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Posted by David in Interesting

Six essential tools for growing your charity online

At the heart of every blossoming charity is a beautiful idea – a cause powerful enough to resonate with people of all backgrounds, circumstances and mindsets. With an idea that big, the only other thing you need is reach – but how far can you reach without the right tools?

Whether you’re the head of a fledgling nonprofit or you’re considering your first ever charitable venture, in order to thrive in 2019 and beyond, you’ll need a diverse promotional toolkit designed to help you keep pace with leading charities in your space. Without further ado, here’s our breakdown of six must-have digital assets to make growing your charity online possible.

Painted hands together creating a heart shape
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Social media marketing

With the world’s leading social platforms at your disposal – from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat – there are, quite literally, billions of potential supporters out there for your charity to make the first move with, and numerous ways to create these connections.

With Twitter and Instagram in particular, you’ll find hashtags galore to capitalise on in your organisation’s social-facing content for greater organic reach – while the Stories features offered across Instagram and Snapchat provide the ideal format for a behind-the-scenes look at your charity’s latest campaigns. On top of all that, Facebook groups provide an ideal stepping stone to your organisation’s very own engaged community of supporters.

Email marketing software

Building and nurturing a mailing list is central to growing your charity online, as this marketing channel offers one of the most direct, impactful means of contact with your community. From calling for donations or canvassing at critical times to sharing success stories and meaningful milestones, the world is your oyster when it comes to how to speak to your supporters.

With a signup form on your charity website, you can continue to grow your community online, and perhaps even segment your list so that you can cater separately to stakeholders, donors and your wider supporter community for truly targeted messaging.

An event marketing strategy

While it may seem counterintuitive to use non-digital marketing channels to drive digital growth, the truth is local events offer more than a few digital benefits in spite of their face-to-face nature. For one, encouraging live tweeting throughout the course of a fundraising event has the potential to further expand the reach of your fundraising efforts and drive additional donations. You can also persuade event attendees to subscribe to your mailing list on the day, expanding your supporter circle and boosting the performance of your next email campaign.

A branded blog

No brand presence is complete without a dedicated blog, providing a home for news from within your organisation and surrounding your cause, as well as informational and entertaining content made with love for your loyal community. By sharing a breadth of engaging written and multimedia content on your own branded blog, you can give back to your supporters in some small way – keeping them informed and impassioned throughout their relationship with your charity.

With supportive email marketing campaigns directing members of your mailing list to new posts, you can keep all eyes on your organisation’s blog on a quarterly, monthly or even weekly basis depending on how often you choose to publish.

Your own community forum

Due to the inherently collaborative nature of charitable projects, giving your supporters access to an exclusive community forum is the perfect way to encourage communication between members and benefit from the combined power and insight of these supporters. With users able to start their own threads, sparking debate on hot-button issues, and contribute to the conversation surrounding your cause, you’ll find your relationship with your supporters becomes less of a passive exchange and more of an involved, mutually fulfilling alliance.

Market research tools

No organisation – online or otherwise, commercial or nonprofit – can truly thrive without honest, real-time feedback from its audience. Without seeking unfiltered external feedback, you’re in danger of carving out an echo chamber – leaving your followers feeling disengaged from your brand and disconnected from your cause.

Charities can particularly benefit from supporter input with the help of market research tools such as polls, giving you the power to quickly and easily gather public opinion on the issues that matter to them and continually refocus your brand to ensure you’re giving voice to your valued supporters.

Now you’ve learned the theory, it’s time to put this knowledge into action and begin to grow your charity online. Find out how we work with charities to help them build thriving, engaged online communities and generate awareness, support and donations – whatever the cause.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six steps to creating brand ambassadors within your customer base

Brand ambassadors are a coveted prize in the world of business, helping you level up from a money-making enterprise into a fully fledged brand. They are, however, as elusive as they are valuable.

