Ep 68 | Use your Existing Audience to Promote for You

I look at a promo kit is that there are sort of two tracks that you can go down, you can have one overarching promo kit that I recommend everybody has. And that's just about your organization. That's the bread and butter of what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and how you're effective in what you do and how you're making an impact. And so that again, that's overarching about your organization.

There's also the track that where you can go where you can make a promo kit for a specific campaign you're working on, and both will have similar elements. We can get into the campaign piece in a moment, but I'd like to first start by focusing on this core promo kit. – Lilly Stairs

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As a non-profit you have a built in audience. Getting them to talk about you on social media is a great way to grow your reach and get in front of new audiences. One great way to do that is by creating promo kits you can easily share.

In this episode you'll learn:

 → Why should your organization be on social media?
→ Creating your promo kit
→ How to ensure that your organization keeps access to all the software sets you utilize from your website to your donor software etc.
→ Now you have you promo kits – how do you level up with influencers
→ Data you can look at to see if your social media campaign is working. 

Want to skip ahead?  Here are some key takeaways:

[3:57] Being on social media is a great way to get your voice and mission out there. For many organizations it's a bandwidth issue or an uncertainty in how to do it. Just get started and you'll figure it out along the way. With so many people on social media it's also a great way for new people to find you and engage. Pick one and stick with it. You don't have to be on them all!
[7:48] Your promo kit makes it easy for people to post on social media for you. It gives your audience the precomposed tweets, Facebook posts, etc and images they need to make it easy. This will increase the chances that you'll get them to take the action you need.
[9:17] Create two promo kits. One that's your general branding and one that's specific to a large campaign or upcoming events you might be running like a gala or a large fundraiser. Your main promo kit should have your vision and mission and what you do. Also consider adding in your branded hashtags so people know what to share. It'll also include branded posts for all platforms – even those your organization isn't on. It's also helpful to include a list of upcoming events people can share. This doesn't have to be complicated and over designed. Create it in powerpoint or a PDF.
[23:40] Your second kit is going to be based of specific promos. You can take the same base that you did for your previous kit. The posts here will all be geared towards promoting a specific event, annual campaign, etc.
[29:24] When you have the foundation of your promo kits done and you've run some campaigns with your volunteers, donors etc, it's time to start reaching out to influencers.
[36:50] Tracking data to keep your team updated on what's working and what's not is important. Look at the increase of followers you're getting. Engagement is also a key metric. Another great metric is the link clicks you get from your PDF or promo kit.


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Lilly Stairs

Lilly Stairs

Founder, Patient Authentic

Lilly is recognized as a leading voice in the rapidly growing patient engagement field, having built award winning patient ambassador programs and powerful awareness campaigns that united patients and industry. She has served as an advocate for over a decade, transitioning into patient advocacy after she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases.

Lilly is the Founder & Principal at Patient Authentic where she helps healthcare companies authentically engage with patients and build movements to drive brand awareness and product adoption. Prior to founding Patient Authentic, Lilly served as the Head of Client Relations at Savvy Cooperative and lead Patient Advocacy at Clara Health where she conceived and executed patient engagement strategy and ensured the patient voice remained firmly at the center of the company. She has served in communications and advocacy roles across industry from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to MassBio.

Lilly regularly shares her experience and expertise via speaking engagements from conferences to Capitol Hill and also serves as a Board Member for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) and is a Lead Patient Advisor to several major pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at: https://www.patientauthentic.com 

We love creating the podcast. If you like what you learned here please give us a tip and help us offset our production costs.

When you leave a review it helps this podcast get in front of other nonprofits that could use the support. If you liked what you heard here, please leave us a review.

Full Transcript

[INTRO] Hey, everybody Sami here for another episode of Digital Marketing Therapy podcast. We are talking today about how to use your existing audience to promote for you to share about what you're doing to get in front of new audiences to kind of be another voice and kind of utilize them as little influencers for your nonprofit or organization. And we're talking about in a very specific way in that, how do you set up that foundation in order to be able to get the best bang for your buck, if you will? Or how do you make it easy for your audience to share and part of that is creating this promo kit that we are going to talk about as we get into this episode.

