Who: Colin Yearwood
Blog: Learn it, Do it, Profit
Colin has been marketing online for the last 17 years. His first online venture was selling furbys on eBay. Since 2008, he has been providing online marketing training for business owners.
However, for a bulk of that time, he has been hiding behind his screen. His training was mostly online, via tutorials and webinars.
Unsatisfied by the limited connection he was experiencing with people who simply visited his website or joined his email list, he decided that he wanted something more.
He wanted to actually start getting out there and meeting people in person.
So he decided to check out meetup.com to start making in-person, more meaningful connections.
After his first experience at a salsa dancing meetup, he decided to check out some of the local marketing meetups.
After attending two marketing meetups, he decided to start hosting meetups.
Since then, he has run over 100 meetups and has been using them to build his business network and consulting business.
In this interview, Colin shares his best tips for building your online business using offline meetups.
Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. It makes it easy for people like you and I to connect with others in our local areas around a shared passion or topic of interest.
Whether your interest is in salsa dancing, knitting, cooking, marketing or something else, you can use this site to connect with other groups in your local community.
With around 25 million members in 178 countries, it makes it easy to find others in many areas around the globe, without being as large and intimidating as some of the other bigger social networks (i.e. Facebook).
It’s easy to sign up on Meetup.com, but there are a few things you want to take into consideration when getting starting.
It’s free to register as a member on Meetup.com. When you register, make sure to complete your profile.
Include all of your details and connect your social networks. Let people know who you are and what you’re passionate about.
However, don’t try to sell anything in your bio. Instead, just give people enough information so that there is no doubt about the value you provide.
Use the search feature to find active meetup groups in your area. Colin recommends searching based on your interests, especially as it relates to your business.
By doing this, you will find groups with members who are looking to connect with others around a shared passion. If these members are in your target audience, you will have more success.
There are a few key things you should look at to decide whether the groups you found are ones you want to be a part of. Look at:
One of your main goals in attending meetups is to connect with people in person. However, you can make that process much easier by introducing yourself inside the group on Meetup.com.
This lets people know that you exist and will increase the chances that someone will recognize you when you attend the Meetup.
Meetup groups will vary in attendance. Some people expect to go and meet 50 new people. However, when they see that there are only 5 or 10 at a specific event, they are disappointed.
Instead, set reasonable expectations and look at those smaller events as a way to establish deeper, more meaningful relationships.
Meeting strangers can be an intimidating process for MANY people. Colin offered two simple tips to make the process a little less daunting and more pleasant:
When thinking about organizing your own Meetup group, it’s best to start by looking around to see what already exists in your space. Join a few groups, attend a few events and analyze what’s working and what isn’t.
By doing this, you will get a better idea of how you can provide unique value in your meetup group. It will also give you ideas for what you can do at your meetups.
Once you’ve decided on how you want your meetups to run, it’s time to get set up. Here are some tips for setting up your meetup group the right way.
When setting up your group page, make sure to choose a good name, headline and detailed description.
You can even choose a specific member label. For example, if you have a hiking group, the members can be called “hikers.” This gives an increased sense of camaraderie.
Don’t set up a naked group page. Enhance your page with the use of the following types of pictures:
This is something you should do to indicate that this will be an active group. You want people to be able to have something to do as soon as they join.
This will also increase the likelihood that people will join your group. Three days after you create your meetup group, meetup will promote your group to people in your area. Having something for them to be able to attend is a great idea.
Meetup.com allows you to create questionnaire’s that your group members can complete. This will give you more information about your audience and help you serve them better. Colin recommends asking no more than 3 questions. Some questions you may consider asking are:
There are multiple ways to make money with meetups. Here are some of Colin’s suggestions:
Have you attended a meetup before? Have you conducted one? Is this something you plan on doing? Let me know in the comments below.