Strictly speaking, a brand ambassador is typically someone hired by a business or organisation to positively represent the brand, grow awareness and drive conversions (whatever they may constitute for your brand). With a sufficiently engaged customer base, though, you can have access to an army of your own brand ambassadors happy to extoll the virtues of your business on a daily basis.

In this post, we’re sharing a six-step process to creating a community of brand ambassadors made up of your customers – helping you harness the raw power of word-of-mouth marketing in the months and years to come.

Woman paying for a product in store
Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

1. Start with a brand you believe in

The blunt but unavoidable truth is that it isn’t reasonable to expect other people to invest in your brand if you yourself don’t possess the same passion you’re asking of them. If your business is already established, we hope the groundwork has already been well and truly laid for this step – but if not, there’s still time to put your finger on just what it is that drives you to make your business a success (besides success itself, of course).

Did you launch your business to solve an age-old problem, fill a frustrating gap in the market or simply bring something new and exciting into the world? Whatever sector you’re in, first clarify in your own mind why exactly you believe in your brand – from there, you’ll know precisely how to convey to your customers why they should share this belief.

2. Spread the gospel

Once you’ve pinned down your business’s reason for being, the next step is to spread the word among your customer base. The nature of the communities you have in the works – from a company blog readership or subscriber list to a social media following or remarketing audience – will dictate how you communicate this key brand messaging, but the important thing is to find a powerful, concise message and the right place to communicate that message.

A customer engagement platform is a highly effective medium for this sort of brand communication, with everything from a brand-centric forum to an on-brand news and resource area available for the purposes of spreading your company gospel.

3. Find kindred spirits

We’ve talked before about the idea of finding your ‘people’ as being central to building a brand. This is probably the most simple, elegant analogy we can come up with for attracting an engaged audience that’s likely to convert. With your message nailed and communicated, it’s now time to actively seek out new recruits for your brand community – and while any business owner would love to believe any consumer could be a potential customer of theirs, the fact of the matter is that your inner circle is highly likely to be somewhat narrower than that.

Whether you use social media, online forums, paid advertising, organic search or more traditional TV, radio or print ads, the task at hand is enticing new customers who have, in some way or another, demonstrated an interest in what you’re offering. At the point that they make a conscious decision to visit your website or make contact as a result of relevant promotional activity on your part, they can be considered to have opted in. Chances are, if they’re interested in your product or service, they’ll share at least some of the opinions, beliefs or values that led you to build your enterprise.

4. Infiltrate their lives

With your ideal customers acquired and brought into the fold, to trigger the transformation from customer to brand ambassador, you’ll need to become a welcome part of their day-to-day lives. With the right promotional toolkit, this is easily done – as long as your messaging remains engaging, on-brand and centred around your shared interests and values.

Whether you make weekly contact with your customer base via enticing push notifications from your dedicated app, highly clickable email marketing campaigns or irresistible Facebook posts, the key is to remain visible, and slowly but surely bridge the gap between being an occasional stop on their travels around the web and a fixed feature of their everyday routine.

5. Treat them right

With your customers’ undivided attention won, the battle for brand ambassadors isn’t over just yet. Demonstrating to your community that your interest in them is more than a flash in the pan is crucial – so keep them on side with plenty of rewards and exclusive perks.

If you’re an ecommerce business, giving loyal customers a heads-up on upcoming sales, sharing limited-time discount codes and offering personal extras like birthday savings are just some of the potential perks you can offer to your community. For companies or organisations who regularly hold events, options include VIP experiences, priority access and exclusive discounts – all of which will show your inner circle their continued support doesn’t go unnoticed.

6. Stay relevant

With a thriving community of brand ambassadors in the making, the last step in this all-important process is committing to constant innovation – a big ask, we know. Consumer expectations have never been higher than they are now, and today’s customers are on the hunt for brands who pride themselves on continually changing with the times, improving on their customer service and evolving their product or service offering.

