In March of 2016, I launched the Community of Christain Women for one reason, it was to serve as a marketing strategy for my Christian Life Coaching Business. I figured we’d meet once a month chat and eat a bit then at the end of the meeting I’d pitch them an opportunity to have a free 1-hour consultation with me. You see even though I had community in my group’s name I had no intention of creating a community at all. But clearly, God had other plans. To this day I’ve never made one sales pitch and have totally let my coaching business go. It’s so funny how things work out.
Any who… So after God stepped in and totally shifted the desires of my heart I wanted nothing more than to create a thriving engaged organization of women who connected both on and offline. And as I reflect on how we grew from a group of one (one being myself LOL) to over 3200 women across several media there are 5 tips (more like mindsets or principles actually) I would like to share with you. I believe these can be applied to any business regardless of your industry and if you are not already attentive to them I pray you will be after reading this.
1. Let the real you shine through. You may be just like me, the face of your brand. And if you are I want to tell you something to set you free ready here goes… It’s OK to be yourself. 🙂 Not only is it OK, it’s imperative that you do. Let your personality, individual quirkiness, and light ooze all over your business. I didn’t start attracting the right members (when I say right I mean people who actually benefit from our programs and offerings) to the Community of Christain Women (CCW) until I put more of myself into the content and events. I started using my own voice in my blogs, social media post, videos, and emails. I pretended I was talking to a close friend who appreciated my goofiness rather than a stranger I was trying to impress. I also added my pictures and shared more of my heart on my about page of the site I had no intention of having (more on that in a bit hehehe). Another thing I did was begin to do weekly live teaching from our Facebook Group so that people could see and hear from me in real time. When applied this one tip alone is like Mirical Grow for your business… seriously. It also made the whole know, like, and trust thing a problem of the past.
2. Give them what they want not what you think they need. This one is a little tricky because it forces you to put your ego and know it all self to the side. It also may take some time because you have to intentionally listen to your market to find out that they want. Which you and I both know when you’re in business for yourself it’s more appealing to market rather than do market research. But I don’t want you to waste the time I did my friend. For months I busted my tail to create services and training I just knew my community would love. But when I launched I literally only had 1 or 2 participants. It totally baffled me. I could not figure out what the problem was until I decided to listen. And what they wanted wasn’t anything I was trying to offer at all. What they wanted was a live broadcasted podcast, where they could learn practical application steps of Biblical principles and hear from topic experts on a regular basis. They also wanted live events where they could meet in small groups that will allow them to connect with like-minded women in a real way. So I gave the community what they asked for. I started monthly Coffee & Conversations at a local bistro here in Downtown Decaur. And at the time of this writing, we are two months from the launch of our Hello God Girl Radio Show. I wish I could find the words to express the spirit of anticipation, the increase in engagement, and how many women have connected with us simply because the community now meets their needs. So, my friend, I ask you to take the time, listen to your market, and give them what they want. Even if it means deviating from your own plans.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Once I came to terms that CCW was here to stay and that it would be my legacy, I like many entrepreneurs cared and nurtured it like a mother does her newborn baby. I didn’t want anyone to tell me how to do things and felt that if I asked for help it was in some way admitting I was incompetent, unable to create and maintain the growth of my own community. So months of stubbornness made progress almost non-existent. And out of frustration and a bit of embarrassment, I came to grips and realized it was time to open my mouth and ask for help. Help with marketing, internal operations, the whole nine. And omgeeezzzyyy my friend, I’m glad I did. I took training, connected with accountability partners, and began to explore new ways to market the community that I would have never thought of on my own. Connecting with others and allowing them to teach and help me with my community unblocked the levy and new members began pouring in. If you don’t already have someone else besides yourself helping you with your marketing, holding you accountable, or training you how to be a better business person, please consider changing that today. I would be honored to partner with you in any way you see fit.
4. Meet them where they are. When I launched CCW I only had a Meetup page and did not plan on having any other online presence outside of that. But after months of having less than 100 God Girls connect with the group, I once again stopped trying so hard to push my agenda and followed the leading of the Holy Spirt. This resulted in my launching our website, Facebook Page, Facebook Group, Pinterest Profile, Instagram Account, and now our upcoming Hello God Girl Radio Show which will broadcast on AM radio and stream on the IHeartRadio App. I had no idea that by maximizing the platforms that women are already using would help the community grow as fast as it did. To some people, this might be a no brainer but for me, it was a real eye opener. Because I felt that if I offered high-quality programs and events people would just find me. But not so, you have to position yourself to be found by your ideal market.
5. Lead with an open hand. This for me was the hardest lesson to put into practice. And it was because I was so desperate to make money in my business that I figured I should do my best to ask people to buy from me whenever and as often as possible. Maybe you can relate my friend. Maybe you too struggle with the truth that we have to give in order to receive. But it’s a principle that works in business as well as every other area of your life. For a long time, I centered my marketing message around all the great things the community was doing and the events we were having. Not one social media post, email, or blog article was meant to add value to a God Girl whether she becomes a member or not. But rather the contrary was true, I would use the promise of “value” as bait in hopes they would become a member in order to receive it. Such a desperate, selfish, and unfruitful way to market but it’s all I knew at the time. If you can relate to any of this my friend I ask that you do like I did and make a massive 180. And begin to add value in all your messaging. Focus on making others better because they connect with you, even if you are unsure if it will result in a sale. Since adopting this mindset my engagement has increased and so has my membership. I believe it is because I decided to believe that it would be God who would bring the increase and I stopped looking for people to be my source.
So why include this article in our Business Marketing Resouce Section anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here’s the thing, it is my heart’s desire that CCW becomes a resource for you in all areas of your life, business included. And if you are not experiencing daily growth in your business the problem could be in your approach and mindset. I challenge you to evaluate your marketing strategy and see how you line up with these 5 tips. But if you fall short, have the courage to make the necessary changes.
Until next time.
Sending you positive vibes and the love of Christ,
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