Ep 64 | Why We're Pivoting our Business and Should You?

And as I started to sit with kind of what was happening in the world around us and my background, I realized that I really wanted to get back to serving nonprofits. And it just felt good to me. And because fundraisers were being canceled, and because and you know, gatherings are being closed down, you know, all the run walks, that you had organized all of the galas and concerts, and all of those things are canceled and potentially for the foreseeable future. And so how do how do nonprofits continue to provide to serve for their communities and in also the flip side, being that your community needs you more than ever, the people that you serve need you more than ever?

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We are living in times that we couldn't have ever predicted. And it definitely had me questioning my business and what I really wanted to accomplish. Most of my background is in the non-profit space. And as I've had a hard time figuring out how to niche down and be more specific, it suddenly came to me and just felt right.

Making a minor pivot made sense for me in my business. I didn't completely change what I offer or what I do, just who I'm talking to. But is that the right choice for you?

 In this episode you'll learn:

→ My struggle with niching down and why I chose to focus on non-profits.
→ How this podcast is evolving.
→ Is it time for you to pivot your business?
→ Why finding new collaborations can be a game-changer.

Want to skip ahead?  Here are some key takeaways:

[3:243] Niching down has been something I've always preached but haven't done myself. And now I'm figuring out that I do know where my calling is and who I want to serve.
[10:08] Is it time for you to pivot? Now is a great time for you to reevaluate who you've been serving and if it's inline with your mission and vision for your organization.
[12:58] Collaborations can be a huge opportunity to get in front of new audiences. There may be new and unique partnerships that didn't make sense before. Think about the tech industry and how they can now support your business being online.


[Guide] 9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online

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Full Transcript

[INTRO] Hey there, Sami here with another episode of Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. We have taken a little bit of a break, we haven't had a podcast that's come out since the end of April. And it's because we were kind of sitting with our business and trying to make some tweaks and changes and kind of figure out how we wanted our business to look moving forward.

So the common term these days is pivot. And so I wanted to share with you why we chose to make a small pivot in our business, and kind of have a little bit of a conversation with you on if that's something that you should do as well. Should you make a change in your business? Or should you just keep staying the course, as COVID-19 continues to carry on and our businesses look different?

I think it's a conversation that a lot of us are having with ourselves and with our teams and with our colleagues on a regular basis. And so that's what we're going to talk about today.

I do want to just say, in light of everything that's going on in this world right now, with the protests with Black Lives Matter, I just want to send our love and thoughts and prayers out to everybody. We are here with you. We are um, you know, definitely encouraging conversation within our family, within our community, especially with our kiddos. And I just want to say that we love you all. We're here to help support you in growing the best business of your dreams, putting it out there, to helping to support your communities, helping to support the people that need it. And you'll hear a little bit more about that in this conversation that we're going to have in this podcast today.

But before we get into all of that this episode is brought to you by our brand new resource called “9 Ways for Nonprofits to Raise More Money Online.” We know that it's difficult to raise money right now your fundraisers have been canceled, all of these things are changing. And it's time to, like I said, pivot and maybe make a change in the way, not who you serve and how you serve them. But the ways in which you get the money to be able to serve these communities that you guys are doing amazing work with.

And so I want you to head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise and download this guide. It gives you nine ideas for you to be able to raise more money online, hopefully hit your fundraising goals, or maybe you need to increase your fundraising because the community that you serve is most affected by the protests that are happening or by COVID-19. And so you need to raise more money so that you can do more more amazing work. So like I said, https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise.  Download the”9 Ways for Nonprofits to Raise More Money Online,” and let's get into this episode.

[CANNED INTRODUCTION] 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.

[BODY] So for a long time, I have been sharing with people to niche down to find that small community that you serve, to support them to not be scared to do so. And in my own business, my general population that I've been serving have been small businesses and entrepreneurs. Well, that's a very large population. And I've been finding over the last three years that I've been in business, that it's tricky to kind of craft my messaging, it's hard to really figure out where I want to go, who I want to talk to, who do I run my Facebook ads to all of that good stuff, what lead magnets are going to be most powerful and so over the course of time, I've definitely pared down the offerings and focusing on content creation and website design and development. But I haven't kind of harnessed in and solidified who I want to be speaking to.

