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Are You Ready to Have Your Own LinkedIn Group?

LinkedIn groups are one of the most powerful features of LinkedIn and almost totally unique in the social media world, so it’s certainly something you will want to learn more about!

What are LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn allows anyone with a LinkedIn profile to create a private or public group that members can join to share discussions, articles, questions, events, etc. in a semi-contained environment.  If the group is private, only members can see, start, and contribute to the discussions.  If the group is public, it’s visible on the web for anyone to see.  For the purpose of this article, I’ll focus on private groups.

LinkedIn groups allow members to find and network with others with the same interest.  LinkedIn groups allow members to establish trust and credibility with others in the same field, and can build strong connections and partnerships.  LinkedIn groups allow members to learn from others and ask questions and seek advice from experts in any given field.  LinkedIn groups allow members to tell others in the group about events and products they have produced.

What LinkedIn Groups are Not

LinkedIn groups are not a good place to post self serving messages, spam with many messages that don’t offer other members anything, or overtly push products and solicit donations.

My philosophy is to “pay ahead”.  If you post interesting articles, links, and discussions, others will appreciate you and follow you.  If you offer something of ‘value’ for free, and include a link to a website with additional information as well as products to sell, others are more likely to purchase from you.

How to Create a LinkedIn Group

Like any project, it’s best to start with a plan and goals in mind.  Here are some questions you might want to answer before creating a group:

  • What will the group’s focus be?
  • What value will the group provide its members?
  • Who are the target members?
  • Do you need to restrict membership, or leave it open to anyone?
  • How will you get your first members to join?
  • Do you have enough contacts that you can invite to get the group started?
  • Do similar groups already exist?  If so, what works and what doesn’t?
  • Are you a member of other groups (LinkedIn and outside groups) that you might draw members from?

If you can answer those questions with some amount of certainty, you are ready to start a LinkedIn group.

Before You Create a LinkedIn Group:

  • Choose an inviting or interesting name.  A name describes something about the group will help folks find you in a search.
  • Choose a logo.  A unique logo will help members quickly recognize you if they are already members of lots of groups.
  • Prepare your Group Profile or Summary – a paragraph that describes the group, the group’s goals, who might be interested, and what members will gain by joining.  Group Rules are found under “More” in the group menu bar.
  • Prepare your Group Rules – a paragraph that states what you will allow and not allow in the group.  Group Rules are found in the upper right corner of the group page.

Steps to Creating your LinkedIn Group:

  1. Let your mouse hover over “Groups” in the LinkedIn top menu bar.
  2. Click on “Create a Group”
  3. Enter your Logo file in the top Logo box, or click on the “Browse” button to locate your logo file on your computer for entry.  You will also need to check the box to acknowledge that your logo is owned by you or does not infringe on other copyrights, trademarks, etc.
  4. Click in the “Group Name” box to enter your group’s name
  5. Click on the “Group Type” drop down box to select your group’s type
  6. Click in the “Summary” box to enter a ‘brief description’ of your group
  7. Click in the “Description” box to enter your group profile
  8. Click in the “Website” box if your group has its own website
  9. If you are the group owner, your primary LinkedIn email address will already be in the “Group Owner Email” box, if you are not the owner, enter the owner’s email address.
  10. Click the “Auto-Join” if you want anyone to be able to join, or the “Request to Join” button if you want to review the requests and either allow or deny membership.
  11. Click the boxes that allow members to display group names and logos, and allow members to invite others to join.  You probably want to allow all these.  You can also enter pre-approved members with specific email domains (like from a company or ministry).
  12. Choose the Language for the group.
  13. Select the “Location” box if the group is based on a single location
  14. Select the “Twitter Announcement” box if you desire
  15. Select the “Agreement” box to confirm you agree to LinkedIn’s Terms of Service.
  16. Click on the “Create an Open Group” or “Create a Members-Only Group” button to complete the group’s creation.

A Word of Caution – LinkedIn only allows several changes of the group name and logo after the initial entry, so plan your changes carefully.

Inviting your first members

You can invite anyone that you think will be interested, but be sure the core group members are social folks that will contribute and interact well to set a good example.

Inviting Your Current Connections:

  1. When you are in a group, you can invite members by clicking on “Manage” in the group’s menu bar, then “Send Invitations” on the right side.
  2. Click the blue “in” logo at the right of the “Connections” box to select people to invite from your current list of connections.

LinkedIn used to allow a personal note, but it’s currently a canned message so you might want to let your connections know “ahead of time” you are creating a group, what the group is about, and that you will invite them.

