Back to PodcastDeepen The Connection Brief Overview Cultivating a strong relationship with your audience is essential for any business. But how can you deepen the connection in that relationship? In this episode, Stu tells you how you can bring both your online and offline communities together. Download as an MP3 by right clicking here and choosing “save as.” RSS feed for Marketing Your Business Backstory What I want to talk to you about today is an extension of some of the things we talked about in the last episode which is where we are betting big and why are we making all these hires. Later this week I will be flying to Nashville to speak at the Business Boutique Event hosted by Christy Wright. I’ll be speaking in front of 1,400 women entrepreneurs about the best business model in the world which is membership and subscription revenue. The reason I am telling you this is because while I’m there, I’m doing something that I’ve started doing a lot more of, and that is in-person meetups. This one in particular will be with the amazing Jennifer Allwood who is my incredibly talented friend, part of my Impact mastermind and one of our top promotional partners for Tribe. We will bring together both of our audiences, mainly the people who are in the Nashville area or going to this particular event. Big Ideas Overcoming Fears to Deepen Relationships [3:08] A lot of people think that Jennifer and I are both extroverts, but we’re actually both fairly introverted. If I am going to an event like this, I wouldn’t be out mingling with people. I tend to recluse and hide away in a hotel. However, I realized that the future for online communities is bringing both the online and offline experiences together. The future is really about community and culture, and you can only develop that and deepen relationships with your community when you’re there in person. The Start of Something New [3:49] After experimenting with in-person meetups over the last year-and-a-half, we’ve decided to make a commitment to it. The reason for that is to really deepen the relationship with people from our communities who are able to attend the meetup. It creates a warm culture of people showing up for each other and connecting on a more personal level. People come for the content and stay for the community. But how can you cultivate both the online and offline communities and take your relationships to another level? Jennifer has this amazing relationship with her audience because she shows up for them online and now she’s showing up for them offline as well. You will start seeing incredible results if you do that too. How to Successfully Host an In-Person Meetup? [5:16] There are really two ways to go about doing this. The first way is to host an in-person gathering or meetup, like the one Jennifer and I are doing in Nashville. The first meetup I ever hosted was at Jeff Walker’s LaunchCon event a couple of years ago. I announced to my community that I wanted to get together to hang out, chat and answer any questions that anybody had. It was an informal thing with no structure, and I was expecting only 10 to 15 people to show up. I was blown away when I saw a huge gathering of over 70 people in the lobby who were all Tribers. We couldn’t fit in the hotel restaurant where I planned to have the meetup, so we sat down outside in the open area of the hotel and just hung out, discussed questions and talked through a bunch of things. A couple of tips on hosting your own meetup. First, host it when you’re going to an event because typically there are going to be other people from your community that will be there. Using other events as an opportunity to gather people together is a great way to strengthen your relationships. It’s best to host it the night before the actual event to avoid schedule conflicts with the main event. However, breakfast meetups have proven to be pretty powerful as well, so you can plan it for as early as 7:30 AM before the actual event starts. And second, make sure to request that people RSVP just so you have a gauge of how many people are going to be there and what room size you will need. Let Your Community Do the Job For You! [7:58] The second way of engaging with your offline community is by letting the people within your community host and organize a meetup themselves. This is happening right now in our Tribe community. We’ve got Tribers who are meeting and getting together in the UK, Australia, and throughout the US and Canada. One of the things you can do to help them is bring structure to the meetup and help spread the word about it. Carrie Green over at Female Entrepreneurs Association is one of the best at doing this. Carrie is a wonderful human being and she has this knack for cultivating community. One of the things she does to help people from her community get together is she puts a section dedicated to her community meetups in her communication materials. It gives the meetups more visibility and attracts more members to join. You and I can only host so many meetups per year, so letting your community self-host the gatherings will give you much more leverage. The Stronger the Community, the Stronger the Business. [11:06] The future is being able to bring the online and offline together. By having more of these meetups, you can deepen far more relationships and therefore strengthen your community to a much greater extent. The deeper the relationship, the stronger the community. The stronger the community, the stronger your business. And one last thing I want you to always remember, the more money you make, the more impact you can have. So, let’s do everything we can to make it rain! Memorable Quotes “People come for the content and stay for the community.” – Stu McLaren “The deeper the relationship, the stronger the community. The stronger the community, the stronger the business.” – Stu McLaren Rate & Review the Podcast Reviews for the podcast on iTunes and greatly appreciated! They help us build awareness for the show, which in turn allows us to bring value to more listeners like you. Not only that, but they help us better understand what matters the most to you so that we can constantly improve. If you received value from this episode, it would mean the world if you could take a moment and leave your honest rating and review. You can do that by clicking here.