Sowing and Reaping Archives

Writing is still one of the most powerful forms of communication on the planet. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can use it to connect with your target audience.

In the video tutorial below, I share five major ways that you can connect with your target audience through writing. If you choose three to consistently implement, you will begin to build relationships with those you have been called to serve and establish your reputation as a thought leader in your field.

Be prepared to take notes and pause for a moment. This tutorial is 13 minutes long. Enjoy and pay it forward!

The Video Tutorial

 

Slide Notes

Slide #1

This is the series that is not about you. This is the series that is about your calling. There is a specific group of people who need the services and products you provide to address their problem, pain, or predicament and it is time for you to care enough to communicate with them. In this video, I will share 5 major ways that you can connect with your target audience through writing. Now, let’s get started.

Slide #2

Now, I want to take you back to the little red school house. You know the one that had all grades K-12 in one big room. If you are watching this video, I am sure you didn’t experience a little red schoolhouse education but perhaps you have seen Little House on the Prairie or some old school movie about the new frontier, pioneering days, so you can relate. Well, in those times, there were three fundamentals of a basic education called the Three R’s—reading, writing, and arithmetic. Being literate, mastering written communication, and knowing how to do the math were the three things that separated the haves from the have nots, the rich from the poor.

Slide #3

Today, it is no different. Reading, writing, and arithmetic play a strong role in our daily interaction. Writing is still very important in creating contractual agreements (when something really matters all parties want everything spelled out in writing) in email, texting, and even participating in social media. No matter how advanced we get with video technology, there is still nothing like the written word.

Slide #4

That being said, let me reveal to you the five effective ways that you can connect with your target audience and build a relationship with those you have been called to serve on a consistent basis. They are 1)  Blogging, 2) Email Marketing, 3) Direct Mail, 4) Article Marketing, & 5) Publishing. Ultimately, these are ways for you to create content, establish yourself as a thought leader, and stay at the top of the minds of your niche. Now, go ahead and get a sheet of paper because I am going to briefly review each one and then ask you to choose three as part of your marketing plan.

Slide #5

I want to share a true story with you. In February of 2012, I received a voicemail message on the Ask Kellie line. I returned the call and it happened to be a woman who had never responded to one blog post, but when we talked she let me know that she’d created a folder and put my blog posts in it. She also informed me that she read every single book of every author that I’d interviewed on Books That Transform. She said she couldn’t remember how she found me but she had been following me for quite some time.

Just last week, she emailed me after I wrote a blog post about the fact that I am writing a book and told me that she was so excited about what God was doing in my ministry. She said she couldn’t wait for my book to come out & that she was also writing a book.  Now, think about that. Without even knowing it, I have been building a relationship with that wonderful woman. When I returned her call, we had the best conversation for about 20 minutes.

We talked about my branding programs, her business, and after a few moments, it was not as if two strangers were on the phone. I don’t know about you, but I think that is powerful. That is the power of blogging.

So, Let’s briefly talk about the who, what, where, when, and why of blogging. A blog is a website that allows you to build a relationship with your target audience through frequent, consistent updates.

According to expert blogger and founder of the Blog Squad, Denise Wakeman, it is the place where you educate, entertain, engage, and enrich the readers. You see, the more frequently you blog, the more you demonstrate your own stability, consistency, belief and commitment to what you have been called to do by sharing your experiences, your views, and your expertise with your readers.

Think about something that you do every single week that involves at least on other person. It might be watching your favorite tv show which for me is none other than Shark Tank. It might be meeting your best friend for lunch every Wednesday or going to choir rehearsal every Thursday night or playing golf every Friday morning with your colleagues.

In the same way, that you look forward to connecting with that special person or that special group of people, your readers begin to look forward to connecting with you. So, if you choose to connect with your audience through blogging, commit to it. Don’t leave your target audience hanging, wondering when oh when you are going to share another post. After a while, they will not wonder anymore. They will just lose interest and move on.

Slide #6

Oh, Email! Oh, Email! Do they really need another? You may be thinking, people need another email like they need a whole in their heads. And, guess what? You are exactly, right. If you choose email marketing which is a great way to build a relationship over time, you will have to find a way to get into the recipient’s email inner circle.

What is the email inner circle?

The email inner circle is the group of people whose emails the recipient WILL open AND according to Nielsen NetRatings, there are only 16 people in that group. Now, how in the world do you get in it? It seems that you can only get into that inner circle if you publish a free, valuable ezine or online newsletter.

This means that you will need to provide good information that helps people. When people begin to see you as a trusted adviser or expert in your field based on the content of your ezine, they will click when they see your name in their inbox. Your ezine should go out once a month at the bare minimum & weekly at the very best.

