Are you getting everything you can out of the materials you produce? On today’s show, I had a fun conversation with Francie Saunders, one of the founders of Ubiquitous Empowerment. They’re an up-and-coming organization focused on helping under-served youth communities live happier, healthier lives through increased access to sexual health education and services. The bulk of our conversation centered around all of the momentum Ubiquitous Empowerment built on social during their research phase—and how to leverage and repurpose the materials they create to get the most out of every asset. We also discussed ways to leverage their reach and ability to serve online to help their fundraising efforts. Francie is great, and the insights we uncovered are valuable. I hope you enjoy the show!
Think about reproductive health and how it has affected you throughout your life. Then talk about it with others to help normalize conversations.
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Episode 26: Leveraging And Repurposing To Get The Most Out Of Your Assets. A Conversation With Francie Saunders Of Ubiquitous Empowerment
Are you getting everything you can out of the materials you produce? In this episode, I had a fun conversation with Francie Saunders. She’s one of the founders of Ubiquitous Empowerment, an up-and-coming organization that’s focused on helping underserved youth communities live happier, healthier lives through increased access to sexual health education and services.
The bulk of our conversation is centered around the momentum they’ve built on social during their research phase and how they can leverage and repurpose those materials to get the most out of every asset they’ve created. We also discussed ways to leverage their reach and ability to serve online as proof of concept to fundraise to fuel their future in-person mobile clinic play. Francie is great. I hope you enjoy the show.
Francie, how are you?
I’m good. How are you?
I’m well. Thanks for joining me on the show. I appreciate it.
Thank you for asking me to be a part of it.
It’s my pleasure. It’s good to talk with you. Thanks for hopping on the show. I’m excited to hear what you’re up to with Ubiquitous Empowerment. I’ll let you tell that story a little bit.
I love to talk about social ventures, nonprofits, business for good and general. It’s exciting to be here and speak with you. Ubiquitous was born out of the MBA that I earned, which is an MBA in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise from Colorado State University. It’s called the Impact MBA. They changed the name. The whole program has an entire MBA comprehensive in that way but it does take a huge focus on global social and sustainable use of business for good, people, planet and profit. In the beginning, we were challenged to do our research. There was a cohort of 27 of us. We bring it to everyone and proposed ideas.
There are so many global challenges and we bring three of them that have the potential for enterprises to make a difference, solve some of the issues and alleviate some of the challenges that face them. Reed, my first teammate, we both brought to the table similar ideas that revolved around sexual and menstrual health. We decided to pair up, dive into this global challenge and see what we found out about the barriers standing in the way of people getting the sexual, menstrual and reproductive healthcare services and information they need to make the healthiest choices.
Over a year and a half, we gained another teammate, Emma. We researched, interviewed, surveyed, tested and found that there were a lot of issues. It’s about access, cultural issues and stigma. Our mission is founded on breaking barriers that stand in the way of young people getting these sexual and menstrual products, services and information they need to make the healthiest choices for their minds and bodies. What we found as a very feasible way of doing that would be a mobile health unit that focuses on bringing products and services that are affordable directly to young people living in urban settings because a lot of the time, school doesn’t provide access to these products and services.
There’s a lot of misinformation out in the world to make it easier and solve the access problem that way. We researched other things like a customizable education online platform with curricula about mental health, physical health and financial literacy to supplement the education system. We saw that there are a lot of issues in education and access. That’s what Ubiquitous revolves around. We had an amazing time learning how deep these problems go and what would be feasible, viable ideas in making it easier for young people to get the information and services they need to make the healthiest choices.
You are planning to roll out this mobile unit in Memphis first.
There’s a lot of misinformation out in the world.
That is right. I did leave out that part. We focused on Memphis, Tennessee, where I am now and where I’m from. In the program that I was in, we would have taken the summer months and gone anywhere in the world to research but COVID-19 came around. Those plans were all destroyed but we luckily had focused domestically. These aren’t problems in developing countries. They are problems in the US too.
