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I don’t know about you, but my business can be solitary at times.  I work out of the house.  Consequently I don’t see a lot of people during the day.  I spend most of my time on the computer.  I do video conferencing, but the conversation is focused on their business.  If I want to go talk to people it’s not going to be at the office.  Don’t I get to talk to Gillian my partner, you say?  Yes, but heck she is 4 states away.  Not the same as in person.  Gillian has a couple of organizations she belongs to like Toastmasters.  By the way as a side note, she has actually won a few state competition trophies for public speaking.

But I have not spent a lot of time in Kansas City as most of the last 10 years has either been spent in Phoenix or on the road.  So, what to do?  How do I find an outlet that allows me to meet new people and have stimulating conversations about business with other like-minded folks?  I need a forum to learn and share.  The answer is “Meetups”.  Whoever developed this was brilliant.  There are Meetups for all sorts of activities: wine clubs, hiking, culinary, book clubs, social clubs for all ages and a variety of business groups.  You can use them to join a movement, get ready to run a marathon, or even learn a new language.  The best part is they are all free.  You just need to find the Meetup of your choice in your neighborhood.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, just start your own.

Since my readers are mainly entrepreneurs I am going to suggest you join a Meetup for business.  But there are a variety you can select for fun. In fact, I highly suggest it.  But since this is a business blog I am going to explain my rationale for a business Meetup.  There are many choices.  Perhaps a business book club.  A technology group.  E-Commerce.  Network after hours.  Real-estate.  Just look up the “Career and Business” tab for your city.

I am very excited to share about one I recently joined.  We just had our first meeting and of course that was the inspiration for this blog article.  Our Meetup was called “I Love Marketing”.  If any of you are familiar with Dean Jackson and Joe Polish, you will know that they created a “I Love Marketing Podcast” and have done well over 300 Podcasts.  Sometimes Joe and Dean just focus on a specific theme or often they interview a guest of their business niche.  You won’t believe how inspiring they are and the value you will get from listening to these Podcasts.  Each one is about an hour.  Listen while working out on the treadmill, flying on the plane, driving in the car, or just when you are relaxing with a glass of wine in the backyard.  Easy to download to your phone or tablet so you can listen without being connected to WiFi.

If you haven’t heard of Joe or Dean you are missing a great treat and gaining lots of information that will help rocket your marketing.  The “I Love Marketing” website offers a host of information on who these two guys are as well as links to their podcasts and videos. Dean started out in the real estate business in Toronto, Canada, and Joe sold carpet cleaning from Tempe, Arizona.  Now they are online marketing gurus who freely share all their ideas that helped make them successful.  Some podcasts focus just on the power of having a mindset shift.

Hopefully you should find a I Love Marketing Meetup in your town.  It’s for like-minded entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their business with all the online marketing technology.  Usually the group members use what was learned in the podcasts and apply it to their businesses.  That’s what I was doing this morning.  A group of 6 of us met in a Chiropractic office.  One of the members offered his office for our meetup.  Some groups meet at libraries, coffee shops, or restaurants.  The one I went to in Scottsdale rented a conference room at the local library so they could have visual aids.  There is no one size fits all.  The organizer will put his/her blueprint on it.  But no matter you will have an opportunity to share your successes and brainstorm with others over your challenges.  I promise your challenges are shared by others in the group.  But how fun to be in a nurturing environment where you can help each other.  The purpose is not to sell to each other, though I am sure some may collaborate offline.  But the most important part, it gets you out.  It creates stimulation.  You learn new things, make new friends, and create a support group that you didn’t have before you signed up.  I was so jazzed when I came home.  I can’t wait for next month’s meeting.  My big aha today was learning that direct marketing is not dead and some of the members are very good at tracking their analytics.  Interesting.  Another area to explore for new customers.

Here is the link to Meetup:  You may not think you have time, but I promise you it will be worth your time.  A couple of hours a month could make a huge difference.

Our main discussion today was about the 8 Profit Activators.  What’s that?  Go check out the I love Marketing website. Dean will share for free.  Good stuff.

Here is a link to Dean’s podcast on 8 profit activators. Podcast 228.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist