The 5 Media Platforms every Pastor has to be on to Be Effective #1: SoundCloud.

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Working on a more focused offering. Take a few minutes, watch the video and share with a pastor that can use my help. Thoughts?

Posted by Ivin Viljoen on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It’s funny, because when I started my company, there were 5 platforms that I thought were relevant at the time. Today, I have lost faith in perhaps one or two of them, and interestingly, the 5 that I feel applies to Pastors at this time, 9 December 2015, is different from my current all-purpose list.

Every platform that I share with you here I think applies to Pastors and ministries because of the ability for them to assist in connecting personally, add value, cause to be more approachable; let alone the ability for a lot of the platforms to reach people in a localized area.

So without further adieu, let me share the 5 platforms I believe Pastors have to be on to be effective and some reasons why.

The Biggest and Most Important One (for me).


This is probably weird, because you would probably expect me to say Facebook or Youtube, mainly because of their incredible search capabilities. However,..

The best way for you to get attention is to best use a way to get onto people’s mobiles. Because of so many apps that is being released and developed, it would be a great strategy for you to utilize this. Here is why:

Soundloud is a podcasting platform and the reason why this is my #1 recommendation for Pastors is because what you want is your following to be connected to your thoughts and increase your (positive) influence over them by being top of mind.

So here is how to get set up:

  • Download the Soundloud app on your mobile device.
  • Fill in your bio with your CTA (Call to Action) link.
  • Have a banner created and upload it along with a profile picture.
  • Record your first podcast.

Here’s how to promote your podcast:

In my coaching with Pastors and when it comes to Soundcloud, I encourage them to do the following X things to promote their podcast:

  1. Create a hashtag for your platform (what are you about and how would it be valuable for people to engage with you) and promote it when you talk.
  2. Have a pull up banner created on which your media platforms are promoted (with a short tutorials how Soundcloud connections are made: Download the app, search for you, click follow).
  3. Once a month, especially at the beginning of large gatherings, ask people to take out their phones, download Soundcloud, search for your account and follow you.
  4. Follow your peers and have the follow you.
  5. Email instructions on how to get connected to current email lists.
  6. Have ministry peers on as guests and reciprocate.

Here are some tips on how to raise the professional level of your podcast:

  • Have a professional banner designed (preferably consistent artwork with your other platforms).
  • Have a template designed of a thumbnail of which you can simply change the title.
  • Have a professional intro and outro recorded and overlay over your music. Focus specifically on what the podcast is called, who is the host and what is the outcome in value for listeners.
  • Always focus on giving lots of value in your podcast. If you do that it will be shared, interacted on and increase your audience.

Why does this work?

I come back to the question asked in the beginning: Why is it the best platform for me when I coach Pastors on how to use media effectively? The reason is because of the way it is consumed.

You need to focus on getting followers and listeners to download the app on their phones, search for you and follow you on there. Let me paint a picture for you on what’s possible:

  • As soon a you feel led to speak to your followers (maybe you have something weighing heavy on your heart, may there’s something time sensitive you wanna share, maybe you wanna highlight teaching points of your latest sermon); you record an audio podcast.
  • As soon as you upload it, it’s live and every follower of yours get’s a notification on their phones that there’s a new podcast of yours available.
  • Your followers consume the podcast and receives value from you ( if you’re encouraging or teaching something).
  • Because of the value, social elements that raises the value of this prime online real estate; like liking, commenting and sharing help increase the exposure of your podcast.

Elements needed in planning for your podcast to be effective.

There are certain elements that you need to incorporate into your podcast for it to be effective, because these elements help deliver and accentuate the value within it.

  • I mentioned this before, but besides having an intro/outro for your podcast, make sure that the into tell you what the shows name is, who is the host and what value listener with get.
  • When you introduce your topic to your audience, mention the talking/teaching points you’re going to mention within the duration of it.
  • When you end your podcast, tie up the content by mentioning again the talking/teaching points you metnioned at the beginning for it to be sticky after people listened.
  • A very important element is always (on every platform) the call to action. What do you want people to do after the show: Comment? Share? etc. I always focus on the one thing that I beleive grows my following on this platform: tell people to download the app, search and follow.