It's a very tangible, easy thing that you can put together anything that you can create that you can use time and time again, that will help your audience know what to say how to say it, what are the images, all that good stuff. So we're going to jump into that.

And my guest today to talk through this with us is Lily Stairs. Lily is recognized as a leading voice in a rapidly growing patient engagement field having built award-winning patient ambassador programs and powerful awareness campaigns that united patients and industry. She has served as an advocate for over a decade transitioning into patient advocacy after she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases.

Lily is the founder and principal at Patient Authentic where she helps healthcare companies authentically engage with patients and build movements to drive brand awareness and product adoption. Prior to founding Patient Authentic, Lily served as the head of client relations at Savvy Cooperative and lead patient advocacy at Clara Health where she conceived and executed patient engagement strategy and ensured the patient voice remain firmly at the center of the company.

She's also served in communications and advocacy roles across the industry. From the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Mass Bio, Lily regularly shares her experience and expertise via speaking engagements from conferences to Capital Hill, and also serves as a board member for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (ARDA) and its elite patient advisor to several major pharmaceutical companies.

We have an awesome conversation in this episode about how to really leverage the nonprofit side, the for-profit side, all of it to really amplify your voice, get in front of new audiences, complete your mission, raise more money, all of the things. And it's a great episode. So she also talks about how we can kind of up-level once we've got that initial outreach kind of pulled together in that promo kit.

So I hope that you'll enjoy this episode before we get into it. It is brought to you by our “9 Ways for Non-Profits to Raise More Money Online,” our guide that we've created to help get you started or keep pushing forward as you raise more funds using your website or online strategies.

So you can check that out at https://www.thefirstclick.net/fundraise. Download the guide. Don't do all nine at once but download the Go check it out and see what makes sense for you and what your organization can implement quickly. But with that, let's get to the 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.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Hi, Lilly, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me.

[LILLY STAIRS] Thank you for having me. Sami, I am so thrilled to be here.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. Well, and so I we're talking today about social media and how you can leverage your existing base to kind of really amplify your voice. And so I just kind of wanted to start with, you know, why do you think that even getting on social media for a nonprofit can be such a powerful tool?

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, I think it's honestly mission-critical in this day and age to be on social media, there are so many people from all walks of life who are on social media who are looking to follow causes that they care about. And I personally come across a lot of nonprofits via social media. I think that's honestly how I learned about new ones that I haven't heard of before. And so I think it's a really phenomenal way to expand your reach and awareness about your organization.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And why do you think it is that so many nonprofit organizations, I just feel like that hesitation like, either we don't have the staff or we don't know what to say, or we don't know how to do it. Like, why do you think that is?

[LILLY STAIRS]  Yeah, I do. I agree. I think it's often a bandwidth issue, because social media can feel overwhelming. There are so many platforms and it can feel like Oh, God, I don't even know where to start. And do I need to be on all of the platforms, and I think that a way to combat that is to start small and get yourself up and running on one platform. And there are a lot of resources out there. And Sami, I'm sure you've developed some of these already, that walk through sort of the demographics that you can expect to see on different platforms.

And so, you know, if you're looking to reach more of the baby boomer generation, and moms and dads and grandparents, Facebook's a really great place to be. But if you're trying to reach Gen Z, maybe you want to be on Instagram or TikTok. So those are some of the different you know, you can pick one start in one vertical and commit to posting, you know, once a day or a couple times a week. And I but I do again, I think it's a bandwidth issue. And I think it's an intimidation issue, but there's nothing to be afraid of. It's you just showcasing who you are on a different platform and leveraging the the messaging you've already developed at any way.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and I agree with that 100%. You know, start with one start small. And I also think that the, you know, with any brand marketing, you're trying to get your raving fans to amplify your voice. You're trying to get customers of yours to, you know, engage and interact. But I, I almost feel like nonprofits have it easier because they already have donors and volunteers and board members, and then the population that they serve, like you have a much more built in audience that can immediately start talking about you.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, you're 100% correct. And that's a great point. Actually, I would recommend if you're not on social media, to reach out to your existing superstar donors and volunteers and ask them what social media channels they're using the most. Because they'll that'll be give you a good sense of where you should be starting. But absolutely there once you announce that you're going on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or whatever it might be, they're going to be excited to follow you. And then they're likely going to share it with their audience and say, Hey, this nonprofit I volunteer for is on Facebook, check us out and give us a like and follow along with what we're doing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and we did an episode a couple back, and I'll make sure to link it in the show notes, talking about how you can run fundraisers on Facebook, which is also a great tool to use.

