Can anyone relate???
This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly, first uttered this
now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.
I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.
As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:
Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities . (On her website these images rotate automatically!)
Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match
who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling? Am I approachable and easy to relate to in this image? This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple. Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”
In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.
What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!
Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”
(photo of Pam and Bill and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)
Marketing in today’s world takes a team—a well- oiled machine of wisdom– or at least a circle of friends committed to share each other’s PR and “street team” nuggets so everyone moves their ministry and business forward. This year at ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) the CAN Author Bootcamp was just that– a WEALTH OF WISDOM!~ ! In a wonderful “meeting of the minds” CBA (Christian Bookstore Association, CAN and Harvest House Publishers sponsored a very informative morning. I had the joy of kicking off the morning with a keynote on 7 Simple Skills to Success in Publishing where I shared the God-empowered story of how Bill and I have survived and thrived for three decades in Christian publishing. (watch here (video thanks to Linda Goldfarb)
I have always loved passing right along any wisdom, connections, links, advice others have shared with me because this world is so dark that it takes ALL OF US holding up God’s light of love and truth to piece the darkness. Because of the world’s great need, we cannot, not should not, be selfish with the information we have gleaned or the advice others have passed on to us. That is what I love about CAN! Each person helping encourage and equip the other for greater success.
I had the joy of hearing from so manty BRILLIANT leaders at the author bootcamp. Here is a quick list and my grateful THANKS! Because my husband and I learned SO MUCH TOO ) :
The Seinfeld Secret by Anita Agers Brooks
Websites and Plugins by Angela Breidenbach
15-Minute Writer by Dena Dyer
Marketing With Memes by Linda Kozar
Organizing Your Writing Life by Susan G. Mathis
Professional Organizations for Authors by Ava Pennington
CAN Your Marketing Movie by Maureen Pratt
Know Your Audience by Cynthia Ruchti
Reaching Reader Groups by Karen Whiting
Connect With Sponsors by Lynda T. Young
Ava Pennington shared a long list of organizations, affiliations, and networks that authors can join. Other than CAN, let me share four others that have been a source of encouragement, equipping and inspiration to me in this past year.
(Handouts from these mini seminars available here)
AWSA: Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. This group, started by author, Linda Shepherd, in 2011, is compromised of the top 10% of women Christian authors. AWSA hosts an annual summer conference the few days leading up to ICRS. In addition, they offer MasterMind groups for the more serious entrepreneur author; and a daily online “loop” filled with encouragement, equipping and positive support for the group’s members.
Bridge Builders: This is a new group to most, but it’s founder, Maria Keckler is a long term friend of ours. We first met Maria when she and my husband, Bill, were both working for Dr David Jeremiah at Shadow Mountain Church in San Diego . Everything Maria has ever done is EXCELLENT A+ quality! I had the joy of being a cheerleader to her as she penned her first book, Be a Bridge Builder. She has gone on to create a power-packed online program for entrepreneurs’: Business Breakthrough University (of all kinds of businesses including writers/ speakers) . She is brave, bold, and Biblical and she has the ability to synthesize information gleaned from some of the world’s most successful business minds into a use to access, easy to implement format. Maria is a brilliant encourager and equipper who can take a person’s hopes and dreams and help turn them into a successful reality.
CWEN: Christian Women Entrepreneurs’ Network is a local (San Diego) networking group founded by Rebecca Garcia. These women, from a wide variety of businesses, are joining together to equip one another, support one another but mostly grow in Christ so as they work their businesses they each reflect Jesus and glorify the God who gave them their talent, dream and platform. If you do a little research in your city or community, you may have a similar network of Christians in Business. I have three of four other local networking groups I speak for and am a member of– nothing like home town friends who you can hug, pray with and can pray for you! If you can’t find one, maybe God is calling you to start one!
Pam Farrel is the author of 45 books including best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. She and her husband, Bill, are Co-Directors of Love-Wise.com. When they are not writing, or speaking some place around the world, you will likely find them walking the beach or sailing.
“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here.
I never make New Year’s resolutions. I’m too hard on myself when I break them–which I always do. Then I end up feeling guilty, and that’s a waste of time. So to make each New Year a happy one, I set attainable goals instead. I post them on my bedroom wall, where I review them every few weeks to remind myself of what I’m shooting for. I have six month goals, one year goals, five- year goals, even lifetime goals. But I have noticed something about them over the years. They change. Read More →