Business leaders are facing countless difficult decisions. For many, it feels as if progress toward prosperity has come to a screeching halt. Amid all the uncertainty of our times, small businesses began to lift fervent prayers for business success like no time in recent history.
In the months preceding the pandemic, it seemed to many business leaders that they could coast their way to wealth. They felt confident that their past efforts to make a successful business would carry them through. Then our world turned upside down with health concerns. In such an unprecedented time, many small business leaders turned to the Lord for counsel, guidance, and provision. That has proved to be a good practice. Prayer is now and always has been powerful and effective. The Word of the Lord says that the prayers of the righteous avail much.
What would happen if businesses began to consistently lift a prayer for success? Not only when hardships dampen hopes to succeed—but daily? Imagine the result of seeking the Lord to ask for help to follow Biblical principles and run God-honoring businesses—even during prosperity? What if business leaders offered these kinds of prayers for business success:
- Consistent prayers for business growth
- Fervent prayers for success and prosperity
- Passionate prayer for successful business transactions
- Ongoing prayer for business breakthrough
- Heartfelt prayer for more customers
- Sincere prayers for profitable sales
Imagine the impact if business owners turned to the Lord to determine what the Bible says about honoring God in business, or making sound decisions? A lot could change—for the better.
Why A Business Should Offer Prayers for Success
The uncertainty of lockdown has taken a marked toll on businesses. World governments took a stance never before seen and mandated business closures or imposed regulations that were too extreme for small businesses to endure. Many business leaders felt as if control over their organizations had been stripped away. It felt as if many decisions were no longer theirs to make, which made leaders feel powerless to steer things in a positive direction. Too often for entrepreneurs, it felt as if someone else was in control of their business practices. A sense of frustration and hopelessness ruled the day.
The truth is, it shouldn’t be so hard to prosper in the marketplace and work for the financial security of our children. And yet the health crisis has crushed the job market and made it feel nearly impossible for any business to thrive.
So what good can it bring to offer prayers for business success?
The Bible says “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, ESV). This applies to prayers lifted for personal matters and business concerns alike.
Prayer is also a trusted way to gain wisdom. When we ask God for wisdom, direction, and guidance, He gives it freely. Consider James 1:5 (ESV) which says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
The Hope that Prayer for Business Brings
Many Christian entrepreneurs and ministry leaders already know the power of prayer. Seeking the Lord calms anxiety, turns hearts toward gratitude, and helps us know that we are never alone. Communing with God and seeking His strength for all of our concerns is a basic tenet of the Christian faith.
When we forsake the practice of prayer, we’re often consumed with worry. Our focus becomes fixed on the problems we see and our minds feel overtaken with fear for the future. Without prayer, it’s far too easy to lose hope, to feel overwhelmed—without direction, and utterly alone.
Yet the moment we begin to pray, we can sense God’s nearness and the hope of Jesus Christ. We’re able to cast our cares upon the Lord knowing that He will carry them on our behalf because He cares so greatly for us (see 1 Peter 5:7). The psalmist declared,
“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18, NIV).
We’re wise to thank the Lord for His provision and remember to actively call on God. Amen?
Offering Prayer for Guidance Through Business Decisions
As a small business owner, I’ve faced many challenges over the past months. At moments it felt as if my business wouldn’t survive the pandemic. Leads dried up, customers put services on hold, and uncertainty ruled the day.
As I prayed over my business, I discerned the Lord prompting me to pivot—to rethink what I offered. When I began to pray I felt God bring fresh ideas along with the wisdom and training opportunities to carry them out. When things looked bleak, I continued to walk in hope and remembered to thank Jesus for His guidance. As a result, the last half of 2020 brought more financial success and opportunity than the prior three years combined. I’m now coaching business owners to clarify and strengthen their online marketing message so that customers are invited to envision the story of their own well-being.
By offering prayer to the Lord, I am confident that I’m walking in His path, pursuing His purpose for my life, and enjoying a meaningful business. I believe every business owner should feel confident—even amid uncertain times in our economy. Prayer is one of the ways to achieve that.
Faithfulness in Prayer Can Lead to Prosperity
Business success is about much more than improving financial means. For entrepreneurs who follow Christ, a business can be a meaningful way to build relationships and model the ways of Christ. Many who don’t know Jesus Christ will never grace the doors of a church and your business practices may give them a glimpse of hope they never knew existed. Business owners have a unique opportunity to offer prayer for those they serve and to show the love of God to a hurting world.
While the Bible doesn’t promise financial prosperity, in several instances the Bible says that we can make our way prosperous and set ourselves up to flourish. Consider Deuteronomy 8:18 and Joshua 1:8, below (emphasis added):
God gives the power to gain wealth
“… but remember that the LORD your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors as it is today” (Dt 8:18, CSB).
