There is one question that I’m asked most both here on the website and when I interact with speakers at She Speaks. They want to know, “How do I increase my speaking opportunities?”
It’s such a great question, but it has such a long answer. I want to help answer it today by reposting a series that my sweet friend Tracie Miles wrote for Next Step years ago. Today, I’m reposting the first of the series, and there will be a link at the end to access the series in its entirety.
If you’ve had the most-asked question, you’re going to LOVE this, and even if you’re down the road a bit, the series will be a great refresher! Take it away, Tracie!
Doesn’t the term “marketing your ministry” sound crass, or too business like?
Isn’t ministry supposed to be about spirituality and walking through the doors that God opens?
Isn’t marketing typically done to try to make ourselves known, raise our platforms, increase business, or just make more money?
Is trying to market my ministry a prideful or ungodly thing to do?
The above questions are ones that most new speakers struggle with as they face the challenge of balancing their desire to speak, versus the fear of being prideful and self promoting. I know this first hand, because I struggled with that balance when I first felt called into speaking about five years ago.
Even though I felt sure of God’s call on my life to be a speaker. I vividly remember wondering how in the world anyone was going to know that I existed. I also remember wondering why in the world anyone would ever consider hiring me as their event speaker!
However, my ambition and desire to do God’s will was stronger than my insecurities, so I took the plunge and embraced the mindset that if God had planted this dream in my heart, that He would bless my marketing efforts to move forward with it!
So I began to take some baby steps – such as creating my own website through Yahoo, developing a brochure, a business card, and a promotional postcard, and formulating a mailing lists/database which I compiled from addresses on the internet.
We often fear that through intensive marketing, we will be overstepping God’s will, pushing our name, and trying to make our own paths.
Although these are valid and normal concerns for someone whose heart is sold out for Christ, I believe that God encourages us to invest in ourselves, just as He invests in us. When our investment pays off, He gets all the glory. As long as we keep pride at bay, we can feel confident in pursuing God’s will.
Think about it this way. It does not glorify God for us to acknowledge the spiritual gifts that He has given us, and even be thankful for them – but then never use them.
God desires that we use our investments wisely – just like the parable of the five talents in Matthew 25 . Although the word “talents” in the parable is referring to money, you can obviously extend the meaning to other areas as well. If you still have concerns, or even if you don’t, I want to encourage you to take some time to read over that parable in your spare time, and pray about how GOD is calling you to begin investing in YOU.
Now that I have dispelled the myth that you can’t invest in marketing your talents, I want to spend the rest of this marketing series giving you some tips on building your speaking ministry from the ground up. —Tracie Miles
To read the rest of the Marketing Your Message series, click here.