To nurture brand ambassadors within your customer base, who will happily spread word of your brand to anyone who will listen, make a promise to yourself and your customers to constantly strive to find new ways of being better. If you’re wondering where to start, the Six Circles customer engagement platform is the perfect jumping off point.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six big, brand-building benefits of hosting local events

There are many ways to grow a business, but the key to building a brand is finding your people. Every brand has the makings of their very own tribe out there waiting for them – a group of people who may or may not already be actively searching for a product or service just like yours, but nonetheless have an inherent kinship with your brand and its central ethos.

While there are no shortcuts to connecting with these coveted needles in the commercial haystack, event marketing is the nearest thing you’ll find to a fast pass. With a frankly astonishing 91% of consumers revealing they have more positive feelings about a brand after attending events and experiences, this dynamic, multidimensional marketing channel is now simply too effective to ignore.

Interactive event with big-screen display
Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash

At Six Circles, our mission is to bring brands and their tribes together – and with custom event management software at the heart of our suite of services, we can help you harness the formidable power of event marketing to bring your dream customers into your brand’s inner circle. First things first, though – right now, we’re taking a deep dive into the numerous benefits of dipping your toe into the world of local events.

Educate

From informational workshops to hands-on product or service demonstrations, whatever you’re sharing knowledge on, there’s ample opportunity to educate through the medium of events. The face-to-face nature of events makes this a positively perfect medium for conveying information on your industry, brand or offering in a direct, concise, easy-to-understand way. Better yet, with auditory and visual tools galore at your disposal in a live environment, you’ll have your pick of supportive media to help you get your point across in the most memorable, engaging way possible.

Network

It will come as no surprise that face-to-face event marketing is among the most powerful tools for creating new, relevant networking opportunities. Particularly with regards to locally focused brands, physical events create a prime opportunity to get existing and potential customers in a room together – ideally along with influential figures in your sector – to build new relationships, talk shop in an appropriate environment and, with any luck, kick-start some mutually beneficial partnerships.

Better yet, you can maximise your event’s reach by making use of an event registration system designed to take the hassle out of invites, booking confirmations and ticketing.

Entertain

Without the entertainment factor, any wisdom you impart or networking you attempt will invariably feel self-serving – there has to be something in it for your audience. Fear not, though: entertainment doesn’t have to mean an all-singing, all-dancing variety show. Any kind of event that showcases your brand in a way that engages audiences through relatable narratives, exciting multimedia content or exclusive attendee perks will deliver on the entertainment front. The key is to find a way to create a fun and immersive multidimensional experience that makes sense for your brand.

Unmask

One primary benefit of event marketing is the opportunity it creates to reveal your brand’s hidden layers to an audience of potential customers. Many brands mistakenly believe that the surface-level elements like a logo, website and collection of social media profiles combine to make a brand – but the truth is that a fully formed brand identity should be as developed and multidimensional as your own personality.

As you’ll no doubt be painfully aware, communicating the various aspects of your identity, all of your intentions and everything you want to say through digital channels like social media can be a challenge to say the least – but with all limitations removed, events make showcasing your pure, unadulterated brand identity in all its glory possible.

Engage

Needless to say, event marketing is among the most powerful tools in any business owner’s arsenal when it comes to engaging a community. Allowing your customers to evolve from shoppers who engage with you in a purely transactional capacity into engaged audience members who are invested in your story is a very meaningful step for any brand to take.

Inviting existing and potential customers to a live event where they’ll get to meet you, learn more about the vision behind your brand and break the corporate barrier shows them you’re willing to go above and beyond to build relationships that are so much more than an exchange of money for goods or services rendered.

Sell

Naturally, the ultimate aim of any marketing campaign – events included – is to generate conversions (whatever they may be for your business). Going into your event with a hard-sell mentality is definitely best avoided, as this will inevitably hinder your ability to educate, entertain and engage. Instead, build a structure or narrative for your event that leads organically to buying your product or service as the next logical step for attendees.

