Joining forums, social groups and mastermind circles can be very beneficial to your online business. Obvious benefits include business networking, sharing resources, and getting help as you grow your business.
There’s the added benefit of business socializing with like minded professionals, which is a big plus when you work alone from a home office.
But when should you choose to join a paid forum, a membership site or a paid group of any kind? There are five reasons you might find it advantageous to do so…
1. You’ll find a higher quality of people in paid groups such as action takers, serious entrepreneurs, and professionals that are actively interested in networking and sharing.
2. There is a higher level of support, both from the group admin and your fellow members. You’ll generally find paid forums to be very tight knit and supportive groups, as they’re more invested in themselves and in each other than members of a free group.
3. Paid forums are private, which means you won’t have trolls or spammers to deal with. You can also talk openly about your business knowing the search engines can’t index your discussions.
4. The quality of information and resources is almost always better, as the content is more controlled and more heavily moderated.
5. You may also consider joining a certain group if there are specific perks to membership that benefit your business such as quality job boards, private joint venture offers, co-promotion opportunities, etc.
If you’re looking for a place to network, socialize professionally, get quality help with your business and have access to trusted resources… a paid group is your best bet.
Often in public forums or groups you’ll run across a lot of fly-by-night business owners, and people who are only interested in spamming or promoting their business – which can be time consuming (and annoying!) to wade through.
Of course, even with a paid forum there are several things you should consider before you decide to join. See: Need Online Marketing Help? Be Cautious!
I would love to hear about your personal experience with both public and private forums or groups that you have joined. How many do you belong to, and which do you find most beneficial for your online business growth?