We all know, because Kim has taught us well, that a target market really isn’t a viable niche unless you can find those people gathering somewhere online. You’ve got to be able to connect with them – and not just the “them” that you already know. If you are going to grow your list and ultimately your business, you’ve got to be able to find new people and interact with the.
So, how can you find them? Where are they hiding?
Several years ago I was dealing with a family member with Parkinson’s Disease. In my search to find out about the condition, I stumbled onto a very active forum of caregivers. Some had websites in their signatures, or referenced helpful articles and blog posts. I was able to connect with people who met needs I didn’t even know I had because they took the time to invest in the forum.
I was like your potential clients. Needy and confused. The people I found were like you. Compassionate and helpful.
If you can find the right forums to frequent, and give consistent, helpful comments, you will attract people who are ideal clients. It won’t happen immediately, but we already know marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Finding forums isn’t as hard as it would seem. The major search engines are eager to help. All you have to do is put in your search term + forums. For example:
- parenting twins forums
- adults with ADD forums
- time management forums
- chronic pain forums
Got the idea? Pick a term that is descriptive of your ideal client or a need they have, and search for forums that address that issue. Check them out. Choose a couple of good ones, join, and be active.
Caveat: Don’t sell. Be helpful, and if you are allowed, add a link to your site in your signature line. Share good resources – yours and others’. Have fun.
Don’t expect immediate results. The person who needs you might not even be on the forum yet. But she’ll show up, and she will read all the great value you have added, and she’ll be hooked.
You can do the same thing with blogs, though it may take longer to become established as a go-to person, particularly as a commenter on someone else’s blog. You can, however, ask if you can write a guest post if you find a blog that has a pretty good following and it resonates with you.
And you would search for blogs that reach your target market the same way. Keyword + blog.
Where to search?
Try something new. If you always use Google, try searching on Bing or Yahoo! or Dogpile or DuckDuckGo. You never know what you might find!!
What’s your favorite and/or most effective way to connect online with your niche?