Hi, this is Laura.
I’m with CoachMeLaura.com and At Your Service Mobile Notary (www.atyourservicemobilenotary.com). I have been recently posting announcements about my next meetup on Facebook and LinkedIn. Amongst the RSVPs, we’re getting lots of questions about ‘when will you have a meetup near me in my area?’ So I thought it’s a good time to explain what a meetup is and how they work.
First of all, a ‘meetup’ is just a platform – at www.meetup.com – for people who have a common interest to get together on some kind of basis to have fun with that particular topic. And the idea is to use the internet to actually set things up to meet face to face. It’s been around probably since the early two thousands. I started my meetup group in 2009. By the way, I started with three, just three people!
Now the first thing I would do is try to find one – find a group – see if there’s one already in your area and join it!
There’s no cost to join. There is a minimal cost to host it, meaning the person who’s advertising that it exists. You can also set “dues” for attendees to cover any costs. If you don’t find one in your area, well then why don’t you start one!! You could start out by putting requests and announcements out on Facebook, anywhere in social media where other notaries are. Say “Hey, I’d like to start a meetup. Here’s my area. Anybody else interested in meeting with me?”
Now there are some things you need to know about having successful meetings – mainly getting people to want to come to your meetings! So let’s talk about the three important things that you need to think about.
One is you need to have a topic, some kind of loose agenda so that they know what they’re coming to hear or participate in. It could be about law changes, it could be about difficult documents, or about unclear notary language.
It could be a speaker or presenter that’s going to come and talk for five or 10 minutes. It could be sharing your (or their!) wins or exchanging marketing tips that have actually worked for you. Also, you might identify a collaborative effort either as a group or within the group. You might identify a collaborator to work on something with.
Another thing that’s important is identifying the space. Where are you going to meet? Not a good idea to start out at your house. My thought is a public space is probably best. Starbucks works great. Some of them actually have an inside room or an area where you can be a little separate from the noise. Another one would be at a Denny’s that has the booths where you can sit around the table. Another thought would be a bakery. I know in my town I have a bakery and they have a room that sits up to like eight to 10 people. That’s kind of private – you can reserve as long as you’re buying pastry and coffee there, there’s no charge for the room.
A public library is another great idea. Usually there’s either no cost or donation or a low cost. It could be $10, depending on the size of room that you’re trying to reserve. You might have an office connection. For instance, mine are held at my office because there’s a big conference room that can accommodate 15 – 20 people. And I’m already renting the space there so I might as well make use of it. So that’s where I happen to hold mine. When I started, I had a house of worship that let us in after hours, after business hours, to use their social hall to hold meetings and presentations.
Finally, you need to publicize this because you can come up with a great topic. You can identify the perfect space, but if nobody knows, nobody’s coming!
The idea of ‘if you build it, they will come?’ Not true! They have to know you built it, then they will come! So get out there on social media and identify what’s happening. What’s your group, where is it located, what’s the date going to be, what the topic is, and how they can RSVP back to you.
And if you get even just three or four to start? Where two or more gathered, that’s a meetup! How often should you be doing this? Well, I found monthly for me with my group tended to be too often and quarterly was a better frequency. But if there’s just a few of you – you might want to meet for coffee once a month, maybe the first or second week of the month when business is a little less than end of month and start building from there.
I hope this has been helpful how meetups work and how you could get one going on in your area.
Also for those of you who are in the Central Valley in California, I’m meaning from Fresno up to Sacramento, and a little bit into the Bay area – If you are interested in coming to a meetup, our next one is December 10th 2019 and that’s at 6:00 PM at my downtown office in Modesto.
You can RSVP to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have you even if you want to come only for one time and then set up your own in your area so you don’t have to drive so far, that’s great! That’s usually the distance people are usually willing to drive – an hour up to an hour and a half, one way to get to this. And they’re usually about two hours long. It’s nice when there can be a treat or if you’re in a Starbucks, you get your own coffee.
All right. Until the next time, have a good one.
Until next time,