A couple weeks ago, Operation Underground Railroad reached out to me and asked if I would help promote their fundraising campaign on Giving Tuesday. Operation Underground Railroad (or O.U.R) saves women and children from trafficking.
“Since being founded in 2013, we’ve gathered the world’s experts in extraction operations and in anti-child trafficking efforts to bring an end to child slavery. O.U.R.’s Underground Jump Team consists of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts. These operations are always in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the world.
Once victims are rescued, a comprehensive process involving justice for the perpetrators and recovery and rehabilitation for the survivors begins… In the past three years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 745 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 365 traffickers around the world. ”
With two young daughters of my own, working with O.U.R was an easy “yes”. They are a non-profit funded solely on donations. Click here to donate to them now. (All donations of $50 or more today will receive a freed shirt.)
You can bet that they not only are saving lives, but have some business lessons we can learn too. Here are the three tips on how to work with influencers that I learned from Operation Underground Railroad.
Business Lesson 1: Use micro influencers to spread the word
O.U.R. reached out to me and I consider myself a micro-influencer because I have less than 10,000 followers on Instagram. While numbers aren’t as high with micro-influencers, their followings are very loyal and engaged. Most of their followers either know them personally or are just one relationship away from them (like they know them through a friend). This makes what they say more powerful because they have trust.
Application: Next time you want to collaborate with someone, skip the ultra big accounts. Find those micro-influencers who are more willing to work with you and who have an ultra loyal following.
Business Lesson 2: Everything told their brand story
The box I received had a t-shirt, lamp and instruction card. I loved the lantern the most because of how symbolic it is to their brand and movement. The t-shirts are made by survivors of trafficking. The t-shirt tags have the name of the woman who made it and each shirt has a small pink tag with the words “Made in Cambodia by survivors of trafficking”. With that kind of tag, the shirt becomes more than a shirt. It becomes a way for recovery. That takes me, the consumer, out of a simply consumer role, and puts me in the saving role.
Application: Think of your brand story, your deeper why for your business. Try to add that into the details of your business.
Business Lesson 3: Make your requests specific and easy
The instruction card that was included had all the information that I would need to post about their campaign. The card had hashtags, links and a suggested caption for my Instagram post. They took care of all of the thinking and the questions.
Application: The O.U.R. team didn’t ask me to do anything very elaborate. They asked me for an Instagram post and then provided the necessary info that I would need to get it done. When you are working with influencers, make it super easy to accomplish what you want them to do and answer the questions before they come up. Make the links and hashtags very available.
Those are the lessons from Operation Underground Railroad and three tips on how to work with influencers. Now head on over and make a donation. You are helping save children.