AskPat 285 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 285 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Before we get to today's question from Gary, I do want to thank today's sponsors and actually, from them, give you something for free.
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Now let’s get to today's questions from Gary.
Gary: Hi Pat. I'm a big fan of your show. I teach entrepreneurship at Thornton College and your podcast and websites are always part of my curriculum. I have a question about online fundraising. I'm participating in my fifth AIDS lifecycle. It's a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to LA. I've got a fundraising website at 545miles.com and in my social networks I have about 1,000 Facebook friends, 1,500 Twitter followers, and approximately 900 contacts on LinkedIn. I posted lots of messages about fundraising from the AIDS lifecycle but I don't think I'm getting to everyone. Is there a better way to reach all of my online social contacts? Is there a program, you know, to send personal messages to all of them or what techniques would you recommend that I use to reach my $10,000 goal? Thanks again for your bias and keep up the great work.
Pat Flynn: Gary, thank you so much for your question here and thank you for your support in helping to fight AIDS. I think this is really cool what you're doing for the fifth AIDS lifecycle, which is happening between May 31 and June 6. You're going to bike 545 miles in seven days and you're looking to raise $10,000 with doing this, which is really cool and you're almost half way there, which is really awesome. So, hopefully I can give you some tips to help you tap into your existing audience as well. We’re going to pull a lot of inspiration from what other fundraising sites have been doing and also some of my own experience with a recent fundraiser that I did to build a couple schools in Ghana—and, actually, a lot of you might be interested because I shared bits and pieces of a story every once in a while here on the blog and podcast.
I'm actually headed to Ghana in June, in early June, and I'm bringing my videographer Caleb from DIYVideoGuy.com to film the whole experience for you guys. I know a lot of you who listen to AskPat donated to that campaign. Thank you so much and I just want you all to be there with me so I'm bringing a videographer. But, anyway, Gary let’s go back to your question here.
Now of course, much like I did with my Ghana campaign, if you have an audience already on a blog or on a podcast where there's a platform where you can write a blog post or share a video. That would obviously be one of the best things you can do because you have that audience already. They're subscribed or you might have an email list even. That would be the primary method of getting the word out there. Having social media be, sort of a support system for that. Now if you don't have that already, social media would be a great place to go and I would actually do a few things here if I were you.
So I would not mind sending multiple messages out on specifically Twitter. Twitter is a better platform for sending the same message more than once. This is why tools like Edgar, over at MeetEdgar.com exists now, which allows you to pre-schedule posts ahead of time and also recycle posts over and over again to go out on a specific time, on a specific day. That way, for example, you, Gary, can put out two messages a day using a tool like that. There's other tools like this over at Buffer.com, which is great, although I don't believe they recycle the posts but you can even just pre-schedule these out and up until the date of your event, I believe, and just essentially two times, three times a day. Just say the same message in a different way of, “Hey guys, I'm doing this event. I'm so excited and here's the link,” and there you go. That way it's sort of automated and the Twitter part is sort of taken care of already, which would be really cool.
On Facebook, what works best on Facebook are image posts because sometimes on Facebook, you know we see a newsfeed and it's just text and text and text. It's those images and those videos that stand out. So I don't know if you have a video to go along with this but I'm over at your page at 545miles.com and I don't see a video. A video to get into that personal message and hearing from your own voice. Not just a text. I love what you have written here but you could even just read the same thing but because I'm going to hear it from your own voice and see your video, maybe even see your bike and you could go as professional as you want with that. That would make a big impact on people landing on this page versus people landing on this page and then actually donating. So, that would be really important.
Now, pulling inspiration from a lot of fundraiser sites out there that already exist, like Indiegogo.com or GoFundMe or even Kickstarter—though I know you can't run a campaign like this on Kickstarter, but the other two you can. I believe you already have your own, sort of, fundraising platform that you're own, which is to FightHIV.org and that's kind of how you're collecting payments and all that stuff or how they're collecting payments on your behalf, you being the campaign director here for your own campaign. There's one thing that those sites all do and do very well and that is reward the people who pledge.
