Smartphones are Changing Your Cause Marketing Pitch

I'm not the first to say that smartphones are changing the way we pitch our ideas. They seem to be an ever present part of our business conversations (e.g. explaining, informing, demonstrating, visualizing, reinforcing). They're like portable PowerPoints, which, fortunately, we seem to use better than real PowerPoints presentations. Here's how to use your smartphone to enhance your next cause marketing pitch.

Load it with the right apps. To share examples of past or current cause marketing programs, especially pinups, I use Evernote. I tag each image and store it in a dedicated folder for easy retrieval. For proposals and presentations I use Dropbox. If I want to share something I read or saw online I'll open Read It Later. Want to talk more? I'll send you my business card via bCards Pro.

Are you a good sharer? Regardless of the tool I use to share audio, pictures and video, I always have an easy way to share them with my listener, usually via email or a public URL. Services like Dropbox allow me to manage how long a prospect has access to a link. I love to share, but I want to control when, where and for how long people can view my materials, especially when I'm not there to explain, interpret and sell them.

Remember, you're the ringmaster. Don't let your smartphone become a distraction. Keep the conversation focused on the big show. Hand the phone over when you have something to share and take it back when you're done. Let the phone linger in the listener's hands and you'll soon be talking about your favorite NASCAR driving app. I ask for my phone back "so I can show them something else" whether it's true or not. And, while your smartphone might be like PowerPoint don't let it take over your presentation like some speakers do. You are your best visual aid. Use your smartphone to make your points better, clearer or more interesting.

Know when to break out the big guns. Sometimes a smartphone is not enough tool. That's when I bring my iPad. Since getting mine, I've had mixed feelings on it. I started out liking it. A lot. But, then, not so much. As Chris Brogan pointed out, the iPad is great for consuming, not so great for creating. But when it comes to sharing cause marketing programs on a large screen you can easily pass to everyone in the meeting, the iPad is hard to beat. It does everything your smartphone does, but bigger.

How is your smartphone changing your pitch?

Apps I Use for Cause Marketing

Anyone who knows me knows how important my iPhone is to me, especially now that I have the super-fast 4G! Except for typing posts like this one, which I'm writing on my iPad, I do just about everything on my iPhone. This means I do a lot of my cause marketing business with my iPhone and the apps I download. Earlier I gave you five apps I use for cause marketing.

Here's an update on what apps I have on my home page and how I use them.

Evernote. One of my favorite apps, especially now on the iPad. Evernote has been a great place to store everything from articles on Foursquare to samples of pinups that are invaluable for sharing at client meetings. Between Evernote's folders and tags I can organize and sort things any way I want, and email them to anyone at the click of a button.

Dropbox. Wow. That's all I can say about Dropbox. Not long ago Frank Dickinson asked me on Twitter why I liked it so much. My tweet back: "Think of it as a thumb drive u always have with u, can view contents on any device & can share with any1 w/URL." No more bumming thumb drives off your co-workers because you can sync everything right to Dropbox. And now your not limited to viewing those files on your desktop and laptop. I can view and edit them on my iPhone and iPad too. Try doing that with a thumb drive. I also like the "Public" option on Dropbox. When I ran out of space on Slideshare for the last two recordings of my Six Figure Cause Marketing webinar, I dropped them into the public folder in Dropbox and shared the URL with my students.

Dropbox is also a great place to store cause marketing presentations so I can review them right on my iPhone in a taxi or at the airport. And, as with Evernote, the Dropbox's app for the iPad is awesome.

Remember the Milk. I use this for tasks and project management. It too syncs across all my computers and PDA's. I like RTM because I can put as little or as much information in it as I want. It's very flexible. For a quick reminder, like say call a client at 8am in the morning, I sometimes use NotifyMe2.

Constant Contact. This is my app for tracking the open and click through rates of my email newsletter.

WordPress. On the iPhone, the Wordpress app is a great way to check and reply to comments, or to make a quick edit to a post. On the iPad, I use it to write posts like this one. While not as robust as I would like--you can't add pictures or hyperlinks--I usually write my drapf and then go back in on my desktop or laptop to finish the post.

Analytics Pro. You'll never go to Google Analytics again! At $6.99, Analytics Pro isn't cheap, but it's well worth it as I can check my latest stats right from my phone. I can see traffic and referral sources, top content and landing pages, keywords, everything!

