Ep 96 | You've Created a Bunch of Content, Now What?
How often are you reusing your content? Becky and Jon are here to talk about all the ways you can think about the things you produce already as content and share them with the world, over and over again!
In this episode you'll learn:
→ why a content strategy is important for nonprofits.
→ how to leverage your website and email list.
→ how to get started and not do it all.
Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways:
[12:57] Content is the basis for engagement. It doesn't have to be creating new pieces all the time. It can be utilizing the pilar pieces you create and reusing it over and over. This can include your impact reports or annual reports and then creating new pieces of connetnt in between.
[21:47] Drive people to your website with the content you create. The next step is getting them to sign up for your email list as this is the best way to be able to consistently reach out to them and know who your visitors really are.
[33:49] The important thing is to get started. While it's best to have a different voice for each platform you're sharing your content on, just get started with the platforms that your audience is on and start sharing. Don't worry about being too polished, even on LinkedIn. Some of the more fun posts are what get seen and encourage engagement.
Becky Endicott & Jon McCoy
Founders, We Are For Good
Jon and Becky are two Oklahoma business partners and friends who have 35 combined years of experience in nonprofit development. He's the designer, she's the writer, but they call themselves “marketers disguised as fundraisers.” They cut their teeth building Oklahoma State University Foundation's inaugural marketing department whilst having some serious Imposter Syndrome that first year. While at OSU, they were able to set down the first roots of philanthropic storytelling via print, graphic and digital deliverables leading to the launch of the $1 billion initiative, Branding Success, which is Oklahoma's largest philanthropic campaign effort to date. Their wanderlust for building something new led them to Oklahoma City for a nearly decade-long service to Oklahoma's largest nonprofit healthcare system, INTEGRIS Foundation, where they led teams in annual giving, events, stewardship, major gifts, prospect research and campaigns, and built a ground-breaking employee giving campaign that's been internationally replicated by development shops around the world.
After dreaming of a full-fledged company aimed at empowering and equipping this generation of nonprofit leaders, We Are For Good launched in 2020 through their podcast of the same name. The podcast debuted as the #1 nonprofit podcast on Apple iTunes and host some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders as guests. But their favorite thing is teaching, and We Are For Good workshops bring the best thought leaders and innovative disruptors to our space to empower professionals to do more for their missions. They're on a mission to reimagine conferences and webinars, to flip the donor pyramid upside down and rename our industry in their spare time:)
What topic would you like to discuss or digital marketing question do you have? Please limit it to one, and be as specific as possible.: We were thinking we could talk about Syndication as we have a free class and some accompanying worksheets that your listeners could utilize to leverage it. Adopting a syndication practices mean taking one strong piece of content (ie: impact report) and turning it into a microburst of content that can be dripped out in various mediums adapting the voice to match the audience (ie: you might include some of the facts in your form letter to Boomers, but you may drop it in Instagram in a cheeky voice that connects more with Millennials and calls them to action). Endless applications here and helps professionals work smarter not harder. Learn more at https://weareforgood.com
We love creating the podcast and help you grow your organization. If you like what you learned here please give us a tip and help us offset our production costs.
[INTRO] Hey there, Sami here with another episode of the digital marketing therapy podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. We are talking about all things content today. And I know you probably feel like you're on the hamster wheel churning out content all the time, nobody sees it, it's not really doing anything for you. And so we're going to talk about today is ways to really create a syndication model around your content, utilize it, create all sorts of social posts and email, and just ways to take things that you are already creating, whether it be impact reports, newsletters, whether it be your annual report, content that's already on your website, and really use it to get in front of your audiences share your mission storytell and just gain more visibility and traction for your organization. We're not talking about having to go out and create content and create a bunch of it and spend a bunch of time doing that but more creating models and plans for you to use the existing content that you already have. Doesn't that sound amazing? I think that sounds amazing.
And joining me today are Becky and Jon from we are for good. So Jon and Becky are two Oklahoma business partners and friends who have combined 35 years of experience in nonprofit development. He's the designer she's the writer, but they call themselves marketers disguised as fundraisers, they cut their teeth building Oklahoma State University Foundation's inaugural marketing department whilst having some serious imposter syndrome that first year. While at OSU they were able to set down the final roots of philanthropic storytelling via print graphic and digital deliverables, leading to the launch of the $1 billion initiative branding success, which is Oklahoma's largest philanthropic campaign effort to date. Their wanderlust for building something new led them to Oklahoma City for nearly decade long service to Oklahoma's largest nonprofit healthcare system. integrative Foundation, where they lead teams an annual giving events stewardship, major gifts, prospect research and campaigns and build groundbreaking employee giving campaign that has been internationally replicated by development shops around the world. After dreaming of a full fledged company aimed at empowering and equipping this, this generation of nonprofit leaders, we are for good launched in 2020. Through their podcasts of the same name. The podcast debuted as the number one nonprofit podcast on Apple iTunes and hosts some of the industry's most respected thought leaders as guests, but their favorite thing is teaching. And we are for good workshops. Bring the best thought leaders and innovative disruptors to our space to empower professionals to do more for their missions. They're on a mission to reimagine conferences and webinars to flip the donor pyramid upside down and rename our industry in their spare time.
