Public Forum Etiquette/appearance - Business

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Hey there.
I notice some people use this forum for business promotion, and aiding in getting to the top of the web search engine heap. Eg. usernames like "Ramboard, or Bob's tile and Marble, Wisconson LLC"
I've put my web address and "Ottawa General Contractor" in my sig, but that's about it.
Frankly, I don't mind if customers search the web and come across my posts. I generally don't engage in inflammatory crap, and try not to speak out of my butt.
And then some people I notice have a 'secret/anonymous' identity which doesnt promote their business as direct, and they use this forum to vent, problem solve, contribute, etc. But they are pretty unlikely to be 'discovered' on this forum by their potential customers.... eg: Framerpro, sparky, etc....
Just curious how much people think about this, and if you promote actively and many of your posts are designed to highlight your business, has it helped?
Thanks! Mike.

The topic has been discussed before. Basically, it's a split between those that don't care about being found and those who don't want to be found.
We have a hidden section you have access to once you reach 1000 posts. The topic has been debated/discussed quite a bit there. Obviously the public can't see that area so the discussion is quite in depth.
Some people use the link/SEO privileges to their favor, some people don't care about it at all and a few abuse it. No matter if you drop links, key words or tags, it cannot be denied that CT will get your words to the top of a Google search.

Thanks, I'll keep posting then I often wondered why the 'private' section - that's one good reason I can see for it. Angus, can I borrow 800 or so of your posts?

Angus,
I don't think anyone has ever abused the forum in this way. I mean, if someone is looking for a contractor in Enumclaw, WA they would probably find my website right off anyway. However if someone was searching for building maintenance services in the Puget Sound area, that might not pop up at the top of google,
YET
! I will say, though, that my Facebook page might not be as easy to find.
So, in conclusion, if a customer was looking for a kitchen remodeler, bathroom remodeler, home builder, general contractor, deck builder/contractor, or building maintenance services near Enumclaw, Black Diamond, Buckley, Maple Valley, Issaquah, Kent, Bellevue, Auburn, Tacoma, Seattle, Puget Sound or the East Side they would would naturally find the highest rated firm of Harkness Construction!

Everybody knows........
Harkness Construction is the best contractor in Enumclaw Washington
Why would he use this forum to promote himself?

Wow I didn't know you did Kitchen renovations is Seattle! Good to know, many of my Vancouver clients have friends in Seattle and I'm sure they will soon need a new Kitchen.
JW

I can honestly say that I came here originally due to the RRP "fiasco" and to learn a little more about that. After getting here I found that there are things to be learned/comparisons to make how I already do things. Tile work in particular I've made a couple changes to my SOP.
I do also try to add a few tidbits here and there that I think might be useful to others. Otherwise I stay pretty quiet as there is already quite an established membership here that helps others with their questions and concerns.
Obviously by my post count I'm in no hurry to find the "secret area password"
BUT......also obviously I appreciate the available link juice in my signature particularly since my online presence is still in such a adolescent stage.

I come on here mostly to network/learn from other, like wise contractors, who take what they do seriously enough to care about it. I do not try to use it to promote my business etc. I do know that I want to be careful what I say though. I have my website listed here, so if someone googled my name, everything out there will come up, and it's not always rose y!

Taking a hour out of your life to read how Google ranks web pages is very enlighting. Online forums are some of the most highly ranked web pages out there and the only cost to a small business owner is time.
By sharing your thoughts, answering questions, show casing your work you are building key words that piggy back on the CT base of all trade related text.
To think that you can post here and not have local viewers read your words is silly. Ask to borrow a clients computer on day and google the search words (in your business) from their Mac or PC. Surprise surprise CT will pop up first page or second. While your on their computer search these same key words and find your company website. It might be on page 10! click it.
You just helped yourself out! Goggle also tracks this info from it's users.
Now if you asked your buddies and family to all do the same (slowly) you just help out more.
All this said the number one way to stay visable is to bang away at the old keyboard, show off your work and wait for clients to call.
I bring in over 75% of my business online. My clients are researching the best methods of construction and they go to CT to find out what they are. CT is like a club and homeowners can read our posts and decide if we are a right fit for their reno and if the products we use are acceptable.
Today's client knows more about construction that ever before. The old BS that came out of mens mouths so easely confirmed or denied,
Post away.
JW

That's not the half of it. The dancing girls and floozies that flock there make it a joy to visit

Hmmm, maybe I should be trying for that post count

The dichotomy is kinda funny here....almost hypocritical!
This is a contractor forum where only professional may ask questions and it's strictly enforced. However, there are folks who understand that CT can't keep potential clients from browsing this sight and use it to their advantage.
The water has been muddied by semi-anonymous posters and those hoping for clients, but it works.....I hope this site doesn't move towards members focusing more towards the public than just shooting the sh!t with other tradesmen. It would be a sad day when this place is more commercial than a cool place to just come and vent!

That's why I don't mention my company I guess. This is the only place where tradesman can talk to other tradesman.
Mike

I listed my company name in my profile until I realized the other day that it was so easy to view by outsiders/clients. I don't want my jobsite mouth our my hasty not well thought out replies being viewed by anyone other than the other contractors/tradesman I'm conversing with.

I read that thread

If they want a carpenter that doesn't have a "jobsite mouth" or one that listens to classical music instead of AC/DC while painting, I'm not their man. But then, I AM the best, most highly rated contractor in the Seattle area, so I don't have to worry.

