Now that it's getting warm again, it is time to start thinking about the ice bucket challenge. Just a few weeks ago, people were taking the Polar Bear Plunge, running into the icy water of Lake Michigan which is partially iced over. Why do people do these crazy things? To think beyond their own scope and to care for others.
It's all about starting a movement. Now, I know what your 13-year-old self is thinking; however, I am not talking about that kind of movement. I am talking about bringing a group of like-minded people together to make this world a better place.
“You say you want a revolution / Well, you know / We all want to change the world” – The Beatles
Social media is the perfect place to bring a group of like-minded people together, and have them working jointly for a good cause. People love to be guided and nurtured, and typically enjoy being part of a community that works for the greater good. Last year's ice bucket challenge increased donations to the ALS Association over 100 times the previous year. It wasn't so much about the cause or the 10 bucks you had to donate, it was really about the people. People just love watching other people freeze by dumping ice cold water over their head.
Starting A Movement
Caring people, like my wife, begin movements like this all the time. My wife is constantly commenting on posts about how bad puppy mills are, and she helps to educate people on how to adopt rescue animals. Friends and strangers alike have contacted her to ask if she can help them find the right dog, or how to go about the adoption process! She is not even part of a rescue organization, she is just a caring concerned person who loves animals.
So what is a movement? They come in many forms, large and small. They can be large national or international issues that need to be solved. Many times they're just simple 30 day challenges that can change your perspective or way of life. Nicole Dean started one of these recently. I saw her give a keynote speech at a conference, and then she laid out a challenge to everybody in the audience … W.W.A.Y.D. – what would awesome you do! For the month of April, she's trying to get 1111 people to do three awesome things per day for 30 days. That's 100,000 bits of awesomeness that could change people's lives one task at a time. To learn more about her challenge check out her website at www.wwayd.com.
Start Your Own Movement
- Know Your Movement – make sure you know whom your audience is. Clearly define the task at hand to help them measure the results, so they know that what they're doing is making a difference.
- Do Your Research – find out how other people have accomplished what you're trying to do. Chances are you're not the first person trying to make a difference this way, and even if your idea is slightly different, you may find some great ideas while researching. It's simple … Just Google it!
- Promote It – now you have to provide a home base. Make a website, create a Facebook group and maybe a LinkedIn group, so you have a place for people to collaborate, converse and congratulate each other. Lead the charge, but don't be overbearing.
- Get Your Tribe Involved – give your tribe a reason to be involved and then promote the event. Maybe you should offer random giveaways or prizes. I am not talking about expensive items; I'm just suggesting you create a reason for people to want to share the movement in a group message. Again, social media is a great place to start building on this.
- Get Exposure – finally, get as much exposure as you possibly can. Get interviewed on podcasts and blogs, Radio and TV shows, and give that same opportunity to the participants, so they can help spread the message and the goodwill.
Benefits Of A Movement
What made the ice bucket challenge so inspiring and made it go viral? It was the fact that it was started by a friend of a friend who has ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It wasn't the mastermind of a major nonprofit organization or advertising agency; it was the heart and soul of a friend who wanted to help a friend in need. With that in mind, doing a simple task like trying to help people who want to lose weight, get organized, or just become a better person, should be enough of a return on your investment.
By starting a movement, you will unite like-minded individuals for a common purpose. You will also strengthen your tribe and emerge as a stronger leader. Ultimately, the real end game should be to make the world a better place.
The movement does not have to be large-scale overachieving goals. It can be something as simple as turning something average into something awesome. If you are helping someone take baby steps, make sure they document everything they do, so they can see that the small steps can lead to great progress. This will in turn show how being a part of your movement can change the world.
Have you ever dumped a bucket of ice on your head? What else do you do to make a difference? I would love to hear your thoughts comments and feedback … now get out there and do something!