Friday, April 25, 2014

Getting People to Buy In

I've been involved with a few efforts to get people involved in... let's just call it "stuff." Some were with work, and some with church. There's no one-size-fits-all solution to getting people involved or to buy in to a cause, but if you're looking to garner interest and rally the troops, consider some of these ideas:

- Run a contest. We're a competitive species. Take advantage by publishing a quiz about your topic.

- Offer prizes. These can be for participation or for winning one of your contests. A prize doesn't have to be big and expensive. Sometimes a $5 gift card or a batch of homemade cookies will do the trick.

- Get feedback. People love to give their opinions, and the things they have to say may surprise you and will definitely help you to better understand them. Having the respect to really listen and to change your position on a subject if needed based on their input goes a long way. Try conversations and surveys.

- Be open and accountable. This is about mutual respect. You want people to buy in to your cause? Show them the cause is trustworthy, well-thought through, and straight-forward.

- Find data that speaks to them. Don't do all the talking yourself; let facts from outside your own experience show that there is a need or a problem. Watch to see how people react to the data you share with them. Did that colored chart really generate a lot of thoughtful questions? Or did it just lead to a lot of confusion? Tailor your data and how you present it accordingly.

- Give updates. This will keep your cause fresh in their minds over a longer period of time. If you run a contest, that means you get to talk about your cause when you introduce the contest, maybe a reminder while it runs, and then you get to talk about it again when you announce the winner. If something significant happens, make sure you let people know. If they supported the cause in the first place, they'll be excited with you and encouraged to continue the work.

What causes are you involved in? How did you end up with those particular causes? Can you apply that to recruiting help for your project?

Your Sister

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