But what we're really going to hone in on today, and what I'm excited about is then you know, you have to ask people to do things right. You can't like you just said, you need to ask your superstar board member or your superstar volunteer, like, Can you share this? And so one great way is to kind of create your own promo kit or promo guide to make it really easy for people to access creatives, graphics, language, all that stuff, right?

[LILLY STAIRS] Absolutely. And here's the thing. Yeah. And you said it, you've got to make it easy, because there there's so much information that's coming at everybody in this day and age and so many things that people can post about. And quite frankly, a lot of us are kind of lazy. We want somebody to just, you know, if somebody has a pre-composed tweet for me or pre-composed social media posts for me to share, I am 10 times more likely to share that than if they just asked me to have to, you know, oh, would you mind sharing this, but they don't give me any context. And I have to take the time to write something up. And so that's where these promo kits can be a real lifesaver. It takes a little bit of work upfront, but once it's done, you'll you'll see people amplifying your, your message and whatever you're trying to get out there into the world.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] And it helps you control the message you are trying to get out there. Right and your branding.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, that's a great point. Because if you don't give people directions, sometimes they may say something that you don't want them to say there could be confusion about, you know, some sort of service that you offer, and they may frame it a different way than you would like them to frame it. So it does it gives you total control over the messaging.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So let's talk about because you mentioned, it's a little bit of work upfront. So let's talk about what kinds of like if you were going to start to put a promo kit together to distribute to people, what kinds of things what you want to start to think about to put it in there.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, great question. And I, I look at a promo kit is that there are sort of two tracks that you can go down, you can have one overarching promo kit that I recommend everybody has. And that's just about your organization. That's the bread and butter of what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and how you're effective in what you do and how you're making an impact. And so that again, that's overarching about your organization.

There's also the track that where you can go where you can make a promo kit for a specific campaign you're working on, and both will have similar elements. We can get into the campaign piece in a moment, but I'd like to first start by focusing on this core promo kit.

And this is where you're going to have everything in one place, I usually think about it as being maybe in a PowerPoint slide deck or a PDF document. And what you're going to have in here is, is one, I like to recommend having a unifying hashtag. So if you haven't come up with a hashtag for your organization yet, or the work that you do, I think that's a great way to one track what type of posts are coming up about your organization on social media, and really coalesce everyone around one message again, that consistency is key

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Now with that hashtag, so you would have your hashtag, that's just your, you know, your organization name. So you're talking about a separate hashtag that is tied to the cause that is, yeah. Separate from your just your business name.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, I think that that can be really powerful. And so I'll give you an example here at an organization I work for Clara Health, which is a company that works to connect patients with clinical trials. We have the hashtag patients have power. And this has become a really, really powerful connect to the Clara brand people inherently associate patients have power with Clara, which is the exact message that we want to be associated with the brand.