If you can nail the informational content, entertainment factor and audience engagement, you’ll likely find your audience will reciprocate by making an investment in your brand.

With the whys covered, that brings us to the question of how to make local event marketing work for your brand – and this is where we come in. Explore the six circles of our service right here to find out what makes us the perfect partner for any brand-building mission including but by no means limited to event marketing.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six decisions to make before starting your own networking group

Done right, networking groups are a powerful platform for relationship-building in the world of business – and if you’re toying with the idea of starting a networking group of your own, this could be the start of an exciting new chapter in your professional life.

At Six Circles, we’re in the business of bringing communities together – so we fully support you in your quest to give like-minded businesspeople a place to create connections, share ideas and advance their careers or enterprises. First, though, let’s cover a handful of key decisions we’d recommend making before you take the leap.

Group of businesspeople networking
Photo by HIVAN ARVIZU @soyhivan on Unsplash

Why you’re launching your own group

What’s lacking in your local networking scene that’s compelling you to take matters into your own hands? Inclusivity? Originality? A personal touch? Whatever you feel like the missing piece of the puzzle is, make sure you’re fixed on a unique selling point before starting a business networking group, so you can keep this front and centre in your promotional messaging and stay true to your group’s origins throughout its lifetime.

Who you’d like to bring together

Your networking group may be built on a mission to bring certain types of businesspeople together – such as women, parents, freelancers or tech industry professionals, to name but a few of the many, many possibilities. If that is the case, this decision should really make itself. However, if the concept behind your networking group is a little broader than this, you’ll need to take some time to figure out what your dream group member looks like – considering such factors as their age, location, job title, sector, interests and lifestyle to map out this member persona.

Where your group will congregate

Naturally, your networking group will need a physical meeting place – and while this single detail may seem trivial in isolation, the location of your events can make or break the overall success of your group. Accessibility is essential, including for older members and those with disabilities, but you’ll also want to ensure there are adequate transport links to your events and find a space that can comfortably accommodate your group at its maximum size.

Of course, your networking group may not have a fixed location – and you may instead want to negotiate with different venues from month to month to book a space for your events – but knowing what’s not negotiable from the start is vital for avoiding any venue-related mishaps.

How you’ll build a following

Word of mouth will always be the networking group’s perpetual motion machine, steadily increasing member numbers as a result of natural referrals – but to get to the point where these referrals build momentum, you’ll need to start with an outbound marketing campaign designed to generate initial interest in joining your group.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will undoubtedly have a part to play here, with groups, hashtags and paid advertising in your arsenal of promotional tools – but you may also want to use email to entice existing contacts or even embark on a paid search campaign to get eyes on your networking group’s dedicated website.

How you’ll keep your members engaged

For your networking group to be profitable, you may need to charge a membership fee – whether on a monthly, annual or bespoke basis – which begs the question, what will you do to make sure membership offers genuine value for money?

There are possibilities galore to explore, from typical perks like free food, drinks, activities and entertainment to the prospect of access to in-demand venues and speakers. The key is to assess the priorities and motivations of your target audience and identify what they’re likely to expect at a minimum and value as a reward for their loyal membership.

How you’ll stay relevant

Engaging an audience is one thing – keeping them engaged in the long term is another thing entirely. Before taking the leap and starting a business networking group, first decide how you’ll continue to engage, entice and excite your members long after they’ve joined your tribe. One tried and tested tactic for remaining relevant as a brand is to encourage and action feedback from your following – and this is certainly true of a networking group, where your success rests on their continued enjoyment of the experiences you provide.

Powerful tools for gathering meaningful feedback include dedicated user forums – where members can discuss issues relevant to your group amongst themselves – and polls, which you can use to ask the big questions and find out where your members stand on those points. Once the verdict’s in, you can continue to hone and refine your networking group’s messaging and events to evolve with your audience’s changing interests and needs.

