Meetup.com is a site that contains provides and promotes connections with people of similar interests and talents. You can essentially find a group for any and everything you love from moms with tattoos to black owned business near train stations (I’m sure I made that one up). Meetup is an excellent tool to leverage your business and get to know people in your industry as well as those you want to target as clients.
Start by creating a profile. You’ll create a general profile when you go to the site that tells a little about who you are. This is what Meetup hosts and group members will see when you join a group and RSVP for an event. Make it your own. This is not a business page however, if you intend to join business groups and your goal is networking be sure to talk about your business but give a little about yourself as well (hobbies, interests, etc.) Be sure to include a photo. Let’s be real, we all get the creepy, stranger danger vibe when we see profiles on social media with no photo.
Search local professional groups. There is a specific category for businesses. Browse the ones in your area. Start narrow, perhaps with your specific industry (i.e. Altanta Virtual Assistants) then cast a wider more generic net (smallbusiness owners, entrepreneurs in Baltimore, etc. Join the ones that 1) caters to your target audience and 2) has people you can be affiliates, partners and referrers for your business.
ATTEND EVENTS. Joining groups won’t leverage your business if you don’t participate. R.S.V.P. for your groups events, show up and be ready to mingle, interact and pitch.
It’s that simple. Meetup is full of great business owners and opportunities. Get out and introduce yourself and your business to the community and you’ll be pulling in new clients and customers in no time. Happy networking!