And so it can be a great way to really, again, instill that consistency and help people associate you with a message, a key message you're trying to communicate. And so, you know, other hashtags I've seen are, you know, in a campaign that I did, the 50 cents for 50 million campaign that was on behalf of the American Autoimmune Disease Association, the organization that I currently sit on the board of, and the you know, all proceeds were going to ARDA, but there are 50 million Americans who are living with autoimmune diseases. And so we were running a fundraising campaign and wanted to drive home the message that there are 50 million Americans living with autoimmune diseases. So we'd like to encourage you to donate. So that was the hashtag 50 cents for 50 million.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's great. I love how simple that is. And it's still really, like you get you get it right away. Yeah,

[LILLY STAIRS] Exactly, exactly. And so that's what you want to take some time to come up with a hashtag, you're not going to sit down. more likely than not, you're not going to sit down and come up with one in 10 minutes. It's usually something that honestly can take weeks you you want to just start it wants to be in the back of your head. And it might come out when you're thinking about it when you're going on a walk or doing something else. But you definitely want it to tie back to who your organization is, if you have there's this exercise called the six-word reason exercise that I love that comes from “Telling your Story to Make a Difference.” It's a book and I'll send it so, you can link to it in the show notes. But it challenges you to come up with your six-word reason, share why you do what you do in six words. And that's challenging, right? Because six words it's not it's not a lot. But it's a good way to get yourself to think in in those sort of pithy, short, hashtag like mindset. And so that can be a good starting point. And I will send that to you so that we can link to it. And I encourage folks to start there as you're trying to get come up with a hashtag. 

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, the other thing that I love to do with you know, when I'm working with clients on like, their website tagline and things like that, as I say, as you start, and I know, we're going to get into some more of this copy stuff, but as you start to write things for your campaign or for your branding, you'll start to notice the same phrases that you use over and over again, that you don't even realize that you're using to talk about your organization. And so sometimes just just by writing, you'll, you'll trigger something.

Yes. So I agree with you and do the hashtag last don't have that be the thing that you start with, because you'll probably get inspired by creating all the rest of the things that are going in this promo kit.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, exactly. So, you know, so you've got the unifying hashtag. And again, that could really pop up at any time while you're working on this. But you also want to include the core messaging. So this is upfront, your boilerplate, who your organization is, and you should always include in there, why you exist and the impact that you're making and make that really clear, this is the this is why you're so special. And then I recommend putting in a couple of other elements. And so this would include your social media handles, so where they can find you where they can follow you, right?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN]  Easy, we don't want them to have to search for you.

[LILLY STAIRS] Exactly. And if you can link directly in there, that's great too. So just have a link it all up. So all they have to do is click once to open it and then follow you. And then you also want to include some pre-composed social media messages. And you want those to just capture who your organization is. And if you have any calls to action. So you could have, let's, let's say, and you also want to make sure that these fit the character limits. So on Twitter, there's a certain number of characters that you can use in a tweet. And so you want to make sure that you have that all figured out so that when the person goes to copy and paste, they don't have to edit it at all. They can literally just copy paste and post and it's out there.

And on these tweets, I would say a couple of the different types of tweets, I say tweets, I'm big on Twitter, that's like my primary platform, I would say I use a lot but this could apply to Instagram, Facebook. You want to have one that's just sort of a general about your organization. And then I would say you want to have a couple that are calls to action.

So if donating is something you want people to do having a tweet or post about a call to action, how they can donate and why they should donate. Having if they can volunteer having one tweet about ways you can volunteer, I would also say trying to actually have stories of the people you've impacted, or the whatever it might be, you know, our communities, you've impacted, having some case studies that highlight the work that you've been able to achieve that's always really effective.

And so those are the types of posts that I would have been there and I would say five to 10 is a good number. And once you've done it for one platform, you can pretty much do the same thing for the rest. It's it's just again, a matter of some slight tweaks and copy and pasting. And I also recommend including graphics with some of them were possible, because graphics just tend to get more engagement on social media.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So I have a couple of questions around this. Yeah. First one is, if if, okay, so even if you're not on all the platforms, it's still good to put content together and images together for all the platforms, because, like, if they may not be on Twitter, but maybe, you know, that doesn't mean that there isn't still an audience for them if people are going to share their stuff on Twitter.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, absolutely. That's a great point. Definitely have something for every social platform.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay. And then for some of the other platforms, like TikTok, or even Instagram, with Instagram stories that are a little bit more, maybe video-centric. Can you just put ideas and prompts like, hey, these this might be a great topic to talk about? Here's the words you can say.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, that brilliant, love that and so having even a little like a mini script for a video, we also so one thing I also recommend doing if you wanted something again, that's a little bit more visual that hashtag that you've come up with, you can put that on to a, you know, eight and a half by 11. paper in a PDF and have it, design it however you want the hashtag to look. And you can ask people to print that out at home and then take a picture holding up the sign. And that's something that we've done in past campaigns that's been really effective and people have been excited to do and we ended up with a lot of, you know, photos of everybody holding up this sign with our hashtag, which was really powerful.

