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Episode #57

Episode 057: The one about Meet up Groups (with Kevin Donahue)

  • How ongoing mastermind groups can help you put the 8 profit activators into action
  • Kevin talks about his experiences running the Phenoix Meetup group
  • How to get more direction, confidence and capabilities from the I Love Marketing Meetup
  • How to join or start your own group



Dean: I’m Dean Jackson, he’s Joe Polish, and this is the I Love Marketing podcast. Hey, everybody! It’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish. With a special guest by the name of…

Kevin: Kevin Donahue.

Dean: Kevin Donahue. Mr. March.

Kevin: Yes, exactly.

Joe: Okay. So, what we’re going to talk about. Kevin actually runs the I Love Marketing Meetup groups here in Tempe, and he’s quite active with all of the I Love Marketing stuff. What I wanted to talk about today, Dean, the reason I thought this would be an interesting episode, is if we actually talked about I Love Marketing Meetup groups, why people need to attend them, why they need to start them. And why they need to tell their friends, family, and every human being on the planet about I Love Marketing, as if they were trying to recruit people into some silly multi-level company. Obviously, that part is a joke. What I do want to talk about, though, obviously, we have the I Love Marketing Meetup groups, and we’ve been having just some great success with people all over the world that have started I Love Marketing Meetup groups.

And people have questions about how do you do it, what’s the point behind it, that sort of stuff. We’ve kept this in a very informal sort of way, because we want to allow our listeners and our I Love Marketing – I wouldn’t call it fan base, although we do have fans – just the people that are really involved with us, to kind of do their own thing. And how they do it with a very loose sort of structure, so people can make their own invention out of the I Love Marketing Meetups. However, there are some things that they can do and some things that we’ve learned, I think, that would be really helpful. More than anything, the point behind this is really about the power of meeting and having discussion groups in person.

I think there are certain things that take place and happen when you facilitate in-person meetings, or you attend in-person meetings, and you’re simply not going to get the same sort of results as if you just read a book or go to a seminar, because you have the power of discussion. Discussions with other human beings that are smart and focused on the same things that you are, and the same subject interests, is a great way to go deeper with a particular subject, in terms of learning, with your skills, and that sort of thing. That is my take on it. What about you, Dean? What do you have to say for yourself?

Dean: I look at Meetup groups as an opportunity to get together with people in your local area, who are hip to the same things that you’re hip to, who are working on applying the 8 profit activators to their business. And as a sounding board, as a resource, as somebody to work through the application of these things with each other. As you know, getting together with people in all kinds of different businesses, you get a different perspective on how things work. Somebody comes to a Meetup group like this with their own experiences, everybody’s got something that works really well for them. Just listening and paying attention and sharing, you get a multifaceted approach to things, and it’s very valuable.

Joe: That was very good. Here’s what’s going to be kind of funny. The way we’re actually recording this right now is Kevin is standing in front of me, which is the most painful part about this episode is that we have to look at each other while we’re recording it, and you’re across the country, and we’re recording it onto a mic, through GarageBand. I swear I wish I had a video of this. But Kevin is actually going to have to mute his iPhone, because the recording that everyone on iTunes and I Love Marketing is listening to is actually going through a mic, so it sounds all nice and fancy and everything. But, in order for us to all be on the phone together, we’ve never done a 3-way phone call like this before, and we don’t want to put it on speakerphone because of the feedback and that sort of thing. So, if anyone hears any weird sound or differences invoice, just blame it on Kevin.

Dean: It is all Kevin’s fault, because you and I have this down, when it’s just you and I. Kevin is really the wildcard.

Joe: So, Kevin, why the hell should anyone listen to you, and who are you?

Kevin: Well, I do work here with Joe, at Piranha Marketing, and assist with the 25K group. But I think most importantly is that I run the I Love Marketing Meetup group here locally in the Phoenix area. Just to talk about what Joe and Dean were mentioning earlier, the toughest thing, I think, about being an entrepreneur is that you’re out there by yourself, you’re out there solo, and you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. Growing up in our culture, typically, we’re conditioned by going to school all day long, where everything is set up for us perfectly. We have our sports teams. Joe, for example, was big into Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. So, you have these organizations that are there for you, and they’re just automatically there. What happens is, once you get out of school, you’re on your own. You potentially go to college, and then you’re out, and then you have to make a decision.

Do I go work for a big corporation, which is kind of that built-in structure? Or do I go out on my own and be an entrepreneur? I think the toughest thing is I see entrepreneurs struggling to find community, and that’s one of the things we have here at I Love Marketing is a community, with a somewhat-structured curriculum with a couple of geniuses, I’d say, with Joe and Dean. That’s what we try to provide here at the Meetup groups. What we’ve done here locally is turned a Meetup into a real mastermind. What’s been fascinating is all of the different entrepreneurs from different backgrounds coming together, and like you said, Dean, just bringing powerful content, stuff that’s working in their business. What I do is simply facilitate the group discussion based on those 8 profit activators.

So, for example, last week we were getting deep into the before unit in profit activator number one, which is choosing your target market. We all know how important that is; but as you go out as an entrepreneur, one of the biggest things you do is you go out and try to cater to everyone, which is a big misconception. It was interesting this past week. I had my group do some homework and come up with a really targeted niche, and come back and sort of do a reveal at the meeting. I had everyone introduce themselves, with their name and who they’re basically catering to. It’s been very interesting. Dean, It’s fun to watch people squirm, isn’t it, Kevin? That’s always the one that people have to overcome their own blocks about, is narrowing their focus to a single target market. Even though we’re saying a ton, you can have multiple target markets that you try and appeal to, just like Proctor & Gamble.