We make our way prosperous
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Jos 1:8, ESV).
Just as these verses encourage, when we offer prayers and ask God to make our business thrive, we invite the movement of the Holy Spirit. He will show us the power God provides, and as we meditate on the Word of God we make our way prosperous. Righting our hearts before Jesus is a powerful and proven way to help our efforts succeed.
When we flourish in business, we can give more generously, help others, and reveal the work of the Lord to those around us. Lifting prayer for business success reaches beyond selfish motives and can genuinely impact customers, vendors, employees, our own children, and generations of people—all through the wise decisions we’re equipped to make.
25 Scriptures to Enhance Your Business-Minded Prayers
The most simple yet profound way to lift prayers for your business is to use Bible passages to provide guidance. Some of my favorites are:
Proverbs 3:3-4 (NIV)
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
An example of praying the Scripture is:
Father God, write your love and faithfulness on the tablet of my heart. Help me find favor and a good name in Your sight and before mankind. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Matthew 5:16 (CSB)
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Offer prayer like this:
Lord Jesus, may Your light shine through me. In my business, let customers, employees, and even their families see the good works that You instill so that they can see you and give you glory. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Psalm 84:11 (ESV)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
A prayer can sound like this:
Thank you, Lord, that you help me to walk uprightly in my job. Be my sun and shield. I ask that you bestow Your favor and honor on my business and withhold no good thing. In the name of Jesus, amen.
For more Scriptures to pray over your business, I invite you to download my free prayer guide, a collection of 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business. It provides Bible verses along with encouragement to offer prayers through each one for your own business success.
It’s not difficult to offer prayer for your job or business by using Scripture. In fact, there are three easy steps:
Research the Bible verses
This is already done for you in my eBook—25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business (For Your Blog, Book, or Brand)—and you can download it for free.
Offer prayers using the Scriptures
Pray in Jesus’ name each day (or at a minimum every workday).
Thank Jesus for the ways the Lord will reveal Himself and how He answers your prayers.
Prayer Can Enhance Your Business
Imagine how it will feel to pray and focus on God throughout your day, knowing He is with you. In prayer, when you ask for and receive God’s guidance, it makes all things feel easier, less overwhelming, and somehow simplified. When you pray, your work becomes more efficient and meaningful and you see your products and services begin to help others. Those are likely the reasons that you started your business in the first place, and when you start to see your work pay off, it’s easier to believe that you’ll find prosperity. Then, by saying thank you to Jesus, you give Him the glory, honor, and praise for equipping you with all you need.
Every Christian, whether a business owner, ministry leader, or employee should lift fervent prayers for their organization or job. Jesus longs for us to have an abiding relationship with Him, not only when we’re at home in a quiet place, but throughout our day: on the job, at work, while running a business, writing for the Kingdom, or leading others to Him. We are to pray without ceasing and continuously give thanks in the name of Jesus.
If you don’t know how to offer prayer for your business or if you would like a free collection of Scriptures to help you lift prayers for business success, I invite you to download 25 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Business, my free eBook. It will provide you with the encouragement you need to cover your work life in prayer, ask Jesus for His help and provision, and to thank Him for all He gives.
While God doesn’t promise prosperity, He does provide all we need to generate it in our lives. The Lord is faithful to hear our prayer. Interceding in His name, we give Him glory and let Him carry the burden of the weight of all the things our business or ministry needs. He is our provider, our guide, and our encourager. He cares about all of the work that we do and every life that we touch through our efforts.
It’s common practice for bloggers to utilize search engine optimization techniques to increase traffic. But in faith-based blogging circles, there’s some contention. It’s often argued that using targeted keywords diminishes the Holy Spirit’s inspiration for content. But by using simple SEO tips for bloggers, it’s possible to attract readers, share polished writing, AND follow spiritual promptings.
Why Faith-Based Bloggers Should Be Interested in SEO
As faith-forward writers, there’s an ongoing struggle. We pour our heart and soul into what we write. Yet, it feels as if very few people see our posts. We feel invisible—and that’s frustrating. Especially when we compare our traffic to those who load their posts with keywords, sharing content that doesn’t flow and struggles to make a point.
The good news is, faith bloggers don’t have to choose SEO over inspired writing. There’s a way to balance good writing with strong optimization.
What if faith-writers could disprove the myth that writing for SEO is bad writing? And how many lives could we enrich with the word of God if people could actually find us on the internet?
Because we write with a higher calling, we invest heavily in our craft. Sadly, audiences often remain smaller than we’d like. We sometimes wonder if we’re good enough or if we even have what it takes to write at a higher level.
Most faith bloggers turn to social media and reach readers through Facebook or Instagram. Just when there’s an established rhythm and engagement and followers start clicking, the social media world changes an algorithm. Then bloggers have to relearn everything and figure it out all over again.
