Friday, June 22, 2012

To Market, to Market... or Not?


When I posted on Facebook recently how I’d unfollowed someone on Twitter because I was tired of her constant bragging on herself, I got a huge response. 

Seems I hit a nerve.

As a Christian writer, I believe in marketing my gift. I would never have written a book if I didn’t believe I had something worthwhile to say, and could say it in a unique way that people will want to read.

So I talk about Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top in many different places. And often. I don’t apologize for that.

What I take issue with is someone who is in my face every five minutes, saying, “Look at my book; look at all the rave reviews on my book; buy my book or you’ll be sorry.”

I find that obnoxious and self-serving.

Yes, Jesus marketed Himself by shouting in the marketplace and telling people to come to Him. But He didn’t do that ALL the time. He ministered to people most of the time.

There was balance in His life.

Besides, He was God. I’m not. 

Unlike some, who think we need to put our name out there every second so people will see us and buy from us, I never want someone to block me from their lives because I was in their face too much.
I want to strike a balance between ministry and marketing. Like my Master, Jesus.
How do you feel about Christians marketing their books, music, art, etc? What do you think is a good balance between marketing the gift God has given you, and becoming overbearing?

27 comments:

  1. Yep, it's a tough balance. I tend to underdog because I soooo hate talking about myself. It's exactly what I'm trying to figure out right now. What's the path that's going to be effective and also be me?

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    1. Jill: I feel for you. I think most writers are introverts, and hate to toot their own horn. I'm an extrovert, but I still think a person can go overboard and push too much.

      Everyone has their own path, and we need to seek God as to how we market our gifts.

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  2. Great way to explain both sides of the coin. A definite balance. There is one lady I am thinking about dropping, but will hold out for now. :O)

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    1. Thanks, Diane. YOU are so full of mercy!

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  3. You know what my FAVORITE kind of promotion is...letting others do it for me. :D I know that sounds funny, but I often feel it blesses in all kinds of ways. There's such a tricky balance I think between getting out there and hoping to sell your book and remaining humble. I'd love if you would hold me accountable and keep the dialogue open when my time comes.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. I SO agree, Wendy. This is why I recently joined the John 3:16 Marketing Network, where we promote each others' work, and don't let a spirit of competition divide us. It's lovely!

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  4. I believe Wendy had made a very Biblical point. I personally struggle with the idea that Jesus "marketed" Himself. I guess it may be a matter of semantics, but given the society in which we live, the term (and concept of ) "marketing" seems very un-Christ-like to me.

    Thanks for the stimulating thoughts here. I'm still thinking :)

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    1. Didn't mean to trip you up, Rebecca. But I do think Jesus did the first century equivilant of marketing, in that he traveled all around, sharing about His mission, eventully stating who He was. But He balanced it with ministry.

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    1. Oh, yes. It's like a game we play, Loree. Get your hot air balloon up in the sky sooner than the others, make the colors brighter and the design prettier, to draw attention to it, so someone will go for a ride!

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  6. Jen, I so-o-o agree. I get so tired of the in your face marketing all the time, yet I know writers have to do it. They're encouraged to do it. Thanks for the post.

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    1. We need to market our gifts, Caroline, or we are remiss in getting the word out. But to push myself in your face every five minutes is too much!

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  7. Very well put, Jen. This is a sensitive topic, a conversation I've had with other writers before. I get that we're supposed to promote ourselves and our work but there is a balance - there has to be. If we're doing more talking about ourselves and less forming relationships and engaging others, we're not making a good impression in the long run anyway and it's not going to make the Godly impact it should, which is the whole point.

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    1. Right, Cindy. You hit the nail. Relationships are what it's all about. How can I write a book about God's grace, then step all over you to promote it? So wrong.

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  8. I don't know how I would feel about having to promote myself with my book. I think I would be quite uncomfortable. But as you say, if you have a great product, you should promote it. I think you have a good balance. Keeping your book in the forefront helps me keep up with you and I like to know how you're doing.

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    1. You are so sweet, Nancy. You always have a Heavenly perspective, and I appreciate that.

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  9. Well Said
    The challenge is for one's motive to be about serving not selling.

    Mark 10:35

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  10. I agree with you Jen, in your face marketing is irritating, to put it mildly. Sometimes I'm also tired of hashtags and @gottalovemes (hope this is not someone's handle). I know they serve a purpose, but at times it's just a bit much.

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  11. I'm with you, a balance is necessary. While that may be a little different for everyone, we need to trust the Lord to show us the right one. Glad you addressed this, Jen!

    Have a great weekend,
    Karen :)

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    1. You got it, Karen. The Lord has prompted me to do some off the wall things with promoting that I never read or heard anywhere else. If we are led by Him, we can't fail!

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  12. I tend to lean on the reserved side. I think if my work is good and honorable, God will open doors. There is a level of promotion that is needed, of course, but being sensitive and discerning plays a role too. I'm w/ Karen above.

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  13. I like an honest one.time pitch ... then leave it to me to choose.

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  14. Hi Jen,

    In relationships it's important to show an interest in the other person. When our blogs/online presence lose this element, we've gone over the line. I always want the reader to have a take away.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.