Hello again all. I have been away from the forum for some time now. However, here is my contribution.
I make sure to remain anonymous. There are a few reasons for this.
I like to vent (sometimes) to other contractors who know what I am talking about. I would not want potential clients finding my posts.
For example, I may have just done an estimate for something, and then come to CT to talk about it. I don't want the customer finding my post about their specific estimate on the forum.
I have seen other members post their work/info on here, only to be criticized by everyone and their brother (perhaps some could benefit from this). Many of the members here are VERY good at what they do (most are humble as well), so I prefer to learn from them. If I posted some project on the forum, many people would pick it apart I am sure. That's not why I come here.
There was an instance I remember where some guy was trying to get info on how to mud and tape (drywall). He was doing volunteer work, and wanted some pointers. The members (some, not all) really let him have it. I think many of them didn't know he was a good hearted volunteer, and just jumped right in. They tore this guy apart, and possibly didn't even read the entire thread first.
But, it is still a great place to discuss methods, products, safety, customers, tools, and a little bit of humor (along with many other things I didn't list). I don't need to broadcast my identity to do this.
I am just trying to gain knowledge from the members here that really make this place great.
But I never even thought about the google search exposure, free advertising, etc. However, I still am not ready to let anyone know who I am (I am sure nobody really cares anyways).
Peace.

Did not know that. Learn something new every day.
How about making it how long you have been a member instead of the number of post. I have been a member since 2008 so at my rate I will make 1000 post and get into the hidden section in about the year 2026!!!

Good point. I don't understand how people have that many post while running a business, having family and living life. I can assure you I will never reach that post count

Some people have been posting here for years.

Is there a problem with my post count?

I try not to discuss job issues. Don't want any of my dirty laundry out there.

You'd probably be better of SEO wise with this type of formatting:
Ottawa General Contractor

Everything Beanfacekilla said. I have been lurking here for years. There are some guys here who are a little "sensitive" shall we say. I like a little back and forth, but I won't take a chance on having my company name dragged down by some silly slight.
You never know how a client will perceive something like that. They see you involved in some dumb internet argument,and their opinion of you might drop a notch.
I've already upset a couple of the canadians. And man, you don't want them angry at ya. Those are some badass meanies!

i'm so busy

pissing off my Canadian friends after 9 post and i will personally make it my business to bring you down

Diablo View is just jealous of your high post counts.
I actually did a bid for a guy who found me on this forum. I think he ended up doing the work himself. He was probably googling how to finish his basement and one of these threads came up.
I was initially brought to this site to promote my business, now I really don't care so much about the promotion... I just like the site.

WOW post count is a sensitive topic here

I don't know how many, if any, of our leads originate here. But I do know that our website gets a fair amount of traffic from this site. I may take a hiatus from the forum from time to time but the stats showing visits from here to my site bring me back to see what's up.
It's not my primary reason to post, but I'll take the link juice. I need good results for the contracting business to supplement my income as an internet comedian.
Good Luck
Dave

Interesting... I joined this site years ago (and still have a very low post count) to learn from and share information with other building contractors and tradespeople. It never occurred to me that it could be good for marketing or SEO and in fact I was hesitant to post our company name and information at first. It just didn't seem relevant. But eventually I felt that it would bring a certain level of credibility to my posts if I included that info. And then further down the road some brilliant person suggested that we share Facebook/Twitter/Google+ sites and so now we are an open book.
I think I would prefer it if this was a private forum. Not because I'd prefer to use my jobsite mouth (really it's no different from my regular mouth) or would say/do anything differently here than I have but because I think it would be nice for everyone to discuss topics freely among colleagues without worrying that their clients or potential clients would read something they'd rather not have them see. For example, there was a topic recently about someone who accidentally broke a client's mirror while doing something outside the scope of their contract. People were discussing what the best thing to do might be and although there was nothing "wrong" with the discussion or most of the suggestions I'm sure the original poster would prefer it if their client didn't stumble across the discussion on the internet. For that reason I think it would be nice if the forum was visible to register contractor members only.

Hey, I've been good. I haven't posted to the thread I'm talking about since sunday, but the dang canucks keep stopping by over there to whack me over the head.
I might have to send up a distress flare soon.
They sure are a touchy bunch.

Don't mess with the Canadians, they'll seize your fishing boat and fine you a thousand dollars.
Then they'll wait a few days, return the boat and refund the fine, give you a warm apology. You won't know what hit you.
Good Luck
Dave

yeah here or () in real life.

Hey now, careful on the Canadian jokes, I might just have to appologize to you.

number dosn't mean sh*t to me or to any other ''high'' post count member here and by your previous post i know you don't understand

I don't understand

you damn better believe!

No wonder your post count is so high, you don't shut up
Peace out man I am done with you

I fart in the general direction of Tom's post count
IMAGE(http://www.ifsqn.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/default/french_cig.gif)

but see i'm not done with you

No prob if you want to keep this going, you just have to be patient with me since I don't post much
You seem pretty uptight. Since you like to spend so much time online maybe try a dating site. Getting a little action might relax you a bit.
Something is making you miserable in life ,but no worries I will help you figure it out buddy

The process of Tom liking you is very similar to becoming a "made man"
After he sees that you can deal with the Jersey attitude, you will become a Good Fella...

Tom likes people?

He's probably trying to put out a hit on ya

Wouldnt be the first.

Well I like Tom and thats all that matters
and at this rate my post count is going to rocket way up there

Everybody likes Tom!

Let's not go kissing hiney...not everyone likes Tom.
The curmudgeon's pic keeps showing up on my facebook page as someone I might know. It's aggravating and I'm starting to not like him anymore.

I thought it was funny.

I've never been to your Facebook page.

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