Feel free to invite them to purchase your products or services but use the 80/20 rule—80% great content, 20% sales related. Now, you can maintain your position in that inner circle by sending updates in between the ezine issues, but keep the content level very high. Do not send an email just to “stay in contact”. Have a specific purpose in mind.

Slide #7

When was the last time you went to your mailbox and found postcards of all shapes and sizes from Papa John’s, a local realtor, Kohl’s, Stride Rite, or even Direct TV? It was probably recently. That is because direct mail is still one of the most effective ways to communicate to and then attract clients.

If you choose to launch a direct mail campaign, using a postcard as opposed to a sales letter or brochure is going to be more cost effective. You will also need to commit to mailing a postcard 9-12x per year.

Why?

Because marketing research says that a person must see a message at least 9x before he or she makes a purchasing decision. When you show up in the mailbox on a regular basis, when the prospect is ready to purchase what you offer, they will undoubtedly think of you.

Slide #8

Writing articles is a wonderful, non-threatening, non-salesy way to communicate with your target audience. It allows you to once again provide helpful information while developing trust. People are sick of being sold to, so it is no wonder that they trust articles more than advertisements. When you write an article, you are not focusing on yourself, but you are focusing on the reader. By providing news they can actually use, you enhance your credibility and keep them coming back for more.

Slide #9

If you really want to get your target audience’s attention, publish. Publish a book, an ebook, an audio book (which has hit the billion dollar status), a special report, a white paper, a home study course, a manual, a guide, a blueprint–anything that builds your reputation as a thought leader—someone who knows what he or she is talking about and is willing to share it. If promoted correctly, the book will also open up the door to seminars, workshops, keynotes, radio and television shows, and various speaking engagements that will take your message to the masses.

Slide #10

In this video, we skimmed the surface of 5 major ways you can connect with your target audience through writing. Your job now is to educate yourself on them and then choose just three to put into action. Remember that connecting, developing trust, and building relationships take time and unless you care enough to communicate, consistently, you will not reach those you have been called to serve.

Slide #11

If you are a small business entrepreneur who is struggling with aligning your business vision with your divine purpose…if you are not quite sure how to build a brand that resonates with your  target audience, I invite you to learn more. Access your free Personal Branding Toolbox and let me help you build your brand one step at a time.

Until the next video, I’m Kellie Gardner encouraging you to keep watching & keep walking in your divine personal brand.

 

Caring Enough to Communicate

Did you know that your gifts, talents, and expertise are not about you, AT ALL?

They were placed in you to enhance the lives of others. They were placed in you to be “shared” with a specific group of people who really needs and/or desires them.

If you are feeling stuck–unable to move towards the vision God has shown you in regards to your divine purpose–this new video series is for you. The series is called Caring Enough to Communicate and it means so much to me. I hope that it is a blessing to you and that it stretches you and challenges you to walk in your divine personal brand.

Caring Enough To Communicate

Watch this video and feel free to leave a comment or share it with anyone that you know who could be blessed by it. I have included the notes for each slide below. :)

Slide 1

This video series is for you if you are a child of God who already knows exactly what you have been called to do and you are tired of making excuses about why you have not reached those you have been summoned to serve. Hi! I’m Kellie Gardner of kelliegardner.com where entrepreneurs discover their divine personal brand and today is the day that you begin caring enough to communicate. Keep watching and I will show you that you already have what you need to drive out fear so that you can consistently deliver your message to your target audience.

Slide 2

First of all, let me say that you are not stuck because you need more marketing and branding training. You can get those as needed. You are not stuck because you don’t have the money to pursue your dreams. No, I believe there is a much simpler reason. If you were to really get to the bottom of your reason for not moving towards the vision that God has embedded in your heart, you would probably find that you are paralyzed by fear. It is either the fear of failure or the fear of success.

Slide 3

The fear of failure binds you because you don’t want to be embarrassed. You don’t want to be scrutinized. You don’t want to experience what you see as the pain of disappointment. The fear of success holds you back because you are uncertain that you can handle the demands of others’ expectations once you hit the mark and do well. You are uncertain about whether you have what it takes to keep producing products or services that fulfill you while making a difference in the lives of others. And, in this digital age, you are not sure if you are mentally capable of handling the bullying, the rejection, the coldness often expressed in the media and particularly on demand in social media.

Slide 4

No matter what kind of fear is holding you back, as a child of God, it cannot have dominion over you unless you allow it to do so. How do I know? Because fear, the unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat, does not come from God. 2 Tim 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I like the way the amplified version breaks it down:  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. The key is this: Once you make a decision to operate out of love, you will find that courage and confidence will emerge and the fear will gradually disseminate.