Inviting Non-LinkedIn Connections:

Follow the  #1 & #2 steps under inviting current connections above but type or upload your email addresses in.

Asking Other People to Join Your LinkedIn Group

If you send an “invitation” the receiver only has to click on the invitation to join.  You can also “request” others join your group by sending the LinkedIn Group’s URL (web address) to them and ask them to join.  You can find the LinkedIn groups URL by entering the group and looking in the web address bar at the top.

The LinkedIn Group’s address will be something like the following URL for Linked4Ministry: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2820303&trk=hb_side_g

You can shorten it by eliminating everything after the long number so it looks like this:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2820303

You can also shorten it by using URL a shortener like:  https://bitly.com   http://tinyurl.com   or http://3.ly

Note, sending an invitation works best, as this method requires the person you invite to take a few extra steps, and thus reduces the chance they will actually join.  However, this method does allow you to post the LinkedIn group’s address on a website, a blog, or even on your LinkedIn profile under ‘websites’ to let others know about the group.

Next – Stay Tuned, in the next post we’ll discuss how to run your LinkedIn group. 

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, or those that it might benefit. 

Blessings,
Bill Bender
Linked4Ministry & Anothen Life Ministries

 

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How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile More than Just a Resume

As you work through completing your LinkedIn profile, it’s important to remember your ministry business plan.  Your ministry business plan should include several objectives that will help you meet your ministry goals, your vision, and your mission.  Just knowing why you are participating in social media and how it will benefit your ministry is a great start.  Keeping those things in mind as you complete (or remake) your LinkedIn profile will help you stay on track and build your ministry brand that will help you accomplish your goals.  Here are a few things you might want to consider:

Photos – A photo on your LinkedIn profile helps you appear more ‘real’ to people viewing your profile.  Does your photo represent who you want to be?  Is it too casual?  Do your clothes and the background appropriately represent your ministry?  If you want to present yourself as approachable, are you smiling?  Do things in your photo belong in your ministry (cars, pets, etc.)?  Logos are nice, but the LinkedIn rules say they can be used on your company page, but not your LinkedIn personal profile.  The best photo is a professional head shot that flatters but does not mislead.

Key Words – Key words help people find you on LinkedIn, as well as the web search engines like Google.  Key words should describe what your ministry focus is (i.e. evangelism, counseling, deliverance, etc.).  You can use the Google AdWords key word tool, you can see who other similar ministries use, but the best method is to use words that have significant meaning to your ministry function.  Use key words that will attract the broadest audience, as well as very specific people.  For instance, in my deliverance ministry I might use “spiritual warfare”, “freedom”, as well as “demonic oppression”.  Your most important key words should be used in your headline (see below) and the first sentence of your summary.  Other key words can be used to replace vague words in the rest of your summary, as well as your specialties, skills & expertise, experience, education, and interests.

LinkedIn Headline – Your LinkedIn “Headline” is found directly under your name and to the right of your photo.  Your headline is commonly mistaken as your job title, and if you don’t enter one, or add a new position, LinkedIn will use your most recent position title as your headline.  Since this is the first, and sometimes only thing LinkedIn users will see, it should describe your job, indicate why others will want to contact you, and cause others to view your profile to learn more about you.  This might take some thought, and probably several revisions until you find the best headline.  After several revisions, I settled on “Anothen Life helps you eliminate things you thought you had to live with – Linked4Ministry extends your ministries reach” to represent my two ministry focuses. 

Websites – LinkedIn allows you to include direct links to three websites.  If you don’t have three websites, you might include a blog or even your LinkedIn groups like I do.  Remember to keep your business plan in mind when you select which websites to include, and be cautious about including overly personal websites, facebook pages, twitter accounts, etc.  You can rely on your LinkedIn profile as your web presence, but an actual website is much better.  There are several free websites that have limited features and functionality, or consider web hosting sites like Network Solutions or 1&1 that cost under $150 a year for hosting and an editing package that is almost as easy as a word processor.  To maintain your “ministry” image and brand you should avoid web hosting services with names or advertising that might detract from who you are.

Experience – Your professional experience should include your most recent positions, as well as a description of what you accomplished at each position.  If you include other jobs that don’t relate to your current position and goals, keep your job title and description brief so they don’t distract from your current brand.  Eliminate brief positions and experiences that detract from your current brand.

