The inspiring Jimmy Niggles is looking to start a global movement that turns beards into life saving conversation starters. Growing a beard as a reminder to get your skin checked for melanoma might seem like an unconventional connection, but for the last six years that’s the relationship Jimmy Niggles and the team behind Beard Season have been fostering. Here’s how Jimmy and their team have maximised their reach.
It’s been growth that The Beard Season never expected – by having these conversations about melanoma and the story of their best mate. People have responded and not only by getting skin checks, but by stepping up and growing beards themselves or at the very least (which isn’t even least at all) taking this conversation to others. Imagine – if every person you spoke to, then spoke to one more person, and they went on and spoke to one more person again – how much more effective are you at spreading the word? Exponentially. So, speak to who you can to share you message – but encourage them to do the same. Tell your story well enough that it instigated action amoungst everyone you talk to. This, is a waterfall of communication at it’s best.
While a beard on a male is nothing new, Jimmy found that the simple act of growing a beard generated quite a lot of conversation – especially with strangers. It was this attention that made Jimmy reaslie that there was an opportunity to turn these conversations into a life saving conversation. In this episode we talk about the story behind the Beard Season movement and how it has grown and is saving at least one person from melonoma each week. Jimmy talks about how every person he meets is invited to be part of their growing story and this has seen the message spread not only in Australia but around the world.
With the Beard Season being mainly targetted at males Jimmy talks about how they have managed to connect with a wider male audience and how the female community has also jumped on board, getting a lot of appreciation and support from women who are also urging more people to have skin checks done.
Go Hard or go home.
In sharing his Be The Drop communication tip, Jimmy recommends the ‘cannon ball’ technique – a sure fire way to get attention and bring others along for the ride – but you’ll need to listen to the end to hear his advice about this!
By using their spare time, a fun approach to life and some seriously impressive beards to start some very important conversations, they’ve already had incredible impact from their clever self-funded campaign, from simply raising awareness of the importance of skin checks to ensuring critical early intervention for those diagnosed with melanoma.
Listen to the full podcast with Jimmy below.
About Jimmy Niggles
Jimmy Niggles is a freelance creative from Sydney, Australia. In 2010, Jimmy started up a blog called Beard Season, where he would make a post everyday about growing his beard, and challenge someone to get a skin check. Since then, Beard Season has grown into a global movement, turning beards into life-saving conversation starters about melanoma – one of the world’s deadliest cancers.
The idea was inspired by the most tragic of circumstances when Jimmy’s group lost a long-time friend in 2010. Wes was diagnosed with a melanoma on his neck and ultimately lost his battle against the aggressive form of cancer at the age of 26. It was a wake up to Jimmy and his friends to the seriousness of the disease and a reminder that, although their beach and travel lifestyle was meant to be enjoyed, a love for the outdoors needs to be balanced with an awareness of the potential health issues associated with sun exposure. With that in mind, Jimmy and his friends hatched a plan to make a difference in the memory of their mate; to take action and use their professional skills to help prevent a similar yet often preventable fate for others in the community.
In next week’s episode of Be The Drop podcast, I interview Dave Shepherd, of Hubspot to talk all things community, inbound marketing and how the marketing landscape is changing as digital media evolves.
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Enjoy! Amelia xx
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