photo © 2011 Loren Javier | more info (via: Wylio)Every Tuesday at noon EST (when I’m not speaking!) I host a BlogTalkRadio show that is completely FREE to listen to! And if you can’t listen live, download it afterwards and listen at your leisure (as several hundred do already!).
Today we talked about What works–and what doesn’t work–when it comes to marketing your ministry. You can listen to the archive here.
Here’s a synopsis:
I started speaking because someone asked me to speak. It was as easy as that. It was someone who already knew me and knew I had an interest in speaking. That’s important to remember: your best leads will come from people you already know.
1. Make Use of Your Acquaintances
Make sure that people you already know also know that you want to start speaking! Get the word out. Occasionally post on Facebook something like, “Writing a new talk that would be great for a Christmas outreach!”, or “Looking for speaking engagements in Spokane”, or something relevant. Let them start thinking of you as a speaker.
Send an email blast when you’re ready to launch your ministry. Let your friends know that you speak. Give them an update on your topics and be as specific as possible in your email: “I’m looking to speak at women’s dinners, breakfasts, retreats, or outreaches at local churches. Can you spread the word for me?’
2. Speak Strategically
When just starting out, and when looking to get more bookings, I would rather speak at an event with 40 women present from 10 different churches than one with 500 women present from 1 church. The best opportunity for referrals is speaking someplace where lots of churches are represented. I write more about this here, but let’s look at specific places for this strategy to work:
a. Christian Women’s Clubs
Operated by Stonecroft Ministries, they’re numerous all over North America, and usually attract women from a variety of churches in the area. Most women are older, and you can’t give a typical “talk”, you can only give your testimony. Nevertheless, this is how I got started!
b. MOPS groups
Again, MOPS groups dot the landscape all over churches in North America, and frequently have attendees from a variety of churches. They meet a few times a month and are always looking for speakers.
Both Stonecroft and MOPS pay rather abysmally, but they’re great for getting practice and for getting your name out! Just Google them to find groups in your area.
c. Workshops at conferences
Denominational conferences, homeschooling conferences, ministry conferences, or camp conferences are other places to find women from a variety of places. While you may not be able to be the keynote speaker, workshops can provide you with a chance to build name recognition. I’ve written about the difference between inspirational speaking and delivering a workshop elsewhere, but suffice it to say that a workshop is something where you teach a specific skill. Approach the conference coordinator with 2-3 ideas for workshops, fleshed out in about a paragraph each, and see if you get any bites!
3. Allow for Follow-Up
Once people have heard you, they need to get in touch with you so they can hire you themselves! So make sure that when you do speak you pass out business cards or bookmarks with your website on it. And do have a website, especially one with video! But don’t just rely on others contacting you. Start an email newsletter that you send out to those who hear you speak. Collect email addresses whenever you speak, and then people will remember you.
What Doesn’t Work
1. Promotional Packages
In general, promotional packages sent to churches don’t reap great rewards. If you send a glossy package with a one-sheet, a CD, and a cover letter, it likely will cost you around $6. If you get paid $300 to do an engagement, you have to get 1/50 churches responding to just break even. And since the vast majority of speakers are hired by word of mouth, this rarely works.
2. Hiring a Publicist
Once you have great name recognition, there’s merit in hiring someone else to get your bookings. Until you have name recognition, though, a publicist will simply cost you a lot of money for relatively few leads. It’s hard for them to book you, and you could likely do a better job yourself.
The moral of the story? Set yourself up to generate word of mouth by speaking to as large an audience as you can, and then have a great website you’re directing people to afterwards. Don’t spend a lot of money on up front marketing. It’s not nearly as effective, and it breaks the bank!
That’s a synopsis, but you can listen to the whole show here!
And if you want more information on how to get better bookings, my audio download will help you learn how to turn these beginning engagements into leads that will pay!