed or referred.

3. Hoobly

I like Hoobly’s clean format and ease of posting. There aren’t any bells or whistles like Merchant Circle but my ad consistently shows up on search engines and that meets the overall objective.

4. Oodle

Oodle is a lot like Craiglist where you can advertise but also buy and trade. The categories are diversified from real estate to buying tickets for sporting events. Oodle also offers services in other countries like Canada. If you have events or upcoming announcements i.e. product launches or product gatherings, consider placing an ad in this section.

5. Usfreeads

You can try Usfreeads however I found it a bit challenging navigating my way around that you might want to opt for the paid listing.

6. Craigslist

Craiglist is a household name so I don’t need to say much. If you’re posting a job, there’s a fee. Instead, consider using the event or class section especially if your company has upcoming events or if you’re hosting a coffee meet and greet in your area and want others to join you. Although I don’t know what sort of interest you’ll get but maybe worth a try?

Like with any free advertisements, it usually attracts a number of suspicious web sites. But if you want online exposure, get indexed in search engines, it’s wise to leverage these high ranking web sites to give your business some online visibility. And with any advertisements you incorporate, be sure to track it using Google Analytics or another service that you prefer, and see where traffic is coming from. You can always tweak it, or upgrade to a paid listing if you find one that consistently drives traffic to your web site.

This is just a partial list of places to advertise. If you have others you’d like to share with our readers, please share in the Comment section. Happy posting!

Also: remember to subscribe to my blog by RSS or by email and get more online tips.

For more success tips to attract quality leads to your business not offered on this blog, visit Marketing Direct Sales.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not sure which skin care is right for you? Check out these top skin care review sites

Finding the right skin care products for your skin type can be so challenging and if you’re using the wrong products, your skin will show it. I know because my skin is so temperamental since motherhood that there were times my skin’s temper tantrums were worst than my kids. Luckily, these days you don’t have to see a dermatologist and pay the big bucks to get diagnosed for minor skin problems. From WebMD and other skin care review web sites, the answers are within your reach. You will probably have to try several samples first to find the skin care products that work the best for your skin type but I think it’s worth your time if you want clear and healthy looking skin. Who doesn’t?

These top three skin care product review web sites are loaded with valuable information. From DIY (do it yourself) skin care to learning the basics of skin care 101, you will be in good “skin” as you search for the right skin care products for you.

1. Smart Skin Care

I really like Smart Skin Care because it’s an independent site that reviews products by consumers AND the web site does not sell any particular product. You won’t find ads, banners on this site, instead lots of relevant skin care information. There are articles on skin care research, skin care news, skin care forums and even a DIY skin care. If you’ve got the time and an interest in making your own products, you can download a DIY kit. There are reviews on direct sales, network marketing products i.e. Aloette as well as retail brands like Clinique and Proactiv.

2. Skin-care-reviews

Skin-care-reviews is also a good skin care site with a ton of articles on how to treat acne, women’s and men’s skin care issues, anti-aging and natural skin care and even skin care recipes to make your own products. I’m not that motivated to make my own but if you’re willing to try it, be sure to let me know if the recipes are effective or not. Like the above site, there are a lot of great articles and the information is listed on the right hand side of the web site.

3. Skin Care Resource Center

Similar to the first two, Skin Care Resource Center also offers a lot of great skin care articles with tips on anti-aging skin care products and the latest in skin care news but also a section just for men (yeah, they use them too). You can sign up to get the latest news and trends on skin care and tips for DIY at home. And if you love free samples, there’s a list of places that you can get free samples.

If the free samples on Skin Care Resource Center isn’t enough for you or don’t work out for some reason, be sure to get a free 5-day all natural and organic skin care products HERE. Who doesn’t like free samples?

If you have other skin care sites that you love, share it with our readers under the Comment section.