Soundcloud, because it’s so extremely mobile progressive, will help you quickly establish your influence, authority and following by ‘showcasing’  your value you can offer the world. And it doesn’t matter what your slant is: leadership, evangelism, apostolic… It helps you to quickly establish a worldwide (and local) audience to talk to. And when you start getting the interaction, you will feel very fulfilled.

I’d love to hear from you!

Are you a Pastor, are you using any media platforms effectively right now? I’d love to hear where you are and what’s working for you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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The Proper Way for Pastors to Post a Powerful Press Release.

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Press releases can be a very powerful promotion tool for pastors to get attention on their ministry activities. Without press releases and articles that tell the story of your ministry activities by providing value to it’s followers, ‘word’  would never really get out.

In this article I want to walk you through some of the basic elements of a press release you’ll need to know to be effective at promoting your ministry activities.

What is a press release?

There are many ways to get the word out about your ministry activities and a press release is a good way for you to do that. This release is a quick way that you can provide a news article through a professional in the public relations department to people in the media. There is much more than this to know about press releases.

Basically, a press release is a brief statement that takes the main facts of a story, news related, and transforms the information into a journalistic view. These releases should be written in the third person and quotes should be cited as well. The press release should have sources cited too.

What is the goal of a press release ?

When you create a press release, the goal is to catch a publications or a journalist’s attention. Your press release should have all of the important information that is needed to get this attention (What is the ministry busy doing? Why is the ministry doing it? Who is involved? What is the ultimate goal? Where is the Church located?).

What is the order of a standard press release?

A standard press release will start with the contact information of the ministry (name, email address, phone number, etc.). After the contact information is released, you will provide your headline (this would be approximately four to six words and they should grab attention and be important). This headline should also state what the release is about.

The headline will be the first thing read by the journalist, so you should make it unique, intriguing and very newsworthy. After you have provided your headline you will have the brief. This brief is a summary (one-line) of your press release. Just as you would with the headline, you should make sure that the brief grabs the reader’s attention right away so that this will motivate them to want to read more.

A press release should read just as a story in a newspaper would. This means that at the start of the press release, you should make sure to include the date and the location of the ministry or information that is being provided. Your first sentences should also summarize your release in about 25 words or maybe less.

The Body of the Press Release

The body of the press release will answer any questions that the journalist might have for the ministry event or story. While your press release is meant to be a promotional tool to the public, you should not make it sound too much like a promotional tool. If your press release sounds too much like a pitch for donations or ticket sales (or offerings?), then you will not have the credibility with it that you are looking for.

The end of a press release will have a shorter description of the ministry, the larger organization or the ministry head that has issued the release. You should also make sure to include a call to action too.

How a press release can boost your search engine rankings.

When you are planning to do a press release, you’ll want to find out a bit more about it’s inner workings. When you do a press release, it can boost your search engine rankings and there are many reasons why it can do this as well.

First of all, when it comes to the search engine optimization tactics, your website is going to be your number one answer. However, you can not just get people to come to your website without taking any action.

The press release may really seem more like something from the past but that is actually one of the best ways for you to increase your search engine rankings. When you do a press release you will be able to bring attention to your website. Now, you just need to know how this works.

The main thing to realize is that when you do a press release you will need to link it back to your ministry website. When you turn the press release into different outlets, then your link back to your website reaches many people. Also, when you submit a link in with your press release your search engine rankings increase as well.

Now there are some steps that you should follow to create a great press release in order to boost your search engine rankings, find them below.

  1. You will need to send your press release to the relevant platforms. There are many promotional sites out there where you can submit your press release. One of the great spots where you should make sure to turn in your press release is your local online newspaper or community pages. Now, there are also many other great sites and aggregators where you can submit your content as well, but you will want to reach out to each one individually. This will give you the best chances of acceptance.
  2. You will need to offer value within your press release. People are not going to read about your press release if it only has to do with your ministry. What is the story behind it? Why should people care about it? How is it relevant to their readers or community? You will need to give a lot of good information in the press release as well. If you have certain thoughts about social issues or other current popular trends then you should make sure to include these in your press release. You will get more attention this way.
  3. You should use the inverted pyramid format. You give information that is very valuable right away. If you do this then you will grab the attention of the reader and keep their attention through the rest of the press release.
  4. Create a very grabbing headline. The headline is an extremely important part of your press release. If your title is not grabbing then nobody is going to want to read it or even hear about it. Also if you have a great headline you will be much more likely to get better search engine rankings too.