Or, because of divisiveness and a negative political narrative, readers fall away from social media, and blog traffic suffers the consequences. It feels like there are always outside factors that determine how many people see a blog post.
It shouldn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be so stinking hard to grow an audience.
How Can I Increase My Blog Traffic?
Faith writers have a lot at stake because their words of encouragement have the power to change lives, to impact generations. They can resonate with people, but far too often miss the people that really need their words.
It’s easy to imagine that once a blog post is published, people will find and read it (the “if you build it they will come” mentality). Realizing that too few people are helped because they can’t find your words of hope is heartbreaking. I understand and have walked a similar struggle as a devotional writer.
Every blogger starts with nothing: zero followers, zero engagement. But there are intentional steps we can take to make sure we reach more readers over time. Years ago when I was in the early stages of my blogging journey, someone finally shared Google Analytics and Google Search Console. I immediately wished they hadn’t. I’d been writing for three years and I realized I had 43 blog visitors in three years—not 4,300—43. Fewer than fifteen people per year. I was devastated. And mortified.
Over the years, I’ve become a better student, learning more compelling ways to communicate and strategies to attract the people who need my kind of encouragement. By learning better approaches to marketing and using a 360-degree approach, I’ve learned how to grow a following, reach a larger audience, and help my clients do the same.
Stop Overcomplicating It: Simple SEO Tips for Bloggers
After becoming serious about adding SEO to my blog posts I’ve seen a steady increase in my organic activity. Not from people who follow me on social media, but people who ask a question on Google and are pointed to my website. Today my organic traffic from search engines is bigger than any of my social media channels. It feels so good to not have to just live and die by the mood of somebody on social media.
I stopped thinking of my blog as a way to build relationships with my readers; I know that sounds strange. But now I leverage my memberships and email list to connect with readers on a heart level.
I think of the purpose of my blog as a way to introduce myself to potential followers.
Think of moving into a new neighborhood and meeting your neighbors. First, you start to see them across the street. Pretty soon you’re smiling and waving, then you learn each other’s names. Before long, you stop by to drop off a piece of mail. Eventually, you enter someone’s home, but it takes a little while to get there, right? That’s the point when we start to build meaningful relationships. We start to help each other with problems. Then maybe we watch each other’s pets. Soon we start to live as neighbors, and it’s a beautiful thing.
We want to do the same thing on our blogs and SEO provides the path.
A 3-Step Approach to SEO for Bloggers
SEO is a lot simpler than most people imagine and I often kick myself for not starting sooner. In this post, I’ll cover three simple steps.
- Research before you write
- Strategically place your keywords (and key phrases)
- Engage with the new readers
Step 1—Research: How to Choose Keywords for a Blog Post
The first thing that we need to do is get potential followers to our doorsteps so that we can invite them in. But we have to know what it is that they’re looking for before we write a new blog post. That’s when you do your keyword research. When we have a topic in mind, we type it in, get the search engine results, and let Google reveal the clues.
By just typing a few words into Google, it will begin to auto-populate your search term. Google auto-populates based on common searches, so pay attention to those clues. By doing a bit of research, we discover what people are searching for on the internet, then can tailor our post to meet their needs.
To be clear, using SEO does not dismiss the need to pray over a post or follow God’s direction. It is more about meeting lost and hurting people where they are so that we can speak about the problems that they’re facing.
An Example Search
As I look up the term, “Business Coach” Google generates suggestions for my search as follows:
When you see those suggestions, start to consider you can use any of those search terms logically and comfortably in your article.
Google continues to share. Scrolling down the results page, Google displays questions people also ask. In the case of “business coach,” people also ask questions such as:
- ‘What does a business coach do?”
- “How much should a business coach cost?”
- “Do I really need a business coach?
Here’s how it looks on the screen:
You can use these questions verbatim in your post, either as a heading or inside a paragraph, and they’ll help your search engine optimization.
Step 2—Keyword Placement: Strategy is Key for SEO
Once you’ve discovered what people are searching for, you can write a post about that topic, and then incorporate keywords, keyphrases, and questions strategically inside your post.
We don’t have to overthink or overcomplicate it. Add a focus keyword (or key phrase) three to five times where they fit naturally in your post. Be sure to include it in your title and in one or two subheadings.
There are several places to insert your keyword on the back-end of your blog to help your search engine rankings. I recommend 9 strategic locations for keywords that will help drive organic traffic to your blog post. These are both inside our content and in the back-end of your blog post:
9 Strategic Locations to Add Your Focus Keyword:
- Your title
- In your first paragraph
- 3-5 additional times where it fits naturally in your content
- One heading (H2)
- In one subheading (H3)
- Your Yoast SEO title (Yoast is a free WordPress Plug-In
- In your meta description
- As your slug
- In the file name of your images (but not the alt text)
Step 3—The Traffic Increase: Respond and Engage
The third step in our three-step process is to enjoy your traffic increase and use it as an opportunity to engage with your readers. Add a lead generator or opt-in so that you can draw those readers into your subscription list or into your groups. Invite them to follow you on social media so that you can engage with them there.
When readers visit your site, they want the help that you offer. Make intentional efforts to appeal to their needs and pain points so that you can retain them in your reader base. Build relationships and help readers begin to know, like, and trust you as you minister to them.
SEO is a Long-Game
Keep in mind that publishing SEO friendly blog posts is a long game. You won’t see drastic changes overnight. Every change and improvement you make today will positively impact your traffic in 6-12 weeks. It takes Google some time to recognize what you write about, then to analyze your keywords, and measure the rankings. But the wait is worth it.
If you’ve written for a while and are just starting to add SEO techniques, it’s helpful to go back and update old posts. Use the same three-step process: Research the topic of your post, strategically place your keyword and key phrases, then engage with your readers as you see your traffic increase.
When faith-forward bloggers use SEO, they can reach more readers for the Kingdom of God. They can impact more lives and in the process, strengthen their brand as a blogger. By using these simple SEO tips for bloggers, we can dispel the myth that you’re EITHER an inspired faith writer OR you write for SEO. With a simple yet strategic plan, you can be BOTH and share your message of hope with the world.
Every business owner wants potential customers to engage with their website and social media. That means they need content that compels people to action. The problem is, there’s often a critical component that’s left out—the calls to action.
The truth is, people don’t take action until they’re told what to do. By adding a clear, compelling call to action to your website, social media posts, and ads, you can change the way your customers engage. Think of it as providing the directional signs needed for your visitors to travel through your customer journey.
How much would your sales increase if you actually asked your customers to buy? By adding a clear call to action to every piece of content you write, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action is a way of guiding people to do business with you. It can be a brightly colored button on your website, an instructional statement inside your social media post, or a link inside your paid ad that tells visitors what to do next.
Most of us know how discouraging it feels when potential customers don’t respond to offers. We may have a great, high-quality product or service that falls flat when it comes to sales. It’s something that can keep us up at night and we feel that there should be an easier, more effective way to get people to engage.
Just by adding clear direction, you can see an increase in sales, greater clarity in your messaging, and customer satisfaction. Without directing your customers, you’ll continue to wonder why that stunning Instagram post isn’t generating sales.
Author and business leader, Donald Miller says it this way, “Your customers are bombarded with more than three thousand commercial messages per day, and unless we are bold in our calls to action, we will be ignored. If our calls to action are soft, they will not be noticed.”
Challenging Your Customers To Take Action
I understand the discouragement of being ignored. In fact, I did things what I affectionately call the “wrong way“ for years. I would tell people about my products, but never ask them to buy.
Finally, I realized it was a lot like receiving a visit from a neighbor just as I was pulling a batch of warm cookies out of the oven. I told my neighbor that this was my grandmother’s recipe and my favorite cookie ever. They smelled divine and I made a show of enjoying the sniffs as I smiled in her direction. After carefully plating the cookies, I slid them closer to her so she could indulge.
We talked for several minutes and then she stood to go. I said, “But you haven’t had a cookie!” Her response stopped me in my tracks.
My neighbor smiled and said, “You told me all about those special cookies but never offered one to me.”
I thought she knew. She didn’t.
Too often as business owners, we think our customers can read our minds. We believe it’s obvious that we want them to buy our product, or why would we tell them about it? But customers can’t read our minds. The fact that we want them to buy is not obvious to them, even when we think it should be.
Remember, it’s human nature that people don’t take action until they’re told what to do. When you lead your audience through your customer journey, they will follow. Calls to action are a valuable tool to clearly communicate the next step they should take to get the help you offer.
Write Clear Calls to Action and Repeat Them Again and Again
The fastest way to generate sales and grow a business is to write clear calls to action and repeat them again and again.
The last thing you should be in your calls to action is vague. Don’t make your customers wonder what you mean. A button that says “Start here” is confusing. What do you want me to start? they may ask? “Register Here” offers much more clarity.
If you want your customers to buy, tell them. Do you want them to call your office? Tell them. Direct calls to action like “Buy Now” or “Call us at 800-xxx-xxxx” are easy to follow and leave no question about what to do next.
To be most effective, a call to action should be repeated at least twice. If you’re adding them to your websites, they should be repeated in every section—in exactly the same words. Don’t make your customers search for directions. Make them easy to find.
Where Should I Use Calls to Action?
You should use calls to action absolutely everywhere. In every single . . .