And so when the pandemic started, I realized that I needed to really focus in on something specific so that I could do some more outreach and kind of keep my business going. I'm thankful and very lucky that marketing and website design and development was not something that didn't super slow down. In fact, we had a little bit of a surge at the beginning because people were needing to get things out quickly and make some changes quickly to get in front of this to help support and educate people.

We work with some health practitioners and things of that nature. So they were working on getting some new products and services out so we had a quick little surge. And as I started to sit with kind of what was happening in the world around us and my background, I realized that I really wanted to get back to serving nonprofits. And it just felt good to me. And because fundraisers were being canceled, and because and you know, gatherings are being closed down, you know, all the run walks, that you had organized all of the galas and concerts, and all of those things are canceled and potentially for the foreseeable future. And so how do how do nonprofits continue to provide to serve for their communities and in also the flip side, being that your community needs you more than ever, the people that you serve need you more than ever?

I mean, we saw images of Food Banks, the lines, the food bank lines being, you know, hours long, like things they'd never seen before, so it felt really good to me to get back to that.

When I first graduated high school, I'm sorry, college, not high school college, I started a nonprofit. That's what I chose to do in the visual and performing arts. You know, I volunteered in college at food banks at kid tutoring programs, mentoring programs, things of that nature. And I was involved in several startups, arts and culture I worked in for an NGO in Washington DC for a bit of time. So that was really the bulk of my career. And so it feels really nice to now take all of these things that I've been able to learn in this in this business that I've created and the experience that I've taken from some of the corporate jobs that I've had to bring that back to support the nonprofit community.

And we also have several nonprofits in our organization that we already support from anti-sex trafficking in the US organizations to you know, we've done some work for a couple of churches. And we've supported, you know, other organizations just in learning and teaching them. And so we wanted to continue to do that and do that focus here.

So what you're going to hear on this podcast now moving forward is more information specifically tied to how nonprofits can utilize their website, how they can utilize their board members, their volunteers to be advocates for them. How can you create donation pages that are going to convert customers easily and keep your workload lighter? Right? How can we keep our businesses secure when we have so many people coming in out of all these different types of things we're going to be talking about, and I would love to hear from you what other types of conversations you would like to have around how to help fund how to how to be online and present as a nonprofit organization.

So this was in the plans for the last month and so we're excited to be back. And then we have the situation with George Floyd's murder, I guess we can call it now. And it just continued to fuel that desire for us to continue to support people that are supporting all you know, different situations from gender inequalities to race inequalities to sexuality inequalities that people are facing.

And I'm gonna say right here that I'm not always going to say the right thing when it comes to all of this. I have my own personal experience, being biracial. And I don't want to make this about all of that necessarily. But we all have our experiences. We all have things that we've learned, all have things that we've done and all have things that we're continuing to learn, grow and be better and so if we can help support the nonprofits that are supporting that change, that are supporting that conversation, and that are supporting all of us to be better humans on this planet to each other. That's really what fuels us and what is helping push us forward as we move through all of these things that are happening here in the US.

So I hope you'll join me in these in these conversations. I hope you'll join me in helping nonprofits grow, I hope you'll join me in taking some of the tactics that we teach you, and growing yourself in your organization. And so that's what we've chosen to do. So we've chosen to make this little pivot.

So I also want to say that this pivot isn't a huge change. So we're still providing the exact same products and services that we've always done. We're just providing them to now a much more specific audience. So now we've found that niche that makes sense for us that feels good for us, and that we, you know, want, you know, kind of fuels that inner fire in our business.

And so that's an important thing, I think to think about as we change into should you pivot your business should you pivot, who you serve? Should you pivot? How you serve them? All of those things? And these are questions that come up a lot and have come up a lot for me and conversations I've had with business owners.

