I am sitting in a coffee shop during a Meetup called “Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write!” in order to focus on my next book (with the goal to have it released by the end of this year). After 50 minutes, I need to switch to a different project.
Since blogging is perfectly legal for this group’s rules, I wanted to share three ways MeetUp groups can be used as a tool for audience development.
- Audience development is about building relationships with people. Most of us are having a more challenging time finding people that we click with. When you meet people at a Meetup, you generally are meeting in conjunction with a shared interest/topic. This way, it is an easy way to meet others that may be a good fit. For example, not only am I in a Meetup with other aspiring authors, but I have joined a classical music meetup as well as a tea group and a fictional reading group. I have met some fantastic people this way that I can keep in touch with and further my relationships with them. You can start a Meetup to help your audience members meet others that they will click with! This can be a new service that you offer as a benefit to your audiences.
- Meetups can be a great way to get to know your audiences better. Consider starting a meetup group that has a special topic your audiences would enjoy. You can create meetups to invite specific audience groups too.
- You can use the Meetup group to introduce your audiences to your art, organization, concert schedule, subscriptions, etc. Getting face to face time for introducing something new (or old) is priceless. You might have certain audience members that would love to give their opinion or help you to develop a project. Meetups are wonderful for getting your audiences more directly involved. Consider these meetups as a casual focus group. You will receive on the spot feedback and suggestions from existing and potential audience members. Also, people may bring a friend with them which is extremely valuable for audience development.
So I challenge you to quit hiding behind your website and other marketing materials and instead start meeting your audiences face to face. You will be adding social elements and opportunities to your audience development plan. Meetups can make a huge difference for audience development if you commit to them.
Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,
Audience Development Specialists
“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
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