On a recent live meeting for my new virtual class, “Building Your Career and Business with God,” I was asked to describe the difference between self-promotion and marketing. As Christians, this is an important issue to understand. In this blog, I want to share a few thoughts on the difference between the two. I also want to release you to be free to market the skill or business God has given you!
Over the years, I have found that many Christians are intimidated by, or even resist the idea of marketing. To some, marketing feels like the opposite of meekness, servanthood and humility. Some feel it is God’s job to manage their marketing and bring in their business. Some have been so wounded by the ungodly marketing of others, they are triggered into fear or disgust at the thought of marketing. Because of that, I believe many Christians are missing the opportunity to partner with God in this area.
So, what is the biblical approach to marketing? Here are a few ways to practically identify ungodly self-promotion:
- The primary focus is on you.
- You shame or belittle others for not working with you, telling them they will regret it, etc.
- There is an inflated view of yourself as being awesome, special, or having many gifts, traits, or ideas that no one else could possibly ever have.
- You make lofty comparison statements without any data or proof to back it up. For example, “I am so much better, smarter, faster than others. Why? Because I just am!”
- There is a lack of awareness and transparency about where you have actual skills, where your skills are developing, and where you have none.
- You end up taking every job, even if it is not a good fit for you, and even if you cannot meet the person’s needs as promised.
Here are some ways to identify Godly marketing:
- The primary focus is on the person or group you are serving. You start by listening to the need.
- You passionately share how you can help solve the problem, make their life better, help them, or meet their need.
- You have a healthy pride in the service you provide, knowing that as you do, you are being the “hands and feet” of Jesus in a small way, providing solutions in that area, and playing your role in the Body of Christ.
- You back up your words, and promises, with your character.
- You have an accurate view of yourself. You do not play it small and act like you have no skills, talents, ideas, or qualifications, but you also know the limits of your skills and expertise.
- You respect that consumers and clients have the freedom to choose others to help them.
- You are willing to refer to someone else if a job is not a good fit for you.
- You focus on sharing how others have responded or reviewed your services, instead of sharing your own opinion of your services.
The way Jesus related to people and shared with people can be a model for anything God has called us to do! He always came as a servant who had something of value to offer. If we follow that model, we can gain confidence that strategic marketing is part of God’s plan for the success of our business. Our talent, skills and resources have been given to us to steward. It is not our job to wait for God to bring people to us, unless we have specifically, and clearly heard that from Him. It is our job to pursue sharing what we have with others, instead of burying and hiding our talents.
I’d love to hear from YOU! What do you think about this topic? What would you add to this list? What do you think we can learn from Biblical examples, that we can apply to marketing?
To find out more about my new course, where we have live discussions and live mentoring sessions, click here.