I always use them as an example, because they’ve got 23 individual billion-dollar brands, which all serve a very specific niche. There’s nothing wrong with being into world domination and building a multibillion-dollar international conglomerate. For these exercises, for creating machines that deliver ready-to-act people to you during unit, the very best thing is to select one single market at a time. And it’s good to, in a group situation, kind of discuss that and to, almost like group therapy, kind of work through your issues with narrowing your focus and realize that even though you select one of those target markets, you can still choose another one, too. It doesn’t matter. When you’re compiling, when you’re creating advertising, when you’re creating compelling offers, it’s so much easier to offer the chocolate chip cookies to the chocolate chip cookie lovers, rather than just try and group everybody into dessert lovers.

Kevin: It was very fortunate, because we had some veteran entrepreneurs and some relatively new entrepreneurs in the group. And one of the gentlemen in the group, Scott Day, is a coach. But he’s a coach specifically to dentists. It was great because we used Scott as an example. Scott has so much business coming his way, he refuses. He has chiropractors call him, he has veterinarians call him, and he says no. He just focuses on that dental niche. And, we had other people in the group who were just so confused on what to choose. They’d choose these vague markets to go after, and it was great – you’re right– to watch the people squirm, get a little frustrated.

Dean: They start trying to make up words to describe their single target market.

Kevin: Exactly. That’s funny you said that. Joe used an exercise a couple of weeks ago, to write out 10 groups of people that you want to market to. And then I said, “Okay, you’re on a ship with these 10 people, and you only have 3 life vests. Who do you throw those 3 life vests to? You’ve got to choose 3. Now, you’ve got those 3. You have a gun in your hand, and only one person can survive. Who do you take out? So, it’s a really great thinking exercise to get people thinking about the one target; they had to choose only one, who that could be. It was a great discussion.

Dean: And more dynamic because they’re having it with other people who are entrepreneurs just like them.

Kevin: That’s right. And the thing that’s so interesting is watching other people just want to help each other. We usually run about a 2-hour mastermind here, 2-hour Meetup, and then people, stay for an hour. And then finally, by the time I close the doors, they stay another half-hour to an hour out in the parking lot, still discussing and trying to help each other. It really does give that total sense of community in what could be a very, very lonely world of an entrepreneur.

Joe: Let me pipe in here, because I’ve actually kept the phone on mute, so we don’t get feedback. This is really one of the most bizarre ways I’ve ever recorded an I Love Marketing episode. A couple of things I want to touch on that you both said. Kevin was talking, just now, about how people stay after the group. The thing that I think is the most awesome about a good group is when the community is bonded, when they really are there to help and support each other, and there’s the rapport. Part of the thing that you don’t really always get from a book or the thing you don’t always get from a seminar, especially if it’s a larger seminar, is the ability to build rapport with people on an ongoing, consistent basis. Now, you can come to a 3-day seminar, and certainly, I’ve been through human potential seminars where we’ve done so much bizarre and in-depth psychological training or sharing that, at the end of 3 days, people can feel like family, in some cases.

Certainly, I’ve had that sort of experience. But, the thing that I think is so great about ongoing mastermind groups – and I get the same sort of effect from 25K, from Platinum, and from the I Love Marketing Meetup, is when you’re meeting with the same people on an ongoing, regular basis. That is the beauty of it, is you get to know the people on a really intimate basis, if you so choose. Obviously, you’re going to pick and choose whom you have rapport with. But the reality of what we’re experiencing with I Love Marketing Meetups, we’ve been doing these for… How long has it been now, Kevin, a few months?

Kevin: Yeah, it was about 6 months here in Phoenix.

Joe: What has happened is we’ve seen these people evolve. Several of them have just dramatically shifted the entire direction of their business, how much money they make. And, it’s so cool. Even at the last meeting, we had Jeremy, who’s going to listen to this call. I read the testimonial that he sent in about how they did $10,000 in sales in the new startup of their business. I think Jeremy’s 22 years old, and he’s going to becoming to the Meetup groups on a regular basis. In my belief, he’s the type of guy that I’ll say, “Look, man, if you don’t have more money than I have in the next 2 years, by the time I was 30 years old, there’s something really wrong with you because the head-start that you’re onto right now is awesome. And that’s really because of an introduction to this type of marketing that most people, for one, don’t even know it exists and secondly don’t invest the time to do it. Taking that time throughout the month to not only listen to the I Love Marketing calls, but then come to the Meetup groups, is a very big deal. And the way to even accelerate it further is to start your own Meetup group.

So, my intention with this particular episode is to, for one, just, more than anything, increase the interest that anyone listening would have to go and find a meetup group in their own community and to attend it. And if there isn’t one in your own area, then start your own. Even if there is one in your own area, you’re more than welcome to start another one. Someone asked me one night, “You guys have this Meetup group. Would it be okay if I started another one, because I live on the other side of the valley, in Phoenix?” And I was like, “Yeah, of course. ” As far as I’m concerned, if there were 20 I Love Marketing Meetup groups in Phoenix, I would be happy. Why? Because it’s more people that are listening to our stuff; and secondly, it just makes me happy that we’re building and growing this community like this. There is an I Love Marketing Meetup guide that is on the site, and we’ve talked about this many times. I’m going to actually read parts of it. You print out this guide, and we just updated it recently. It says, “Your quick-start guide to leading your very own I Love Marketing Meetup group in your community,” and then it opens up and shows a map of different places around the world, such as London and Hong Kong, where there’s meetings.

There’s a little QR code, that you can take a picture of, and it will take you right to the website, if you had a printed version of this. And then it says, “Getting started. Want to get together with people who share your common interest in marketing but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re new to the whole concept of marketing and are looking to make some new friends. If so, start your very own I Love Marketing group, just for you. is an online community where you can start or join a social group and meet up with others who share your interest. ”“To start a Meetup group, simply fill out the basic information about the group, which includes hometown, group name, a welcome headline and a good description on the create a group page. Refer to the handy prep form included with this guide. ” Then, we basically take you through how to set it up. Right now, at the time we’re doing this episode, as leader/organizer, you must pay a fee to to host your group.

