For creativity to flow from a creator, he must have the necessary tools to connect imagination and creation. Marketing applies the same concept because it can only be done if a creator is able to use the essential tools for marketing. However, a lot of nonprofits don’t have the money to market. Taylor Shanklin joins Juliet Clark to talk about how businesses and nonprofits with tight budgets can use different marketing tools to create content. Taylor is a marketing innovator and the podcast host of Soar Podcast. Listen in as she talks more about how creators can be scrappy with marketing but still create great content.
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Effective Tools For Marketing With Taylor Shanklin
Before we get started, I want to remind you to go over and like us, follow us over on YouTube, Superbrand Publishing. Don’t forget to go over and write us a review of this. I’d love to hear a review from you. If you get a chance, go take our Promote Profit Publish quiz at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com. Our guest is someone I met on LinkedIn. Her name is Taylor Shanklin, and she is a speaker, podcast host, and marketing innovator in the nonprofit sector with several years of experience in nonprofit marketing, branding, fundraising, and technology. Taylor is the Vice President of Marketing at Pursuant, a fundraiser raising agency that helps organizations raise more money through data-driven strategies. She’s also the Founder and host of Soar Podcast. A podcast dedicated to helping people live and work happier by tapping into their focus, passion, and achieve liftoff. Welcome, Taylor.
It’s good to be here.
We’re going to talk about scrappy marketing because for a lot of nonprofits, they don’t have the money to market.
I’ve been in this sector for a long time and I’ve worked with nonprofit organizations and at startups within my industry, I’ve gotten good at being scrappy with marketing. What’s interesting about the world we live in is you can be scrappy more easily than way back when in terms of marketing and stuff. There’s a lot that people can do that’s well within their budget that maybe they don’t know about or don’t think maybe they even have a mental block of like, “I can’t afford that.” It’s first about getting beyond that mindset and then second about getting creative and figuring out, “What tools are out there that are even maybe free for marketers to use and content creators to use?”
Let’s talk about some of those free tools that people may not know about. What is at the top of your list?
Top of my list, I love Canva. If you’re a nonprofit, you can get it for free. I pay for it. It’s $1,299 a month. I use the app on my phone. I use the desktop application. I work between the two and in terms of thinking through marketing and content creation, it’s a great tool to get ideas to go in and be a designer. Maybe if you don’t have a design resource on tap or you can’t afford a designer. I get scrappy with it. I even create things while I’m out walking my dog. Maybe I started something on the desktop application and then I’ll pull out my phone and work on it a little bit. That’s one of the ones on top of my list. I also think video tools, and the one that we’re using, Zoom is a great one. That’s high on my list. It’s $1,499, I pay for the premium version. You can use it for free. Zoom is a great tool to be able to record videos, have conversations like this, and put content out.
A couple of things that are top on my list looks at what good, inexpensive, and often free tools are out there for content creation. Start there. There are also some things like eBook creators. I’ve dabbled in those where you can, maybe you’ve written a blog post and you want to turn it into something that’s an eBook. That’s a lead magnet. There was one I was dabbling around with called Desygner, where all you do is plug in the URL of your blog post and it takes it and uses robots and everything like that to make it look into this cool looking eBook. There are a lot of tools like that out there that are not expensive, easy to use, and available for marketers.Sometimes when you have built a relationship, you have to be prepared to spend money and not be happy with things. Click To Tweet
From the standpoint of using something like an eBook and making it into a blog post, does it make it into a good enough eBook that you could publish it?