- Section of your website
- Email you send your subscribers
- Instagram post
- Facebook post
- LinkedIn post
- Paid ad (online or print)
- Piece of marketing collateral
- Letter or correspondence you send
Tell people what to do next.
Your calls to action are so critical to your marketing success, we’ve created a free printable: 25 Irresistible Call to Action Examples. Download your free copy then keep it handy in your notes to gain inspiration for all of your marketing copy.
Since people don’t take action until they are led to do so, calls to action are a vital element in your marketing copy. They show your visitors what steps to take next.
Remember to download your free printable, a collection of calls to action that are clear and direct. You can stop wondering why your customers don’t engage and show them exactly how to do business with you. With calls to action, you’re sure to see an increase in activity almost immediately.
You know the feeling—that moment when you say, “we need a new website.” The life of your bank account flashes before your eyes. Developing a website can be one of the most costly investments you make in your small business. It can feel hard to justify the expense, but I have great news: There are huge benefits to a high converting website and you don’t always need a redesign to achieve them!
Your website should be the strongest sales tool in your business. By simply tweaking the layout and strengthening your message, it can be. Maybe you built your website yourself, or perhaps you paid a designer thousands of dollars for it. Either way, you likely focused more intently on the look and feel of your website—colors, fonts, and images that you love—instead of its message and functionality.
Few business owners write copy that helps customers understand why they need their products. Their website fails when it comes to compelling visitors to take action. That’s a problem for any business. Your company website is more than a business card. It should do more than share information. A high converting website will motivate people to click, download, and buy.
Imagine how it would feel to make money while you sleep. As you sit down to sip your first cup of coffee in the morning, you browse through your email. There it is a sale notification! The smile on your face broadens and you feel a sense of confidence rising through your chest. You developed a product or service that people want. They came to you for help to overcome a problem, and you proved to yourself that you can close a sale! All it takes is a website that converts.
What is Website Conversion?
Simply put, conversion on your website happens when a visitor takes action:
- they click your button,
- schedule an appointment,
- download your freebie,
- or purchase a product.
When your website is set up to guide visitors to make a decision to do business with you, it will lead them to take the next step.
Conversions are the main purpose of your website and without them, you’re missing valuable opportunities to help others. When people don’t engage on your website, it can make you feel as if you’ve missed the mark. It leaves you wondering if you can succeed in business at all. During the most frustrating moments, you might be tempted to give up.
Instead, with just a few modifications on your website, you can grow your email list, achieve higher sales, earn credibility and finally stop the tape in your head that stirs doubt that your product is good enough.
A High Converting Website That Doesn’t Depend on a Redesign
I’ve been there—the owner of a small business that struggled because my marketing efforts weren’t working. After creating great lead generators, I didn’t see growth in my email subscribers. I had a lovely website with no conversion strategy. I knew I offered something that could help others, and yet… crickets. Then, I found StoryBrand. It was a game-changer for me, as it has been for thousands of other businesses around the world.
Through StoryBrand, I learned simple steps that lead me to enjoy the benefits of a high converting website. If you have the access and ability to edit your website, you can make a few changes that can lead to measurable results in your sales and business growth.
Add A Clear Call to Action
It’s shocking to me how few businesses ask for a conversion on their website. They go through all the trouble and expense of having a website, then use it only as a means to tell people about their brand. You cannot have a high converting website without a clear call to action—a vibrantly colored button that tells visitors what to do next.
People want to be led. When they visit your website, they have a problem. They hope you can help and are looking for you to guide them into the next steps needed to make progress. Without a clear call to action that’s shown repeatedly on your homepage, you make them feel lost, without a path to follow.
Show How You Can Make Life Better
There is a benefit for customers when they do business with you. They will be better off when they make a purchase, read your blog, schedule an appointment, request a quote, or download your freebie. Help them see the rewards of engagement. Paint a picture of how their life or circumstance will improve. This is done most effectively with pictures of happy people and words that portray a story of success.
By sharing what’s at stake, you convey your understanding of the problem they face. You can help them move away from feeling stuck and toward victory as they overcome that problem.
State What You Do—Clearly
When visitors see your home page, they should know within 3 seconds exactly what you do. If you’re a business coach, say it clearly. Or if you’re a hairdresser, state it plainly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they already know or that they will follow a trail of hints to discover what your brand offers. Put it out there, proudly.
When You Need Help With Your Website Conversion Strategy
I’ll be the first to admit that when we try to work on marketing material for our own businesses, it’s hard. We’re too close, too intimately acquainted with all the details. So when we think we’re communicating clearly, there can still be some confusion. It helps to have an outsider take a look. And a website conversion strategy is one area where outside help is… well, helpful!
If you’d like me to review your website, I’d be happy to do so. I’ll analyze it through the lens of StoryBrand’s website conversion strategy and provide you with a FREE 5-ish minute video to share my thoughts. Easy peasy. No strings attached.
