Don’t Overpay for Marketing – Social Media Question

April 16, 2014

Ken Okel, Stuck on Yellow, Florida Leadership speaker Miami OrlandoBefore you hire someone to help with your social media, ask this question: How have you kept up with the recent changes to (insert the name of the social media platform)?

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media sites are constantly changing. You want to hire someone who has an ongoing commitment to keeping current. Put their knowledge to the test. Have them explain the changes. The response should help define your selection criteria. It’s also a good chance to see how well the person can explain things to those who may not be experts.

Your potential marketing partner should also have different strategies for different social media platforms. What works on Twitter, may not work as effectively on Facebook.


Don’t Overpay for Marketing – Family, Friends, and Donors

March 3, 2014

Ken Okel, Stuck on Yellow, Florida Leadership speaker Miami Orlando
If you are going to hire someone’s family or friends, you need to make sure that the expectations and deliverables are clearly understood. These should not be shared on a cocktail napkin or a post-it note. You need to treat it like an official transaction.

If you hire a family member or a friend, are you willing to fire that person if things go poorly?

You also need to be very careful of donors or board members who recommend their family or friends. If that person isn’t up to the task and the results are poor, then it can be very uncomfortable explaining this to one of your stakeholders.

Don’t Overpay for Nonprofit Marketing: You Pay for Discounts

February 6, 2014

Ken Okel, Stuck on Yellow, Florida Leadership speaker Miami OrlandoSome marketing firms will offers special rates for nonprofits. Saving a few dollars can be very enticing. In many cases, firms do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Bless them.

Then there are the companies that use nonprofit business as a way to fill in the gaps when they’re not otherwise making money from full fee clients. You’re seen as a cheap date and not as a relationship.

The danger is that you are not their top priority. If a full fee job comes along, work on your project will likely be put on hold. You won’t be told this. You’ll just wonder why the work hasn’t been done and why your emails aren’t being returned in a timely fashion.

If you complain, then you’re told, “Hey, you’re getting the work done for less.” This is not an acceptable response.

If you agree to a discount, you need to make sure that your project will be a priority. Otherwise the discount will be used as an excuse for not treating your work with the importance that it deserves.

Paying full fee may spare you from some headaches.

Don’t Overpay for Nonprofit Marketing: Who Does the Work

January 27, 2014

Ken Okel, Stuck on Yellow, Florida Leadership speaker Miami OrlandoWho Does the Work?

Let’s say that you meet with a firm to discuss the creation of a video or a website. You will likely be directed to an impressive online portfolio. While you may be dazzled by what you see, I want you to resist the urge to immediately sign on the dotted line.

Why? Because sometimes you can be the victim of a bait and switch. The portfolio may represent the output of a seasoned veteran, perhaps the owner of the firm. It’s dazzling.

But that person may not be doing the work on your project. It may be passed down to someone with zero experience or someone’s whose work would never be featured in a portfolio.

While experience doesn’t always equal excellence, you should have an opportunity to see the talent level of the person who will be working on your project. Otherwise, you may pay top dollar for beginner work.

In the coming posts, we’ll discuss more things you need to know. If you want to consume the whole article now, click here.

Don’t Overpay for Nonprofit Marketing: Introduction

January 22, 2014

Ken Okel, Stuck on Yellow, Florida Leadership speaker Miami OrlandoDoes your nonprofit need outside help with its marketing needs? It can be a smart decision to bring in a level of expertise that doesn’t exist inside of your organization. After all, you do great work. Why not take extra steps to make sure your community knows who you are, what you do, and why you need support.

It’s a good, tactical move as you understand that the competition for dollars is increasing and you need to spend more money on development and outreach.

As someone who has worked for nonprofits, served as a board member, and been paid as a marketing consultant, I understand the passion you feel for your cause. The problem is that while you’re really good at your mission, you may not know much about marketing. And that can leave you vulnerable to some sneaky marketing tactics.

These are problems that can cost you a lot of money, leave you frustrated, and make you swear off ever getting marketing assistance in the future. My goal is to empower you, so you’ll get the greatest return for your investment on advertising, promotion, web design, photography, and video services.

It’s like buying a car. To some vendors, you look like an excited teenager on a used car lot. The more knowledge you have, the more money you’ll save or avoid spending on things you don’t need. Having this information protects you from those who are greedy and confirms the quality of those who are offering you a good product at a fair price.

In the coming posts, we’ll discuss the various things you need to know. If you want to consume the whole article now, click here.

