“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” —Walt Disney
One of the great lies we tell ourselves is we can do anything AND everything. If this is true, then the American Dream of life, liberty, and freedom has blindly been exchanged for a life of chasing, reaching, and climbing.
Somewhere along the way we decided that until we did everything we didn’t have anything. But that philosophy falls short when we try to fit everything and anything into a finite period of time.
As we get older and mature, we realize that anything and everything isn’t as important as doing the things that flow from within us. It’s interesting to note that the happiest, most satisfied, and even the most accomplished people in the world didn’t focus on everything and anything but that thing that spurred their curiosity, captivated their attention, and compelled them to move in a particular direction.
The people who live at peace with themselves live in relentless pursuit of that thing that swells from within and eventually spills out on everything around them. People who live this like this see the world differently, and they change the world because of it.
We must stop measuring our lives against a lie and realize that the most productive decision we could make is to let go of anything and everything. Further, the single greatest shift we’ll ever experience is when we commit to the task we have been given in the moment in which we have to accomplish it.
Life is the intersection of the past, present, and future. There is only room for one thing, and it must be that thing.
I recently led a webinar for nonprofit leaders to demonstrate how systematic, process-driven content marketing can increase engagement strategies.
You can watch the entire presentation when you [click here].
Here are my slides:
Memorial Day is about people—brave people—who willingly chose to serve our country, even when it meant staring death in the face. It’s easy to strip soldiers of their humanity and lump them together as cold, inanimate objects. It’s easy to forget that soldiers have names, families, fears, and dreams just like you and me.
We all bleed. But it is a hero who is willing to bleed for another.
What makes America great is not its government, its economy, nor its cultural values. All of those things are important, but they are vehicles by which we become great rather than the source of greatness. What makes American great is the people who understand that freedom, peace, and prosperity always comes at a high cost.
It’s easy to get lost in our plans, routines, and obligations, and forget that nothing gets accomplished without brave, courageous, and committed people who are willing to fight for the advancement of ideals that will ensure the work continues and the dream of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is kept alive for at least one more generation.
How do you change the world? One person at a time.
I’m grateful for all who served, are serving, and will serve. I see you as people, not political bait or social collateral. You deserve much more than a day.
Memorial Day reminds us that you only create change and advance the mission when you are willing to stand, face the opposition, and persevere without concern for cost or consequence.
Thank you. And God bless the United States of America.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
Brand publishing honors the role of book publishing in storytelling but is released from the burden of selling books as a business model.
I was absolutely ecstatic when I discovered that Microsoft and Nokia commissioned a custom book to be created and published for Nokia employees after their acquisition by Microsoft.
Book publishing isn’t just for traditional book publishers anymore.
The book tells a much larger story about why the merger helps both companies become stronger and better positioned for epic success in the future. The Verge included a series of pictures from the book in its post.
This book provides a great example of how brands can and are using book publishing to create and share a metanarrative in a very efficient and effective way. A shared story can be a powerful vehicle to unite two disparate groups of people who find themselves working alongside each other in a new way.
Some books were never meant to make it to the bookshelf in your local bookstore.
How is your organization using brand publishing as a way to unite and focus your story across your staff, supporters, and donors?
Photo Credit: The Verge
Let’s face it. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is not something that keeps you up at night. You’re likely aware of it, but there are other pressing realities that undoubtedly keep this from floating to the top of the list.
Nevertheless, the role of digital marketing is one that should be of particular importance to executive directors, directors of development, and marketing directors alike. If all your effort to establish yourself online isn’t working for you and helping you connect with more people and move them along the engagement cycle, then you are really just creating a lot of work for yourself with very little benefit. And that can be depressing to think about.
So how can you possibly get up to speed with the changes in SEO without getting lost in “geek speak”?
That’s exactly why I wrote 3 SEO shifts that affect every nonprofit (and what to do next). Without the right context, you might think Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird are new exhibits at the local zoo.
SEO has made some significant shifts in the last several years. If you’re still operating off old paradigms and assumptions, you could be doing more than just treading water; you could be being penalized by Google and other search engines for breaking the rules.
You don’t need to know everything. You just need to know enough to ask the right questions.
Leadership isn’t about knowing how to execute on every detail, but it is about knowing enough to ask the right questions to make sure every initiative and every effort are advancing your mission in a measurable way. This primer on the recent changes in SEO strategy will give you what you need to applaud your staff … or call their bluff.
Your SEO habits impact your ability to be found online. If you don’t be found online, you don’t exist.
What have you learned about SEO in recent years? If nothing, it’s time to find out.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
I love books. I love reading them, and I love writing them. But the value of a book is not in the book itself but rather how the ideas contained in that book can inspire other people to action.
When this happens, a book becomes much more than a book. It is transformed into an experience that inspires the reader to do something to change their world in some specific way.
Books should help readers reconcile the dissonance between their greatest hopes, desires, and dreams and real life.
This is especially true for nonprofits who have an exceptional bias toward storytelling—the currency of humanity. Oral tradition isn’t enough. And depending on in-person events to share your stories isn’t enough. You must get the word out efficiently and in a way that can spread quickly. This is where a book can help you if you approach it in a productive way.
The secret to a book is in its structure which provides two important things:
We can’t underestimate the power of those two characteristics of books. However, they must be in concert with one another. One presents a new perspective to consider. The other empowers your biggest fans to evangelize on your behalf by sharing your book within their spheres of influence.
Books become vehicles for change when the ideas within them become fuel for social action.
Books that only contain great ideas are simply forgettable. Books that move me to make a change in my life become navigational tools that help me make the change I want to see in my life or in the world around me. Those are the books I will share with others at my own expense.
The process of creating books helps leaders and organizations recognize and harness their abilities to create a movement through the discipline of purpose, function, and substance. In other words, books force the conversation around three important questions:
Your answers to these three questions are essential to creating a book that is more than just a collection of pages with printed words that sit on a bookshelf screaming for your attention. But to do so requires content orchestration on every level—development, organization, and composition.
Books are not an end but a beginning.
Books are an appropriate introduction to a much larger, dynamic relationship with your reader that must be stoked through a variety of channels. Consider these 17 ways leaders and repurpose book content.
When all of the elements described above come together, you have the potential to achieve and actualize a true multi-channel engagement strategy that will not only maintain a long-term connection with your base, but also give them what they need to become raving evangelists for the work you are doing in and around the world.
Maybe it’s time to consider a book as part of your ever-evolving engagement strategy.
I recently started publishing on LinkedIn. I still haven’t decided if I’ll continue to invest in this platform as a publishing channel long-term. For now, I’m just having fun with it.
Here are three of my most recent posts:
Let’s connect on LinkedIn if we haven’t already.
How has your use of LinkedIn changed in the last six months?
Photo Credit: Creative Commons.
The problem with nonprofit marketing is that most marketers work with a laptop all day long. They create elaborate and complex websites and email templates.
And these websites and email templates look AWESOME on a laptop or desktop.
BUT … and this is a B-I-G BUT …
The people you want to engage with you are unlikely to do so from a laptop or even a desktop. They are going to use their smart phone or tablet.
The biggest problem many nonprofit marketers face comes with a really easy fix:
Use the devices your supporters and donors will use to consume your content.
Seriously. It’s that simple.
Let’s be honest—experience is in the eye of the beholder. Make it difficult for me to consume your content, and I will bail….quickly. No matter how much I want to support you, I’m not going to take the time to overcome your oversight to “think mobile” when creating and sending content to your constituents.
Are you testing the content your sending on the devices your support and donor base are using?