Does your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page help Your Ministry Credibility?

In most ministries, trust and credibility are important, but easily overlooked in webpages and social media sites.  The following ideas are mostly common sense, but here are a few tips for applying them to social media.

Ministry Focus – What is your ministry focus?  What is your ministry expertise?  If you say “lots of things” or “everything”, you probably don’t have enough focus, and may not have the credibility that others will be looking for. 

In using social media, we must establish our credibility in order to build trust with potential clients that don’t know us.  In today’s internet based world there will always be someone with greater experience or expertise than most of us.  When prospective clients search for us, they will be looking to see if we have the expertise to meet their needs.  A LinkedIn profile certainly has enough space to say a lot, but prospective clients will only spend 20-30 seconds glancing at it before they move on.  If our focus is too broad, we’ll just look like a “jack of all trades, master of none”.  If we pick a few specific things to focus on, we can quickly explain why we should be considered.  First, determine the Key Words our prospects will likely search for, then include those key words in the first paragraph of your LinkedIn Summary, and repeat them in your Specialties and Skills.

Experience and Referrals – Establishing what you’ve accomplished in past tells prospects why they should contact you.  The more descriptive you are the better.  Just saying you were responsible for counseling doesn’t say what kind of counseling you have experience in, or how well you did.  If we were establishing a sales expertise, we’d include what percentage increase we had.  Saying how much a person received in ministry is a bit different, but you can describe what issues you’ve helped address.  In addition, you really should consider adding referrals to your profile.  I understand the reluctance of ministers to ask for praises, but consider what effect a personal testimony adds to evangelism.  A referral tells prospects that don’t know you yet, what they can expect if they contact you.  Referrals can be equally as valuable in promoting churches, they can tell visitors what they might expect when they visit you.

Blogs – Blogs can be a great way of building followers and establishing your trust and credibility.  A blog lets the readers connect with you and feel as if they personally know you.  Including a blog in your website, your LinkedIn profile, your facebook page, and your Twitter account can multiply your exposure, and will hopefully encourage your followers to share your blog with their friends.

Promotion – Just setting up a webpage, a facebook page, a LinkedIn profile, a blog, or a Twitter account will only help you get so far.  Those things are good, but only your current connections and those that specifically search for you will see them.  When you write value added articles (things that others will truly appreciate) to your blog and webpage, post links on other social media sites and in LinkedIn groups that will increase your exposure.  Don’t forget to post your Events in the LinkedIn events application.  Every event you host, sponsor, or involved in should be posted in as many places as you can get them.  Improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your websites, blogs, and social media sites by including links to other websites, blogs, and social media sites in yours, and asking them to reciprocate.

Fulfill Promises – When you promise something, make sure it gets done, and on time.  If you post a comment in your blog that you will add new content every Friday, make sure it always happens (you can pre-post many blogs if you are away).  Always go the extra mile to give others more than they expect, and only promise what you believe is the worst case scenario.  When you exceed their expectations, they will remember, not fulfilling them can destroy your credibility and trust.

Personal Contact – With our online relationships, emails, voice mails, text messages, etc., many of us have forgotten the value of a personal contact.  We can let our connections know what we are up to with a LinkedIn Status change, a facebook post, or a Tweet to be sure we are not forgotten.  An occasional personal email can strengthen an online relationship.

Pay it Ahead and Be Yourself – Our contacts can sense when we are just looking for a return.  If we focus on paying it ahead (doing things that others don’t expect, didn’t ask for, and not expecting a return) we will build followers that will help us when the opportunity presents itself without our having to ask.  This might be the best way to build trust and credibility with those that will never meet us personally.  If we don’t represent someone we are not or cannot be, then we will never disappoint and most likely will never receive anything but good publicity. 

As always, thank you for reading Linked4Ministry.  If you are new here, the best way to receive all the new posts is to subscribe for e-mail updates at the top right.  If you have been following Linked4Ministry and find it helpful, please consider sharing it with other ministry partners that it could benefit.  It’s easy to do by clicking on the following buttons, and it’s OK to click more than one !

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries

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One response to this post.

  1. […] LinkedIn Basics « Does your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page help Your Ministry Credibility? […]

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