Becky and Jon have a ton of energy, we have so much fun with this conversation, you're going to get a lot of useful tips on how to really think about the way that you produce your content and the way that you utilize the stuff that you're creating that you might not even think of as content. So I really hope that you enjoy this conversation.
Before we get to it. This episode is brought to you by our nonprofit website templates. If you're not in love with your website, or you have been thinking about switching from maybe something like a Wix or Weebly to WordPress, we have nonprofit templates that you can get for a fraction of the cost and have your WordPress website that's customized for you up and running in five days. Just head on over to https://www.thefirstclick.net/non-profit-templates to check them out today. I know you'll love them. And I'd love to hear your feedback on them. Let's get into it.
[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.You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sammy del 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] Everybody join me in welcoming Becky Endicott and john McCoy. Thank you guys so much for joining me on this episode. So happy to be here. honor. Thank you so much. Yeah, so um, people kind of know a little bit about you already from the bio, but why don't you share a little bit more about how you guys met and created this organization and why serving nonprofits is such a passion for you guys.
[JON MCCOY] Thank you. Yeah, so I mean, it feels like just kind of this natural extension of our journey. Becky and I met really serendipitously, she hired me as a lowly little intern at the OSU foundation. Back when I was just graduating college. Becky was a young, but director of marketing for the OSU Foundation, which has this incredible role at an incredible time of this organization. So we're both kind of young and didn't know what we didn't know. But grew up a ton that season, launched a billion dollar fundraising campaign that year for OSU and cut our teeth there. And I think it kind of shaped our experiences because we were learning and growing. And we kind of just assumed all nonprofits operate at this level. And you know, when we stepped out of that we followed each other until our next jobs at a Healthcare Foundation here in Oklahoma City. And we got a rude awakening that not everybody is launching billion dollar campaigns at their foundation.
You know, we we've just been really close, dear friends the entire time, most of my career, Becky was my boss. And then we kind of flip flop midway through where she went into major gifts. And I stepped into Angel giving. And so we kind of just ran alongside each other. But this whole time, we're just, dear friends. And we're always kind of dreaming and talking about what would be next for us as we love the nonprofit space. We love philanthropy, we love what it means and what it affords. And all these wonderful things and the storylines that come out of it and the relationships. And so this just like natural next step of like, how do we spend the rest of our life, A getting to work together, because, yeah, hanging out together, but like, B serving through, you know, the lessons that we've learned and just like connecting people to other really great people, like, I think that's what really lights us up.
And so this idea of We Are For Good really came through a lot of iterations. But just, we saw this space that was open. You know, we wanted a safe place where people could come to a kitchen table, sit around, engage with each other, learn from each other and grow. And that's really what, you know, the genesis of We Are For Good.
Sure, yeah. So you know, we made a jump together this past summer. So summer of 2020, which is a ridiculous time to make a jump, you know, in the middle of a pandemic. But so many signs pointed to that this was the time and honestly, it hasn't been scary, because we've been doing it together. And we've been in lockstep together for years.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, but I think that's great. I think also almost the best time, um, because my business has been around for three or four years now. But we made the shift in March after the pandemic kind of hit to serve nonprofits exclusively, because like you, we felt the need, I think it was almost a perfect time to step in and support organizations and, and being able to fulfill their mission because a lot of them were struggling, whether it was not enough funding, or all of a sudden their services were being needed way more than what they had capacity for. Right.