One plan will cover up to 3 groups. You can also recoup those fees by charging membership dues or a fee to attend each event. It’s up to you. The plans are available: paying one month at a time for $19 a month, paying 3 months at a time for $15 a month, or paying 6 months at a time for $12 a month. You can then schedule your first You should select a date, time, meeting, location, or event, or activity for the group. After that, as the group leader, you should be able to be active with the group by communicating to your members and organizing even more events. Now, I wanted to say, if it’s not obvious, that Meetup is a separate company. It’s a website that just allows people to organize meetings on any particular topic. I think that if there’s any area of your life that you are interested in having discussions on, start Meetup groups on anything.

If you’re into playing guitar, if you’re into pets, if you’re into certain types of spiritual activities, if you’re into yoga, there are meetup groups on everything, from raw food to knitting, you name it, movies. This is just a really cool way to create a community, and it’s one of the fastest ways to actually become very skilled at marketing. You want to create a theme, and you want to title. You want to have “I Love Marketing” in the actual name, too, because if you don’t, then it will not pop up on meetup. Kevin, there’s some other recommendations I’m sure you have for people starting this, and I can read a little bit more out of some of the template we have here. Everyone can download this Meetup guide right from and click on the tab, up at the very top, that says “Meetup. ” But what are some suggestions you have?

Kevin: I think the thing you mentioned at the beginning was you get to be a leader of people in the community. So, going back to what I mentioned earlier, about going to school or being on a team, this puts you in a position to really lead other entrepreneurs in the area and provide killer content. The great part is the curriculum is already there. The 8 profit activators, you can download the 8 profit activators from It’s the free report that we offer. You just follow that curriculum. Joe often talks about how many different forms of Christianity are there? Like 2,400?

Joe: Yeah, I think it’s between 2,200 and 2,400.

Kevin: Knowing that, it’s interesting. You can take that from 2 perspectives. One is there’s a bunch of crazies talk about a bunch of crazy stuff, or that there’s some truth there. I think the power here, if we had 2,400 different, I Love Marketing Meetup groups around the world, everyone with their own flavor, but the underlying truth is the 8 profit activators that we teach throughout the curriculum. So, when you start up your Meetup group, it’s going to be different. My style is different than Joe’s, Joe’s style is different than Dean’s, Dan Sullivan’s style is different than all of ours. As long as you’re taking this content that’s proven to work in a number of industries. Joe has proven it in the carpet cleaning niche; Dean’s proven it in the real estate niche; and not just those niches, other niches as well.

The thing I always tell people in my Meetup group or my local mastermind, what I call it, the I Love Marketing Mastermind, is the stuff we teach and that we discuss in these meetings are no different than the stuff that’s discussed in the 25K meetings or other marketing meetings. It is killer content. All you’re doing is you’re providing an environment for local business people to come to, to connect. And what’s great about it is you’re the leader. You’re the leader of local entrepreneurs. You essentially position yourself to be the leader and to be the local sort of rep, per say, for the I Love Marketing group. I think it’s a great opportunity. The strategic byproducts, I was actually out Friday night with about 5 members, and you just start to develop friendships. When people get together and help each other, they want to see each other succeed.

So, if you’re tired of some of the groups of people you’re hanging out with, sometimes you’ve got to go through your cell phone and delete people and add new people. What I’ve discovered is this has been a phenomenal way to add some people who are craving personal development, people who are craving more money in their business, people who are really craving to serve people. A couple of people in my group, one guy is an ASU student, and he’s in the Army ROTC. His defined niche is the 9 guys that report to him; I believe he’s a sergeant, or something like that. And the guy is super-passionate about serving these people. He’s growing to be an entrepreneur, but for now, he’s using these strategies to help the guys that he’s serving. There are a number of coaches in my group, as well as real estate folks. You just get to be in a position where you’re helping other people, and I think that’s the benefit I’ve seen from it.

Joe: What I will add to that is with all of the connection that people have on the Internet, I think the biggest disconnection is in person. That’s like bowling alone. A lot of books that have been really talking about how we are – Ned Hallowell does it in his books –more connected personally than we ever have been in history, but we’re more disconnected on an intimate level, because of electronics, than ever before. Oops, I stepped away from the mic, here. I was leaning back in my chair talking in the phone and forgetting there’s a microphone. What do you think of that, Dean?

Dean: You were leaning back, pontificating.

Joe: Yeah.

Kevin: I can just see the pipe, too, you smoking a pipe.

Joe: My voice has gotten deeper, here. We were just talking, like we did in the last episode. I talked about being at the Paul McCartney thing, and I saw Hugh Hefner over there, and he wears the robes. It’s very funny. He wasn’t wearing a robe that night. But anyway, just going to a place and meeting people in person is good for your head. I cannot tell you how many Internet marketers don’t leave the freaking house. They just stay in front of a computer all the time. When someone comes to a Meetup group, it’s just a great thing. I think even if someone doesn’t want to start their own Meetup group or attend an I Love Marketing Meetup group, just getting out and doing masterminding with other smart entrepreneurs is huge. If you want to get really good at marketing, then you’ve got to devote time to reading about marketing, learning about marketing, executing marketing techniques, having good sounding boards of people doing it. If you have a feedback mechanism, huge.

One thing I always love talking about is the greatest thing about being your own boss is that you’re your own boss. No one tells you what to do, doesn’t tell you when to go to bed, when to wake up, where to show up to, and that’s great. There’s a lot of independence and freedom that come with that. And that’s bad, from this standpoint. There’s no accountability. A lot of times, the best thing about being your own boss is the worst thing about being your own boss. Who do you go to for advice? Who’s your boss? Who gives you suggestions? Who do you bounce things off of? What we have found, every time that we do one of these I Love Marketing Meetup groups, is there’s someone there, no matter how successful they are, that really have not bounced something that’s really either irking them or a big opportunity or a big challenge.