Especially Kickstarter. You can have different pledge levels and different gifts for people who donate at different pledge levels on all of those platforms, and I think the idea there is that there's just incentive. Yes, there's incentive already on yours to donate because this is for a good cause but, something else that they get in addition to that can really help people who are on the fence or you know, a lot of people just feel like, “hey, you know what? This is something I'm getting in return anyway, but I'm going to give you some more money for that campaign.”
So I would think and brainstorm: How can you give to the people who are donating? What else can you give? And it doesn't have to be anything like a t-shirt or some physical item. I mean, that gets a little crazy sometimes, especially on those other sites. Because fulfilling those things can be quite difficult. Maybe it's something digital. Maybe if they donate over $100 you will send them a personal thank you video or maybe you will live tweet this out or I don't know. That's something, actually you could do on your own anyway, which would be kind of cool and fun. Maybe, might help spread this thing, and have it go viral but that's something I would consider.
What else can you give to the people who donate and also the people who have already donated? I could see a whole list of people here, sort of scrolling down in the marquee style, people donating between $25 and $250, and that's great and there's a lot of them. I mean, I would consider if you can, if you have their email addresses or contact information, reach out to them and just again say, “Hey, thank you so much for donating.” Maybe they donated and you want to give them something, kind of as a nice surprise like, “Hey I just wanted to send you this quick thank you video” and it can be a generic video that you send to everybody but it could be one that you send to everybody who has donated already, which also has a call to action to say, “Hey if you know anybody or maybe you just wanted to share this really quick. I mean this means so much to me and you've donated, it obviously means much to you to. Here's a quick link to share it. You can click on it below,” and maybe it's just a link in the description and a YouTube video link that you send them.
So it would be really quick and easy to follow up with them. Make them feel thanked for their donation and also have them share this campaign with others as well and that way your people who are interested are also going to share it with people and they have that trust with those people already, which would be really cool.
Another thing you could do is, this could be something that could be really, you know, newsworthy—and I know local news channels are always looking for news and positive news is always good—and so I would, I mean there's nothing that can hurt by reaching out to your local news and telling them your story really quick and having them understand that this might be a story they might want to feature. So, that might be something really quick that you can do. You can also find a potential partner. Somebody that can come on as a sponsor. Maybe you wear their bicycle bib or jersey in exchange for a few dollar. You know, or maybe they sponsor the event and they'll promote to their audience in exchange for having their logo on your page and having their logo on your shirt and mentioning them in videos or something. I mean, there's a lot of things you can do there but I would definitely brainstorm getting sponsors with bigger audiences on board to help you spread the word as well or at least help you pay and reach your goal. I mean that's definitely a possibility.
Another thing you could do, like I said earlier, you could do sort of the live tweet thing. You could discuss it while you're going through it. I don't know if that's possible but I know some people who have gone pretty viral from live tweeting their births and other really fun events that they've done for fundraising purposes, which is pretty cool. And then lastly, I mean just think out of the box and also I'd love to hear from everybody else out there who's listening to this right now. So if you have any ideas for Gary and how he can spread word about his campaign to help with HIV and yeah, just use the hashtag #AskPat285 and then we can see what people might come up with. Again, #AskPat285 and we'll just continue the conversation, sort of, after the show. Awesome.
Thank you so much, Gary. I wish you all best of luck. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it and for those of you listening if you have a question you'd like potentially for you to hear on the show all you have to do is go on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
Again, I want to thank our two sponsors today. We have Skilledup.com. If you go to SkilledUp.com you'll get awesome tools for online entrepreneurs, which will help you with anything from essential startup resources to generating traffic, promo code information and managing your social media and design graphics. A lot of cool tips for you for an entrepreneur doing business online. I want to thank 99designs.com, especially for their special offer for all of us listening to AskPat. If you go to 99designs.com/pat you'll get $99 that you'll be able to contribute and put into your next design campaign for anything, wether it's a logo or a landing page or a website design or a t-shirt or a car wrap. Whatever. 99designs.com/pat and they'll hook you up.
Awesome, thank you so much. I really appreciate you today. And to finish off, I always love to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Charles Caleb Colton. He says, “True friendship is like sound health. The value of it is seldom known until it is lost.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you all in the next episode of AskPat.
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