Posts Tagged ‘Websites’

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

Who Are You Connected To, and Does It Matter?

Did You View My LinkedIn Profile?

How often do you research who you invite as LinkedIn connections, or accept invitations from?

How often do you research the LinkedIn groups you join, or who you let join your LinkedIn groups?

On-line is all about Credibility, Trust, and Your Brand, and that includes your LinkedIn profile, your photo, your headline, your current and past employment, your status changes, the number of connections you have and who you are connected to, your education, the number of recommendations you have what they say and who made them, your websites, your summary, your specialties, the applications (SlideShare, Reading List, Blogs, Box.net files, Google presentations, etc.), your skills, your publications, your certifications, your interests, your achievements and awards, the groups you have joined, the groups you started, the members of your groups, and your LinkedIn public profile (you should customize it).

The last post was about building your credibility and trust through your facebook page and your LinkedIn profile.  If you have worked (or trying to work) to build your online credibility and trust,  then you need to guard it by being sure “Who” you are connected to, and what Groups you join do not detract from what you’ve built.

Your Brand can be compared to what people remember you by.  When you think of Crest, do you immediately think of toothpaste?  Are your immediate thoughts about Crest good or bad?  How about Tylenol?  Is your immediate thought about a “safe pain reliever”, or about the product recalls they had many years ago.  Tylenol’s parent company immediately reacted to the product tampering years ago, and after recalling their product from store shelves, they proceeded to lead the pharmaceutical and food industry in tamper resistant product packaging.  Their quick actions guarded their brand from what could have been devastating to the brand name.  Now Tylenol is one of the most trusted pain relievers on the market.  Think about the ministries and denominations that have suffered image setbacks, how have they reacted and how did it affect their brand, credibility, and trust.  How about those closely connected to them, have they also lost credibility?  Could who we are connected to hurt our brand?  I think the answer for most of us is, it depends on who we are, what our brand is, how much credibility and trust our reputation has gained, and who we are talking about being connected to.  For most of us, the wrong connections have the potential to influence our brand, our credibility, and our trust.

The bottom line is we should be more concerned with what God has called us to do in the kingdom and what He thinks about us, than what others think about us.  If he has called us to witness to drug addicts, then we will probably be connected to them.  If he has called us to spread the Gospel to the unsaved, then we will be connected to them.  But if He has called us to be Light and Salt, then we must avoid those with the opposite mission, or those that will detract from our calling.

I personally want to be able to talk about and teach spiritual warfare principals without worrying who I might offend, so when I am invited to connect to someone I check out their profile.  I check to see that our theology is compatible.  If the Holy Spirit prompts me to “consider” connecting to someone who I think might have a different theology, I ask their permission to accept their invitation “knowing that I have some views that they might find offensive”.  Most have been unaware they have ‘portrayed’ a different image or brand than they want to have.  Several have used words like “holistic, spiritual wisdom, spiritualism, unity, etc., that raise a red flag.  I first ask for clarification of their beliefs, and then make a decision on connecting based on what the Holy Spirit directs.  I also look at what groups potential connections are members of.  I don’t worry much about the industry or networking groups, but look for Christian groups to give me an idea of their theology and involvement.  I also look for obvious cult focused groups like masonic or freemasons groups, mormon’s, latter day saints (LDS), or any obvious occult names.  I rarely receive invitations from potential connections with those group memberships, but I do look before accepting invitations.

I also believe the groups I am members of tell a lot about me, so I am careful to join groups that represent my brand, and that I have a personal interest in.  I not only read the group profile and rules, but I think the group owner and managers have a strong influence on the group, so I check them out before joining.

I also check out every group request to join “Linked4Ministry” and the “Anothen Life Deliverance and Inner Healing Network” LinkedIn groups that I started.  I look to see who the person is, and whether they are appropriate members for the group.  It’s really my choice, but I try to follow what I’ve put in the group rules.  Both are Christian only groups and I don’t tolerate offensive or opposing views to protect the other members.  By filtering who joins, I feel I can allow members to participate without my having to approve their postings and discussions before they show up.  I have also chosen to allow “promotions” of products and events (under the promotions tab) that fit the group’s focus.  I do not allow discussions or promotions that promote multi-level marketing or get-rich-quick schemes, and do not hesitate to change the status of a member to require moderation or block them from participating, or even delete any member that detracts from the group or doesn’t follow the rules.

After doing all those things to safeguard my brand, my credibility, and my trust, I also try to participate in group discussions that I can add value to, and that will help build my brand.  If the discussions get too far out of bounds or end up being just an argument, I stop following them.

