My takeaways from 'After Work Mate' and what they mean for the project #5

The last article focused on the upcoming offline event After Work Mate which happened in Berlin on Wednesday, 15th August! It was finally time to talk to people in the real world to better understand what their motiviation is to join Mate Mate Mate.

🌇 After Work Mate #1: Join us for afterwork drinks and meet new people in tech

A few weeks back I decided to host an offline event. The reason was simple: over Summer it was impossible for me to match new circles as most people who signed up for Mate Mate Mate at this point were travelling.

Deciding to host the event as a Meetup was a great decision. This allowed me to very easily tap into an existing community of people in tech in Berlin which to a great extent matched the primary persona I previously created.

Piggybacking on existing platforms has already been proven to be an effective way of kickstarting an idea. Airbnb famously did that for example on Craigslist.

After Work Mate

In the Meetup's description, I explained what the event is about and asked people to head over to MateMateMate.com and sign up ahead of the event. That way I would be able to match people right on the spot based on their interests. This, too, worked incredibly well and eventually doubled the signups for Mate Mate Mate.

Flag

I was surprised by how many people actually discovered the Meetup group on their own. Most people told me that they found out about After Work Mate through Meetup.com where it was recommended to them based on their interests and previous Meetups they attended. Retrospectively, this was the number one driver of signups for the event.

Unfortunately, I had to postpone the event from Monday to Wednesday, because rain was coming up exactly around the time when the Meetup was about to happen which of course happens to me after literally weeks without rain in Berlin.

Eventually 18 people showed up from the 40 who RSVP'd in the first place. I know that the no-show rate is considerably high at Meetups, but postponing it definitely didn't make it better.

Instructions

Gathering feedback was one of the main motivations of the event. The people I talked to really liked the idea of getting matched in circles of three which was the reason why they showed up in the first place. Having personally talked to attendees helped me understanding that the concept itself is interesting enough for people to sign up online, come around and join the event. This tells me that the project is heading into the right direction so far.

Promoting the event on Facebook Groups

The other main channel for attracting people to join the offline event was through targeted posts in relevant Facebook Groups, especially those for expats in Berlin. Through the feedback I previously gathered by emailing people about their matches I learned that many of them are expats who (just recently) moved to Berlin.

AFM Facebook

I run a few smaller Facebook Groups myself when posting to new Facebook Groups, there is one thing to keep in mind: as an admin, you want to keep away people joining your group for the sole purpose of cross promoting their own products or services.

I personally think that if you want to join a community, you first have to contribute - and this is no different with Facebook Groups. When I joined them, I first skimmed through a few posts and added a few tips and tricks for expats living in Berlin before I published my post about After Work Mate.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always tell a story rather than copy pasting your link to a group and hope that someone cares. Let people know why you care, what you are doing and how they get value from it.

Improving matches by adapting the signup form

In the last article I mentioned that I would start looking into ways of creating a first coded prototype for Mate Mate Mate to slowly replace the current setup based on Carrd + Zapier and manual matching done by me.

But on second thought, it's still too early for that.

Given that just in the last two weeks the signups started rising, I still need to continue matching circles myself to make sure that people meet IRL and then consequently ask them for feedback.

Quick thought: What about matching 'Lunch Mates' once the platfrom reaches a critical mass of users? s/o to Nicky

Based on what I learned from matching mates online and offline at the event, I will refine the signup form at MateMateMate.com to also cover:

  • the general availability in Berlin
  • a rephrased placeholder text for the 'About me' section

At a later point I will probably add a preferred time to meet (morning/lunch/afterwork) once a critical mass of users in Berlin is reached.

📝 Edit 26th August

Instead of matching circles via email, I will introduce mates to each other in WhatsApp chats. My assumption is that chats have less potential of going dead! s/o to Susann

The signup form has already been adapted.

Metrics

From this week on I will share relevant metrics to better understand how Mate Mate Mate performs over time.

Signed up users: 76
Circles matched: 16
Circles met: 2

Coming up:

  • Adding a recommendation feature ('viral engine')
  • Continuing matching circles and gathering feedback
  • Improving the match to meet process
  • Refining the design with additional icons & improved colors

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