If you have a problem in your business, where do you turn? Maybe to your mentor, a business coach, or a confidant? All are logical answers. But what about placing yourself with like-minded individuals who face similar challenges and roadblocks in the same trenches you do every day? If you haven’t already learned about the power of user groups, let me introduce you to this concept and explain why creating a user group can be a game changer for your business.
Recently, I’ve decided to take the leap and create a user group for this exact reason – to create a community for marketers to troubleshoot their challenges, share knowledge and insight, and connect. My avenue was to create a HubSpot user group. (HubSpot being the main marketing software tool that our team at Leading Results implements for our clients.)
So, What’s a User Group?
A user group is a group of individuals who unite to work through, collaborate on, or troubleshoot a product or service. While user groups are typically centered in the hardware or software industry, any professional in any industry can create a user group – you just have to want to expand your knowledge with other professionals who “get it.” Don’t let the literal iteration of a user group stop you from creating a powerhouse group of business professionals who aim to get things done!
I know what you’re thinking – you want me to help people I compete with? My answer is yes. Through the lens of a wide-angled camera, it might appear that you’re serving your competition, but realistically, competition is everywhere. Each business, however, has a distinct target market, strength, and set of core values. If you had the opportunity to learn from a seasoned, industry veteran, would you take it? (The answer should be yes!)
Consider these ways that user groups can positively affect your business.
You Help Solve Problems (and Solve Your Own)
Isn’t it an amazing feeling when you unite with your tribe? People who just “get you” and with whom you have a common ground and understanding? You’re able to channel your inner “geekdom” and dig in to an application or business segment that is of particular interest to you, and people actually understand your passion. Sometimes you’ll provide a solution to someone’s greatest challenge and other times you’ll learn a new method, hack, or better avenue to get things done. You just have to be mindful that you’re there to learn as well as teach. What will you bring to the table that is unique?
You Become a Thought Leader (and Meet Other Thought Leaders)
Everyone has proficiencies and deficiencies. Why not guide others to their own level of greatness with your know-how and expertise on a particular practice? And it’s not a one-way street – when you create bonds and relationships with like-minded professionals, you’ll quickly find strengths and traits in others that can help you become your personal and professional best.
It’s important to keep in mind that user groups are not meant to create friction or competition; they’re meant to create bonds and relationships. Could you and other people in your user group compete for the same client? Of course. But being in a user group is simply about becoming your best and helping others. If you’re surrounded by people that you like, know, and trust – and that like, know, and trust you – there are plentiful opportunities to expand your business. But first, focus on being a trusted resource with abundant expertise.
See a User Group Live in Action
If you’re in the Charlotte or Concord area, I humbly invite you to visit the user group I’ve co-founded with Darling Jimenez, the Director of User Experience at Leading Results. We’ve founded Concord HUG (HubSpot User Group) as an avenue for marketing professionals in the Charlotte, NC and Concord, NC areas (you don’t have to be a HubSpot user, customer, or partner) to overcome their marketing challenges, learn about new practices and tactics in HubSpot, and get to know the local marketing community as a whole.
If you’re passionate about marketing or simply looking for answers to your questions and solutions for your challenges, our group is for you! Our first Concord HUG meetup will be held on Thursday, October 13th at 4 PM at the Cabarrus Brewing Company and will feature Dan Kraus, President of Leading Results, who will present: “How to Make Your Website Your Best Salesperson.” There is no cost to attend, and your first drink and light appetizers are on us! All that we ask is that you RSVP.
Now that you’ve read about user groups, come experience one for yourself!