During my years in communities, I have helped in different Promotion Forums, some well established and some just created. I have also just joined as a member. I don’t have years of experience in high staff position ranks, I mostly volunteered as a packager an reviewer, but while I have little experience administrating this kind of places I have joined enough communities to notice some patterns, some mistakes that owners tend to do quite often with their promotion communities. Today I bring you 5 common mistakes I see time and time again new Promotion Forums make.
1. Lack of Passion and knowledge
Like any other niche it needs to be something you like and feel passionate about so you can carry on even when you’re at your lowest in motivation. It has to be something you have a decent knowledge so you can keep the forum going. Many people jump in thinking only in what they will do once it becomes successful. They are thinking about how they’ll have ad revenue or make money out of it, but are not really passionate or know enough about the subject to stick with it and create a model that can work. Usually the owners get frustrated really quickly and kill their communities before they can offer anything worthwhile.
2. They are not unique enough
This might sound like nitpicking at first glance, but it is not. Some people, amazed with their first Forum promotion experience, will try to replicate it by making their own community. Nothing wrong in drawing inspiration, but if you look just like the ‘big guys’ and offer nothing new, what would make people to choose you over the already established ones?
You need to make an impact with layout and unique services. Layout is part of your brand and with so many communities with similar names you need to stand out.
Some years ago I was a member and helped in a place called “Advertise Hotspot”. Advertise hotspot was bright, using red and yellow colours and a big sun in their emblem. If you had visited AH you would remember. At that time it was very common to use forum plus another word for ‘meeting place’, so the name also stood up a bit. The owner was friendly and hyperactive when it came to motivate us and to advertise everywhere. He was a full member in other forums yet never fell short in advertising out and preparing big surprises, contests and more back in his community.
You don’t need to invent something big, you just need to make sure you are giving something they cannot get elsewhere. What are other promotion forums missing? What could be done better? What is something that you wish you could pay for ?
You also have to ready to adapt over the years, if something is not working or can be done better, do it. If your unique idea resulted cumbersome or impractical, kill your darling or at least tweak it.
3. Disproportional Point System
This is a fairly common error I see new Promotion Communities that offer services making over and over.
A) They give very little points per post or thread and charges an excessive price for their deals.
I don’t know if it is greed or bad maths but someone joining to use your services might not seem worth it to post 200 times just to be able to qualify for the cheapest package or text link, knowing that it will be months before even being able to approach the same little deal or suck it up and wait even more months to gather enough points for the package. The thing is, they need your big deal now. That is why they are here. If they can’t feel that what they want is approachable or worth the amount of effort they are pouring into it. Why would they stay?
B) The give way too many points or the services are way too cheap for the effort it involves to be completed.
Perhaps stung by the opposite thing some administrators want to make their bundles of goodness available for everybody with very little effort. Now the strain is in your service team members. If members can order the top package often they will. If you need 15 days after the last completion you can be sure they’ll be there at day 16th. This means a lot more demand that your team is capable of handling so the quality goes down or the time to complete it goes up, either way your service-staff will most likely burn out and quit.
So it is a tricky thing to find the balance. You want the simple packages to be very easy to pay for, so you have a constant influx without them being too much of a hassle. You can even add a few freebies to serve as a hook to newcomers into what you offer is a good idea, but you have to make sure that the most complete versions of the services you offer mean some effort to achieve and offer more than just repeating the smaller ones.
4. Launching without service Staff.
Pretty common. They prepare the areas and the rules but launch with the zones ‘temporarily closed’ while they fetch some staff. Their logic being they can reward active members with the position. Unfortunately the zones closed minimises your opportunities to leave a good impression or attracting members taht see a point in posting more than their advert and leave.
5. Launching without having tested their model
When your community is out you need to make sure it is ready and taht it is working well. If you use a point system it has to be balance. it should be enough to motivate users to post and ask for your services. So I recommend you to have a few beta-testers, the first regular members of your community taht you bring by invitation to generate content and ask for your services. They will tell you if you are charging too much if the service is not attractive, if there are any bugs. Until you try to put the first advert or complete a service you might not be aware of little bugs or thing you forgot that needs to be corrected before you launch.
Of course this aren’t the only reasons, but they are some I have seen often enough. if you want to make your own Forum Promotion community, make sure to plan it, to make it fair for your members and service staff, taht you have enough hands from beginning and do not advertise it until it is completely ready and fully operational.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try something new.
Another nice incentive when you’re starting out is to have a launch promotion, where people can get a certain service free for a limited time. Something that worked for me was giving a free service (they could choose between review or package) to the first 20 people that joined my community. It helped for people to see what we were offering as those first orders serve to showcase to the indecisive people what they will be getting.
As a member, be helpful and let them know when there is something bugging you, it may be obvious to you, but Staff easily overlook things because of their position.
I hope you enjoyed today’s rant. Feel free to share your own experiences with promotion forums, maybe I missed a big mistake they do and you can tell us about it in the comments. You know I love reading you, guys.