I directed him to a presentation I gave that I put on Slideshare called “10 Ways to Grow Your Platform in the Internet Age,” but I thought that since so many of us are trying to get the word out about ways that we help the church, I’d write a longer post about the successful steps I’m taking.
Start with attitude
Let’s start with attitude. A lot of us are artists of one sort or another and not marketers or sales people. I know that I felt like a lot of “internet marketing” was set up like this:
- Somehow convince you to go to my “landing page” (aka ugly page with a video and lots of text, but no style).
- You watch a video that reads off all the copy on the page, verbatim.
- I convince you I’ve figured out some secret no one else ever has.
- I’ll give you a worthless pdf that’s two pages long if you sign up to my “newsletter” (which is just a regularly emailed sales pitch).
- You now get daily spam about my $997 system for doing something.
- A few people are stupid enough to buy it and as long as I can get 50 or so people to do so each year, I make decent money.
- Repeat with a new “system” for doing something else, maybe one that shows you how to do steps 1-6.
A lot of what’s online is exactly this. Most of the information is useless.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “make six figures from working 20 minutes a week.” I want to help people and churches.
That’s the attitude you want. This is ChurchM.ag after all. Helping others is the name of the game. Start by asking yourself if it would be helpful if the person who needs your book or web design skills or what have you knew how to find you. That should be your assumption.
I assume that there are people in churches all over the world that want to know how to podcast, how to use Twitter, and how to better have a servant’s heart. Most of them don’t know me yet. I want to get the word to these people. That’s all I’m trying to do.
I don’t want to be annoying. I just want the people who need my help to know where to find me.
Pick your social media
I, of course, have chosen Twitter to do this. You don’t have to, but it’s my social medium of choice. I like being able to share what I’ve learned and to being able to connect with people.
For reciprocal networks like Twitter, the best way to connect with new people is to go out and find them. You can use the search box on the Twitter site to look for keywords like “Bible” or “Jesus” and follow them. I personally look for people who have a similar niche to me and I follow their followers. I use Tweepi.com to do this.
Between 10-30% of these people follow me back. I unfollow the ones who don’t and repeat.
Engage, engage, engage
Having a big list of followers or friends or people in your circles is absolutely useless if you don’t engage. I provide fodder for engagement by tweeting links, pics, quotes, videos, etc. every day.
Because I find links in batches, I schedule them in advance to go out when people are likely to see them. To do this I use hootsuite. Right now I’ve got the next four days scheduled in advance. Sometimes, I get up to a week or two in advance. Sometimes I’m tweeting live.
No matter what, I engage with anyone that comments or mentions me. More engagement equals more people knowing, liking, and trusting you.
Freebies = subscribers
When I get a new follower, I use a service like SocialOomph, TwitterDMer, or Unfollowers.me to send them a DM welcoming them and offering a free copy of one of my books. Notice that this is a whole book. It’s worth real money. People actually buy it from Amazon all the time. It’s not something that I give away lightly. This is a potential sale that I’m giving away, but I’m getting something else; their email address for my newsletter.
Connect with your tribe
Every week, I write a personal, honest, and helpful newsletter to the people on my list. I try not to be too sales oriented, but I tell them when I have special deals. I always try and include something of value like a post that I’ve written or a freebie. I want people to feel like I’m trying to provide real value to them.
Spread out engagement
I don’t only use Twitter and my newsletter. I try and use as many social media outlets as I can. With hootsuite, I can send the same links to up to five social networks. I’ve chosen Twitter, Google+, and three of my FaceBook Pages. I keep an eye out for engagement on these secondary networks even though I don’t go there as regularly. I want to be around for FaceBookers and Google plussers just in case.
I also blog at my site, here, and a couple of other places. This gets my name in front of people I wouldn’t necessarily bump into in other ways. The more people I connect with the better.
The results of doing this might be slow at first. I’ve been going at it for a couple of years and I’m still not where I’d like to be, but as long as there’s progress, you should keep at it. If nothing changes at all, then try something different, but a lot of times movement is movement. It might take a while, but you’ll get the word out. Just keep trying.
In a world with a population of 7 billion, it wouldn’t take a large percentage to enable me to feed my family while I try and help as many churches as possible. I just need to find them because I believe they’re looking for someone like me to help them.
What are some ways you’re getting the word out about how you help the church?
[Image via TheeErin]