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050 – A+ guide to non-profit networking, with Dustin Riechmann

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In today’s episode, we’re glad to have Dustin Riechmann! Dustin is a strategic marketing coach and founder of Simple Success Coaching. He helps mission-driven non-profit leaders increase fundraising, and massively grow their network using a Partnership Marketing System.

Dustin’s passion for ministry work made him switch from his previous job in engineering to marketing consulting, which success also lead him to start a protein snacks e-commerce at the same time. He has been visiting many podcasts as a guest over the years, sharing all the lessons he’s learned, and all the amazing strategies for building strong and long-lasting marketing relationships.

We brought him on the show to talk about business connections, leveraging your current network, getting the best out of your interactions, and much more.


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Episode Transcription

David Pisarek: Welcome to the Non-profit Digital Success podcast. I’m your host David, and in this episode, I’ve got Dustin Riechmann with me, and we’re going to be talking about fundraising.

Dustin is a strategic marketing coach and founder of Simple Success Coaching. He helps mission-driven non-profit leaders, increases fundraising, and massively grows their network using a partnership marketing system. Thanks for joining, Dustin.

Dustin Riechmann: Absolutely, David. It’s my pleasure.

David Pisarek: Thanks. I’m curious, what’s your story? How did you end up doing this type of work?

Dustin Riechmann: Yeah, for sure. My background’s actually in engineering. I did engineering consulting for many years, taught at university, and I have two degrees in it, so it’s pretty deep in that world. Basically got burnt out, you know, you get good at something, and you get elevated into management, and I was managing 20 people and was just like “this isn’t really what I enjoy doing at this time of my life” and I made a big leap, almost five years ago now.

During my time in engineering though, I had a lot of things going on the side, and it kind of gets into some of my mission and some of the things that I’ve done over the years. For those on video, they can see a brand right behind my head called Engaged Marriage, which was my very first online business in 2009, it grew out of the marriage ministry work my wife and I were doing.

We were doing work through our church, and we got really involved in that, mostly in person, like in the dark dungeons of church basements and those sorts of things. We were going to retreats, and we were speaking, and developed a passion for that, brought it online back in the “heyday” of blogging and online written content and wrote a book, did speaking. That’s really what brought me online, I got deeper into digital marketing as a result. Started picking up marketing clients, mostly for profit, but some not-for-profit at that time.

Basically, my jump out of engineering was into marketing consulting and since then I’ve got a couple of different businesses, all for profit on my side. I have an e-commerce business from a partnership I developed through those marketing consulting jobs with a brand called FireCreek Snacks, it’s an online e-commerce, crafting protein snacks.

Then, really, in marketing that, and a lot of the work I’ve been doing with clients, I developed this coaching business, Simple Success Coaching that you mentioned. I have clients there that are both profit and not-for-profit, and I find that really works well because there are a lot of lessons I’ve learned in the for-profit world that really help with not-for-profit and vice versa.

That’s kind of “in a nutshell” how I went from engineering to marriage ministry, to meat sticks to business coaching and helping people with strategy.

David Pisarek: It’s really interesting, very few people have an A to B when they’re dealing with working in non-profits. That’s an awesome story, a tasty story. You’ve got the snack thing in there and also, that’s awesome. And you mentioned a partnership marketing system, so what is that? How does it work?

Dustin Riechmann: Yeah, partnership marketing is kind of the umbrella term that I use.

The simplest way to think about it is to get your non-profit, your brand, your business, and your personal story, in front of your target audience on other people’s platforms.

Podcast guesting, what we’re doing right now, is a perfect example of this. There are many other examples that we can talk about, on a national versus a local basis this can vary, but certainly, for something that has more of a national reach, podcast guesting is a great example.

When I think of partnership marketing, when I think of it as a win-win-win relationship, me as the guest, if I’m on a board of a non-profit, and I’m wanting to talk about our mission and solicit fundraising funds, a great thing for me to do is to go get out in front of the people who care about that and share our story, teach about what we do, et cetera.

