Yes, it is, because if God has given you a message, you should want to get it out there. And you can only get it out there if people have heard of you and if you capture their attention long enough to get them to suggest you or hire you.
So let’s look at one of the best marketing tools you have: pictures of yourself. You can use pictures in a whole variety of ways to get people’s attention, but to do that, you need one thing first: a professional photograph of yourself, taken by a professional photographer. It should look interesting, should portray you in your best light, and should make you look like you take ministry seriously.
I waited too long to pay for a professional photo. I settled for some that were just awful, and they were embarrassing on my website. One day I was asked to be on the most popular Christian radio show in Canada, and I sent them my photo to put up on their website before the fact. The host gently told me the photo wasn’t up to snuff–and honestly, it wasn’t that bad. It just obviously wasn’t a professional photograph. So don’t settle for your sister taking a picture of your smiling face. Ask someone who knows what they’re doing!
I finally paid for a photo shoot, and now I have 15 different pictures I can use at different times, and it’s so freeing!
Of course, it’s almost time for some new ones, because my hair keeps changing, but that’s one of the dangers of being a woman.
So get a professional photograph. And then here’s what you do with pictures:
1. Put them prominently on your website
Use a variety of pictures, if possible, on each page. People like visual things. Embed one picture into your header on your website so that it’s on every page, but you can add different pictures of yourself on other pages. They don’t all have to be super quality; as long as one really good one is in the header, you can include action or candid shots on the other. But include lots, to make it seem as if you’re very busy. The busier you seem, the more people will want to hire you!
2. Take pictures every time you speak
Whenever you speak, ask someone in the audience to take pictures. Hand them your camera, show them what to do, and tell them to shoot away! And ask them to take a ton, because I find that usually only 10% are usable. So get them to take lots so you have lots of choice.
And make sure you get pictures when you’re just chatting with people after the talk, or sitting at a table with people at a dinner. People like the action shots and not just the shots of you at the podium.
3. Put them up on Facebook
Even if they’re not great, after each engagement, post pictures to Facebook, both to your page and to your profile. This is easy to do by uploading them to your page and then tagging yourself in them using your profile account, and then they show up in both news feeds.
If they’re not great, I often upload them to Facebook and my blog and then delete them from my camera card, because I don’t need to save everything. But putting them up as often as possible reminds people: Hey! She speaks! And that may sound silly, but often people forget (especially your friends). Remind them, and they’re more likely to recommend you.
4. Wear different outfits as much as possible
This may sound a little too image-conscious, but I try to not repeat the same outfit very often, or at least within the last 2-3 speaking engagements. That way I have pictures of myself speaking in different clothes, which reinforce the fact: Hey! She’s doing LOTS of speaking! If you always speak in the same clothes, then the pictures can look as if they were taken on the same day, and people don’t have the same impression that you speak lots.
Give them the idea that you speak lots, and they will think of you as being in demand and want to hire you more.
5. Use pictures for video
You can make a video of your ministry without actual video. As long as you have an .mp3 of you speaking, you can combine that with still photos and create a short promo video. Candy Troutman, one of my students, made one here. So never underestimate the power of what you can do with photos!
6. Send out newsletters
You should be sending out a monthly newsletter to those on your email list. Include speaking photos from the last month in that newsletter–or at least photos from engagements that perhaps you haven’t highlighted yet. Again, let people remember, “she speaks A LOT”, and then they’re more likely to ask you to speak for them.
Note that you can’t do many of these things if you don’t take pictures. So be sure to take as many as you can everytime you speak, and you’ll find your ministry growing!