We looked at Memphis because it is an interesting location where there might be a lot of cultural stigmas but there’s also a lot of progress and amazing activists and organizations working on these problems like high STD, teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates. It was a unique spot to come and see where there are problems, the people working with them and the connections of being from here.
Are you primarily focused on lower-income areas or are you seeing this as a problem that spans all of those economic layers?
We know that this problem is especially hard for people living in low-income situations when they can’t afford the products and services that they need. We would love to bring that directly to low-income populations. We would visit all different ZIP codes and try to serve everyone. We’re focused on those that are more explicitly underserved but we talked to some experts here in Memphis.
She’s the CEO of SisterReach, Cherisse, who was telling us that it’s a problem for people living on a low income. It presents itself differently for maybe more privileged people who might go to a better school. It’s still a bit secretive because of the cultural stigmas. It maybe doesn’t present itself as blatantly but everyone needs better access to these products, services and information.
What’s the primary age group you’re trying to start with in your outreach?
Our research revolved around 11 to 27. Kids are going into puberty but our research showed that young people going into college, typical college age, still don’t have the information they need that’s medically accurate and informed so we didn’t want to leave them out either. It’s that range but typically middle school, high school-aged kids.
I’m assuming you’re raising some money for this by trying to fund it. What are those challenges that you’re seeing to get this program up and running?
The big challenge is funding. We do have it framed as a nonprofit because that was the way that we found this would be most feasible but getting grants is difficult, especially during this time. My mother has worked in development for nonprofits for about twenty years and does know that there are opportunities. You have to find them and go after them. That’s probably the biggest. This is all about trust.
People aren’t going to come up to any unit and engage with you unless you have a reputation. It’s building the network of trust and community and building strong connections with organizations that are already in the community to utilize that trust and grow our image in that way so that we can attract people to the unit. Another thing is building those relationships but also donors and funds.
Have you started that process? Are you reaching out to the tangential or parallel types of organizations? What’s your plan there?
Throughout our research, we spoke to these organizations and got a lot of great feedback on how kids could use it but we haven’t moved into the actual like, “We’re getting ready to launch because of COVID.” It is a face-to-face endeavor to visit the unit. We’ve been apprehensive about approaching people. We have been researching funds and grants. We have a growing list and several applications but we want to make sure that we promise something that we can truly bring.
That’s one message that we got from speaking to people in Memphis. People talk about bringing great things and sometimes they do but you have to follow up with your word. We are very cautious in what we promise. We have been building those relationships and learning from people who’ve been working in this field for most of their professional careers about it.
Are you pre-fundraising? You’re not doing a ton of fundraising. You’re still testing the waters.
That’s right. There are only three of us that have built out Ubiquitous. My one teammate, Emma, is staying in Denver and has gotten a job with a different organization, which is working with young people in Boulder. My teammate, Reed, is taking some time off after getting a Master’s. It’s an interesting situation where Reed can come back and help me build this. As we learned in the program about building social ventures, startups and nonprofits, it’s very slow. We haven’t rushed into the actual development of this yet but I found that I’m so passionate about education and the healthcare system and how there’s a lot of reform that needs to happen.
Specifically, sexual and menstrual health, I have found that this is my calling. I want to talk to as many people as I can about Ubiquitous and this mission. I realized that the form of the mobile health unit is a great way to access young people who need these things. I understand that it might have to take on a different form, maybe or we even need to speak to more people to see if it would work or do some more testing. We didn’t get to go out there and do much testing of our minimally viable product. Although we did once at a street market and got bites and stuff. It would’ve gone different with COVID, not that I’m complaining. We’ve built something amazing but we’re still in the egg. We have not yet hatched.
In terms of your next steps in rolling this out, do you feel like you need to build the brand more or start talking to more people? Have you considered being able to continue to provide maybe some more virtual opportunities than in person? What direction have you discussed?
