Friday, August 7th, 2020

Marketing Your Business Through Community Service

By Guest Blogger on Jan 30 2012 • Filed under Marketing

Promote Your Business Through Charity Work (Photo)"…there is no contradiction between running a business and helping the less fortunate."

One of the best ways to create awareness about your business and build trust among potential customers is to pursue community service opportunities. Thanks to the internet, the scope and sorts of service opportunities available to entrepreneurs are easier to find than ever before. What follows is a simple road map that can be used to find the right opportunity for your business.

1. Identify your products and services

As an entrepreneur, identifying your main products or services should be the first and easiest step in finding the right community service opportunity. In some cases, you might be focused on one product or service; in other cases, your business might encompass several deliverables. By way of illustration, and for purposes of this essay, consider three hypothetical examples:

(a) ABC Tech specializes in web design
(b) ABC Finance specializes in saving people money
(c) ABC Writing specializes in resume writing

2. Find beneficiaries in need and serve them

Once you have identified your main products and services, the next step is to find beneficiaries through community service projects. Using our three examples, here are some possibilities.

(a) ABC Tech, specializing in web design, decides to devote a portion of its time to creating or upgrading websites for small, nonprofit organizations that assist victims of domestic violence. Because such organizations are focused on crisis management and often run by volunteers, they may not have the bandwidth or expertise to create a functional, user-friendly website.

(b) ABC Finance, specializing in saving people money, decides to devote a portion of its time to providing personal finance tips to families in financial distress. Because such individuals may be struggling to keep their homes and other assets secure from debt collectors, they may benefit from tips on creating a budget, avoiding debt, and taking charge of their financial future.

(c) ABC Writing, specializing in resume writing, decides to devote a portion of its time to delivering educational workshops to women at homeless shelters. Because such women need assistance getting back on their feet and into the workforce, they may benefit from expertise on crafting a great resume and marketing their skills to potential employers.

3. Publicize your efforts through the media

Once you have decided on a suitable community service project, it is important to publicize it through all available media.

One easy way to create awareness about your project is to issue a joint press release with your nonprofit partner to local media outlets (television stations, radio stations, and newspapers). Although there is ample guidance on the internet about the mechanics of writing a press release, and although most media outlets publish the names and email addresses of their staff online, it is probably not sufficient to send a press release to a busy reporter without a phone call. Journalists work on tight deadlines and are constantly receiving emails. If you can identity a reporter who focuses on community issues, go ahead and call them and make a pitch for your story.

It is critically important to use all available media to create public awareness about your project. If your project receives coverage in the mainstream media, make sure to also distribute it through social media. For example, if you are lucky enough to appear on television, many television stations will often grant you permission to reproduce the footage on YouTube, where it can be a permanent record of your accomplishment and source of free viral advertising. Similarly, if your nonprofit partner publishes an online newsletter and maintains a presence on Facebook and Twitter, you can showcase your work through these media as well.

Although the basic goal of a business is to make a profit, and although profit is impossible without marketing,

By marketing products and services through community service projects, entrepreneurs can enjoy free advertising, a positive reputation among potential customers, and the satisfaction of helping others in need.

Raj Singh is a freelance writer and founder of the Capital Idea Network.

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