Here’s a LinkedIn punch list for things to remember:

  • For Invitations you receive – look at their profile, including groups and websites.
  • For invitations you send – look at their profile, including groups and websites.
  • For groups you join – look at the group profile, rules, and owner & manager’s profiles.
  • For the groups you start – clarify the group profile and the group rules, and look at the profile of those requesting to join.

Here’s a list of helpful LinkedIn instructions:

  • How to View Your Profile – let your mouse hover over “Profile” on the LinkedIn menu bar, and click on “View Profile”
  • How to Edit Your Profile – let your mouse hover over “Profile” on the LinkedIn menu bar, and click on “Edit Profile”.
  • How to View the Profile of a LinkedIn Invitation – Click on “Inbox”, click on “Invitations”, and click on the person’s name.
  • How to Ask a Question before Accepting an Invitation – Let your mouse hover over the blue “Accept” button and Click on the “Send a Message” drop down to the right of the Accept button.
  • How to View a Group Profile before you Join – Click on “More..” in the group menu bar, click on “Group Profile”.
  • How to View the Group Owner or Manager’s Profile – Click on “More..” in the group menu bar, click on “Group Profile”, Click on the Owner or Manager’s blue name on the right side.
  • How to View the Profile of a Request to Join a Group You Started – Let your mouse hover over “Groups” in the LinkedIn menu bar, Click on “Your Groups”, click on any “Green Circles with a number inside”, Click on the request’s name.
  • How to “Un-Connect” from a LinkedIn Connection – Let your mouse hover over “Connections” on the LinkedIn menu bar, Click on “My Connections”, Click on the “Remove Connection” tab at the top right, select the connections you wish to remove, and click on “Remove Connections”,
  • How to see who’s viewed your profile – Let your mouse hover over “Home” on the LinkedIn menu bar, Click on “LinkedIn Home”, on the right side of the screen, under “Who’s Viewed Your Profile”, Click on the “Your profile has been viewed by x people in the past x days”, then Click on the names in blue.  Note, what you see is based on what those viewing your profile have chosen to tell you; only the “number” of people you see is based on whether you have a paid or free LinkedIn account.

In Summary

What our LinkedIn profile represents, who we are connected to, what we say, and almost everything we do is being watched and can represent a brand or image that we didn’t want to portray.  Well intended messages, connections, and group connections might not be received or interpreted the way we intended.  An extra measure of caution and always seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance will keep us on the path that God intends so we can accomplish His will in our lives.

 

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

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

When is your LinkedIn Profile truly “optimized”?  The good news is, it doesn’t have to be fully optimized, but the bad news is it’s an ongoing process that done right, it never ends.  Just like your life changes, so will your LinkedIn profile likely change.  You begin with developing your strategy, what do you want LinkedIn to help you with?  Are you growing a business or ministry?  Are you looking for a new job or career change?  Do you want to build your trust and credibility in your profession?  Are you building your personal or ministry brand, or promoting brand awareness?  Is your goal to establish differentiation, or to stand out from similar businesses or ministries?  Are you trying to increase sales by generating leads?  Are you recruiting talent to help expand your business or ministry in new directions?  Defining your goals and strategy will help you focus on what must be done to optimize your profile so it will help you accomplish your goals.

If you are looking for a job, your profile will more closely resemble your resume.  Your summary should begin by saying what you will do for your prospective employer.  If you are trying to attract ministry clients, your profile will exhibit your experience and training, and establish your trust and credibility.  If you have little brand awareness, and need exposure, you need to tell people exactly what you do and why you are the right one to meet their needs.

Photo

Don’t omit adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile, it makes your profile personal and adds credibility to who you are.  It should be a professional looking headshot that doesn’t include additional people or articles, unless of course your identity is enhanced by including something like a pet if you are a veterinarian or a fancy car if you are an exclusive automobile salesman.

Headline

A LinkedIn headline is too often left to your job title.  If someone looks at your profile, they will see your most current position and title under experience, so you can use your headline as an additional way to attract people to your profile.  To take advantage of this feature, a good headline (1) will get people’s attention, (2) tell people who you are, and (3) what you can do for them.  When people see your status, discussions, answers, comments, and connection to their friends, they first see your photo, your name, and your headline.  A good headline will draw people to view your profile to find out more about you.  Your headline should also support your overall strategy.  Take note if you add a new position, your title will automatically become your headline, so you might have to update your headline after a position is added.

