There’s an interesting story in The Bible where Jesus gathers a bunch of folk and miraculously feeds them with some fish and loaves. It’s powerful stuff. But also quite divisive.
I know that Jesus and The Bible aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. Probably some of you are getting ready to click the Back-button right now. STOP! Stick around just a little longer and hear me out.
The Fish and Loaves story is all very well and good. But of more interest to me (and let’s face it, probably to you) is how Jesus drew that kind of an audience in the first place. And even more controversially, what he did once he had them.
This guy just fed 5k people with some fish and loaves. You WON’T BELIEVE what happens next!
If we rewind the story a bit, Jesus has been kicking things up all over Jerusalem. Healing blind men and cripples, casting out demons, partying with the sinners and upsetting the religious folk of the day – the pharisees.
By the time he gets close to Bethsaida, it’s not surprising he’s drawing a bit of a crowd. In fact, there’s not just a bit of a crowd. There’s a multitude! And even though he’s not averse to pitching some Kingdom concepts in their general direction – he knows his time has not yet come.
Jesus needs to thin folk out a bit. Separate the wheat from the chaff as it were. Or the sheep from the goats.
Jesus has a great philosophy in this regard. As a marketeer, I feel like I can learn a lot from him. After all, he does have the biggest tribe in the entire universe (so far as we know at least.) If Jesus was on Twitter or Facebook, there’s a good chance you’d be following him – or at least seeing some of his content shared onto your timeline or feed.
So there’s a few things I take away from the story:
Feed the masses
Jesus was totally down with feeding the masses both physically and spiritually. Not enough fish and loaves? No problem – he’s got this. Once they’d eaten, Jesus had several great messages (the Beatitudes) to deliver as well.
Not everyone liked or understood what he had to say though. Which leads into my next point.
Divide and conquer
Jesus called his people out with his words . He knew to whom he was speaking and he had a strong (but divisive) message designed to have a powerful impact on their world.
He also knew that many people wouldn’t understand or agree with his message.
And that for some, even though they understood and aligned themselves with what Jesus was saying – he knew it wasn’t the right time for them. Not everyone was a do-er (able to implement) of his words.
Of those that remained, and who really got where Jesus was coming from and what he was trying to do, Jesus spoke these words:
The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever… Anyone who eats this Bread will live — and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.
It’s the ultimate call to action, right? Jesus is saying that if you’re going to follow him – there’s no holding back. You’re all in.
It’s the kind of opt-in button that only hardcore followers are going to push. And it’s THOSE people who Jesus wanted to draw to himself.
Jesus was pretty good at whittling down his followers. Ultimately ending up with core groups of twelve and three. I think there’s a lesson here too.
I’ve spoken before about the concept of a thousand (or five thousand) true fans, so I won’t labour the point. If you can find a sizeable audience and monetise them you can generate a nice chunk of change.
But you probably won’t start with a thousand. twelve is enough, or even three – if your message, your product, your service is powerful enough.
Feed your sheep
If you can change the lives of three people with your product or service and they tell just two more people about it each, then that’s your 12. And if you can impact those twelve… Well, you can do the maths.
I don’t know whether you’re on board with the Jesus brand, marketing strategy and product line. But probably we can agree that Jesus has a global audience. An audience of whom many are loyal to the point of death.
What’s his secret?
Jesus is the bread. When people join the Christian membership program they’re not buying the teaching. They’re not even buying a ticket to paradise.
They’re buying a relationship with the man himself.
And it’s the same with you and your business. When people align themselves with a product or service, they’re not really buying the thing. They’re buying a relationship. With your brand, your organisation, with you.
Sometimes that can feel a little bit daunting. You shouldn’t worry about that. Even Jesus had a moment in the Garden of Gethsemane. He got over it, but you know… he’s the Son of God, right?
You might need a little more help. That’s why we offer a coaching program. To help you get clear on what your customers are REALLY buying.
If you’d like to know more, click reply.
And if you just want to know how to attract your first 5 online customers, clients, recruits, pop on over to RosemaryNonnyKnight.com/5customers