And my answer to you is, take a look at how you've been functioning in your business. Who have you been serving? How have you been serving? What changes have you been making in the last three months? Six months, two years? Are you still really sitting with the mission that you felt was what was most important?

Because what happens is, we tend to just make little changes here and there, you know, okay, yeah, we'll do that. Or we'll take that or we'll, you know, do this and we'll serve that person. And then slowly over time, your organization model changes. And that might be all well and good and if that feels like that's in line with what you were meant to be doing then by all means keep doing it.

But sometimes situation like now is a great opportunity to just take a step back and say, okay, am I actually serving the people, the communities, the animals, the whatever the environment? Am I doing it in the way that we initially intended or wanted or what feels right for us. And if in your gut, it doesn't quite feel like it's as aligned as it used to be, then now's a great opportunity to sit back and just say, Okay, well, what, what, what things are we doing that don't quite fit, and maybe we can push those aside. And maybe we could just take those out, and then we can move forward with the things that are truly aligned with what we're doing.

You know, don't get me wrong, this is not an easy decision to make, and it's not an easy path to move forward. But when we think about dollars coming into our business, or dollars coming into our nonprofit, paying attention to where those dollars are going and making sure that it's serving the right community is extremely crucial because you cannot do the work you're meant to do if you've got all these kind of peripheral projects that maybe you took on. Maybe it was a donor that said, Yes, I'll give you this money, but only if you do x. And so you did it and it was aligned with your business. But now that may be taking additional funds from your organization or your business that you don't have to spend. And so it's a good time to take a look at all of those things. And so I wouldn't necessarily say these are giant pivots. But just like we made a minor change, that's going to make a big impact on how we go out into the world. You may need to do the same. And that's something to think about. When you're taking a look at your dollars and you're taking a look at the expenditures and you're taking a look at what's coming in.

It could also be a great time to pay attention to new partners and new organizations that you can collaborate with. I love collaborations in especially in the nonprofit world, especially with corporate sponsors in the nonprofit world, what are new and unique ways that you can pivot some of your fundraising, to target people, target different types of people target different ways. Maybe there's tech companies now that weren't a good fit for you before because everything you did was in person, but now that you're going to be going online more, maybe there's tech tech sponsorship, so you can go after. Or maybe you can pivot and change the way that some of your board members interact with you because now you might have board members that had skills that didn't necessarily need to be utilized in the online space, and now they do.

So I feel like pivoting is not a complete shift change, dramatic like okay, I'm not doing this anymore. Now we're going to become a completely different organization, a completely different business with completely different products and services. But now, we are going to really take a look at what we're doing, we're going to make some small changes again and the two for the better. We're going to take the time now to learn about the tools and resources that we've maybe been wanting to but didn't have time. Now maybe we have more time because we don't have the gala or the fundraisers that we're doing. We're going to pivot in a way to create online experiences for people in ways that they can still get money. We're going to pivot in the way that we use our marketing team for, you know, content as opposed to content creation and, and social media as opposed to maybe PR.

So I see the pivot happening in ways of changing the way that your business operates, change the way your organization brings people together changes the way you build community and support each other. So that's what I wanted to share with you today.

My heart is with all of you. I am so excited to be going down this path of working in supporting nonprofits. If you are a listener of my podcasts and you've been around for a while you know that things that I've been sharing can be useful. So for nonprofits as well, and I want you to know that the things that I'll be sharing moving forward, we're all will also be helpful and beneficial to you as a business owner. But we will just be speaking more directly to nonprofits.

So I hope that you will share this with your favorite nonprofits. I hope that you will share this with your board members and your volunteers and anybody that can learn that needs to support your organization in digital marketing online and online fundraising and your website.

We've got a lot of great episodes that are keyed up for you that we'll be launching each Tuesday. And so I really look forward to spending this time with you. So for now, I hope you'll subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast so that you don't miss out on an on a single episode. And make sure you head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise, excuse me, fundraise in order to get our guide nine ways for nonprofits to raise more money. With that, I'll see you in the next one.

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