Why should I follow you? While most of you don’t ask me that question directly, I know you may be thinking about it. Although this is a bit out of my comfort zone, I want to share with you why it is so important to me and why I need you to follow me and this blog.
PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE
So today’s Mindful Monday is going to be a bit different for both of us. Instead of me trying to give you hope, inspiration, and encouragement, I am going to turn the tables. Today I need something from you. And although it is hard for me to ask, I am going to be vulnerable and put myself out there.
Throughout this year I have been working hard to reach out and connect with my readers. In my efforts to build community, I have tried a variety of methods using social media, meet and greet events like CONNECTION COFFEES and OASIS, and even free giveaways like e-books, devotionals, scripture cards, bookmarks, and pens.
After doing a lot of research and talking to other bloggers and Christian writers, I am convinced more than ever that the BEST way for us to communicate and stay connected is for you to follow me by signing up to be an email subscriber.
WHY SHOULD I FOLLOW YOU?
This is a valid question, so I want to address some of the reasons you may be reluctant or hesitant to follow via email. Below are the top reasons people give me for not subscribing through email…these are direct quotes (I will withhold names to protect the innocent!).
“I don’t like giving my email address out to anybody.”
You should be careful about sharing your email address. But I can assure you that your email address is safe with me. I am the only person who sees it, has access to it, and sends information to that address. I do not work for a larger company, I do not and will never give your email address to anyone without your permission, and everything you receive via email is directly from me. I hope this eases some of your concerns! Also, you can unsubscribe from my list at any time…no questions asked!
“I get too many emails already. My inbox is full.”
I understand this as well. I subscribe to a variety of blogs and websites and agree that sometimes the emails can get overwhelming. My commitment is not to fill your inbox with unnecessary emails. The only emails you will receive from me are my posts (no more than 2x per week, but usually less) and any free resources I provide. The other emails will be invitations to meet and greet opportunities. (Note: I will only make my free resources, that is, my e-books, presentations, and printable lists, verses, and quotes available to my subscribers.)
“I’ll just catch you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn.”
While this is true, and I do link my posts to these and other social media sites, it is not as easy to “catch” my posts on social media. If you follow several people and are not on social media several times a day, you can easily miss them. I prefer subscribing to blogs via email instead of following them on Facebook or other social media because I do not miss important posts and I can go back and read posts when I have the time. It is not dependent on me “catching” a link or a post just by scrolling. (I hope that makes sense!)
FIVE GREAT REASONS TO FOLLOW
Okay, maybe I have not anticipated and answered all of your concerns, so let me now try to convince you by giving you 5 GOOD REASONS to follow via email:
- FREE STUFF
- MEET & GREET OPPORTUNITIES
- BOOK UPDATES
- CONNECTION & TRUST
- ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OTHERS
1) FREE STUFF
I have started some new incentives that may convince you. First, I want to continue my Mindful Monday posts to start the week with a purposeful, intentional, mindset that discusses how we can connect our faith and our life. Also, I want to offer additional resources in the form of further Bible reading, journaling, printable lists, verses, quotes, etc. for those who want to dig deeper. (Note: these additional resources will be available to email subscribers only.)
And to reward those who already follow me and give some incentive to those who may want to sign up today, I am announcing two (2) winners from my email subscriber list. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I will contact you sometime this week to get your information and send you your free gift!
Both of these winners will receive a free pack of my WILDERNESS WISDOM CARDS which include six (6) beautiful designs with four (4) scripture verses and two (2) quotations.
2) MEET AND GREET OPPORTUNITIES
Hopefully, many of you know I am not only a writer and a blogger, but I am also a speaker and a teacher. This past year I started something called CONNECTION COFFEES. Each month, I send invitations to everyone on my subscriber list to meet at a local coffee shop. No agenda, no program, no strings attached…just an opportunity to meet like-minded people and connect. In the past seven months, a total of 80 women have attended these CONNECTION COFFEES. If you live locally, it is a safe and welcoming place to meet friends and talk, laugh, and share about faith and life.
