This is a guest post by by Pastor Dave Arnold, founder of Reflections From The Alley.
As a Christian, I use to struggle with the whole idea of marketing. I believed that marketing was a deceptive tool to persuade people to buy a product or join a cause.
We’ve all seen those people in the mall or downtown or wherever with clip-boards in hand. And what do we usually do when they come toward us? Turn the other way or ignore them.
However, marketing in and of itself is not a bad thing. It all depends on the motives behind it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to promote your voice – your product, blog, book, podcast, art, or sermon-series.
The key is: What is your motive?
I believe the secret to effectiveness in marketing is found in one word:
Michael Hyatt, a devout Christian and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says, “Tribe-building is the new marketing. Marketing is no longer about shouting in a crowded marketplace; it is about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers… it is about serving those who share your passion” (from the book, Platform).
This is the principle Jesus taught: It’s better to give then to receive (Acts 20:35).
Because of social media, it’s not only a great time to promote your business, ministry, or dream; it’s also a great time to practice the biblical principle of generosity.
How do you do this? Consider this:
• Give stuff away. If you are writing a book or devotional or trying to sell a product, give something away. It could be a chapter, an eBook, a free trial of your product, etc. Social media experts say one of the best ways to grow your “tribe” is to give stuff away. Let people see your generosity and they’ll be more likely to promote you.
• Ask the question: “How can I help you?” or “How can I bless you?” If you use Twitter, for example, a great way to grow your followers is by asking how you can enhance them. You can do this with Facebook, too or through your website.
• Send an encouraging message to one person per day. You could do this through writing a comment on a blog you follow, or on Facebook or Twitter. An example of this is an email I get periodically. All it says is, “Thanks for your ministry.” I’ve never met this person, nor do I know what he looks like. But every time I get his email, I’m so encouraged.
The principle behind these suggestions is the idea of promoting others more than yourselves. “In humility consider others better than yourselves,” Paul says (Philippians 2:3).
What people are looking for is authenticity. They want a relationship, not just a product. One of the best ways to share your “voice” is through generosity and learning to serve.
Social media is a great tool in which we can do this! So let’s use this tool to enhance other people and let our light shine before all men (Matthew 5:16).
In what ways do you use social media to bless others? What is one thing you can do this week to practice generosity in your networks?