David started an online business geared for homeschooling fathers. It was born out of his own need for resources to teach his children. When he found that most homeschooling content was aimed at mothers, he created a site exclusively for fathers.
He eventually started a podcast, wrote a weekly newsletter, and published new worksheets regularly. He had lesson plans and curriculum suggestions on his website, and he was getting a steady trickle of traffic.
Still, he couldn’t seem to grow beyond a very small flock. He knew that God had called him to this business, and he was passionate about helping more homeschooling dads. So, after a few years, he reached out to a mentor who was in the online business world.
When David asked for his advice, his mentor said he was having trouble with branding. “From a customer perspective, your online business doesn’t have a consistent look and feel. I can’t get an idea of your personality from the content on your website, and I’m not entirely sure what you’re trying to sell.”
David’s mentor went on to say that David needed to consider his personal branding if he wanted to grow his business…
We have printable worksheets available to help you begin to plan your personal branding . They include guided questions that will trigger thoughts and ideas to help you create a well thought out plan. Click >>here<< for the worksheets.
Maybe you’ve been where David is. You’re not seeing the clients or congregants you want for your ministry or business. You know your products or services are high-quality, but only a few people buy from you or engage with your ministry.
You might be tempted to believe that the problem is that your platform isn’t big enough or that your website isn’t interactive enough. But for many Christian leaders and business owners, these problems are usually the result of poor personal branding.
You may even feel ashamed to think of a term like personal branding. But branding is essential if you hope to serve your flock and reach more people with Christ’s love. See if you believe some of these myths about branding that many Christian professionals do…
Some Christians believe that copywriting is the equivalent of going to a meeting and screaming “Buy my product!” to every person they see. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Personal branding is about so much more than selling your product or program.
Personal branding is about serving your flock. You can use your branding to address your flock’s concerns, help them make God-honoring decisions, and offer solutions to their needs.
Many Christian leaders and business owners think that every piece of content they create has to have a call to action, but that’s not true.
You’ll be creating content to increase your client’s and congregant’s awareness of your ministry business most of the time. This can be called the “know, like, trust” factor.
The “know, like, trust” factor is about guiding your flock through the buying stages. In the first stage, the know stage, you’ll give potential clients and customers content that informs them.
You’ll share content that makes your brand likable in the second stage. The third and final stage is known as trust. It’s the point where your flock will decide whether they should purchase your product or service.
Branding isn’t focused solely on you or even your flock. The best branding strikes a balance between “about you” and “about your flock” while shining the light of Jesus to those who need it most.
You want your branding to show your understanding of and compassion for your flock’s situation. Your personal branding should highlight that your ministry or business cares and why your brand is the best one to choose.
Personal branding isn’t about positioning your business or ministry as perfect. It’s about connecting with your flock and building a relationship with them.
Your customers and congregants want to know about your expertise, but they also need to know that you understand them. A straightforward way to do this is to share stories about your brand, and don’t be afraid to include stories about your failures.
Remember that personal branding is nothing to be ashamed of. That’s because it’s not about you. It’s about serving and leading the flock God has entrusted to you.
Personal branding can be a confusing topic for some Christians. You may think that personal branding isn’t useful and adds no value to your ministry. But that’s not true. Many Christian leaders have harnessed the power of personal branding to spread the message of Christ’s love and serve their flock.
The truth is that personal branding is all about using the impact you have intentionally. When you know the type of image that you’d like to project, this knowledge will help you guide your business and ministry decisions.
Instead of taking on every project that comes your way, you’ll stop and examine which projects align with who you are and what you’d like to offer. Personal branding helps you simplify decision-making.
Your flock wants to do business with someone they know, like, and trust. You start building your “know, like, and trust” factor by connecting with customers on a relational and emotional level. That means that personal branding is, well, personal.
You have to be willing to share part of your personal life to allow your ideal client to resonate with your business or ministry.
For example, if you sell minivans to moms, sharing that you have kids of your own can be a great way to connect with your potential customers.
