marketing

5 Ways to Write More Now

images-11“I don’t have time to write, blog or post interesting stuff!” If this is you, then here at 5 Ways to Write More Now.

1) Determine to write more! It all starts with a commitment to the discipline that is writing. Find a friend who will hold you accountable to writing on a consistent basis. Set a specific and doable goal (3 blog posts a week, etc.) and stick to it.

Bonus tip: Write it down… now! Whether you use an iPad, iPhone or MacBook (I’m a Mac guy!), or you go old-school with post-its and the classic yellow notepad, write your brain-storm down when it is blowing a fresh wind of ideas. I recommend Evernote to help you organize (https://evernote.com/). Think its a bad idea? Write it down anyway!

2) Know your rhythms. When is your brain most active? In other words, are you a morning person or night owl? For me, it’s definitely morning. Seize the times when your creative juices flow best for your most important writing. Then, discipline yourself to write some when you aren’t exactly in your sweet spot.

3) Read more and better writers. Find those in your area of interest who have strong followings and have solid reputations and read their stuff. Study what they write about, how they write and post it. Need some help with this? I would recommend http://michaelhyatt.com/ for all your platform building needs. For pastors and ministry leaders, check out http://careynieuwhof.com/ for awesome content and presentation!

4) Do less useless stuff. Binge less on Netflix or watching sports. Spend less time on social media browsing the evening away. Instead… write! You might even take some of that time and take a course in writing either online or at your local community college. Great writers are eager learners!

5) Write more. It’s as simple as that. Discover what you are passionate about and write about it daily. Keep it in rough draft and unpublished form until you are ready to put it out there… but keep writing! Your content will increase in volume and in quality. Have others read and critique your writing along the way. Be sure some of them are in your target audience. From professional bloggers to friends and family, ask them to be honest and incorporate their advice.

Whether it’s blogging, journaling, online articles or that novel you’ve been dreaming about, follow these tips. What are you waiting for? Go… write!

3 Reasons You Should Say It Anyway

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Do you feel like God has given you something to say, but everyone is already saying it? Are relevant and urgent issues already being addressed by the experts in your field? Or, do you feel like your message simply get’s lost in the white noise of the web? Consider 3 reasons why you should say it anyway…

1 – You have a God-given circle. Your followers may not number in the thousands, let alone millions. You may get less than record-breaking “likes” to your posts and you have never been “re-tweeted.” Still, you have a group of people who have come to know and trust your voice. You have done life with many of these people and you have an influence on them that the greatest names in the business simply cannot have. Especially for the small/medium sized ministry leaders, never underestimate the impact your encouragement or instruction has on the unique circle God has given to you. Besides, most of those with trusted voices and larger audiences started with a very small following. Jesus comes to mind, here. Needless to say I strongly recommend you both “Like” and follow Him closely.

2 – You have a God-given perspective. While there are always some common points of interest, each person brings their own voice from their own experience to any conversation. Your voice may just add a missing ingredient to the mix. No, you may not have a Phd in the given subject, but your input is no more or less valid than any casual blogger or learned professional. Say it clearly, creatively and concisely.

3 – You need the practice. That is, you need the discipline in your life that researching and communicating on relevant subjects on a consistent basis brings. Doing so is a healthy life habit that is far more beneficial to you and your circle of influence than spending another hour on Netflix or Facebook. Communicate about things you are passionate about and you will never run out of material!

Finally, humbly take the gift and grow! One of the greatest benefits of today’s many internet platforms is the ability to bring amazing leaders right to your doorstep. From instruction to inspiration, research to reviews, video conferences, webinars and so much more, some of the most gifted voices in just about any field are putting there message out to the masses. Even more, many of these resources are given away free, simply for signing up to receive their e-news or daily tweets. Check out my Follow the Leaders page and click on any of the images for instant access to some great leaders and resources. Determine to learn from not only what these experts are saying, but how they are saying it. Then, add your own voice. Perhaps you might even respond to a discussion thread when the opportunity is given? Regardless, do some homework and then engage in the important issues. Your voice adds great value!

Go ahead, say it anyway.

 

Marketing Ministry

images-10Every organization is marketing their product, whether they intend to or not. What does this have to do with your church or ministry? Perhaps more than you know. After all, your product is salvation and the product designer is God the Son, Jesus Christ. This makes you and your lead team the “pitch men,” if you will.

In an interview with Leadership Journal’s Drew Dyck, Andy Stanley and Tim Keller share their unique perspectives on what many see as a controversial topic. Do marketing, promotion and branding have any place at all in the pulpit and as viable methodology as a whole? Are sound doctrinal preaching, teaching and simple evangelistic efforts (personal and corporate) sufficient to fulfill the Great Commission in the 21st century?

Read the following excerpts and then let me know your thoughts…

Andy Stanley – “People really hate to use the term marketing, but the truth is every church is presenting itself. The question is whether they’re doing it well. A lot of churches are empty because they’ve successfully presented to the community that there’s nothing here for you. And everybody believes it!

Marketing is about perception. You work to create a perception, which hopefully reflects the reality. Being intentional about how we present ourselves in the community is crucial. But it’s not about billboards. We don’t have a billboard. We don’t buy radio spots. We don’t have ads in the newspaper. Our marketing is our service in the community. Our marketing is our generosity to charities in the community. Our marketing is providing volunteers for other organizations. That’s the best kind of marketing. Some people use leaflets and billboards. We don’t do any of that. It’s not necessary. But churches do need to pay attention to their reputation in the community. And if it’s not what it should be, they have to address that.

Of course if people aren’t even aware you’re in the community, you have a marketing problem. If they know you’re there but the perception is negative, you have a marketing problem. So you have to do something. Don’t be afraid of that. Just accept this as the world we live in, and figure out a way to reshape your reputation in the community.”

Tim Keller says – “The critique is that the church has overused, maybe unconsciously, business marketing techniques. And I think that critique is probably half right. Whenever people talk to me about marketing, I say, “Tell me what marketing is.” Some of what they usually describe seems like common-sense, wise communication. Some of it seems like manipulation. I commend wise communication, not the other parts that make me cringe.

I do feel that a lot of urban churches overdo it in this area. They create a façade. They have incredible websites and terrific published pieces. Their physical environments have a slickness and hipness about them. Some people are shocked to find none of that when they visit Redeemer. One person said, “It wasn’t what I expected at all. Number one: There were no screens, no clips. It was very print-oriented. Very retro.” This person also pointed out that I was an older guy, white hair, bald, and wearing a suit. He said, “This isn’t my idea of an urban church at all.” I found that amusing. But I think it shows that a lot of urban churches put way too much emphasis on branding and façade and first impressions.

I think the key is substance. Urban people recognize when they’re being spun and do not respond well to that. I think a lot of times people feel like there’s something more authentic about a place that doesn’t have the screens, doesn’t have the slick sites, and doesn’t have a young, hip-looking person up front. It can backfire on you.”

What is my perspective on the subject? Simply this… put it out there in the preferred languages and media of your target audience. This means not being afraid to passionately promote what God is doing in and through your life and ministry and then giving Him all the credit. Nothing replaces the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit in partnership with a lead team unashamed to promote His Word and His kingdom!

I look forward to hearing from you. Please, let me know how I can come alongside you and your ministry to encourage and equip!

Excerpts taken from Leadership Journal, Fall 2012, Balancing Acts