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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Use Business Forums For Maximum Benefit

Knowing More about Forums

Wholesaler forums are actually an online site where buyers and sellers discuss wholesale business. Through such forums, wholesalers get a chance to connect to a large population with the same interests. It makes it easier to collect information on lists of suppliers, new products, market trends, the latest scams, and more. Even if you’re well versed with the trade, you still need to visit the forums to know the latest developments in your niche.

Connecting with the right business forums works as a business booster. It prevents you from entering into blind agreements. You get a chance to ask questions on various aspects of business. You get valuable advice from experienced traders and business experts.

Don’t know how exactly to approach a buyer?

Doubtful about some business dealing?

Want help in choosing the right product to start your retailing?

Wish to check out a wholesaler?

The forum has it all and more.

One of the greatest benefits of forums is that you get to hear alarm bells ringing in case you’re dealing with a fraud. It can save you from undergoing traumatic losses in terms of money and reputation. Besides this, business forums also feature a section of archived articles, FAQs, and blogs that keep you updated and well informed in every aspect of dropshipping.

Using Forums Effectively

Wholesaler forums are effective, depending on how proficiently you use them. As you join a forum, you might sense a strong community approach among the members. Some of them might be business partners, yet others might be sharing a retailer-manufacturer relationship. Whatever may be the case, they are here to share priceless information and tips on different aspects of dropshipping.

When you sign in on of the business forums, you must put in the effort to know about the rules and guidelines of the community. Introduce yourself and try to connect with the members. It’s important to stay active in forums. Participate in discussions, create blogs, and showcase yourself as a retailer who means serious business. Only then you can expect serious advices and tips. Never hesitate to ask questions. After all, this is what forums are for-to clear your doubts and give you a platform to conduct trade.

Dropship Business

Scam Watch

Unfortunately, the Internet has also made it much easier to create scams, and many people, even experienced dropshippers, still get taken in. Today, a big part of keeping a wholesale business afloat involves being informed and aware of the different dropship scams that are out there. This needs to be a continuous process, as new scams keep cropping up all the time.

You also need to keep updating and reviewing your supplier information. You may need to weed out old dropship suppliers and make room for new ones. Apart from looking for new suppliers to work with, you should also keep looking for new and attractive products that you can sell. The dropshipping business can be very lucrative provided that you’re willing to invest the time and effort needed to make a profit.

No Short Cuts

It’s commonly assumed that, just because something is available on the Internet, it is fast and easy. This is an assumption many people have made with the dropship business. The Internet has simply emerged as an effective tool to use in this business. It has not made it easier or faster. Just as there are no real shortcuts to making fast money, there are no shortcuts to being a success in the dropshipping business. In order to make this business work for you, you need to know how to go about it in the right way. You will need to spend a considerable amount of time developing a supplier list. This should contain the complete contact information of wholesalers who have interesting products that you would like to sell.

It’s true that, in this instance, you can get a lot of supplier information from the Internet. But, a good business forum will advise you to collect supplier information from wholesale fairs and conferences as well. Many good suppliers simply may not have a strong presence on the Internet. It’s also possible to save time and buy these kinds of supplier lists or pay fees to access a directory of suppliers. In these cases, you need to make sure you know how these supplier lists are made and that the information is updated and reliable. It is best to avoid any free dropship lists or even cheap lists completely.

Information of Business Online Forum

If you’re not familiar with Yaro Starak’s blog, Entrepreneur’s Journey, then it is definitely worth checking out. For me, the best part of about the blog are the interviews with successful online entrepreneurs, usually in the form of podcasts. They have titles like “How So-and-So made $X Doing Y” and are both inspirational and are really meaty in terms of delivering information relevant to most of us and our businesses right now.

How Pat Flynn Lost His Job Then Made $203,219.04 In His First Year Online is the story of, well, I guess the title says it all. Pat’s first business was a study guide for a professional certification and the story of how he almost stumbled into it and then was smart and aggressive enough to turn it into a source of income is powerful enough, but what really gripped me was how he earned the credibility and promoted his product in the early days through participating in online forums. Pat says “I have a brand that people know about because I because I go to forums and I go to different blogs and I help people out and people know me as that guy that gave that great information… One tactic is to go into forums and just help people… you don’t even mention your project just by having your signature at the bottom with the link “for more information go here.” Pat has since branched out into many different businesses, which you can read all about in maybe the best online business blog on the web, SmartPassiveIncome.com.