[JON MCCOY] Exactly. Right. Yeah, I think it definitely felt like a confirmation, you know, I am not as much of a risk taker, as Becky is like, she would have jumped, she would have been, you know, a lot more courageous guts than me. And in the end, like, it just made so much sense. It's like this, this plan that we have just confirmed by people being scattered, and people needing new ideas, people saying the old play was not working. And it's like, Man, this is the time to do it. So it's been, it's been a complete blast, I will say, well, and that's good.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] You guys balance each other out.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] Yeah, totally balance each other. I mean, we always say we're the yin and the yang. And when I, when I call us the odd couple, I'm the messy one. And Jon has like the clean one. But he's really like my little brother. And we have just we call ourselves these ridiculous idealist because we still believe we could change the world, we still think that nonprofit and community is the way to do it. And honestly, we were just kind of looking around the nonprofit space for probably the last 10 years, looking for something like what we built for We Are For Good, we just could never find this place where really innovative, disruptive, wonderful ideas, you know, existed, and we're trying to curate the best of what's out there the most progressive ideas that have not been tapped into, because we wanted not necessarily to just create a ton of innovation, we just wanted people to have more time back, we wanted their missions messages to be more meaningful, we wanted their connection points, you know, to be more genuine and vulnerable. And we just wanted to throw that old playbook out for fundraising that was literally written like in the 50s and 60s, and our world is so different now. And so yeah, that's that was like, what, what was the genesis of this company.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So we're gonna get into some content strategies here. But I want to make sure we touch on one more thing before we move on to that. And that's a couple things that you guys have said. So one is we didn't know what we didn't know. And we just we're kind of blindly going into things. And then the phrase that we all hear all the time, right? Well, this is just how we've always done it. Which is literally my trigger phrase, worse, frustrating, and I think that's where a lot of people are finding themselves now is like, we can't rely on that anymore.
And so how do you guys feel? That the kind of just we just went in and just did it and just figured it out? Not knowing anything? Like how do you think that helped you really be more, like you said disruptive and more innovative and just creating new success stories for people with different paths? Jon?
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, I mean, I think the whole mindset of an entrepreneur like is, is actually this thing that's not discussed enough in nonprofits, because entrepreneurs just think differently. And you know, I have been kind of a student of entrepreneurship for a while, just because I've always wanted to start things, and I've had different businesses and my wife and I've watched different companies over the years.
But it's like you think differently, when you're an entrepreneur, I mean, you, your timeline is more advanced, you're afraid of not going when everybody else is standing still, if you see an opportunity, you want to see that. But also, just like, you realize, you've got to wear a lot of hats, because if you're starting out, I mean, I'm still writing the checks when we do write paper checks, which is hilarious, but it's a nice, hilarious article, approach to some of this stuff. But it's like, you know, we're standing out all the legal side of the business and all the accounting side of the business and all the front facing and we're still consulting. And it's like, we have so many things that we've got to employ a ton of hacks to get stuff done. And we just like, couldn't do it all. And we wanted to cashflow our company, which may be TMI for this podcast. But you know, so we wanted to take on enough work that we knew we could cashflow it and not have to go outside investment and reshare going to grow at the rate that we each which we can afford to grow. And so I think those mindsets honestly need to be adopted into a nonprofit.
I mean, we already have to be scrappy. But are we being scrappy, and being as life wise as we can be with our time? Yeah, I think you attract generous people that love humanity that like want to serve people. So the inclination is to go and just serve and spend all this time. And I think that is a wonderful gift. But you also have to be really smart with how you're investing your time and how you are, you know, prioritizing your day. And you're leveraging kind of an entrepreneurial mindset with that is going to be a game changer. And so we just are we're actually going through a series of this with how we're teaching on the podcast, and kind of some of the courses we're putting together, because we want the tools and tips that entrepreneurs use and which would be commonplace to be discussed in those forums to be the conversations that are lifted on the nonprofit side, too. Yeah, that's great. That's one of the one of the takeaways.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, okay, well, let's jump into content. Because I know that that's like, one of the things you guys have a podcast. So I know content is something that's super important in your guys's business model, and I think something that nonprofits get scared of. And so today, we're going to talk a lot about, you know, how to make your content work for you, and how to really be thoughtful about it from the beginning. Right. So just from a top level view, like why why do you feel a content strategy is something that's impactful for organizations to employ?