How are press releases distributed?

The distribution of press releases is done in a few different ways. The distribution of a press release has been done for many years. Someone will let a journalist know when the business that you have or the organization that you have has come up with newsworthy information. When you submit a press release you will get public attention and this can really help out your business. This can even raise the donations that you get if you are running a business or organization that is nonprofit.

A press release can even name you as a leading professional in your field of business as well. There are still some things that you should know about the distribution of a press release.

  • You will have to create a press release. If you are not sure how a press release is created you can research the various ways of how you can create your own press release or you can pay someone to create one for you.
  • You will need to figure out if you will want to do your own distributions of your press release. You do have the option to do your own distributions of your press release. You might have lists for journalists that you already know about. You might have magazines that are your favorites. You might even have television stations that take on stories similar to the one that you are trying to release. Now you just need to know how you can reach these people.
  • You will need to then distribute the press release. This step requires you actually distributing the press release, even if you are doing it by yourself. You will want to contact any publications that you will be submitting your press release too. There are some places that require you to submit your press release by actual mail and not e-mail. You can contact someone in the media who you know somewhat personally.
  • You will pick someone for your press release if you are hiring someone. It is best to stay away from press release websites that distribute them. This is costly and not worth it.
  • Ask questions that you have before you pay someone to distribute your press release. You will want to ask questions to make sure that you are getting the distribution that you want. You will want to make sure that you get quality distribution.
  • You will want to allow the journalists to contact you. After you have contacted someone to distribute your press release you will need to be ready to have journalists contact you. You should make sure that you are available for them to reach you.
  • You should keep in touch with any journalist who takes on your story. You will want to make sure that you thank anyone who has taken on your story and released it. If you do get a personal interview then you will thank the journalist for giving you that interview and you might even keep in contact with them by social media.

How do I submit a press release?

When you are trying to submit your press release there is a process that should be followed. You should make sure that you take the opportunity to really think about what information you are delivering.

There are some steps that you should take when you are trying to submit a press release. Please find them below:

  1. You should submit your press release to outlets within your local area. Some of the places where you can submit your press release is to local newspapers, send it to the city editor for the paper and to local news forums. You can even send the press release to magazine editors and radio stations too. Sometimes people even send their press release to news directors as well.
  2. You should target certain areas. When you target certain areas then you should make sure that they identify with your purpose. You might want to target certain niche forums or newspapers. You might want to target certain categories on websites. You might also want to target certain geographic areas too.
  3. You should submit the press release to bloggers in your field.Blogging is definitely one of the leading ways to market so the more that you can get your press release out to bloggers in your field the better off your will be. You should locate contact information for bloggers that work in the field of interest that you are focusing on and send them the press release.

How should you submit the press release?

There are some steps that you should take before and during the submission of your press release.

  1. You will want to read over the press release. You should always check the press release for any errors that might be present. You will want to make sure that the headline and the beginning of the press release are grabbing the attention of the readers.
  2. You should research submission guidelines. You will want to check with the place where you are trying to submit your press release to make sure that you are submitting it correctly.
  3. Pay attention to the time of the press release. You will want to pick the best time to submit the press release. There might be an event that you are putting on and you would like to note that in the press release. If there are no corresponding events it is best to submit your press release at the beginning of the week at around 9:11 a.m. so it does not get lost in the beginning of a news segment.
  4. You should put pictures into the press release. When you put pictures into the press release you will gain more readers because many readers do not just want to see words on a page. The pictures will help to grab their attention.
    These are the steps that you are going to want to take if you are planning to submit a press release.

Is it ok to insert images and links into a press release?

There are many concerns that people have when they are going to submit a press release. One of the questions that many people wonder is whether or not they can put images or links into their press release. The simple answer to whether or not links and images should be put into a press release is yes. However, there is a bit more to it than that.

Two Graphics to Put Into a Press Release

Through many studies and research, it has been shown that there should be two main graphics that are put into a press release. You are going to want to put your headshot into the press release and the headshot of anyone that has been quoted in your press release as well. The headshots that you put into the press release should be in vertical (passport style photograph) format. These headshots should also look professional as well.

