Getting the Best out of Facebook Part II: Engage Your Audience with Content

There is so much you can get from a business page that your personal page does not provide, including the ability to check page insights so you can determine who you are talking to, where they are coming from, as well as what content is attracting attention and the time of day your page has the most activity.  Why miss out on the opportunity to do this for free? 

Yes, a website does provide potential customers with the same information but forces customers to search the internet to seek out information about your business or service. While websites are essential and offer you an online hub, it is best if this information is also provided on the platforms your customers are already on. Reach them right where they are. 

Once the page is set up and branded to match your companies look and feel, use these tips to take full advantage of what the platform has to offer by gaining the attention of the people you want purchasing/supporting your product or services.

1. Be Engaging

  • When customers contact you, use Messenger, a separate application built into the page to reach out directly. Acknowledge customers who leave comments in a timely matter. Reply as soon as you can. If a message is left in the Messenger after hours or you know you will not be available, use the away message function. Connecting with your followers will help build longer, stronger relationships. According to Facebook Representatives, one in three Instagram stories gets a direct message. People are watching. Respond, and you may have a new business lead! 
  • Use events and groups to share. Share events by giving them their own little space on your page. This will allow people to share your activities and note if they plan on going,  enticing others to consider attending the activity as well. Facebook Groups will allow your online community to come together to freely share thoughts, questions, ideas, and interact through discussions. Setting up a group can help you establish the culture of your brand with customers. It will also give you a space to see what is on customers minds.

2. Go Live!

Facebook provides you the opportunity to communicate with your followers right from your desktop in real time with Facebook Live. Once people join, watch the comments come in and respond to questions on the spot. A small number placed at the top of the feed will allow you to see just how many people may be watching. To get the most out of Facebook live, be sure to:

  • Announce when you plan to go-live in advance. 
  • Give just a few minutes for people to join right after you have gone live. This can be done with light conversation in the beginning or by taking the time to acknowledge people as they enter.  
  • Be sure to answer comments and questions that are coming in while you are live or acknowledge people who have joined you in the middle of your session. 
  • Remember to mention what the discussion is about during your session. Not everyone will be joining at the same time. Some may participate in the middle or even towards the end. By reiterating your name and how they can get more information, you ensure as many people as possible are getting the information you are trying to deliver. 

3. Create Content

  • During the Boost Conference, owners of local businesses discussed critical items that helped them succeed. Items included being consistent and taking the time to plan out your content. Set time aside to thoughtfully create your post and use applications like Hootsuite to schedule them. If you are not interested in using an outside platform, draft and schedule posts using the “Publishing Tools” feature embedded into the administrative portion of your page. Review and schedule posts to come out so your posts will come out automatically.
  • Have a good mix. Don’t just use the platform to sell, sell, sell. Engage followers with educational content that makes them want to come back and learn more.   
  • Once posts have been released,  be sure to check in on them. Analytics are provided for you to determine what topics are getting the best traction.  Reviewing these data points will allow you to make changes that will continue to increase engagement. 

4. Get a BOOST for your business through advertising

Just like anything, before you start spending money on boosting a post or setting up an ad, you need to understand what you are doing and establish a plan. So here is a quick synopsis. You can boost a post when the content has already been provided on the page. When you “boost a post,” you are paying to expose content that has already been created – increasing the number of people who see that particular post. You can specify your demographic, boost duration, and budget. Click the boost button in the bottom right-hand corner of the post. An ad, on the other hand, is created from scratch, adding text, visuals, and call to action buttons that will grab attention enticing people to buy, shop now, etc. In either case, consider what the ad objectives and your end goals are. Is it to:

  • Create Ad Awareness
  • Push Traffic to a page by promoting your service/product
  • Create lead generation that will help gather information on your users, which will convert them into customers, increasing conversion levels. 

