No matter what we’re trying to learn, we all have our own style of learning. Auditory or visual? Independent or in a group?
Learning to run a business is definitely a group effort, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. You probably consult other sellers all the time, by reading popular blogs or listening to podcasts with content that is all about FBA.
But what about real life, in-person opportunities to either learn from more experienced sellers or to share some of your own trials and successes? Local meetups are a great way to learn about Amazon selling guidelines, retail arbitrage, sourcing, product research, PPC and SEO, and other marketing tactics. The Amazon environment is like no other, and it’s changing all the time. In this post, we’re detailing a fun way to stay up to date on changes and learn new strategies.
What is a meetup for Amazon sellers?
A “meetup” is just an informal event. While any such get together can technically be a “meetup,” most young and middle-aged Americans now associate the phrase with Meetup.com, since it’s the most popular site for finding these types of events. In any given city, there will be events for couples, kids, professionals, dog lovers, and those interested in certain sports or languages.
The meetups are all hosted by groups. In large cities, there will be several groups all catering to the same interest, giving people options for finding the group they like best.
Most groups maintain a regular schedule, meeting once a month or once a week. And they will have different types of event formats (such as cocktail meet-and-greets, presentations, and group field trips) or they will have the same meetup format each time.
What can you expect from attending?
Honest answer: who knows?
Some meetups will have a great mix of experienced sellers and beginners. Some meetups might attract a lot of people who are interested in selling on Amazon but haven’t even started yet.
The only way to find out whether a meetup is worth your time is to try. But there are definitely ways to tell ahead of time if something is likely to be worth an evening spent outside the comfort of your home. The smartest thing to do is to prequalify the group. Do they focus on your selling strategy? Is it all about arbitrage or all about private labelling?
Know what you’re looking for ahead of time.
If you’re not sure, you can always ask the organizer more information about the format or topics of the events.
How to join a group and how to participate
When you’ve identified a group for sellers in your area, all you have to do is click to join, tell the group organizer something about yourself, and wait to be approved.
Once you’re approved, you have full access to the group’s site. You can see the names of past events, how many people actually attended, read all the comments written about the events, and see what events are still to come.
By sneaking around the group’s hub, you can get a better feel for whether or not you’re a fit.
You can also discover the specific topics to be covered in upcoming meetups. Maybe the one this month isn’t interesting to you, but the one for next month is something you’ve been meaning to learn more about.
As with anything, you only get back what you put in. So, show up with a good attitude, be ready to chat with other sellers about any topic under the sun, and come prepared with a few questions that everyone can discuss.
What to do if there are no Amazon seller meetups in your area
Meetup has been the largest site for local interest groups for many years now, but you can also try a search on Eventbrite, which will have a mix of free and paid events. You could also try a localized Google search, or even check the club meetings at your local library (you never know).
If those avenues turn up nothing, you may choose to start your own group. There could be other Amazon sellers in your area waiting for a meetup with a good mix of structured learning and informal networking. Even newbies can start their own meetups. You simply build up a group of people and invite more experienced sellers to come and give short talks.
If you live very rurally and know that an in-person group is not an option, don’t fret. You can simply interact with people online.
The point is to interact with people directly, rather than to just passively consume content.
The Amazon Services Seller Forums are a common place to turn. There are some great conversations you can jump into with sellers of all experience levels. Keep in mind that because they’re relatively anonymous, posters can be a little snarky, or even straight up rude, if they think you’ve asked a dumb question.
For more of a human element to online networking, try a Facebook group instead. You can search for “Amazon sellers” or “Amazon FBA” to pull up tons of options.
Click the “Groups” tab up top so you’re seeing the right results.
Most groups are closed so that you can’t view the posts until after you’ve joined. Join a few, ask some questions, write some responses, and engage for a week or two and test out which group you like the best. Some of them are full of crickets, and others will have a wealth of information.
Meetups are a great way to meet people interested in the same things you are. You may have thought they were only about knitting or networking, but you absolutely should not write them off for learning how to grow a business–especially FBA, which is a unique opportunity that most of the population still knows nothing about.
Often times, just the excitement and energy that comes from people who are obsessed with entrepreneurship is worth a trip out of the house. You might feel inspired to work that much harder on your own business.