One of the biggest lies I use to tell myself, and likely you’re telling yourself the same now is, “I can’t find people to connect with.”
Let’s face it…. depending on your current situation your current network can suck and not be of much help for you. But that’s OK, I’ve been there before.
That’s not to say your current friends and family aren’t beneficial for you, but you can only expand so much by always being around people you’re familiar with.
In order to expand your network, your skills, and knowledge you must connect with people that can stretch your current thinking.
“You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. — Jim Rohn”
I’m a creative, which means I come up with tons of ideas with the attempt of launching various mini-projects. Most of which require me to connect with many different people, with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
I’m also what you would call an ambivert, a cross between an introvert and an extrovert.
So my two biggest challenges use to be it was either too exhausting connecting with people and on top of that, I didn’t know what to find them.
If you’re not aware, Meetup allows you to create and join local groups to connect people of similar interests.
As of January 7, 2015, there were 127,630 groups in the United States with an average of 311 members per group. There is an estimated 39.6 million signups.
You can create and join groups that have an interest in fitness, hiking, local adventures, web development, and many other topics. Once I fully understood the concept it was a game-changer for me.
Meetup solved two major problems for me. It helped me get over my hurdle as an ambivert. Then it helped me to quickly expand my network without much of my own effort other than showing up.
When I launched my first startup called Zap Style which streamlined the appointment booking process for hairstylist Meetup became the solution for me to find my first customers.
Since then I’ve joined well over 50 different groups, connected a wide range of people, and started various mini-projects by using Meetup.com
Let’s say you’ve come up with an idea of solving a problem for pet owners. You obviously need potential customers to validate this idea. What do you next?
- Go stand out in front of pet stores to stalk people walking in and out
- Blindly set up a Google Adwords or Facebook Ad
- Call all of your friends and family
- Or join or create a group on Meetup with a group of pet owners?
I’m not suggesting that you take the easy way out and avoid doing the things that startup gurus suggest. But in order to experience success, you have to do things that fits your situation.
Meetup.com is what seamlessly works best for me and a solution I will always use to connect with others that fits my passion and projects.Here are some rules I suggest you follow for Meetup success.
If You’re Creating a Group:
- Make sure you truly care about the topic
- Respect people’s time — be on time, set clear expectations, etc.
- Build a relationship — give, give, give before you ask people to do something for you
- Be honest — be upfront why you created this group and what they can expect
If You’re Joining a Group:
- Bring value to the group
- Build a relationship — don’t just join expecting to sell people crap
- Respect people’s time — don’t reserve a spot for a Meetup meeting unless you truly want to show up
- Offer to help the administrator — quick way to get noticed in the group
The Meetup route may not work for everyone as it does come with some challenges. There is a cost to host or create Meetup groups but FREE to join other groups.
What should you do next….
If you haven’t already, register for a Meetup account and start browsing around for the local groups in your area. Join a group that you’re interested in and send a note to the administrator to introduce yourself.
Once you get comfortable with the Meetup structure to take the next step and create a Meetup of your own. This is where you can really start to expand your network.
If you found this article be helpful I would encourage you to share your feedback and give me a quick clap!