Don't Get Lost in the Crowd!

  • Posted on: 13 March 2014
  • By: Margaux

On the web these days, there are so many "good causes" competing for people's time, attention and dollars. How can you make sure yours doesn't get lost?

Today at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, this was the overarching theme of the sessions I attended. Here are some key points to share: 

1) Don't be WalMart.

I'm sorry, but you really can't be all things to all people. So, be clear about who you are trying to reach, what you're telling them, and what action you hope they will take as a result.

(There are a zillion other reasons you shouldn't be WalMart, but I won't go there today.)

2) If people -- even very smart people -- are overwhelmed with too much information, they shut down and do nothing at all.

Keep your pages light, your text brief, and use clear visuals whenever possible.

A great example is the Screening for Life homepage, where you can easily and visually find out what cancer screenings are advisable for a person your age and sex.

Screening for Life homepage screencap

3) Speak directly to individuals, not to a collective audience, with your writing and videos.

It's invaluable to create "personas" to portray your key audiences. It's not wrong to think "I'm making this video for people who are environmentally conscious." But, if you think "I'm making a video for Tim, a 35-year-old husband and father. He's a Type-A environmentalist, super frazzled, but really geared up about saving the world," then you are more likely to come up with something wildly successful like this video, Follow the Frog.

4) Provide what your persona is looking for, not what you want to tell him.

In other words, find the intersection of those two things, and then write it so it speaks to him.

Thanks to Sandy Rees, Brenda Miele and Debra Sharp for your amazing and inspiring insight today!


Hi: Are you planning a follow on to this great post? I hope so. I don't often read a post and come away feeling that I learned a lot. I will favorite this one and hope to see the sequel. Good work!

Margaux's picture

Hi Mason,

Glad you enjoyed this. I will probably post another simliar round-up or two in early March, around the next Nonprofit Technology Conference!


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