Slide 5

What does this all mean? It means that you don’t need to ask God for power to do what He has called you to do because He has already graciously given it to you. Power is nothing but the ability to do something or act in a particular way. Love, well we can spend all day and night talking about love. But, I want to direct you to two passages on the subject—I Corinthians 13 and I John 4:7-19. I Corinthians 13 gives you the characteristics/the attributes of love as God sees it and I John 4:7-19 teaches us about God’s love for us and how he expects us to operate out of love towards others. So, yes, you are loved by God and you have been given the power to love others. Isn’t it nice to know that whoever lives in love lives in God and God in Him? If God is living in you, you have everything that you need to fulfill the purpose that He has for your life. Remember, he loves you and his love never fails. Finally, your Heavenly Father did not leave anything to chance. He has also given you a calm, well-balanced mind. A mind that allows you to be disciplined and exhibit self-control.

Slide 6

But, here’s the thing: I can wrap up everything I have purchased for you in the prettiest paper and even put a big bow on it, but if you don’t open it, you will never experience the gift. You will never access what I have offered you. It’s the same thing with God. He has given you power, love, and a sound mind but if you choose not to access it, if you choose not to walk in it,  you will never reach that group of people that have been reserved for you. This may be hard for you to believe, but, Yes, there is somebody who needs to hear the message that you have in the way that only you can deliver it. There is somebody who can only see the solution to their problem through the windows of your eyes. So, when you shrink back or you fail to walk in your calling, you deny those people access to what God wants to give them through you.

Slide 7

Now that you know that you are equipped and you do not have to walk in fear, it is time for you to commit fully to communicating your message. You must deliver your message consistently and with clarity, over and over and over again in ways that will get their attention. Think about it. Is there a certain pastor you like to watch on TV, or an actress whose work you follow, or an author whose books you love to read. You have developed trust in that person because they proved themselves to be trustworthy, whether they came on every Monday night or every day….whether they released a new book every year or every other year…Guess what? They continued to connect with you on a consistent basis and thereby successfully drew you in. Well, that is the same thing you must do. Remember, that trust is earned at a slow, steady pace. The more you are seen and heard from, the more likely you are to build lasting relationships with your audience.

Slide 8

As I close, I want you to know that you have already been equipped with everything you need to drive out fear—whether it is fear of failure or fear of success. You have been given power. You have been given love. You have been given a sound, calm, disciplined mind. If you take the focus off of yourself and operate in love for the people God has called you to serve, you will have the courage and confidence you need to consistently deliver your message.

Slide 9

On the next video, I will share communication tactics you can use to reach your target audience and I look forward to you joining me. If you are a small business entrepreneur who is struggling with building your brand effectively, head over to kelliegardner.com and let me help you. Get free access to the Personal Branding Toolbox where you will be able to work at your own pace, enhancing your personal brand. Until we meet again, I am Kellie Gardner encouraging you to keep walking in your divine personal brand.

“You want me to give that for free?

A client exclaimed emphatically when I expressed that she needed to select several communication tactics that would educate and bless those she had been called to serve.

“Yes,” I firmly and unapologetically replied.

I was not going to sugarcoat what I knew to be the missing link in her marketing efforts. It was apparent that it was hard for her to grasp the fact that we are standing in a time where the Biblical principle of Seedtime and Harvest is the foundation of effective marketing. 

This is a concept that I want you, the Christian entrepreneur to learn as well.

In fact, since you have already experienced the benefit of God loving you so much that He gave His only begotten son—yes, He gave to you first—then, this principle should resonate well deep within you.

It is imperative that you share your experiences (lessons learned), your revelations, and your expertise with those you have been called to serve on a regular basis. How you do that is up to you. There are several communication tactics that you can choose:

  • Speaking to Groups

  • Writing articles

  • Using direct mail

  • Using Social Media—YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

  • Podcasting

  • Teaching through webinars, teleseminars

  • Blogging

  • Providing workshops or seminars

  • Sending newsletters or ezines

  • Teaching courses online

The reality is that you must give something to others before you can expect to receive from them.

You can create all of the content “for sale” that you want.

You can work steadfastly on developing your products and honing your skills so that your services are top-notch, but until you give first, in service, you are not positioning yourself to reap a harvest.

No seeds. No harvest. It is just that simple.

Now, I could tell you–

  • That people are tired of being marketed to or sold to every single second of the day.
  • That people are skeptical of hype and newcomers who are here today, gone tomorrow.
  • That people do not care about you, your product, or your services; but, they care about how you, your product, or your services can release them from a pain, an ill, a discomfort, or displeasure.

I could also tell you—

  • That it takes 6 to 8 non-sales-y encounters with you before you even catch the attention of those you have been called to serve AND even longer for them to begin to trust you.
  • That the foundation of your marketing is in building relationships with people and those relationships take time to develop.
  • That the only way you will see momentum and growth in your business is when you consistently, frequently, and graciously connect with people without fail.

But in the midst of this Thanksgiving season, I would rather bring your attention back to the Biblical principle of Seedtime and Harvest—a principle that existed before you started your business and will remain long after your business has run its course.

