Meetup is almost the human response to all this digital separation we’ve experienced since the internet put us all online.
If you know who you are looking for, it is a powerful tool with which to meet them face-to-face.
But what is it?
Meetup.com is a site full of events sorted into interest groups. People could find others with a common interest – knitting, reading Shakespeare, drinking cocktails, movie premieres or, indeed, learning about real estate.
This may surprise you, but that last element doesn’t hold people’s attention quite as much as the others. Shocking, I know, but that’s humans for you. You might get people in once or twice, but interest will eventually flag.
So what can you do? You want them in, you want to meet them, and you want your business name up there. How?
Let’s say you want to reach people in a given area who might be interested in houses of a certain type.
You’ll want to know their demographic, and then find out what that demographic in that area are interested in. Do they play footy or read books? Do they go to self-improvement courses, or social events?
Once you have an idea of what they like, start an interest group that they would be interested in, and draw them to you.
How to rock at Meetup (and have fun at the same time)
Imagine being associated with a range of interesting events – comedy nights, local bands, reserved spots for the fireworks – and gathering a large following of people who think you’re cool and are very open to having a chat with you.
As well as gaining a lot of warm leads, you’ll be giving your customers and your staff something great to be part of!
So here’s what you could do:
Option A: Start your own Meetup group, think of events to host, and host them. Launch books, gallery exhibits, business enterprises or speeches. Promote these through whatever database of people you already have, and Linkedin, Facebook etc., and get people into your Meetup group.
Or, to ease your way in:
Option B: Join someone else’s Meetup group and ask them if you either sponsor some event for them – maybe buy the pizzas – in exchange for a bit of publicity. Or you could ask them if you can create and host events through them. Some are very happy for you to do so, as the more events they have, the more interesting their group! Be clear on what you’re hosting, though – if it’s a presentation about renovating, say so. Don’t say you’re hosting a zombie hunt, then hit them with a lecture about display homes. …unless you host a zombie hunt IN a display home! Wow, yes! Do that!
So, do these things:
- Find out what they’ll be interested in (use the data!)
- Name your group something to reinforce the tone you want without hitting them too hard with the brand itself. Don’t sell too hard – just be there. Lilydale Social Group or Darebin Properties Event Squad. Then describe exactly what people should expect in coming along. If this changes to suit the needs of your people, change your description.
- Create fun and interesting events. Always have at least one in your list, which means creating the next one before your last one, and with plenty of time for them to RSVP their intention to come. Be very clear about what will be there. If it is a guest speaker, give their full credentials and a link to their LinkedIn profile. If possible, make the events regular and to a pattern – first Tuesday of the month, weekly on a Friday – and build with consistency.
- Take photos of everyone enjoying your event. This will give you plenty with which to promote your next event and display the tone you wish to show. A table full of people enjoying a trivia evening says one thing, a room full of people listening to an inspirational speaker says another. Use this on other communication like your Facebook posts or emails to further promote recipient involvement in the group.
- Invite your own staff. Give them free tickets. They work hard for you. They deserve it. This also gives potential clients a chance to relate to them in social mode and give you a more human face.
- Invite feedback on events, and suggestions for future events, and be responsive to the direction it takes. Tweak the formula until you find out what works, then do more of that.
Getting those leads
With all these events going on, you could gain your leads either by having them sign up to a contact list, or simply by hosting an extra event that states explicitly that you will be presenting (and promoting) something to do with your business. If this works, great! If it doesn’t, no great loss – just take stock and work out what does.
At the end of the day, in giving everyone a way of connecting at interesting events, your business is set to become a lot more popular and interesting for you, your staff and your potential clients.