For me, the win would be exposure to my target audience. For you, David, in this case, you’re the host, you have this audience of people who listen and trust you, for you, the win would be obviously getting good content, getting a fresh perspective, and a great relationship. Maybe that leads to referrals and things like that in the future.

You have a vested interest as the audience owner, and of course, your audience should also get value because they should be learning, they should be inspired, et cetera. That’s that win-win-win. And again, it can apply in lots of different ways, but podcast guesting is often the default case study I walk people through because it’s easy for people to understand, and I’m often talking about it on a podcast, so it’s kinda an obvious thing for people listening.

David Pisarek: That’s awesome. It’s important for non-profits to create relationships in their own network with other similar organizations, or organizations that are doing something different that are in their, maybe, local kind of catchment area or regional district, so that they can work together and create better and bigger and stronger bonds in the communities.

Dustin Riechmann: Yeah, for sure. And again, for me, actually the primary way that this developed for me as an actual system, was with my Fire Creek brand, which again is “I’m selling meat sticks”, right? The reason it works in that brand and for non-profits is the story behind that brand, it’s very mission-driven.

We give money to charity, and It was developed because my business partner’s child developed a severe food allergy, and it really changed the way their family had to live. I have kids with gluten intolerances as well, we’ve had to change the way that we choose food and eat. So because there’s a reason behind it, there’s a mission behind it, it works as a relational thing. If I was selling generic widgets and I didn’t really care about them, I was just selling widgets, getting on a podcast as an example, or these other partnerships, wouldn’t be effective.

I think for anyone listening who either serves non-profits or they are on a non-profit… My wife’s on a non-profit board, and I’ve seen her, she doesn’t like to do public speaking, but she’s so driven by the mission she can’t help but educate people about what they do and o course that generates fundraising opportunities and other relationships. So, yes, you use the word relationship. There’s the win-win-win, then the other part of this, that I think is a huge qualifier, is: it needs to be relationship-driven and mission-driven.

David Pisarek: Absolutely, and it comes through in people’s passion. People don’t work in non-profits because it pays really, really well, they’re there because they’re passionate about something. There’s been something that affected either somebody they know or themselves, or somebody in their family, and there’s a reason that they’re doing the work that they’re doing in the organization that they’re working at.

It’s really important for mission-driven leaders to really understand that they’re not the only ones that are passionate about it. The people that are working with them, the volunteers, the people that are donating to their causes, they’re also passionate.

Dustin Riechmann: Absolutely. I’m sure we get into other stories. A story came to mind as you were describing that. I think what’s unique on the non-profit side is a lot of times they have assets, or they have influence that they don’t really appreciate, they don’t realize how much influence they have or how much influence their board members have in the local community, things like that.

This was a fairly recent thing in our community. I live in Southern Illinois outside of St. Louis in a kind of bedroom community. We have a local organization grassroots, it’s called Neighbors in Need, and it basically helps people when they’re down and out, or if there’s a fire, or if someone loses their job. It’s a very local grassroots organization.

What I’ve noticed about them, and I was at their gala, is the people who get involved, a lot of that is heart-centered of course, people care, and I mean that’s why we’re involved. I also noticed they get a lot of really interesting help that would usually cost a lot of money, like promoting their gala.

All the marketing was done for free for a sponsorship, and I started thinking of that. I was actually, “I know the person who did it” and again, don’t want this to sound like it’s driven by greed intention, it’s all well-intentioned, but what the organization I don’t think they even recognize is the reason these people want to help so much, is to help the mission, but also because of the influence, this organization has. Its board members are lawyers, professional service firm leaders, restaurant owners, musicians, all people who happens to be really good for profit, and clients for the sponsors that are doing this marketing for free.

In other words, if I’m a marketer, I see that is a really great opportunity for me and that’s partnership marketing. It’s a win-win-win. It’s a win for the organization to get free marketing for their gala, so they go make more money, but it’s also a win for that marketing agency that maybe doesn’t necessarily specialize in non-profit work, but they see a pool of clients there on that board who they just want to have a warm relationship.

What I’m trying to say is, non-profit leaders, executive directors, and board members, think about the influence you have and what value you provide out into that business world in your community because there are probably a lot of things you could leverage that you’re not really taking credit for that you guys have in your ranks.