If I left my headline the same as my title of director of Anothen Life Ministries, someone viewing it would not know what I did and what Anothen Life is.  By making my headline “Anothen Life helps you eliminate things you thought you had to live with”, I’m hoping people will be intrigued enough to check out my profile or go to our website.  The additional line “Linked4Ministry extends your ministries reach” gives an idea of what Linked4Ministry is.  The number of characters in your headline is limited so you might have to play around with it to make it fit, but it’s worth the additional effort.

Connections

Your connections are usually at the center of your LinkedIn purpose and goals.  If you don’t believe you need connections, you might be missing major opportunities.  Likewise, too many of the wrong connections could hurt your efforts or add confusion and waste your time.  The number and type of LinkedIn connections you make should support your overall goals and strategy.  A large number of unrelated or unhelpful connections can detract from your purpose and even keep the right connections from seeing any value in your connection.  My connection strategy is to personally know all my connections, or have a common vision and goals so that we can add value to each other.

 

Summary

Your summary should tell people what you can do for them in the first several sentences.  Be sure to include “key words” that your target audience might search for in the first paragraph and your ‘ranking’ in LinkedIn search results will improve.  Saying you that were responsible for something doesn’t tell anyone how well you did at your assignment.  Including ‘quantitative” statements tell people what you’ve actually done.  Grew a youth group by 200% sounds good, but was it increasing from 1 to 3 members, or 25 to 75?  Speaking to large audiences is nice but a quantity and the event tell a more complete story.  Try to use the entire space LinkedIn allows, as long as it is all strategy or brand focused.

 

Recommendations

Recommendations from the right connections can help people quickly make a decision.  A recommendation from a co-worker or manager can help if you are looking for a new position, but might not help a potential client recognize how you can help them.  A recommendation from a client or ministry receiver that tells how you helped them will give potential ministry receiver additional third party information to help them make a decision and build their trust before they ever meet you.  The best recommendation strategy is quality, not quantity.  One recommendation that tells how you helped them, or the kind of person you are, is better than ten that are generic in nature.

Ideally, your recommendations will come from a variety of people and a variety of dates.  If you send out 100 recommendation requests on the same day, the dates of your recommendations will show that.  A good strategy is for you to send 2-3 recommendations to people you personally know each week.  When they receive the unsolicited recommendation, they will be pleasantly surprised, and LinkedIn suggests they might want to send you one.  It’s just a nice way of asking people for their help.

Applications

One of LinkedIn’s powerful features is all their applications, but deciding which ones to use and how to use them must align with your objectives so they don’t over confuse your profile.  I’ve purposely chosen to use every application I can as an example to give Linked4Ministry readers examples that they might consider. 

The Reading List by Amazon is great, but if you don’t know about the Publications application, you can’t use it to help promote your material and build your expertise. 

SlideShare is a great way to exhibit your presentation skills and can add to building your brand.

TripIt might look good but you might not want to tell the world that you are away on a 2 week mission trip to China.  (Notice I didn’t publish any dates until I’d returned). 

The blog applications can help expose your writings to a larger audience, but be sure your blog aligns with your LinkedIn objectives. 

Finally, don’t use every possible application so you don’t dilute your message, unless you have a specific purpose like I did, and you don’t believe it will hurt your overall strategy.

LinkedIn Answers

The reason to use LinkedIn answers may be a little tougher to define.  Unless you have great answers and believe others will “vote” for your answers, and you feel being tagged as having the “best answers” in a category will help your strategy, then you probably don’t need this one.  If you want to do research and collect other’s insights and opinions, then this might be a good option for you to consider.

LinkedIn’s resume building tool

LinkedIn has built a good tool to help you put a good resume together, but having an experienced resume writer help you focus your resume and choose the right words is invaluable.  This is a tool that’s probably only valuable to those looking for employment.

Status

A status update is a great way to share what you are working on or an article of interest.  Your status should still be considered part of your overall strategy.  When we were planning on our China mission trip, I changed my status to “preparing to present our deliverance program in China”.  That let my connections know what I’m up to, it let new viewers know that we do mission trips, and reminded viewers that we do deliverance training.  I did not include dates as I didn’t want to advertise that I was away from home for several weeks.

If your connections frequently view their network updates, they will see your status change and might even want to help you or support you.  Of course if your status updates are trivial and you constantly tell people what you are thinking or doing, the extra information might detract from your brand or even your credibility.  Those kinds of updates are better left to your “personal” facebook page.

