Are you launching your business or ministry this very moment? Stop! You MUST read this post before you take another step, make another decision, and definitely…before you begin marketing.
Because you’ve probably got the basics all wrong. (I know. I know. I’m supposed to be all warm and fuzzy, so you’ll like me. But I don’t want to start our relationship on false pretenses, so I’ll just be me, and you just be you, and we’ll see if we get along, all right?)
Are you a Christian with a message that burns in your gut so bad you have to keep Pepto-Bismol on your nightstand? A message that inspires you so intensely you have to make yourself think of something else, before your brain explodes from joy?
You are my kind of people. 🙂
So I’m going to do what others won’t. Or can’t. I’m going to tell you the truth.
You Can Stop Pretending
Everybody already knows that you challenge the status quo. Some people think that’s your best quality. They like, no, they depend upon you to do that. To say what they wish they could say. To live the life they want to live. To be the person they want to be. They’re not groupies. They’re “your people.”
You know, those individuals with whom you naturally click, who appreciate your zany sense of humor, and who recognize the pebble of wisdom in your wacky stories.
You meet them everywhere: at work, church, in the community, and at a conference in Detroit. You’re minding your own business, just living life, and the next thing you know, you’re engaged in conversation with (sometimes) a complete stranger, and it seems like you’ve known one another for years.
We’ve all experienced that. But we don’t often realize that those conversations are part of God’s plan for us, and for the other person. That He arranged our schedules to meet, so we could serve them, in His name.
Here’s how it happens. You make an ordinary comment to someone, or vice-versa. Nothing special about it. The next thing you know, the other person mentions a problem he or she is facing. Lightly at first, then–if you don’t shy away–they go deeper.
Funny thing is, you’ve experienced that very same problem, or one very nearly like it. So you know what to say (or not), and what to do (or not).
And when the conversation is over, you can tell that the other person is relieved. Their load is lighter. Even if their problem isn’t solved.
Your “Holy Conversations” Reveal Your Greatest Asset
These are not ordinary conversations, though the topic may be very ordinary. I call them “holy conversations” because they have three participants: you, the other person, and the Holy Spirit, who is actively working behind the scenes to help you…help the other person.
Everybody and their grandmother is telling you to find (or choose) your ideal target market. I can teach you how to “find” them without getting out of your La-Z-Boy.
Remember those people we just talked about? Those that you meet naturally, and effortlessly, making a connection over the ordinary things in life? They’re your ideal target market. They’re your greatest asset. The people you’re supernaturally gifted to serve. That’s one reason why you connect with them so easily.
They’re the individuals (sometimes complete strangers) you connect with so naturally and so well that one of you says, “God must have wanted us to meet.” (He did.)
Through the years, you’ve listened to their hopes and dreams, answered their questions, shared your knowledge—and your story—and then celebrated with them as their lives improved, in part, because of your words (your message).
These are the people who pull you aside and whisper, “What you said the other day was exactly what I needed to hear.” You smile, knowing that before you helped them understand it, God helped you understand it.
We think we coincidentally “run into” these people at the grocery store, the ball field, or at a conference in Chicago. Nope.
Unbeknownst to us, God intentionally arranges our schedules so we can be at the right place, at the right time, to “run into” them.
The Auditorium Exercise
Imagine that everybody that you’ve ever talked to in these “holy conversations” was gathered into a vast auditorium.
You’re there, too, in the balcony, so that you can see them all at once. As Christ brings one person after another to your memory, you can remember how you helped them. Or rather, how HE helped them, through you.
You remember first this person and then that person, and then another. All these people are in this collective body. Can you see them in your imagination? Ask Christ to bring them to mind.
Now tell me, what do all those people have in common? What’s similar about them?
Do they share the same or a similar pain?
And if it was pain, was it a specific type of pain, or was it the depth of pain that they had in common?
Or do they share a common challenge?
And if was a challenge, was it a particular challenge, or is the commonality that they consistently overcame one challenge after another?
Think back. Ask Christ to bring these people to mind. What do they have in common?
There are a lot of nuances in play here, and when they’re brought to light, you’ll see your value to the kingdom in a way you never have before. And you’re marketability. You were made to help these people, and more like them!
It’s Time to Re-Imagine Your Marketing
When you focus your marketing efforts to reach these specific people, when you create content exclusively for them, and when you realize that these are, “your people,” you can continue doing what you’ve been doing all along, but now you can do it with intentionality.
Now you’ll know that Christ sent them your way on purpose. That the wisdom He’s given you, the opportunities He’s allowed you to experience, and the knowledge you have to share are from Him, so that you can offer it to your ideal target market, in His name.
And you’ll realize that the events in your life aren’t random or disjointed events, but rather, they’re parts of a thread woven throughout your life…by God Almighty.
Recognizing God’s activity in your past allows you to anticipate His activity in your future. Which helps you can create your business plan and marketing strategy with confidence.
This Is True Whether You Have a Business or a Ministry
Hold onto your hat now…I’m going to say something that may shock you. Whether you’re launching a business or a ministry, you need people who want what you’re offering. You can have all the other elements for success but if no one wants your products or services, failure is rolling your way downhill like a boulder in an avalanche. It’s unstoppable.
Most people don’t know who’s in their ideal target market. They’re roaming all over the Internet, searching for groups to belong to, so they can ask that worn-out old question, “What’s your greatest challenge?” (That one really makes me crazy!) Or they’re deciding who they want to work with, or for (I guess they assume their desired market will desire them).
You have work to do to, sure, but not that work. Because you’ve had 100’s or 1,000’s of hours of holy conversations with your ideal target market. So you already know what they want. You already know the questions they ask, they challenges they face, and the dreams they dream.
It won’t take you years to collect information on them–you’ve already done that market research (without realizing it)–during your “holy conversations” with them.
Now “all” you have to do is shape your message and your marketing so that they can find you in the crowded online marketplace.
Now you just need to know how to help them…find you. Do it today!