And you give them an opportunity to talk to other like-minded entrepreneurs that are totally focused on building and growing a business, and guess what? They walk out of there with solutions. So, I think every week, my 3 favorite words from Strategic Coach are direction, confidence, and capabilities. If you’re getting more direction, more confidence, and more capabilities by attending any sort of mastermind, keep doing it. At the end of the day, that’s what we all want. We want to create simplicity out of the complexity that affects us as entrepreneurs. We have just found this to be a great way to do that. Dean, I don’t want to keep rambling here because I really enjoy stepping over you and not allowing you to talk, so I just want to be polite for maybe 90 seconds and have you say something.

Dean: I’m wondering, in Kevin’s experience of having different people at the group, I wonder what the ideal size is for a Meetup group like this?

Kevin: That’s an interesting question. Our Meetup groups are growing out of control, actually, in a good way. What I did recently was I just did a for-pay model. So, we’re just simply charging $49 a month right now, and half of that goes to Make-A-Wish. We’re getting about 25 to 30 people per meeting, which has been really great, because what that does is it gives us the opportunity to have a group discussion, but then I can break it up into groups of 3 people, and they can discuss whatever their niche is. Last week, I had people bring in their sales letters, and they could get together and read sales letters to each other. So far, 25 to 30 has been a really good number for us. Something that Joe was saying, too, is the idea of accountability. What has been so interesting is that in the community, it sort of happens automatically. Accountability sort of has a funny feeling to it. When you say, “I’m being held accountable,” it sort of has that negative feeling to it. But when you get into this type of community, people are really looking out for each other, and they want each other to succeed.

So, its almost like they’re relying on each other. They’re almost reliability partners, as opposed to accountability partners. That’s been really great. Also, being here at Piranha headquarters is sort of a privilege, because we get great guest speakers. We had Dave Crenshaw, the author of Myth of Multitasking, and Dan Sullivan, and sometimes we have some folks from the 25K group here speaking. So, I sort of have an unfair advantage. What other local Meetup group leaders can do is they can start to invite people in their community, people who are the authority in SEO or Facebook marketing, and invite them to the group, and just introduce local people and have guest speakers come to their group, as well. But the accountability has been amazing, and it’s just the friendships that come out of the group.

Joe: Let me go over some themes, too, that I would love to discuss, that we recommend as part of the discussion topics and study guide. It says, “Your first meeting will set the context for the I Love Marketing Meetup group,” and I’m reading this right out of the PDF that you can download off of the site. The first topic is, “Why do you love marketing?” Key questions are important, so we list questions. You can run a whole group just simply from questions. One of them is knowing why you’re using marketing for your bigger future is important, and then there’s a group discussion. And we always love these questions: “Where are you in your business? Where do you want to go? And how are you going to get there?” I can run almost any group just off those 3 questions. Dan Sullivan says all progress starts by telling the truth.

So, people first need to determine where are you, where do you want to go, and how are you going to get there? If you can at least get people to identify where they’re at and where they want to go, you can do a “Where do you want to be in a month? Where do you want to be in 3 months? Where do you want to be in 6 months? Where’s your business in a year from now? What would need to happen for you to feel happy with your results?” Then, you can start discussing how you’re going to get there. First, before you say, “Here’s how to get there,” first find out where people are at. And, where do you want to go? How are you going to get somewhere? “Well, I’m going to drive there. I’m going to walk there. ” But you’ve got to know where the hell are you and where do you want to go? And then, “What are 3 things that marketing can help you and those you care about get?” What I love about that question is people are like, “Oh, I’ve got to do this marketing. ” You don’t have to. “I want to lose weight. ” Okay, well, that’s what exercise is going to help you get. If you say to someone, “What are 3 things that going to the gym is going to help you and those that you care about get?” your brain cannot ignore a question. That’s the beauty of questions. Your brain can’t ignore it.

So, when you get people focused on that, that’s huge. Then, we have discussions like before/during/after. This is the context in which everything else you’re going to discuss in your Meetup group fits into. Every business has a before unit, a during unit, and an after unit. Give credit to Dean Jackson for coming up with that fancy model. The key questions and ideas are, “Explain each of these units and discuss each person’s business in terms of the units. What are you currently doing in each unit? What are the key metrics in each unit for you? What do you want to be doing dollar wise, customer-wise, etc.? And, what are some examples of currently successful businesses that you know about, that have great before, during, and after units, and can you apply a version of it into your business? And, if so, how?” That is a really great discussion to have, looking at successful businesses. All of us, for the most part, can always easily think of which businesses suck, which ones have failed to follow-up or send thank you’s, or do anything with us. But why do we go to certain restaurants on a regular basis? Why do we do business with certain companies on a consistent basis? Why do I always buy as many things as I can Because it’s easy. I understand the system. I don’t have to think, and that sort of thing.

So, what can you learn from other businesses’ before, during, and after units, that you can apply? When you get a whole discussion just around a topic like that and people are talking about it, that’s huge. You’ll walk out, literally in an hour of the discussion like that, with total game-changing plans and processes for your own business. So, those are some examples. And then, of course, you can have any discussions around the profit activators. So, we not only go over the profit activators, but I’m going to show you. This is in the printed out guide. Even if you’ve never attended a Meetup group, if you actually read the I Love Marketing Meetup Guide and actually filled out these questions or answered them yourself, it’s still going to help you get more out of the I Love Marketing. However, the reason we created this is to help people do it in the context of a group, with other people. Even if it’s just one other person, it’s useful to have that. So, the first profit activator, number one, narrow your focus and select one target market at a time. So, the key question or idea is, “Who is your ideal target market? What are the ways you can dominate that particular market?” The second one, profit activator number 2. Use direct response offers to compel your prospects to call you.

Dean: I’m going to stop you. Hang on. Hang on.

Joe: Key question: “What types of offers are you currently using in your business? Are they compelling or can they be improved?” And then, “How?” Another question is, “Who are some great examples of companies or people who are using direct response offers?” And, of course, we give plenty of examples on the I Love Marketing calls, when we talk about it. But that would be an example. And then, profit activator number 3, the discussion profit activator, is patiently and systematically educate and motivate prospects. So, the questions and ideas: “How do you educate and motivate your prospects, your clients? Are you currently using prerecorded messages in your business? Why not? And what are other robotic ways you can use to educate and motivate prospects?” Throwing questions out like that will have people in the group talk about videos that they’re using on YouTube, will have people talk about what they’re doing on Facebook, and what they’re doing with sales letters, and all types of different consumer awareness guides.

