More and more people, especially millennials, have and protect a personal brand. This brand is as recognizable as the person themselves. It’s not just posts on a social media account, it’s also how others perceive them.
Personal branding has moved from celebrities and athletes to just about any person. Branding can be used for self promotion and professional advancement, to just telling a story of who a person is, what their priorities are and what value they offer.
“You have a brand. It’s your reputation, your legacy. It’s the value you bring to every meeting, each client encounter, and every interview and presentation,” shared Lida Citroën of @LIDA360. She should know. Lida is an international branding and reputation management expert who designs and enhances the identities of companies, executives, and professionals.
In the nonprofit world, fundraisers and development officers are always asking how to attract and retain this vital group of millennials as donors and volunteers. If a nonprofit can share how, by supporting their organization or cause, they can help boost that person’s brand, the nonprofit will have a grateful supporter, who will give of their time, talents and their resources.
Yes, social media is huge. But more important than that is making social connections in real life. This group of individuals wants to be around others that are their age, have the same interests and want to have fun at the same time. They have worked hard for a specific brand, they don’t want to be seen doing something that reflects differently. At your event, make sure there are opportunities to mingle and meet other attendees that have come out. But remember, these guys also want to enjoy their time out, so having food, drinks or activities will make it so they will want to come back for more.
Having fun while meeting new people is key. Sharing where they are and who they have met is better. Having the opportunity to post on their favorite social media platform is best. Checking in and posting some pictures on Facebook, using a special Snapchat filter, or even sharing a picture with event promoted hashtags on Instragram or Twitter makes it an event they are not just attending, but now has become part of their brand. These photo opportunities should help support or even enhance their personal brand.
Millennials don’t just haphazardly write checks to groups or join organizations any more than they would randomly buy clothes or like posts on Instagram without looking at them. After they have come to an event, and they have made your organization part of their brand, get them involved in the work. By volunteering or working with your organization, they can promote online or word of mouth that they are associated with you. Don’t just ask them for money. Ask for their time and their talents. If you can get that, their resource will be sure to follow.
So, when looking to crack into the millennial market, be sure to keep their personal brand in mind. If you can add value to that brand, they will add value to your organization.