How To Connect Your Non Profit with Influencers

Connect Non Profit with Influencers

If you could connect your nonprofit with any influencer in your industry, who would it be? Forget about the limitations for a second. What influential person shares your audience and has the same values as your nonprofit?

An influencer could be anyone who’s gained a large following from the content they share. For example, Michael Hyatt is an influencer in the leadership space. Dan Miller is an influencer in the entrepreneurial and career space. And our own Brian Lord is an upcoming influencer in the nonprofit space! 🙂

Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of incredible influencers. In this post I’m going to give you a few strategies to help you do the same.

Why is it important to connect with influencers?

Your nonprofit does not exist in a vacuum. I believe in surrounding yourself with people who constantly help you grow, challenge you and hold you responsible to your goals.

It’s easy to get distracted, though. When we get too busy, proximity often beats quality of people, and we lose sight of expanding our circles. But you can use proximity to your advantage. Start by discovering influencers right where you are. These are influential people who live near you and automatically have something common with you. This gives you an excuse to reach out to them and a great way to start the conversation.

Another reason to reach out to influencers is to ask for help in promoting your nonprofit with a blog post or interview. I use this strategy when working with authors during their book launch. We help them identify blogs that share their target audience and would benefit from a guest post that’s related to the person’s blog, NOT about the author’s book.

The Top Reasons to Contact an Influencer/Blogger

  • Guest Posting on their blog
  • Invite them to guest post on your blog
  • Build Relationships
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Permission to use content
  • Interviews

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about this, and it’s all in the execution and intent. Enter into every guest posting opportunity looking for a win-win-win outcome. A win for you to make it worth the effort, a win for the blogger to make it worth their time, and a win for their audience to find value in the post.

How can make sure it’s a win for everyone? Start by personalizing your outreach email (or any other type of communication.) Make sure the influencer knows the message was written specifically for them. Also, be sure to have a goal in mind before you start. Don’t reach out “just because” or you’ll be wasting valuable time.

How do you find influencers online?

Here’s my secret: The most interesting people often aren’t the most popular people.

Just because someone has a huge following doesn’t mean the quality of the audience is there. Many times, a bigger audience just means they are less targeted. I’d rather have 100 super targeted and engaged readers who take action after reading, rather than 500 un-targeted readers on a blog that specializes in five different things.

One way to quickly find influential people in any industry is to let others do the work for you. Here’s what I mean. Head over to Google and type in “top + your industry/location + blogs” For example, “Top nonprofit blogs” or “top nonprofit bloggers Nashville”.

Someone else has already done the work to scour Google for great blogs in almost every industry. Why not start with them? Use the results to start making a list of influencers to contact.

Questions to Ask Before Reaching Out

Now that you’re finding more bloggers than you know what to do with, how do you qualify them? Which ones are good quality and which ones aren’t a good fit for your nonprofit? Ask these questions:

  • Does the influencer have a history of guest posts? If not, they might be less open to a guest post.
  • What is the consistency of their monthly traffic?
  • Do they engage with their audience through comments and social media?
  • Are they active on other social channels?
  • Do they provide a way to contact them? Do they even want to be contacted?

If you have a positive answer to those questions, you’re ready to start connecting with influential bloggers in your industry. Remember, increase your chances of a positive response by personalizing your outreach email and have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish.

What questions do you have about reaching out to influencers? Let me know in the comments!

4 Ways Your Nonprofit Should Respond to Facebook’s News Feed Changes

4 Ways Facebook Changes Ries Bar StoolIn January, Facebook will begin limiting the number of promotional posts people see

in their feed from Pages. This won’t reduce the number of ads people see; just what

Facebook deems as overly promotional posts – that aren’t paid posts.

“The idea is to increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories — including

Page posts — people see in their News Feeds,” said Facebook on their blog.