[BECKY ENDICOTT] Well, I absolutely love that question. Mostly, and it's probably good to give some context behind Jon and I, because, you know, I'm a writer by trade, and I just think like, storytelling is my jam, and Jon's a graphic designer. And so we've just always been in this mode, you know, as we've worked together, that, you know, creating value and content and that is what that is probably the the biggest part of why you should create content, you have to create content that is value based. I mean, we don't want to just talk to create white noise in the space. And we know everybody has opinions, but it's like, how do you present something, turn something out, that is incredibly relevant, that it you know, to the time to the situation that we're in right now. And in actually give someone something that's a leg up on what they're doing. And we have always felt like, and probably part of the starting this company, is we wanted to just disrupt the professional development space and nonprofit because the content that is shared in the way that it is shared, seems so antiquated to us. And because even if you go, you know, you spend $5,000, you go to a conference, you might be able to sit in maybe seven or eight sessions. And while you're sitting there, you know, you could be getting really good content that is applicable to your organization. But it's really hard to find, how does it resonate with me? How am I going to apply this when I get back to my situation, because I had these different nuances to my organization that are different than what this presenter is presenting. I don't have a lot of like, one on one time where I can just talk with somebody about how do I apply this if it was a speaker and so we just really wanted to be intentional about creating content that works for people and that it's it. It's really simple, because I think a lot of these models and a lot of technology out there are so cumbersome and I think that just turns people off. And they run away from it.
But if you can give them a toolbox and speak to them in a way that seems like they can, they can adjust to what you're saying they can implement it, you have kind of a roadmap of what you're doing and how to do it. And so we just really believe that there are ways that you can create great content and then leverage it in a fantastic way. That's not putting so much pressure on you to continually turn it out. I mean, we're going to talk about syndication mindset. And what that means.
And just like, very quickly, it's about taking a really solid piece of content, like maybe an impact report, a lot of people put that out, or maybe it's a newsletter article. And it's about, you know, we send that out like an impact report, we put so much time and energy into it, and then we send it out one time, you know, we may send it out in the mail, we may put it in an email once a year, or we may just throw it in the back of our folders as we're going to visit people. And it's such a short sighted viewpoint, because there's so much rich content and goodness in there, we think that you can parcel that out and take little chunks of that what we call micro content, and put it everywhere, stream it in your socials, put it in online. And it's just a way to look at content differently. And if you're bringing content that's valuable, that people want to want to hear, they want to read about it, they want to learn about it, they're going to keep coming back and engaging with you.
So I just think content is the basis for engagement, if you don't already have a connection, or a personal connection point to that mission. And Jon, feel free to jump in on anything I've said there.
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, I think you framed it, the thing that I would lift that you said that I think makes really strong is that, you know, the old like, I guess 1.0 professional development that I see. I mean, who hasn't been to a conference where people get on the stage, and there's like this really amazing thing that happened, but it's completely unrelatable completely implementable. That's even a word for your organization. And there, everyone's gonna clap them, and then they're gonna leave and you're like, what do I do with this? And there's not enough discussion of like, what were its like, what were they taught in their head? What was their mindset for how they set this up? What were their beliefs about why those decisions were made, because we feel like so much more shaped by the inner work. And I think the coaches that I really respect in the consulting space right now that are talking to nonprofits are coaching mindsets, and coaching how you're going about solving problems, because nobody can take a playbook and just directly implement it in that work the same.
That's what's broken about virtual events already, you know, it's like, you need to come in and have this framework. So Becky mentioned the syndication lens, if you use that mindset and lens, you can take that and apply it to your organization. And it's unique to you. And that's what people need, you know, that's what organizations need is they need to be the unique expression that they uniquely are. And not to just be a copy of some best practice. I just think that's maybe the 2.0. And so I love the resurgence of that. I feel like that's being lifted. And we're totally here for that conversation.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, well, the thing that I like to say to people is, if you're not sick of saying the same thing over and over again, then you haven't said it enough. And because of that, though, people think, well, I sent the impact report out, they got it in the mail, if I put it in an email, now they've gotten it twice. And then if I start talking about it in social media, like they're going to get bored. But who's reading those from cover to cover and who's you know, even when you do read something, you're not taking in all of that information, like those new little like micro pieces that you can share are going to spark something different at somebody's at a different point in their day and their week in their month, right? Like it's going to drive that energy differently.
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, I mean, we think of it as like, you know, we a board list will be buried in your impact report. And that's something that everybody's got. But why couldn't that be a series of 12 or 15, LinkedIn posts calling out and sharing the incredible board members one at a time. And it's like, that got so much more leverage than like the back page of your thing of your impact report, or whatever it is, you got 15 times the impressions, you got 15 times to open up their network to see it and share it. And you probably already have that content. Or you can even write something you know, really easily about what you appreciate about what this board member brings to the team and it's like, everybody could do that today, over the next 15 weeks and you'd want to space it out. So it's just not what we talked about as our board members. But you know, you the idea of that is looking at it with the syndication lens. I think it's super powerful.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] And I also think it's about just like what is your goal with sending out the impact report is it was is is it just a steward because it it's I mean, stewardship is wonderful, but we cannot just use that in, you know, in a vacuum to me, again, to Jon's point, the 2.0 lens of that is we want to use our communication to fuel engagement, to cultivate to keep extending this relationship and enriching it.
