I was tired of networking in the “normal way,” it was time for a change. So I did something about it. I want you to study how I did what I did. I want you to COPY ME and change how your local business generates local leads. MeetUp.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. The networking site has been around for over 12 years now and is popular among enthusiasts. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one in which people meet in person.
Results from using meetup.com
80 hours spent
$165,000 in revenue generated
1350 new email list members
One of the most under utilized tool to generate free traffic and leads when you are starting out is www.meetup.com
Individual meetup groups are used for recreation, networking, learning new skills and more. You’re bound to find a group in your area that is somehow related to your business and that you can help out. You helping them could entail hosting an event, like an educational workshop, or sponsoring the group for a cost.
Meetup (or Meetup.com) is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world.Meetup.com is a fantastic way to meet a constant stream of prospects without annoying (and pitching) every single cold market lead you meet. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies. Users enter their Postal or zip code (or their city outside the United States) and the topic they want to meet about, and the website helps them arrange a place and time to meet. Patrick M. Powers, one of Europe’s top small business marketing experts, and the founder of EntrepreneursinLondon.co.uk: Europe’s biggest business Meetup group with over 10,000 members.
Here are my meetup groups (So far there are 6 but I am planning to add 4 more in next 2 months):
Edmonton Internet Marketing (Social, SEO, PPC etc.)
We’re 419 Members
Red Deer Online Marketing Meetup
We’re 172 Members
Business Growth Systems
We’re 632 Members
Edmonton Inbound Marketing (Digital Media)
We’re 90 Members
Vancouver Internet Marketing (New group just launched it)
We’re 11 member
Without spending $0 on paid advertising so far as of March 17th I have 1360~ members list which is generated in last 12 months.
Directly it has contributed into over: $165,000 in revenue for our company Rapid Boost Marketing. Amount of time I have put in: 80 hours in whole year. Including event prep, engaging, hosting the event and other related tasks.
The PRIMARY advantage of creating an account on Meetup, is that Meetup delivers actual people to join your organization/group. None of the other solutions help you solve the primary problem of starting a new organization: getting people to join and attend.
80 hours spent
$165,000 in revenue generated
1350 new email list members
Growing community without spending $0 on paid advertising. My total bill for last year from meetup.com was under $130 (For the whole year….I know that’s insane).
Meetup boasts an impressive 9 million visitors a month, meets in 45,000 cities worldwide, and has 280,000 monthly Meetups on every topic imaginable. Use the search box on the homepage to look for a group that fits your interests. Or start your own group. So, how can you do that too?
Create Your Own Meetup Group
If you’re skilled at your craft, then you should be able to teach something to your target market. Identify something that your market desperately needs to learn that you can teach them.
Depending on what you do, your audience might even require some education to understand why they should use your services. Create a meetup that focuses on networking, learning, knowledge and opportunities specifically for your target audience.
Provide value and more value! This way you will be able to grow your meetup group really fast.
You can also post about your new Meetup group and events on your blog. If you have a WordPress blog, you can use the WP Meetup plugin to promote your Meetup.
Consistency is Crucial
Once you have established your Meetup group through Meetup.com, you can start holding regular events that are sponsored by your business. They can be informal groups, seminars or workshops that engage other professionals. Depending on your industry and the types of customers you have, you might have a highly structured meeting or just a casual chat over snacks.
Involve a charity
People love to get together for a good cause, which a lot of the Meetup groups are about. Involve a local charity in your event, perhaps organize a small fundraiser for them or introduce the great work they are doing in your city. Your guests will leave with a warm feeling that they will ultimately associate with you and your business.
Post pictures after the event
There are few better ways to get new members to join your Meetup group than with a follow-up post full of pictures taken during the event. When other Meetup users see that yours is a real group that organizes fun events, they will be more inclined to join. Also it will give inactive members an incentive to participate in upcoming Meetups.
Works For Everyone
Meetups can be especially effective in narrow markets and/or small markets. For example, a small software programming company might create a training Meetup for users of the software. They could use the trainings to gather product feedback and brand insights, deepen brand loyalty, and beta launch new versions of the software. Organizing these kinds of Meetups can also help you set your firm apart as a credible leader in the industry, making you a go-to resource for journalists
Helps Your SEO & Organic Traffic
When a website has a DoFollow tag attached to an external link, it means that link will gain a certain amount of “link juice” from the website it was posted on. Within each MeetUp you join on Meetup.com, you have to create a unique profile to fit each group.
Alternates to meetup.com:
Eventbrite — If you create an account with Eventbrite and sign in with your social, they do a great job of sharing with you what events your friends are going to. Highly recommend!
Facebook Events — An alternative almost as good as Eventbrite is good old Facebook. They’ve tweaked their events where your friends select if they’re ‘interested’ in an event. This means your friends are receiving notifications but haven’t committed to RSVPing yes.
It’s Time to Become a Meetup Rockstar
Meetup is one of those online communities that entirely too many freelancers and business owners at large completely ignore.
Meetup.com has helped me build my career in many ways. I’ve formed new partnerships, landed amazing clients and learned skills that resulted in new opportunities.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.