Facebook defines promotional content as:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real

context

3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

This comes on the heels of several Facebook news feed changes that may are

pointing to the demise of organic reach on Facebook. How does this change my

nonprofit’s Facebook strategy? What tactics can I use to respond to these changes? Read More

Attachment-Based Leadership-Part II

Attachment Based Leadership Promo PicIn the previous blog, Attachment Leadership (Part 1), we introduced the 4 S’s of attachment and began to explore how these can be applicable to the workplace. The 4 S’s defined were:

  • Seen– not just seeing with the eyes, but perceiving another deeply and empathetically
  • Safe- avoiding actions and responses that would frighten or hurt the person we are in relationship with
  • Soothed– helping the other person to deal with difficult emotions and situations
  • Secure– helping the other person cultivate an internalized sense of well-being

This language may be very foreign in many business settings. These words may not be built into the company culture. However, there are practical ways to begin to “live out” these concepts and foster an attachment-based leadership culture. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Read More

9 Simple Goal-Based Marketing Metrics To Keep Your Nonprofit On Track

nonprofit marketing goals

It’s difficult enough to keep up with your nonprofit’s marketing before even considering how to make sense of it all. But measuring the ROI of your online marketing is the only thing that’s going to save your time, money, and sanity in the long run.

By carefully measuring your marketing ROI, you can apply the Pareto (80/20) principle and determine which 20% of your marketing efforts are producing 80% of the results.

I’ve outlined a few examples of nonprofit marketing goals below and the metrics to measure each one. Use the sample goals as a reference to measure against what you’re currently tracking. It’s a quick and simple way to find holes you need to fill or see if you’re on the right track!

Read More

Can Development Directors Save The World?

Screen shot 2014-11-05 at 12.08.14 PM

When I was younger, I had dreams of saving the world. Correction, for a short time I had dreams of being a night nurse because I knew that meant I would be able to stay up past my bedtime. However, once I realized that as a grown up I could set my own bedtime…I wanted to save the world.

My world saving career didn’t begin with a cape or a cat suit, but started when I was seventeen in a domestic violence shelter where I volunteered twice a week. Then, I went to college and majored in social work. World saving was still the goal. I vowed to never do anything but direct service. (Spoiler alert: I would eat those words.)

Read More

Attachment-Based Leadership-Part 1- Amy Alexander

Screen shot 2014-10-27 at 11.05.11 AMWhen you hear the word “attachment,” what comes to mind and what does it mean to you? Does your mind go to ideas related to having an infant? Perhaps you have visions of “baby-wearing,” “co-sleeping,” “breast-feeding on demand,” “responsiveness to crying” etc. Or, did you mind go toward relationships, recalling the Tom Cruise quote from Jerry Maguire, “You complete me.” This idea is one that suggests attachment means an inability to live without the other person –   “I cannot live without you. I would simply die if you weren’t in my life.”

You are not alone if you share the above first reactions upon hearing “attachment.” Read More

Simple 6 Point Guideline For Grant Writing

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 4.00.09 PMTo simplify your grant writing, use this simple guideline to collect and prepare your information.  Foundations and organizations often have specific formats they desire, but if one has the essential information, it should be easy to complete the applications.

1) Who:

is in need of this project-program

is to benefit

is to do the work

is to help pay  — matching $ etc.

is to manage and report back (accountability)

is ultimately in charge of the project-program

2) What:

is the reason that this is so important?

is the location of the project-program?

is the short term and long range outcome for the society?

is the benefit that makes this so important?

is the priority that distinguishes this effort?

is plan B if this request is not granted? Read More

How to Stay Focused on Your Nonprofit’s Goals

What did you do last week that moved your nonprofit forward?

I mean something big, something you can truly measure.

It’s funny, but those huge accomplishments usually start with something very small. The difficult part is knowing what to concentrate on and having laser-like focus to get it done.

I’ve found the best way to complete these goals is to measure what I do each week that moves me closer to them. How do I do this? I track my time.

