Right before social media platforms took everyone by storm, there were forums where like-minded people can discuss certain topics. It was also a place wherein your most curious questions can be answered without any certain prejudice—everyone was just out there to help each other out. With social media connecting us now more than ever, online communities are more widespread. Online forums are still there but they have taken an entirely different form which are more user-friendly even to those who are just starting to learn how to use the Internet.
For starters, Reddit is a great platform for an online community wherein specific topics of your preference are discussed in a forum thread. In there, you can ask questions, answer questions, raise a concern, as well as promote your products and services freely.
The same goes for LinkedIn and Facebook, there are groups that you can join to discuss business, tech, agriculture, real estate, and entrepreneurship. Even more famous entrepreneurial figures create their own groups so they can easily huddle and notify their audience regarding a new blog post, new video, a book about to be published, or a new podcast to be uploaded.
Online communities are the go-to places to discuss problems you may encounter along the way as you venture into the world of entrepreneurship. You are bound to find the answers to your questions. It's also important that you just don't post on the groups for the sake of promoting your business, because like an actual community—it's all about contribution. So it's important that you build a rapport and actively contribute to the community without having to mention your business every single time.
Q: "So when can I promote?"
A: You have to find the balance wherein you are contributing to the online community as well as actively and passively promoting your business when the context is appropriate for it.
Oh, and of course, you can join these online communities for FREE! That's the beauty of everything I have listed here, how you don't have to spend a dollar just to promote yourself.