Don’t Be an Expert–Get Personal!…
1. Identify forums and lists in your industry. Head over to Google.com and do a search on “NICHE forums.” Be sure to replace NICHE with the name of YOUR niche, such as writing or crafting.
Then go to groups.yahoo.com and groups.google.com and find a few email lists in your industry. Look both at the number of participants and at the frequency of updates. For best relationship results, choose smaller, more active lists or forums over larger, inactive communities.
2. Create a relationship profile and register for each forum or mailing list, so you’ll be eligible to both post and receive messages. You should also link to your site in your profile signature line if that is permitted, although it’s not essential.
Build the level of trust and relationship with individual members by sharing and responding to personal information, and by keeping track of what is going on in their lives.
4. Be sure to reach out, only once you have established yourself as a community member and feel like you’ve got a “relationship” with a handful of people.
The goal is not to “sell” them anything at this point, but to show them that you are attuned to their wants and needs. Try a simple note saying, “Hey, I know you’re interested in scrapbooking. I’m starting an online class next week that you might be interested in!”
Only based on their individual preferences or concerns, send them a direct link to a resource that will be of interest to them. This resource could be on your site, or even on someone else’s site.