Old marketing hacks, part 2 - Profiles and group tags

Yes, Virginia, you still have to fill out your profile. :)

I've seen a lot of people who have nothing in their profiles, except something like "IM me if you want to know anything about me."

Thankfully, most virtual world service providers know that their profile is their most important marketing asset.

Hack #1: Fill in your profile and stand in a crowd.

Profile perving is a common past-time in public places.
Location: Violet InfoHub
Profile "perving" is a very common past-time among people in crowded places, like dance halls, live music events, and popular shops. And don't forget infohubs! A lot of people hang out at infohubs, either voluntarily (because that's where they find cool people to chat with) or involuntarily (because they log in and their previous locations were not available).

So, if you're ever in a crowd or any social situation where people go to make new friends, you can be almost certain your profile would be read. They want to know you as a person, and the skills you possess are part of who you are.

What a way to get free advertising! You just park your avatar in a crowd while you do your laundry irl.

The trick is to know which crowds might be interested in your services. So you'd have to do a bit of research. But you can think of your research as "just hanging out."

Hack #1 addendum: Group tags

If you want to get people's attention so they would actually read your profile, you can also create a role title (aka "group tag") in your own group.

Creating a group in Second Life only costs 100L, and you can create up to 10 roles. It doesn't matter what permissions you give the role, since you're more interested in the role title. Be sure to add yourself to those roles. (You'll need another person to join the group, like a friend or an alt, or else Linden Lab deletes the group in 48 hours.)

Make the group title eye-catching and relevant to whatever service you offer. The most relevant might be the domain name of your website, if you have one. For example, I occasionally use "AvaHyr.com" or "LoveLikeDimSum.com" as a group title.

If you can get other people to join your group and wear your tag, you get more advertising that way. However, most people hide their groups in their profiles now. And if they hide their groups, they're even less likely to wear your tag everywhere they go.

Hack limitations

The problem with this hack is that it requires you to be logged in and roaming where the crowds are for as many hours as you possibly could. Impractical, especially if you have a gig or an assignment that requires you to be somewhere specific.

It works:
  • if someone sees your avatar nearby and is curious enough, or
  • if someone already knows your name and searches for you specifically.

Do it anyway

Fill in your profile anyway, because it serves as your mini-website or as the portal to your full-blown website if you have one.

And if Search returns a gazillion similar names, your profile would confirm that you're the one they're looking for.

Tip: Use your Picks tab and 1st Life tab for additional space.