And the other thing I'll recommend from a graphic standpoint is using online tools like a Canva. Those are a really great resource for people who are not graphic design inclined or if you don't have a graphic designer, on staff. It's a free tool. It automatically has all of the social media dimensions for whatever you want to post whether it be Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. And and they have some templates in there that you can use. And so if you want to put together some of your own graphics, that's a good place to start for those who maybe don't have the background in design,

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Canva's awesome. I use it all the time when I need something like super quick because I know we have a graphic designer, but sometimes I just want to flip something right away. And it's so easy.

[LILLY STAIRS] It is so easy. And I think they even have nonprofit rates, they're free, but you can get their pro version and it may even be free for nonprofits or at a super discounted rate. So definitely check that out as as a great resource.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Awesome. Okay, so you've got your kind of boilerplate. You've got the basic overview of your company, you've got prompts for everybody, for every platform and images. Is there anything else that needs to be in this kind of overall general branded kit

[LILLY STAIRS] So those are really the the key pieces that I would put in, I would also consider if you have events coming up if you have key major events, or key and whether those be in person or online events, I would recommend putting those in and you can always refresh this this kit, right. So perhaps you you refresh it every year, every six months, and I would put some dates for the year.

And even, you know, I would promote, you could have a tweet that promotes one of those events if it's ready to ready to go live. And so that would be one other piece I would put in. And I would say that about covers it.

Uh, you may have other recommendations of things that you've seen or that you've done within your promo kits, which I'd be curious to hear about.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I mean, I don't necessarily have anything additional to add because I do think you know, like you've mentioned earlier this, this needs to have a specific purpose so that it's really easy. You don't want people waiting through like 30 pages of stuff to find the thing that they need to promote. And the only other thing that I would say is, you know, don't get stuck in trying to make it fancy. It doesn't have to be like down and dirty, like, you know, whatever. If it's a Word doc with a Google link to it with a link to a Google Drive, or the photos or whatever it is, make sure everything's titled clearly. But it doesn't have to be this like crazy designed, beautiful PDF, you know?

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, no, absolutely, it doesn't. Because ultimately, people aren't going to care what it looks like, as long as it's easy to do. Right goes back to this needs to be easy. And one thing I thought of just now that I also like to include, for some of that grassroots boots on the ground awareness, if you're not necessarily doing social media, which I know we're focused on social media, but I think there is a time and a place for that grassroots advocacy.

Having like a flyer that people can print or, or a postcard that they can print, you know that they can drop off at their local coffee shop if they're willing to put fliers up. I mean, that can be another nice way to get people involved who maybe aren't as inclined to post on their social media, but would would like to support and promote. So I that's one other piece component that I would consider today.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] No, that's great. Well, and that could also be graphics, people could email out to their friends and family as well that might not be on social media.

[LILLY STAIRS] Totally. Oh, and I'm so glad that you brought that up. Here we are again, okay. I'm like forgetting all of the pieces of my promo kit. I'm remembering them as we go here. Um, but I'll get an email template for people to just cut and paste to send to their family, friends and colleagues. And that can be with an overview of what the organization is why you support it and then calls to action for ways that they can get involved and you can leave some space for them to customize and and, you know, I recommend you putting most of it in, but perhaps you leave a highlighted space for them to add why they choose to support this organization and how they're involved. And so that's another way, you know, again, and to your point for people to then email and send it out.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] That's great. Yeah. So we met you mentioned earlier, kind of, you know, you have this kit together, you might refresh it every six months, but it's, you know, pretty solid, and that there might then be kind of a spin off for other things that you might want to have like a separate campaign for, like maybe an annual fund or something like that.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, exactly. And so it's going to include a lot of the same elements, but this is going to be if you're trying to run some sort of Annual Fund, giving campaign or perhaps it's an awareness campaign.