Building the brand is a big step. We did see the power of social media. That’s how we distributed all of our surveys to young people. We distributed over 100 surveys to young people in Memphis to ask them about their perceptions, behaviors, attitudes and actions around these subjects. We did see that it’s important what kind of brand you built, especially around these topics, because it’s so delicate. We want to have the right branding and messaging.
Networking about it and talking to people about it because the number one thing that’s going to make a difference in this world is a strong web of people and organizations working together to make it better. The first step that I’m taking is talking to more people about it. Not only normalizing the conversation around these topics but engaging with them. Everyone wants to talk about this and has amazing ideas and struggles. Gaining a bigger backing, throwing ideas at people and seeing what they think but networking and branding for sure before the funding would take place.
You’re on Instagram. Are there any other social networks that you’ve embraced?
There’s a lot of reform that needs to happen in the education and healthcare system.
The whole TikTok is amazing. You did ask about the virtual presence and virtual things. Many people have said, “Francie, you should get on TikTok and do sex-ed videos or little sex-ed snippets.” I have such a hard time because I’m like, “Am I going to be a part of a feed that you’re scrolling through?” I do think it sounds so fun to make these videos and be engaging. That’s something we have considered and the whole online curriculum. More people are seeing COVID and everything going online but also the digital divide that we need to have stronger ways of getting people online to engage.
We distributed our surveys. There were ads on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. We found that Instagram was the strongest and then Snapchat. Facebook was where we faced the most backlash. I also think that correlates with the average age of users. On Facebook, we got adults commenting and saying, “Kids don’t need this. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” On Instagram, we had young people being like, “This is amazing. We want this.”
That also helped us realize, “We don’t need to focus on the older population to help them get young people what they need. We need to go straight to young people.” We realized from the beginning this is going to be a huge factor and success. A lot of our followers came from those advertisements on Instagram. We have to be strong in the Snapchat and TikTok world as well. Those are a little different but I did curate the whole feed on Instagram. It’s mini-sex-ed lessons. We also used it for those advertising promos. That was useful and did reveal a lot.
The main goal of that was to get people interested in the brand and be willing to fill out a survey. Were you able to collect about 100 surveys?
Over 100 surveys, yes. We had very interesting findings from those. We asked about willingness to pay and visit. If you would even walk up to the unit, the interest in the items or services we would offer will feel private, safe and approachable. We got a lot of feedback about what people say, at least what they would want and do.
This was for your Master’s. Was there a paper that you published that came out of this?
I was thinking about that because we did speak to Shemeka Thorpe. She was telling us, “No matter what comes out of this, whatever you find, you need to publish it because there is not enough work out there on this.” We have all the information. We don’t have it written up in a research paper. I’ve done a lot of research. I’m very excited to take that on and see if we can get published what we found because there was another study in 2018 in Chicago about sex and reproductive healthcare services on a mobile health unit.
They found interesting findings that young people want these services and mobile health providers want to provide these services. There is a market out there. I love to do that. We also wrote out a business plan for the mobile health unit, over twenty pages all about our market, marketing, the industry, our organization, development, management and everything. I can share that with you and make that public so that people can look at it and share their ideas as well.
We can publish that if you want to share that with me and are comfortable sharing it with the audience. I would echo the sentiment of the advice that you got in terms of having this research and being able to take that and share it with the world, as well as getting it out there. That’s only going to improve the brand recognition, increase the validity and kickstart this fundraising as well as a brand awareness campaign on which you’re going to need to embark to fund your mobile unit and all of your activities. Continuing to move toward the idea of publication of that research would be fantastic. It may be worth continuing that survey and expanding your reach. How many followers did you pick up on Instagram during this campaign, do you think?
It’s probably all of them. I did share that I was building out this Instagram. We have less than 200 followers but as soon as we started the ads, we gained at least 100. It was effective in terms of that. We did offer some incentives. It was hot summer in Memphis, so we offered a free box of popsicles from a local popsicle vendor for a few lucky winners. Young people wanted to be a part of this conversation. That’s great advice. I’d love to continue this research and keep getting more feedback from young people throughout the year.
