Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's easy to play the church market

So you want to sell your widget to the hundreds of thousands of young, upwardly mobile church members out there? It's a huge market and it's never been easier to exploit it.

Simply create a web site with edgy, brash colors and images and start posting about leadership. It's often good to include a list. Eight Signs of an Effective Leader, 7 Strategies for Leading with Courage, A Leader knows The Flock: Here's How, 10 Ways to Lead Gently but Confidently, Leaders Who Really Matter... anything like that.

Link to and post articles that will attract attention of wannabe megachurch stars, as if you really know the score and they can learn it all from you. You want to convey the idea that if they listen to you they will be successful, either in ministry or in finances or in numbers. Best is if you can make them think you can do all three.

To make your site look authoritative, you need to quote Christian authors and personalities, advertise the best-selling pastor books and leadership books. Quote from giants of the faith every once in a while, but throw in mostly your own common sense advice tips.

Use a lot of popular references to cult icons: musicians, TV personalities, artists, writers, and not always church ones either.

You want your pastor/future-customer to think that by reading your blog and, later, by buying your widgets, he is on the path to sure-fire, spiritual and material success. You want him to know that by following your tips and tricks, he will be above the sorry little pastors who don't know these tricks of the trade. You want him to feel superior without him catching on that you are buttering him up to become a future customer.

You want your site to have many short and sweet advice bits that sound good and contemporary and "relevant." You want many colorful graphics and you want a lot of testimonials that don't look like testimonials. You want success stories disguised as posts and comments to posts.

Include many video clips, reviews of Christian products, music reviews, books, conferences. Promote big Christian events often and make as much exciting noise as you can about them.

You don't have to actually be religious to make these sites. Pastors are hungry to become the next big spiritual voice on the horizon and they will salivate at anything that makes them think you have the means to make them big.

Coin many words and invent terms along the way. Jargon makes them feel in the know and they will not want to be left out.

If you can post an interview or two with a Christian icon or artist, do it. That increases your sense of authority in the eyes of these groupie/pastors.

Advertise discount tickets to events, link to the most relevant Christian and pop sites.

After a few months you can start introducing your widget as a must-have. Plug it often, provide comments from satisfied, enthusiastic "customers" and make it seem like a necessity for any leader who wants to make it big. You're on your way to record sales.