This is the promo kit is a great way to get your message. out. Again, I think that anytime you run a campaign, you should try to have a unifying hashtag. This can be the same hashtag that you've developed for your organization, it really all depends on on what you're trying to achieve. And so I would be careful about mixing too many hashtags. But like, for example, the 50 cents for 50 million campaign, that's really not something that we would use that at the American Autoimmune Disease Association as our core hashtag. But it made a lot of sense for the campaign that was being run to raise awareness and funds. So again, you you have that hashtag, you have the core messaging of the campaign, specifically in there.

And then you have key dates for anything that's happening, you know, if you're going to have a big fundraiser, if you are hosting a seminar, whatever it might be having those dates in there. One thing that I like to do when I'm running a campaign, and this sort of depends on what social platforms you're you're on. But I think live social media engagements like a Twitter chat, or an Instagram Live or Facebook Live can be a really great way to engage your audience around this, this messaging and so including details on those types of online events, and ways that people can get involved.

And again, you're going to put that promotional flyer in, you're going to have the pre-composed emails, too, that people can send out to families, friends and colleagues. The signs they can snap a picture of themselves with a and b, and then those precomposed social media texts and graphics, so a lot of the same things, but you're just honing in on on one specific campaign you're trying to focus on

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So that would you also include in this one, especially like let's say it's leading up to your big gala or your annual annual fundraiser or something, would you kind of put together To date, like, hey, between this date and this date, we recommend you share this information. And then if you weekly, you know, so that they people could share multiple messages leading up to it. And maybe they get a little bit more direct and to the point like last call for tickets or whatever.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, that's a great point. Absolutely. So giving them time brackets of when it would be appropriate to post which, which posts is great. And ensuring that they are all you know, they understand the timelines, because you certainly don't want somebody posting last chance for tickets, two months before the event.

Now, the other thing that I would say is to make sure that you also can create a day where you ask everybody to post on one specific day, so there could be a way for you to like really generate a lot of buzz. If you say, Hey, we're all going to post to raise awareness, or to really drive the message home on June 26, at 9am eastern time and so if I and and some people will do that some people won't, but you may get quite a bit of buzz if you if you encourage everybody to post at the same day at the same time, you know, on one push,

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, well, I think it's just it's just about communication and training your audience and or training your your volunteers or whoever is kind of helping push this and making it making it easy and I feel like While this might seem cumbersome and overwhelming to put this together, like you should almost it should I always had tried to not say the word should as much. But it would be beneficial for your organization to come up with these timelines and to put this work together ahead of time for you anyway, because you should see them just again, you'll be posting on your social media, all of these things as well. And so I guess I would just encourage you to do this work ahead of time. And then you can share it with your volunteers. But then it's all done for you, as you move through into that launch and promote period as well.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, absolutely. And so it is definitely this is something that for both your your organization, generally speaking, and then any types of concentrated big campaign efforts you're trying to run. I really think these these kits make a huge difference, and are really a resource to have on hand. And once you've done it once, it's easy to replicate from there. And also your network comes to expect it and so they'll be waiting for it and they'll be excited to have it because it really makes it easy, easier on them to share which is which is important because that's the way that you're going to motivate them to do so.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well. How many times have you been engaged with have an organization and they don't ask you to do anything and you don't really know how you can support. So like what a great way to empower people to be able to support you in a way that maybe they financially can't, but they have an audience and they can share it or, you know, their family. It's such a great way to keep your audience engaged with you and supporting you however they can.

[LILLY STAIRS] Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, one thing that I will mention, as you think about some of these campaigns, if you want it to level up, write it, and this is this is a great starting point, to work with folks who are already engaged in your network, your board members, your volunteers, your supporters. I do think there is a really special place for nonprofits to be working with some of what we call influencers, out and about on social media. And if we have some time. I'd love to chat with you about that, too.