David Pisarek: Absolutely. I love that you keep talking about this business side of things and the non-profit side of things. I’ve said it a few times on other podcasts, either whether I was a guest or on Non-profit Digital Success,

Organizations need to run themselves as if they were a business.

You need donations, you need that influx of cash, you need the sale, so to speak. You need to also provide the services and the amazing work that you do, whether it’s meals or shelter or clothing or research for cancer or whatever it happens to be. So how can a mission-driven leader work on bringing in a constant flow of, what we call, “leads” in the business world without paid ads?

Dustin Riechmann: That can be partnership marketing. Think about your organization and think about your reach and your scale, first. If you’re a national, international type of organization, then you should absolutely be looking at things like podcasts to get out and tell your story. Be very strategic about that and make it an actual system.

A lot of the people I work with (because partnership marketing’s kind of become my thing and that’s why I help people with it), they’ll say, “yeah, someone invited me on a podcast, it was fun and I really enjoyed being able to share our story” but what’s the measurable impact? Or they’ll say, “I’ve been on a hundred podcasts and I got nothing to show for it”. It’s because they’re not operating in a system.

I think the first and foremost thing is: if you think this idea of partnership marketing podcast guesting, this relational way of marketing your non-profit is appealing, well, then work with your board, work with your marketer, or hire a consultant or a coach to make it into an actual system where you’re doing it very consistently that you’re doing it in a targeted way, you’re doing it in a way that if you’re like the executive director, you’re not doing all the leg work.

You could have a volunteer or a paid staff member who’s more of an assistant level, even a virtual assistant level can run the system part of this, the research for finding the shows, the pitching of the shows, the prepping for the shows, the follow-up that happens. All of that can be systematized and handed off to someone else. And then you can really just get up or show up and tell your story, tell about what you’re passionate about.

Then there are some backend systems too, that maybe we can go into that next if you’d like to decide. Still, there’s the initial one-to-many relationship of being on a show, then there’s a lot that can happen after that if you leverage that appropriately.

David Pisarek: Absolutely. You can take one episode, and cut it into 50 different snippets that you push out once a week to your social media channels. You don’t need to create new content week after week. You could take what you’ve already produced and chunk it up and do things that way.

Dustin Riechmann: Absolutely. The other thing I would say is:

With every opportunity, you have to do a partnership,

and I’ll keep saying podcast, but to open up people’s minds, think of lunch and learns, think of collaborations with other organizations where maybe you host events, or you do some education, think of even local PR, any of these things. There are three levels of effectiveness, and I’ll use podcasts again as an easy example.

Level one is what everyone thinks of, It’s the one-to-many. If I get on, and I’m an expert, or I have a story to tell, or I’m the executive director of my NPO, I am talking to the ether, I’m talking to the audience there and that’s awesome. That’s a huge benefit, it’s a long tail, and it kind of lives forever. People continue to find it for years to come.

Obviously, depending on the size of the audience you could have a really good immediate influx of fundraising, volunteer applications, et cetera. That’s good. That’s level one, though.

Level two, what I discovered as I started to do this very consistently, was my network really started to grow, as a lot of peer-to-peer relationships. Every time you’re on a show, you develop a relationship with that host. These are typically, in a podcast example, 30 to 45-minute interviews. It’s a very long-form educational, there’s an intimacy that develops.

Just being in someone’s earbuds for 30, 45 minutes, you really get to trust them and know them and understand their voice and their heart, and that attracts other peers. You’ll find, “hey, we want to work with you” or “hey, I’m really interested in this”. The peer-to-peer, not just the one-to-many.

And in level three, where I think this gets a little more ninja-like, is leveraging the guest list of, say, a podcast. If you’re on a show that’s really speaking to your target audience, there’s a very good chance that past guests would be great people for you to know. They could be potential board members, they could be potential major fundraisers, and they could be other NPOs that would be good collaboration partners. You’re speaking to a similar audience, and that goes back to all the past guests.

And the really cool thing is it goes forward too: all the future guests. So think about that and what you can do systematically, with the help of an assistant, reach out to those people, and develop a relationship with them.