Your goals may also affect how the ad will be displayed. Consider these format choices:

  • Slideshow in photo and video formats
  • Carousel with up to 10 photos
  • Video
  • Or if on Instagram – Instagram stories

Getting the Best out of Facebook Part 1: Build Brand Awareness

Company leaders must do what is necessary to keep their business at the forefront of customers minds. Especially, in an environment where visuals are becoming more elaborate, and speed reading is a daily occurrence; if folks are even reading at all.  Business leaders must learn how to take advantage of available resources, particularly if the resources are free to use or can be used for a small fee.

Last month, the Bekoz Marketing team took a day to venture out into Northeast Washington D.C. in an effort to gain information from the largest free social media network, Facebook. The key words here are the largest, free, and network. As marketers, the first thought that comes to mind when exploring popular networks such as Facebook is – “How can this be used to reach your target audience?” Well, you’re in luck! We’re going to save you some time because we did the work of information-gathering for you. We’ve pulled together a three-part blog series to share all the tips and tricks we learned. During the Boost with Facebook conference, Facebook representatives shared descriptive details about getting the best use out of the platform, and now we are going to share it with you.   

Part 1: Build Brand Awareness using Facebook

First thing is first. It is one thing to use social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram for personal purposes, but it is something different when managing your businesses brand online. For this reason, set up a free business page. Both Facebook and Instagram will give you the ability to do this. Did you know that Facebook owns Instagram? Since the two are so closely related, you will see Instagram tips spread throughout this discussion, but we will be sure to cover the platform in more detail at another time. We understand using social media can be a bit overwhelming, some even view it as a chore, but it’s ok. You have the option to start with the platform that best fits your business, and remember, we are here to help! By setting up a business page, you are given the administrative ability to add, remove, or change page editors providing you with the opportunity to receive and look over the support you have put in place.  Business pages also offer the ability to:

  • Share your business address 
  • Provide a contact button or encourage a call to action such as purchasing tickets or setting an appointment.
  • Provide industry information such as:
    • Business details in the about section 
  •  Imagery (In the profile, cover, timeline areas)
  • Customer experiences by enabling ratings 
  • Provide jobs opportunities using facebook.com/Jobs, which will appear in the job market place and your business profile for FREE.
  • Be sure to follow these best practices:
    • List the job title
    • Job description 
    • Distribute the post by sharing to groups.

Come back and visit us next week for Part 2: Engage your Audience on Facebook with Content.

The Potential of LinkedIn for Lead-Generation

In the Community: Managing Partner, Sheebah Smith, participated in Business Appreciation Week with local associations to learn more about LinkedIn from Thomas Ellis of EWC Consultants.

Are you interested in getting more out of LinkedIn? It seems many are using LinkedIn to stay connected or to simply have a presence, but are you utilizing it to its full potential? Are you engaging with possible leads, enhancing relationships, or establishing yourself as an industry thought leader? Instead of jumping on and wasting time passively scanning your timeline, do just a few things that will place you in a position to generate leads for profitability. Here are some takeaways I gathered after attending the Calvert County Minority Business Alliance and Calvert County Economic Development LinkedIn seminar with Thomas Ellis of EWC Consultants during Business Appreciation Week. 

  • Focus on establishing a profile that makes people want to reach out to you. The first step is to evaluate your profile to ensure it is complete
  • Think about what sets you apart from so many others using the business platform. Ellis specifically describes this as what makes you “better, unique, and desirable?” Once these traits are in mind summarize them into the Headline section of your profile. Remember to be bold and colorful, and explain the problems a person or organization may have that you can solve.
  • In a society that speed reads you want to have images, photos, and content that will quickly draw in people. Add pictures and videos if you haven’t already. Not just an inviting professional profile or banner picture, but photos throughout the profile that will visually show your experience. Add them to your summary, under your work experience, and ensure they are inviting (i.e., Remember to smile!) Don’t have any pictures? Start taking them today! 
  • Remember, bullets are your friend. As you entice people with the knowledge you bring to the table, use bullets to help readers quickly get the main points you want them to see. Don’t intimidate them with long paragraphs making it hard for them to find the information they need. This can be done as you explain what you do and who you do it for in the summary section, as well as what you did in the experience section.
  • Once you have completed a job or you find someone is pleased with your work, request a recommendation. To ensure time doesn’t get away from you, do it within 24 hours while things are fresh. Approve recommendations that will promote your services and speak to your target audience. We all know the acknowledgment that comes along with a word of mouth recommendation is unmeasurable due to the trust held between those who are giving and accepting the recommendation. Think of LinkedIn as your vertical word of mouth recommendation bank. 
  • Lastly, engage…engage…engage. Show your expertise by providing content or replying to someone’s post. Build relationships through comments, likes, and shares. Use Google alerts to feed you information on your industry or trends and provide a post with your comments. Then watch the magic occur. In this way alone you begin to establish and strengthen relationships while establishing yourself as a thought leader within your particular industry. Additionally, you remain at the forefront of people’s minds so when they think of someone to refer, they think of you.

