How to Start a Meetup Group -Washington DC

For some time I wanted to meet up with a group of fellow creatives in my industry to brainstorm, critique and help grow each other’s businesses. The word most people are using these days is “mastermind” but we aren’t that fancy. I have created a list of things that you can do if you are wanting to start one in your own city/town. 1. Just start.

This was the hardest for me to do. Suddenly my insecurities rise to the surface and I wonder if people will even be interested at all. One day I just sent out a message on Instagram to 3 local photographers I “knew” and asked if anyone would be up for meeting on a regular basis. I was excited when 6-8 responded with enthusiasm.

2. Pick a location.

There are several things to keep in mind when you plan a meet up. You want there to be plenty of parking, be metro assessable and quiet enough to have a good conversation. A table and coffee never hurts either! 🙂

3. Be specific and have goals.

I love people and chatting with creatives! But, I have been to too many meetings where I walked away with more questions than answers. I didn’t want to meet up and waist a lot of time chatting and not really going anywhere. Before each meet up I message all the attendees one or two things we need to work on or discuss. That way we have a game plan and always leave with a few things checked off our list, questions answered and one item to work on.

4. Be Flexible.

When you have a group of 7-10 people things come up. Kids get sick, it snowed last week, or another job requirement will need to be taken care of; but that’s ok. When you are flexible, you don’t become frustrated and enjoy your time all the more. I have learnt that 3 or 4 people is the perfect number to have different insight yet not too large that you can’t all have a conversation together.

5. Pick a group in your same industry.

This might sound counterintuitive, but it is so important. They most likely will know the answers to your questions
and also be able to give constructive criticism. Our group consists of photographers but from different genres: newborn, wedding and personal branding.

Benefits of a meet-up:

Spurs creativity

Gives accountability

Gives you a list of people to recommend to future clients

Promotes community over competition

Develops friendships 
Whether you live in a city or small town, I hope this inspires you to further your community and create friendships near you!

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