It’s one of these things where you’ve done all the heavy lifting. There are costs associated both in time and if you choose to run more ads, there are ad costs there. However, you’ve built a platform and have done all of that initial momentum building in terms of getting that inertia and moving things forward that you could capitalize on and keep that ball rolling to continue the metaphor where the hardest part has already been done. It’s toasting and keeping your foot on the gas a little bit. It feels like you might be able to expand into other communities and areas to get additional information that could become this even bigger study that falls out of this.
One of the things that we recommend and see a lot in social is there’s a tendency to coast once one has made it to a certain level like, “I have 500 or 1,000 followers,” or whatever the goal was. The tendency is to let off the gas, which is natural. However, what tends to happen is you start to bleed the interest and the excitement about what you’re doing.
People are like, “These guys were publishing every week,” or whatever your cadence was. “All of a sudden, they stopped.” There’s an opportunity there that you might want to consider in terms of keeping the foot on the gas, even if it’s a little bit to maintain interest and create opportunities for back-and-forth conversations.
I agree with that and appreciate that feedback because it’s hard work. It’s nice to hear that you think we’ve done all the heavy lifting so far. I do believe we have the power to keep coasting but building up, accelerating even more. I appreciate that.
I love what you did with the feed. I took a peek at it. It has a lot of personalities and is very informative. It’s not just a one-way sounding board, which is what a lot of organizations tend to fall into that trap that their social media becomes this soapbox that they throw out on the ground, hop up on and start screaming out of or off of. It’s great. It’s an initial thing that you have to do to start to get some momentum. We do like to see organizations embracing the idea that social media is a two-way street.
It is all about creating, building and nurturing relationships. Social media does tend to be very much like real life in the fact that most relationships are not one way. If you’ve ever been in a one-way relationship, it feels weird because that’s not how relationships work. Make sure that the platforms that you’re on, you’re truly engaged with, as opposed to putting material out there.
It’s easy to overlook and treat it more as maybe a billboard than a conversation. Everything that we do is about engaging people and opening up the conversation. It’s important not to forget that.
It sounds like you have a pretty passionate group of kids here who have latched onto the brand and are excited about the information that you’re putting out and trying to engage. Follow-up surveys would be a good opportunity. Getting them to spread the word, coming from that position of altruism where you want to help. That’s why I like the idea of all this sex education information that you’re putting out there. Looking back at some of that stuff, republishing is another thing that tends to not happen a ton on social. People think that you have to come up with fresh content all the time.
I certainly fall into this trap a lot with my business where it’s like, “I’ve already said that.” People are going to know if I post again or they’re going to get upset. The fact of the matter is, A) Not everyone saw it the first time and, B) Your audience has changed and grown, hopefully, since the last time that you put that out there. Reusing material either across platforms so syndicating it or within that same platform tends to work pretty well as well. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel every time out.
If you tell someone once, they might remember it but if you tell them over and over again, it’s more likely that it’ll plant a seed and they’ll start thinking about it on their own. I do think you’re so right. People get scared to say it again on social media because it feels like if you post it once, they must look at it again but it falls down the feed more than anything. The odds are that someone’s looking through all your posts or all of your followers looking through all of your posts, again and again, is naive.
Everyone has amazing ideas, and they have their share of struggles.
I don’t think it’s a bad tendency but the tendency is to think, “I don’t want to bore people or repeat myself. I want to keep things fresh.” People miss stuff all the time, particularly as they follow more brands, influencers and people out there. Putting it back out is pretty effective. There’s plenty of additional material that you could share. I liked the style of your Instagram feed.
Even taking a block of information that you put out and using a different color slate on it, you could create 5 different colors, post it once a month for 5 months and see what happens, if you get more buy-in once it starts getting out there more. Another tip to consider with social is asking questions and trying to get engagement within those items themselves and seeing if you can get people to comment by asking a question or trying to engage.
