Before starting a new endeavor, the WHY needs to be clear. Why start a Meetup group? The WHY needs to be clear as it is no easy chore to be an organizer. I have heard several reasons: business owners trying to find their niche audience, creating a unique support group, or promoting a certain agenda. I personally started my group, North Austin Influencers, in 2013 when I wanted to become more familiar with my own area of town. Through my group, I wanted to share the stories of the amazing people I would meet while networking that were making an impact in my local area using their talents and following their passions. My WHY has been so strong that it has helped me continue the group through heavy work loads and trying personal times. The WHY has helped me build a tribe of like minded individuals that I am happy to see each month.
There are several ways to start a group, but by using the Meetup platform it is made easy to receive RSVP and create events. Meetup has its existing following, shows up high on a Google search, and attracts new comers to the area that are looking to meet local people.
Let me share what I feel were some of the secrets of my groups success.
- Take time to create a strategy. Come up with a strong name for the group that describes why attendees will meet.
- At first there may not be many that attend. Be happy with the people that take the time to show up, create a wonderful experience, and treat them well. Your enthusiasm will grow your group! Remember success is not always calculated by the highest number. The right people will be in the room at the right time.
- I have elected to charge for my events. This has allowed me to have a budget to increase the brand of the group, pay for Meet up dues, pay someone to help with virtual work, and create value for my efforts.
- Stay consistent on day/time/week of meeting and communication sent to members. Members want to know what to expect and have the feeling of familiarity.
- Share information about your group on your social media sites. Start accumulating an email list of attendees and create an email marketing campaign separate from the Meetup platform.
- It is not enough to have an online presence. Members of Meetup want to feel welcomed in their groups. Be a good host that listens, answers questions, and introduces new members to others.
Wish you all the success in your efforts!