Look beyond your target market.
Every nonprofit counts on clients, volunteers, funders and local elected officials among the groups with whom they stay in touch.
In addition to these audiences, businesses might add prospects, referral sources and membership/trade associations.
Each target market has a reason to be interested in the company or nonprofit organization.
Let’s not take any of these audiences for granted. Daily, you can find reasons why they should care about what your nonprofit or business might do for them.
Now, what about the people outside those circles, those who know nothing about what you offer?
Take the dentist, who is well-educated and also a business owner.
Or the typical landlord, who is budget-minded.
Or a supermarket clerk, working the cash register all day.
Perhaps none of them have heard of your group or business and they are not likely to immediately connect with your news or promotional information.
Why should this person care about you?
In fact, that’s the same question a reporter will ask whenever you suggest an idea for a news article or an interview.
On the world’s greatest radio station WII-FM, also known as What’s In It For Me?, the focus is on what the individual or society might gain.
It’s crucial that you find a way for these indifferent folks to connect to your group or company, so they, personally — or the community as a whole — will perceive a benefit and save time, save money or make more money as a result.
- A dentist might consider that your local economic development group will attract larger businesses (with a greater number of employees needing dental care) to the neighborhood;
- A landlord might think the youth who attend your organization’s GED programs may get better jobs and thus be more reliable tenants;
- A supermarket clerk’s neighbor might need advice on managing legal and medical issues for an elderly parent.
The dentist, landlord or clerk may not have a direct need for what you offer, yet they and the community may indirectly benefit in the long term from your services — or even refer someone who is in your target market.
This Month’s Tip
Look at the bigger picture from the perspective of people in these three occupations. What is their desire or need in the community? For themselves? For their business? Which are the most pressing issues for them regarding time and money? Invite a dentist, landlord or clerk for a coffee chat, ask these questions and listen as you put yourself in her shoes.
Ready to brainstorm about how a dentist, landlord or clerk might view your company or nonprofit? Call me at 212.677.5770 or email at Janet@JanetLFalk.com. Let’s find ways to contact these members of the public and have them connect with you.
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Image courtesy of David M. Masters.