I do love that. Throughout our whole research, you can take polls on social media sometimes and I do it on my account about these things. I knew because of the sensitivity of these topics that some people would want to answer and some people won’t. I would love to continue that. I wish they could be a bit more anonymous on social media but the polls were eye-opening for me on my social media network about what people think they got enough of and didn’t get enough of. I’d love to continue that and make it feel like there’s a real person who cares behind the account, not just someone running it because it’s their job.
I love that idea and it spawned something in my mind, why not run a poll to ask people what they’d like to hear? What do you want to see more of? A lot of organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, fail to take that opportunity to ask people the question. They’d spend a ton of time researching and trying to figure out where people wanted to go and what they wanted to do. It’s like, “You’re already in contact with a bunch of people. Just ask them.”
It’s pretty new to be able to have that resource at your fingertips. People on their social media will press a button to answer your question or even type it in. It was fun for me to create that account. I’m creative. I’ve made art my whole life and been a tutor and a teaching assistant, so to be able to combine those into little mini-lessons and try to engage people was refreshing to do very formal research as well.
We’re talking a lot about Instagram but with the multi-image option on Instagram, you can create a little mini slide show. If you think of a multi-step tip that you might want to give, you can tee that up on Instagram and let people move through that either in your story. I’ve seen people do that very effectively within stories, as well as in your feed.
Here’s the other thing that came to mind in terms of any social media. This is a little bit of a touchy subject because you’re in health care here. We wouldn’t want you to overstep your bounds but certainly, the anonymity piece offers people the opportunity to DM you if they have a specific question or something that they need some help with.
There might be opportunities for you, particularly since you are focused on one location primarily. Create a list of service providers that you could refer people out to so that you don’t get into any trouble. Make sure that you’re being very cautious about emergency situations but that might be a way to get around that anonymity piece, as well as to build that trust that is like, “This person’s willing to talk with me about this.” That’s going to reinforce that component of your brand that you’re trying to get across.
One aspect of the mobile health unit is we can’t provide everything. We would have telehealth services that would get you a birth control prescription. We would not have an in-person clinician or physician but we have a running list of organizations and clinics in Memphis that we have talked to. If we haven’t talked to them, we’ve looked at their offerings and their reputation in the community.
We’ve made a list of where we would refer people and that was a very important part of our model. Our thinking is that we want to point people in the direction of someone we can trust. It even made clear and clear again that this is such a communal effort to tackle this problem at all and in a way that will make a difference.
You’re onto something for sure. It’s cool how you can spell this out to other communities. Similarly, thinking about your social, you’re doing the big heavy lift by creating processes and understanding all the things that come into play to create a rollout. If you document those effectively, that allows you to scale to other areas or even add more units in Memphis. That’d be something to keep in the back of your mind as you are building this. I’ve fallen into the trap of having everything in my head and it’s like, “I know how to do it. It’ll be fine,” but that’s impossible to scale. I have to be the guy who does it all. Creating those processes as you’re building this out is going to be a key component of your ability to bring this to other markets.
If we were to scale another mobile health unit or move into another city or area, we would want to have proved our method and have a solid foundation on how to very successfully operate the unit and scale it, movement of getting another unit up there.
What are the goals in terms of fundraising for 2021? Are you not even close to talking about that piece yet?
My teammate, Reed, is our Chief Financial Officer. We did come up with an ask for what we needed. It totaled up to around $800,000 at least to get us off the ground. We need a unit, which is less than $100,000 but it has to be correctly outfitted. The maintenance of that unit is another cost. We’d have a small team working at first, probably Reed and me but we need to hire other people trained in adolescent health and sexual health to man the unit.
All that added up there is a big ask. We had the idea of a phased approach where first we’d ask for donations. As we grew, we continued to prove out what we were doing, get some more research, information and data under our belt, build our network and look at local, regional, state and national grants within that.
In the absence of the physical unit, we touched on this a little bit earlier in terms of this concept of virtual opportunities. Is there a way that you can start to develop those systems and roll those out online so that you reduce your startup cost?
By systems, do you mean?
