I’ve interviewed Social Entrepreneurs the world over on my podblog. I’ve also worked alongside these folks for about a decade. Across all of this, I’ve noticed common themes in the ways that they build successful cause based businesses – so, I offer these 10 keys as the first step on your journey to pursuing your dream of sparking social change. I’ll publish new keys each week, so follow this series, learn from it, incorporate it into your work, and become a part of our movement at socialchangenation.com
1.) Make your followers part of something larger than themselves.
Let me give you an example of this… I recently interviewed Davis of Cotopaxi (outdoor gear with purpose). Like TOMS shoes, Cotopaxi uses the get one give one model. Buy one product = give something to someone in need. Every product line at Cotopaxi is tied to a unique social mission – I personally bought a water bottle tied to a charity: water project in India. Not only is that painted on the bottle, it had a little card attached to it explaining exactly what my purchase meant. WOW. When’s the last time your Nalgene bottle did that???
So what are the lessons here? Unlike buying from a traditional business which may or may not have some kind of obscure charitable arm, Cotopaxi wove me into their story, and took me on the journey with them. I knew exactly how my water bottle purchase was working for good because they told me online and again when they sent me a handwritten card telling me exactly how I had helped. It’s also painted on my bottle, btw, so I can see that clearly every time I go for a drink.
I know Wal-Mart donates to charity, and I also know the United Way is a charity of some kind – but I really can’t tell you specifically what they do, or how each of their projects actually ties into their mission. Do you know? Didn’t think so. And the reason you and I don’t know this is because Wal-Mart and the United Way, and other organizations have utterly failed to make me a part of their story in a simple and meaningful way. People yearn to hear stories. People yearn to be part of movements they understand and can communicate with others. People want YOU to make them part of social change. So, you want to create successful social change? Seek out followers and seek to make them part of something truly great.
3 Quick Tips to get Started on this Key:
– Weave your cause story into your branding.
-Make sure that it is sharable, people love telling stories, so help them tell yours.
-Write a quick thank you to the first 100 people who buy from you, give them a creative way to spread the word (e.g. a small card they can take a pic of and tweet out).
Want all 10 keys to get rockin’ with right away? Just click the button below.