For a social impact organization, conducting outreach may not be at the forefront of mind. But why not? It’s just as important, if not more important, for social impact organizations to conduct outreach so that they may establish partnerships with key stakeholders and therefore increase funding. However, the reality of the matter is that these organizations are spread thin. In many cases, especially for a newer social impact company, people are focused on the positive impact side of their organization. Not on the business development side. In our last blog post, we shared tips on how to identify potential partners for a social impact company. In this blog post, we share methods on how to conduct outreach to potential social impact partners.
How to Conduct Social Impact Outreach
- Build a Prospecting List
- Conduct Outreach: A Value-Based Approach
- Social Impact LinkedIn Outreach
- Follow Up on Social Impact Outreach
Build a Prospecting List
The first step in any outreach campaign is to first build a prospecting list. This prospecting list should include name, company and title of each contact, as well as contact information and a section for notes. Other things to consider adding to your list are emails and follow up dates. The prospecting list should be kept fairly organized. It is your basis for outreach in the future. It is very important.
The prospecting list should also include a follow up tab, and a scheduled calls tab, at minimum. If a connection was made and follow up is required to continue the relationship, put that into the designated tab with a follow up date included. Sort the excel sheet by date, that way you are able to follow up on the designated day. Similarly, the scheduled calls tab should have any of your scheduled calls input, and be organized by call date. As I said, organization is key.
Conduct Outreach: A Value-Based Approach
After creating an initial prospecting list, you are ready to begin your outreach! Conduct outreach in a manner that raises social awareness for your brand and mission. Common outreach methods include cold calling and cold emailing. Both have merit and do offer positive results for some organizations. However, as cold calling and emailing are both easily accessible in this day and age, it is an oversaturated outreach method. Think about it, do you appreciate it when a random company calls or emails you? With the dawn of technology comes new and improved methods for outreach.
Social Impact LinkedIn Outreach
Our preferred method of outreach is sending LinkedIn video messages. Most social impact professionals today have a LinkedIn account and interact with it semi-regularly. Using the mobile application, people may send personalized videos to their LinkedIn connections. This is a creative and effective way to establish connections with potential prospects. Not many people are sending video messages via LinkedIn. It is unique. It allows prospects to hear your voice and see your face. It allows them to visualize your passion for your work. It is a much better way to conduct outreach than through cold call or emails.
We advise to keep videos around 1 minute in length – it is short enough to keep a person’s attention, and long enough to convey a message. The first 30 seconds should be devoted to a personalized message catered to the specific prospect, and the last 30 seconds should be a call-to-action (i.e. schedule a call or view a website). End the video on a good note, and send it for your prospects to see!
Follow Up on Social Impact Outreach
Regardless of your method for outreach, it is important that you continuously follow up with your prospects. For cold calling, continue to call them until you have a conversation – or at least until they tell you to stop calling. For cold emailing, continue to email them a few times afterwards. For LinkedIn outreach, send follow up messages. Follow up is important. You put all of that effort into creating the list, writing that email and/or creating that unique video message. It would be a shame to let it go to waste. Most people will not respond after the first message; it takes a follow up or two to finally get a response. Cold outreach follow up shouldn’t be as quick as the next day, but shouldn’t be as infrequent as once per month. Find the timing that works best for you.
Outreach for social impact companies is necessary. It takes time to build a prospecting list. It takes time to create a pitch. It takes time to create individualized messages. However, all of this needs to be done so that an organization may connect with more stakeholders, promote its brand and improve funding. On the bright side, it can be a fun process! Connecting with prospects means that you are connecting with people who may be interested in your social impact organization. This means that there are likely some common interests, work experience and more, to be shared. Build relationships, establish business connections and increase funds. That is the power of sales.
If you are interested in conducting outreach for your organization but do not want to do it alone! We’d be happy to chat.