Ep 192 | How Listening Can Help You With Your Marketing
What can we learn when we listen? When we show up to conversations it is so tempting to talk all about ourselves and the incredible things we do. That might not get us the results we want because we aren't learning about how our organization could benefit the person we're talking to.
Instead, coming into conversations with questions and learning about the other person can lead us to more meaningful conversations and truly understanding if this person is the right fit for our organization. It can also help us refine and create new content based off of what we learn from those conversations.
I'm sharing five ways you can use conversations to help you with your marketing.
What you'll learn:
→ why listening is so important.
→ how these conversations can help you generate long form content.
→ ways to use conversation to update your website.
→ creating social media content from conversations.
→ how to add value to your giving campaigns
→ how this can help you refine your ideal donors and clients are.
Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:
[3:11] Conversations can help you develop content ideas. Remember that people don't know as much about what your organization does as you do. When you ask questions, talk, and share with people, remember the things they repeat back to you or questions they ask. Those are great content ideas.
[5:31] Tip #1 -Develop long form content from objections you get. Nos aren't a bad thing. The objections you get from people make great content for you to put on your blog, YouTube, podcast, etc.
[6:35] Tip #2 – Ensure the copy on your website matches. You want your website to speak to your ideal visitors. The words they use are words they feel comfortable with and should be replicated on your website.
[7:40] Tip #3- Writing social media posts. Things people say in conversations like praise, questions, etc. These all make great social media posts. Make notes of it and pass it on to the person on your team that handles that.
[9:06] Tip #4 – Adding value to your donor programs. Asking your donors what they want to see from you and how they want to be communicated with and thanked can help you add more value to your programs. You don't have to come up with it all by yourself -just ask!
[11:15] Tip #5 – Refine your ideal donor or client. The conversations you're having will help you continue to develop who the right person is that you should be talking to. Perception is reality – so understanding their motivations better will help you with your messaging and outreach.
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[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Conversations are happening all the time, from your local coffee shop, to your church service, school pickup and drop off. There's so many opportunities to have conversations with people. So today we're going to talk about how you can take those conversations, ask the right questions, listen to the answers and use what you're learning to help you generate marketing initiatives to help you build and grow some of those initiatives and to be better about what it is that you're putting out there and how you're talking about things.
When we talk to people and listen to what they're telling us, we get a lot more information about how we're perceived in the marketplace, our customers, our donors, our constituents, the people that are engaged in our community, they're telling us stuff all the time. But the trick is, we're not listening most of the time, because we think we know better. We know what we're doing. We know why we're doing it, we know how we're doing it. And that's all well and good. But oftentimes, the way that we think and approach, it isn't the way that's going to attract new donors or retain those donors, to coming to our organization to supporting our organization, or to those community members to like interest, the way that we solve this problem that they have. So we're going to focus today on how to listen when we talk about our organization for better marketing results. You with me.
But before we jump into this episode, this is brought to you by the digital marketing therapy podcast, we are so excited about the new refresh, it's launching in two weeks, you're going to see a little bit of a new look, a new intro, same great content. But each month we'll be diving deep into one particular theme. We'll be featuring guest experts, you'll get solo episodes like this for myself, but we'll also be featuring nonprofits just like you that have had amazing success and experience with different topics that we're talking about each month, so that you can learn and share from each other. So if there is a digital marketing strategy that you have implemented in your organization that you want to share so that other nonprofits can help implement it as well. And so you can inspire other organizations, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature you. I am so excited about how we're going to be layering in the content this year. And there's so much more to come in next week's episode.
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[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] The most common thing that I hear from people is I have nothing to talk about, we don't have anything to talk about that can provide value, we don't have content that makes sense, we're gonna run out of ideas. And this just simply isn't true. You're so in to the work that you're doing that a lot of the things that you talk about become almost second nature, and you don't even pay attention to the fact that people that are just learning about the work that you do, don't have all that knowledge that you already have. They haven't learned all of the steps that you've already learned. They're not at the place where you are. They love what you're doing. They love the problem you're solving. They're not quite there yet. So if you're finding yourself stuck, it's all just about asking questions and listening to the responses. So let's say you're in line at a coffee shop. And the common question is, what do you do for a living? And you could say, oh, yeah, I have started this amazing organization, we do XYZ, blah, blah, blah. And they're going to give you their immediate reaction. Oh, that's fantastic. Oh, I've heard about that. But I don't really understand what that is. Or, you know, I've always wanted to learn more about that, or oh, that's, that's cool. You're gonna get an immediate read on how they feel about your organization in the work that you do. And that's an opportunity for you to ask more questions. Oh, that's great that you're interested, what part of it interests you the most? Or what is the thing that you think is the most important factor that we should be, you know, thinking about, instead of going into the conversation immediately saying, Yeah, well, we do this, we do this, we do this. These are all the things that we do. We're amazing. We're amazing. We're amazing. We know you're amazing. But that's not going to help build trust with the person that you're engaged. It is not going to get you information on how to continue to engage with that person. Or, like we do in digital marketing the math says people that might be just like the person you're talking to in the coffee shop. So as we think about these conversations, I want to encourage you to always have a list of questions that you can ask once the initial conversation has started, so that you can listen and learn. And then when you get to a place where you can sit down and scribble some notes, do so. So you don't forget, write on their business card or whatever. So I'm going to give you five ways that you can use some of these conversations, to help with your marketing efforts as you go through the year.