According to Ellis, all you need is 30 minutes a day.  After leaving the workshop, I headed to my LinkedIn profile to determine what changes needed to be made. Needless to say, there are always things you can do to make it better. A tweak here and there, now I am on my way to better-utilizing LinkedIn myself.  I’ve added these essential tips to my routine. What about you? Are you committed? 

New Year, New Goals – Make them “SMART”

It has officially started! Many start the New Year by assessing what they have done in the year before and how they did it. We, at Bekoz Marketing, have done just that! If the goal was not accomplished – we considered what can be done now to get to where we need to be. If you haven’t started at all, let’s set some goals right now! Experts say it takes approximately 15 days before something can become a habit. Have you missed the mark of meeting a goal? It’s ok, just start again! You have a whole year to make it work. As we embark on a New Year, here are our resolutions to you!

1) Stay abreast of the latest and greatest in marketing to help keep you informed.

2) Share ideas that will help you take your marketing efforts to the next level.

3) Help you experience all the great things we are doing here at Bekoz Marketing to spark new ideas.

4) Serve you, our customers, supporters and partners, the best way we can.

However, simply stating the resolution or goal isn’t enough. How will you know what worked? What didn’t? Or what needs to be adjusted? Set monthly or even quarterly check-ins to focus on where you are with your goals. By making them “SMART,” you will be able to see where adjustments need to be made and what changes are needed to ensure at the end of the year the goal(s) has been reached. Check-ins will also help refresh the goals in your mind, rather than have them sit stagnant from one year to the next. “SMART” goals ensure the goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. But how does all this work? Take our first resolution to you;

“Stay abreast of the latest and greatest in marketing to help keep you informed.”

Now…let’s turn it into a “SMART” goal so we can tell if we kept our promise when its time to evaluate.

  • S = Specific

First, we will insert action words that will help us determine how we will achieve the goal, while stating what we will do.

“Stay abreast of the latest and greatest in marketing by attending training, conferences, webinars and reading industry articles that will educate our staff so they can keep you, the client, informed.”

  • M = Measurable

While the goal sounds great, how can it be measured? How do we know if our team is taking action? Let’s add some key data points or metrics that can be evaluated. Also, if/when they get the information how will we know it was shared? Here are some things we can look at:

1.    The number of training/conferences/webinars attended.

2.    The number of blogs posted or updates shared via our newsletter, along with the open rates or post views.

  • A = Achievable

Remember, try not to make the goal and measurements so large that it is no longer obtainable. Make the goals realistic; this includes financially and physically. Make sure items will fit in your schedule and that you can afford to do what it is you said you would do. Fortunately, there are several FREE webinars and can be viewed right from your office!

1.    The number of training/conferences attended.

a.    One a month, totaling 12 a year

2.    The number of blog posts or updates shared via our newsletter, along with the open rates or post views.

a.    Write at least one blog post a month on the information gained regarding updates in the industry or what may be on the horizon.

