Do you remember going to trade fairs and Diwali melas that took place in different colonies and gardens?
People spending some fun time with their families and friends and exploring different things. It was a great time for everyone! 😊
I personally loved being a part of the excitement and rummaging through stall after stall of unique products displayed by small business owners coming from different parts of the country.
But, going to such melas is a distant dream now, considering the ongoing Covid crisis.
Or, is it?
Jyoti Agarawal, through her Facebook group, Maa2Mom has come up with a cool alternative, something called ‘online melas’.
Not just this, she is using this platform to help local solopreneurs and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and earn a living, truly enabling the government’s ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative.
In fact, Jyoti, with the help of her team, is training each one of these sellers so that they can present in the best way possible.
Her online exhibitions named, ‘M2M Online Bazaar: Meri Online Dukaan’ that attracted the attention of around 11,000 people have helped over 45 small business owners sell their products, till date.
“When we have the platform, why not curate ideas and leverage its full potential, and do our bit to help as many people as we can,” says Jyoti.
While Jyoti has already conducted 2 online exhibitions, the preparations for the third one (which is scheduled for August 29) are in full swing.
When I asked about her best ever moment doing this, here’s what she had to say.
Furthermore, Jyoti is also helping artists from all over the world to support living in these difficult times. She’s doing it through her Facebook group, M2M Open Mic, that she created in April 2020, during the lockdown.
As you read ahead, you’ll know all about:
- How she came up with the idea of online exhibition
- How she trains the sellers, develops their skills, and ensures a hassle-free live exhibition
- How her online exhibition provides value to the sellers, buyers, and herself
- How the idea of creating the Facebook group, Maa2Mom, struck her
- How she is earning through her community
- How she is helping artists in these uncertain times through her other community
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into knowing all about her Vocal for Local initiative.
M2M Online Bazaar: The What, Why, and How
Inspired by her own idea of an online summer camp which she successfully executed in 2017, Jyoti thought to conduct an online exhibition to spread positivity and provide some hope to solopreneurs.
She named it ‘M2M Online Bazaar: Meri Online Dukaan’ with the #vocalforlocal so that everyone could resonate with it. While the first M2M Online Bazaar was held on July 13, the second one took place on July 25.
Personalities like Ms. Nandita Puri, wife of late actor Mr. Om Puri and Ms. Rupa Nayak, Director of World Trade Centre in Mumbai have been the guests of honour of Jyoti’s online exhibitions.
As creative and exciting the event sounds, as taxing it is to execute. But, Jyoti went all out to make it a huge success.
Soon after she announced the online bazaar, sellers expressed their interest and were directed to a google form for registration. They had to answer a few basic questions and pay a nominal fee of INR 299.
Shortlisting of sellers
Jyoti shortlists them based on the products they are selling. “I am very particular when it comes to choosing sellers. I make sure that their values align with mine and my community’s,” tells Jyoti.
After shortlisting the exhibitors, Jyoti forms a whats app group for further communication with them. Firstly, she collects photos from each one following which her creative team designs a poster (like the one below) telling about the bazaar and about the exhibitors’ products.
The exhibitors are then asked to upload them on their profiles and tag Maa2Mom, seeing which more people started registering.
As the next step, exhibitors create a short one minute video (with Jyoti and her team’s assistance) telling people about the bazaar that they are registered sellers. Basically, spreading the word about the online exhibition and encouraging people to be a part of it.
Next, Jyoti and her team conduct group sessions and train exhibitors all about:
- How far the camera should be placed
- The lighting and background
- How to display their products on the table
- How to pitch themselves and their products in 2.5 – 3 minutes since each seller gets this time frame
In case of any further issues, sellers reach out to Jyoti and she guides them one on one as needed.
(Feel free to check out this video from one training session)
Lastly, they have a final rehearsal before the exhibition day to ensure things run smoothly.
How does Jyoti’s online bazaar provide tremendous value to sellers, buyers, and herself?
The online bazaar was a hit both times.
While the sellers get an opportunity to scale their businesses and earn a living in these uncertain times, the buyers are able to get their hands on some really amazing products.
Not only that, they get a chance to support our honorable PM’s ‘vocal for local’ initiative.
Besides, Jyoti makes sure to keep the buyers hooked by including short quizzes (sponsored by the exhibitors) in different time intervals. Questions like the name of the exhibition are asked. The audience has to pick one of the 4 options and share their answers in the comments. At the end of the session, winners are announced and rewarded.
- The audience is entertained and happy as they stand a chance to win a gift
- The sellers’s stuff is promoted as the winner posts about it on Facebook
- The engagement is high which makes it discoverable in the organic search
Yet again, a win-win for everyone.
Apart from that, Jyoti and her team reward 2 exhibitors (one who communicated the best and other who showcased the products the best) at the end. This way they also remain motivated to give their 100%.
Since Jyoti charges a nominal registration fee from the sellers, she is able to retrieve the basic cost of her creative team.
“I don’t do this to earn any profits. I do it out of compassion and my interest. I’m able to make a difference in the lives of so many people with my efforts, that is what makes me happy at the end of the day,” she smiles.