Yeah. So they're in the healthcare space, which is, of course where I sit. There are a lot of what we call patient influencers. So patients who identify with a specific condition. So I have a few different autoimmune diseases. And I will actively talk about that online. I have a following. And I will use that following to promote work that art is doing. And so ARDA, the American Autoimmune Disease Association, we can reach out to some of those other patients who we know in our network who maybe are there online, or I'm sorry, they're not maybe in our network yet, but we they're online. We know they're talking about living with their autoimmune condition. They are really primed and ready to help promote ARDA because they have an inherent connection. They are going to want to be a supporter of that.

And so what I recommend is looking for for whatever space you're in, looking for the activists in your space and seeing who they are, do they have an online following and reaching out to them to say, hey, we'd love to find ways to partner with you. And influencers. Often, often they charge money to do partnerships, but they're not going to do that for a nonprofit, a lot of them want to actually give back and you're offering them a great way to use their platform for good.

And so figuring out ways that you can work together and that promo kit that you've developed, that's something that you can easily send to these influencers and say, Hey, you know, we'd love to work with you. Here's some of the ways that we talk about our organization. This is a really easy way for you to cut and paste and share with your audience. Feel free to make it your own, but this would be a huge help to us. And so, you know, that's that's looking for the activists. The other thing I'll say, is to get creative and think outside the box when it comes to influencers because In some cases, it'll be really clear cut that there are activists out there who have a following who are a match to partner with the organization. In other cases, there could be more nuances. And let's take for example, if you're an organization who is working to end to domestic violence, there are probably there I mean, there definitely are activists out there who have a following who are engaged in this work. But think about tangentially the type of person who would be interested in volunteering for a organization to end domestic violence. And the first person in my in my head that comes to mind is is empowered women and female leaders and female entrepreneurs. And so are their female entrepreneurs that have a following that you can reach out to online who might be interested in championing your cause and leveraging their network to make an impact and raise awareness about your organization, and so on.

You know, this is certainly sort of next level, I think that you've, you've really got to get your promo kit in place first and feel really comfortable with that and feel comfortable on social media before you start taking these steps to integrate influencers. But the influencers can be a really great way once you've already leveraged your network to take it to the next level.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, and I think, you know, before people are just freaking out about, oh, how am I going to go after famous people or whatnot, you know, because we see the campaign's like, ASPCA has, you know, celebrities in it, or you see, like Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Brothers and Big Sisters, where they take their alumni that have come through the program, and they run campaigns with them. And it doesn't have to be a huge celebrity. Right? I mean, like, if you're a local nonprofit serving the local audience, it could be like a council member or, you know, a business leader in your community. It doesn't have to be massive.

[LILLY STAIRS] Absolutely. That is such a great point. Because keeping in mind that even a couple thousand of followers can make a real difference. So these are not yes, these don't have to be the people with millions of followers, we're talking, we call them micro-influencers, so maybe a couple thousand, 10,000 hundred thousand, you know, they have influence and they can reach a lot of people, but they're accessible.

They're not like a celebrity that you're going to have to go through their, you know, their press agent or their manager to in strike some sort of deal to work together. It's really not like that and and you can find these people by, you know, going online and searching different hashtags that are relevant to, to what you're doing. And then again, thinking outside the box about the type of person who might be aligned with the work that you're doing.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, we've actually worked with a school, a private school that used alumni to target kids so that kids would talk to their parents about wanting to go to that school. Oh, like a peer to peer thing. You know, yeah, but then reaching out to their audience about how they love it. And then, you know, that Yeah, so yeah, there's lots of different ways that you can use use people. But I think that's a great, that's a great. That's a great next step. And I think the nice thing about getting in with influencers of whatever level is that amplification just happens so much faster.

