Mining MeetUp for Local, Like-Minded Marketers

By Andrew Lock | Posted May 09, 2011
Working at Home

Affordable or free Web marketing tools abound on the Internet, but busy small business owners don't always have time to go hunting for the best. Don't stress; we've done it for you. These great tools can help you connect with other entrepreneurs and give you more time to focus on your business.

Meetup.com

Meetup.com promotes itself as a way to 'Use the Internet to get off the Internet'. In other words, it's a directory that lists small peer group networking meetings in local areas across the world. There's also an opportunity for you to start a Meetup group on your topic of interest.

Here's how to get started with Meetup:

Step 1: Visit Meetup.com and click on the 'find a meetup' button along the top left hand side.

Step 2: Enter a keyword search term in the 'topic or interest' box. This might relate to your specific field, such as 'fitness instructor' or 'graphic designer', or more general business groups, in which case you might search for 'entrepreneur' or 'marketing' or 'small business'. Then enter your city, zipcode or postal code to indicate the area where you'd like to search.

Step 3: View the results. In this example, there are 17 meetup groups that match the search term 'marketing' within 10 miles of the 84094 zip code area.

Step 4: Click on the title of the group to view more details of the group – you can see how many members there are, how often they meet, what the group is designed for, and so on.

Step 5: Once you find a group that you resonate with, click on one of the links next to 'join this meetup group'. There are two ways to join – via your Facebook login details if you have a Facebook account, or via registering directly with Meetup.com. I recommend that you start a group after visiting another group.

My Reputation.com

Did you know that 53 percent of Americans use search engines to find information about another person?  I don't know what the stats are in other countries, but I suspect they're very similar.  It's true.  And, as you can imagine, sometimes what they find doesn't portray you in the best light.  It could even be damaging to your business.

MyReputation.com; Web tools, small business marketing
MyReputation.com
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My first recommendation is that you Google your own name and see what comes up on the first few pages of results -- do that on all the search engines.  If you have a very popular name -- for all those John Smiths, for example -- you'll obviously need to add some other keywords that relate to where you live or your industry, for example. 

Chances are that whatever you search for, there'll be something that you don't want other people to see about you.  And fortunately, there's a nifty service that will help you manage what others reveal about you online.  It's called My Reputation, and it's the original and best service of its kind. 

There's a modest monthly fee of less than $15, and the company will not only monitor everything that's posted about you on the internet, but it will also send you monthly reports and  work fast to remove anything that you want removed.  I recommend that you watch the video that explains more about the service on the Web site, and then try it out.

Fiverr.com

One of my favorite discoveries recently has been a resource called Fiverr.com -- spelled with two Rs.  It's a really simple and fun concept where people buy and sell services for $5.  Kind of like the dollar store for services, only it's $5, not $1 and it's for services, not products.  So I guess it's not really like the dollar store at all -- bad analogy.

Anyway, the concept is great.  And as a user of the service, you can have all kinds of amazing things done for you for $5. 

So, how have I used the service?  Well, let me see… in the last week, for example, I've had a cartoon created, a song charted into sheet music that I can play on the piano and two Tweets of my choice to someone's Twitter account with 14,000 followers.  Plus, a college kid in San Jose now has my logo on his backpack until June, I've had a link to my website put on a high-traffic website permanently and, just for fun, I had someone tell me how to extract my DNA. 

There was one other thing -- a one-act, solo play of my choice performed for me.  All of this cost me $5 each.  See how addictive it is?

Now in all seriousness, there's a ton of value to be had from this resource.  It's just incredible what people are willing to do for $5.  And of course, don't discount this as a lead-generation tool for your business. 

I noticed that my friend Jordan Macauley is offering the contact information for any celebrity for $5, which is just a brilliant use of this service, because not only is it profitable on the front end, but it's also a great lead-gen tool for his wider celebrity contact business.


You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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