In this post I’ll give you three reasons to start tracking your time, even if just for a week. I’ve also included a video at the end of the post that will make it even easier for you to get started. It shows you exactly how to start tracking your time in just five minutes.

Here are 3 BIG benefits of tracking your time:

1. You Can Set Boundaries for Yourself (And Others)

Tracking your time can help you set beneficial boundaries for yourself and others. By tracking in real time you can start identifying patterns in your day and determine what restraints to put on yourself and others.

Pay attention to interruptions that happen throughout the day and the reasons for them. Could you have prevented some of the interruptions with a quick conversation, outlining when you needed uninterrupted time?

Read More

NBB 30 minutes social media
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How To Manage Your Nonprofit’s Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day

If you groan every time you see social media on your to-do list because the time commitment seems unbearable, this post is for you.

Social media doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. If you plan your content using a monthly content calendar, you can keep your audience engaged with just a few minutes per day. By spending a little time in between projects to check social networks, you can have them easily under control.

But there’s a catch. (There’s always a catch!)

You’ve gotta have a plan.

Why? Because “checking” Facebook leads to the one thing Facebook is best at: wasting time. Before you know it, the day’s half over and you’ve missed lunch.

Here’s an example schedule for keeping up with your social networks throughout the day. You can schedule your social media at whatever time works best for you. The times next to each one are just meant to demonstrate a sample schedule.

One other thing to keep in mind: this schedule can change depending on what social channel is dominant for you. For example, your nonprofit might be the most active on Facebook and not have a presence on Twitter. So instead of spending 15 minutes on Twitter, I might put the extra time into responding to comments on Facebook and creating new content.

Alter the schedule to fit your situation.

BLOG | 8:00 – 8:04am

  • 4 minutes: Respond to any comments

FACEBOOK | 9:00 – 9:06

  • 3 minutes: Write one status update
  • 3 minutes: Read and respond to any comments on your page from the day before

TWITTER | 10:30 – 10:45

  • 2 minutes: Write one tweet
  • 3 minutes: Read and respond to @replies
  • 3 minutes: Read your tweetstream and keyword searches. Respond to relevant content in your timeline if you have something good to say back.
  • 3 minutes: Retweet something that you think your followers would benefit from hearing
  • 2 minutes: Follow back relevant people who have followed you
  • 2 minutes: Write another tweet to schedule for later

YOUTUBE | 12:05 – 12:10

  • 2 minutes: Respond to any comments on your wall
  • 3 minutes: Comment on someone else’s video

Great! We’ve got the daily content down. Now let’s look at the weekly and monthly plan.  Some things we don’t need to do every day, so we assign them to the beginning or end of the week and month. Here are a few examples to get you started.

Weekly Tactics

  • At the beginning of the week, check that your content is loaded to your blog and/or Youtube and scheduled to be published.
  • Write social media updates for each post to promote them and schedule them in Hootsuite.

Monthly Tactics

  • Create an analytics report for each of your channels.
  • Brainstorm blog topics for next month, and start creating outlines for each post. Set due dates for each one.

Use this list as a starting point to figure out your daily, weekly, and monthly tactics, and take the guesswork out of your nonprofit’s social media!

Smartphone Interview Tips- Part 1

Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 2.51.18 PMWith smartphones, we now have mobile TV studios in our hands. We can interview friends and family, and more importantly for nonprofits, donors, volunteers, clients and more. Personally, I’ve done studio interviews with folks like Olympian Scott Hamilton, author and survivor Elizabeth Smart, business guru Pat Lencioni, and even NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip. I’ve taken some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way and I’m sharing them with you here, with the help of fellow NBBer and nonprofit activist Leah Hayes.

In part 1, we’ll focus on questions like:
-What is the single most important thing to remember when interviewing someone?
-Is too close for comfort just right?
-Where should you look when you’re giving an interview?
-How do you make the interviewee the star?

NEXT, WATCH SHANNON LITTON- SHOULD NON PROFITS FOCUS ON THE HOW OR THE WHY?

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