And you have a very warm reason to do so. You’ve got instant credibility because like, “hey, I was just on the same show, we should talk”. Like “I can see publicly what they talked about because there are show notes”. It becomes a very efficient way to find high-level relationships.

In the for-profit world, we might call those like high ticket sales. If I’m a marketer and I work with e-commerce companies and I go speak on a podcast that’s got a bunch of e-commerce company brand owners who have spoken on it, it’s a really warm list for me to reach out to introduce myself and describe what I can do for them. The same thing’s true in a non-profit. It’s a different intention, but the same opportunity in that guest list. That’s my ninja strategy for the audience takeaway today.

David Pisarek: I think that’s really insightful. You don’t need to go out there and try to find people who have an interest in your organization already. You can go out and do some of this, I would call, warm cold outreach where you do have some kind of rapport already with the person to connect with them and have some initial conversations with them.

Maybe if you were to look back at the history of guests that we’ve had on this podcast, you can have a project with one of them and have some kind of strategic partnership with them where you can bring strategy in with somebody who does influencer marketing, let’s say. I think there’s a lot of opportunity there for sure.

Dustin Riechmann: Yeah. Yours happens to be a marketing-oriented show. For sure if like to serve non-profits, I’ve got non-profit clients, maybe I go look in your guest list and there’s someone who’s a really, really good SEO search engine optimization, that’s not what I do, and they probably have clients who could use partnership marketing as a compliment to what they do. And I probably have clients that need SEO work, then we can become referral partners. That’s a really easy direct example of this, but think of it, and if you’re a non-profit, you can throw me an example if you want, but I’m thinking, say someone shares like a religious orientation and that’s a big part of the mission behind their non-profit. They’re all Christian, for example.

I may have a Christian-based organization that does X, Y, Z but there are these other guests on this podcast that they’re all Christian organizations that are doing D, E, F and X, Y, X and A, B, C. They do different things but don’t you think there would be some opportunities to collaborate on some cross-pollination of fundraisers, or volunteers, or skill sets or, “Hey, we work with this marketing agency, they’ve been really awesome to us”, or “we have this bank that we work with” or “this consultant that we work with”?

Because you have a common interest just by virtue that you’re on the same show. I think people miss that a lot. They think, again, “I show up, I tell my story, and maybe I’ll get a couple of people that hit the website and hit give me a PayPal donation” and, very well, make it worthwhile. But by thinking more strategically and creatively about the opportunities you’re opening up, I think you can get a lot more out of each of these partnerships.

David Pisarek: A hundred percent. Just moving along a little bit before the show, you mentioned this incredible story of leveraging a LinkedIn message and turning that into a $550,000 purchase from your snack business. What are some lessons learned that could be maybe applied in the NPO world?

Dustin Riechmann: Yeah, absolutely. Again, it’s a very for-profit example, but the exact same thing happens for non-for-profits.

I’ll tell the story, but when people are hearing this, think about it in the context of planting seeds. It’s this planting and reaping thing, like that level two that I was talking about earlier. You tell your story, but you don’t really know exactly where these seeds that you’re planting by telling your story in different places, where those might reap benefits later. But in my case, this was right during the start of covid, our snack business had kind of changed dramatically overnight because we were focused on brick-and-mortar retail sales, and they weren’t happening. I was like, “you know what? We need new ways”, we didn’t want to be dependent on Facebook ads and some of the things, again, that non-profits also deal with in trying to get their message out and find fundraising. Just so think of me, this is a fundraising exercise versus selling my snacks.

I reached out on LinkedIn to someone who was basically lamenting the fact that their whole business model had turned upside down overnight because they sold snacks to corporations, and they were selling them to their break room and now there was no one working in the office, now they had to sell them to individual homes, it was this massive undertaking. I was just empathetic and I said, “Hey, I’d love to send you some of our snacks, I know you’re into snacks”, really no strings attached at all.

He wrote back in like two weeks after he accepted the offer and said, “These were fantastic!”, “This is one of the best teriyaki sticks I’ve ever had!”. Cool! So he let us do a small donation into their subscription box network, and we got really good feedback, and then I leveraged that and said, “Hey, you guys have a podcast. I’d love to be on that podcast and share our story. We’re very mission-driven and I know that you guys care about that”.