Enter your information below to request your website review.
Getting feedback isn’t always fun, but it is always a gift and it’s one I’d be honored to give you as you take steps toward strengthening your website. Remember, your website should be your strongest sales tool and by conveying a message that an outsider can easily understand, it can be!
Don’t forget to request your free website review below.
Instead of wondering why visitors aren’t engaging with your website, why not invest the time to ensure your message is clear and guides them through the process of doing business with you. Following the three steps above is a powerful way to start. Every improvement you make has the potential to bring amazing results. As your business growth coach, I’m here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out for your free website review.
You’ve done it. You’ve finally completed your product and you can’t wait to share it with the world. You know as soon as people see it they’re going to love it. You announce the launch of your new product, excited to see where this new venture will take you and…crickets. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t your product having the reach you hoped? It may not be hashtags, the time of day you posted about it on social media, or even the filter that you used on the product photo. The most likely culprit is your business message. If you haven’t taken the time to craft a clear message, you’re not alone. Writers, entrepreneurs, and ministry leaders often struggle to write a clear business message.
A Clear Business Message Can Boost Your Reach
Have you taken the time to make sure your business message is clear and compelling? Many brands haven’t. You may ask, “But Cathy, shouldn’t my product do all the talking? I didn’t get into this business to write slogans or catchphrases.” I know, I know, but hear me out…How could your life look if you doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled your revenue? What other products could you launch? How would that ease your life financially? Could you expand your business? Just imagine it for a moment. I promise you it’s possible and a clear and compelling business message will help get you there.
With a clear business message, you’ll begin to attract customers. And not just any customers, the ones who need you most—those who struggle with the exact problem that your brand addresses. When they come into your sales funnel, they’ll stay, develop trust with you, and even make a purchase.
With a Clear Business Message, Your Customer Will Listen
If you’re like me, you’ve been working your business for years. You’ve invested time, energy, sweat, and tears—changing and evolving it into something better, but still, the customers aren’t showing up. It should be easier to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I get it. That’s why you need a clear and compelling business message.
Author and business leader, Donald Miller says “People buy things because they hear or read words that make them want to buy things. Words matter”.
And I’ve seen that truth translate into business success. When I focused on my business message by implementing a few key strategies, it strengthened my narrative and I was amazed at the results. People started coming to me and asking me for help. Instead of losing sleep wondering how I was going to generate revenue to keep my business afloat, I started contributing to my family financially. And you can too.
You don’t have to keep wondering what to say online or in your emails. Instead, you can start feeling confident with your message and rejuvenate your energy for your business. When you’re energized about what you do and can communicate it clearly, your customers will liste
A Clear Business Message Makes Customers Excited to Make a Purchase
In the past, I struggled as a writer and resource creator. I would read countless articles about the best places to advertise my product or how many Instagram posts I needed per week to help boost my reach. Sure, I would gain a follower here or there, but it wasn’t affecting my business revenue at all. I would listen to business podcasts all the time, trying to figure out what to do. One day I stumbled across a leadership podcast where Donald Miller was introduced as the guest. He shared the 7-part StoryBrand framework and I was hooked.
I immediately started to implement some of what I learned, then decided to pursue more formal training with StoryBrand. I clarified my message and started to see results right away. Within three months, I saw a sizeable increase in sales and have since quadrupled my revenue, which continues to climb.
I can almost hear what you’re saying, “Okay Cathy, that’s all good and great for you. But how can I do this for MY business???” Believe me, I know how it feels to pour your heart and soul into something and not see any results. I knew I wanted to help others achieve the same success I’ve experienced. That’s why I’ve become a StoryBrand Certified Guide and a Business Made Simple Certified Coach. I want nothing more than for your business to thrive and I want to help you get there.
How to Develop a Clear Message
Here are a few quick pointers that will make your potential customers excited to buy from you:
Start with the problem
Think of the movies you see and the books you read. No story really gets interesting until a problem arises. You’ll pique your customers’ interest when you show them you understand their problem and offer a product or service to help. When you can identify with their struggle, they’ll start to see you as a trusted source of assistance.
As long as you continue talking about their problem, you’ll hold their interest and they’ll be more likely to engage. This is why infomercials are so effective. You know, the dramatic ones where all the plastic food containers fall down in an avalanche on top of their head or when they just can’t open that bottle of nail polish and when they finally get it, it goes flying everywhere and splatters all over the bathroom. Infomercials address a specific problem and you can do the same (but without the overwhelming amount of cheesiness, please).
Share a plan
Okay, you’ve made sure your customer knows you understand their problem. Now you’re going to tell them how easy it is to move toward the solution you offer. Give them a plan to follow in 3 simple steps.
