This is the fourth post in the “A Conversation With” series, where I interview talented people about their areas of expertise focused on nonprofits.
Racheli Edelkopf, Founder of Pedal, is a Marketing Coaching for non-profits & purpose-driven companies. In our conversation, she shares a common marketing misconception, tips for organizations with smaller budgets, how to measure success, and 3 actions to take today to up-level your marketing. I hope you enjoy her insights!
Tell me a little bit about your work at Pedal and how you got involved with nonprofit marketing.
I’ve been in the marketing and nonprofit sector for over a decade and I’ve seen first hand how non-profit marketing is hugely under-utilized. But it isn’t because nonprofit leaders aren’t brilliant, creative, and hard-working, it’s simply due to scarce time and resources.
At Pedal, I coach nonprofits to use their limited time and resources to market their organizations in a way that consistently adds value, builds relationships, and grows their organization’s impact to propel their cause. I’ve been there myself juggling the challenges of directing programs at a large nonprofit while acting as marketing director, so I’ve picked up quite a few tricks along the way.
I want nonprofits to gain marketing strategies, direction, and insight so that you don’t have to outsource to a marketing company that they can’t afford, and that doesn’t know and believe in their mission as they do.
What are some common nonprofit marketing misconceptions?
A common misconception is that marketing is a tool to use when your nonprofit need something (like funds, or event attendance etc.)
I’d like to see more nonprofits focus on their audience and really ask themselves what would my followers like to see & learn about the cause, and how can I create more content that adds value and creates a sense of community.
What do you suggest to your clients as the first step in their marketing journey?
The first step is always figuring out what your goals are both in marketing and for your organization. After that, we’ll always do an audit of current marketing. It’s always fascinating for me and my client to see what is working well and where the gaps are. It gives a wealth of knowledge and perspective for moving forward.
For organizations with smaller budgets, what marketing tips have you found most successful?
I definitely think skilling up is the best thing you can do and you can start for free. Read books, follow experts, find a masterclass, or listen to podcasts about marketing, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there. You can easily create your own graphics and content in house once you have some kind of foundational knowledge on marketing & design.
Another important thing you can do is tap into resources in your community. Reach out to local photographers and have them volunteer to do periodic photoshoots for you, recruit local students with marketing experience for an unpaid internship, and connect with influencers in your community who would be happy to collab for a good cause.
What are some specific roadblocks you watch out for with your clients?
Not getting too excited, seriously:)
When you discover all the great things you can do to market your cause it’s easy to overcommit. I’d rather a client post twice a week consistently with high quality valuable content, then try to post every day and fizzle out after a couple of weeks.
What are 3 specific action steps everyone can take today to strengthen their marketing process?
- Put a face to the organization
- Commit to showing up regularly
- Check your top-performing posts and create more content like that
How do you measure success with your marketing efforts?
When it comes to measuring success you always have to go and look at your goals first. For me, that means help nonprofits further their cause through marketing. So when I see that result I know I’m on the track. It can come in the form of working with my clients and watching their organizations and impact grow based on the work we’ve done, or in the form of messages and comments from followers who share with me the success they had from following the tips I put out on my page.
You have a real talent for engagement on Instagram. What are your best tips for networking on Instagram?
Aw thanks! I’d say it’s show up online as you would offline. I like to imagine what the equivalent for any action on the gram would be in person and act accordingly.
What are some of your favorite books, podcasts, or blogs in nonprofit or small business marketing?
Also, I’m a huge fan of Vik Harrison from Charity Water. She’s definitely worth following as she shares a wealth of knowledge on fundraising and marketing.
Where can people connect with you online? (We can also link to your freebie as it has great info in it)
You can follow me @thepedal.co for marketing tips and insights for nonprofits and you can also grab my free marketing playbook right in my profile as well.
Any final thoughts?
Just a thank you to our nonprofit readers. I feel so fortunate to get to work with real-life hero’s every day who are dedicated to changing the world. We have the best clients, don’t we Jenny? 🙂
ABOUT JENNY BELANGER
I am a web designer for small businesses, solopreneurs, and nonprofits. Like you, I find myself with only so many hours in a day to get things done. Website design, marketing and tech tools are my thing and I am truly passionate about you get the best results without all the tech overwhelm. Let’s chat and see how I can help you.