Contact Information

Be sure to include contact information, especially if you are looking for employment.  I’d usually recommend a professional email address from one of the free services like Gmail from Google, Live from Microsoft, etc.  By professional, it should not include nicknames or cute titles; this is a professional networking site, stick with your name.  If you use your current employer’s email and you leave, you could miss some messages until you remember to go into LinkedIn and update your address.  I’d also recommend including any possible email address that someone might use to invite you as a connection.  LinkedIn allows multiple email addresses and you can choose the ‘primary’ address that you want LinkedIn to send you notices on.  Including all your common email addresses keeps you from inadvertently starting several LinkedIn profiles by accident.

Miscellaneous Notes

Who are You Connected to – Under Settings, you should consider letting your connections see who you are connected to.  This is a good way of finding lost friends, and it is rarely abused if your connections are the right ones. 

Who Viewed my Profile – Under Settings, you can choose to totally hide, give only company and title, or tell exactly who you are when you view someone’s profile.  I’ve received some great invitations just by letting people see that I looked at their profile, and I’ve invited several people that I noticed viewed my profile.

Other Social Media – Don’t fall victim to believing no one will look at your facebook personal page, so what you post (or allow others to post) won’t detract from your professional brand.

When will my LinkedIn Profile and my On-Line image be Optimized?

The quick answer is it will never be, because your life focus changes, LinkedIn and the on-line community changes.  The good news is you have started.  In today’s society and culture, we no longer use phone books to find businesses and ministries, so your internet presence is a critical factor to your success and growth.  Most people learn by making mistakes and correcting them, not getting it right the first time and possibly not even realizing it was right.  Linked4Ministry’s goal is to give you what I’ve learned (some from my own mistakes) and help you get up to speed quickly so you can truly “extend your reach into the kingdom”.

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

Hitting the Target with Persuasive Copy!

My last posting was about getting your e-mails read.  Now it’s time to talk about getting the content to deliver the results you want.  This post focuses on the first key factor from last week, “The Message”.  Whether you recognize it or not, even though most of us are in ministry, we’re always selling ourself, our products, and our services. 

Writing a persuasive message is the key to achieving the results you want.  Whether its for e-mails, letters, newsletters, blogs, website content, web directories, book introductions, facebook fan pages, twitter, conventional advertising, or even your LinkedIn invitations, you are selling, and your message must be persuasive to get results!

Here are five easy steps that will help you get the results you desire:

  1. What do you have to offer?
  2. What will it do for your readers?
  3. What does it contain?
  4. Who are you?
  5. What are the next steps?

 

  1. What do you have to offer?  The most important thing to getting results, and for that matter, getting the reader to keep reading is to capture their attention.  Tell the reader what your message is about in the first or second sentence.  What is your product or service?  What does it do?  Who is it for?
  2. What will it do for your readers?  The second step should tell the readers what the benefits will be if they take action on your offer.  Put simply, what it will do for the reader?  How will it make their life better?  Examples might be; “you will have less stress”, “you can eliminate bad habits”, or “you can overcome fear”.
  3. What does it contain?  This is about the features of your product or service.  What’s in the box?  The benefits in #2 are the most important, but telling the reader what’s involved builds trust, and helps the reader justify the expense.
    a.  Some examples of features might be:
         i.   3 hours of teaching and 2 hours of personal ministry
         ii.  10 hours of MP3 or DVD teaching
         iii.  275 pages of information packed pages and 10 action plans for bringing blessings and favor
    b.  Compelling “teasers” can create a curiosity to encourage action, some examples might be:
         i.   The three most damaging actions and how to overcome their results
    c.  If possible, attach a benefit to each feature, some examples might be:
         i.   Each lesson comes with prayers (or action plans) to break curses and achieve life changing results
  4. Who are you?  This step is for those without an established following or those trying to reach a new target market where establishing your trustworthiness and credibility are key to your success.  A great LinkedIn profile with a photo gives you an element of trust to new contacts.  Including your training and education is important to show your expertise.  Recommendations tell new clients what they can expect from their involvement with you.  Including your payment options, return policies, cancellation charges, shipping and handling charges, and other policies “up front” can eliminate any reluctance to proceed by cautious readers.
  5. What are the next steps?  Call this a “call to action”.  What do you want your target contacts to do next?  It might be order your product, contract your services, or fill out an interview form.  Tell your reader (don’t just suggest) the exact steps you want your contact to take.  Most people like to get a bargain, offering a limited time discount or suggesting scarcity can encourage quick action.  If you are offering a “free” product or service, don’t overlook the fact that you will have to “sell” those as well.
     

Bullet points work well because they allow you to highlight information in a powerful skimmable format that focuses the reader’s eyes on exactly what you want them to see. 

Don’t forget to use the suggestions from “Get Your Emails Read: from my October 22nd posting.

 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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