I think so. You’re going to have to go in and it’s going to give you a template and then you can customize the template. I started making one. My family was out skiing. I stayed home and I was playing around with stuff and saw this one. It’s pretty good. It takes a little bit of nuancing and that thing, how do you get it formulated to look good, like an eBook with the right headers and titling, styling, and all of that? It’s doable. There are also other ways to outsource content creation like that. A couple of other tools top on my list that I use frequently are I’m hiring freelancers through sources, Fiverr, and Upwork. I have found amazing designers to help me with things like eBooks on those tools. Audio and video creation, resources are great ways to go and find people all across the globe. You can look at their reviews and portfolio on those services. You can see the work they’ve done, and then you can have people bid on your jobs. That’s a great way to find other people to pull in quickly. Particularly if you have something that’s project-based and you’re like, “I can’t bring on a staff member to do this.” Maybe you don’t even want to hire an intern or anything that formal, but you can go and you can find good freelancers in those places.
Sometimes when you go into that relationship, you have to be prepared to spend money and not be happy with something too. Some of them are very good. When I go in because I do have some Fiverr people that I use. I look for people who can turn it around in the time I need that have five stars that are the top of the crop. I rarely use anybody that’s brand new because if somebody has 100 or 200 jobs and five-star rating, I know that they are going to be someone that I want to work with. If you use like Fiverr, be aware of that going in and there are different ways that you can search. Usually, I’m an instant gratification girl, when I decide I want something, I want it within 24 hours. You can look for 24 hours.
They do have skill levels and I agree with you too. I always look for people with high ratings. I treat that the same way that I treat buying a product on Amazon where I’m like, “What’s the number of reviews to a number of stars ratio?” I want more reviews, and the more reviews, the better, and then obviously, higher up on the star rating. If you find people like that, you’re going to get someone who’s going to do reputable work. I have hired 1 or 2 people where it was like, “That didn’t work out.” Go into it open-minded knowing that’s going to happen, but the majority of work that I’ve gotten done through those services has been good.
Me too. In fact, I have a vendor that I used a lot at graphics back in 2013, 2014. He found me on LinkedIn and I use him and I contract him directly. I don’t go through Fiverr because they lose so much on Fiverr too, and it’s $5. Imagine you’re losing half of your $5.
My other recommendation on that is if you find someone and pay them otherwise, do that and then stick with them. I have a couple of designers that I have found, freelancers that I stick with them and they do a lot of work for me. Find someone who’s good and then give them good business and they’ll treat you well and they’ll turn yourself around faster too. If you’re good to them, they’re good to you.
A lot of them appreciate it, even though it sounds like, “It’s only $20 here or there.” Some of those countries they live in, that’s good wages. Don’t be shy about that. What other things? I’m going to share, have you used Repurpose.io yet?
No, I haven’t. What’s that?
It’s Hani Moura’s platform. It’s $20 a month and it will take your podcast and turn it into snippets. You can use it for LinkedIn. You can put a different wording. You can do different things and post it on Instagram. It’s a cool tool as well.
I’ll check that out. That got me thinking on a couple more.
There are a lot of cool little tools out there that you can do these things with that aren’t expensive. That’s what I always look for. I don’t know about your clients, but my clients are always like, “I’m already paying for Infusionsoft or one of those big CRMs.” When you start piling all this stuff on, it adds up.
It does and it can add up. One thing you do have to be wary of is it’s easy to sign up for a free trial and then not use it and then forget about it. Look at your credit card and you’re like, “What is this? Why am I being billed?” That is one thing in our subscription-based world that we live in that I recommend some due diligence around once a month. I go into like my Apple subscriptions and look at what I’m signed up for and clean house on things where maybe I tried it out, I signed up for the free trial. I didn’t like it. I want to go make sure I turn that off. Also, something I’ll do is I’ll sign up for a free trial. If it’s seven days, I’ll then set a reminder on my phone and say, “Siri, remind me in five days to look at that subscription again.” I’ll decide if I like it at that point or not. I’ll decide if I want to keep paying for it or if I want to go and cancel it. Those $799, $1,299, $1,499 charges if you have a lot of them, that can add up and that can get to be not scrappy. You do have to watch out for that.
I don’t have that problem with my tech apps. It’s exercise apps where I’m like, “I’m going to do Rebel Yoga instead of going to the gym.” I either go to the gym or I do neither. I have to be transparent here, but I don’t do yoga.
