Watch the full episode here.
“Meetups” are group of people who are interested in a similar topic, in-person or online, organized through Meetup.com. There are lots of groups surrounding alternative healing, spirituality topics, nature topics, and even business topics. Sage actually runs an in-person, local small business marketing meetup (though he doesn’t consider himsefl an expert, he says).
One of the neat things about Meetup.com is that they not only help you organize a group and find other people interested in the same kinds of things, they do a very good job of promoting meetups to the public. They also have a toolkit for organizers, to learn about ways to get the word out about your group.
For a small business, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what to talk about to your customers. You can say “We sell widgets” only so many times and in so many ways before you burn everyone out (including yourself) on widgets. Having a meetup is a great way to gather people who are interested in some aspect of widgets: whether it’s a makers group, where you could offer to let people learn how to make their own widgets on your machines; or people who use widgets, some of them in unique ways, which could give you some interesting marketing insights.
Marketing via Meetup
One of the show’s regular viewers, Pam, has a meetup in California called “Everday Spacers,” around the topic of astronomy. She is interested in using the meetup to get more customers for her Sky Safari package. This is a great intersection of being in touch directly with her target market, since obviously the people in the Everyday Spacer meet up group are interested in looking at the stars.
As Greg points out, though, it can be difficult to know how to bring up and pitch your own stuff, especially since Meeetup.com has specific rules about promotion within groups.
They do a great job of explaining it here:
In a nutshell, as long as you’re not being sleazy about it, people are probably interested in what you do, especially if it’s related to the topic of the group. It’s easy enough to have some information or your card on a table where people can take it if they’re interested, for example. Especially if you’re the organizer of the group, there doesn’t seem to be a problem with a “mini-pitch” at the beginning or end of the meeting, perhaps.
Meetup Marketing Tips
- Join other local meetups that might be related to your business, or that you’re interested in, to meet people and network.
- Follow up with people after the meetings, to check in and make sure that everyone is getting what they came for.
- Make sure people who have purchased from you know that this meetup exists: send out the schedule to your list of customers.
- Use Meetup’s promotion tools to make sure that people keep coming back, along with new people, to maintain the consistency of the group. This creates momentum and community.
- Remember that this is really a form of content marketing, which takes time to build up a good audience and create momentum. The momentum is what makes it so powerful.
- These are great people to make sure are on your email newsletter list; staying in touch in between meetings keeps you top of mind.
- Build your community with other tools, as well: Facebook groups (not just your business page), local resources.
- Do cross-promotions with other groups and businesses that are interested in the same topic or have apps that address the topic.
Here is Pam’s website that was referenced in the video, if you want to check it out.