People don’t take action until they’re shown a clear plan. If you had to cross a rapidly flowing river, you’d probably turn the other way. I know I would. But if someone showed me three flat stepping stones that I could use to get across, I’d give it a try.
Going back to our infomercial reference, here is an example of a 3-step plan:
Plastic food containers are falling on your head every time you open a cabinet?? No problem!
- Throw your old plastic food containers in the recycle pile.
- Purchase our new system that nests together so there’s never an avalanche!
- Live your best life! You’ll never have a headache from plastic food containers falling on your head.
Detail the benefits and consequences
They have their plan. So simple, anyone can do it! Now you’re going to tell them what’s at stake if they DON’T buy from you and how great their life will be if they DO.
For example, if this were a plastic food container infomercial, this is how the story would unfold: Mom opens the cabinet door and plastic food containers go flying everywhere. 3 year old and baby come into the kitchen and the 3-year-old steps on one of the plastic food containers and it breaks into pieces! Baby thinks little pieces of broken plastic look pretty fun and tasty. Baby could cut himself or worse – choke on the little plastic pieces. If only you had the plastic food containers that nested within each other you would never experience these dangerous avalanches. You’d have no risk of related injuries and enjoy a perfectly happy and safe family forever.
It’s a fairytale ending. Well, maybe not, but you get the point.
You want to show your customer the success you’ll help them achieve and the failure you’ll help them avoid.
Interested in One-On-One coaching? Visit www.cathymcintosh.com/coaching
Clarify Your Business Message & Boost Your Reach
Whew. That was a wild ride through plastic food container land. You may have even forgotten this is a post about creating a clear and compelling business message because you got so wrapped up in the story. It just goes to show you that story is a powerful sense-making device. Use it to your advantage!
All infomercial kidding aside, the bottom line is this: Implementing a clear message changed my business and my life and I would love for it to do the same for you. I understand that many business owners struggle to craft a clear, compelling message. By starting with these three points, you will improve your brand narrative and boost your reach.
If you’d like additional information, I encourage you to read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. It’s a game-changer. At the very least, I invite you to listen to this podcast episode. Then let me know what you think!
When upstanding, genuinely helpful businesses share what they do in a clear and succinct way, the world will become a better place. By using the power of words, you can literally transform the lives of your customers. In turn, they’ll help others do the same.
Never underestimate the value of what you do, my friend. And write a message that conveys it well.
I believe in you.
I know how it can feel—like ice water thrown on embers that are starting to ignite. When a writer spends years developing her craft and finally musters the courage to submit her work to an agent or publisher, it can feel utterly defeating to learn that writers need an established platform to be considered. It was the need for a platform that helped me realize the powerful benefits of a sales funnel.
A writer may have ideas, talent, an established writing voice, and a strong message. But to reach a wider audience through publication, she must already have a strong email and social following. This is the “platform” that she must bring to the negotiation table.
In seasons past, publishers would carry the burden of sales and marketing on behalf of their authors. But in today’s market, it’s up to the writer herself. Now, a writer must have her own following. She must develop a listening audience with whom she can share her words and prove to agents and publishers that she has sufficient influence to promote her own work.
Building a platform takes time. It can take what feels like centuries, especially when the levels of expected followers can number in the tens of thousands. But with a step-by-step plan to follow and by crafting a compelling message that attracts a target audience, building a platform can feel easier than you expect. In marketing terms, using a tool called a sales funnel can make all the difference.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Imagine becoming known for the problem you help solve. What if you could attract the very people that you feel called to help with your words? How could your writing business become stronger with readers who grow into loyal, raving fans?
With the right tools and frameworks, this is all possible. To build a strong writer’s platform, you need a sales funnel. While the term “sales funnel” may throw you off a bit, it’s a tool that does far more than sell. It helps you take your readers through a natural, relational journey and increase the level of influence you have with them.
A sales funnel is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to begin attracting the right audience for your writing brand. The even better news is, anyone can create their own sales funnel with just a bit of know-how. It’s a process that uses digital tools to convey your brand message and attract potential customers. Your sales funnel provides a way to communicate with your prospective readers, pique their curiosity about your product, develop engagement, and ultimately ask for the sale.
A Marketing Funnel Can Move a Writer from Invisible to Easily Recognized
The life of a writer can feel pretty lonely—as if you’re on an island by yourself, pouring out words you hope will touch lives, then wondering if anyone is listening. I get it. Without an engaged audience, you may doubt the strength of your message. You may wonder if you have what it takes to be a successful writer.
It shouldn’t be so hard to reach a wider audience who truly needs what you offer and will engage with your words of hope. But how do you find the people who need you?
As a writer, you can keep searching the internet for tips and ideas on marketing, trying different tidbits here and there and hoping they work.