You and I have that same thing in common. Those ones add up. I agree. I either don’t do anything or I go to the gym. There’s something about going to the gym that makes me feel like I’m in that place. Whenever I try to sign up for those at home things of like, “I don’t know, I’m at home, I’d rather watch TV and eat some ice cream.”
What’s funny is I’m motivated to go outside and do something.
It works for some. I go on a hike every morning, but there’s something about going outside. That’s different than doing a program on the TV.Find people who are good and give them good business, and then they will treat you well. Click To Tweet
What other recommendations can you make for us?
You mentioned a couple of other little things. A couple of other tools that come to mind too, though the one that you said that makes little snippets out of your podcast are cool. There’s one called Lumen5 that makes little video snippets out of blog posts and things like that. It’s similar. It will take written content that you already have up on the web. You can upload a Word doc or a PDF and it will take that and make it into little video snippets. Videos catch people’s attention more. That’s a good one. One thing that is also an important thing to be doing and what it takes is your time, not necessarily investment in hard costs, is thinking about how you build a personal brand and engagement on LinkedIn. I’ve got a lot of recommendations and ideas around that based on what I’ve done and what I’ve found works and what doesn’t work. When companies think about how to build that out and use LinkedIn as a marketing tool, they need to be thinking about, how do they support employees that have a voice that is representative of the company that can get on there and posts authentic, relevant and meaningful things to the industry that we’re in? We’re not going to ask them to post about the company all the time, because when you post about your company all the time, no one cares. It gets boring. It gets old, “Yes, next.”
When companies think about embracing LinkedIn as a marketing channel, they need to get it out of their head, that it’s sell platform. It’s an engagement platform. It’s a relationship-building platform. It’s a value add platform. When you look at all of these different social platforms and I’m harping on LinkedIn as one because it’s effective when you do it the right way is bringing value to people. Build up your staff as thought leaders in your industry and have them post interesting things on LinkedIn that start conversations because then what happens? As humans we go, “That person at that company always posts interesting stuff and I’m going to keep tuning into them. By the way, what is that company? Let me see what they do.” It’s a longer game effect to get there, but it’s the right way to get there. If you do it the shortsighted way, we were like, “Post about our webinars all the time.” People are going to tune you out and you’re not going to get the results you want.
I had a call with a gentleman, he has a smaller company and he’s the one that typically sells in his company, but he says a lot of times, he will hand off the new client to one of his staff. He was asking me about that, like, “How do I do that in a way that they don’t think it’s a bait and switch?” What you positioned is exactly how you do that. If that person is out on social media and they’re posting on behalf of the company and they’re posting interesting things, it’s not so much a bait and switch as I’m the head thought leader but I have lots of thought leaders that work with us as well.
Empower your people on those channels and where they have maybe a network, a following, or a voice. That’s important.
Taylor, where can we find you if we want more?
You can find me on LinkedIn at Taylor Shanklin. I do post a lot on there. You can go to my website. It is www.Soar.how. That is where I have information about my podcast and you can go and click over there to go to my podcast site and subscribe to any of your favorite podcast players. I got it on everything. You can also shoot me an email at Taylor@Soar.how. Reach out and get in touch that way. If you want to riff on some ideas that we’ve talked about here.
Thank you so much for being on.
Thanks for having me. It was fun.
- Superbrand Publishing – YouTube channel
- Soar Podcast
- Taylor Shanklin – LinkedIn
About Taylor Shanklin
Taylor Shanklin is a speaker, podcast host, and marketing innovator in the nonprot sector. With 13 years’ experience in nonprot marketing, branding, fundraising, and technology, Taylor is the Vice President of Marketing at Pursuant, a fundraising agency that helps organizations raise more money through data-driven strategies. She is also the founder and host of the SOAR podcast – a podcast dedicated to helping people live and work happier by tapping into focus and passion to achieve “lift-off”.
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