The consultative piece, so thinking through when a young girl in need comes into your system, what are the steps you’re taking? What are the onboarding steps? What’s that process look like? Start to fine-tune that from a virtual standpoint and come back to that process piece. You have some of that stuff refined and ready to go. That demonstrates validity and the ability to provide this service, which will help snowball the donor and the grant piece.
All that stuff comes into play in terms of pieces of the puzzle that you say, “We rolled this out online. The story would be due to COVID and financial constraints. We wanted to get this out into the marketplace as quickly as possible because there was a real need during this time of schools being disrupted.”
From there, you’ve developed this process by which you help counsel these kids and get them the information and the resources that they need. Documenting that process becomes this thing that you can go and repeat. You can add a new team member and say, “This is how we do it.” “I can follow that.” You’re doing this all within this virtual infrastructure to start. The in-person is not only costly but also maybe a little less of an opportunity.
It’s really hard for some families to even get online. You need to figure out how to bypass that challenge when people just can’t even access things virtually in general.
I love the terms that you used. They’re unfamiliar to me because although we were building a nonprofit, I haven’t had so many conversations about that. We’d want to build that out stronger. If they’re looking for something we can’t provide, that network of local trusted clinics comes in handy. The telehealth portion where you can get a prescription for hormonal birth control if you need it is great but there’s a huge digital divide. I did listen to an episode that you held where you talked about how it’s hard for some families to even get online. I’m wondering how you might bypass that challenge when people can’t even access things virtually in general. Maybe you can’t go to the library anymore.
It’s a big challenge not only from a hardware perspective in terms there are a lot of people who don’t have the ability to have multiple laptops, tablets or things of that nature. Particularly given the audience with whom you’re trying to engage, having a good solid mobile presence is going to be important.
Make sure that your systems and website work well on phones. Leverage those technologies that, first of all, your constituents or stakeholders are comfortable with in a way that allows them to use the technology that they already have in their hands. Mobile is, at the onset, going to be a very key component of what you do.
Fortunately, that’s part of the language you’re already using in terms of the units themselves. You’re talking about being very mobile. I would look at some of the newer components, particularly of these youth trending social channels, to see if there are opportunities to leverage those for group chat type of stuff, perhaps in terms of being able to do one too many.
The other challenge that you have is there are only a couple of you guys as well. Figuring out how you can get that message out to as many people as possible and create a one-to-one vibe in a one-to-many platform. Hosting things like AMAs and things of that nature, trying to get a whole bunch of people at once so that one hour of your time scales to however many people are in that virtual room.
One of the things that I see organizations being challenged with from time to time is they latch on to the technology or the channels they like. An older person might be like, “I need to be on Facebook,” but their stakeholders are not there. Make sure that you are showing up on those platforms that the people you want to reach are using. Snapchat and TikTok would be on my list if I were you in terms of those places that you get good at playing well in those areas.
We did learn that at the beginning, where our strengths were and weren’t in terms of how to target the people that we wanted to target. You can’t make them join an app. You have to go to where they are and engage them there. It’s that presence of feeling like there’s a person behind the account that can engage you and help you have a conversation. I love the idea of the AMA, especially on these topics and getting people to engage that way and ask questions all at once. It’s a great idea.
I’m dangerous enough in social media in terms of I know enough to be dangerous but it’s not necessarily exactly where my strengths lie. I did see an Instagram live event, which was something I hadn’t seen before. It was part of a guy who does a lot of work in the environmental space. His whole Instagram feed is about looking at influencers who are doing things that may not be exactly great for the environment, particularly in our national parks saying, “Maybe don’t do this.”
They held a live event with one of these influencers. There were a bunch of people who could ask questions and have an actual live conversation. That would certainly be something that would be worthwhile to look into, particularly since that’s where you’re active and your constituents or stakeholders are active as well.
I didn’t know about the live but thinking about it, as others being able to tune in on a conversation and take part is effective.
Reddit has and that might not be exactly your audience.
