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Old 12-21-2010, 10:17 PM
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Question Providing remote services on other forums to felow forum members - need opinions

OK, I am on a lot of forums and in some cases I have been there almost 7+ years and have a lot of posts. I also know a lot of people on those boards. The thing is that none of these boards are tech related. For example, the forum I most frequent is a "survivalism" board which I found while searching how to properly compost and getting info on gardening. I looked around the board and found it was a pretty close group of people and they were all pretty much down to earth. So I stuck around and now have well over 1,000 posts and I have learned A LOT about being self sufficient, less wasteful and a lot of other things.

I probably have about 3-4 other forums like this, all with about 5,000-15,000 users a day, maybe much more depending upon the time and year.

Now most of these people are not very technically savvy so they are always asking dumb questions in the "tech zone". The simplest answer makes these guys get all anxious and they have to have someone do it for them.

So, I'm thinking this could be a great place to find some work to do remote admin. Having a good standing in the community makes things a lot better as well.

My question is, has anyone done this? Marketed your services on an online forum in which you were active? If so how did it turn out?

I'm a little hesitant as I have done a lot of discussion on politics and the news on the board I am thinking about and I dont' want some of what I say linked back to my company. It isn't really bad or anything and i'm sure I could edit it to make it sound more appropriate.

So, the bottom line is, does anyone else do this and if so, how do you go about recruiting from the forum to get clients?
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:38 PM
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Funny you should mention this. I used to own an apartment in Turkey and went twice a year for holidays. I belong to a Turkish forum and was a moderator for 5 years til now and have over 7000 posts. It was mainly about buying and living in Turkey and there is a section for computer problems. I usually get involved in helping out and have even remoted into computers in Turkey. This was before i started a business. Well the other day someone had a problem with their laptop and I said I would remote into them for free and have a look. I did and tweaked a couple of things and got her to order some memory. Well she fitted the memory and she was over the moon on how it was running and really sung my praises on the forum promoting my business and saying how much it would be beneficial to use my services. I have only just really started using Teamviewer in my business and am looking to start promoting it. So the answer to your question is no I haven't marketed it yet but it got me thinking.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:40 AM
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sounds like a good idea guys but teamviewer is only free for private use. I thought about the same idea myself.

What we need to do it analyze how much it will cost us monthly to use teamviewer and how the system works in terms of receiving payment from customers and how much we will charge per hour etc.

I also heard teamviewer 6 has this new feature where it remember the customers computer so if they needs service again you don't have to resend the password and ID you can just log in.

whats on you guys mind?
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:51 AM
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Forum Marketing/Relationships are really great, I have done it here on Technibble and this is a computer repair forum. I have a handful of techs that have called me to assist them or have referred certain clients to me. One tech and I just set up a long standing referral process to hand over 3-5 clients a week due to their coverage area. Any calls outside of their range, go to CTG as a referral for remote support. This tech here on Technibble, doesn't even have any posts. He has been following the forums with a username and has been following my posts, found me credible and there you go. Win for participating and being seen.

Here is my advice for the forums...
First thing you do, is build trust with the community, which you have done with your groups already.

Next, I would put your technical advise to the test by changing your signature to offer technical remote services. Maybe throw in a "group" discount of 15% or so for those that call.

I would first though talk to the owner of the board and ask permission to do that, but most don't care as long as it's not competing with their forum's theme.

Set up your remote support with good tools and online client agreements and easy ways to take payments. I would almost always do a pre-auth on a credit card with the virtual strangers. If you know the users from the forums, you may feel you can be a bit more comfortable and take the payment after the call.

Extra tips
Have firm rates
Track your time with the calls
Bill in 15 min increments

Forum Marketing is a great idea, especially since you already have a relationship with most of those people. In my personal forum usage, I don't tell those people what my business is, I keep it very private unlike my nibblewhoring here.

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Old 12-22-2010, 04:54 AM
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If it were me, I would never link my business name to yourself on that forum. I'm familiar with those types of forums, as I'm a member myself, and many people consider those places "extreme" and some in our government might even think we are the "real" terrorist. Obviously, there are going to be customers who wouldn't agree with your views or even your ideology, so I'd keep my business name out of it.

To be honest, I don't even post my business name on this forum. No need for my candid rants, ideas, complaints, markup structure, methods or anything else ever become public to my customers or even other local business owners without my consent.

I think the idea is great and if the forum admin would let you advertise or offer the service, I'd go for it. I would let people know you are a tech by trade and if they would like to see your website and know your business name, you could provide that when necessary via PM. I'd tell them why you don't want to post it, I don't think that would be hard for the avg. long term survivalist msg. board member to understand.

I say great idea, go for it!
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skillachi View Post
sounds like a good idea guys but teamviewer is only free for private use
I have a paid for licence
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Appleby View Post
If it were me, I would never link my business name to yourself on that forum. I'm familiar with those types of forums, as I'm a member myself, and many people consider those places "extreme" and some in our government might even think we are the "real" terrorist. Obviously, there are going to be customers who wouldn't agree with your views or even your ideology, so I'd keep my business name out of it.

To be honest, I don't even post my business name on this forum. No need for my candid rants, ideas, complaints, markup structure, methods or anything else ever become public to my customers or even other local business owners without my consent.

I think the idea is great and if the forum admin would let you advertise or offer the service, I'd go for it. I would let people know you are a tech by trade and if they would like to see your website and know your business name, you could provide that when necessary via PM. I'd tell them why you don't want to post it, I don't think that would be hard for the avg. long term survivalist msg. board member to understand.

I say great idea, go for it!
I'm glad you understand those survivalist forums. You answered my questions regarding those types exactly as I hoped someone would. I also think some of them might feel they are violating their "OPSEC", hehe. I also know what you mean about the government but i hope they don't look at all members that way as it is an open and free place for some good entertainment and fireworks! When you get ultra lib and ultra conservatives together you are bound to have some words!

Either way, I think I will try to market my business in a shadowy kind of way, if you know what I mean.. There are many ways to do that, such as starting a thread on things like "would you like to surf the web anonymously?" and see who replies. Ask those who are stuck if they want me to remotely set them up..
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