Find out how we can make starting a networking group a successful venture with the power of targeted community building and engagement right here.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six ways to get the most out of your Six Circles platform

So, here you are, with the power to build, manage and inspire the communities that matter most to you. At your fingertips, right now, is the power to trigger change, invigorate people within your industry, and challenge trends together. Here are six ways to get the most out of your Six Circles platform right now.

Stimulate creativity

Something on your mind? Pose the question to the people who you know have the knowledge and skills to tackle it. Start a discussion that will spur them on to exchange their views, opinions and expertise in order to drive one another forward.

A problem shared can be a problem halved, quartered and broken down infinitesimally into intriguing creative approaches to practical, impactful solutions for you all.

Educate others

Share your findings, accomplishments and need-to-know stories with your community, providing them with the knowledge that they need to succeed. Look at what others are doing and learn from their achievements, difficulties and publications.

Your Six Circles platform also allows you to conduct valuable audience research and share your findings with the people who made it possible.

Collaborate efficiently

As your community grows, you’ll meet more people with the same drive, focus and goals. Through instant communication and knowledge sharing, you’ll be able to identify the businesses, services and personalities that will work for you, and achieve these imperative targets together.

With bespoke, open or closed-thread discussions, not only will you be part of discussions that drive change – you can be the one who made it happen.

Improve performance

Find out what people genuinely think and what you can do to enhance how audiences experience your brand. Your platform allows you to poll your entire community and so gain invaluable insights into how you are performing now. At any point in the future, you can also pick up on how audiences react when you make or anticipate a change.

When you keep focused on what is working and allow yourself to lose or develop what isn’t, you can benefit from a wealth of perspective every day.

Meet your markers

Learn where people are going and what they’re doing, and let them know instantly when you create an exciting event that will interest them. Track who is attending, where they’re from, and anticipate the information you can provide that will work for all of you.

Use events created by others to keep your community growing, and link up with the key movers and shakers that inspire you and many others.

Reap the benefits

With all the insight, education and networking available through your Six Circles platform, you have the power to manage your community and feel its prosperity as you grow, together. As Six Circles is a fully and easily customisable platform, every positive experience that you encounter is created, in part, by you.

With this sense of achievement already within your grasp, now is the time to get started and get your community growing.

Your platform is already in the safe hands of our comprehensive online support team, but if you have any more questions about what we can do for you, please give us a call on 0191 917 9697.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six ways to drive engagement on your website

Technology has had a major effect on the attention span of humans; not long ago, researchers identified that human beings may now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. This is a worrying development, considering the digital age we’ve grown into.

With your website being the forefront of your business communications, you need people to see it, stay on it and learn more about it. So, here are six ways to drive people to your site.

Write a blog

Yes, it’s time-consuming and yes, on its own, you might get better results by picking up the phone and talking to someone. Furthermore, it can feel as though everyone is doing it… but why?

A blog is a powerful tool for the author and reader, as well as for the key piece of technology that connects the two – search engines. These fundamental digital tools learn to prioritise fresh, relevant content – and in any case, the more you ‘blog’, the more you are likely to find that you enjoy it.

Optimise your SEO

What do you specialise in? What is your USP (unique selling point)? The search engines won’t know unless you tell them. Perform an audit of your website pages and see how many of them contain keywords and phrases that will help you to stand out.

Your blog can even help with this, as you learn to link pages to others’ sites and relevant content or form relationships with other businesses that would benefit from linking to your site from theirs or vice versa.

Use what you have

You don’t even have to come up with a network of new pages to make the most of your site right now. In fact, occasionally refreshing the content on the pages that you already have can greatly help them to be seen in a new light – by both people and search engines.

This means that the blog post or web page you first published way back when can still be useful and made more relevant than ever with just a little extra work.

Add content to your calendar

Schedule a few short and simple social media posts about what you’re doing, what you offer and what else you’re interested in.