James Schramko started out as an affiliate marker for a social networking software product. After getting his infrastructure set up, web sites, blogs with links back to the sales page to drive traffic, a demo project and a bonus product, James “rolled up the sleeves, sweated it out and went into the forums and started posting lots of valuable posts with signature links back to myself… and I started building up brand equity.” In other words, James utilized the forums to meet with influential people who were already very interested in the product. By genuinely helping people out James developed a reputation for being an expert and, even more importantly, a helpful and good person. People followed his signature link back to the blog and the blog back to his product. He has since branched out into many online businesses and, per Yaro, is making seven figures per year and absolutely crushing it. In addition, James blogs at InternetMarketingSpeed.

The effectiveness of forums lies in their ability to target active, decision making people in that are community (Malcolm Gladwell’s “three agents of change”) and to promote through the establishment of an honest, mutually beneficial relationship. The entrepreneur provides useful, honest information and in return gets access to and the chance to earn credibility with influential decision-makers. In addition, the entrepreneur gets free publicity and some search engine optimization as well, as forums are freely searched by Google and other search engines. Your forum comments remain in the public domain, as well as your online signature and, usually, a link to your own site. Post Release has an excellent white paper, an excerpt of which is below, on who users of forums are and why the average forum user is a much more important viewer than your average eyeball on the internet.

Most forums will offer the benefits above, but in addition some offer you the chance to submit articles or write reviews or other informative materials. Many will also offer a “coffee shop” or an area where members can go to discuss off topic items, tell jokes and socialize. This brings us to an additional benefit of forums, networking and becoming part of a community. Many entrepreneurs have met future partners, investors, collaborators and friends through the power of online forums.

Any decent online forum will have strict rules against spamming and will move quickly to stamp out any overt advertising, especially if it adds nothing to the conversation of the forum. This is absolutely to your advantage, because if you are trying to make a one-off, heavy-handed, used car salesman type sale then you are in the wrong place. The average forum user is pretty sophisticated online and very wary of spams. Instead, think of this as your opportunity to network, make alliances, and build up credibility in your personal brand. As Pat says in his interview, “I got to be known as that guy who helps people” on the forum that he targeted.

Many forums will rate community members, usually by their activity and the quality of the information that they give, and will post this information prominently. This is the forums method of rewarding its top participants and, should you become one of them, your way of getting some additional notoriety and credibility. Again, the absolute key is providing quality, sincere feedback. Avoid overt advertising at any cost. It normally is acceptable, however, to answer a question or provide feedback and then provide a link back to your own site for more information. Another online legend and genius, Robin Good, provides an exceptional guide to using online forums and the strategy, technique, and etiquette that you will need to follow to capture the magic of the forum for yourself.

Yes! The biggest knock on participation in forums is that they will consume your time and effort. You will want to find a forum that you can participate in daily, almost the more the merrier, to establish your expertise and your reliability. Really, forums are almost entry-level online marketing because of their huge time commitment. However, you’ve got to start somewhere and don’t overlook the usefulness of the forum for your own information. It’s a great way to keep track of what resources people are using, what concerns or problems they run into and what information they are looking for.

Coin of Marketing

This has always been rare in customer relations. Typically it is only the glowing testimonials that are shared with site visitors while any negative feedback is generally inaccessible. Forums allow both, but you may find that others who will champion your product or service may refute a disgruntled comment by one individual.

But negative comments in a forum also allow you to be very public about how you handle customer complaints. This scenario provides the opportunity to turn a potential negative into a highly visible positive experience for consumer and business alike.

The other side to the forum coin is trust marketing on a personal basis. What I mean by that is you may do well to find a select number of industry related forums to participate in. While this idea is not new most business owners who use a forum do not use it in a specific enough way.

Here’s what typically happens. A business owner signs up for an industry forum and makes a few posts with a fair amount of marketing information in their signature line. The hope is that this ‘free’ advertising will convince other forum members to come to the business website. If this simplistic view of forum marketing is how you approach the subject it can often come across as disingenuous or insincere. In fact, on some forums it may even be considered spamming.

If you, as a business owner, use a forum with links back to your website embedded in your signature line you should seriously consider engaging yourself in the forum community as your prime objective. Respond with helpful information when an individual posts a question you are qualified to answer. Include links to helpful articles when appropriate and act like a member of the community instead of that guy that puts sales flyers on car windows – obnoxious and disliked.

Forums are a great way to reach out to existing customers, but the use of peripheral forums can help establish trust with those who may have never heard about you or your company.

In a way similar to a blog you can use these industry specific forums as a means of allowing others to catch a sense of both your personality and expertise. When you actually engage in the community you signed up to be a part of you will get to know many of the personalities on the forum and become a trusted source for information as you encourage those who may need the advice and information you can offer.