I recently sat down with Matt Niblock, one of the Your Personal Brand Launch graduates to discuss his kick off of a new social media campaign – Fancy Friday. This campaign ditches casual Friday in favor of getting fancy, all for a cause! This campaign also served as a catalyst for Matt seeing tremendous growth in engagement on his social media platforms.
Whitney: What is Fancy Friday?
Matt: It’s a collaboration of a few different things. First, instead of doing a casual Friday, we dress up because those clothes aren’t seeing so much use right now. The other half of the campaign is a partnership with nonprofits to raise money. We get fancy for a cause.
W: You had a lot of success right out of the gate but before we get into that I wanted to talk through what your social media engagement was like before you started this campaign.
M: I had not been a very purposeful user or creator of any social media in the past. There wasn’t a lot of structure to it. Going through the course pushed me to think more deeply about my content buckets. I thought through how I wanted to be more purposeful and make more of an impact while still having fun!
W: Going from using social media for fun to deciding in the course to use it for impact and then creating a campaign is a large jump to make. A campaign is no joke. So what was your “why” behind your campaign?
M: The idea was generated out of me sitting in my house in a t-shirt. I haven’t been as affected personally by this pandemic but I know so many others have been. I’ve heard so many stories about nonprofits struggling to stay afloat because their donations are going down while their need is increasing. It spurred me to think creatively about a way I could jump into help. It took me several weeks and conversations to figure out what I could do and what it would look like. Then I just had to put myself out there and announce the campaign. It could go great or it could fail miserably but no matter what it’s my own version of success. Success to me is trying something, curating it over time and seeing how it goes.
W: I love that version of success. There are so many people who attach unrealistic goals to a campaign when they run it for the first time. What I love about this project is that you’ve set yourself up for long-term success with three things: consistency, enthusiasm, and a clear call to action. Campaigns serve dual purposes, with an internal and external motivation. This campaign has both. The internal motivation (to shower!) and the external (if I shower and snap a photo, I can raise money for a nonprofit). Tell me what you’re doing to promote Fancy Friday.
M: I knew people needed to see that I was putting effort into this campaign so I started creating content. I created posts for a variety of platforms like Instagram and Linkedin. I agreed to interview varying nonprofit leaders on Facebook Live. If people see you putting in effort, they are more likely to do the smaller thing like donating $5 or putting on a tie.
W: This is way bigger and more thought out than I had ever dreamed it would be. I was so impressed at your thoughtfulness because I know how much work that takes to think through all those platforms. What are some of things you decided to improve or change for week two of Fancy Friday?
M: The platforms are different but not different enough that I had to come up with entirely new strategies. I started with Facebook Live because I could stream it through Zoom. With Instagram, I started realizing that it was important to get people involved so I created polls to allow people to choose the tie or watch I would wear on Friday. As people got this small taste of involvement, they were more likely to participate on Friday.
W: Have you found where your people are? Where do you get the most engagement?
M: It’s a mix. I get different engagement on different platforms. I think Facebook is still the best for me because I have so many connections there. I had people reaching out that I didn’t even know who wanted to get involved because they thought it was a great idea.
W: I love that you mentioned people are now reaching out to you because one of the coolest things we can create in this world is opportunity.
M: If you’re going to do something like this, crowdsource your ideas. One of the smartest things I did accidentally was ask what other nonprofits I should partner with in a post. I was able to create a whole list of people who I could reach back out to in order to source contact information for the varying nonprofit organizations. I don’t have time to cold call organizations every week so I rely on my network to connect me with the right people.
W: Relying on your network is crucial. Simply reaching out to someone who commented on that post letting them know you’re interested in helping out their favorite cause creates a meaningful touchpoint. You’ve made that person the hero and they will be that much more likely to help you promote Fancy Friday. Building our personal brand is really just about building connections, impact and goodwill in our worlds. The amount of doors that can open are incredible. What is one of the biggest things you’ve learned so far?
M: The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that I waited far too long to make an impact. I let those voices in my head saying “you can’t do this,” prevent me from starting. Another big thing I’ve learned is that you have to determine your success factor. It’s easy to look at Fancy Friday and think it’s successful only if I raise X amount of dollars. For me, success is about abundance. It’s about getting more people involved and donating to a cause, whatever they’re able to give.
W: Getting attached to numbers can be difficult. The impact isn’t in the number. The connection is the impact. The relationships and touch points you have with real people are where the most impact lies.