Ignoring “The B Word”

By January 29, 2015Marketing, Web
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NGO’s or any non-profit group usually share a similar hurdle in any task they look to accomplish. The budget. The problem that I see most often is when the FOCUS is placed on the budget and what can be done within those confines. When you look at solving a problem from this angle, you begin to accept the premise that ONLY tactics A, B, C, or D (for example) can be done beacause they “fit in the budget”.

I don’t like solving problems like that.

In any meeting I’m in, we work to let “the B word” be the last item mentioned, and sometimes – it’s never even brought up. Why spend (or waste) everyones time discussing an item that is usually never in the control of the people at the table in the first place?

Below are a small list of DOs and DON’Ts that apply to value on tactics over budget. I’m sure I’ll revise this list as time/experience go on – so please reply or comment with any questions.

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1)…cheapen the value of “FREE”.

When you ask for something for nothing – you always get nothing. When running with a project on a tight budget (or no budget at all) it’s taking the easy way out to play the sympathy card on everyone you approach for help. Begging for donated ad space is not the answer. That may get you one or two free ads. Once. At BEST. Begging not only hurts your long term return but it cheapens the project you’re pitching. What if your message was so convincing that the radio station partnered with you, instead of donated to you. If you care enough about what you’re doing, you’ll desire to create new relationships instead of just holding out your hat for a handout.

2)…copy someone else’s work just to save time.

I agree there’s nothing new under the sun and (almost) everything has already been done. Besides – you probably don’t have the budget to dazzle everyone with something they’ve never seen before – so why try! As an artist, you must have quality inspiration. But inspiration is different from copying. Inspiration is pulling from various places or mediums to refine, define and display your message. Copying is saying, I don’t have time to do this. Besides, I doubt copied work tells your story as well as you need it to be told. Don’t re-invent the wheel. And don’t take the easy way out.


Nothing worth fighting for is easy. And nothing that comes easy is worth anything! Don’t be afraid to scrap every idea off the table and start again from scratch. I truly believe there are thousands of “million-dollar” ideas that people have every day. But rarely do those people have the initiative, focus and overall grit to see the job through to completion. If you’ve been entrusted with the task of making something out of nothing – take pride in that! Put together a plan that you are fully convinced of. If you aren’t fully convinced, how are the people you’re talking to going to be convinced?

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1) …ask WHY. A lot! 

In the land of message-overload, simplicity is king. Where you don’t have the money to add “fancy” to your idea – spend the time. Spend your time asking a LOT of questions and continue to refine your message over and over and over again. All your other style, color and visual questions will fall into line once your message has been properly refined – cut in half, then simplified again.

2) …value relationships, over campaigns. 

If your plan calls for billboards – then find a privately owned company in your area that you can actually sit down with in person. You aren’t going to be able to commit to the volume or length of contract that would tip a corporate ad agency – so find someone that you can work with and that will work with you. Maybe instead of paying for a 1/4 page ad in the “Tribune”, submit previously written articles to local blogs and free papers. Do their job for them. At the end of they day you’re not seeking more exposure, you’re looking to start more conversations. Eyeballs = impressions; conversations = conversions. Impressions = potential; conversions = cashflow.

3)…create and empower your fan base.

Why pay for Facebook ads? (Sorry, this is a whole different topic and probably a separate post – but stay with me here..) Paying for Facebook ads is like saying; “I have no friends, so….. I’LL GO BUY SOME!!” If no one knows about your product/service/event – GO TELL THEM! Rally your immediate network to your cause and ask them for help. The real key to getting the word out is always going to be found in the conversations you have, not the ads that you buy.

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Below are some guys and girls who are doing a GREAT job no matter what “the B word” says. Check out their work and draw some new inspiration to accomplish your goals.

[/boxed_content] [spb_single_image image=”9854″ image_size=”full” frame=”noframe” intro_animation=”none” full_width=”no” lightbox=”yes” image_link=”http://worldcompassion.tv” link_target=”_blank” caption=”@worldcompassion” width=”1/2″ el_position=”first”] [spb_single_image image=”9857″ image_size=”full” frame=”noframe” intro_animation=”none” full_width=”no” lightbox=”yes” image_link=”http://thecausekc.com” link_target=”_blank” caption=”@thecausekc” width=”1/2″ el_position=”last”] [spb_single_image image=”9856″ image_size=”full” frame=”noframe” intro_animation=”none” full_width=”no” lightbox=”yes” image_link=”http://itownchurch.com” link_target=”_blank” caption=”@itownchurch” width=”1/2″ el_position=”first”] [spb_single_image image=”9855″ image_size=”full” frame=”noframe” intro_animation=”none” full_width=”no” lightbox=”yes” image_link=”http://holdfastgear.com” link_target=”_blank” caption=”@holdfastgear” width=”1/2″ el_position=”last”]
Erik Hansen

Author Erik Hansen

Husband, father, son and brother - usually in that order. Love thee God, Family and Notre Dame. Available for hire as a war time consigliere.

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