This is a Guest Story by Mary DeMuth, an author and speaker who helps others live an uncaged, freedom-infused life. She’s authored 14 traditionally published books, including her latest, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus (Thomas Nelson). When she’s not training for a scary half marathon, she hangs out with her husband and three teens in Texas. Find out more at marydemuth.com.
I’ve been blogging since the ancient days of yore (2004). I’d signed my first book contract, then headed to France to start a church with my husband and family. Blogging was a perfect way to keep in contact with our community back home. At that time, my blog’s name was RelevantBlog. I don’t even know why I named it that, to be honest, but boy-howdy did I want to be relevant.
That blog lasted several years until we moved back to the States in 2007. It stayed on a blogger platform for three more years, connected to marydemuth.com but not integrated to it. In 2010, my website and blog converged in a hallowed WordPress party, and it became fully operational like the Death Star.
Right before the Star Wars party, I consulted with a marketing guru. I learned a lot in that process, the main thing being people don’t really care about how cool you are; they care about how cool you can help them become. I shifted the focus of my blog to be more reader-centric. This felt natural to me, since my hope has been to help people be set free from the past so they can live fully alive in the present.
The problem with all my marketing gleanings is that sometimes I’d get obsessive compulsive about things like blog stats and sales numbers and Amazon rankings. My happiness would decrease as my stress levels grew teeth. I lost the sheer joy of writing to change lives and became far too concerned about the periphery of my writing business.
This is still a temptation for me.
The tagline the marketing expert helped me developed was this: Turning trials to triumph. Though I was very thankful for the help he gave me to get to that place, I still felt unsettled about the wording. This played itself out when I’d speak. People would approach me and say, “From your website and tagline, I expected you to be Debbie Downer, but you’re funny and full of joy.” I realized then that I had a true disconnect with my tagline and who I really was.
Last summer, I knew it was time to re-evaluate. So I went fishing (in an Internetty way). I asked my email distribution list, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers this question, “When you think of me, what is the one thing you think of?” After several weeks of compiling responses, praying, and asking wise folks in the publishing industry for their perspective, I had two problems:
- Turning trials to triumph didn’t fit.
- I had no idea of what my tagline should be.
But one day, problem #2 solved itself. In a quiet moment, “Live uncaged” popped into my head. And I knew. Those words were me. They captured what had happened in my life, moving from a girl deeply entrenched and wounded from the past to one who had learned to soar beyond circumstances. And those words blessed my audience, because my passion is to help people live uncaged lives. A win-win!
What does this have to do with you? If you’re struggling to corral a bunch of words that typify you and what you’d like to do for your audience, follow these simple steps.
- Ask everyone and their dog (woof!) what your one thing is.
- Compile the list of what people say, ordering that list from the most mentioned to the least.
- Give yourself a few days to mull over the list.
- Ask advice of professionals in your field who know you well.
- Wait patiently for the tagline to find you.
It’s been an energizing journey finding my tagline, starting on the soil of France on the Blogger platform, to hanging with marketing peeps, to becoming a fully operational WordPress Jedi, to helping people live uncaged lives.