I like going to meetups. It’s a great way to meet new people, practice your marketing pitches whatever they might be, and of course great tool in job search. I wish there were meetups in Russia where I am from, because it is a great way to find like-minded people and it is very convenient, too – no commitment to attend future meetups and no fear to feel like an outsider. Just show up and share you story: where you are or where you want to be!
On Tuesday last week I went to a meetup organized by Mashable and General Assembly on the occasion of the Social Media Day. Mashable’s Pete Cashmore came up with the idea of this day in 2010 to celebrate the universal potential and infinite expansion of social media across the world and all facets of people’s lives. Nowadays this day is celebrated worldwide in the beginning of July.
When I came to the meetup I almost couldn’t hear anything because the stuffy studio-size room was buzzing like a horde of about 150 bees, each bee apparently throwing their marketing or sales pitch to another bee they just met.
Besides pure networking, the Social Media Day meetup had an agenda – the major topic was how LinkedIn can help in personal marketing. David Mitroff from Piedmont Avenue Consulting who hosted the event have some useful advice about managing your digital persona that I found quite helpful:
– Creating a personal website. There are tons of free and user friendly platforms serving that purpose, this time we were suggested to use WiX. I checked it out, it’s a free platform to create a website that looks pretty easy to use;
– Using apps that trigger client activity on the website like Vcita is a great idea or small business owners and freelancers;
– Using email marketing automation solutions like Constant Contact;
– Filling in more information about yourself in LinkedIn profile (including your hobby);
– Not underestimating LinkedIn recommendations feature;
– Adding a picture to a LinkedIn profile (yes, I also got some requests to connect from people who didn’t have a profile pic!)
In fact, these types of meetup are a great marketing tool for SMB- and B2C-targeted products!
I found out that about half of the people who came to the meetup were looking for potential clients or partners. Other people were apparently looking for jobs. I met people from companies like LionBridge (a crowdsourcing platform for localization services), a startup Remotus (a platform that helps freelance software developers from countries like Ukraine find clients in the US), a company AVG technologies, coffee brewing company Philz Coffee, exciting startup CrowdMed (crowd-sourced diagnosis for the most difficult medical cases). There were also some people from SMM departments of companies that just wanted to hang out and have a bottle of beer. There were also quite a bit of people visiting from abroad – mostly startup founders trying to grow their client base in the US or just trying to build connections and learn new things. I met a girl from Sweden Katarina Tikka who is writing a book about marketing case studies for small businesses. If you have a story to share – she is searching for startups to feature in her book!