In my last post, The best kept secret to using social networking to grow your business, I talked about a popular social networking site that doesn’t get as much attention as the other major sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, but is a very effective tool to grow your business, and that social network is Meetup.com. As I mentioned in Part 1, there are two ways that you can use Meetup to grow your business, joining a meetup group or organizing a meetup group. For the sake of this post, I will talk about how to organize a meetup. Here are five ways to grow your business by organizing a meetup group:
1. Start a Meetup specifically for your target market. Once you know your target market, it is easy to start a group that caters to your target market. Your goal is to create a community of individuals who are in your target market and provide them with valuable information and fun events. The goal of the Meetup should never be to sell your product or service, but to offer some value to your community and in turn that should lead to business for you.
Tip: Make sure the name of the group and/or the description of your group is very clear so that you are attracting the right people to join your Meetup group. Adding the specific area (i.e. Women Business Owners of Atlanta, Foodies in Chicago, etc.) gives the feel of a large group designed specifically for the people in that area.
2. Create more than one Meetup Group. Meetup allows you to create up to three Meetup groups for one quarterly fee. As of now, the quarterly fee is just $45/per quarter, which amounts to $15/month. If you have three Meetup groups that amounts to just $5/month per Meetup group and you can create very specific niches of your target market and tailor your meetups to this specific niche (i.e. women who are vegetarians, men who are in finance, etc.). The more specific your niche the more specific you can make your Meetup, but keep in mind a broad category will attract more people and a specific category will attract a smaller group.
3. Have consistent Meetups for your Group. The most effective Meetup groups I have seen have been groups that have consistent events that are planned out well in advance. For example having a meetup every first Monday of the month or every other Tuesday, helps to show that your group is consistent in the events that they offer. Even being consistent with the type of event you are having can help to build up your Meetup having a monthly or bi-weekly outing, breakfast, luncheon, workshop, networking, etc.
4. Create a leadership team. It always helps if more than one person is assisting with the organizing of the group and running of the Meetups, so having a co-organizer or other members of the Meetup as your Leadership team is very helpful.
5. List your business as a sponsor of your Meetup Group. This is nice subtle way to put your business name out to the group without feeling like you are hard selling your products or services, you can even offer a discount to individuals from the Meetup who decide to purchase your products or services.
Have you created a meetup group to help grow your business? If so, share what has or hasn’t been working for your meetup group.