Lately, I've been having a renaissance of sorts. Now, I have not been getting up on scaffolding and painting chapels. What I've been doing is listening to audiobooks, and I find them on Blinkist. I've talked about this before. It's basically Cliffs Notes for books in audio form. I could start off with something like the Four-Hour Workweek and end up at something like Ikigai. You'll have to check out some of my past content to find the definition of Ikigai. Today, I want to talk about creating content from a philosophical, philanthropic, and propaganda perspective. Man, that's a lot of Ps. I want to layout those three terms and how they can help you improve the way you get your messages across.
Giving Back By Paying It Forward
All of this is spurred, not only from the audiobooks but also from the LinkedIn Lives that I've been doing on Saturday mornings. And if you find me on LinkedIn, you can go check out those LinkedIn Lives, or go to LI4Sales.com.
I've had some great interviews with a variety of different guests on sales, marketing, mindset, and LinkedIn. I look at these lives as three different ways of creating content. First, I look at them as one-hour-long lessons with experts. I also look at it as a way of clarifying the way that I think because I get to have this back-and-forth conversation about perspectives. And finally, I look at it as a way of creating content that is new and intriguing. So let's break down those three different styles.
Originally, I looked up the term philanthropy, which is what I wanted to talk about. I found out that philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by generous donations of money to good causes. But not all of us have money to donate.
But if you look at philanthropy from its original philosophical roots, it was a Greek term that was translated as meaning love of mankind. Philanthropy is an event or action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice, but it's generally not done as a profit motive. The ancient Greeks looked at philanthropy as the love of what it is to be human. It's the essential nature and purpose of our humanity, culture, and civilization. So from a philosophical view, philanthropy is about making the world a better place.
My takeaway – When creating content, make your message helpful and help your audience move forward and upward in their lives and in their careers.
I think of philanthropy as something that usually deals with nonprofits. But, again, we're talking about it not having to be done for a profit motive. One of the things you have to realize is that a nonprofit is truly a business, it just has a different tax status. It still can have a board of directors, but it doesn't have stockholders. It has stakeholders in the community.
I spent many years working with the United Way and their main mission was to help community service companies that were serving the general population, and they would collect money or donations from businesses, usually in the form of a $1 or $2 a month donation. They had big enough companies with enough people that those small donations added up pretty quickly. Then they would take that money and delegate it out to the nonprofits that they deemed were doing the best work in the community.
It's a great concept, but that has changed with the times, because the employees of these companies are no longer giving the donations, or they're no longer around to give the donations, so they've changed their model.
One of the core principles that they talk about is their three main audiences. One is the advocate, one is the volunteer, and one is the donor.
- The advocate will help spread the word. It's a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.
- A volunteer is somebody who gets engaged in the group with their skills or time. This is usually at no cost to the organization.
- And finally, we have the donors who pump in the money that actually drives the engine.
In our businesses, we don't necessarily have donors, we have clients, so let's look at it from a slightly different perspective. Don't think of your clients as people who pay bills. Think of them as people who appreciate what you do for them. The more you do for them, the more they appreciate it. So think of the money that you make from those businesses as certificates of appreciation. The same way that people will donate to a nonprofit or a cause they believe in.
You have to provide each of the three audiences, the advocate, the volunteer, and the donor, with different messages based on where are they're at. In order to get people to advocate for you, you have to let them know the value of sharing your message and what's in it for them. Volunteers may get a great sense of accomplishment by helping you help others. And donors need to be made aware of where their money is going. They need to be communicated to on a regular basis saying, “I know you gave me money this month, and here's what we did with it.” Don't try to use the old Christmas letter way of doing things where you ask them once a year and never talk to them until you need their money again.
My takeaway – Make your messages targeted at the right audience and THEIR motivations
The last part of this philosophical journey is about propaganda. Today, that tends to have a very negative connotation. It's usually based on a biased or misleading information campaign that's used to promote or publicize a political cause or point of view.
The origins of the word propaganda were actually formed as a committee of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church. They were responsible for foreign missions, giving back, and were founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory the 15th. Propaganda in its purest form is a method of communication used to further an agenda with an audience. And what makes it so effective and often controversial is the fact it uses a language that's loaded to produce emotional responses rather than rational ones. And that information is presented in a way that's meant to convince. Propaganda is often associated with governments and the media. But, in fact, it's used by activists, companies, religious organizations, and individuals to convince their audiences to stand up, take note, and take action on the information being presented.
My takeaway – Make your messages emotional and persuasive but do so within ethical boundaries.
By using a philosophy of philanthropy, you can get people to take your propaganda to heart, and that, my friends, produces profitable persuasion.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about creating content that produces profitable persuasion. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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