The great commission commands us to go and gather.
When it comes to marketing, many ministry leaders admit they depend on others for marketing strategies and execution. In many ways, I view the delegation of marketing as a limiting action.
Marketing skills can be improved in a reasonable amount of time and study. Today and for the remainder of this week, I will offer a brief review of what I believe to be the five most important elements of marketing, necessary to the growth of a ministry. I do not suggest that this material is exhaustive. I hope what I offer will help readers to get started down a better marketing path.
CONCEPT 1 — The Leader Is the Brand
Much has been written about how to build a brand. Unfortunately, most of the writing was based on using a platform rooted in mass media and push marketing. Push marketing, as the name implies, depends on "pushing" out messages to anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear. The best descriptor of push marketing is interruptive communication.
Effective marketing today requires a "pull" strategy. The marketer should be much more interested in providing materials for seekers—when and how the searcher finds a solution to a problem. The marketing key is to have material available at the time and place that a searcher is looking for answers. Today, searchers want to find their own answers. I think this goes far beyond the presence of a website, brochure or church bulletin.
To build a brand today, leaders need to be an "authority" in the topic search. An authority offers much more than degrees and a resume. Authority status is granted by the search. We must lead with content. As you develop a personal brand, the nucleus of your brand will be found in the answers you provide to questions. You already know the search questions to your core topic. Your topic of focus will house your core message. A true content authority offers breadth and depth within a core message.
Broadcasting to readers about your church, unique programs or special sermon series will not make you or your ministry stand out from the crowd. It's your core message that is most influential to building your brand. Write and speak your message as often as possible. As your brand develops through your platform, expect your message to broaden.
Exercise: Write a paragraph or two to define your audience (be specific), and what you want to say to them. If you become well known for this message will you be satisfied? Was Paul's message different from Peter's?
Tomorrow: Content is King. What does that mean to your brand?
Do you have questions about your brand or marketing? Please write to me at email@example.com. I will respond to every message I can.
"Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen" (Matt. 28:18-20).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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