So that’s what we did, it was late 2020 or early 2021. I planted that seed, and I had no idea whatsoever. I was like “this was cool” and we had some brands that we collaborated with as a result. It was well worth the effort.

Then January 2022, I get this email from this woman I never heard of and from a company I never heard of, because we were originally working with a company called Snack Nation, and they were rebranded to KA just because they are doing more than snacks. Anyway, I get this email from her, and she says, “Hey, I was looking at old customer reviews”, “I was listening to podcast episodes from our company’s podcast, from my category” because she was the new buyer in this category, and she said she wanted to have a call. And in that call, as you alluded to, she said, “Your snacks are awesome”, “your story is super inspiring”, “I want to”, basically, “purchase for the rest of 2022” and we got a purchase order for $550,000 snack sticks.

Again, it’s not about the snack stick sales, the lesson I want to impart is: I was just trying to lead with value, I was trying to be of service, I was trying to give a win, and it did leverage to a podcast to give more value and got deeper with a relationship with this company. It turned out 18 months later, seemingly out of nowhere, to be our biggest purchase order in the history of our company, and it was all from that work that we had done in service two years prior. I hope people can kind of be inspired by that. Often these results aren’t instant, but if you plant enough seeds, sometimes you get some really kind of outsized returns.

David Pisarek: One of the things that they say in the marketing world is: you need to have seven or eight interactions with people for them to know and trust you, and if you’re out there, and you’re marketing, and you’re on podcasts, and you’re talking here, and you’re talking there, you get to be seen as an expert in what you do and people will eventually reach out to you. In that amazing example, it was a year and a half wait and came out of nowhere.

It’s really important to have a story.

I talk about this so often, probably every other episode: You need to have your story understood and portray it to your audience through the imagery, through video, through the way you talk about your organization and really make it yours, and make it something very unique to your organization that somebody can create some kind of emotional connection with. That’s going to help you stay top of mind with people.

Dustin Riechmann: A Hundred percent. When I coach people through partnerships and podcast guesting, we have their stories. Everyone should be able to nail their introduction because that’s what hooks people in and says, “Oh, I can relate to this person” and then I usually (I’m not really practicing what I preach today, this is more of an educational format), I typically will make sure they have these emotional stories. They’re true stories. Basically talking about things, and why they do what they do.

With non-profits, it’s usually pretty easy to extract, but what are some of these key moments in their life, or personal connections they have to this cause? And make sure you actually say it, though. Sometimes you’ll go through a whole interview, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I never even talked about why I work here or why we do what we do”.

Those individual emotional stories are everything. I think if people are listening to this show, hopefully, they remember laughing about the ninja thing, and they’re probably going to remember this $550,000 thing because those are little remarkable tidbits or emotional things that six months later you won’t remember my name, but you’ll probably remember David interviewed some guy who talked about podcasts. There were these little emotional tie-ins, that’s really what resonates and sticks with people. I really appreciate you saying that. It’s easy to forget, but you have to train yourself to make sure you’re hitting those certain key points when you get an opportunity to either present or tell your story.

David Pisarek: Absolutely, Dustin, for sure. That story is super incredible. How can people create this win-win, or “win-win-win” partnership with somebody that they might not have any kind of connection with? Maybe a stranger?

Dustin Riechmann: First, you can almost always find a way to make them not a total stranger, find a commonality. Where this comes up a lot is in the initial, I’ll say pitch, which sounds very for-profit, but the initial connection, for example, let’s say I’m a non-profit executive director. I’m in my fundraising season and I really want to go talk to, I’m any example. Give me an example. David, you work with a lot of non-profits, some kind of industry, or something, and we’ll run with it.

David Pisarek: You are the executive director, and you want to talk with somebody who is the head of healthcare marketing for pharmaceuticals.

Dustin Riechmann: Okay, healthcare marketing, those are my targets. Let’s just use this podcast guest thing to keep running that one.