So the first one is, the conversations and the objections that you get from people can help you develop some long form content. So this could be blog posts, this could be podcast, episodes, YouTube videos, whatever it is that your organization is already creating, if you're looking for ideas for content to create, and you're saying, I have no idea like we're running out of topics, go back to the conversations you have with strangers, because they're telling you the things that they don't inherently know about your organization. And those things can be broken down into content. You could also survey or just chat, call up on the phone and say, Hey, I just wanted to talk to you to donors to volunteers to board members, how do you think we're doing? What? You know, what information do you think is missing? You could talk to your front desk support or the people that are answering the phones, what are the commonly asked questions that they're getting, those are great for long form content on your blog, or it could be a LinkedIn article, whatever it might be. The second thing is, these conversations are great for helping you update your website copy. So we know that we want our website to talk to the pain points of the people that are in our ideal network. And we're gonna get to that one a little bit. How they're asking us questions, the way that they're reframing back to us what that means the language that they're using, is what they feel most comfortable with. So we want to resist the urge to use all of this super smart language to make us feel like we're super smart and make everybody else think we're super smart. We want comfort, we want quick, we want ease, I want to be able to understand very quickly what it is you do, why you do it, and how you do it. And why you are the ones that I should be participating with, as opposed to somebody else who's doing something similar. Use the words that are being spoken back to you, as opposed to the words that you think are going to make you look smarter, better. And I don't know, whatever it is in your head that you've got around your copy. Okay, so that's number two, use these conversations to update the language on your website. Number three is social media posts. So always, I always coach my clients on having some core categories. So you know exactly the types of content that you're looking for. So then let's say you go out and have a conversation with a potential donor or with a company or with anybody or random person on the street. And they say something that just kind of sparked something for you. If you're not the Social Media Manager, great. Pass it on to the person that is but when you know what those categories are, you can say like, Hey, I, oh, I just had this conversation. I know we want to talk about objections once a week. And so this is the objection that I got, I got the objection that there's no way that we're going to solve this problem. Nobody can. So you know, then maybe that is a good post for somebody to say, Okay, well, we're going to talk then about what we've done, and the impact that's made and how we're going to impact things in the future. And just be really open and honest. In that post. Yes, we know, we can't solve childhood hunger ourselves. But here's what we're doing in our local community to make sure that these numbers continue to decline. And that's how it's doing it right, you're getting that feedback direct from people that you're having conversations with, and you're using it in your social content in real time. And then you can also always go back and recycle stuff, weeks, months, years later, it's totally okay, I give you permission to do so. The conversations that you have can also help you with adding value to some of your donor programs.
So maybe you have a monthly donor program. Maybe you have a different giving levels or sponsorship levels have different perks and benefits. The conversations you have with donors will help you provide value in those conversations that aren't just what you think people want to see. What do they want to see? How do they feel about it? What are some unique things that you can do? You don't have to brainstorm them all by yourself, have conversation, ask questions, and then listen to what they have to say about it. And it might push you out of your comfort zone a little bit because I know we have these traditional things that we do we have the standards that we do we have the way that we tend to approach these things. But push yourself a little bit be open to change and see what happens when we give people what they want versus what we Think they want, it's usually a much better result. Now within reason, I'm not saying, you know, sometimes people come up with these crazy outlandish things. It's not what we want to do here. But it's really just about how do we continue to engage with our donors retain those donors, and there may be things that you're doing that cost you time, money, whatever that they don't care about. So by understanding what they care about, that's going to help you build a better program, and then it's in turn going to help you build a better donation page. And when that donation page starts converting better, because it's speaking to the right people, you're, you're gonna be continuing to grow, elevate and build off of them. Okay, so number five might be the most important. So before we jump into it, I'm going to, like review the first four. So number one was devel, helping you develop long form content ideas. Number two is conversations will help you update the language on your website to make sure you're speaking correctly to the people you're trying to target. Number three is social media posts to help you generate more content and ideas for what to put on those posts. And number four is helping add value to your giving campaigns, to your sponsorship request to all the things that you're doing to make sure that you're adding the value that your donors truly care about. Number five is all about refining who your ideal donors and your ideal clients or constituents are. When you talk to more people, you're going to learn more about who is the right fit for you, and maybe more importantly, who isn't who isn't the right fit for your organization.
So I want you to think about jotting down these notes. And just it doesn't mean you have to survey a bunch of people right now, but really just kind of keeping them in a space. It's like, you know, I'm starting to notice some trends here. I'm starting to notice that when I have this question, this is a common response that I get. But when I asked this question, I get a different response. Really understanding how people perceive your organization, because perception is reality. And you might get frustrated with that and say, but we're doing this, but we're doing this, but we're doing this. But if people don't know that you are and people don't see it as that way, then they're not going to look at your organization as that type of organization.
And so that's where listening really comes into play with our marketing, because that means that we are really taking into account what the marketplace is telling us about who we are, what we do and how we do it. So I hope this has inspired you to have some better conversations, conversations within your team within your board within your volunteer base within your donor base and with just the standard, general public. People that you serve the community that you serve, every single conversation we have, even if it's with somebody that you've talked to on a regular basis is something we can learn from, if we just listen. It's a skill you'll need to practice. But I think now that you've listened to this podcast, you'll probably start to notice yourself pushing pitching on a regular basis when you weren't really didn't even think that you were.
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