  • R = Relevant

This one is easy. Simply make sure the goal makes sense to you, and it is relevant to what you are doing. Think about how it will improve your organization or life and what you are trying to achieve. For us, keeping abreast of industry trends help both our customer and our team. It allows us to stay on the forefront of what is happening so we as a business will not be left behind. By sharing it in the ways stated, blog post or newsletter, it keeps our website relevant for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes. It also, keeps people coming back to our online office (website) so it’s not just sitting and outdated, and it gives us a voice which helps position us as subject matter experts. Additionally, customers (past, present, and future) will know where to come when they need information or marketing support, which can lead to potential opportunities for our team.

Think of what your goal will do for you and how it is relevant to what you are really trying to achieve.

  • T= Timely

The great thing about goals is that they are made, to be achieved. When will you achieve yours? Add a due date, so your goal will not continue to linger. Be specific on the date. Will it take you 15 days, 6 months, or a year? Our goal is set for one year, 12 months, 365 days and the clock is ticking. Of course, that doesn’t mean we will look at it now and not again until 2020. Even though the goal is set to be achieved at the end of the year, we have included bi-monthly evaluation days to see if adjustments need to be made. Maybe we get so much information from a three-day conference, we can write two months’ worth of blogs and may not need to attend anything the following month. Maybe we missed a month due to whatever the reason and we need to step it up! In either case, we are always continuously evaluating.   

Now that your goals have been set, and you have made it “SMART,” it is time to achieve!  We know making the change to achieve a new goal can be hard, but adjustment takes time. It will be ok, and remember, we are here to help!

New year with new goals or let’s just simply revamp some old ones into SMART goals. Then let’s make it happen!

4 Ways Brand Ambassadors Can Enhance Your Event

Imagine this…..

It is time for the event you have been working on for months, and your team is already stretched thin; the person designated for registration duty is also doubling as the room organizer and has to help setup. To make matters worse, you just got wind that members of the mayor’s office may make a guest appearance for the welcome and opening plenary (after calling their office for weeks). You’re wondering if you have enough staff to greet the guests, push traffic to the sessions AND, don’t forget your onsite promotions.

What can you do? You can’t be everywhere…insert…your designated Brand Ambassador team! Knowledgeable minds, an extra set of eyes and hands to ensure your event concerns and guests are taken care of.

Recruiting and training the best brand ambassador team is key to a successful event. We’ve traveled around the US to assist with various events, supporting our clients, and ultimately gathering the brightest and best within the local conference areas to support an organization’s conference committees goals. We’ve seen first hand how brand ambassadors can provide an additional level of interaction, and engagement that wasn’t present before or may have been missed otherwise. There are many ways your organization can benefit from including a brand ambassador team in your event plans; here are our top 4:

 

  1. Onsite Brand Champions:

Want people to be fully aware of what your brand stands for before they leave? Who better than a team of individuals who take pride in representing your organization? Brand Ambassadors provide just that. You shouldn’t assume that everyone attending your event may know about the full capabilities of your organization or maybe those who have been around for some time aren’t fully aware of the latest and greatest achievements within the organization. Let’s face it; we live in a society of information overload. So many times people just take in what they need, not necessarily everything you would like them to know. Properly trained Brand Ambassadors can help drive specific points and messages.

 

  1. Create an interactive and memorable experience:

You know how you feel when you walk into a store, need help and there is no one around to assist you. Now add several hundred people in a place you may be unfamiliar with. One of the worst things event guests experience is having trouble finding people to assist them in their time of need. Nothing is more memorable or comforting than having an extra hand guide you when you are already frustrated by the hustle and bustle of getting to sessions or finding where you need to go. Ambassadors can provide information when needed, answer questions, escort the lost, help in serious situations or merely take pictures for guests; in turn, helping spread knowledge of the event in a social media-driven society.

 

  1. Filling seats:

Need to impress a major sponsor, board member, or CEO that just decided they wanted to sit in? What do you do when you look around, and the room is empty? Run around and get everyone to file into the room. Only if you had the opportunity to get in some exercise and physically reach every person.