“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” Genesis 8:22 (NIV)

Quick Self-Assessment

Ask yourself this important question:

  • What seeds am I planting in the hearts and minds of those I have been called to serve?

As a Christian entrepreneur, I want you to think of your target audience solely as those God has reserved for you to minister to, to serve, to bless. If you begin to think of them that way, you will not see them as dollar signs or means by which to create increase in YOUR life, but you will begin to view yourself as a servant created to assist, support, and heal.

Giving great content to them for free is your gift of service.

I want to leave you with a portion (v. 10 &11) of one of my favorite passages of Scripture which is 1 Peter 4: 7-11:

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To HIM be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4: 10,11 (NIV)

 

 You Are Invited

I invite you to learn more about how you can serve those God has called you to serve. Get your very own complimentary audio training on 10 Things Your Ideal Clients Need You to Do when you access The Personal Branding Toolbox. Get started learning how to walk in your divine personal brand, today.

Click here.

Are You Faithful to Your Own Business?

Would you say you are a faithful person? 

  • One who is true to your word, promises or vows
  • Worthy of trust or belief; reliable; trusted; believed
  • Steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
  • Adhering firmly and devotedly as to a person, cause, or idea

I know what you are thinking. Yes, Kellie, I am faithful….in some areas. Maybe not as much as I would like to be in certain things, but I would say I am a faithful person.

I understand exactly what you mean.

But, let me stop beating around the bush. The question I really want to ask is “Are you faithful to your own business?”

Oftentimes, you may find it easier to commit to a job, a role, or even fulfilling someone else’s expectations than you do to your own business. Since no one can really tell you what to do or make you do it, it is easy for you to do “your own thang.” I mean, that is why you became an entrepreneur, right?

You wanted to be your own boss, set your own schedule, make your own moves.

All of that sounds real good until one day you look up and you do not have enough clients to make ends meet. You are not generating enough cash flow to sustain yourself and your family or even worse, you have lost the zeal for getting up every day and serving those you are called to serve.

Could it possibly be that you are not seeing the results you’d like to see because you are not faithful?

Here are some questions I have created to help you evaluate your faithfulness to your business which should be aligned with what God has called you to do:

1.  Do you invest in becoming better at what you do? This may look like—

  • Working closely with a trainer, coach, consultant, mentor

  • Taking courses and implementing your learning daily.

  • Getting a degree or certification in your field.

  • Attending seminars, workshops, or conferences held by leaders in your field.

2.  Do you set aside time to not only study your field, but also to grow spiritually and personally?  This may look like–

  • Spending 30-60 minutes per day listening to audio series on topics that enhance your personal and spiritual development or that specifically relate to areas in your business that you need to know well. For example, listening to series on leadership, marketing, the psychology of people, spiritual laws and principles, etc. are topics of which we can never become too well-versed.

  • Spending 30 minutes per day reading books on topics that enhance your spiritual, personal, and professional development.


3.  Do you operate your business daily based upon a strategic marketing plan? This may look like—

  • Establishing branding channels which include inclusive and exclusive ways of marketing that effectively reach and attract your ideal clients.

  • Implementing those marketing tactics on specific days of the week at specific times during the day (and even setting aside the amount of time each will take).

  • Annually, planning the networking events you will attend, the products you will launch, the training/services you will provide. Writing these plans on your calendar, breaking them down by quarters.

4.  Do you spend time in and on your business on a consistent basis whether you feel like it or not, whether “life happens” or not? This may look like—

  • Implementing your weekly marketing plan even though you do not feel well, you are not “in the mood”, you would rather do something else, you have received shocking news, you are being “attacked” by the enemy, and/or you are experiencing intense spiritual warfare, or you are not seeing results as quickly as you had “dreamed.”

  • Keeping your appointments with your clients or coaches, mentors, and courses you have agreed to take.

  • Staying on schedule with taking classes (if perhaps you are getting a degree or certification) and submitting your assignments on time.

5.  Do you assess & reassess your business vision with someone who can support you in the process? This may look like-—

  • Spending time in prayer and meditation with God. Hearing what He has to say about your path, your direction.

  • Spending time with a coach or consultant who is experienced, knowledgeable, and successful in the areas in which you want to experience success.

  • Evaluating your offerings—programs, products, and services.

  • Engaging in market research once or twice a year so that you know who your target audience really is and what problems you can solve.

  • Staying abreast of your competition.

  • Communicating your divine distinction in a bigger way.

Faithfulness.

For some reason, when it comes to your business, it may be easier said than done.

I encourage you today to be faithful to your business.

Commit to be faithful to the things that God has called you to do as a Christian entrepreneur.

Of course, it will not be easy, but once you make the decision to do it–no matter what, everything you need to fulfill your purpose will “kick in.”

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