Read It Later. I've just started using Read it Later, but I think I'm going to like it. They have this great feature on the iPhone--yes, I do most of my reading too on my iPhone. Yeah, my iPad has a bigger screen but it's also heavier and a little awkward to hold--that allows you to save links without opening them first. I just click on the hyperlink and it goes right to RIL.

I haven't tried the Digest upgrade to RIL, but I suggest you check it out. You can also get a free invite to test it for a week.

So that's my current list of apps. They allow me to pretty much do everything from my iPhone. What am I missing? I would love to hear what apps you can't bear to be without!

Better Cause Marketing with the iPad

We recently got an Apple iPad as a gift. I knew I would like it because I love my iPhone, and in many ways the iPad is really just a big iPhone. But at first it was a little bit too much like an iPhone--just one I couldn't put in my pocket.

But the more I used it more I liked it. I downloaded apps for the iPad. I also bought the keyboard dock so unlike my iPhone I wouldn't be stuck pecking away one letter at a time on the screen's keyboard.

The keyboard dock dramatically changed my experience with the iPad. I felt liberated!

It wasn't long before I started thinking how I could use the iPad for cause marketing. Here are some of the ways it's already become a helpful tool.

Blogging. The keyboard dock was an absolute must here. While I've read that some bloggers type posts right from the iPad's keyboard, this wasn't for me. Next, I needed a platform on which to type my posts. iPad wouldn't let me type them on the Wordpress web interface as I usually do. Using Apple's Pages or iWorks didn't seem the right solution as my desktop and laptop are both PC's. Ultimately I went with the Wordpress app, which is nothing fancy but it works. I still have to jump on my PC to add photos and links, but all the writing can be done on the iPad.

Meetings. This is where the iPad really shined. It's so easy to share with everyone in a room. We all know how much more difficult this is to do with a laptop, or with an iPhone, which is too small. But the iPad is a perfect size. I made it even easier to use in meetings by adding the Evernote app. I've written glowingly of Evernote as a cause marketing tool before, but the Evernote app for the iPad is impressive. Evernote has been a great way to share everything from cause marketing campaigns to videos to pinups to pictures.

And having an iPad for meetings has a coolness factor that can't be beat! Just make sure you sign up for the 3G service if you plan to go online. Don't be like me and learn the hard way that the company you're at doesn't have Wifi. Because as I learned, well, that's just not cool.

Another iPad app that's helpful in meetings is FastFinga. Instead of typing notes I can just write them with my finger, turning the iPad into a real writing pad. I can even ship these notes off to Evernote. Give Fastfinga a try.

Presentations. I share Chris Brogan's frustrations with the iPad for creating presentations. But the gorgeous Dropbox app for iPad makes viewing and sharing them with others a breeze.

The iPad truly shines in meetings when you want to share examples of cause marketing campaigns or other types of media. But I plan to stick with it for blogging posts like this one. It won't be long before Wordpress improves its app so I can write my posts start to finish (links, pic and all) on the iPad.

How do you think you might use the iPad for your fundraising?

5 Apps I Use for Cause Marketing

I'm frequently asked what apps I use to stay abreast of the latest news on cause marketing, how I add my two cents and find the occasional prospect. My list is actually a lot shorter than you might think.

Tweetdeck. Twitter is my main source of information on just about everything, including cause marketing. Just 18 months ago I read a slew of magazines and three newspapers a day. My inbox was peppered with daily keyword alerts from Google and marketing newsletters. Today, I only use Twitter. And on my desktop to manage the influx of info is Tweetdeck.

When I come across a tweet with a link I want to read later, I no longer save it to Delicious. I just favorite it in Tweetdeck. If I want to save it longer, I ship it off to Evernote.

Tweetdeck is great because Twitter search, Facebook and Linkedin can now all be viewed on one magnificent screen. Having access to Linkedin has been particularly helpful as I can see with whom my fellow cause marketers are connecting (thanks for all the great leads @davecause!). Sometimes they're people to learn from; other times prospects for business. Tweetdeck helps me manage both.

Tweetie. Tweetie is my iPhone app for Twitter. Minus the integration with other social media sites, it keeps me well connected with cause marketing news and with my followers. When I'm just tweeting, I almost prefer it to Tweetdeck.