There are a whole variety of robotic ways that you can not only attract prospects and stuff, but you can educate ones you’ve already got. We’ve also had this lead into discussions about using robotic marketing for hiring employees and what sort of free recorded messages and videos need to exist in order to find the best JV partners. It really leads into cool discussions. The 4th profit activator is present your unique service offer in a way that makes it easy to get started. The questions are, “How do you currently present your services to others? Is there a unique packaging you can create to make it more easy for someone to use your services? What is it? Have you created a consumer awareness guide for your business? If not, why not?” So, those are some examples. I can keep going. Maybe I should. What do you think, Dean?

Dean: Keep going through those, and then we’ll come back and talk about a couple of them. I think there are some really valuable things in there.

Joe: Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to say. There’s even a picture of Dean on this particular page, where I keep going. See, there’s me. This is good, because it came before Dean on this page. Page number 5 has Joe Polish and my bio, and it talks about how great I am. And then on the next page, it has a picture of Dean. And just to make him look like he’s somehow equal to me, it says a couple of things about what his focus is and what he’s an expert in. I don’t know if anyone is going to buy any of that. You’re supposed to chuckle with me and insult me.

Dean: I’m chuckling on the inside.

Joe: Okay. See, Kevin, how he’s just sitting there, quietly waiting? He’s just waiting. So, profit activator number 5: deliver a dream-come-true experience designed for your clients’ perspectives. The key questions are, “Do you have raving fans for your business, and who are they? What does everyone love about you, your business, your services? What does everyone hate about your business and your services?” And then, profit activator number 6, discussion. Provide after-sale services, even after you’ve already been paid. Key question or ideas: “Does your company offer after-sale services? What are they? What are some sale service offers you can implement?” And then, number 7, the profit activator, is nurture lifetime relationships and focus on lifetime value. The key questions are, “Do you know what the lifetime value of every client you do business with is? What are ways you can nurture and create lifetime relationships?

What ways do you show you appreciate your clients? How do you know your clients are happy with your services?” What’s funny is I go through these, like people here will sit and listen to them and say, “Yeah, those are good questions. ” Most people would agree that if they spent a little bit of time, even if it was like a minute or 2 on each question that I’m reading here, you would learn tremendous amounts of things you could do, without even having to talk to anyone. Ideas would come to your mind. But, most people, left to their own devices, won’t do it, which is why, if you actually do it in the context of a Meetup group, and you say, “I’m going to devote a year to really figuring this stuff out,” that’s how you totally transform a business. As a matter of fact, it usually doesn’t take a year. It could happen in the span of one good meeting. And then, of course, I’ll go the 8th one here, which is, profit activator number 8: orchestrate referrals by giving your clients the opportunity to feel great. Key questions, “Do you provide services that makes your clients want to refer you? If no, why not?”

So, think about that. When’s the last time you did business with someone that provided a service or a product or an experience to you in a way that you simply wanted to go out and tell other people about them? How often does that happen? I just stayed at the SLS Hotel, when I went to the Paul McCartney event, the lifetime achievement dinner that I talked about in the last podcast. That hotel is such a freak show, which I simply want to tell other people about it. The décor was so random and so wild and crazy. They have lamps that aren’t real rifles, but replicated rifles, and they had glass deer heads – not real deer heads, but glass. Everything, from the bathrooms to the furniture, to the restaurant, to the décor, just a complete freak show of total randomness.

But it just was eccentric; it was elegant, it was contemporary and traditional, all kinds of stuff just mixed together. It was cool. I’ve told a lot of people about that hotel, and now I’m telling more by having it recorded. Okay. “Do you have a referral program? What does it consist of? What are the ways you can actively get referrals?” Not passive referrals, but actively get referrals. “Why do you think people refer others to you?” Then we say, “Congratulations and best of luck with your new I Love Marketing Meetup group. Stay tuned in every week, to get more of the best actual marketing insights around. And then, “Other discussion topics from the podcast. ” We have,“ Marketing versus selling,” episode 3. “More before, during, and after,” episode 26. “The magic rapport formula,” episode 29. “More cheese, less whiskers,” episode 24. “Obstacles to getting referrals and how to set the stage for getting referrals,” episode 33. “Lead conversions and how to think about your leads to make the most money,” episode 5. “5-star prospects,” episode 6. “Your list: how often should you mail or email your list?” episode number 6. “The future of the thank you economy,” episode 10.

That’s our interview with Gary Vaynerchuk. “TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie’s approach to giving and business,” episode 12. “Blogging: how often and the right amount, episode 13. “Being outrageous in your marketing,” episode 14. “Video marketing and the 3 essential steps,” episode 20. “Logos and branding,” episode 21. “Copywriting: how to make your writing riveting,” episode 35. Then, the last page has an episode reference cheat sheet, and it just is filled with all of the different episodes. The one I’m holding in my hand has right up to episode number 50. Every so often, we’re going to continue to update this with more content. Then, of course, we tell people to get your free Breakthrough DNA 8 profit activator report. And we would recommend that, for your I Love Marketing Meetup group, especially if you’re charging, print out a copy of the DNA Breakthrough Report and give a copy to everyone that comes to the I Love Marketing Meetup group.

If everyone reads that report, as an example, and you pick any profit activator, any discussion, you’re going to have, most likely, a pretty lively, helpful, good, valuable discussion with the group. And more than anything, if you’re the leader of the group, the big benefit is because you’re facilitating, you’re actually really putting yourself in a position of getting really skilled. And if you’re someone that is afraid of public speaking, this is actually a really good way to enter into this area. There’s no way to present yourself or do anything that is a growth opportunity unless you somehow can just completely disconnect your emotions, which most people can’t, where there’s not going to maybe be some butterflies in your stomach or have some little bit of fear. I remember the first time I had to do a seminar and publicly speak. I was scared shitless. I was sweating; I was nervous. But the more you do it, the better you get.