One of the problems that people face when they land on any website is that it’s a digital presence only. In other words, it’s not a person who they will emotionally engage with. You should therefore add personality to your business by using social media channels and let other people know what inspires you so that you can inspire them.

Add visuals and videos

Not everyone is made for life in front of the camera. However, the majority of businesspeople have a very particular something in common – they enjoy talking about what they do.

If you appear to look into the eyes of your customers as you talk about your business, they will get to see the passion behind the product or service. You could even add a relevant image or video to every social or blog post to help to portray this passion in every piece of communication you create.

Listen and respond

In using social media, why not also listen to what others are saying about the sector in which you work? If you participate in Q&A sessions and polls and join the conversations already taking place across social media channels, you’ll meet new people – and their ideas – and get to talk knowledgeably about a subject in which you have achieved excellence.

With your Six Circles platform, you can invite the people who mean the most to your business into a powerful new community of ideas, conversation and growth. Get in touch with us today to discover how to keep driving the right people to your website, business and brand.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six ways to conduct market research using polls

Within your six circles platform is the potential to unlock a level of community insight beyond what you’ve been able to achieve before. Polls are always great ways of gaining quick, simple answers to the questions that matter most to you and your business. Here are several ways you can integrate them into your next market research campaign.

Start the discussion

What do people react to? Lots of things – correct! But, one of the best ways to gauge opinion, and stimulate a conversation, is by showing people how they compare to others. Create a poll, send it out, get it answered, and then publish the results on a platform for all to see. By starting a thread on the topic, you’ve then got access to reactions, questions, opinions, and the sort of responses that take a question, and begin to build an answer to it.

Learn more about habits

What makes your audience tick? Who are they and what do they need that you can provide? These are the kind of questions every business needs to know, but don’t always have easy access to. Polls are not just for opinions, they are can also about attitudes, feelings, and schools-of-thought. With a simple poll, you can quickly learn who your audience are, but with more detailed, carefully-chosen questions, you will also uncover the key what and why of your target audience.

Dive into demographics

With more information about the people you are communicating with, you will be able to create distinct profiles of who your audience are. This, in turn, will shape your next market research polls, and can be fed into your marketing strategy and future campaigns. Analysis of your findings is a key part of the market research process, and the more you can tailor your polls to specific audiences, the deeper level of understanding you will uncover.

Listen to what’s being said

Your polls so far should have provided you with a new level of insight into your target audience, but there’s no harm doing a little bit of covert investigation too. A poll can, of course, be created with an ‘any other comments?’ section, but there’s no harm in seeing what your audience are up to in the meantime too. Are they talking about something specific on your platform, or another, that you don’t know about? Your next market research poll could help you to help them with their problem.

Measure brand awareness

A poll is a great way to find out how your brand is performing, as well as gauging reaction to a new product or service you’ve recently launched. Sometimes, there’s no better way to measure your business, than by asking the people who most frequently engage with it. Have you met or exceeded their expectations, solved their problems, and kept them interested? Or did they miss your latest launch entirely? And, if so, you can establish why.

Short, simple sampling

Whenever you encounter a potential new client or customer, a simple way to establish whether you will be beneficial to one another is through a simple poll. Does this person need a product or service that you can provide, and, if so, how often or when? If they don’t need anything from you, now or ever, it’s safe to say you don’t need to involve them in any further marketing or research. Polls don’t just help you identify who are the most important people to your business – they also show you who isn’t.

When it comes to your Six Circles platform, not only can you use polls to communicate with the people within your community – you have our support in getting started, and keeping it going.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six networking tips to help you to stand out from the crowd

Does anybody actually enjoy networking? Simply, yes – in fact, some people seem to be made for it. They appear to be great at mingling, communicating and sharing their experience and expertise with others in an environment that is intimidating to so many other entrepreneurs.

In truth, though, anyone can learn to network effectively. It’s something that can benefit most businesses, and an excellent opportunity to get the right messages to the most important people, at key times for your business.