PicPosterous. PicPosterous is the app I use to export pictures to my Posterous blog. But I use it even more now because Posterous is my default image service on Tweetie. So right from my iPhone I can snap a picture of a cause marketing program and use PicPosterous to instantly post the image on Posterous and instantly ping Twitter, Facebook Delicious, etc. In short, it's been a great way to share cause marketing pictures on-the-go .

Evernote. Check out my post Better Cause marketing with Evernote.

Foursquare. The location-based service is more than just something I use to check-in to Starbucks twice day. It's become a central conversation point for my talks with current and prospective partners on what shape the transactional cause marketing I do will take in the years ahead. I spend a good deal of time explaining to partners the potential of location-based services like Foursquare to cause marketing partnerships.

Tweetdeck, Tweetie, PicPosterous and Evernote keep me on track with my daily cause marketing activities. But Foursquare is my crystal ball. And I see a lot of check-ins with Foursquare in my future.

Better Cause Marketing with Evernote

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I'm always looking for good tools to help make my cause marketing job better and easier, and one of the best additions of late has been Evernote.

What is Evernote?

Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use.

Evernote is one-stop saving for everything. Text, pictures and voice. Best of all, everything is searchable, including text in PDFs and in pictures so it's super easy to find whatever you're searching for.

Here are some of the ways I use it for cause marketing, and how you can too.

Project management. For each cause marketing project you can create an online notebook for everything related to it. Evernote makes this easy by giving you a bookmarklet to clip text directly from web pages. You can also email Evernote and even tweet them! In short, they give you lots of different ways to save the things you see and like.

Organize your snapshots... Evernote is most useful when you add their free app to your iPhone (my device), Blackberry or Pre. I snap photos of cause marketing programs I see around town and save them in Evernote so I can access them from anywhere. I've also uploaded pictures of examples from my cause marketing programs so I can easily share them with clients or prospects in meetings. Of course, all these images can be emailed right from Evernote. Like what you see? Let me email you a copy.

...And add business cards in a snap. Before when someone handed me their card, I took it back t to the office and gave it to @kaylarogers to put in Outlook. It was a pain for her and a low priority. Now, when someone hands me his or her business card, I snap a picture of it with my iPhone and hand the card back to them. The card immediately uploads to Evernote and the text in the picture becomes searchable. While I long for the day when I'll be able to dial and email directly from a picture in Evernote, being able to search and find the card in Evernote is faster than looking through a pile of business cards on Kayla's desk.

Manage your deliveries. Because I run a local cause marketing program, I work mainly with pinups that are sold at multiple stores throughout eastern Massachusetts. Here too, Evernote has proven to be a big help. Here's how:

  • When I drop a supply pinups off at a store I take a picture of the storefront and save it to Evernote. Then I can include a note with all the details of how many pinups I left and anything else I might want to record. I can also tag the picture/note with keywords to make it easy to search.
  • Taking the picture with the "location services" setting ON on my iPhone records where I took the picture so I can map out my drop-offs and--get this--retrieve notes by location. Did I drop pinups off at the iParty store in Avon? I can check my notes by location location.
  • I can't tell you the number of times I've dropped supplies off at a store only to have someone claim later that they never got them. I've solved that by taking a picture of the person who took the delivery (be sure to include their name badge!). That's all you need. Don't remember at what store the person works? Hit the location button on your iPhone and you can tell where the picture was taken.
  • A lot of times when I do drop-offs, managers ask for other things: more pinups, brochures, posters, etc. Use the Voice feature on Evernote to record a quick audio reminder. Again, no need to record what store you're at because Evernote notes the location for you!

All this and Evernote is free! Free on the web and a free app for your iPhone, Blackberry or Pre. There is a premium service, however, which I just signed up for. Its main benefit is that you'll have basically unlimited storage. The cost? A whopping $5 a month or $45 a year.

One last thing about Evernote: I've been using it with JotNot, a third-party app that sells for $4.99 on iTunes. JotNot allows you to trim your pictures in your iPhone so they are easier to read, print and share via Evernote. A bonus for me is that you can choose a notebook and tags for the picture before it's uploaded to Evernote. JotNot delivers a crisper picture and a one-step upload. It's well worth the five bucks.

There are a lot of other uses for Evernote. What are some of yours? I'd love to hear them!