Let’s say I find a show that has interviewed some healthcare marketers, some healthcare marketing executives, and I’m like, “Man, this woman Jill, I listen to her story. I know she would really resonate with me, but she doesn’t know me at all.” How do you develop a relationship with someone who’s a total stranger?

Well, we have the benefit today of social media, we have Google, and we have LinkedIn. There’s likely some commonality you can find with her. It could obviously be you’re in the same industry, and you have a similar mission. In this case, it would be as easy as to say, “Jill, I listened to your episode, and these three things really resonated with me, and I took the first one already, I took it back to my organization. We’re implementing it. You’ve been so helpful to me”.

The way that this usually comes out for me, I call it a perfect pitch email template. Again, think of it in any of these contexts, how do you start a conversation and develop a relationship with a stranger?

Well, the first thing you have to do, and I do this in email format, is what we call “relational anchors”, which is: what are some commonalities? What’s some way I can show you that I’m not just some weirdo stranger from the internet who’s trying to reach out and stalk you? That I actually have an understanding of who you are. You offered me value, and I’m flattering you (you want to start with flattery).

If I was pitching David’s first podcast, I would make sure I’m familiar with this podcast. I’d make sure to reference a previous episode that I got legitimate value from, that I learned something specific from. I’d tell him what I learned, and I would say, “You’re a really good interviewer”, “I love the mission behind what you do”. You’re going to open that email, you’re going to read it, and you’re going to start to trust me, and then I’m going to offer you value.

In the healthcare example, “hey, you really helped me by imparting your wisdom through this podcast episode I found you on”. What’s my ask? I’m not leading with the win for me, I want to lead with the win for her in this example. So, “hey, when you were talking, I noticed you mentioned this about your child” or whatever, “I want to let you know that I’ve had a similar experience and I found this resource to be super helpful.” And then, “I hope we can connect soon”.

Don’t ask for anything in that first contact. You establish rapport, you establish some relational anchors, you lead with a win, and then you have a call to action of some sort like “please let me know if you’d be interested in hopping on a call”, “let me know if you’d be interested in learning more about my story and how it could benefit your audience and your example”.

This is just like a nuanced warm-up, but you can use some publicly available information to make it. That’s the art and the science behind it. You don’t want to get too specific, or it might seem creepy, but you want to at least show that you’ve shown, you want to show an interest in them and the fact that you do value what they’ve been able to share in their industry.

David Pisarek: A hundred percent. I cannot tell you how many messages I get a week on LinkedIn saying, “Hey, I see you’re in the marketing for non-profits. I have this product I want to sell you”.

Dustin Riechmann: It’s “Let’s book a call this week” and I’m like, “who are you?”

David Pisarek: Block. That’s what happens.

Dustin Riechmann: If they reached out and they said, “David, I also serve non-profits. I really liked X, Y, Z episode of your podcast. Look forward to connecting here”. You’re going to be like, “Cool, thanks for the compliment”.

Maybe, they come back and give you some win. They say, “I noticed on your about page there’s a typo”. You know, like, “I was just looking at your website, and I wanted to let you know about this”. “Oh wow, okay”, they offered you some small value. If they say, “Yeah, I have this white paper” or, “I’d love to talk for 15 minutes, I have an idea that might help your company” you’re going to be a lot more open to it, but people don’t do that.

I get pitched 10 times a day also between email and LinkedIn because I have a couple of different businesses, so I have lots of job titles that people are targeting, and they hit me with these cold pitches that are just horrible. I never accept any of them, and I’m always wondering, “Who is accepting this stuff?”

David Pisarek: Something has to stick at some point, otherwise people wouldn’t do it, and it just feels so impersonal, it’s like “I’m just another number”. When I do this outreach, is what you’re saying, “I want to have some kind of connection with the person”.

We are a for-profit agency, and we service non-profits, but I want to have a connection with somebody, I want to be able to feel the vibe with somebody and get to know them and whatnot. And I want somebody to reciprocate.

If you are listening to this episode, and you want to market to me in some way, build a connection with me first. Let’s have some kind of conversation before you’re like, “Hey, I want to sell you this”. It’s not going to work.