Internal communication mechanisms with your Brand Ambassador team can quickly get the word out to those who are strategically placed in heavy traffic areas. With one quick message, your team can begin to encourage people to move in the direction of the session. Let’s be honest, with so much going on, sometimes informational sessions slip through the cracks. It could be timing, the end of the day, or when many decide to take a late lunch break. In any case, empty seats in front of top personnel is a bad look. Use a team of Ambassadors to guide the event’s foot traffic. When the seats start to fill up, you won’t have to hide your face any longer.

 

  1. Post-event endorsement

Now you can rest, it’s finally over, and you survived! But, wait…Now what? Who better to guide conversations regarding your event than those who were trained to know all about it. Whether online or off, word of mouth is still a heavy hitter in the world of marketing. Equip your Brand Ambassadors with proper messages, resources and assets to share information about your organizations after your event.

 

  1. **BONUS TIP:

You can take your Ambassador Program a step further beyond in-person events! Heather Mansfield, Founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good, suggests creating a #GivingTuesday Ambassador program via social media…GENIUS!

Heather provides a few easy steps to get ambassadors on board for your organizations Giving Tuesday efforts.

  • Create an ambassador sign-up on your website, connect via email and provide your promo content, social graphics, etc. for your Giving Tuesday Campaign.
  • Leading up to Giving Tuesday, connect with your ambassadors and ask them to update their social profiles with the assets you provided.
  • If they can and are willing, ask your ambassadors to create a fundraising page for your Giving Tuesday campaign.
  • Activate your ambassadors on Giving Tuesday!
  • After Giving Tuesday, follow up with a “Thank You” and save the date for next year.

Reference: https://www.donorperfect.com/pdf/givingtuesday_2018.pdf

 

Could you benefit from having a team of Brand Ambassadors for your next event? Or maybe you’re not sure if you need them and would like to discuss the option?

Connect with our team; we’ll share with you a few case studies when Brand Ambassadors saved the day and then help you figure out the best solution for your organization!

Wanted: Social Media Intern

Bekoz is looking for a Social Media Intern to join our dynamic team and provide support for our online brand and community. You will gain valuable experience in social media administration and learn the ins and outs of marketing while aiding in Bekoz’s online communication efforts.

Tasks Include:

· Creating content calendars
· Assisting with social media management and reporting
· Drafting social media posts and analyzing social media data
· Assisting with content and online campaigns
· Assisting with online community management
· Additional digital media tasks including; drafting blog posts and language for website

This position is for YOU if you are:

· An excellent written and verbal communicator
· A team player
· Knowledgeable of various social media platforms and aware of social trends
· Creative, resourceful, engaging, organized and detail oriented

Minimum of one year of experience using various social media platforms, including but not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google. Ability to identify and understand a target market and “speak”” to them through social media. This internship is flexible; you can work remotely.

Interested applicants should send their resume to ssmith@bekozmarketing.com

10 Top Marketing Trends for 2018: Takeaways for Nonprofits

While Instagram grows, Twitter stagnates, LinkedIn refreshes, and Facebook still dominates. Cord-cutting is on the rise and TV viewership on the low. We’ve been scanning the internet air waves for the latest and greatest insights for your marketing efforts this year. Here are some commonly predicted marketing trends and key takeaways for nonprofits in 2018:

 

  • Strategy Documentation

 

Do you have a plan for your marketing and is it guided by a larger strategy? Devise your content strategy for 2018, and be sure to write it down. This type of record will provide your organization with a roadmap that can be referred to when needed. Seeing your strategy and plan on paper also provides a handy, at-a-glance resource that can provide a full picture of what you’re doing. Since marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum, you  can view your efforts as they relate to the whole and ensure that they complement and build on each other.

 

  • Journey Mapping

 

Do you know how people become aware of your organization? Do you know all the touchpoints they have with your brand? Understanding how they move from awareness through to advocacy is important for planning your marketing strategy.

 

  • Personalization

 

Along the journey, how can you create a more personalized experience for your audience? Is there a way to send more individualized messages or offer products or services more aligned with their needs? This personalization could be one-to-one or for groups (e.g., first-time donors, volunteers, investors, etc.)