And the beauty of I Love Marketing Meetup groups is they don’t require you to have to be a guru. They don’t require you to have to get up there and do a presentation. You’re simply just facilitating a discussion with a bunch of people. You can just use the energy of the group. But since you are the one leading it, though, you are in a position to where, in a lot of ways, it’s status. People look up to you, and people expect you to help facilitate a great meeting. Certainly, be prepared. Know what the heck you’re going to talk about and all of that. But for the most part, you don’t have to sweat bullets like oh, my God, people are going to expect you to perform for them. You just simply need to throw out really good questions, use the questions we have here, and it takes on a life of it’s own. At least, that’s been my experience.

Kevin: Recently, we had a friend of mine come in and do a Facebook marketing demonstrations, and he just taught the group how to effectively market to their niche on Facebook. It was great because I just gave everyone an assignment. “Go set yourself a $5-a-day budget, that’s not too much, and go test some ads. ”One of the guys came back the following week, and he had made $2,500 off of a $100 investment in ads on Facebook, just from one meeting. What you’re able to do is, like you said, use it as a think tank and see what works. You can take some of these strategies, go out there and test them, see what works indifferent industries. Another gentleman came in, and he’s in the real estate niche, and what they were doing, he shared that they were using Facebook ads, but they were catering to schoolteachers.

So, what they were doing is taking Facebook ads with the local school mascot. So, of course, that would grab someone’s attention when they’re on Facebook. You just get some really interesting insights from different people’s businesses that can work across all businesses. There’s another thing that’s interesting. Joe talks about riffs. Every singer has his riffs, his go-to songs. When you go to their concerts, everyone goes crazy when they sing their songs. Madonna had her riffs during the Super Bowl halftime show. Joe and Dean and other folks have their riffs, as well. And what happens is you start to pick up on these riffs. And these are, again, the truths that I mentioned earlier in marketing, things that just simply work. Another gentleman in our group came up with a consumer awareness guide, and just did some free testing ads out on CraigsList. And he just shared with me today he just got a brand new client. Now, the lifetime value of that client could be thousands of dollars, all from a free ad and attending an I Love Marketing Meetup group here in Phoenix. So, it’s things like that that really energize me. Just watching the breakthroughs and how people transform their business from being very vague to defining a specific niche. I think that’s one of the exciting things for me.

Joe: Yep. That’s what I’m trying to say. My favorite line, by the way. When you’re distracted, you’re not really listening to what someone’s saying, they’re saying something that’s better than what you could say, you just show up and say, “That’s what I’m trying to say,” and then everyone laughs, thinks its funny and everything. And, at the same time, it doesn’t really reveal anything. What do you think of that, Dean? You can even do an entire Meetup group by inviting people that are smarter than you, have them say some really smart shit for a couple of minutes, and then end and say, ‘That’s what I’m trying to say. ” And then you go to the next person and say some smart stuff. And at the end of the night, everyone thinks you’re a genius.

Dean: You could say things sort of dismissively, too.

Joe: That’s what Kevin does, when I’m talking. No, I’m kidding.

Dean: You could just kind of dismissively…

Joe: One thing that I hope that comes out of this actual episode is that we have hopefully created enough curiosity for someone that’s never been to an I Love Marketing Meetup group to either attend one, if there’s some in their areas. But this is all relatively brand new, so the vast majority of people that are listening to I Love Marketing, there are no I Love Marketing Meetup groups around them. In most major cities, they’re starting, if they have not already been started. But that’s why we really would like the marketers out there to go ahead and just start one, and start these things. One of the challenges we’ve been having on our website, of course, is being able to link to every I Love Marketing Meetup group, because I know there’s a whole bunch of them that exist that aren’t yet linked there. As long as you have, I Love Marketing in the site; it should pop up.

Dean: In the title.

Joe: But there are people that have actually started I Love Marketing groups on Facebook, and in different things, not just Meetup. So, we don’t need to keep this just a Meetup, it’s just that Meetup has created a site that helps self-organize and is really simple and really inexpensive. As far as charging, Kevin, what are your thoughts on people doing it for free versus people doing it for a fee? So far, we’ve kept it very loose. I don’t care if people charge for stuff. What I do care about, though, is someone using I Love Marketing. We had one situation, I still don’t fully understand what happened, but part of it is someone used I Love Marketing and tried to pitch someone into some other seminar, or something like that. Obviously, be respectful and be smart about it. Don’t try to bait-and-switch people and entice them to come to an I Love Marketing group where you’re going to have discussions about marketing and then try to pitch them into something that has no relevance to that.

We want people that obviously really, if you’re going to use our name, I Love Marketing, talk about the content of I Love Marketing. Encourage people to listen to the calls. Encourage people to be into what me and Dean are talking about. Talk about direct response marketing and things like that. So far, most all of the groups have been great, and the reports that we’ve gotten back have been fantastic. This is sort of our version of open source. Matt Mullenweg is my buddy, who’s the founder of WordPress, and you can see the episode of my interview with him on I Love Marketing. This is kind of open source. We kind of want to let the community do their own thing. If you want to charge for it, charge for it. As things come up, we’ll address them as best we can, as they come up. Maybe we will make recommendations on different ways to structure stuff. But in the beginning, here, we just want to get it going.

Dean: Yeah, we want to encourage people to do it, and to think about it as not just an event, not just that they’re going to go to one evening. Think about it as if you’re setting up a group that you’re going to rely on, that you’re going to meet with regularly. I think you would say that, Kevin, that the group that you have, the core group, are there, just like he said, like a reliability group, in addition to being an accountability group. These are people who, the more time you spend with them, the more time you share what’s going on in your business. There’s a lot of equity built up in that, a lot of equity in those relationships that people have invested time in getting to know you, getting to know what your business is about, and you’re getting to know what their business is about. You become a very valuable group, and get to share exciting results with people. It can be a very rewarding thing.