And I mean, I love what the example you gave about the board list. And I mean, I could even think of something as simple as if you had a powerful stat in your, you know, in your magazine, or just on your website. And it's like, you could literally just take that stat, and plug it into, for example, your Instagram and say, Were you aware about this? How does this make you feel about, you know, our sector? Or about this issue that we're trying to solve? Where have you seen this play out? And all of a sudden, you've asked a question. And now people are starting to tell you what they think how they feel about it. And that gives you such a two way conversation to talk about something that if you would have just mailed it to their house, you could have never understood how they felt about that and how they wanted to pour into your mission as a result of that.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Absolutely. So let's talk a little bit about content with nonprofits in the from the lens of Okay, well, I'm because you talked about goals, right? Like, what are the goals of our impact report. So some or you know, organizations are going to have content that they want to push out, that is attracting the people that they provide the services for, or the cause, or animal, whatever. And some contents going to need to be created, like you said, for cultivation and stewardship. So how might nonprofits want to kind of start to think about our process? You know, what that looks like? Or what might they want to consider?
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, well, I mean, I think all of your content is, is going to be pointing back somewhere, you know, to the longer place to learn more to engage to whatever the call to action is. And that's most likely going to be your website, or it should be your website, because your website is, you know, Sami, you're savvy with All Things web of like, that's what you can control to a certain degree, right, and you can work to optimize your conversion rates and whatnot. But if you can get somebody to your website, I think this is the imperative thing is, there's got to be two paths.
If you're a really front facing and you have a lot of people that are receiving services from your nonprofit coming to your website, then there clearly has to be a really strong path for what how do they receive services. But I think and you know, we're working with an organization like this right now is those that have that, they often only tell one side of the story really well. So it's either the service side or the fundraising side. But you're leaving people, you know, hung out to dry, really, if you're not giving both paths? And I think you've got to think about that, because there is a front facing of like, how do I get services? And how do I do that? But there's got to be the donor storyline of like, how do I fit in to make this mission happen? I think you've got to be thinking about both of those funnels, because you've got two distinct audiences, from our mindset, and how we're working with this client is like, we're building out those kind of two different communication plans, because they do have a different end goal. And one's trying to get a donor and one's trying to convince a family to use these services. And so there's two very unique storylines there.
So I mean, the end game is going to be getting people to come to your website. And ultimately, you've got to get their email address, right? It's the one algorithm we can kind of break past if we can get a direct line of communication to people. And so be thinking through what's the way to do that. And I know some of you provide resources around this too, but it's just like, how can you create value Becky's talked about this? What's the content that your organization can serve and create value on both sides of house for the donors and for those that would receive services, so there'd be a reason that they want to opt in and connect with you? Because it's not a one way relationship? I think this is often missed with the donor side. It's like, how can you serve the donor? How can you equip them to be better people? I know you've got resources. So how can you adapt those to be meaningful, and we're gonna jump into how you repurpose your content for social media.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But I just want to make sure we reiterate what you're saying, because it's so important. Your email list you own you know who those people are by name, you can really, you know, check that data and work that email list and ROI on emails extremely profitable. And social media while it's important, and while we want to repurpose that content and use it, like I said, the algorithms can change at any point. Facebook has been going through craziness right now where accounts are getting shut down for no reason like, so you have all of that stuff you can't control. So yes, I am 100% with you, that email list is gold like that is everything.
Okay, so let's talk about then. So I've got my content created. And we've talked about the importance of overusing it in the syndication lens. So what does that look like? For you guys are where my organizations want to start with figuring out how to start blasting their stuff.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] I love this conversation because I think the goal is definitely ultimately, the right place to start. And then I just think that you have to audit your channels for distribution. And to Jon's point, you got to look at your website, because that's where we want them to come back to, because that's always going to be there. And the price of admission to get all of this great content, again, is that email address. So I think that you can just audit everything far and wide. And we have, you know, we think that keynote presentations, magazines, stories, articles, event scripts, interviews, I mean, anything that you have ever produced, that is a hot piece of high quality content, can be turned into something that could be syndicated. And Jon has a really great worksheet, and we're happy to give, we have a free workshop and some worksheets that we're happy to extend to your listeners, you know, that walk you through, which is literally, if you can, if you can look at some boxes, five boxes across five boxes down, and it's literally 25 boxes that you could plot out from one piece of content that would fulfill your social media calendar for a month.
