Archive for September, 2013

The best kept secret to using social networking to grow your business (Part 2)

Posted on September 24, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Events, Event Marketing, Marketing, Networking, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Meetup Logo

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.

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The best kept secret to using social networking to grow your business

Posted on September 17, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Marketing, Networking, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Meetup Logo

With a lot of attention being given to the large social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, one of the best kept social networking secrets is Meetup.com.  Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. What makes Meetup.com so great is it merges the online and the offline worlds by providing consistent face-to-face activities for each group.

There are two main ways that you can use Meetup.com to grow your business, joining a meetup group or organizing a meetup group.  For the sake of this post, I will talk about how being a member of a meetup group can help to grow your business.  Here are five ways to grow your business by joining a meetup group:

1.  Join a Business Networking Meetup.  Meetup.com has several business networking groups, if networking is a part of your marketing strategy (and it should be if it is not), start with finding some local networking meetups to join where you can meet other like-minded individuals to network with, make business connections, and learn how to grow your business.

2.  Join Meetup Groups that cater to your target market.  Once you have clearly defined who your target market is, you can actually find groups on meetup that cater to your target market (i.e. looking for women in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s check out meetups that cater to this group, looking for health conscious individuals there are meetups in your local area that cater to this type of group too, etc.).  Once you find Meetup.com groups that fit your target market, make an effort to join and attend the events and get to know the members.  Go to the events with an intention to make new connections which could eventually lead to business, do not go with an intention to sell your product or service at the Meetup, start with building a relationship first.

3.  Offer a special perk as a member of a Meetup group.  Once you’ve joined a few Meetup.com groups consider offering a special perk to the group in which you offer some type of discount for your services.  Each Meetup.com group is different in how they manage or even if they offer perks to their group, but this could be a subtle way to get your name and your business out to the members of the group.

4.  Join the conversation.  When you RSVP to attend a meetup add comments in the event section to start a connection online before the event even starts, or if the Meetup posts discussions, join in the discussion.  This is also a great was to connect and to get your name out there with the group.

5.  If you RSVP to attend an event SHOW UP.  I cannot emphasis enough the importance of building a relationship with the group and the organizer(s) by making sure you turn up to the event when you RSVP.  If at the last minute you are unable to attend, be sure to remove yourself from the event RSVP list, or reach out to the organizer to let him or her know you will no longer be able to attend, don’t just not show up, it looks bad for you and your business.

If you approach any meetup with the intention to get to know the members and make connections it will eventually lead to business.  If you approach a meetup with the intention to just sell your product or service you will not be as successful.  If you use Meetup.com how are you using it to grow your business?

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4 ways to make sure your next business event is a hit

Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: Business, Business Development, Business Events, Event Marketing, Marketing | Tags: , , |

Successful Business Events

People want to get to know you and your business.  The best way to accomplish this is by having events.  Events are a great way to showcase your business and let people know about your products and services.  When planning an event it doesn’t have to be a large event sometimes the smaller more intimate events are a better way for you to get to know your clients and your prospects, and for them to get to know you and your business.  Here are four main things to consider when having an event to promote your business:

  1. Create a theme for your event–  Is this event a workshop, seminar, product or service launch party, etc.?  Use a creative name to draw attention to your event and to keep it fun for the attendees (i.e. Cards & Cocktails, Women Investing Wisely, Bling Bash, etc.).  You can even create a special event logo that you can use on all your event promotional material to keep the look and feel of the event consistent.
  2. Select a nice venue–  the look and feel of the place where you have your business event leaves an impression on your prospects and clients, so be sure to pick a nice venue and create a very professional atmosphere.  Consider hiring an event planner to take care of the details of the event the day of the event, so you have more time to relax, present your product or service and enjoy your guests.
  3. Promote your event online–  Of course now a days this kind of goes without saying that you have to promote your event online.  This includes on your website, social media, and e-mails.  Emails are a great way to get the word out about your event to your existing customers and clients, and social media channels are a great way to  get the word out about your event and reach new prospects.  You can even create a hashtag for your event (i.e. #MyFunEvent) so people can follow that hashtag on popular social media sites that use the hashtag as a search criteria.  Sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all allow users to search for posts grouped by a hashtag.
  4. Send special invitations to your VIP customers–  As old fashioned as this may sound, sending an invitation to your special clients via old fashioned snail mail is a great way for you and your event to stand out in the mind of your client, so take the time to mail out invitations to your event.

Are you consistently having events to showcase your services or products?  If so, what types of events do you have, and how do you make sure your events are successful?

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