Here are some tips to help you to get a head start when you next attend an event.

Operate online and otherwise

According to Forbes, active networking is vital to entrepreneurial success for 78% of startups. This means you’ll face significant competition for attention at every event, so you should make sure you appear on social media and networking platforms too.

This gives you the ideal opportunity to display your character, humour and innovative ideas to at least some of the people you’ll soon meet on a face-to-face basis.

Research means results

This is actually one of the biggest benefits of modern networking – you, too, can get a good idea of who is going to be there, beforehand.

Don’t attempt to meticulously plan exactly what you’re going to say to them, though, as the opportunity may simply never arise. However, you can at least anticipate topics of conversation, interests and therefore opportunities before you even arrive.

Contribute creatively

You’ll encounter plenty of people at a networking event who are there to talk about one thing – themselves. These are the people who have probably prepared a ‘speech’, and you’ll recognise attempts to steer or dominate conversations at every event.

Nevertheless, by asking questions, offering ideas and trying to solve problems, you’ll display the kind of thinking that likeminded people will appreciate and may want to work with.

Enjoy engagement

You don’t have to walk the decks, incessantly introducing yourself to people, in order to be engaging. If starting the conversation isn’t your style, just be yourself.

Smile, nod and raise your glass – people often appreciate simple gestures over extrovert behaviour, especially when meeting someone for the first time. You can still stand out, even by being understated – so don’t be afraid to listen, encourage and even disagree.

Show your support

A great way to introduce yourself at a networking event is by being there for not just you, but also someone else. People will buy into reliability, so even if you’re suddenly engrossed in another industry entirely while networking, this in itself is still a conversation starter, and could put you in contact with a range of unexpected opportunities.

Guiding a young colleague or first-time networker through an event also displays trust, experience and patience that will be there for all to see.

Be original

You probably already are original, so you’ve got this covered, and you certainly don’t need to worry about trying to be anything other than yourself. If ‘dress to impress’ isn’t your thing, then you shouldn’t ‘fake it until you make it’ for a single, uncomfortable afternoon. Stand out instead with an engaging social media profile or quirky business card, or by being the most genuine and memorable person in the room.

Your Six Circles platform is the perfect place to share the date and time of your next event with others – and ensure you don’t miss out on where other members of your community are going in the meantime. Contact us today to learn more about what Six Circles can do for your business.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six fundraising ideas to help you to raise money for any cause

So you’ve got a charity or good cause picked out, but you’re stuck for a little inspiration on how to raise the cash for it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

There are many ways to raise money, and each one has a fundamental element at its core – emotion. In the same way you try to engage your audience with your marketing, advertising or communications campaigns, the following ideas are all approaches that appeal to the human hiding inside even the most impassive of your friends and colleagues.

Give up something, so that others give

Everybody loves to indulge. It’s one of the ways we’re all linked, and it’s these instant connections that help causes to be seen. Whether it’s letting go of a bad habit or simply giving up something you enjoy, people are passionate about seeing others get well – but can be equally intrigued by watching people suffer a little too! Quitting smoking, losing weight and even giving up alcohol for a short time are all simple things that people can buy into.

Let them eat cake

The almost complete opposite to the above tip is also popular, though – offering tasty treats in exchange for a donation will often motivate people to part with their cash and indulge in a little of what’s bad for them. It’s for a good cause, after all!

Incentivise your audience

What else do people love? Prizes! Whether it’s something incredible, small or even bizarre, raffles and prize draws create an element of competition. You can get really creative with this one by offering business services or personal assistance – even with something ‘everyday’ or mundane – that will give you the chance to show personality and compassion at the same time.

Work up a sweat

Why does running a marathon, embarking on a daunting swim or riding from one end of the country to the other on a bike seemingly never fail to deliver for a fundraiser? Again, at some point in our lives, most of us have probably wanted to do something like that, but have never gotten round to it. However mentally and physically challenging this sort of strenuous activity may prove to be, it’s the emotional side that makes it so relentlessly popular.

