Meetup.com As Targeted Services Advertising Channel
No doubt eyebrows went up at the phrase targeted services. Services? Isn’t this about selling books? Things? Yes, but….
You will observe familiar problems that transcend services vs. things model of marketing. I am pitching my services because authors need other revenue streams, and as we generally become subject matter experts in our researches, you can cash in on that too. However, for those who are strictly concerned with selling books, I promise you valuable insights.
As I am the host to three Meetups, I bring you the experience of having hosted Meetups for 17 years.
My peak enrollment for any single Meetup was for a tech community focused on Artificial Intelligence. There I had 165 members. However, I never saw more than 12 at any one Meetup. Of those, half were steady visitors. I used all the methods at my disposal as advised by Meetup (they should know), and it never budged even with the most attractive of inducements: the $1,000,000 Netflix Challenge to design an algorithm to boost their film prediction accuracy (“Here’s another title you might enjoy”).
For that period of several months of Meetups (weekly), the number who participated varied little from that max of 12, more often 8 or 9. Let’s call that a committed 5%, the rest were not even tourists who might wander in to see if we were within grasp of all that cash.
This is typical. I have observed much the same spread of percentage numbers for all sizes of Meetups. The lesson to observe by this simple observation is that you need 20+ members to see one face other than yours at a Meetup; and that is pushing the boundaries of chance. I would say 50 members is roughly the ignition point of steady participation. Again, this conservative upper limit comes with experience.
Just two months ago, I had 200 members in three groups, but with the pandemic, I had let them idle too long, and they obviously appeared mordant to the few that had visited within the last 6 months (about 60 of that 200). I tried to revive those groups by funneling them into one Zoom session, but even the 60 were unmoved to respond.
I cast them all off and started over. Three new slates—and your entry point into the process of starting your own author-branded Meetup.
Next: the story of those blank slates filled in.