I had a call this week out of the blue from someone who needed Sage training. As part of our monitoring of new leads we always ask people how they came to hear about us, as I do quite a lot of networking and social media marketing and it is good to monitor how effective these are at bringing in new business. This person had done a Google search, and postings I had made on a forum had come up high in the results list so they followed the link in order to contact me at Silicon Bullet.
This seems to be the most common source of our enquiries these days. An IT services provider I met networking also said they had a problem with their Sage instant accounts and Googled “changing your financial year”, and again my advice post came up quite high on the list, even several months after the advice had been given.
The particular forum I contribute to mostly is UK Business Forums where I have been a member since 2009. I mostly hang out in the Accounting and Finance area, ready to give advice if anyone has a problem with Sage software. I have been able to ask for advice too when I have been unsure about something.
So without updating my website, and worrying about search engine optimisation, my name is coming up when people do a Google search, and what is more I am proving my credentials and expertise by the advice I have given. And I can quantify the new business I have had as a direct result.
Also you become known on the forums for the advice you give, so I have also had direct enquiries from other forum users for my Sage software and services, and I have had bookkeeping enquiries passed my way also; so there are two ways I have benefited from membership.
So think about where your expertise lies – is there a forum where you could share some knowledge? Who knows, it could pay dividends for you too.