Using your passion to raise awareness and support causes you believe in can be a great marketing technique for your creative business.
It doesn’t matter if you use recycled materials, offer a discount after donation, give 100% of your proceeds, or give a portion of your sales to a charity – you can use your passion for a cause to reach potential customers who share your values.
Even if the customer doesn’t buy from you just because you believe in a shared cause they may appreciate that their purchase is supporting a worthwhile organization. In this economy when so many people are living on less and charitable organizations are scrambling to make ends meet it can be tough to balance your checkbook balance with the number of organizations asking for help.
BUT if customers see that a purchase WILL ALSO contribute to a cause that they believe in they may be more likely to purchase from a company that supports a charity than from a similar company that doesn’t support a cause of any kind.
Basically, it makes people feel good when they can buy something that supports a cause that is also important to them.
Hands of Bernie Berlin of A Place to Bark (used with permission)
How do you make cause marketing work for your creative business?
Have you or a family member suffered from a disability or disease? Would you like to help raise funds to eliminate it? Will you create a hat for premature newborns for your local hospital because one of your own children were premature? Finding a charity that has personal meaning to you will keep you involved for the long term, seem authentic to those who look at your business and make for a compelling story when you speak or write about your personal experiences in relation to the charity you support.
Choose a cause that is related to your work if you can. If you knit dog sweaters you might donate a portion of each sale to a local animal shelter. Do you crochet hats and scarves? Maybe you could donate a hat a week or a hat for every one sold to an organization that helps women who have had chemotherapy treatments.
How do you get the word out?
You can speak about it in public, on your blog or website. Add the logo of your favorite charity to your web page, blog, newsletters or printed business material, display signage at shows or create work that is cause related.
Get to know the local chapter of the charity you wish to support or the owner of the rescue. Find out how you can promote one another and/or share resources. Can you put their logo on your website in exchange for having them support you in a similar fashion? Can they mention in their newsletter that you will be at a particular craft fair and that purchases from your booth will help raise funds for them?
How do you use cause marketing so that it doesn’t feel “spammy” or cheap?
Be authentic. Only support causes you truly believe in and are willing to support with hard work and part of your income.
Be transparent. Make sure you list in printed material or on your website WHAT you will donate (time, goods, funds), HOW MUCH and HOW OFTEN. Also make sure to update your readers when you hit important milestones so they can celebrate the successes with you.
Be educated. Do your research. Know all you can about the charity you wish to support, be prepared to answer questions about both the charity and your connection with it.
Be proud. Choose an organization you can be proud of, one where you are happy to put the logo at the top of your newsletter rather than the lower left hand corner. Know that you are working for a cause you love doing work you love. That’s a big accomplishment!
What about you? Do you donate any portion of your creative income to a charitable cause?
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess