How to Build Your List From Groups
Groups, forums, discussion boards and online communities offer great opportunities for email marketing. Well, for building your list, that is!
If you're looking for a place where you can build and grow a list, then these can be a fertile resource with numerous benefits. Here I'll list some of them and give you tips on how to use them more effectively.
What Are Groups? And How to Find Them
A Group is an online community where the members discuss what they have in common. There are literally hundreds of Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Truly, pick a topic and there is a Group for it. People post questions, post discussion topics and throw ideas back and forth. This is a great place to meet like-minded people and to get and share information.
Whenever you get a group of people together with a similar interest this is always going to look like a nice, big, juicy target for an internet marketer. Thus, these Groups tend to be on the receiving end of a lot of marketing and a lot of spam.
First you find a Group that is focused on something you know about. Again, whether it's a hobby or related to your business, the Group should be where you can share your knowledge and learn from others. You will be participating in discussions, commenting and sharing links to appropriate content that supports your comments.
If, after you've joined, you right away post a link to your landing page, you can bet that you're going to get deleted and banned. Oops. Instead, you need to become an active part of the community and provide some value of your own. Contribute to the discussion, answer questions and demonstrate yourself to be an authority on your subject.
Then, only promote your landing page or offer when it comes up naturally. Sometimes, a Group admin/manager will have specific days where everyone in the Group is invited to share a link to their business/offer/landing page. Share away! Other Groups have specific rules regarding the sharing of links, so please follow those rules. This way, people will know they can trust you and like you. You'd be surprised what a lot of good a little good will can do – you may even find that they help you to promote your list!
Forums still exist. They're the old bulletin board style of communicating. Where someone posts a Discussion and others comment, but the comments are their own ‘box' of information. Forums are really specific to a topic and if you don't follow the rules, trust me you will be banned. And, forum members tend to be very protective of the platform and will often call you out on other places on the internet if you behave badly. Proceed with caution, follow the rules, participate in discussions. If allowed to have a signature then add your URL to it so that every time you post it appears as part of your name/signature. Generally speaking, Forums do not allow you to promote your business/offering/landing page. But, because it is a place where people who are dedicated and knowledgeable about a topic gather, it's a good place for you to be.
I belong to many Groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. I belong to a few Forums, some on Reddit, some on private platforms. I also belong to some private discussion groups that use only email. I follow the rules and have developed terrific relationships with people, some who refer business to me, others who express interest in what I offer. I encourage you to join Groups that fit you and to be active. Do it right and your network will grow as will your email list.