You should also make sure to include photographs that are wider than they are tall. The format of the hypergrid business type is the best for this. These are the more landscape formatted photographs. Some examples of types of landscape photographs that you can use are graphs, charts, snapshot of scenarios, screenshots of software types or photographs of your product or service being used.

What if you are submitting the press release to publications in print?

If you plan to submit the press release to publications in print then you will need to keep in mind that you will have to get a higher resolution photograph. These photographs should be over 300 dots each inch. With the headshot photographs, these would be a file that is sized 1,000 KB or even more.

The name of your file should be the image description. If you are using headshots then you should name the file the executive’s name and make sure that it is spelled correctly as well. If you are using other kinds of pictures then you should make sure that the name of the file is very descriptive so you are correctly describing the image. Do not just name the file Image with some numbers after it. This will be downloaded and not found easily after that.

Now there are various journalists who are not going to just want to open any attachment that they get or they might even have a system that does not allow them to open an attachment and this could be a problem if you do not send them the document correctly. The most highly recommended way to send the file is with plain text for your press release. This plain text should be submitted in the email’s body. Just above that you can put the name of the journalist, a paragraph for your introduction and links for any images that you have for the press release.

What about links in your press release?

The only link that you are going to want to submit with your press release is for the images and a link back to your site. Any other links that you submit should only be for your sources

Your Turn.

Have you any experience with press releases. Is there perhaps something you would like to add to the discussion? Feel free to post them below in the comments.

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ValueCon 2015 #1.

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I’m very excited to be announcing this. I am having my very first conference. I have transformed my business over the last 6 months somewhat from an online marketing service provider to a online marketing consultancy. The latter has actually had very great success and is called The Value Edge Mastermind. It is getting a lot of momentum too, so much so that it will soon be going online. It has an awesome support platform, a podcast and now a conference.

With the mastermind being about the value you give to your customers or prospective customers, I thought it necessary to have a conference for all my customers once every 3 months. I think to do this is important for a couple reasons:

  • For the mastermind members to network, share ideas and be exposed to other businesses in the program.
  • For the current members to get a lot of added value in a workshop setting.
  • For the current members to be able to invite friends and business associates to give them access to the program.

I’m very excited and as always, the organizing of this event is close to the bone as can be and we are very close to tying up all the details. However, I want to share with you the exciting line-up.

ivin-viljoen-5407-5492Ivin Viljoen.

Ivin is an award winning blogger, published author and veteran brand builder having built many brands successfully online. He has publshed 5 industry reports and is now a full time consultant and is building a value platform for entrepreneurs in many different fields. Ivin will be speaking on the following:

  • How to build an Award Winning Blog.
  • 7 Steps to Launching a New Brand Online.

andre adlemAndre Adlem.

Andre is the owner of PEAC HR and recruitment services and has a podcast called The Bush Telegraph targeted at entrepreneurs in South Africa. Andre is also a Branson Institute candidate and has been involved in many successful projects affecting communities all over Sub-Saharan Africa.  Andre will be speaking on the following:

  • How to Find the Right Mentor to help you Fulfill your Destiny.

chris fourieChris Fourie.

Chris is Ivin’s personal videographer and work on many projects together. Chris works on many large scale projects for resorts and hotels and his claim to fame is that he has recorded video on 6 of the 7 continents. Chris will be speaking on the following:

  • 7 Tips to take professional videos with your smartphone.

10252108_10152410716432007_665260066448309253_nMonique Gouws.

Monique is a professional photographer and has worked on numerous community projects. She will be speaking on the following:

9 ways to take professional photos with your smartphone.

10526007_10152186828101932_6895087083326716961_nNatasha Henning.

Natasha is the founder of BRAND Navigator and has been assisting mid-sized businesses in maintaining their brand and finding smart marketing methods since 2005. Natasha will be speaking on the following:

  • How to Identify Your Own Brand Identity.

I’m obviously very excited about this event and about the speakers. With the objective being to give delegates as much value as possible, I a looking for this to be a major success.

The conference is happening on Friday 27 March 2015 and will start strictly at 09:00 and is planned to end a little after 16:00. The cost of the conference is R399.00 and will be held at Leriba Lodge, 254 End Street Centurion.

See you there!

Fill in the form below to register.

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