Archive for the ‘Ministry Computer Tips’ Category

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

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

A video about our ministry – to give you some ideas of promoting your ministry!

Dr. Don Ibbitson with Above and Beyond Counseling recently interviewed me talking about Anothen Life Ministry.  I’m thinking all the emergency vehicles that seem to overwhelm an otherwise calm day are God’s way of emphasizing the need for deliverance!  Be blessed.

Click here to view it

or go to this URL:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwjvlq2X5pI

 Note, I also posted it as a “Status Update” on my LinkedIn Profile.  This will highlight it for everyone that views my profile (until I update the status of course), and will post it in the Network Status Updates for all my contact’s LinkedIn home screen!  A great way to gain exposure from my LinkedIn network, and let my network know what I’m up to!

FYI – Don used a HD video camera and Corel VideoStudio X4Pro to edit the video.  Great job Don, Thanks!

And thanks for reading Linked4Ministry and sharing the link by clicking on any of the following . . . . 🙂

Top 5 Points from “How to Avoid the Great Social Media Crash of 2011”

The bottom line is Social Media is here to stay.  It will surely undergo many changes as technology and users change, and our challenge is to keep up with what’s available, and understand how to utilize the tools made available to us so we can “extend our reach into the kingdom”!

Here are 2 excerpts from a blog (link below) that I found interesting and valuable to us all:

1.  A realistic Social Media “time vs productivity” chart.  This chart shows how our initial excitement can lead us to unrealistic expectations, not only in social media but many things in life.  It also warns us not to get discouraged, that productivity will increase as we learn how to better utilize them:

 

  

 

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2.  Analogies for the Big Five Social Media platforms:
Facebook = Social Event (casual)
LinkedIn = Trade Show (formal)
Twitter = Cocktail Party (energetic; many conversations)
YouTube = Times Square on New Years Eve
MySpace = Woodstock

Here’s the link to read the entire blog: http://linkd.in/9raRYF 

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
Anothen Life Ministries

Get Your Emails Read

Your e-mail receivers decide in the first three seconds to either read or delete your email. Obviously you want them to read your e-mail, but you also want them to respond to whatever you’ve asked them to do.  That means you need to find a way to get past their delete button, and capture their attention.

There are two keys factors:

  • The message
  • Your approach

Even if you’re emailing a list of people who have never heard of you or your ministry, it’s possible to responses to your e-mail.

Here are Seven Things that will help your e-mails get results:

  1. Keep your e-mails short. Keep your initial email as short as possible to encourage them to at least glance over it.  The reality is most of us won’t take time to read a long e-mail so be sure it’s a quick read.  Limit your message to a maximum of four sentences per paragraph, and limit your email to three paragraphs, plus a closing sentence.  Hint, “white space” is visually pleasing to the reader.  Try inserting a one line paragraph in the middle; it will make your e-mail appear shorter.
  2. Personalize the subject line.  A personal subject line will significantly increase your response rates.  This is especially import if the receivers won’t recognize your name or your ministry name.  Your subject line can capture their attention and encourage them to open it.  Questions are usually good, you might try something like; “Can we talk next Wednesday at 3:00pm?”, or “Should we talk about ____?”
  3. Use a salutation. To get a response your message should be informal and inviting.  Begin your emails with a warm greeting using the contact’s first name, such as “Hi Fred.”  If you absolutely can’t get their name, you could begin with “Hi, Bill Bender here,” but understand that will lessen the effectiveness.
  4. Don’t focus totally on your ministry or service.  E-mails need a personal touch to get noticed.
  5. Limit the number of e-mails you send at a time.  If people do respond, they expect a reply to their email in 24 hours or less.  Limit your list of receivers to whatever you can respond quickly to, this tells the receivers that you are a real person, not an automated marketing blast.
  6. Customize your message. A small e-mail list also allows you to be personal in your message.  Try to include things you believe they are concerned about, or struggling with.
  7. Forget what your English teacher taught you.  Emails are more personal than a business letter and should be written conversationally.  The more relaxed your email is, the better the chances of receiving the response you desire.

Email is one of the most cost effective ways to reach people today.  If we master the technique, our e-mails will be noticed and remembered.

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
Anothen Life Ministries

Don’t Lose Your Important Social Media Work!

Social Media Maintenance

Social Media like facebook and LinkedIn are on secure servers, and some even have several backups, but “stuff” can still happen.  It takes hours, if not weeks & months, to get your LinkedIn profile, your facebook page, and even your website just the way you want it.  I just read a story today about how a malicious hacker changed an entire website with their own propaganda.  Perhaps you will never be hacked, but you might want to change your website host, or have your contact lists and references for use in another application.

Here are a couple of simple guidelines that will save your data if you ever need to recover losses or duplicate information:

First:

Protect Your Contact Lists – Regularly export your e-mail address books, facebook friends, and LinkedIn Contacts to a CSV file.

Use the previous two Linked4Ministry posts (invite facebook friends as LinkedIn connections) and (How to add facebook friends to GMail addresses) for methods to export facebook, Gmail, & Yahoo! Mail files.

For LinkedIn, under Contacts, “My Connections” at the bottom right, click on “Export connections”, select Microsoft Outlook (.CSV file) or another selection, enter the security text, and Click Export.  The instructions for importing the file are on the same LinkedIn page.

Second:

Protect your Profiles & Web Pages – Regularly export your Profiles, facebook pages, website pages, etc. as a .pdf file.  This captures all the text you’ve taken so much time to get right, and saves the valuable LinkedIn recommendations.  The easy way to capture a webpage is to go to http://pdfmyurl.com and enter the address of the page you want to capture.  Remember to save all your website pages.  If you want to capture the full LinkedIn profile with recommendations I like a program called PDF995.  You can download the basic PDF995 program for free, or pay $30 for the complete program.

The basic PDF995 program saves anything you can print as a pdf file.  To save a file in pdf format, print it as you normally would, but select the “PDF995” printer.  You can save the file anywhere you would like and name it as you choose.

PDF files are easy for anyone to read, they keep the formatting they way you intended no matter what type computer they are viewed on, and tougher for others to modify.

Third:

Protect Your Network – No matter who you are connected to, you should treat your contacts as a valuable resource.  Nurture the relationships as you would with a close friend.  Communicate Often, i.e., when you see something change in their profile congratulate them or let them know you saw the change, send links you think they would enjoy, send anniversary and birthday wishes, etc.

 

Abbreviations:
CSV – Comma Separated Values
PDF – Portable Document Format

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
Anothen Life Ministries

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