 

  • Customer Experience Marketing

 

The experiences people have with your organization and its various touchpoints builds into your brand’s equity. If you mainly interact online, are you embracing chatbots and other AI into your website and other digital channels? These tools can help with managing interactions, providing assistance, and facilitating conversion. Plan for your marketing activities to revolve around the “customer”.

 

  • Influencer Marketing

 

Think about how you can integrate influencer-generated content into your marketing efforts. Is there a personality or online influencer that aligns well with your cause? You could recruit them as a spokesperson or ambassador for your organization. You don’t have to set your sights high: Micro-influencers may be key, so think local or grassroots. Just remember, transparency is key. Be clear about the nature of your relationship.

 

  • Experiential Marketing

 

With an ever-growing amount of content, it’s hard to connect with people, let alone be seen by them. Think about how you can link on-the-ground events with digital and traditional marketing efforts. Is there a way to start sharing content and conducting promotion activities for an on-the-ground event online and then continuing those activities into the event? The more seamless the integration of digital and real-life, the better. Also, is there a way to repurpose photos and videos generated at on-the-ground events for other marketing campaigns? The real-life look and feel of that content could add appeal to your campaign.

 

  • Video Marketing

 

Video content can help boost search engine rankings, helping drive website traffic. Video content also has higher reach and engagement than other content, with live video content performing at even higher levels. Incorporate video into multiple touchpoints along people’s journeys with your brand and organization.

 

 

“Is there human trafficking in my state?” This question and others like it are now brand touchpoints. Voice search is the future. Is your organization and its content ready and optimized for voice-assisted devices?

 

  • Virtual & Augmented Reality

 

How can you use environment enhancements to bring awareness to your cause? Could you use virtual reality to help users see a societal issue up close or in a different light? Or could you encourage online participation in an awareness day with an augmented reality game or filter?

 

  • Native Advertising

 

Native ads (those that follow the look, feel and experience of platform they are on) result in higher achievement of marketing objectives. Incorporate these types of ads into your marketing strategy for more bang for your buck.

See more on 2018 marketing trend predictions from some of our faves:   https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/12/18/how-digital-marketing-will-change-in-2018-15-top-trends/#129863c2d9a4

https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-marketing-trends-2018/

https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/10-marketing-trends/  https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/12-digital-marketing-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2018/512767/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/305047

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/306688

https://www.cmswire.com/content-strategy/7-content-marketing-trends-for-2018/

7 Tips for #GivingTuesday 2017

In 2016, nonprofits participating in #GivingTuesday garnered more than $177M in online donations, with an average donation of $107.69. Is your nonprofit getting in on #GivingTuesday? Use these 7 tips to guide your campaign planning and implementation.

  1. Get a squad: Appoint a dedicated point-person and team (depending on available resources), consult your board of directors, and secure any partner organizations you require (e.g., a corporate partner could help with matching #GivingTuesday donations). You want to have a good group behind your efforts.
  2. Get a virtual HQ: Give your campaign a landing page. This could be as a feature on your homepage, an additional webpage on your site, a microsite, or a campaign on a crowd-sourcing site like IndieGoGo or Go Fund Me. You want people to know exactly where to go to give.
  3. Get focused: Determine the target audience(s) and goal(s) of your campaign. You’ll need to match your tactics and messages with your audience in order to reach your goals.
  4. Get creative: Use tactics and appeals (e.g., prizes, gifts, donation matching, user-generated content, hashtags, etc.) that will resonate with your constituents. You’ll want to make a strong connection with people.
  5. Get a plan: Map out the time leading up to #GivingTuesday, including the activities on your channels, the campaign messages being promoted, the creative assets and materials being shared, any events being hosted, and any other marketing efforts you have in the mix.
  6. Get noticed: Brand your #GivingTuesday campaign: Give it a theme, tagline, and/or slogan. You want people to know that your organization is participating and to recognize your campaign (and to give…of course).
  7. Get talking early: Start communicating about your #GivingTuesday campaign early, at least one week out. You want people to be able to easily identify your ask/call to action and to be prepared (and motivated and excited) to give.

