I made a post some time recently about using Etsy to reduce graphic design costs. It's a great option for some shops but after writing that post, a friend and colleague pointed me to Canva.com. It is by-far the best tools for amateurs to produce quality graphic design that I've seen. In just a few weeks, it has become indispensable to me, both personally and professionally.
For example, we are using Canva at the school I currently work for to produce graphics for a social media campaign around a challenge grant. We update the numbers regularly. This would be something we might have to pay a graphic designers for each image but we do all of this in-house now. Not only are we saving money but we can produce top-quality images fast and have the ability to produce more in quantity and variety than ever before. (And Canva isn't just for digital images. You can download print-quality images and send those to the print shop.)
I also use Canva to produce images for my blog and the cover of my e-book. It's been fun learning this tool and everything it can do. Best of all, Canva is largely free to use. There are some valuable features available via their paid product: Canva for Work. If you want to share images and work on them with colleagues or save your brand fonts and colors, Canva for Work is only $19 or so per month.
Canva makes money by selling the images on their site for $1 each. I've used a few but not many. I find it equally easy to snap pictures of things that would make interesting backgrounds on my phone and then use those. I don't make any money in recommending Canva. I just felt that as a follow-up to my previous article, I should alert my readership to this amazing resource that makes our work so much easier.
PS - Canva has a great app that makes it seamless to move images on and off your phone. So, if you use instagram quite a bit for fundraising, this a big advantage.
Today my first e-book is available for purchase: How to Staff Your Phonathon Super-Fast: Seven Secrets to Fill the Seats. The information in this book has the power to revolutionize your call center operation by starting at the beginning. Staffing.
I will show you how to:
You can’t afford to spend another year spinning your wheels with staffing. Break the cycle of caller turnover for good and begin loving your job now!
In this book, you get all the secrets: Everything you need to staff YOUR phonathon FAST.
And here’s the bonus: These techniques not only get you the most callers possible with the least amount of time invested. This method will also give you the very best callers and insulate you from caller turnover both in the short term and in the long run.
If you want to be a rock star phonathon manager, have amazing fun at work, and ultimately grow your career in philanthropy, this book will put you on that path. There’s no doubt about that.
You’ll have great students to train, you’ll quickly get busy raising tons of money for your institution, and your success in crushing your goals will be rewarded with accolades and future job opportunities.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get busy creating your staffing plan. Purchase your copy of How to Staff Your Phonathon Super-Fast: Seven Secrets to Fill the Seats today.
What follows is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book How to Staff Your Phonathon Super-Fast: The 7 Secrets to Fill the Seats. Subscribe today for a chance to win a copy of this guide to help phonathon managers get off the hamster wheel of caller turnover and begin raising serious money and loving their jobs.
Make your job "The Best Job On Campus"
When a student on your campus tells other students that they work at the call center, what images are conjured in the minds of those other students? Does an image of a telemarketer pop up? Do they liken it to mind-numb drudgery like a drive-thru worker? Are they confused, not understanding exactly what they do at the call center? None of these images bode well for your future recruitment prospects.
What image would you like there to be of your call center on campus? You have an opportunity to create it starting today. The brand I wanted to create at the University of South Carolina was simple. I wanted it to be seen as “The Best Job on Campus”. Nothing less in my mind was enough. To be considered anything less than that made my job ridiculously and unnecessarily difficult. I truly believed, having been a student caller myself, that this was the best opportunity on campus for student employment.
What did it mean to be the best job on campus and practically speaking, how did I market that concept?
Define for yourself what it is about your call center that makes it the best. Here’s some things to consider:
Bonuses and Prizes
Free Food (Sometimes)
Communicating your brand (in words)
The most important way your brand is communication is word of mouth within the student population. Make your call center as awesome as you say it is and you’ll garner the goodwill and support of your current callers as ambassadors. Don’t neglect this step.
Simply listing the benefits is good but it should be as short as possible and not be a long list. Finding clever snappy ways to word the perks is essential. It will require your creativity. You have a ready-made focus group in your current student callers. Write 80-100 taglines and have them pick their 5 favorites.
A shortcut to this is to name your group like it is a student organization. My call center was called Carolina Callers. The name is still in use today. It wasn’t the place that was important it was them, the callers. Being a Carolina Caller was an identity, joining akin to signing up with a student organization. When you name the group and student leaders join the group, you communicate everything you need to about your brand just by saying “Carolina Callers: The Best Job on Campus”.
A good way to collect language to use is to ask your callers “What call center means to me?” or to finish the sentence, “I love being a caller because….”. When you have these quotes, you can use them in tandem with caller photographs to create advertisements that essentially testimonials for being the best place to work on campus.
Communicating your brand (in images)
Follow standard graphic design practices. Make sure you use consistent fonts (and not too many of them) to create your advertisements. Use classic images like simple and sleek black and white clip art or photographs of your current callers. In your images of callers, always have them wear tee-shirts of your institution in the official school colors of your institution.
Don’t crowd your images. And make sure, whatever you go, that your advertisements stand out. Use fluorescent paper for bulletin board flyers. In photos, callers should have headsets on so it doesn’t look like any other job. Or maybe you show them eating pizza or cupcakes in a group to highlight that “perk”.
Lastly, call center is a place where you can be a little bit silly. Find the popular meme of the moment on Facebook and create a similar one about call center. It will serve you well in social media promotions and it will show that the center isn’t too serious.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.