[LILLY STAIRS] Mm hmm. Exactly. And so you want to be strong with your base you want to have your base engage before you go out and you and you start talking to these influencers, but yeah, it's going to accelerate your reach really quickly. And it's going to help you bring new people into the fold new donors, new volunteers, new supporters more buzz I mean, it's it's all positives all around And again, these these influencers generally are pretty excited and receptive to creating for good and making an impact back so I think that the that's important to keep in mind

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, so there's one last thing I want to touch on before we kind of wrap this up. And that is I know, you know, in the nonprofit space time is money creating material, social media, all this stuff. And you know, when it comes to marketing and nonprofits, I feel my experience has been, you know, everything is question like, are we doing this? Are we making money? Is this actually helping us hit our goals? Are we you know, achieving what we need to achieve? I mean, it's like that in every business, but I feel like doing marketing in a nonprofit is an added level of questioning. And so, I mean, if you've got all these people testing, like, what kind of metrics Do you think people should be looking at to see if the effort that they're putting into, you know, getting their audience to speak on their behalf and going after influencers is working?

[LILLY STAIRS] Yeah, that's a great question. So I think there's a couple things you can do. I think that first of all, just on a baseline level, if you are alone, launching social media channels, tracking the number of followers that you're getting on that that are signing up to follow you, and also the engagement. And every platform, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they all have ways for you to track engagement pretty easily in their analytics section.

And so tracking that to make sure that you have strong engagement, I would say engagement is truthfully more important than the number of followers. And I've heard that pretty consistently.

And then I would also recommend tracking links. So if you build out these promo kits, any link that you include that goes back to your site, make sure it's tracked. And you can do that through things like Google links, or Bitly. There are a couple of different ways where you could shorten a link and basically be able to track how many times it's being clicked on and so that can be a great way for you to see. Okay, this is this is how much engagement we're getting from the promo kits or when you launch the promo kits. Looking at the rate of how how much did your followers increase by how much did your engagement increase by? And so tracking a pretty closely once you launch it, and then again, keeping an eye on it as you refresh?

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah. and I also think if your call to action is a donation and having that field on your donation page that asks, like, were you referred by somebody or like, you know, why are you choosing to make a donation or Where did you come from asking that question as well can be super helpful.

[LILLY STAIRS] Yes, that's a great idea. That's perfect. So I think looking at all of those together, can be can be really valuable.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Awesome. Was there anything else, um, that we should be sharing or that people should be thinking about when putting their promo kits together?

[LILLY STAIRS] We've covered it all. I'm always happy though, to answer questions. Feel free to share my I know my information and my LinkedIn and social media will be linked in the show notes. So please don't hesitate to reach out to me if there's anything I can ever do to be of help as you're developing out your campaigns or your promo kits. I think that this is a great starting point, my my advice, my last piece of advice would be not to be intimidated by it. It can feel like uncharted territory and it can feel scary, but it's really, really not as scary as you think. And if you start small, and build out your first promo kit, it's gonna be really easy from there moving forward.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yes, that's so don't overcomplicate it. Yeah, we do that with I mean, why? Why? It's like we get in our own heads, and we always overcomplicate everything.

[LILLY STAIRS] Totally is exactly and then it doesn't need to be the like you said doesn't need to be the most beautifully designed thing in the world. Google Drive link will suffice.

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Well, Lilly, thank you so much for joining me. I think this was great, lots of good, tangible tips that people can take away no matter what level of your what level you're at with your marketing in your business. And so I really appreciate it.

[LILLY STAIRS] Thank you for inviting me and thank you to all the nonprofit's out there for the great work you're doing. I it's I'm always amazed when I learn about new nonprofits and the impact that they're making. There's so much happening out there and I'm glad that they have people like you see me to help guide them through the process

[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yea well take the village Yeah.

I don't know about you guys, but I thought that was an amazing episode Lilly did such a good job at bringing to light all of the things that we need to start these campaigns and you know, up-leveling using influencers or micro-influencers which is a fantastic way to to continue to grow your base and grow your audience, you can check out all the resources and more information about Lilly at https://www.thefirstclick.net/podcast. We have all the show notes there for all of our episodes, including links to the resources talked about here. But for now, I hope that you'll subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

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