I don’t know. There are a lot of teenagers on there too.
They have AMAs that are a little more type-y in terms of how that platform functions but certainly, I would look into what opportunities TikTok has and see where you can go with it. You’ve talked about grants a lot. Is there a plan for trying to get donors on board that you have discussed internally?
We have discussed it a bit. One of the great things about Memphis is that there are a lot of foundations or even individual donors that are very invested in the well-being of Memphis and the growth of Memphis. People know people in Memphis. It’s a big city. Our roots are here and a lot of people’s roots are here. We do share that community where we know that there are big donors. My mother has worked in the development field for twenty years.
We have begun to talk about that because she’s an expert. We have talked about getting in front of people who specifically are interested in better schools or whether it is better health for children in terms of food deserts or food like gardens and local foods or also the organizations that work to alleviate the challenges that people face living in poverty in Memphis.
We’ve pitched Ubiquitous a lot. We’ve gotten better and better. We competed in our final pitch competition and got third place in People’s Choice for that, which was a small monetary award. We have begun thinking about who we go to next, an actual individual or maybe it’s a family or a foundation that has similar values to ours and get in front of them.
Whether that’s virtual or in front of someone and communicate how we want to bring this to Memphis for the reason that we think that it’ll work in Memphis. We’ve done our research here in Memphis. We love Memphis for one but also, this can be one stone that will have great ripples and is scalable and feasible. We have begun that conversation to talk about how we would do that and when to do that as well.
When you did the pitch that you took third, did they record that and is that available for you?
They did record that. I was asked that. It was a whole all-day spiel from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM but we had the longer presentation. That’s the whole business plan. That’s 10 minutes but there’s a 2-minute video that I can give you because I made that one. I’m still locating the recording of our presentation but all I have to do is contact the program office and I’m pretty sure they have it. It was a great event. I’d love to see if I can get my hands on that because more people want to see what they missed out on.
There are a couple of things there. First is going back and reviewing that live performance like that can be valuable. Use the word critique but certainly, get a feel for how you did and where you feel like you maybe could have polished some things or some good golden nuggets that come out of it that you’re like, “I said something amazing there but I can’t remember exactly what it was.”
Going live on social media and having others be able to tune in on a conversation and take part is really effective.
Going back and reviewing that video can be super helpful. Likewise, you can reuse it, perhaps. It comes back to that scalability where if you have people that say, “I’m interested but I’d like to learn more,” you can send them either snippets of the event that you thought was particularly awesome or the whole thing if the whole thing works as a solid pitch.
Talking about scalability is something that can scale a lot more effectively. Having a dozen 10-minute calls takes 120 minutes. That’s a couple of hours, whereas sending it out a dozen times doesn’t take that long. You want to follow that with the in-person opportunities but this could be that thing that greases the wheels for you that helps people get a good understanding of what it is you’re trying to do in a professional pitch situation and helps solidify why they might want to invest in what you’re doing and help support your cause.
You did say it’s coming from a professional setting, which is still professional. The visual aids and the creativity that comes from my teammate and me pitching this idea to a person versus the phone call, which I do think maybe would be better as the next step but first to show people the big idea would be entertaining but still very informative presentation pitch.
Thinking about all of those assets that you’ve built and created over the course of how long you’ve been doing this, all of those things can either be reused, repurposed or leveraged on different channels. Thinking of ways to get that valuable information out there to your audiences in a way that helps get them on board.
I hope everyone knows anyone. Stu, you know that I am very excited to talk about all of this conversation, not just about Ubiquitous but the whole education and healthcare in terms of sex, reproductive health and menstrual health. It is a big brainstorming idea and potentially even to make it better and keep talking about all the opportunities that we can see as a community. I’m always open to talking about it. That’s a great idea. Sharing our pitch is a great way of taking that step forward and presenting it to people.
