Why You Need to be Following Up
Hi Do-Gooders! In this post I want to focus on the importance of following up with people after a program or event. I know a lot of the times when we’re working on a project or event we get really involved in the process. Then once the event wraps up or the program is over, all we can think is, “Thank you, God!!” We pat ourselves on the back, we exhale, check it off our to do list, then move on to our next project. Today I thought I want to talk about why you should rethink how you’re finishing up your project.
How you follow up after a project is just as important as the project itself. The end of the program or event isn’t the end of your project. Once you have people engaged with you and your mission, be sure to follow up with them. When someone is leaving your event or program, they’re probably feeling great. Maybe you helped them improve themselves or maybe you helped them help someone else. Following up with them is a way to continue the conversation and keep them involved while they’re already engaged with you.
Businesses do this all the time. They understand that it’s a lot cheaper to keep existing customers happy (so they get repeat business) than to go out and get new business. Getting new customers can cost a business 5x as much as than keeping an existing customer. Put this in the context of your small business or nonprofit. Think about all the resources you put into getting new people to your program or event, versus how much easier it is when you have loyal fans who are familiar with your mission and invite friends. Not only do you end up spending the least resources on those people, they tend to be the happiest with your work. Those are the people you want to focus on and grow. You should absolutely be taking this technique, whether you’re at a nonprofit or a small for profit or whatever else, to help keep people engaged in your mission to do good.
Here’s a few easy techniques of how to follow up after your good project.
Say Thank You
This seems simple, right? But people forget to say thank you all the time. Saying thank you as everyone is waiting to walk out the door is one thing. Sending a more formalized thank you afterwards is a whole other thing. If you have a small enough event or program or a big enough team, send a quick, handwritten thank you card. A personalized email is always appreciated, too. If you have a big crowd where that isn’t as doable, you can create an email blast or post a thank you on social media. However you do it, just be sure to say thank you!
Send an Update
Let participants know the outcomes of your program or event. If you’re holding a fundraiser this is especially important. How much funds did you raise and where does this put you compared to your goal? What will the money raised allow you to do? Share that! People love to know their time and money was able to make an impact. If this was an ongoing program, what were some of the accomplishments you made? Did you have the most kids ever go through your summer camp program, or did this ongoing adult literacy program result in a few people getting better paying jobs? Programs are great because you have more time to accomplish big things. Share those accomplishments with program participants and sponsors. Program participants will feel proud and a kinship with others, while sponsors will be happy they were able to make these big differences.
Send a Survey
Businesses love surveys right now and for good reason. Surveys help us know what our customers are feeling. They tell us what people want, and what did they liked and didn’t like. Would they go again? Would they recommend you to a friend? This feedback can help you continue to improve and fine tune your program or event.
Post Pictures on Social Media
Use social media to keep the conversation going. Post a thank you and boast about the great people who supported your good work within a few days of the event. Within the first couple of weeks post photos from the event. If you can tag people, even better. Remember to tell people photos will be coming so they can keep an eye out and are more likely to pay attention to your posts.
Keep the Conversation Going
Continue to serve and provide offers even months after the event. If people really like what you and your work, there’s a good chance they’d like to see more of what you do. I did a run this spring and they have had some of the best ongoing conversation I’ve ever seen. They send email blasts (you can opt whether you want the weekly or monthly) with running tips, suggested playlists, yoga meetups, running clubs, the works. It’s no surprise their run sells out to thousands of runners every single year. Every time an email comes into my inbox from them I remember how much fun that run was, and how I need to do that run again the next year. They do a great job keeping the conversation going.
So there’s a few ideas, Do-Gooders. You put a LOT of hard work into creating the perfect program. Be sure you take advantage of all of that effort and follow up with participants after your event or program wraps up. It help make your future ventures more successful. Have a great week, Do-Gooders!