Kevin: You end up with a bunch of referral partners, too. That’s one thing I see that’s happened in my group, is that people go out, they start to really deeply understand, because you’re having deep discussions about your product, about your customer, about your specific niche. Like I mentioned last week, we did this reveal where everyone revealed who their target niche is. When you do something like that, you’re letting the world know who you are and whom you’re catering to. Then, you have 25, 30 other people who know exactly – while they’re out in their business – the kind of client that you’re looking for. It’s a great way just to do some networking, as well as masterminding. It’s a great place to get together with other business owners and really understand. Another thing that I see, too, is when people get the opportunity to discuss their business, they get to hear themselves pitching their own products, and they get the feedback right there. So, when you hear yourself talking about your business, sometimes light bulbs will go off. One of the things I do at the meetings here, similar to what we do in the 25K group, is I have hot seats. I have people that get 20 minutes in front of the group, and they’re squirming, oftentimes. They bring an opportunity or challenge or problem they’re having in their business, and they get to talk about this with 25, 30 other entrepreneurs, and they get feedback. The feedback is amazing.

Joe: One thing that took place several times, an example that I’ll mention, some I won’t, where they’ll actually bring clients of theirs to the I Love Marketing Meetup group because they have a vested interest in their clients getting better at marketing. For instance, Chris Frederick and Kathy, from Z-Health, have brought not only people that work with them in the organization, but people that they’ve actually certified. For instance, Chris at Stretch To Win,, and Z-Health is They actually certify personal trainers and different people in their methodologies of improving human performance, reducing or eliminating injuries in the area of stretch and the area of neuromuscular issues, and things along those lines. A lot of the people that will go to them for certification in their methodologies still have to sell and market that.

So, they actually bring them into the Meetup groups, so that they can actually learn more about marketing, so they can take their methodology back to their own businesses and be better marketers at it. So, for instance, if you’re in any sort of business that helping one of your clients, partners, vendors, JV partners, whatever be a better marketer, they may be giving you money. But one of the ways to enhance it is actually bring them to a Meetup group or start a Meetup group with all of them. One thing I didn’t mention here is if you’re in the real estate industry and you have a bunch of referral partners, be it plumbers or be it interior designers, or people that actually refer your real estate business. You can do your own Meetup group just for your own clients and vendors, partners, sphere of influence, etc., and just keep it focused on your niche. There could be an I Love Marketing group for someone that caters to chiropractors and dentists, whatever.

So, be creative in the way that you use discussions. The main thing is, one of the great ways to have discussions is great location, great topics, great questions, great people. If you put those elements together, you’re going to have a successful meeting. The best way to get started is to get started. I don’t know how much more I could say to make it easier, other than go to, print out the I Love Marketing Meetup guide, your quick start guide to leading your very own I Love Marketing Meetup group in your community, and do it. Get set up and do it. If you feel more comfortable attending one, go ahead and attend one. And, by all means, go attend other Meetup groups and see how they’re run. If you really just still feel like, “Oh, God, I’m not sure how this is going to work,” go to and just scroll through all of the different topics that they have. One of the things that’s on my list is to track down the founder of and do an interview with him, and just ask him questions about what the hell did he start Meetup for, what has he discovered. I’m sure that would be a fascinating sort of discussion. But in the meantime, it’s a great system that’s set up, and it works, and we would like all of our listeners to expand their knowledge of I Love Marketing through facilitating.

Dean: We may have one of the most popular Meetup categories on Meetup. I’m looking at the map right now. We’ve got 29 groups with 1,043 members. I don’t know. We maybe creating something pretty special, even within Meetup.

Joe: Yeah, yeah, I agree. Kevin, what were you going to say?

Kevin: No. That’s what I’m saying.

Dean: That’s what I’m trying to say. There we go. Now you’ve got it right. Another option for starting a Meetup group, too, is to think about maybe regional group of people who are in your specific niche. Just like there’s value in getting perspective from people who are in other businesses locally, if you’re starting one right in your own town, you can be starting one with people who could be potential people who could refer business to you or joint venture partners with you, or collaborators with you. That could be a great group to start. But it could also be a good idea to, like I said, regionally start a group of non-competing people in your same niche. If you were a vet, you might start a regional Meetup group with different vets or, if you’re a realtor, with different realtors from 10 or 15 neighboring communities where you’re not directly competing with each other.

But you are in exactly the same business, and you can feel great about collaborating on things that all of you are going to benefit from. The real beauty of that is that the Breakthrough DNA Report, the 8 profit activators, we do talk about them as those stem cells, the DNA cells that are going to thrive and manifest themselves differently in every business. But to have a group of chiropractors who you’re getting together, to crack the chiropractor code of breakthrough DNA, that’s a very valuable thing.

Kevin: Dean, is this part of your diabolical conspiracy to take over the world?

Dean: It’s the first little step.

Joe: Now that we’ve got everyone that’s listening fully committed to immediately get off this phone call and go to and start their own I Love Marketing Meetup group, what next? What are the last famous final words that we have for all of our loyal, committed, driven listeners?

Dean: Here’s the great thing. I think that right now, as of this moment, as we’re recording this, there are 1,043 Meetup group members in the world right now.

Joe: Those are just ones that are even updating on the site.

Dean: That’s what I mean. That’d be our measurement. That’s the one we can see here. So, I think that, literally, we could, overnight, double or triple that number before the end of the month, even.

Joe: That would make Dean very happy.

Dean: It would make me very happy, but it would make our listeners very rich, and that’s even more important.

Joe: Yeah. Look, with all of the joking and all of the goofy stuff aside, the reality is what we’re sharing here is really significant, important business advice. I have had countless people, even the letter from Jeremy, which I read a couple of episodes ago, the 22-year-old kid who actually came to my office when I spoke to a group of graduate students, who actually turned down an opportunity and a scholarship to go to I think Stanford because of what he’s learning from I Love Marketing, and applying it in his own entrepreneurial start-up. The fact is that had something like this existed when I was first starting my business, I personally would have jumped on it. Because as soon as I learned direct response marketing, I jumped into it headfirst, because I was like, “Wow, this totally makes sense. ”I started testing strategies, lo and behold they actually worked.