Recommendations – Recommendations are often overlooked by ministries, but they can be as valuable as a personal testimony when witnessing to someone.  Recommendations should be from a variety of people and dates.  Don’t seek gushing recommendations, but focus on those that tell others what to expect when they use your ministry.  The best way to receive recommendations is to send 2-3 a week to your current contacts.  They will love receiving unsolicited recommendations, and LinkedIn suggests they will want to send you one.

Keep Your Personality Visible – In most ministries your personality will matter to potential clients, partners, and contacts, so be sure you still represent yourself as warm, caring, confident, and personal.  Include how people benefit from working with you, what you want to accomplish, why you love what you do, and what keeps you energized in your ministry.

Misspellings and Grammatical Errors – Misspellings and grammatical errors in your LinkedIn profile can present a negative image to viewers that don’t know you.  Misspellings and grammatical errors can lead people to think you are either careless or may not have the intelligence, education, or qualifications they believe they need.  Since LinkedIn doesn’t include a spell check, and it’s not one of my strong points, I type everything in my word processor and then cut and paste it in LinkedIn.

 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

Would Being Recognized as an Expert Bring Success to Your Ministry?

It is usually a tremendous advantage to be recognized as an expert, especially in some fields of ministry.  Being an expert can bring clients and ministry receivers directly to you; and can encourage friends and other ministers to refer their contacts to you for your expertise in a specific field.  Of course the first step is to make sure you are an expert, that step is up to you.

Once you have the expertise, how do you tell people without sounding arrogant or elite?  With today’s online resources you can build trust and exhibit expertise in your field in many ways.  A little planning will help you put your time and resources where they will help you the most.  Skipping the planning can likely cost you extra time and delayed success.

First begin by identifying your ideal business or ministry “target audience”.  That target audience might be customers, counseling clients, ministry receivers, students, pastors and church leaders, or even publishers and distributors for your products.  Then identify where your target will likely spend time, such as reading the newspaper, trade journals, brochures, websites, blogs, social networks like LinkedIn and facebook, etc.  You can begin by asking your current friends and associates what they recommend.  Finally, identify the media outlet that is likely to get you the best or largest return and find resources that will help you take advantage of that outlet.

Since Linked4Ministry started out primarily about LinkedIn, I’ll start with that.

Your LinkedIn Profile – Since LinkedIn was designed to be a professional network, a good profile can exhibit a real level of trust and expertise with the right elements.  You can find additional information about the LinkedIn elements in past blogs and articles from Linked4Ministry but here are the minimum recommended elements:

  • A professional head shot photograph.
  • A good “headline” that tells people what you can do for them.
  • A summary that tells what you’ve done for others.
  • References that exhibit trust, reliability, and success.
  • Educational references that add expertise to your field (can be seminars etc.)
  • Apps that show Books & articles that you’ve written or read in your field.

LinkedIn Groups – Identify what groups your target audience might join.  If you have identified targets in LinkedIn, you can view their profile to see what groups they are in that might benefit you, and might help establish your expertise, and join them.  You can search for people with key words (i.e. pastors, authors, publishers, etc.) to see what groups they are in.  Once you identify the groups that will help you, and you join the groups, read through the discussions to see what the ‘tone’ of the comments and articles are.  Identify existing discussions or start new discussions that you have real expertise in and contribute things that will add true value to the discussion.  Look for things that might have been overlooked in the discussion that will shed new light on the conversation or provide solutions not yet mentioned.  Make sure all your posts are well thought out, spelled correctly, and supportable if you are asked.  When you see a target contact that you’d like to be connected to, you can search their contributions in the group and either add to that discussion, or communicate directly with them.  Start with things that add value or ask their advice or input.  Once a relationship has built value, you can invite them to be directly connected.

Other Media to consider

Blogs – It’s amazing how many blogs there are today, and sites like WordPress.com and WordPress, Blogger.com, Tumblr, Textpattern, and Posterous are all free and about as easy to use as a word processor.  Once you have a blog, you’ll need to promote it until it takes off.  Post new blogs in your LinkedIn status updates, in LinkedIn groups (that allow blog links), on your facebook page, on Twitter, in Google+, and everywhere else you can find to get the word out.  Make sure your blog has a place to allow readers to subscribe to future additions, and include icons for sharing on LinkedIn groups, Facebook, twitter, WordPress, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, and any other link your blog host has available.  If you have a website, you should either imbed your blog or make it a very visible link on your home page.  Finally, ask your blog readers to share your blog with friends and associates they believe might be interested.  A good blog with valuable or helpful information can establish your expertise in your field.  Keep a list of your blog topics handy with the URL (internet address) that you can refer others to for answers.

