Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

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Sure, life doesn’t always go as planned as new opportunities arise or old plans fall through to make way for new ones. However, starting off with an initial idea of how you would like things to pan out always sets you a step ahead of the game. Having a plan for a new marketing campaign will give you an outline to follow even if it is not exact, steering you in the direction of success. This is especially true in the case of social media. With numerous outlets to update on a consistent basis, it is important to lay out a schedule of sorts in order to keep up with your accounts for continued success.

 

Plan to sets goals.

With a plan in mind, goals can be made. Goals are usually set in stone and change very little, causing you to work off the plan you have created. With social media, because it is an ever changing platform, make sure to set realistic goals. Take Twitter for example. Because of the high drop off rate of users, expecting to jump from 100 followers to 1,000 in a matter of months is simply impossible unless you’re Charlie Sheen, #Winning!

 

Plan to follow through.

What good is a plan if you do nothing with it? If you have your mind set from the beginning that this plan is going to be pursued with little to no changes, your end results will be more promising. If you have a calendar of topics you want to cover in your blog laid out ahead of time, there is no reason not to post them. Posting a weekly video on your YouTube channel will keep viewers wanting more but falling out of the swing of things because you veered off your planned path will force subscribers to lose interest.

 

Plan to plan again.

Once you get into the habit of planning, it will come more natural. After seeing the results of your planning efforts, they will give you more incentive to continue down the planning path. Sites such as Social Report, Trackur and others mentioned here are useful tools to monitor the success and activity on your social media sites. This way, you have numbers and actual data to use when setting your future goals, recognizing what worked and what didn’t.

 

Now get planning!

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Oh No You Didn’t Just Say “No” to Me, Did You?

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As a fundraiser you deal with rejection a lot, right?   Every time you send out 5,000 appeals and get 4,500 non-responders you feel rejected,  true?  On a larger scale, when you go on an “ask” and are told “No” have you ever tried to analyze why you got that response?  Was it a

>”No, not for this” – You asked for children’s education support but the potential donor is interested in giving to adult or elder education.

>”No, not you” – Donor is 75 yrs of age and you’re 30…this may make for uncomfortable chemistry.  In other words, who is the right person to ask so the donor will feel comfortable.

>”No, not me” – It’s the donor’s partner who makes those decisions…you need to know who the key decision maker is.

>”No, not unless” – Donor wants something you may or may not be able to promise.  Know what you can promise in return for the gift.

>”No, not in this way” – Donor is not ready to make a  monetary gift…suggest another way of helping commensurate with their capacity.

>”No, not now” – Donor indicates the timing of the  “ask” is not good.  When would be a good time?

>”No, too much” – You’ve asked for more than the individual is comfortable giving.  What sum would the donor feel comfortable with?

>”No, too little” – Donor indicates he wishes to play a more  impactful role in the campaign.  “Well then X amount would make a truly significant difference.”

Or the dreaded:

>”No, go away!” – Donor says “no.”  That doesn’t mean for always and ever.  Back away for awhile.  Figure out if the door is closed shut or slightly ajar.  Is there an opening at some point that might re-establish a relationship?

 

Knowing which “no” you’ve gotten is critical.  There is a reason for each of these “No’s” that you need to figure out instead of giving up.

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3 Ways to Overcome The Block

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In the marketing world, the power of compelling words is what drives business. Success comes in the form of new, creative ideas but what are you to do when it seems as though those ideas and words have run out? This is the all too familiar feeling of writer’s block that many professionals grapple with. While at the time it can seem frustrating, overcoming writer’s block may actually prove to lead you down a path of discovering unique and creative ideas you may not have thought of otherwise. Here are a few ways to get your creative mind flowing again.

 

 

1.)    Freewriting- Set a timer for 5 minutes and simply write, about any and everything. Don’t worry about punctuation and grammar and definitely don’t worry about anything making sense. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. At the end of the 5 minutes, you will be surprised as to what you come up with.

 

2.)    Mind Mapping- Start with a main topic which you can branch other ideas off of. With the expansion of ideas on top of ideas, your amount of creative information can be endless. Here is more in-depth information on how to create your own Mind Map.

 

3.)    Read- Simple enough, yet knowing what to read is where people often go wrong. If you read what you’ve always read, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Expand your horizons to blogs and other company’s websites. Review social media, both your own and others to see what people are talking about. These avenues are less conventional than the norm of newspapers and magazines but they can develop ideas you may have never considered before.

 

Remember these three simple steps the next time you are struggling to create your next marketing success!

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Save the Post Office, Save Direct Mail

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The U.S. Postal Service is reporting quarterly losses of $3.3 billion; scary news for a service so many of us use on a consistent basis to grow our business. The reality of the impact of this report is detrimental to a wide variety of industries, more specifically direct mail.

 

Direct mail would not exist without the postal service and the postal service stays afloat with the help of direct mail. If one ceases to exist, the other may inevitably follow suite.

 

Imagine a world where you no long received the weekly sale paper from your neighborhood grocery store or you didn’t receive the coupon for your oil change to remind you to get that done. Imagine a world without tangible pieces of mail and homes without mailboxes. Worse yet, imagine your business without the help of direct mail marketing. Would you receive the number of donors you need without sending out direct mail pieces?

 

With the onset of technology and avenues such as email and social media, personalized hand written cards in the mail mean so much more these days because they are so unusual. Doing away with these special touches may mean doing away with personal one on one communication in the very near future.

 

Now the question is, what are ways in which we can make sure to save the future of the U.S. Postal Service?

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Opportunity Galore with “Me” Types; Not So with “Xers”

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There are 75 million “me’s” (baby boomers like me, Ron Rescigno), in the age range of 50-65 RIGHT NOW.  For you, the non-profit fundraiser, we  should be considered A-1 candidates for consistent giving.  Many, though certainly not me, are at a stage where they no longer have large expenses AND they’re still earning money.  They’re ready to give back.   This is a large pool to target and now is the time to do it.

The Generation Xers (born in the early 60s-early 80s), however pose a different challenge.  First of all, there are far fewer of them so when they hit 50+ there just won’t be as many donors to go around.  So get this group involved in your organization as soon as possible.  Communicate with them regularly.  Doing so will give you a competitive advantage when they take over

What about Gen Y?  We advise that you begin cultivating and engaging them now so they become your donors of the future.  Remember, the longer a donor has a relationship with an organization, the more likely he or she is to provide major and planned gifts.

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