You don’t have to go into excessive detail, but you could say something like, “I have three kids, too, and the last thing I want to worry about on our summer road trip is if my vehicle will break down.”
By doing this, you’ve forged a connection with the members of your flock and made them more likely to buy from you. Why? Because they know that you understand their situation and can relate.
Remember that personal branding is about sharing, but you want most of what you’re sharing to be positive. Negativity will make it harder to convince potential customers to work with you and may drive people away from your message. That’s why you want to stay upbeat with what you do share.
For example, you might say, “Last year, I was driving the family minivan when the kids and I were in a terrible accident. I was so worried about them, but this van’s safety features meant that my kids only had minor injuries.”
In this case, you’ve shared a personal story, but you’ve kept it positive by ending on a good note.
Keep in mind that your personal brand is going to grow and develop. As you learn more about your flock and what they want, you’ll want to re-examine your personal brand and make sure it’s still serving your business or ministry well.
One of the best parts of building a personal brand is getting to minister to potential clients or congregants.
When you know who you are and how you serve best, you’ll find it easier to connect with your flock. You’ll know how to reach them without resorting to pushy sales tactics that feel inauthentic.
For many Christian leaders and business owners, personal branding starts with discovering who you are. When you build your personal brand, you can highlight your strengths while minimizing your weaknesses. This will help you feel less frustrated and save you energy because you’ll know which projects are a good fit for your gifts.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to the wrong projects or partnerships. An essential part of personal branding is only allowing projects and collaborations in your life that focus on your strengths.
When new opportunities present themselves, pause to check in with the Holy Spirit. Is this project exciting to you? Does it allow you to highlight your best qualities? Will it add more joy to your life?
You have a message to share with this world, a unique way to make your flock’s lives easier, more meaningful, and more fun. You may already recognize what this message is. But some Christian leaders and business owners don’t.
Often, it takes the guidance of a business coach or a trusted mentor to help you discover your message. You may want to consider working with a Christian coach or spiritual mentor as you seek to define your personal brand.
Once you understand personal branding and know the message you’d like to share with your ideal clients or congregants, it’s time to think about your sweet spot. This is the area where your flock needs help and where you function best.
You can communicate your sweet spot by sharing stories that show who are you are as a person and a professional. For example, if you help moms get their pre-baby bodies back, sharing your own weight loss story can be inspirational.
You want the stories you share to resonate with your ideal client, so don’t be afraid to examine their goals, fears, and frustrations.
You could share a story about your own frustration with finding half an hour to exercise when you have a newborn in the house. When you share these personal stories, you’ll be building your personal brand and creating connections.
Personal branding is all about knowing who you are and what God has given you to share so you can serve others. Keep in mind that it does take time to discover and implement your personal brand. If you’d like to speed up this process, it can be helpful to reach out to a coach.
When it comes to promoting your business or ministry, you must understand that your flock wants to do business with you only after they’ve had the chance to connect with you.
Potential clients and congregants often wonder if they’ll enjoy working with you, how you can help them, and if they’ll get their desired results (whether that’s spiritual growth, increased web traffic, or whatever it is you offer).
This is where personal branding can help you. The right branding will allow your ideal client to get to know you. It also gives you an easy way to answer their questions before they even ask them. But before you start working on your brand, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.
Describe your ideal client or congregant in as much detail as you can. It would help if you were specific about their fears, frustrations, and feelings. Use forums and social media groups to see what words your ideal client uses to talk about their situation.
Knowing how your potential clients describe what they’re dealing with will allow you to create a brand that connects with them.
You also need to think about what your potential client’s desired result would look and feel like. For example, if you help overwhelmed working moms find time to prepare nutritious food to feed their families, the result might be less dinner time stress, more family time, and healthier bodies.
Next, think about how you’re uniquely qualified to help your clients or congregants. Describe why you’re qualified as a professional (education) and/or as a person (experience).
You’ll want to offer proof of your qualifications in the form of diplomas, testimonials, and endorsements. These qualifications can be placed on the ‘home’ or ‘about’ page or a dedicated ‘testimonials’ page on your website and blog.