So if you know, again, maybe if we're looking at something like an impact magazine, the first day could be, you know, something and your CEO letter, and the next day could be a photo and, you know, the third day could be a pulled quote, and and you can just see that you're pulling from this really incredible piece that you've already created, you've already poured a ton of content time, resources, you know, gathering photos, gathering interviews, it's like, we need to find a way to look at that and plotted accordingly. And then from the from the back end of that it's really about, you know, finding ways that you can engage, you know, you don't want to just be talking, you want to have intentionality in what you're posting, you want to ask for their opinion, you want to be balancing, you know, your donor relations and your stewardship, you want to have gratitude and that you want to have storytelling and be asking for storytelling in that. And so it's there's so many different ways to look at it. And I also think the voice that you employ is critically important, especially on social. And I just think a nonprofit, if you're talking Sami about the way that things have always been done. We are such a buttoned up sector, and it drives me batty. And, and no, and the thing is, is it is the antithesis of of what social channels represent. I mean, social is about being vulnerable, about being genuine and raw. And we don't want corporate robots that are, you know, giving us this watered down version of a politically correct post, you know, that took 40 minutes to write, we put it through all these channels for approval. I mean, that is that does not lead to an authentic relationship.
So I just think auditing is a really important starting point, because you may not have to do a ton of work, because I can sense that somebody could be overwhelmed by this concept. But you may already have really great content, you just need to have a little bit of a framework of how to employ it.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, and obviously, some organizations are in more sensitive topics where you have to be a little bit more. But I love that you said that because I agree with that. 100,000,000% like have like you, if nonprofits, like we think about, like why you shop at Target, right? you shop at Target because there's like this whole culture around it. It's the experience that you know, you're going to get when you walk in the door. It's like the, you know, this whole thing that they've created, there's so many brands that do that so well, right? And you're always going to go to Target because I mean, you hear people say like, Well, I'm not going to move to a town that's too small, that doesn't have a target, whatever. It's a whole thing. And if nonprofits, appropriate nonprofits approached their content, their social and their donors with the same like, I want to create that customer experience, I want to make them feel like they're the most important thing to me in the world as opposed to push mission first. And that retention becomes a lot easier.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] I love that you said that because, you know Jon mentioned mom's kitchen table. And that's, that's the the visual that we use is that on our podcasts and in our community, we want it to feel like you're sitting down at mom's kitchen table, which is the safest place in the world. You know, for most people where you can just have a cup of coffee, have a sincere conversation. And I mean, whether it's target whether you're replicating the experience of going to target you have to look at your social like you're sitting down at a coffee shop across from your donor. You know, it's not just a void of these millions of faces that you don't know you have to use it in through a lens of you're looking like, it looks like you're talking to the one they want to feel like you see them. You hear them. You're listening and you're engaging appropriately. Go ahead, Jon, I feel like I cut you off. Sorry.
[JON MCCOY] No, I mean, I think the only other point that I think I was going to make is just that you touched on auditing your platforms. And I think part of it is contextualizing posts for the good for the right platform, I think gone are the days of just like write one thing and put it everywhere. Because you have different pockets of community that are looking for different things in different places. But people you know, it's it's no longer just multi channel, it's omni channel, people are picking up messages all over the place as me You said this, people are not going to read your in your report, cover to cover or very few are out in this way, in different ways. And in creative ways. It's not new content, it's just presenting it in different ways. So it feels fresh, and it'll find a way to connect with people.
But one last hack that I would say in the syndication model is that we feel like you know, everybody's always looking for a way to provide extra value or kind of something special for their donors. And this doesn't cost anything. But when you create that really high value piece of content, we are example today's but on the impact report, but maybe it's a magazine, or maybe it's a video or whatever it may be, give it to your donors first and like embargo it like not hardcore embargo it but say, Hey, we want you to be the first to see this, we're not going public with it yet. But when we do, we would love for you to you know, share it with your community and comment on it, because we're going to be talking about it the next few months, because your impact has been so impactful, you know, or whatever it may be. But I think that's a very powerful positioning, a because they get to be insiders, and they got first access. That be they're going to be much more engaged because you've asked them to engage in a certain way that when they see posts, Hey, will you do this, you can even mobilize the people that aren't necessarily donors that are in your world to say, Hey, will you help us really get high leverage out of this, we have opportunity and service dropping this impact and the story of your impact once we're gonna be dropping over the next three months, over 50 different posts like this is going to be huge. We want people to get a part of this. So we want you to help us lift.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] The important thing that you said there? Well, a couple things, but you know, yes, absolutely make them feel important. But you have to ask for what you need them to do, like donors are looking for that next step. Because if they're giving you their money, they care about what you're doing. So be very hyper specific in what you're asking them to do. Because they're not just gonna do it on their own. They're not gonna be like, Oh, this is a really cool video. I got to see it early. I'm gonna share it on my social like, that's not what they're going to do, right?
