Reddit is like the comment section for anything and everything in the world. Reddit community members, aka “Redditors” are users that share their thoughts on almost any topic you can think of, organized withing subreddits. Subreddits are like threads about topics. For example, if you are into ell rare books from the 1700s, well, there is a Reddit community for that with over 2,300 Redditors. If you are a geek for watches, there is a “Watches” subreddit with over 230,000 Redditors actively sharing and contributing to topics. Basically, any topic you can think of has a community of people who care about that topic active on Reddit. And although it looks intimidating and confusing to use for the beginner, it’s very easy to figure out why it’s so valuable.
One thing to keep in mind is not to be aggressive in selling your product. Sure, there will be some people in those subreddits looking to sell their goods or services, but Redditors are very good at picking up on these people and casting them out. This is why this lesson is titled, “Building Trust,” because the objective is to first build trust, and then to softly present your business for feedback or consideration.
Why it’s Important
Reddit is an important channel because it gets over 500 million visitors per month, and it is the #8 most visited website in the world (#4 in the United States). Although it’s not a destination people think of when they are looking to buy something, it does host many online visitors looking for answers, or those looking to join a conversation about something they are interested or passionate about. And this is why Reddit is such a great channel. Again, this is why we do not recommend trying to sell on Reddit, but rather to contribute to your respective communities and build trust, so that when you are ready with a big post and an offer on your product or service, you can subtly promote yourself without looking like a “fake” Redditor.
We are tackling this lesson early in our 52-week program because building trust won’t happen overnight. You’ll have to post and comment to build Reddit Karma (which are like points), and these points tell other Redditors if you’ve done your fair share of contributing.
What’s more is that researching and contributing to your relevant subreddits will give you a lot of information about your niche and overall market. It will help you uncover if you’re actually solving a problem people care about, how are they currently meeting their needs, what they like or don’t like about your competitors, etc. As much as it is a great platform to earn trust, it’s an even better listening device.
How to Get Started
Step 1) Check for any potential subreddits that are relevant to your niche. For example, if you sell rare books, search for “Rare Books”, “Book Collectors”, “Antique Books”, etc. Here you will find several subreddits around your niche. If there is no subreddit for your niche, you can feel free to create your own.
Step 2) Scroll through all subreddits for interesting posts. Go through the first few pages of posts and click on anything you find interesting. If there is anything you feel you can contribute to, go ahead and post a comment. For example with Rare Books, you might find a Redditor who found an old book at a garage sale and wants to ask the community how old they think the book might be, or how valuable it might be. If you feel you can help, chime in! Do not link your website! Just add value for now. It would also be good to comment on other Redditors’ posts to start a dialogue. This two-way conversation with a member of your niche can create an opportunity to learn more about their needs and expectations.
Step 3) After you’ve spent a few hours researching the subreddits and commenting your thoughts, starting conversations, and anything else that increases your contribution to the subreddit, you will be ready to make some posts of your own. Hopefully after having skimmed through several subreddits and the top upvoted posts on each you should have an idea of what the community is like and what kinds of posts they value and don’t value. This information will help you come up with a handful of ideas for your own posts.
Step 4) Every few days, write a post and track how well it’s received by your community. The more upvotes you get on your post, the more “Post Karma” you will earn. Depending on how active you are, and how many Redditors are active in your niche, it might take you a while to earn triple-digit karma. But it’s been widely regarded that having at least 1000 karma points is expected before you start to self-promote what you do.
Step 5) When you do make your first self-promoting post, do so with the angle of asking for feedback. Again, if you’re selling Rare Books, don’t come out and flatly say that you sell these books and you hope they will buy from you. Instead think about framing it like “The Challenges with Selling Rare Books in 2018” or “How I Sold my First Antique Book.” You will notice that the subject of these posts are less about making sales, but about contributing to the library of information about your niche. And at the bottom of your post, you can briefly mention who you are with a link to your business.
Also published on Medium.