Happy Holidays…Now Get Started

December 23, 2012

Tux photos_00000There’s not a better time to bring your nonprofit into the world of social media. Make a commitment now to what you can realistically accomplish in 2013.

If you need help, reach out for it. We all know that plans are worth very little if they just collect dust.

My 2013 will see me putting out two books, one of which will lay out a social media blueprint for nonprofits. Stay tuned!

Nonprofit Phrases That Should Be Banned

May 23, 2012

Nonprofit phrases that should be banned, Ken Okel, Social Media for nonprofits coach

Click to see a larger view. You are free to print or download.

It began as a fun challenge: To take a look at the words and phrases that we’ve used so much in the nonprofit community that they’ve lost their meaning.

I thought this search for cliches might generate a dozen entries from several nonprofit LinkedIn groups.

Instead, the idea caught fire and I continue to receive submissions from nonprofit employees from all over the country. I’ll continue to update the graphic above.

Collecting the phrases is the first step. Now will you join me for the movement?

It’s not enough to identify these overused words. We need to stop using these phrases and get back to clear communication with our partners, our community, and our donors.

Will you join me in taking this step. Our causes deserve to be clearly articulated, free of jargon, cliches, and hyperbole.

Please share your thoughts below.

A Great Video Conferencing Tool On Google+

May 21, 2012

Social media for nonprofits, google+, Ken Okel, google hangouts, free video conferencingYou may have wondered why you need to join another social media site but I think you should register for Google+. Simply by registering, you can gain access to an incredible tool that’s entirely free.

I’m talking about Google Hangouts. This is a video conferencing service that allows up to 10 people to meet online. More people can join the call as observers.

Why should you care?

  1. Nonprofits spend a lot of time driving to meetings. That’s time that you’re not making money.
  2. Having multiple people on a video conference call usually costs a lot of money, something you probably don’t want to pay.
  3. Since you see everyone who’s active on the call, you can make sure that they are listening to what you’re saying and not multi-tasking, which happens frequently on teleconferences.

Everyone on the call needs to be signed up for Google+. It’s the typical sign up process that you’ve experienced elsewhere. After that, you’re free to use Hangouts.

During the call, all of the participants are visible through their computer’s webcams. Whoever is making the most noise (which hopefully means talking), is rotated into a larger window.

Trying something new can be intimidating at first but once you’ve used the program once, you’ll be comfortable with it. Here are a few additional tips:

  1. I think the system works best when you have one person on each webcam. When you have a group on one webcam, it’s harder to see and hear them.
  2. With the noise detection feature, it’s important to be in a place that’s quiet. Turn off your phone’s ringer. I did notice that if someone is a loud typist, that noise can be picked up for all to hear.
  3. As with any meeting, it’s important to have an agenda and start and finish on time.

This is great but I need more help.

Nonprofit Photo Tips

May 1, 2012

I get tired of seeing nonprofits post the same old kind of pictures of clients, volunteers, and board members. You gather up a bunch of people, force them to line up in an orderly fashion, and just as they’re tired of the whole endeavor, you take a picture that’s worthy of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

While I know these shots are necessary for recognition purposes, do they make you want to stop and find out more? After a while, you consider them to be nothing more than visual noise.

As you might guess, this defeats the purpose of the picture!  Now look at the snapshot below:

How to take a good nonprofit group picture, Ken Okel, Social Media Expert

There’s an energy to it that makes you smile. You want to find out more and you have to admit that these volunteers look like a fun group. The personalities came out.

Just a moment before, I covered my bases by taking a traditional shot of the group.  (I’d show it to you but it was so boring that I deleted it.)

Then I told the group that on the count of three I wanted them to say, “hooray.” I also said that it okay if they wanted to gesture as they said it.

The group did a great job of making a memorable photo.  Give your subjects some guidance and then let them have some fun.

Bonus tip: I stood on a chair while taking this picture.  This makes it a lot easier to see the people who are in the back rows.

Every thought about getting some consulting? Ken can help!

Video Contest – Can You Help Me?

April 26, 2012

I want to show you an example of a simple video that I put together for a contest.  It’s with the Asian restaurant, Pei Wei, and the winner will document and report on their head chefs’ trip to Asia. It would be a great chance to travel and tell some stories.

Entries had to be less than 3 minutes, show personality, and talk about your love of food and travel. It’s a challenge but you don’t grow unless you challenge yourself.

My video application is at:

When you have a chance take a look and then hit the thumbs up button if you feel so moved.

I think this trip would be a great experience and I’m looking for all the “social media love” and support I can get.

Take care,