Leveraging your network is like picking the low hanging fruit. You can climb the tree and search for new fruit near the top, but you’re missing all the ripe and ready fruit on your way up.
Leveraging your network doesn’t just mean asking for things when you need it or boosting your message through your community. Your network is a give and take relationship. When engaging your network for this purpose, communicate personally in a way that reflects your relationships and think of ways you can offer something.
There are a variety of ways you can leverage your network, but the first step is to understand who your network is. Using NationBuilder, you have a complete picture of who your supporters are. Once you understand who your supporters are, you can target based on specific criteria to match each action ask. NationBuilder’s filters are your best friend here - really dig in with criteria. Has Emily liked a bunch of Facebook posts and has over 1000 followers on Twitter? She can probably help you get the word out about your upcoming campaign. Is John the recruiter for 50 other people in your nation? I bet he can help you find new donors.
Now that you’ve targeted your community, you can leverage your network. One way is to build a social media ambassador program. Share upcoming opportunities to take action and encourage your most highly engaged and influential supporters on social media to share your message. By recognizing their klout in their community and their involvement with your organization, these supporters are more likely to want to support you by being a megaphone for your message. You’re growing your community by tapping into your network.
Another way is to incentivize recruiters. It’s a win-win. You get to tap into your supporters’ communities and grow your network as they bring new supporters into the fold. You can reward your recruiters with a variety of prizes, from free tickets to events, to swag to being featured on your website’s leaderboard. Create value, ask for what you need, and follow up with a thank you.
It’s easy to email blast your usual list of supporters over and over again, but it’s not effective as supporters unsubscribe or max out the amount they’re willing to give. It’s hard to find and develop new supporters into donors and volunteers. The low hanging fruit is right there in your network - target effectively, communicate personally and leverage it!
This post has been edited by Erin Rauch and Dana Saydak of NationBuilder