Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Writing a Tagline–Part I

I have to admit that I’ve been living in a place of near-complete angst.  Most of life is good, but I’ve been thinking about, dreaming about and obsessing over writing a new tagline for my speaking ministry.

Why is a tagline so important?

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?  Why do you need a tagline anyway?”  I have to tell you, I’ve become a HUGE proponent of having a tagline for your ministry.  For me, the process of creating it is so much more than the end result.  A tagline gives you super-focus.  Creating one forces you to identify and define your ministry niche.  Here are some taglines from my Proverbs 31 sisters that I love:

“Leading women in the adventure of faith.”  ~Lysa TerKeurst

“Leading women in a new direction.”  ~Suzie Eller

“Live your priorities.  Love your life.”  ~Karen Ehman

“Once a captive.  Now captivated.”  ~Kelly Langston (former P31 staffer)

These taglines all are concise, memorable phrases telling what each speaker offers to her audience.  Those are just a few markers for a great tagline.  For more, go to Tagl!ne Guru, an amazing site with tips and a test for your current tagline.

The first time I created a tagline, I realized there were 2 essential by-products from the process.  First, it pulled me out of the comparison pit.  Having a tagline made me realize that I have a unique and needed message and voice.

Secondly, it gave me the power to say “yes” and the power to say “no”.  I know when I’m a good fit for an event and when I’m not.  For example, although I’m happily married, I don’t feel called to speak on marriage.  It’s not my niche as defined by my tagline.  If an event planner asked me to speak at an event about marriage, I would refer her to one of my friends who speaks passionately on marriage.  But if a planner called me and asked me to speak on mentoring or friendship or deeper relationship with God, I’m there!

Why is a tagline so hard to write?

Although I often work with clients on their taglines, I had forgotten how hard it is to write a good one.  A good tagline not only has the 3 markers listed above, it’s also fresh, creative and says something in a new way.  THAT’S the part I’m finding so challenging.

The other challenging factor is trying imbue your tagline with a felt need.  When people read your tagline, they feel one of two things.  They either feel indifferent (yawn!) or they feel resonance.  Resonance is definitely what we shoot for in a tagline, and it happens when you hit a need in someone’s life.

Let’s think about Lysa’s tagline as an example.  I believe it has resonance because of the word “adventure”.  Most people, even believers, see faith as a “should do” or duty.  By including one simple word–adventure–Lysa has communicated her ownership of  a feeling (or voice) about faith we’d all love to have.

Suzie’s has the same effect.  How many women are saying daily to themselves, “I just can’t keep doing this”?  Suzie speaks directly into the heart of the woman who is longing for positive change in her life.

Next week, I’m going to write a second post with steps to take to write a great taglines.  Put on your thinking caps, friends!  I’d love to turn this space into a tagline lab for all of us next Tuesday!


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  1. Hi Amy, remember when you helped me create a tagline almost two years ago? I came up with “learn to hope and dream with purpose”. Just had my first speaker conference last weekend, and it went great. I was even able to include my tagline in my message and handout, which perfectly complimented my topic. Taglines are a fantastic idea, and your help to create one was invaluable. THANK YOU! And thanks for all your help in preparing my message the other week. Blessings, Barb



  1. Using Your Tagline and Working on a Website Plan — Next Step Speaker Services says:

    […] written about creating a tagline describing your calling and ministry niche.  For week 1 click here.  For week 2 click […]


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