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The answer in my case is: "yes". I have earned business, but as a result of establishing new long-term
relationships and earning trust over time, not 'quick fixes'. I view this forum as an opportunity to share
useful information and valuable expertise. I always try to respond from the point of view of the author of any particular post, supplying him/her with some specific information or help pertaining to the issue he/she raised in their post. If that should happen to lead to business...great. Otherwise, that's fine too...the satisfaction of helping someone and in the process hopefully cultivating my reputation as a caring professional certanly is a good thing. That's why I have always objected to those who place posts only from THEIR point of view, always to sell something they have to offer, with no pretense of answering a question or offering helpful info. After all, I think this forum was designed to be an idea and information sharing platform, not a spam-fest.
Hey Amspcs stole my answer!! (joking)
I'm here for the sharing of information more than the finding business opportunities also. I have been fortunate to work with two members who really get how I believe a business should approach marketing and advertising.
I think if more of members adopted the stance that Amspcs has express this forum would be a better help for all. There is way too much blind and indiscriminate selling.
Great answer Amspcs, I wish I had written it.
No, I haven't.
Like the others, I'm more into this forum for sharing ideas and insights. The trick is to view these forums as networking vehicles. If you can demonstrate your expertise in the the type of business you run, or in running a business per se, readers of the forum posts will have you top of mind when and if they do need the services you offer.
Granted, there are some participants who abuse the forums for blatant selling (mostly people pushing multi-level marketing schemes), but there's still lots of participants who offer great tips and information.
Keep a long-term view of using these forums and you won't be disappointed.