When you have a clear picture of what results your flock can expect from you, you’ll want to think about the journey they’ll take. Try to describe the milestones your ideal client typically encounters during their journey. For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, one milestone might be losing the first ten pounds.
Don’t focus on just the good milestones. You’ll also want to consider the setbacks clients may face and the emotional aspects of their journey. For example, a setback might be gaining three pounds in one week.
Once you’re confident that you understand your potential client’s journey, you need to take a moment to consider their objections. What hesitations might your client bring up when they’re ready to hire you or attend your ministry?
What are they afraid of if they take that first step? For example, if you’re a fitness coach that helps obese patients lose weight, you might find that potential clients are worried about visiting a gym for the first time.
When you understand these objections, you can offer solutions. Keep in mind that solutions don’t always have to be complex.
You might simply tell clients that the first gym session is about coming in and getting comfortable with the equipment; no workout is required. Now you’ve subtly eased a potential client’s objections to taking that first step toward fitness.
Now that you know the journey your flock is on, it’s time to guide them to your product or services. You can do this by thinking about the action steps readers need to take when interacting with your content.
For example, you might have a call to action at the bottom of your blog posts for joining your email list.
When you send emails to this list, you could have a call to action at the bottom of each email that invites your subscribers to set up a free consultation with you. You want to invite your community to keep taking action continually. By doing this, your little flock will begin to grow.
Understanding your client or congregant is the first step toward better personal branding. When you genuinely care about your flock, it will shine through everything you do, bringing glory to God.
Personal branding on social media is an intimidating topic for some Christian leaders and business owners. Maybe you’ve struggled with it, too. You want to be warm and approachable, but you don’t want to cross the line into oversharing. You want to be professional and polished, but you don’t want to be the boring guest at the cocktail party.
When using social media to grow your personal brand, the first thing you should do is decide what you want to be known for. Pick one to three subjects you’d like to focus on. These are the subjects you’ll probably end up posting about a lot.
You can have a profile on every social network if you want. But most Christian leaders and business owners find their flocks stick to one or two social networks, depending on their industry. If you’re in the wedding industry, you might find that Facebook and Pinterest are where you get the majority of your interaction.
If you’re in a tech-related field, you might find that your community prefers Twitter instead. Don’t stress about this. Simply pick the two social networks where you feel the Spirit is leading.
Now, take a look at your profiles on your social media channels. Would someone that’s not familiar with your ministry or business be able to tell that you’re the same person?
If not, it’s time to harmonize your social media accounts. Ideally, you want to use the same profile picture, bio, and header image across your social platforms. This makes it easy for others to recognize your brand, regardless of the social network they’re using.
You want to maintain an active profile on your industry's most popular social networks. Some networks are better for posting multiple times a day (like Twitter), while for others posting only 2-3 times a day works better.
You might need to run a few short experiments to discover how frequently you should update and what times work best for your followers.
If you’re unsure what to post, embrace the 4 out of 5 rule. This rule means posting four pieces of content that feed your flock to every one piece of promotional content.
Don’t be afraid to share great content with your followers, even if you didn’t write it. When you’re the one that shares the latest news in your industry, others will view you as the go-to source on trends and news in your industry.
Once you start building your personal brand on social media, start looking for communities to join. Facebook has groups, Twitter has lists, and Pinterest has group boards.
But they all mean pretty much the same thing – they’re an online gathering of people around one central subject, whether that subject is motherhood, sports, or school.
The great thing about groups is that they allow you to form connections with your flock and serve them. It’s also an easy way to do research. You can discover what questions your clients or congregants frequently ask, what they struggle with, and what they would love to get more of.
Using social media to brand yourself as a Christian leader or business owner is smart. Just remember to post and share helpful content with your flock.
In Matthew 5, Jesus commands those who know Him to shine His light to everyone.
14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
At first, working on your personal branding might feel weird to you or make you uncomfortable. But Jesus wants you to shine for Him. He didn’t give you your talents, business, or ministry so you could hide away.
It’s time to be brave and embrace personal branding so you can proclaim His name!
Grace and peace,
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