According to Brian Williams, founder of the Reno, Nevada-based non-profit ThinkKindness.org, the primary marketing goals of the organization are to “get found, look good, and create emotion.”
With the mission of inspiring measurable acts of kindness in schools and communities around the world, Think Kindness has successfully developed and deployed such programs that 1) challenge 50,000 people each year to see which school in the country can make the biggest difference in the world in just 15 days 2) digitally track random acts of kindness through “Kindness Cards,” and 3) benefit local and global communities (such as through distributing shoes, water filters, and providing e-tutoring to schools in Central Kenya through a network of volunteers).
In an extremely valuable presentation that Brian gave to the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association last week, he talked about the many ways his non-profit is successfully “marketing on shoestring budget,” and outlined various apps, free services, web sites, and strategies that Think Kindness has used to create awareness about their organization. Some of the useful services he mentioned include:
- 99Designs.com – The #1 marketplace for graphic design, including logo design, web design and other design contests.
- Adobe Creative Cloud – Here you can access, view, and share creative files saved in Adobe Creative Cloud from virtually any internet-connected device.
- Banana Tag – Tracks emails from all clients. Know when your emails are opened or clicked.
- Boomerang – Boomerang is a plugin for Firefox and Chrome that adds scheduled sending and the easiest, most integrated email reminders to Gmail.
- Bottlenose – The next-evolution of social media listening and analytics for marketers.
- Chrome – Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
- Evernote – A suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving.
- Feedly – A news aggregator application for various Web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android.
- FreeQRCodeTracker – Create, download and track QR Codes for free.
- Google Alerts – Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.
- GraphicRiver – Buy royalty free stock graphics and vectors, icon sets and Photoshop add-ons from GraphicRiver, a huge marketplace of great files.
- HootSuite – Social media management dashboard.
- Mailchimp – Online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results. Offers plug-ins for other programs.
- MOO – Create and customize premium Business Cards, MiniCards and Postcards for your business.
- PhotoDune – Buy royalty-free stock photography from PhotoDune, a huge marketplace of high quality photography from an incredibly creative community.
- Rapportive – Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. We combine what you know, what your organization knows, and what the web.
- Trello – Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards.
When thinking about big picture ways to approach their marketing strategies, Brian first asks if this is something they want to push, pull or play? In other words, will they simply push out a message, work to pull people in and inspire them through a message, or find ways to engage them. Specifically, they consider such channels as their blog/web site, creating a public relations opportunity, social media, print services, cause marketing, productivity, helpers, and free services.
About Brian Williams
Prior to age 24, Brian held executive level management positions in the fitness industry overseeing 125 employees, he became the marketing director for the largest commodities brokerage firm in Los Angeles, and opened a successful martial arts school. He has been featured on MTV, MTV2, NBC, USA Today and ESPN, he’s raised over $100,000 for charities around the country, produced two award winning humanitarian documentaries, and has documented over 250,000 acts of Kindness.
For more information about Brian and learn about his motivation behind starting this non-profit, watch the below talk he gave in January of 2013 at the inaugural TedXUniversityofNevada event:
Now it’s your turn: what free services do you use to help get the word out about your brand? More importantly, what acts of kindness have you inspired lately? 🙂