I only give out specific details concerning CONNECTION COFFEES, OASIS, speaking engagements, and classes I teach at my local church to my email subscribers. I do this to protect the privacy and security of myself and my followers. I very rarely post information of this kind on social media or other public forums, but I want to connect with my followers in person as opportunities are available.
3) BOOK UPDATES
Many of you know I have signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers and will publish my first devotional in the next year. DEEP SOUL CLEANSE will be a beautifully illustrated book that guides you through soul transformation through a nine-chapter study of each fruit of Spirit. Since this is my first time publishing a book (and I know absolutely nothing about the process!), I need your support along the way. I will be looking for volunteers to give me feedback, input, and prayer support. I will also need to assemble a launch team when the time comes. My email subscribers will have exclusive access to this process, receiving updates, previews, and incentives along the way.
4) CONNECTION AND TRUST
By far, the absolute coolest thing for me is the personal connection I have been able to have with my email subscribers. Once you trust me with your email, I, in turn, trust you when you reach out to me. If you receive anything from me via email and respond, your message goes directly to me. Not to a server or some robot. If you message me, I will respond. Because of this, I have had phone conversations with many of you, met in you in person at my CONNECTION COFFEES, OASIS, and at other events, invited you to my church for Bible study, and have even met several of you for coffee (yes, I love a strong cup of coffee and good conversation!). You have come to me for advice, resources, and prayer. In turn, you have provided me with encouragement, friendship, and so much more! At the heart of this ministry is CONNECTION…it has been my original intention and driving force from the beginning. If you follow me via email, this is the beginning of a deeper relationship and connection as we journey together.
5) ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OTHERS
So, what about those of you who already follow me? You are the faithful who woke up this morning, checked your email, and are reading this post because you support me. You have been a part of it all…the good and the bad, the happy and the sad…each one of you (even my critics and doubters) have played a part in making me who I am and getting me to this place. What I would ask of you is simple: please share this post with at least one person this week. You can do that through Facebook, Instagram, or by just telling a friend to sign up through email just like you did. Creating a community that includes everyone is what AT THE CROSSROADS is all about, and I can only do that with your help!
BUILDING A “U” NOT A CIRCLE
So, if you have not yet become an email subscriber, would you please consider doing so today? Not only do I need you, I really want you to join me on the journey!
Amy Weatherly recently wrote a Facebook post about the difference between creating a circle vs. a “U”:
Sometimes I feel like I’m not quite cool enough. Sometimes I feel like I’m not quite popular enough. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in the same way other people do.Amy Weatherly
Sometimes I feel like there is a group who maybe doesn’t really want me there. Sometimes I wonder why I wasn’t invited. Sometimes I walk up to a circle of people and I don’t know whether to force my way in, or be awkward hanging around on the outside, just twiddling my thumbs, kicking the dirt, talking to myself, waiting until I can leave and go home to the safety of my sofa.
Circles are great if you’re on the inside. They can be fun if you’re in one, but circles can be awfully cruel if you’re left on the outskirts, looking for a way to get inside.
Stop building circles and build a U. Leave room for everyone. Make a way so anyone, any ‘you’ can walk up and feel like they have a place to stand.
Leave room for good people who look different than you, who run in different crowds than you, who like different things than you, who come from different places than you. Differences were never made to divide us. They were made to build us, and to teach us, to fill in the gaps where our own gifts give way and come up short. “
I want AT THE CROSSROADS to be a “U” where we always leave space for kindred spirits to join us. There is room for everyone here!
HOW YOU CAN FOLLOW
Did you notice my cool little popup window? It makes it simple and easy to add your name and email address and start following! Look for a confirmation email shortly to begin your subscription. You can also signup on the right sidebar by entering your information. And if you are into Instagram, make sure you follow me there too! I have been doing some awesome giveaways for those who follow, comment, and tag their friends!