The key to successful forum marketing is in your forum signature. Without a signature, how will you drive traffic to your site? Regardless of the value you offer in your comments and responses, you will be unable to monetise that goodwill.
A good forum signature will help members know who you are and what you do. If written well, it will also motivate them to contact you. And this is the whole reason for forum marketing in the first place, isn’t it?
What You’ll Want to AVOID in Your Forum Marketing Signature
It’s important to avoid every one of these five things in your signature. Learn more about Common Forum Marketing Mistakes.
- Too Many Links: Filling your signature line with multiple and irrelevant links will confuse your fellow members and maybe get you banned from the forum. Both results don’t help you reach your goal of building your business.
- Forgetting It’s Business: Don’t mix up your personal and professional forum profiles. While saying: Visit my blog at www.myblog.com is fine for a personal blog, links to your business blog need to be more professional. See more below.
- Don’t be Cryptic or Deceptive: If you sell multi-level marketing products, say that. If you sell Word Press plugins to monetize travel blogs, say that. If you are not clear about who you are, then you are not going to be able to build trust.
- Avoid Flashing Graphics and Emoticons: They are perfect for best friends and grand-kids, but they don’t build trust of any sort in the business world. Don’t ever use these in your forum signature.
- Being Too Casual: Even though you might be working at home in your fleece jammies and bunny slippers, your prospects want to think of you in a more professional way. Be sure that any language or images used convey professionalism, at all times.
Remember that the goal is to build trust and add value. Be as transparent as possible, and this will help people trust that you are who you say you are.
What You’ll Want to INCLUDE in Your Forum Marketing Signature
- Your Name: Should be pretty standard, but could be forgotten. You should use your full professional name, without nicknames, unless the nickname is part of your brand.
- Description of Your Site: A simple but concise sentence (or two) will help fellow forum members know what you do and who you are.
- Url of Your Web Site: In terms of search engine juice, its best to link from the description of your site to your site itself. For example, link the main key word in your profile to your site. It is more compelling than a link from “My Blog”.
- Other Contact Information: You may want to include your email address, and select social network links. Direct links are okay for most sites, but you’ll want to avoid publishing your email address directly. Email harvesting bots can collect your address and begin spam you. You could publish your email address as yourname (at) yourdomain (dot) com. Harvesting programs don’t recognize this as an email address, but your readers do and can use that to contact you directly.
- A Professional Photo: Not to formal, but not to casual. Somewhere between the business suit and the flower print shorts will be fine. Even if you are participating in a laid back forum, don’t be to casual or readers won’t trust you enough.