Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Q & A Week 3

Today is our last question and answer post to finish up 2013. I’ll be taking a break next week, but our next post will come out on January 7th. Here’s the question…

I’m interested in marketing my message nationally. Other than the 3 books you offered (see the sidebar), I’m wondering if there are any books specifically geared towards marketing the message?

I have two resources to pass on. The first is a series of posts Tracie Miles did for Next Step years ago. She’s got loads of great ideas in them: https://nextstepspeakerservices.org/marketing-your-message-series/ Lots of you may have joined us since these were published, so I want to make sure you have access to these posts now.

Also, Rob Eager, CEO of Wildfire Marketing, is a fabulous resource. I get his Monday Morning Marketing Tips, but he also has a book out called Sell Your Books Like Wildfire. Although it targets marketing a book, but so many of his ideas cross over to speaking if you think of your messages as your product.

christmas pic Photo Credit

Merry Christmas, ya’ll!


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Q & A Week 2

I’m doing a short Q & A series to answer questions from other speakers.  I hope these will help you too!  If you have a question you’d like answered, feel free to send it in an email to .  I’ll answer it here on the blog so everyone will benefit.  :)

Here’s a question from my friend and former Next Step client, Dixie.  (Thanks for the encouragement too, Dixie!)

Hi Amy,

I hope all is well! I just wanted to write a quick follow up with a thank you on our working together. I’ve just gotten a few paid speaking engagements and they are not quite what you and I worked on (they are vision board workshops) they are a start and I could not have had the confidence with out you! I also wanted to ask a question, do you remember when you first started out speaking, how did you go about getting the assignments that you truly desired and ultimately end up connected with P31, I never heard you say in your talks and I am still trying to find my footing in that area and thought if I heard your journey it may help propel me a bit faster.


I don’t want to sound at all trite, but the beginning of my speaking journey truly was a God story.  Although I rarely journal, I had been prayer journaling following a move and writing the words I believed God was speaking to me.  For about a month, I wrote words about a speaking calling, but I was skeptical.  Were these really God’s words to me, or was this an old ambition raising its ugly head again?  I prayed God would completely purify my heart and that He’d open doors of opportunity.

Months later, I was struggling with depression.  The move had left me feeling lonely and purposeless, and I cried out to God.  “I’ve never asked for a sign,” I told Him.  “But I need something to show me that you see me.”

I’m being completely honest when I say I had low expectations.  Do you know what my heart really longed for at that moment?  Just someone to invite me to lunch.  Seriously!

Nothing happened that day, and I was crushed.  Two days later, however, I walked into my home to a blinking answering machine.  The recorded voice was someone I didn’t know from a church I had never heard of asking me to lead their women’s beach retreat.  I stood and wept.  God had answered my prayer in a fashion so exceeding my expectations.

The retreat weekend was a true blessing, and I began to wonder how my speaking ministry would grow.  Would word of mouth begin to spread?  In my prayer time, God spoke almost immediately.  He let me know I wouldn’t control this ministry or make anything happen.  He told me that He would provide opportunities that were clearly His doing.

And that’s exactly how it happened.

Every opportunity was separate and unusual.  One woman even got my name after being at my church for a funeral!

After about a year and a half of these God-generated opportunities, I attend She Speaks.  I loved what I was doing, but truthfully, I was completely winging it, and I needed help!  After the conference, I applied for the speaker team, and the rest is history.

I love telling my story, because it’s such a beautiful example of how God grows your ministry.  Does that mean we don’t participate with Him in marketing?  No.  However, I want you to be encouraged.  God is in control of our ministries.  Him.  And Him alone.  You can rest in that truth.

How do you grow?  Step into every opportunity God gives, even when it doesn’t look like you expected. Take steps of obedience even when it means hard work.  When there are no opportunities, wait, serve and grow spiritually.

Would you like more encouragement?  I’ve added a page on my new personal website just for you.  Click here to visit.

I’m cheering for each and every one of you to have the opportunities to share God’s message!




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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Heart to Give

It’s hard to be in ministry all by yourself.

I remember the feelings well. I was new to the calling to speak, and I was constantly swimming in questions. “How do I improve my messages?” “Where would I get sample CD produced?” “What’s the most appropriate and effective way to let event coordinators know about my availability?”

