Sunday, December 14, 2008

Power Marketing Tip 14: Volunteering

Power Marketing Tip 14

Leverage your volunteering

Volunteering can be productive marketing especially in troubled times. A small investment of your time and effort can pay back profitably.

How do you get the best return from your volunteering?

Select your volunteer work on these two criteria

The primary criterion is, "Do you believe strongly in the cause or program?" You will need to tap your personal motivation to sustain you through challenging obstacles. And folks will see you at your best.

The secondary criterion is, "Will you receive positive marketing exposure to your target audience?"

If only the first criterion is met then it's not marketing - just community service. And that is okay as long as your expectations are clear. In troubled times there is usually a greater demand for volunteers.

If only the secondary criterion is met then you will probably do it half-heartedly and thus fail on both accounts.

Some of the ways this can work

Relationship builder
Supporting a charity is warm and fuzzy marketing. Those who like and respect the charity will like and respect you for your volunteer work.

Networking opportunity
When you work closely with other volunteers you can connect easier with folks who might not normally take your call. You get to build relationships around a common cause that can fuel business relationships later.

Media Exposure
There are two roles that get the media exposure. The most time consuming role is president or chairperson. The more profitable role is the public relations person. Of the two the latter is the easier role and it allows you to establish relationships with your media contacts that you can continue to leverage long after you left that role.

Referral Network
As membership or recruitment person you have the greatest opportunity to connect with new and prospective members. As the first friendly face to connect with them you have the advantage of making a lasting impression. That builds your name recognition within the organization.

Show me the money
If you are a fund raiser that will force you to contact prospects, condition you to ask for the money - and it will show you where the money is.
There are many ways to volunteer.
There are many organizations that welcome volunteers.
By volunteering you can help others and yourself.

George Torok

Power Marketing

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Elaine said...

Thanks for the power tip, George. Strategically leveraging volunteer gigs has both professional and social benefits. It's a win/win. Charities get much-needed talent and volunteers get access to prime networking opportunities - as well as a field to grow and sharpen professional and leadership skills. Additionally, with so many layoffs, volunteering successes fill gaps and build resumes.

If you are a committee chair and are faced with coordinating volunteers - don't sweat the busy work. Consider using - volunteer scheduling and signups made easy.

Wendy said...

George, great tip! I'm so glad to see folks realizing that it's what we do for others that makes the difference. Service is huge! That's what brings the customer/client back again and again, and get you referals. Thanks for the post. I look forward to ready your other posts:-)