Answer or Ask Questions – You can scan LinkedIn questions to find ones in your field of expertise, or start new ones that will attract attention.  Follow the same guidelines as group discussions to build value before asking for return.  The same goes for other sites like Yahoo Answers or Answers.com.  LinkedIn allows readers to vote on the most influential answers, Yahoo gives you points if your answer is selected as best., and Answers.com identifies the most answers with a ‘top contributor’ title.

Polls – You can start LinkedIn Polls (in the general LinkedIn polls or in specific groups) that will ask intriguing questions that will challenge people to stretch their thinking or beliefs around your expertise.  Use the group discussion guidelines.

Conclusion – If you take time to provide true value without an expected return your expertise will be noted and shared, but obvious self promotion or blatant bragging or selling will backfire.  Include links to your own resources and to other resources in comments and answers that give readers additional value.  Give away free advice that demonstrates your expertise, but never give a half answer with a “buy this” for the rest of the information.  My suggestion for the key to success in God’s Kingdom is “pay it ahead” and you will receive God’s blessings, which includes the monetary success you need to live.

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

Not Customizing your LinkedIn Public Profile URL Can Limit Your Effectiveness

Have you customized your LinkedIn Public Profile?  Did you even know that you had one, or what it is?  If you answered no to either question you have limited the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile and reduced your online exposure to new connections, partners, and clients.  Not customizing and using your LinkedIn Public Profile is like building a website, giving it an obscure hard to remember name, and not telling anyone what the address is.  No one would ever find your website, right?  Well, maybe some would find it in Google searches, but if you had some odd website address that no one could remember, those that did find it might never come back, or tell others about you.  It’s a plan to fail, but can be easily corrected with a few simple actions.  A customized name that’s easy to use and remember, and will inspire others to click through to your profile to learn more about you and your ministry.  Now, let’s get started.

A LinkedIn Public Profile is your LinkedIn Profile’s URL, or web address.  If you don’t customize it, LinkedIn will assign a default address when you set up your profile.  The default address will include your name, usually with dashes between first, middle, and last, and will have a series of seemingly random numbers, letters, and slashes after it.  If you customize it, it will be easy to remember, easy to use, and look a lot more professional, thus encouraging others to go to your LinkedIn profile.

If I did not customize my LinkedIn Public Profile, it might look something like:

                http://www.linkedin.com/pub/Bill-Bender/18/a32/2be  

After customization, it is now:

                http://www.linkedin.com/in/billbender  

The second address is clearly much easier to remember, and therefore use.  I can use it in emails, business cards, brochures, in books, on CDs & DVDs, on Blogs, and even at the end of a Video to direct readers to find out more about me.  Another subtle advantage of a customized LinkedIn URL is it tells other LinkedIn users that you know your way around LinkedIn!

Here’s how to Customize your LinkedIn Public Profile URL:

  1. Let your mouse hover over “Profile” in the LinkedIn tool bar.
  2. Click on “Edit Profile”.
  3. Click on “Edit” just to the right of your current LinkedIn Public Profile  (See  “Step 3”  illustration below)
  4. Click on “Customize your public profile URL” at the bottom of the “Customize your Public Profile” box on the right side of the page.  (See “Step 4”  illustration below)
  5. Enter your name without spaces, symbols, or special characters.  You can use just an initial for your first and/or middle names but remember, the best address is one that is clearly you, and easy to remember.  (See  “Step 5”  illustration below)
  6. Click on the “Set Custom URL” blue button to complete your customization.

 

 Step 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, a customized LinkedIn URL is all for not if your LinkedIn profile is not complete.  Check out other Linked4Ministry articles, and stay tuned for future tips to learn more about building a great LinkedIn profile.

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

 

How to Get More Out Of LinkedIn

 Getting more out of LinkedIn, or any social media, is just a matter of knowing what’s available, what’s important, and scheduling time to do it.  If you signed up for LinkedIn and nothing is happening, it’s probably time to take a look at (1) what you want out of LinkedIn, and (2) what you are doing to achieve it.  Comparing it to going to a networking meeting and just standing in the corner, you won’t get very good results.

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is “the place to be”.  Their recent IPO surprised everyone with the results, and their number of members continues to grow at an outstanding pace, just passing 120 Million.  LinkedIn is still a “Must” for job seekers, but LinkedIn’s true power is in networking professionals (including ministers).

 

What do you want?

