How To Market Your Christian Business Without Spending A Dime
I’m a Christian business owner so won’t God just send me clients and customers?
That’s like saying God will give us perfect marriages every time because we’re Christians.
Here’s the truth:
…we gotta work for it. We gotta put in the time, effort and resources it takes to make it work.
Granted, there are times where things are working your way and there’s plenty of business coming in effortlessly. But I see these as moments of momentum where your previous work has finally brought the harvest you expected.
And you know what brings the harvest?
…sowing seeds and working your land!
In essence, that’s what marketing is all about.
Several years ago, a good friend started a Christian motivational poster business. He would take Bible verses and place them on top of beautiful pictures and sell them as home and office decoration. They looked amazing and the messages were powerful.
He found several sources for the photographs and spent time searching for a source of high quality picture frames to ship a great product. He even invested money in creating his first designs.
To make a long story short, no matter how much faith my friend had, he didn’t make the business work.
The sad thing is, it wasn’t that he didn’t work, it was that he didn’t work on the right thing: sowing seeds where the soil was fertile for this kind of product.
In other words, he didn’t market these awesome products.
Remember, no matter how good your products or services are, people need to know about them to buy them.
The Truth About Marketing Your Christian Business
Now that you know you need to get the word out about your offerings, where should you begin?
Well, let’s take a look at how Jesus did things. After all, He was selling a product (faith in Christ) and needed people who were interested in buying what He was offering (giving their life for the truth).
What made Jesus a genius at marketing was that He simplified the entire process down to the most elementary thing (which many entrepreneurs miss).
He understood that in order for people to be interested in grabbing ahold of His message, He would have to speak to their needs. When He addressed their needs, they were open to hearing His message which has transformed the world.
What He didn’t do was plaster billboards and post-it notes all around Jerusalem with the message to buy into His message. He communicated and interacted with people and established committed relationships quickly because He was always looking out for real needs.
Jesus went where there was a need, contributed to the need, and people became intrigued to know more about Him and His message. As a result, millions of people have bought into His message (me included) and it never cost him a dime.
How To Implement Free Marketing Strategies In Your Business
To effectively market your business, you need to know where your market is. In the days of technology and social media we live in, this part is easier than ever.
A good place to start marketing is Facebook.
Facebook has a huge audience (over a billion people worldwide) so chances are, your audience is well represented.
You can use their nifty search function at the top to find people who would be your perfect audience.
Let’s say you sell dog related products. Maybe it’s specialty dog food or custom clothes for dogs. You can use Facebook’s search function to find groups related to dogs or dog owners.
Guess who you’ll find there?
Yes, dog owners who shop for their dogs! Have a look at what I found when I did a simple search for poodle owners.
Not all the groups you find will be a good match but if you look at the second group listed, you’ll see there are 921 members.
Sounds like a great place to sow seeds, doesn’t it?
Remember, once you’re in the group, the goal is to add value, be helpful, and above all, to meet needs!
As you build relationships and help people, they’ll become more and more interested in what you do and specifically, how you can personally help them get the result they want. This isn’t because you’re screaming out how good you are but actually proving it by being helpful.
The same concept holds true when you’re marketing on LinkedIn groups.
If you work with professionals, look no further than LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn is a thriving community for professionals of all kinds and their groups are highly valuable as well.
Some would argue that for professional services, LinkedIn beats out Facebook hands down!
If I was a consultant for home service professionals, I’d want to be wherever these professionals were, wouldn’t you?
I went right to the LinkedIn search and chose to search for groups of roofers. Between the first and the last groups I found, I’d have access to roughly 16,000 members who may potentially be ideal customers for what I offer.
Once you identify targeted groups around the internet (there are plenty in addition to Facebook and LinkedIn groups), join the community and be prepared to sow seeds.
Some people mistakenly join a group only to throw up their promotions immediately without first cultivating relationships, adding value to the group and interacting with other members. That’s a huge no-no and may even get you kicked out.
Jesus himself never did that.
There are many ways to freely connect with people who may be ideal for your business but you must always lead with a giving hand, just like Jesus did. His dedication to adding value drew people in for more. As He traveled from town to town, He interacted with people and deposited into their lives before offering them the good news.
As Christian businesses, we must follow suit.
How can you apply these principles in your business?