Winning the war of "so what, who cares?"

Our last call was one of my favorite conversations ever and the reason we were so excited to work with Barnabas. Let’s build some more momentum this week. Here were a few ideas your stories repeated:

  • Respect for people in all life stages

  • A grassroots nonprofit model

  • A culture that goes above-and-beyond daily

  • Selfless teamwork — something proven to work again and again

  • The connection between the entire Nassau community

  • A trust between the organization and everyone it serves

These key ideas line up with our audit last year our conversations at Empty Bowls. We’ve always had a brand. We’ve always had a message.

Jeff Bezos said your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. I’m a lifelong Southerner: People talking about you when you aren’t in the room isn’t a good thing.

We had a lot of fun last week, but this week might be a bit more challenging. We need to address the critics, too.

Looking at the messages above, I thought of a few rebuttals from participants, donors, volunteers and or community:

  • “They might say that, but they wouldn’t respect me.”

  • “Sounds small and amateur. I prefer to give to larger organizations.”

  • “I don’t know what to do in situations like that. I would feel awkward.”

  • “They just want to tug at your heartstrings for money.”

  • “Nassau is a long way from Jacksonville.”

  • “Organizations don’t look so trustworthy anymore, do they?”

Let’s take some time this week and think about how we can refine our message to counter these objections.

While we’re thinking about the negatives, let’s think about alternatives. Instead of donating, volunteering or participating, what else could our audience do? Here are a few to start:

  • Donating time or money to other organizations — let’s name them

  • Continuing in their current situation or predicament

  • Not participating at all

  • Focus time and energy with a larger organization in Jacksonville

  • Helping (or not) via other avenues

  • Pursuing hobbies and leisure and ignoring us — where?

We’re working toward a consistent unified message. Instead of using gimmicky messaging trends, we’re creating a truthful brand.

So, what have we done so far? We’ve uncovered what makes us special. We have to be aware that others may not find us so special. We’re benchmarking ourselves against our competition — which is could be another organization or indifference.

Let’s think about these and discuss in our session next week. Want to be the A+ student? Check out these resources.

UP NEXT: DOCUMENTING AND MANAGING OUR BRAND