Everybody, I can see through it because I try to avoid that type of thing. It’s important. I think your visceral reaction to something really tells a lot.

Dustin Riechmann: Yep. It comes naturally to everyone and that’s why we help people with it because it happens to me.

One of the gifts I’ve been given is this ability to connect and, even in an initially cold way, to do it in a more warm way. It takes work, and it takes effort, which is why no one else wants to do it, but it’s well worth it. I mean, it makes all the difference in the world, and it really gets a relationship off on the right foot as well.

David Pisarek: Do you have any tidbits or tactics that people can use to grow their network fast? What results have you seen? Obviously, you’ve seen some really great results, but what are some of the results you’ve seen in non-profits from building relationships online?

Dustin Riechmann: It’s kind of the summary of everything we’ve talked about.

Building relationships in some ways comes first, and also if you have marketing outcomes, and you’re looking to get, say, fundraising targets, several people who have heard your message et cetera, (and I’m going to say this slow), when you do that right, then really good, valuable long-term relationships should result.

If you’re treating your partnership marketing or your outreach efforts as a transaction, like “I got five podcasts I’m going to get on this week, gotta get done with those”, you’re going to get like 10% of the value because you’re not going to follow up, you’re not going to do the things we talked about earlier. Seeing “Where else I can leverage the impact I’ve had with this show?”. “What should the host and I talk about as a follow-up?”. “I should be leaving an iTunes review for this person”. “I should follow up with them in a month and see how I can help promote the show”. All these nuanced things actually don’t take nearly as much time as the pitching and the showing up and doing all the work.

You’ve done all the work, how can you get some really good relationships in your network as a result?

What I’ve found is, when you do that consistently. Do it the right way, and then you do it consistently.

For my businesses, typically my target is one part quote-unquote partnership, which might be a subscription box placement for my Fire Creek brand. It might be a LinkedIn connection and conversation, it might be a podcast appearance. Some partnership once a week creates so much momentum. You think, “Man, it’s only once a week”, but that’s $50 a year. Once you start developing like that, that develops an actual network.

To me, a network is not all the-one-to-one-to-one. I develop all these relationships, and the one-to-one start to become multiplicand, or they compound on each other.

Because once I know David, if David’s talking to someone that wants a podcast guest or services around partnership marketing, hopefully, he’ll think, “Well Dustin is really good at getting on a podcast and coaching people on how to do it well and leveraging it”, I’m going to be top of mind, now I become a referral source and vice versa. Now David has me in his network, so when I think of non-profit agencies that do the website work and the things that David does, now he’s in my network.

I think people think of networking sometimes as going to events and sharing business cards and that’s fine, but we have these online tools to do not only the “one-to-many”. Again, do it smart to develop really important peer-to-peer relationships.

David Pisarek: A hundred percent. And I think that’s really key to not just growing your non-profit, but growing any kind of business. You need to create relationships, you need to be out there. It’s not necessarily for everybody. Not everybody is comfortable being out there. And I feel that it’s important for people to be pushed a little bit outside their comfort zone. That’s how we grow as people. That’s how we build our new skill sets and get comfortable with things. I was super hesitant before I started this podcast, not this episode, but you know, a year and a half ago, and it turned out pretty well. Well, I think it has, but I’m a little biased.

If you had three quick wins or two quick wins that a non-profit can do to leverage LinkedIn, let’s say, what would you say those quick wins could be?

Dustin Riechmann: One of the cool things about LinkedIn is the filtering aspect. If you use all their filters, at the top, you do a search. Depending on who you’re wanting to reach, you can do it very regionally. You can do it by job title, it can do it by company size, et cetera. That’s one of the main things about LinkedIn, I think, that makes it so powerful. It is filtering down to the smallest degree.

Find someone in your community. Even if you’re a national charity, find someone in your county or your city. Maybe find 10 people on there. Do what we talked about earlier, don’t just send them a cold pitch email like “I’m with some organization”, or “I want something from you”. In that case, you’ve instantly got a relationship anchor because you can say, “Hey, I see we’re both in Edwardsville, and we’re both in this space”, whatever your non-profit’s about. That could be a quick win today.

