Meetup Group Goals

My meetup group is nearly 18 months old. Why did I start it, and what could we achieve with it?

Freedom vs efficiency

The huge upside of freelancing — freedom — can sometimes be a downside. We may get to work from wherever we like, but that can mean we aren’t surrounded by colleagues, bosses and potential mentors to learn from.

We often have to learn things the hard way, through trial and error. We have to create our own opportunities, find our own inspiration and figure out our own paths.

And that can be pretty inefficient. So I thought “where’s the by-freelancers-for-freelancers meetup group? The one where we teach each other, support each other, inspire each other and thereby create opportunities for ourselves and each other? Oh, can’t find one so I’ll make one, no big deal, tra la la.”

Learning the basics

It’s been a huge learning experience.

Mostly, I’ve learned that there’s a lot to know about running a meetup group and fostering a sense of community by hosting events that are useful and fun. It’s not easy or automatic; it’s hard work.

Fortunately, despite how naively I started out, I soon met some awesome fellow freelancers who started helping with meetup planning and hosting. So we’ve seen rapid improvement in consistency and attendance.

Now a new year has begun, and I’m keen to see even more improvement.

New year, better meetups

This year I am going to:

  • continue building the core group steadily — consistency and commitment from the organisers is key here
  • start running a small mastermind group alongside the regular coworking meetups
  • reach out to experienced freelancers to give mini-talks with Q&As
  • invite freelancers to chat with us on Periscope about what’s going on in their freelance lives, good & bad, so we can all learn from each others’ experiences

So… those are the things to look out for this year! Comments, suggestions and questions welcome. Tweet @louise_macaroon.

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