You can keep writing without developing your audience, essentially reaching only your friends and family.
Or, you can discover the steps to implement a sales funnel (sometimes called a marketing funnel) and take the mystery out of growing your audience.
I understand how it feels to publish blog posts that no one reads. I spent years trying to build an online audience, truly to no avail. Finally, I reasoned that if I did not find a way to market well, then I was essentially writing for no one. Through what I learned, I began to set my sights on learning proven methods and discovered the techniques of a sales funnel. That’s when everything clicked. I saw massive increases in my email list, the engagement I have with readers, and income from product sales. My business is still growing in all three areas!
A Sales Funnel Has Many Benefits for Writers
If you’re longing for
- engaged readers who share your social media posts,
- subscribers who look forward to reading your email content,
- customers who pay for your books and supplemental products,
- higher income,
- an established subscriber list,
- and social media followers that help you stand out to agents and publishers,
a sales funnel is the most efficient and cost-effective way to get there.
As I reference a sales funnel, I am speaking of a handful of different components of your marketing plan:
A clear message that addresses the problem your customers face; a compelling elevator pitch, a website that converts leads into sales, a lead generator, an email nurture campaign, and a sales message.
When it’s well-executed, you’re sure to see these 6 surprising benefits of a sales funnel for writers:
1. Move your readers through the natural stages of a relationship
There are three stages of any personal relationship, and they also apply to marketing. The first is curiosity, where a customer becomes curious about what you offer. She wants to know more about you and how you can help her solve a problem she faces. This generally happens through your website and organic social media posts.
The second stage is enlightenment, where you begin to inform your potential customer and help her become more aware of the benefits of doing business with you. The final stage is commitment. This is a natural time to present your customer with an opportunity to buy. These two stages or relationships happen through your email nurture and sales sequence—one of the primary ways of communicating inside your sales funnel.
2. Build trust with your readers with your sales funnel
When potential customers enter your sales funnel, they are curious about you and wonder if you can help them solve a problem they face. They may have met you at a barbecue where you shared a few well-crafted words about what you do, and then visited your website. At this point, they’re unsure whether you are what you say and if you can do what you promise. But they download your lead generator and begin receiving your emails.
By connecting with them regularly and sharing content that will help them discover how to overcome a problem, they’ll begin to trust what you say. Over time, they’ll also begin to develop trust with you as a brand and will be more likely to make a purchase.
3. Enhance the customer journey of your readers
With a strong sales funnel you’ll give your readers an enjoyable experience. You’ll put care and purpose into the journey that you lead them through and they will begin to look forward to hearing from you. This is accomplished by sharing empathy, lightening the mood with a bit of well-placed humor, and giving them timely motivation to move toward their own transformation into who they’d like to become. When you give them an enjoyable experience, they will become loyal followers and brand evangelists who tell others about what you do.
4. Generate sales to sustain and grow your business or ministry
While the purpose of your sales funnel may be to grow your audience, there will be an added benefit. Following the steps will lead to a natural sales cycle. Even if you don’t regularly “sell” to your email list, you may be surprised by people who ask for products they can pay for because the content you share for free is so helpful to them. When you generate sales, you’ll no longer need to sustain your business or ministry with personal funds—you’ll begin to see an income that you can use to bless your family or invest in continued growth.
5. You’ll no longer feel like marketing is a struggle
The time you invest in building an effective sales funnel will bring a return you can feel proud of. You’ll begin to feel confident with the words you use in your messaging and marketing, and you’ll start to see your marketing work. It will feel great to stop feeling as if your marketing is an experiment that never works. Instead, you’ll find it easy and effective as you watch your audience—and your sales—grow!
6. Grow audience numbers that stand out to publishers and agents to advance your career
With an effective sales funnel, you’ll watch your number of followers grow with consistency. You’ll see it on social media, in your website traffic, and most importantly on your email list. (By growing your email list, you have ultimate control of the content your subscribers see and don’t have to trust ever-changing algorithms). Staying in touch with your subscribers will help you develop engagement and loyalty. You’ll demonstrate to publishers that you have the influence needed to market your products with success.
If you need help developing a brand message that’s clear adopting a proven sales funnel strategy, I’d love to introduce you to Platform Builders. It’s a 12-week masterclass paired with group coaching to help you excel.
A sales funnel does far more than sell your products and services. It will help take your readers through a relational journey and increase your level of influence. If you’d like to learn more about creating a sales funnel, I offer a masterclass called Platform Builders that will help you learn and execute a proven framework to grow your audience.
Join Platform Builders Today
Instead of writing for a small audience of friends and family while wondering if you’re making a difference, you can grow your reader base, develop your brand, and earn the trust of the people who need you most. A sales funnel offers surprising benefits to writers and is the tool you need to take your brand to the next level.