 

Facebook is a great tool for strengthening existing ministry followers and promoting a ministry that already has a large number of friends that will share your page with their friends.  LinkedIn is about connecting you to people you know, people you’ve ministered to, ministered with, and trained with, as well as giving you opportunities to connect to “target contacts” (those that could be beneficial to your ministry).

 

Here’s a list of some of the things LinkedIn could do for a ministry:

 

  • Help you be found – LinkedIn allows you to be found by searching for “Key Words” that describe your ministry or expertise.  Your key words should be in your summary, your specialties, your skills, and possibly your ministry name, your headline and your title if it is appropriate.

 

  • Establish Trust and Credibility – LinkedIn can help you establish trust and credibility with new contacts from your recommendations, your achievements, your connections, your groups, your honors and awards, your publications, your blog, your presentation, your reading list, and anything else you include in your profile.

 

  • Free Advertising – By creating a LinkedIn “Company” (Ministry) Profile, you can describe your company/ministry, as well as the products and services you provide.  This can serve as a temporary web presence if you don’t have a dedicated web page yet.

 

  • Connecting Group Members  – LinkedIn groups are unique and powerful in joining members of a like minded focus like a church congregation, denomination leadership, an ordination fellowship, a seminary, or a ministry focus (healing, deliverance, social media, prison, women’s, etc).  A LinkedIn group allows sharing discussions, questions, ideas, events, as well as sending free newsletters and messages to your members.  LinkedIn Group members also update their own email address, keeping you from having to maintain your own list.

 

  • Reaching Out – Joining larger groups that compliment your focus will allow you to be connected to an almost unlimited number of others with a common focus, background, or interest.  Joining groups is a great way to get connected to “target contacts” that you wouldn’t otherwise have a way to connect.

 

  • Soliciting input and help – When you share what you are working on in your “status” update, all your connections will see it and can give you input, support, and share it with others in their network.

 

  • Promoting Books & Products – The Reading List by Amazon allows you to highlight your own publications and recommend other’s works.

 

  • Advertise Events – LinkedIn Events allows you to post event details that your contacts will see in their network updates and share with their contacts.  Other LinkedIn members can also search for events of interest.  LinkedIn allows users to indicate if they will attend or be a presenter, increasing the event visibility among other members.

 

  • Promoting Your Blog – LinkedIn allows you to automatically include the title, the first few sentences, and a link to your most recent blogs.  A Blog is important to your ministry because it allows you to show your expertise in your area of ministry, it brings people to your website and keeps them coming back, and having a blog gives your ministry more visibility in internet searches.

 

  • Linking your Ministry Associates – Your ministry associates can have their own profile with all the above features, as well as being linked to your ministry through your Ministry Profile.  This allows visitors to see all your associates and recognize the strength and expertise of your ministry.

 

In Conclusion

Begin by determining what you want to accomplish with LinkedIn, then write down the steps you will need to reach your goals.  Don’t forget to include who will take action, and a target date for each needed action.  It’s best to set up some kind of follow up system to reduce the chance of missing an important step in the process.  A weekly review of needed actions and a completion check list will keep you and your team on track.  When you have completed all the necessary steps, it’s probably time to set new goals and the actions needed.  If you ever stop the process, your future success can be limited.

 

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

12 Ways to Promote Your Ministry or Business with a Web Presence

In today’s world, a business or ministry must have a “Web Presence”.  Not necessarily a web site, but a web presence.  A web presence simply means you, your ministry, or business can be found by an online search.  You don’t have to be active on the internet to have a web presence, you might just be listed in an online membership directory, or you might have a website, and a full array of social media profiles.  The best way to be found is to be listed in as many things as possible, and include key words that you want to be identified with.  See What Gets You Found for additional details on key words.

Your web presence certainly includes a website, a LinkedIn profile, a facebook page, and a twitter account.  Those might currently be the “big four”, but there are many other ways you should consider.  Here are a few suggestions:

Website – A website doesn’t have to be expensive, I’ve used Network Solutions and 1&1 for under $150 a year.  Although they can take a while to set up, it’s not much more complicated than using a word processor if you use their templates and backgrounds.  Keep in mind, the most important thing is to make them appealing and compelling (both visually and content) so visitors will stay there to read a bit, before moving on.  If the home page isn’t captivating, I move on in 5-20 seconds.

Blog – A blog can give you great exposure, and keep readers tuned in for more.  A blog can build your online trust, credibility, and reputation, as well as build your brand.  Several to consider are WordPress, BlogSpot, or Blogger.com.  They are free and offer ready to use templates, or you can build your own.  You can have a free standing blog, or incorporate it into your web page as a link or a tab.

