People love to follow a good system. Just look at the hundreds (thousands?) of popular diets and fitness regimes out there.
It’s your approach to solving common problems for your clients. You can make up frameworks yourself, or you can adopt frameworks created by others. (If you use someone else’s, be sure to do your research. Sometimes simply acknowledging the creator is enough; other times you need to pay a licensing fee.)
Sometimes a framework is a step-by-step process, other times it’s more of a checklist. Sometimes they are attached to specific timelines. Frameworks are often expressed visually.
I’ve found frameworks, even very simple, limited ones, to be extremely helpful in working with nonprofits. It gives everyone — you and your clients — a place to start and a way to move forward together. Frameworks can be especially helpful in giving some structure to otherwise hard-to-grasp conceptual work. They can also add some credibility to your work. When they are really good, they can become a core part of your brand.
Because of all of these benefits, you can also use them in your marketing!
Here a few examples of frameworks I have created:
The Six Rs of Message Relevance – This is a simple PDF that many people have told me they’ve printed out and keep next to their computers.
Six Month Mentoring Program for Communications Directors – In each month of the program, we cover one of six core elements of nonprofit marketing that I defined as:
- Your Community
- Your Messages
- Your Style
- Your Plan
- Your Tools
- Your Team
“Start Here, Then Try, Next Steps” — We created this framework to organize a lot of the free advice we offer on our website. You can see it at work on these pages on growing your email list and email newsletters. We also use it to organize the content within the Mentoring Program for Communications Directors.
CALM: Collaborative, Agile, Logical, and Methodical. This is brand-new one that I just released today! I’ll be expanding on this the rest of the week on the Nonprofit Communications Blog and using it in some new coaching programs I’m planning.
Think about how you can create a framework for the consulting or coaching you do with nonprofits. It can make your marketing much easier!