 

 

The Bekoz Recap: National Urban League Conference 2017

  • Who: @NatUrbanLeague
  • What: NUL Conference 2017
  • Where: St. Louis
  • When: July 25-28
  • Why: To #SaveOurCities

You read that right! A few weeks ago, we were in St. Louis. We had the pleasure and privilege of supporting the National Urban League (NUL) at their annual conference for the third year in a row. Why do we keep coming back? Why can’t we get enough of NUL? We support the National Urban League bekoz of their mission to #saveourcities.

Each year, we join NUL to help them run a smooth and successful conference. We manage and develop content for the conference app (e.g., push notifications, best of photos, event descriptions and details, speaker headshots, etc.) and support the conference’s mobile app throughout the event. We also assist registered attendees and the public in successfully navigating the app and the conference by managing and overseeing brand ambassadors and a mobile app booth.

While there, we are a part of so many wonderful things.

NUL offers workshops that provide great tips & tricks to advance NUL Young Professionals (YPs) in their careers and empower them to become leaders in their fields. We’re able to interact with and engage these YPs throughout the conference and make sure they made it to their sessions.

When community members and attendees were trying to connect with great opportunities in the Career & Networking Fair, we assisted them with registration and with information about the Brand U Studio. We let them know where they could get their head-shots taken, learn how to develop a resume, and build their personal brand.

We also aided NUL in promoting diversity in the tech industry. With the conference’s Tech Connect and Hackathon, young innovators were able to convene and think through some of today’s biggest social justice issues while connecting with technology. We guided some of these visionaries to their session rooms to make sure they didn’t miss out.

When celebrities and thought leaders were putting down big thoughts on NUL’s Empowerment Stage regarding race, rights, business development, the entertainment industry, black love, intersectionality and more, we helped make sure folks were there to pick them up.

 

Lastly, when NUL helped kids start the school year strong with backpacks, pens, pencils, and other free school supplies with a Community Day and Back-to-School fair, we were there to help families get the bracelets, booklets, and stamps they needed to receive their supplies.

With the app, the app booth and brand ambassadors, we were able to engage people and enhance their conference experience, help them get to where they wanted to go, and even win some cool raffle prizes throughout the days they were there!

It was an honor and pleasure to work with the National Urban League team another year!

Hopefully, next year we’ll meet again…in Ohio…

 

The Missing Factor

We were asked a question recently and had to really think about the answer. What is the difference between a business and a non-profit? As we sat and pondered, others did as well, until someone spoke up. “Well, most non-profits are service oriented.” Another answered “You could have a service business such as massage therapy or a pet sitting service.” As people continued to think about the question, soon the answer came…nothing! Non-profits are a business; the only difference is you have to zero out the budget at the end of the year. The real question is why is it so difficult for nonprofit leaders to answer this question?

For many, their service is their product. They still need staff whether paid or volunteer; they need an income to provide services whether it is through sponsors, grants, state or federal funds similar to revenue generated through product purchases and they still have goals they need to accomplish. Then someone asked, “Why is it that these organizations do not run themselves or consider themselves as a business?” “Shouldn’t the leaders of these organizations think this way?” Your tax-exempt status shouldn’t separate you! The truth is some nonprofits don’t seem to follow a business model and as a result, suffer to stay afloat. Strategies associated with the business model seem to be a missing factor.

According to a 2016 article published in Forbes, “Half of Nonprofit are Setup to Fail.” The strongest organizational leaders know the importance of sales, marketing and strategic planning skills that can propel their business to the next level. You have a passion for your services; use stories to sell them, use marketing tactics to differentiate yourself and strategically set goals that will grow your organization. These tactics will separate your organization from others and allow you to get in front of those that will support you monetarily, physically or better yet verbally. There is nothing like good ol’ word of mouth marketing and nothing better than giving them something to talk about.

 


Reference Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ianaltman/2016/03/20/half-of-nonprofits-are-setup-to-fail-how-about-your-favorite/#75f6d2db4619