She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ summer conference for speakers and writers, was where I first began to get my questions answered. The conference was like a life preserver thrown to a woman struggling in the surf. I remember being completely overwhelmed by the P31 staff’s heart to give all their experience and knowledge away. When I came home, I explained it to my husband this way. “It was just like Apple giving a conference with all their trade secrets and inviting IBM staff,” I exclaimed in wonder. “In the secular realm, all those speakers and writers would be competitors, but Proverbs 31 Ministries really understands Kingdom building!”

My friend Amy Lively, founder of The Neighborhood Café, recently wrote this about her experiences at She Speaks:

“Because of the training I received at She Speaks, I’ve been able to walk through the doors God has opened with confidence. I’ve done the speaking gig, the writing gig, the peer groups and publisher appointments. It’s all golden! Several of my closest friends are from She Speaks. The networking is priceless, but it’s organic and natural and gracious. Many of the features on my website were learned at She Speaks. Speaking skills that were modeled and instructed enabled me to share this story on FamilyLife Today.

I’ve been to She Speaks seven times now. You could say I’m a slow learner. Or you could say I’m a wise woman who knows a good thing when I see it, experience it, and witness it being lived out in my faith, relationships and ministry more and more each year. Each year I question whether or not I should go again. And each year I simply cannot imagine missing the impartation and revelation God releases through the exceptional teachers and the Proverbs 31 staff.”

Wow. I couldn’t say it better myself. (I’ll post the rest of Amy’s inspiring story of ministry growth when She Speaks registration opens. Please subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!)

Proverbs 31 Ministries has a heart to give sacrificially to women in ministry, and our leadership has lived it out by creating all kinds of training for speakers, writers and leaders.

Has our ministry impacted yours? If so, I’d like to ask you to consider showing your heart to give. Your gift helps pass it on to the next woman in ministry. We’re all in this together, so thank you for clicking on the button below for more information and prayerfully considering an end-of-year gift.

Join Us on the Front Lines

And thank you for being part of the community here. You are loved and valued!


ps. Congratulations to Mary T for being the winner of Encouragement for Today! I loved reading all of the comments left about thankfulness.


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Q & A Week 1

In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten a couple great questions from other speakers, so I thought I’d answer them here for everyone.  Although time constraints make it impossible for me to individually answer each email with questions , you can always feel free to send me your question, and I’ll answer it here.  I think it’s a great way to grow our speaker community!

So here we go with question #1…

When we were at dinner the Friday before the retreat, you mentioned Spring and Fall were the speaking seasons.

1. What months within each of those seasons are the prime?
2. When is the optimal time to market prior to these seasons?
3. Who besides churches/women’s ministry should be marketed?

Inquiring minds want to know,

Although speaking opportunities can come up year round, there are definite patterns if you are primarily speaking for women’s ministries. There are lots of fall events, mostly between the months of Septembers and November. There is a sprinkling of holiday events in November and early December. Usually there’s a little winter lull, and then spring events usually are scheduled March through May.  Summer is vacation time for most women’s ministry speakers! I’d say in general most women’s ministry directors keep an eye on the school calendar for scheduling women’s events.

If you are trying to plan for emails or a mailing to be sent, I would plan to send it 3+ months before the season. For fall events, you’ll probably want to send marketing pieces in May or June since many women’s ministry leaders are volunteers who take summers off.

There are always groups looking for speakers. Within the church, you can market to senior groups as well as women’s ministry. I spoke to several of these groups early in my speaking ministry, and I absolutely loved it! Within ministry circles, I’d do some research about local events such as Christian Women’s Club. My area has two local ministries who host monthly luncheons with a speaker. Many non-profits do fund-raisers and look for speakers for their events. Look for ministries or charities that tie into your story. Just as an example, Yvette and her husband have both been treated for cancer. Their local Cancer Association would probably welcome her to share their powerful story. Also, MOPS groups are always looking for speakers.  They usually don’t have much of a budget, so they are happy to host you even if you don’t have much experience under your belt. (Just don’t forget that every event is an opportunity for word of mouth.  Put your whole heart into it as much as if you were getting a fee.) Finally, consider marketing to civic organizations who use speakers such as Rotary Clubs or Lions Clubs.

Thanks for the great question, Yvette!  I hope everyone will come back next week for another Q & A.  Maybe this generated a question in your mind.  If so, send it along to .



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