What It's About
A passion for social justice leads to career change in the pursuit of advocacy.
Words of Wisdom
Bethany elaborated on her approach for engaging nonprofit members and volunteers into becoming lifelong advocates:
"I think a misnomer in our industry is about amplifying your message, which focuses on getting your message out to your target audience. But I really see advocacy and communications about bringing your members and donors closer to your organization, drawing them in, and engaging them so they feel like they’re part of the work and excitement. To successfully engage your members and donors in their work, I advise my clients to identify their target audiences and build upon them."
As a testament to her hard work, Bethany’s list of accolades is both large and impressive. She’s the recipient of the American Heart Association’s National Rome Betts Award for Excellence in Advocacy; the Leader of Sacramento Area Rainbow Families; Enroll America’s national conference presenter in Washington D.C., and helped pass historic state and federal legislation in health care, women’s issues, nutrition, senior issues, and for the LGBTQ community.
Notes from Chris
Bethany Snyder is the owner of Snyder Strategies, a consulting side hustle turned full-time business. She helps nonprofit organizations create grassroots advocacy programs. As a self-described optimist, she believes in the power of bringing people together. Or, as Bethany puts it, she wants to help you unlock your people power. To create this business, she drew on the skills and experience she’d gained in over 15 years as an advocacy director, lobbyist, consultant, and US Senate staffer. She’s now leveraging that expertise to help other groups … and she’s getting paid well for it. How did she make this transition? Back in 2016, Bethany was working full-time as the Director of Communications and Outreach for a Sacramento-based consulting firm. She advised healthcare clients on outreach strategies and led a team of communications professionals. While her full-time job was paying the bills, Bethany felt unfulfilled. Her working environment didn’t provide her with the opportunities she craved—growth, expansion, and experimentation. She started thinking about ways she could make a bigger impact outside of her day job. So, in November 2016, with the changing political climate and a growing concern for her LGBTQ community, Bethany decided to take action. She reached out to people in her community and looked for ways she could help. She started by leading advocacy workshops … for free, at first. Gradually, she found her way into helping small organizations with their communications and realized how much she loved training others. It was while working with community organizations that she spotted an opportunity. She noticed there weren’t a lot of people offering training workshops or providing this kind of expertise. Up to this point, the workshops she was leading were mostly pro-bono, with only a sprinkle of smaller, paid projects throughout. However, in September 2018, Bethany decided it was time for a new chapter. Since her career was mostly in healthcare advocacy, Bethany leveraged those contacts in pursuit of landing new clients. It didn’t take long. In just two months, she landed two, large clients with six-month retainers. Since then—just over two years—her consulting business has gone on to earn $14,000 a month. So, what’s next for Snyder Strategies? Bethany’s steeped in doing great work for her clients with a focus on the 2020 election. She refers to it as the "Super Bowl" for her industry. She’s also considering whether to partner with other PR firms, target specific organizations, or extend existing client contracts. The future is bright—she’s doing what she believes in and has made it sustainable.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Snyder Strategies: Learn more about the work that Bethany is doing over on her website!
- Friends Team Up to Deliver Compassionate Tech Support: A nonprofit executive partners with a friend to provide IT services for charities and small businesses
- Best Buy Employee Moonlights as Online Ad Consultant: A digital marketer freelances away his nights and weekends, eventually turning his side gig into a multi-million dollar ad agency
- Charter Bus Employee Creates PR Service for Bloggers: How a digital marketer created something for himself, then decided to try selling it other people who had the same needs. He now makes more than $2,500 a month from this side project
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