We look for ways to serialize things and put them out on different platforms or syndicate is a better word there, as well as figure out how to take material that you’ve created once and reuse it in a variety of different ways. Not everyone engages with organizations in the same way. Some people like video, some people like slideshows, some people like audio and some people want to hop on a phone call. When you’ve created something that is working, figure out how to tweak it a smidge and make it work again in a little bit different format.
It’s like what I was talking about if you have a multi-step tip for people for reproductive health. Instead of putting that in 1 slide with 1, 2, 3 or 4, have that be in multiple slides. Have the first slide tee it up and say, “Have you ever considered the steps you need to improve your health? Slide 1 is tip 1. Slide 2 is tip 2.” With a lockup, the last slide wraps it all up and says, “If you want to learn more, come see us in Memphis or jump on this call,” or whatever the call to action is. It’s effective to enable you to have built something once but figure out how to reuse it multiple times.
That’s good advice for a lot of people. We’ve done the heavy lifting. We have all this amazing information and supported ideas to keep communicating them and work smart with what we have.
What are your takeaways from our conversation?
It’s very interesting to hear from you and get advice. This wasn’t just a conversation but you’re very knowledgeable. I appreciate you using this platform to brainstorm and guide people in a way or at least offer some direction. You mentioned follow-up surveys, which also link back to maintaining that engagement. I do like the idea that you said, “Keep your foot on the accelerator. Don’t let off.” We’re still working hard but there’s that saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” Still keep working hard but also work smart. If we do have these things, we can redistribute them or try communicating them through different channels.
Your point about engaging virtually and seeing how we could have our minimally viable product online. If we can’t bring it to the streets of Memphis, how can we still be providing something that’s of value to the people that we want to help? The idea of using especially the presentations we have done and sharing that around are engaging. The two-minute pitch has less information but it’s quick. It’s supposed to grab your attention and that can start more conversations with people who are interested in any facet of what Ubiquitous is trying to do.
How can people get in touch with you or find you online? What’s the best place for them to find Ubiquitous?
Go straight to me. I have my team but we’re small. You can find me on LinkedIn. My name is Francie Saunders. You can follow us on Instagram, @Its.Ubiquitous. Message in any of those or message me on LinkedIn. That’s how we found each other. That’s a great way of building a network. Reach out and we can exchange email addresses or wherever it is and start a conversation. I love to talk about this.
I understand that they’re from this program and I have amazing classmates that came up with other distinctly different but amazing social ventures. There is so much potential to create a positive impact in this world. It is only better if we work together, talk about it, brainstorm and learn and support each other. When one of us succeeds, all of us succeed.
If you’ve followed my episodes, in the end, I always ask for an action item. I liked to try and get the audience to do something. If there’s one thing that you’d have people do after reading this episode, what would that be?
One thing that I learned from my whole experience setting this is that you may have never talked about the topics of periods, sex, puberty or reproductive health in your life. Once the conversation comes up, people do want to talk about it. Have a conversation with yourself about how your life has been affected by the presence or the lack of sexual health products, services and education, how that affected you or have a conversation with someone near to you.
Maybe it’s talking about the show and how someone’s trying to change the way that we approach sex education or menstrual health. I’d like everyone to do that because we should keep trying to normalize conversations around bodies, physical health and mental health because it’s the human experience and we should talk about it more.
That’s good advice and hopefully, everyone reading will be more comfortable having those conversations. They can be awkward but they don’t have to be. I would encourage them also to look at your website.
It’s UbiquitousEmpowerment.com. You can send us a message there as well. You can look around. We had our surveys there.
Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it. It was lovely talking with you.
It was lovely speaking with you too. Thank you so much for all you do, helping out with nonprofits and for reaching out.
There you have it, another great episode. Thanks for reading. If you would like to learn more about how to apply the audience engagement cycle to expand your organization’s mission, there are two things you can do. You can go to MissionUncomfortableBook.com to download a copy of my book. While you’re there, you can get your purpose-driven marketing score to see where you can unearth some gold for your organization. If you’d like to read back episodes of the show or sign up to be a guest, go to RelishStudio.com/Podcast. I’ll be back for another great episode.