While her online bazaars are a hit already, Jyoti is working towards:
- Making them even more interactive
- Figuring out how the buyer can speak to the seller directly
For the next M2M Online Bazaar, scheduled for August 29, she has removed clothing sellers and booked them for a separate premium bazaar. This way all exhibitors will have more time to present. So, she is working with them day and night and preparing them even better this time.
Wow! Jyoti, with her online parenting community, is really going above and beyond to help small business owners in these unprecedented times. That said, let me shed some light on what ticked her to start this Facebook group, in the first place.
Her passion and daughter’s motivation proved to be a driving force for Jyoti
In 2013, Jyoti had to move to London with her husband due to his transfer. That time, her daughter was merely 1.5 years old.
Just like every other parent, Jyoti wanted to ensure that everything went right while bringing up her little one. Day in and day out, she had so many questions, but unfortunately, she could not connect with her mum every single time due to the different time zones between India and London.
This made her wonder about all other mommies who must be dealing with the same thing. That’s when the thought of doing something struck her for a fleeting moment, but it went unaddressed.
It was 1.5 years later that she decided to do something about it, after her daughter motivated her to work and get home some awards just like Jyoti’s sister.
That’s when she decided to build a global community where she could connect the different generations of mothers and eliminate all the barriers that exist.
In 2015, soon after she moved back to India, Jyoti created the Facebook group, Maa2Mom.
Today, this parenting community is no less than a support system for over 31,000 moms. They talk about anything and everything related to motherhood, babies, and constantly support one another in their journey.
Have a look at the health of Jyoti’s community.
- Engagement Rate: The average actions (posts + comments + reactions) per member per month in her group is 85% or 0.85 actions per member per month.
- Activity Rate: The average number of comments and reactions per post per month in her Facebook group is 70.
- Daily Active Users/Monthly Active Users: The percentage of monthly active members that are active daily in her Facebook group is 41%.
FYI: The average DAU/MAU of Facebook groups is 53%. So, if your community’s DAU/MAU is along these lines, it’s good news!
This is enough to state that Maa2Mom has good health.
P.S. If you wish to know more about any of these metrics, feel free to check out our blog on ‘Top health metrics for your Facebook group’.
Jyoti credits her online exhibitions for the high engagement which provide immense value to both buyers and sellers.
How does Jyoti earn through her community while providing value to members?
Through brand partnerships.
She has partnered with 100+ brands and NGOs like HP, Voltas, Nestle, Johnsons, Pampers, Dettol, FirstCry, Mother Dairy, Nanavati Hospital, Surya Hospital, Paddy Fields (one of the biggest musical concerts of India) to name a few.
As part of Johnson’s campaign, Jyoti shares with her group members the six steps to bathing a baby effectively.
This post has an activity score of 76. If we compare it to the average activity score or activity rate of Jyoti’s group, i.e. 70, we can say that this post attracted slightly higher than average engagement.
In collaboration with Nestle, on the heels of Father’s day, Jyoti encourages all moms to share how fathers play a vital role in building a strong foundation for the kid’s future.
The activity score of this post is 172, which means, it got 2.5x higher engagement than average.
How is Jyoti’s community M2M Open Mic turning artists’ lives around amid the COVID crisis?
‘M2M Open Mic – The Talent Hub’ is a unique and creative space where people showcase their talent in the form of poetry, singing, storytelling, and even stand-up comedy.
What started as a means to support 20-25 people has now grown to a 900+ member family. And, there are people performing from all over the world including Malaysia, Singapore, Kolkata, Mumbai, and others.
The health of M2M Open Mic is outstanding. It boasts of an engagement rate as high as 1284% and an activity rate of 52.
As part of M2M Theatre, Jyoti recently hosted a family entertainment event named, ‘Hasey to Phasey’ over Zoom.
In this, she gave an opportunity to several budding stand-up comics to perform after which she distributed the money received from the audience equally amongst each of them.
Apart from that, there’s M2M Radio which begins after 10 PM. It’s a live audio event where members come forward and share their poetry, stories, etc. Then, there are even coaches who talk about the ways to fight anxiety and shed light on positive affirmations.
Sharing an example below.
One of the members, Pallavi, narrated a few stories. The members loved those and Pallavi’s storytelling ability.
The activity rate of this post is 257. If we measure it against the activity rate of this group, i.e. 52, we can say that it attracted almost 5x higher engagement than average.
Jyoti is really proud of her team and grateful for their support
The core team of Maa2Mom has 5 members apart from Jyoti, all of whom are admins. One of them is Jyoti’s sister and others are members of her community.
Apart from that, she has a creative team with a videographer who is paid on assignment basis and a full-time intern who is paid monthly.
“I am really thankful to my team for their support. I must say, each one of them is very compassionate and willing to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” says Jyoti.
Jyoti’s message for every community admin reading this…
Wow! That’s some nice motivation!
That said, we have our Facebook group, Growth and Monetisation for Facebook Group Admins where Jyoti and hundreds of other community admins are constantly discussing the ways to build their groups and motivating each other in the journey. If you wish to gain some insights too, feel free to be a part! 😊