[JON MCCOY] I mean, like, yesterday, I saw on Instagram, like, apparently the new thing is bookmarking, right? None of us who ever bookmark, bookmark something on Instagram, or I haven't, but like, we're gonna have to retrain our audiences, and our most beloved believers in our mission to say, hey, if you really want to help us start bookmarking the content that resonates with you, because it helps more people see it, it just like simple things.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Like I love that you said that same, it's like giving people direct instruction, they're totally gonna who up in that way. Okay, so let's talk a little bit about let's dive a little bit deeper into Okay, so they've audited their stuff, you know, they've got their chart, they know how they're going to repurpose, and post on social. And I want to just say, you know, and you guys might have a different thought, but you don't have to be on all platforms, figure out where your target audience is don't overwhelm ourselves with doing everything. And I would also say, if you are posting the same content on multiple channels, just to get started, that's okay. But kind of how we're talking about elevating and doing a little bit better.
What kind of tips or how would you? How would you maybe use the same fact on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, but make it look different to hit those audiences? Like, what kinds of things might people want to think about?
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, okay. Well, I think this is a great question. Because all of us face that. I mean, the thought of especially a small team, saying, I got to create different posts every day, it's different on every platform, and it's got to happen at a breakneck speed. And at the end of the day, social media doesn't really matter. It's really an email list. I mean, those are the kind of things are super overwhelming, right? So here's how, you know, we're coaching people to embrace this syndication mindset. And how I think it works is that with the grid that Becky described, it had a mix of sometimes it was a story, sometimes it's a photo sometimes, as a staff, build out that core content, and I'm with you in the beginning, just get it out there. I mean, you don't have the, you didn't have the data to know what's gonna work. And I think we joke that it's like LinkedIn is the most buttoned up, but it's like, actually, probably what stands out in LinkedIn is the goofy stuff that feels different than the buttoned up you know. So it's like, I don't think we can peg only this professional, highly, highly professional content can be on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, those more and more social all the time. Please don't make it political everybody that's That feels like crossing LinkedIn. But I'm seeing that even right.
So I think, you know, with using the example that Becky used is that if you did that for a month, then go back and see, like, what it was engaging on different platforms, you know, I'm betting that the photo that looked the most raw, that hurts my heart, as a designer, probably did the best on Instagram. I don't want it to be controlled, I wanted to be from the photoshoot, I wanted to have our filter, I want to have all these things. And then we post a raw photo of something that happened, and it'll be 10 x what we got engagement lies on something else. Now, it's going to take some resilience, you know, it's like, step into this. But like, when you see that, you've got to start playing toward that. And so I even I'm gonna confess this on your podcast, I'm actually lay down on my couch and talk to you about my problems. But like, we need to look at the data and go back and say, Hey, this is the type of content that registers so how can we be more intentional to create more of that in the future? Because if that's the kind of content that registers on Instagram, then just know, hey, in the future, let's just make it more photo driven. And let's just leave the stats for somewhere else. But the stats are working on Twitter. So let's just push everything stat wise that way.
And so like, I think in the beginning, you're just like, literally testing and seeing what sticks. And there's things like time of day and like lots of different factors that I think can impact that I think you always have to zoom out and not just be so focused on whether this one thing do, what are the trends? What are the what is the sense that you have from looking at it from the data that you can see, and just kind of play to those strengths?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And, again, don't be on all platforms.
[JON MCCOY] Yea and I think we need to hear that too. Because I think as a startup, we're like, oh, we want to find our community. And we have I mean, I think we have because we see high growth and a couple of them. And then some of them, it's like the bane of our existence to be on it, which is news that we need to not be on it. You know, like.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] We're talking about Tick tock, I'm 41 it's like, I feel like I'm too old for Tick Tock at this point.
