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  • Writer's pictureRain Bennett

Ep. 57: Social Media Storytelling for Nonprofits with Julia Campbell

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

We're back this week on The Storytelling Lab with another incredible guest who decided very early on that her mission in life was to help others. Julia Campbell is a social media marketing expert, speaker, author, and online teacher whose passion is helping nonprofits tell the best version of their brand story.



I think I've found the real life Leslie Knope.

If you don't know who that is, stop reading this and go watch all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation, where comedian Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope -- a Deputy Director of a Parks and Rec Department of a small town in Indiana. Her whole life’s purpose is to serve her community and she does it by working long hours, being hyper-organized with color coded binders, and organizing community events by herself for fun.

Julia Campbell is a social media expert that has sought to serve since she was a child. 

She hosted food and recycling drives as a kid, volunteered for the Peace Corps as a young adult, and worked with nonprofits during college. 

I spent my college years drinking cheap beer and eating pizza until I was sober. It took me years to realize that I had a greater purpose -- to serve my community. 

Julia has always known her purpose. 

But she doesn’t just provide her presence and energy to help nonprofits (sometimes, organizations just need humans to help), she provides her knowledge and skills that she has harnessed over years of helping nonprofits where they need help the most: communication.

Julia studied journalism in college and writing became her essential skill.

When working with a domestic violence organization early in her career, she was tasked with the job of writing their press releases. She was the young writer fresh out of college, right? Well what she learned quickly is that all press releases aren’t “good” press releases.

And if they aren’t good, they don’t work. 

After writing so many of them, she called on her journalism knowledge and realized that they needed a “hook” just like a news story. In fact, they needed to be just that -- a story!

She doubled down on her storytelling efforts and used them any chance she could. 

“The most popular brands create a shared identity with their customers.” 

As social media became popular among brands and businesses, Julia saw a perfect opportunity for the nonprofits she served to use storytelling to grow their communities.

Julia and I found each other in the storytelling multiverse and possibly through our service of nonprofits. However, we initially connected online and we both stuck around because it was clear that our missions were similar. 

We both want to use storytelling to make the world happier and healthier.

I had her on The Storytelling Lab because helping nonprofits is something that will always be a part of my mission. I am good at it.

Julia is phenomenal at it. 

If you work at or with a nonprofit and know that they need help communicating their stories, this is the episode for you!

Some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • How Julia switched to focusing online courses in 2020 because of Covid-19

  • She speaks to small-mid size development and marketing professionals 

  • Free speaking vs. Paid speaking 

  • Working with emerging nonprofits, libraries, cities, nonprofit communicators, fundraisers, etc. 

  • Working with nonprofits in college, volunteering for US Peace Corp, going to Africa to do healthcare work

  • Going off on her own 10 years ago - her clients are everything from libraries to land trusts to food banks to animal organizations and rare disease organizations

  • Being a “Leslie Knope” as a child - loved checklists and did food and recycling drives 

  • Studying journalism in college and is a writer - calls it her “essential skill” 

  • Working for a domestic violence shelter, writing press releases and learning about the “hook” to get people to listen and pay attention and from there developed her storytelling skills 

  • How social media should not be outsourced 

  • The importance of just documenting everyday life and just putting it out there 

  • How people are still giving to nonprofits especially in this time of crisis

  • Why you should give only the highest quality and most compassionate content right now 

  • Getting back to the roots of what you do and connect with your community 

  • Webinars that she offers

  • 90 minute platforms Julia offers that focus on a specific topic once a month 

  • Julia’s 6 week live courses: Storytelling & Social Media Academy - full scale programs targeted towards nonprofits 

As always, I hope you enjoy the episode!

Peace and Love,



Follow Julia on Instagram @juliacampbell77

Follow Julia on Twitter @JuliaCSocial

Or visit her website!

For more storytelling tips and tricks, 

Follow me on Instagram @rainbennett

Follow me on Twitter @rainbennett

Visit my website

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