Guide to Starting a Meetup and Driving Leads to Your Agency

One wildly underutilized channel for driving a bunch of leads and a bunch of new business to agencies is meetups. I used to run a meetup network back in New York City, which is actually where I’m right now, that had about 2,500 people in it. We used to go out and have these events every single month and we would generate between fifty and hundred thousand dollars in leeds, and most of the time in business, just from that event. Today I just want to talk about meetups. How do you start a meetup? Why start a meetup? How to promote it? Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about meetups. Coming up! So this is the meetup that I used to have for marketing managers. Looks like there’s 1,100 people in this now. And then this was part of a meetup network. So there was another meetup called Geeks in Suits that we had as well and a couple other ones. So this is all that was on here. NYC marketing meetup, a bunch of brands, some pictures of some people that we took at the second event ever ever, before this was nothing or maybe just my profile picture. And a very simple description. That’s it. Created it on meetup. And then in terms of the actual meetup structure itself. We used to do meetup events once a month. I recommend just doing drinks at a bar. We didn’t have to call ahead or do anything like that. And I’ll show you exactly what that meetup looked like right now. So here’s the meetup we did in June. This was a repeating event. It was the first Monday of every month 7pm, same bar. And this was the only description that I had. So this is it – the monthly meetup. Come hang out with fellow brand and marketing managers. Have some tasty drinks and talk about the latest developments in the space. We can also talk about books, movies, martial arts whatever. And this one had 54 people RSVP. Usually around that much would show up. People would bring their friends. So that is how to structure it. Meetup costs about a hundred dollars a year, but you’ll show an ROI on the second or third event if you do it correctly. Now, the second question that you might have is: how do you promote your meetup? You’ve got this meetup, looks pretty good. How do you get people to actually go to it? Well, that is easier than it looks, as well. The first thing you do is meetup will actually promote your meetup to their audience. I remember when we first created this event and I actually did a youtube video about this when it happened, I was so surprised. We started this meetup, it had zero people in it, just me and one of my friends was in it as well. I got him to join and then meetup blasted it out to the list and we immediately jumped from two people to over a hundred in a week. And then within a few weeks it grew to 300, 400 and it actually didn’t take us too long, maybe four or five months, to get to a thousand people. Just from meetup’s own promotion. So besides having meetup promote it yourself. You can also google events in your city to find directories. So check this out. Tech events NYC and if you google something similar for your city you’ll see a bunch of stuff. So digital.nyc/events, here’s eventbrite, eventbrite, events.alleywatch, and ideally, here’s what are the best tech meetups, Gary’s guide and ideally what you want to do is go through each one of these and find someplace to submit your events and submit it. It’s that simple. Usually it’s free to list your event and we’ve driven so much revenue just from doing this. So here’s add an event on digital.nyc. This was number one on google for tech events New York City. So instant number one. Click here to list your event on AlleyWatch. Here it is again for free you can also pay I think, sponsor. New York tech meetup add event. Quora you can just add an event by writing it in here and Gary’s guide is the same way. Add new. Very very simple to promote your event and usually that’s all you need in New York, at least, which is a pretty big market, but San Francisco’s the same way for driving traffic and you will be surprised how few people or how few good events are on these lists. So by just having a good simple drinks meet up I found that people will come to it almost every time. And then the final section of this is how to get an ROI from meetups? How to actually get an ROI? So everyone that I’ve met that owns a meetup and has done it, has been doing here for more than six months has gotten a positive ROI. One of my friends runs Startup Grind in New York City and it’s opened up all these opportunities for his tech consulting business. Another one of my friends runs drinks and coding or maybe just coding boot camp. I interviewed him, Eugene Yee on the podcast and it got him a $100k plus job at Capital One as a coder. I only reveal this because he revealed it on the podcast itself. So you will get an ROI just from the meetup, but what I actually found works best is meeting everyone, acting like the actual host shaking hands, saying hey thanks for being here what do you want to get out of this event. Just being very open about it and asking what they do. What I found is what you can usually do is mention that you do app development if you’re an agency owner or design or whatever you do. And most people will have an app idea in their stomachs, in their brain somewhere. Whether it’s for their company or whether it’s for whatever and as soon as you get that idea you know be interested in it, ask more questions, get their business card and then you email them the next day with an email that says something like something simple like: no subject line and then hey Mike great seeing you at the meetup yesterday. Let me know if you’re around for a call or coffee to keep talking about the app idea. Either way, stay in touch. Thanks, Alex. Got more meetings out of this email then even those long cold email scripts that we talked about. Thanks for watching the video. Are there any other questions you have about putting on a meetup? Leave them down in the comments. I will be sure to answer every question you have. Like this video to encourage this type of content on YouTube. Subscribe to this channel for more B2B sales training and if you need marketing support for your digital agency, if you want us to run a series of meetups for you check out experiment27.com. Thanks.

Stephen Childs

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