If someone’s listening, for your non-profit in your community, or if you’re in a very rural community, maybe in your county, look on LinkedIn, use those search capabilities, and find someone who is in your field, or in a field that you’d like to be connected with, but you have that same local connection. I think that would be an easy, quick win. You send them a connection request with a simple message and make sure that you mention that “relationship anchor”, that’s what I call it. That commonality, that thing that you noticed that got you on, got them on your radar and connect, your connection may always remain on LinkedIn.

After you have a few interactions, you may want to meet for lunch or get an actual in-person relationship in that case. When I think of LinkedIn, that is the power of it.

The other thing I use LinkedIn for a lot is, as an automated way to do what I talked about earlier, which is, to leverage the guest list. That kind of level-three relationship that’s more of a high-level tactic.

If you’re an honest partnership, if you’re on a podcast, and you go back, and you look, and you say, “Hey, out of the last 20 guests, there’s five who I really want to know”. Well, they’re probably on LinkedIn. So go over to LinkedIn, request the connection with them, and put the warm reason, “Hey, I noticed you were on David’s podcast, I just was on there myself. I see that you serve non-profits, so do I . We’d love to connect with you”. Then, when they connect, offer them a win. Do something you can do for them. Some introduction you can make for them.

If you’ve been on five podcasts, and they haven’t really been on any, give them your tips for how you got on those shows or make an introduction to a host that you think they would be a good guest on. Lead with a win and then the law of reciprocity will take over, and they’re going to like, “How can I help you?”. Like, “You’ve been really helpful to me”.

So anyway, I talk forever about this obviously, but when I think of LinkedIn, I think of the filtering and I think of the fact that almost anyone in the business non-profit space has a LinkedIn, and it tells you a lot about them and their history. It’s really easy to find some commonality, some reason to connect that makes you not a weirdo from the internet. It gives you a legitimate reason to reach out.

David Pisarek: Okay, so you heard it here right from Dustin, don’t be an internet weirdo.

Dustin Riechmann: Absolutely, that’s your number one takeaway from today’s show.

David Pisarek: Dustin, these have been some amazing insights, and I hope that the people listening has been able to get some great advice and pointers from you today.

I want to challenge everybody listening to this episode to go on LinkedIn and connect with two people using the techniques that Dustin mentioned. And remember, follow his formula with it and come back, go to nonprofitdigitalsuccess.com, find this episode, leave a comment, and let us know how that worked for you.

And super excited to hear your story. Dustin, if somebody wanted to get in touch with you, what do they need to do?

Dustin Riechmann: Well, they can find me on LinkedIn. I have a very unique last name that you did a beautiful job pronouncing. It’s Dustin Riechmann. If someone goes on LinkedIn, absolutely connect with me. Let me know if you heard me on this show and I will know you’re not a weirdo from the internet, and we can be connected there.

The simplest thing for anyone to remember going away is simplesuccesscoaching.com. That’s my coaching business, where I help people with strategy. I help people with non-profit fundraising, but as we talked about a lot today, my number one thing is partnership marketing. And specifically, I help people do well on podcasts. I’d love to strategize around that.

I do a free strategy session for people who hear me on podcasts. So you can go to my website, it’s a big orange button, you just click that, and we’ll hop on a call if you’re like, “This is really cool, and I want to dig in a little deeper”.

And I do have a partnership marketing blueprint for free, that’s simplesuccesscoaching.com/partner, and you can download that. It’s actually a video series that will walk you through kind of my framework for how I approach these things. Hopefully, that’ll be helpful to your audience.

David Pisarek: Yeah, and that framework it’s a four-step framework. It’s not like 35 steps of researching and figuring stuff out. Dustin really kind of simplifies it down and makes it easy for you to implement in your personal life, and your business life, and allows you to get to where you want to be.

Thanks again so much for joining in, Dustin. It’s been great having you on the Non-profit Digital Success podcast. To everybody listening, if you want any of the links or the resources that Dustin mentioned, just head over to their page, nonprofitdigitalsuccess.com, click on this episode for all the details, and until next time, keep on being successful.

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