And this is after getting to the point of total frustration, reading books, trying things that simply were networking, but just knowing that I want to be a successful business owner. I want to figure out how to make this stuff work. When you find strategies, when you find methods, when you find plans and paths and formulas that produce results, go deeper with them. If someone has been listening to I Love Marketing and they’re getting ho-hum results, it’s not the strategies. I know these strategies work. My whole life, I’m a convert of my own system. I know this stuff works. So, if you want to multiply and magnify your business, then you need to multiply and magnify the focus and the involvement you have in that particular area. On a scale of one to 10, if you’re only putting like a 2 effort into something, you’re probably going to get a 2 effort results. But if you put a 5 or 6 effort into something, you’re just going to multiply it. Even a 5% increase of focus in any particular area that is going to produce better results for you is going to be worth it.

So, that’s what we’re asking for. That’s what we’re recommending, that’s what we’re encouraging, and we’ve set up this process. Just follow our proven plan and path, and we leave it up to you. We give you a structure, but we don’t force you to do anything. No one’s signing legal contracts with us here. We’re giving you all of this incredible content, that you can go out and speak to and talk from, and I think it’s a pretty cool offering.

Dean: I love it.

Joe: Yeah. Kevin. Last thing. What do you have to say for yourself?

Kevin: That’s what I’m trying to say.

Dean: That’s what I’m trying to say. That’s perfect.

Joe: That’s it? That is truly all you have to say?

Kevin: I’m with the masters. I’m with the marketing Buddha and the carpet-cleaning king. Come on.

Joe: The marketing Buddha sounds higher status than the carpet-cleaning king. Now I’m getting all self-conscious. If you haven’t listened to our last episode where me and Dean talked about the survey process, the barriers to success sort of thing, we also have our Platinum group. People go, “What’s the difference between Platinum and a Meetup group?” The difference is, for one, total immersion, paid-for, higher-level focus, 2 full days straight. Although we speak to many of the same topics and stuff on I Love Marketing and the episodes and the things that we write about and all of that, the thing is, when you actually join a particular group, you just immerse yourself even deeper.

So, it’s like how far down this path do you want to go? I think many of the people that have become Platinum members are starting Meetup groups, because they realize, by being in Platinum, that one of the best ways to even expand what they’re getting out of Platinum is to actually be doing their own I Love Marketing Meetup groups. And it actually creates a much faster, accelerated sort of marketer. One of my rules of thumb is whenever I throw time, money, and energy at anything and it produces exponential results, I want to spend as much time and energy as it makes sense for me to do that. There’s a point, there’s a balance, just like if you get great results out of working out in the gym an hour a day, working out 2 hours a day isn’t necessarily productive. In many cases, you could be over-training.

So, you want to find a balance in how you actually do learning. I would much rather have someone not spend the entire day preparing to do something, versus just getting out there and doing it. Everyone has got to find their own balance. The thing is, the more that you invest into getting the techniques and the methods down and doing them right, I think, in the long run, it will absolutely pay off. There is a learning stage. There is a setup phase. I think the worst Meetup group you’ll probably ever do is the first one. The second worse one may be the second one. But if you keep doing them, you keep doing them; you get pretty good.

A lot of people have been asking me, “How do I do what you do? How do I run a coaching group?” “Have you ever ran a coaching group?” “No. ” “Have you ever joined a coaching group?” “No, not really. ” It’s like, “Well, maybe join one first?” I tell people all the time, when I refer my high-level marketing friends to Strategic Coach, it’s like, “You’re out there telling other people to join coaching programs, but you yourself aren’t in one. ” That’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black. Its almost hypocritical. If you ever want to start teaching other people marketing, then start teaching other people marketing. If you want to get paid for it, do it for free. I remember in the very beginning, when I was learning marketing, the reason I ended up getting into this was I actually started teaching other people what it is I was doing, just to see, just to validate, in my own mind, what’s working for me, will it work for other people. When you can actually prove to yourself that, “Wow, this stuff is formulaic, this stuff is replicable,” that’s a pretty exciting sort of thing. Then, all of a sudden you realize, “Man, think about all of the business owners out there that would actually pay money for all of this.”

So, one of the best ways to actually get paid to teach other people marketing is to start a Meetup group and start teaching other people marketing. If they start learning how to make more money by being part of your Meetup group, guess what? They’re probably going to give you money, if that’s the business you’re in. And if that’s not the business you’re in, but you’re in a business where they can refer you to other people, they’re probably going to refer you to other people. There’s a lot more I can say, but I think that makes it pretty obvious.

Kevin: And I think one of the exciting things, too, is the brand is new. The brand has been around, what, a little over a year now? It’s exciting to be part of an entrepreneurial venture, which I Love marketing is. One of the interesting things is when you learn something incredible, like Joe was just saying, you’re almost obligated to share it. Through these, I Love Marketing podcasts and through the communities, the events we have, if you learn something, great. I think it’s almost a human obligation to go out there and share it with other people, so why not do that to other entrepreneurs who really need the help and really need the community, more than anything. Bring them that structure, that information, and that ability to connect with one another.

Joe: Yep, there you go. Dean, the last words go to you.

Dean: This was what Willis was talking about, right here.

Joe: And everyone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about, will be completely confused, right now.

Dean: Perfect.

Joe: They have to find it. They have to do a Google search.

Dean: That’s exactly. Who doesn’t know what Willis was talking about?

Joe: You’re supposed to have last words, so you need to say, Dean, to everyone that, “We’ll join you on the next episode of I Love ”

Dean: Perfect. We’ll join you on the next episode of I Love Marketing, and Joe Polish is awesome.

Joe: Amen.

Dean: Amen. Goodnight, everybody.

Joe: Goodbye, everyone.

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