Email newsletters – If you already have a big following you might consider an email newsletter.  There are several services that automate them like constant contact for a small fee.  The fee includes maintaining your mailing list and allowing readers to subscribe and unsubscribe without you having to maintain the list.

Video newsletters – With today’s society that loves to ‘watch’ rather than ‘read’, a video newsletter can be very powerful if it’s consistent and professional.  It doesn’t have to be expensive with flip type camcorders that make it easy to post a YouTube video.

LinkedIn profile – I’ve written lots about LinkedIn, but having a detailed profile not only gives you a great reference site, and search ability, it can be used as an additional resource on business cards, emails, and correspondence, by including your LinkedIn Public Profile (your LinkedIn profile’s URL).  Be sure to customize it first, so it will look professional, and be easy for readers to enter.

Business Cards – Everyone needs a professional looking business card with your contact information.  You should give two to everyone you meet (one for them to keep, and one to share).  Check out VistaPrint.com for low cost or free cards if you pay the shipping, or search for “free business cards” to find other options.

Facebook – Facebook isn’t only for reporting what you ate for breakfast, you can build a fan page or business page.  There’s lots written about facebook, and I’ve included several great guides in the “Linked4Ministry” LinkedIn group.  You can also see LinkedIn vs. Facebook Business Pages for additional details.  Just remember to keep your facebook page totally professional, or remember to keep your personal page and contacts separate.

Twitter – A Twitter account can help followers keep up with you, your blog, newsletters, etc.  Twitter doesn’t have to take much time, with one click you can have your LinkedIn Status changes automatically post in your Twitter account.  Twitter done right can greatly add to your exposure.  You need followers, so you will need to invite them to get started, then add a suggestion to “re-tweet” at the end of your posting. 

Referrals – Having your clients and ministry receivers recommend you is huge, but sadly widely ignored in ministry.  Consider it akin to witnessing to someone with your testimony; it adds believability and reliability to your witness and your ministry.

Liking & Sharing – To increase your exposure, you will need help.  Today’s term is ‘going viral’, or spreading your message like a virus spreads.  The easy way is to get your friends and readers to “Like” or “Share” your content with their friends.  See The Reality of Liking and Sharing for additional details.

Business (Ministry) Plan – Have a clear (written) business plan including your target market (watch for future articles on this).

Other Ministries – Look at other websites and social media pages to see what they are doing.  Don’t forget to check out what your competition and companion ministries are doing for additional ideas.  Check out How BackLinks Help for more info.

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

 

What Gets You Noticed (found) in LinkedIn and the Internet?

The answer to this question is easy, it’s “key words”.  A key word is a word that the people you want to be found by might use when searching for you.  It might be your name, but more likely it will be a product or service you can provide.  The key words you choose will be part of your ‘brand’, or what you are trying to be recognized by.  Your business/ministry plan should include those key words, as well as everything you do on the internet, in print, or video.

I’ll use my deliverance and inner healing ministry as an example.  My key words will obviously be deliverance and inner healing, but also might include spiritual warfare, spiritual healing, demonic warfare, demonic oppression, deliverance training, as well as any specific ministries I’m involved in (Restoring the Foundations, Ellel, Elijah House, Cleansing Stream, Freedom in Christ, Theophostic, Sozo, etc).  My key words would also include my own ministry names, including Anothen Life Ministries and Linked4Ministry.

In LinkedIn, there are two places those key words should go.  You will want to include them in your “Summary”, preferably in sentence form so they look nice and make sense, and under your “Specialties” section, listed as a series of words separated by commas, dots, or symbols.  The Specialties section is found at the end of your Summary.  The same key words should be included on your facebook page, the homepage of your website, and any other social media you are using to be found.

Other key words you might consider are the words that your competitors (or complimentary ministries) use, words used in your marketing materials, seminars, and schools, words that describe your personality (Compassion, Kind, etc.), words that describe your ministry (types of counseling like sexual healing, temperament counseling, abuse, etc.,), certifications, skills, languages, courses, honors and awards should also be considered.

The key words you use, and where you place them will determine where you will fall in search results when people search for you.  Having the right key words is critical and something that you should continue to build.  Looking at competitive or complimentary ministries will give you some ideas.  Searching for each of your own key words will give you more ideas.  Looking up your key words in dictionaries and online references will also help.  If your ministry needs to be found, this is something that you simply cannot take lightly.

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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