It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted in this blog, although lots of you have still been reading posts! I’m sorry about that. I’ve been busy with two book launches in 2012, and building up my marriage blog (I went from 10,000 monthly visitors to 350,000 monthly visitors last year), so my life has been a bit crazy.
But speaker training is a passion of mine, and so now that I’ve got things on autopilot a little bit more over there, I’d like to spend more time here, hopefully publishing a post or two every week on how to build your ministry, and be more effective at that ministry.
I already have quite the archives on this blog, but I’ve had a backlog of questions on Facebook I want to get to, like how do I get organized to build up a speaking ministry? I’m already busy, so I’m afraid to market in case I get too many requests. How do I figure out how much to share, when my story involves so many other people? Or just how can I get people to think of me as a speaker?
I’d love to tackle some of those coming up!
I thought first, though, that I’d let you in on some of the changes that have happened in my life, so you can also know where I’m coming from.
For years I’ve been doing the typical speaking ministry: you start with single night events, like outreaches, or women’s dinners at churches. You move on to do some weekend retreats. And then it grows from there, as you get bigger churches, and bigger retreats, and denominational conferences.
In 2008 I joined the team at Girls Night Out, hosted by World Vision, and that was a blessing because they did the booking! I’d do the same event and the same talk in different churches, but it was all coordinated for me. I felt really spoiled! But I fell in love with doing an “event”-a night that you bring to churches which looks pretty much the same, but is professionally done.
This last year my life has changed again. My book The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex came out with Zondervan, which is a major Christian publisher. My blog grew. And I decided it was time to create my own event, where I spoke about sex. And so this year I’ve concentrated on a very different kind of speaking. Instead of general inspiration speaking, I’ve done a targeted night.
In some ways I miss sharing my complete testimony, but in others I’m excited about the new opportunities coming my way.
But I’ve also learned this year, for the first time, that I really need to invest in myself. For years I’ve gotten by on minimal marketing, generating word of mouth when I speak (and I still absolutely believe that this is the best route to build your speaking ministry!) At some point, though, if you want to grow, you sometimes have to actually invest. And so I’ve hired people to help with booking, and I’m in the process of designing a backdrop and tablecloths and other accessories to make my whole night streamlined. This is really far out of my comfort zone-I HATE spending money on marketing (hence why I’ve always tried to teach you all to do it for free!). So I’ve had to open up my wallet and trust that God will bring the investment back.
So that’s where I’ve been. And I’m excited about the new phase in my life, but I also want to get back to helping others grow their ministries, because truthfully, there just aren’t enough women who are engaging and inspirational and speak well. So let’s learn together, and let’s turn the world on fire for Him!
As I launch forward and start writing this blog again, I’d love to know what you want to hear more about. So if you could answer this question for me in the comments, it would help me a great deal in planning future blog posts that will actually be helpful to you all:
The most frustrating thing about my speaking ministry is…….
Thank you all so much!
And if you want to learn how to get more bookings WITHOUT spending a fortune on marketing, my webinar How to Get Better Bookings can help!