No, another hack that I would give if you're struggling with where to be and, and how to position back it up and define your target audience, in person write down those words, you know, who are they? Are they moms? Are they people between the ages of 25 and 45? Are they fluent? Are they in, you know, marginalized societies, it's like, you really need to break down who is our audience. And if and if there's a wide swath of your audience, then that might tell you, you've got to contour your message is a little bit differently. Because again, we don't want to, you know, speak we're not going to speak to millennials, or Gen Z is the same way we're going to talk to boomers, and they're probably not going to be in the same spaces. You know, my grandma is 93. She's on Facebook, she loves Facebook. But you know, I've got a 25 year old nephew who loves Tick tock, and it's like, they could care about the same thing, because you know, we had a family member with cancer, but the way that we're going to talk about cancer is gonna be different in definitely in different settings. So really, that that would be like a good starting point to define who you're trying to talk to. Yeah, so total sidebar, but my daughter, so obviously, like, we're all in the digital space, we're all in marketing. We're all on social media, we feel like you know, as we're getting older, I always knew there was going to be a point in time when I wouldn't know how to use something.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I feel like, you know, we were posting, I was posting some stuff with my daughter. And I was like, I don't even know how to operate this thing. And I was like, oh, gosh, like we've hit that moment.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] The moment the time is here, and then you find a gray hair on that day, and you just need to eat some Haagen dazs. So I understand.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] But you know, just don't get overwhelmed. And I think the other message that I'm hearing is, you know, start with one platform where you know, your audience really is be consistent show up regularly, share your content there regularly. And then once you figure out how that works, then maybe add on another one, and then maybe add on another one, but take your time with it.
[JON MCCOY] And I mean, I feel really passionate about this too, because I see nonprofits just they were talking about posting. But the most important thing you could do is literally get in the DMS and talk to people yeah, like, we're not maybe maybe some of the listeners are too big to have time to do that. But it's like, at the end of the day, we're trying to connect with humans and the people that we've taken the step to dm to get to know them, or just thank them. Those are the ones that keep showing up and engaging which are helping you and it's just like gives you more ideas. It provides your community like that's what it's there for. So I think we forget that it's not just like this megaphone, it's like it literally should be social, like you're building friendships and relationships and if you have strong content Behind your brand, your organization, then when you're in the DMs, it's also a great way to provide hyper specific pieces of information that are going to matters to that person. Right? Like, if you want to dive deeper, please go check this article out that talks about this thing that we did. That was super smart enough that on a tea towel or something?
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] Okay, well, I think we probably sufficiently overwhelmed everybody. Just to kind of really create strong content with a thoughtful purpose of, you know, with the syndication lens, go to the shownotes, to check out that download, we'll make sure that it's all there. And, and then plan out your your content around it, start to push it out, test, and rinse and repeat what's working and stop doing what's not even if that means dropping a social media platform.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] I love that. And I know we will. And we're here to help. And we understand that this is sort of an overwhelming topic. And so we built like a really super quick workshop, you know, with some slides on implementation, and we've got a tool kit that goes along with that, that can help guide because again, it's one thing to hear it, but it's a whole other to figure out how to implement it in your shop. And we just have a heart for the little nonprofit. And we wanted anyone who's coming at this from any angle within, you know, a staff to be able to implement it. So Jon, you can share the URL.
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, it's weareforgood.com/workshops, and free of charge.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] So where else do people want to find out more about? We're gonna check out your podcast? How can people find out more about you guys? Thank you so much.
[JON MCCOY] Yeah, the podcast is available on all the popular podcast platforms we are for good. Please find us there. We'd love to hear directly from people how we can better serve you. Or if you have innovative guest ideas, we are all ears. But weareforgod.com, you can check out our library of shownotes. And there's a big search bar at the top, which we love to push people to because, you know, we're almost 80 episodes and at this point, so we have talked about so many interesting and innovative topics. They just type them what you're looking for, had some amazing conversations around the diversity, inclusion space as well. So come in, seek and find some really inspiring stuff. And we're on socials, we're on what I mean, all of our podcasts are recorded on YouTube, if that's more your platform, we're on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, platforms.
[BECKY ENDICOTT] And we also have a Pinterest account, which is actually a really groundbreaking cool idea for like how people can curate really great content in small bite sized forms, so you can go look at some of our game. That's a whole different conversation. We love Pinterest, though. It's great.
[SAMI BEDELL-MULHERN] I love it. Well, thank you guys so much for joining me. This was an awesome conversation. I appreciate it. And, you know, the kid interruptions and all that stuff. So real life. Yeah.
[CLOSING] Huge. Thank you again to Becky and john. It was such a fun and lively conversation. They have so much knowledge to bring to the table. I would love to hear what your biggest takeaways are. And you can leave them for me in our Facebook group @ facebook.com/groups/thefirstclick. We do a lot of really fun things in that group. There's a lot of other nonprofits that are in there networking with each other. So definitely check that out. And in the meantime, I hope you'll subscribe so you don't miss out on an episode and leave us a review. We would love we would love for you to do that. Other than that, I'll see you in the next one.