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!