Get crafty

Tap into the creativity of people around you, and get to work on creating something that you can sell in the name of your cause. If you show that you’ve gone the extra mile and picked up a paintbrush, needle and thread, or even refurbished dusty old furniture, people will react positively to the extra effort you’ve put in to raise money for your cause.

Crowdfunding

On its own, crowdfunding might not be the most emotionally engaging way to raise cash, although some causes will tug at the heartstrings no matter what. However, your crowdfunding platform also lets you and others keep track of your fundraising totaliser, as well as share all of the other positive work you’re putting in elsewhere with any combination of the other ideas above.

With your Six Circles platform, whichever fundraising activity you create, you have the ideal mode of delivering your good-cause message to your community. Furthermore, once people begin to engage with your fundraiser, you may be pleasantly surprised by how many others want to follow suit. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help you to help others.

Posted by David in Interesting

Six ways to build a powerful community

With the power of a Six Circles platform at your fingertips, you can build an inspired and focused community around your business. It’s up to you who you choose to invite into your community, but it’s also down to you to keep them interested and engaged with what you have to offer.

Here are six ways you can keep your community growing.

Encourage content creation

Don’t just talk about yourself – let people talk about you… and themselves and others, too. Ask questions, start conversations and maybe draw up a poll or two to get them thinking.

However, more than anything, you should encourage people to get creative and add value to your brand with their own thought-provoking and entertaining content. If you do this reciprocally, too, you’ll likely find that you don’t have to work too hard to encourage content creation – people will become glad to create content for you.

Encourage content creation

Let your community be the place where people come to discuss and share opinions. React with follow-up questions and appreciative reactions, and work out what else you can do that will help to solve problems and add to the discussion.

Even a divisive subject can be useful for understanding more about what is motivating a certain audience, so you shouldn’t be afraid to test them with the odd surprise or sensitive topic.

Be open to their ideas

If you carry on listening, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much knowledge you can gather about what is going on in your community right now. Make sure they know you’re listening, so that their comments and ideas don’t fall on deaf ears – or in this case, blank screens.

Don’t be afraid to be critical, as this displays confidence, but try not to be overzealous when it comes to negativity. A strong community needs a strong leader who is capable of creative thinking.

Set and maintain boundaries

Bear in mind that some people are likely to be more forward with their ideas than other people, so you should set and maintain community boundaries and look out for the next ‘devil’s advocate’ in your feed.

Even if you have to step in to remind others of the boundaries, this will be another indication that your community is one of integrity.

Give power to your people

Don’t let your business be the driving force of your new community, as it is the people who make it what it is. You will, of course, have a strategic purpose behind starting and growing your community and shouldn’t lose sight of this, but people won’t respond positively if you merely bombard them with advertising.

You should therefore find an equilibrium between brand promotion and community management, and let people talk about what matters to them, rather than merely what matters to you.

Become a story-telling expert

Even the most powerful communities need guidance, and it is your job to provide it. By regularly starting discussions and engaging with the content created as a result, you can guide your community towards shared goals, as opposed to simply what benefits you or other individuals within the community.

Build your community with the mindset that you are a combination of author, narrator and even character, simultaneously capable of informing, inspiring and entertaining. You’ll find that the more you play all of these roles, the more you and your community enjoy it.

To become the leader of your own powerful community or to learn more about what the Six Circles platform could do for your business, contact our team of experts today.

Testimonials

“Since incorporating the Six Circles software to further grow our network, we have seen a vast increase in new members and interaction and we are attributing both to the ease of the site’s functionality.

For us, our marketing is now tailored more specifically and effectively due to the inclusion of useful analytics which allow us to form a better understanding of what our members really want.

We would wholly recommend Six Circles to organisations wanting to offer their consumers a platform to meet others, voice their opinions, publish industry news and receive an inclusive and enjoyable customer experience.”

The Mussel Club