The Mindblowingly Simple Strategies Any Startup Can Use for Meetup Success : Under30CEO The Mindblowingly Simple Strategies Any Startup Can Use for Meetup Success : Under30CEO
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The Mindblowingly Simple Strategies Any Startup Can Use for Meetup Success

| July 16, 2012 | 7 Comments

Everybody’s talking about Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and yet no one wants to give Meetup its respect.

Well…truth be told…they’re not going out of their way to disrespect Meetup…but they’re not giving meetup its share of the props.

At first I thought…maybe Meetup didn’t really hold that much weight. When you do a Google Insights search in comparison to Facebook, Pinterest, and etc…
…it didn’t look too good.

And just when I was about to shut my laptop… and have a much deserved pity party… I checked it out on Google trends:

Wait a minute now!

So I calmed myself down a little:

“Alright Mike…breathe…breathe…sip of water…breathe. Eventbrite is also popular so maybe they’re on the same plain.”

So I decided to also pit the two against each other…like two rottweilers ready to throw down!

It seems that Meetup is an undercover Heiney kicker!!

Enter the Experts

So we can now say Meetup gets it respect. I mean why wouldn’t it? Look at the numbers:

And even though Google+ events is quietly sneaking up in the background…for now Meetup still has a strong lead.

But I’m going to make a confession: I’m not an expert on this.

Huh?

You heard me: I’m not an expert on this.

Now I’ve done and read enough guest posts to know you are NOT supposed to say something like that.

It’s sacrilegious. Heretical to the tee!

But it’s true.

It’s not like the I’m the mother who is using meetup to get a Nashua playground or the NY Tech Meetup that was recently featured in Fast Company.

Nope. I didn’t do that any of that.

See…I’m the guy who studies successful people and spills their secrets:

In fact, when I wrote my ebook Top Twitter Traffic Strategies, I just found people who were Twitter rockstars and asked them what they did.

Simple!

So rather than me tell you how to do it…I decided to round up some experts so THEY could show you how to do it.

It wasn’t easy.

So here they are…my questions…their answers:

Andrew Wong–Founder of NY Entrepreneur Business Network (11,883 members)

1. How you market and promote a meetup group

We do minimal marketing.  NYEBN has extensive networks on Meetup, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a private mailing list.  Sometimes, some partners would offer to help us because they believe what we do.  Those are pretty much sufficient to market what we do currently.

2. If you do minimal marketing, how do you account for NYEBN’s success? (Follow-up question…I wasn’t buying it)

The answer to that is good events will bring in new members and help grow the community, because people talk about it.

3. How do you pull of an effective event?

It’s simple:
a. Offer useful content
b. Have users’ core value in mind when planning for and executing an event
c. I’m lucky because I have a great management team
d. Community mentality, which means no matter what you do, you should do a good job serving community members
e. Focus (for us, we focus on technology & startups)

4. How do you use the group to group to grow your brand and/or business?

NYEBN is a brand of its own. Basically, we repeat what we do mentioned in #2 and make sure those things are implemented within every single event we organize.

Jared O’Toole–Under30CEO

1. How do you promote and market a meetup group?

Every city has a million event and meetup lists. Think Meetup.com but there are also many other resources from newspapers to online directories that are great ways to promote the group. Partnerships can be the best option though. Find an established group that compliments your group. Reach out to co-host and event with them. And of course there is no better way to market a group than to simply create a valuable experience. Make sure each attendee goes home and tells their friends how much they got out of it.

2. How do you pull of an effective event?

Quality attendees + agenda. You need to make sure the room is full of serious like-minded people. For example we used to have free events but as soon as we started charging the people who were not committed to what we were doing stopped showing up. Think small. A high quality group is much better than a broad general group.

3. How do you use the group to grow your brand and/or business?

Meetups need to have an agenda on your end. Just getting a bunch of people together for drinks is great but won’t help your bottom line. This doesn’t mean you have to up-sell everyone but think of a way to utilize these people who are obviously interested in what you do and are taking their time to come out for something you created. Gather product feedback, giveaway products, partner with groups that have potential clients. If you provide a valuable experience with the event no one will have a problem providing you with some valuable feedback or ideas for your business.

Will Petz–Founder of Random Events NY (9,310 Members)

1. How do you promote and market a meetup group?

Meetup does an excellent job promoting. I have tried several other ways, but so far Meetup has provided the largest gains for me.  However one important part is to have a professional look and quick picture to get people interested.

2. How do you pull of an effective event?

Organization and promoting socialization in unusual ways to get people interacting.

3. How do you use the group to grow your brand and/or business?

A company can be considered a living body.  It grows as you feed it and take care of it. If you don’t, it then dies.  Meetup helps the company grow because of all the advertizing they do to identify people that would be interested in what we have to offer.

Will also gave me the heads up on a 34 page document he wrote: Guide to a Successful Meetup Group & Meetup Events. Very indepth!

But let me hear from you? What are some of your top meetup strategies? What has worked? What hasn’t worked?

Your thoughts…

About: Mike Holmes is an blogger, speaker, serial entrepreneur who heads the Simple Strategies for Startups community. Stop by and pick up his free ebook and check him out on Google +.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://ranwong.com/ Andrew Wong

    Nice write up! I got the original inspiration from reading Seth Godin’s book Tribes. It has been a nice run for the last three years. Still learning new stuff everyday from our community members. I suggest every business person give it a try running a Meetup group, whatever your industry is. It teaches you a lot about customer service. 

    Never spent a dollar buying Facebook or Google ads. Yep! What I was telling you was all true.  The key of running an online community are three words: COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY, COMMUNITY! If you get that right, people will acknowledge you. Perhaps I was also lucky, because 1). my group is based in New York (where Meetup HQ is based in case you don’t know) 2). I have an amazing team. Don’t think I’ll ever give up running NYEBN no matter what my next venture is.

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com/ Michael holmes

    Andrew, you do an awesome job!It was a privilege to write this

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com/ Michael holmes

    Andrew, you do an awesome job!It was a privilege to write this

  • http://twitter.com/LeafyMyer ChristyAM

    One of my meetup groups suddenly increased its membership by 50% when we were obliquely linked by a New York Times article on websites serving our target market. This gave me the push I needed to start offering interviews on our topic, because I want to make sure the population we’re trying to serve knows we exist.

    That said, MeetUp groups are tricky, because typically they start small and are not built to serve thousands of people. If you want a huge membership, you need to decide that’s where you’re going right from the beginning.

    Christy M.

    http://www.meetup.com/ExChristianPostTheo/

    http://www.meetup.com/CeremonialChocolate/

  • http://twitter.com/LeafyMyer ChristyAM

    One of my meetup groups suddenly increased its membership by 50% when we were obliquely linked by a New York Times article on websites serving our target market. This gave me the push I needed to start offering interviews on our topic, because I want to make sure the population we’re trying to serve knows we exist.

    That said, MeetUp groups are tricky, because typically they start small and are not built to serve thousands of people. If you want a huge membership, you need to decide that’s where you’re going right from the beginning.

    Christy M.

    http://www.meetup.com/ExChristianPostTheo/

    http://www.meetup.com/CeremonialChocolate/

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com/ Mike Holmes

    This is great Christy! NY Times…wow! Those are very good points: know where you want to go from the beginning!

  • http://www.michaelgholmes.com/ Mike Holmes

    This is great Christy! NY Times…wow! Those are very good points: know where you want to go from the beginning!