Friday, December 07, 2007

For Website Marketing: Back-Door Strategies to Stand Out From The Crowd

As a web site marketer these days, in the 21st century, you have to work harder than ever to stand out from the pack. Everybody’s sending out ezines. Nearly all of us hold teleseminars.

Add your ezine and teleseminar and you’re joining a parade down Main Street. Sometimes you can generate leads even more effectively if you also run through the alleys and knock on back doors.

Often these back-door "sneaky" strategies seem too easy to be effective. But simplicity can be deceptive. You need to plan carefully to avoid wasting time. Used incorrectly, the back-door approach can backfire. You have to play by rules that change overnight and that aren’t easy to figure out.

Strategy #1: Contribute to a discussion list related to your topic.

For lead generation, join a group whose membership matches your target market as closely as possible. Choosing the right group can be challenging. For example, you may be eligible to join a forum after attending a workshop or purchasing a manual. Or you may pay to join a mentoring group. These groups create forums and discussion lists directly related to your interests, but moderators tend to be extremely cautious about self-promotion.

You can also search through yahoo or google for groups. For example, you can search on "professional women discussion list" or "work at home dads discussion list." Some websites feature lists of discussion groups, often arranged by topic. Searching through listings takes time but, with patience, can produce some good results.


Once you join a forum or discussion lists, it’s a good idea to "lurk" for awhile. Get a sense of the group’s mood and style. Introduce yourself. Evaluate your responses. If you sense a lack of interest (and occasionally even hostility), consider withdrawing from the group.

The challenge is to draw a fine line between contributing proactively and becoming a nuisance. Success depends on finding just the right blend of asking questions and providing expertise.

Example 2: Write reviews for online bookstores.

As an avid and eclectic reader, I began writing reviews for one of the online bookstores. Originally, I was just having fun and actually felt guilty for taking time from my "real" work. I wrote about everything: mysteries, business books, nonfiction.

To my surprise, these book reviews began to attract subscribers, clients and invitations to be interviewed by professional reporters and writers. Recently one of my reviews was quoted in a blog, giving me valuable (and totally unexpected) publicity.

When these readers came, they were highly motivated. Unlike readers of ezines, they were prepared to pay or resources. After all, bookstores don’t give away books! I suspect many hold a credit card in one hand as they surf with the other.


Choose best-selling books related to your topic -but not exclusively.

Write carefully, using correct grammar and style. I’ve found that I get the most response by being edgy but thoughtful, and not too long or too short.

Follow the guidelines concerning what you can disclose about your business. Your review can be edited or removed entirely if you appear to be selling or if you use inappropriate words.

Bottom Line: Often we find our most successful back-door strategies by accident. But applying those strategies callsapplyin for planning, flexibility and responsiveness to change.


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