This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

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now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed?  Linda is popular with those who vlinda goldfarb profile series pixalue a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life
might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

 

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do Linda goldfarb and hubby Samthey represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “// // <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=/photo.php?fbid=10154635213594505&set=pb.636924504.-2207520000.1471478617.&type=3&size=960%2C960&_fb_noscript=1″ /> Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.[am bill beach kiss rebecca

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

Linda goldfarb gender wars

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

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Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

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This week, I signed a contract with Harvest House Publishers for my 45th book.  This one is a wonderful collaboration between myself and a wonderful Bible study teacher, Jean Jones and a very talented artist in Karla Dornacher  (see Karla on Etsy). We each bring our strengths to the book and we also pull our platforms together for greater reach and influence.

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I have had the joy of co-authoring with some amazing people:jill saveage hearts pic

Jill Savage,  the founder and President of Hearts at Home  for Got Teens?  (Harvest House)

Doreen Hanna, the founder and President of Modern Day Princess ministry for Raising a Modern Day PrincePam and doreen pix princess party nov 2010 ass (for parents and leaders) and Becoming a Modern Day Princess for tween and teen girls (Focus on the Family/Tyndale)

Dawn Wilson, popular blogger at Upgrade with Dawn and founder of Heart Choices ministry for pam and dawn and LOl top of dial atlantaLOL with God: Messages of Hope and Help for Women

Stephen Aurterburn, Founder of New Life, Women of Faith and popular author of numerous titles for Devotions for Women on the Go ( and my steve Aurterburnhusband, Bill,  co-authored Devotions for Men on the Go Tyndale Publishers)

Chad Eastham teamed with us to reach the next generation with Guys are Waffles, Girls are like Spaghetti (Thomas Nelson)

And most importantly, my husband, Bill and I regularly co-author marriage and parenting books (to date   approximately half of our books are co-authored together) . A few of our most popular, bestselling titles are Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti; Red Hot Monogamy; 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make and 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make.

We actually started our publishing career with a co-authored book, where we teamed with our mentors, Jim and Sally Conway and jim conway and bill miwrite: Pure Pleasure Making Your Marriage a Great Affair.

“Two are better than one” is a phrase often heard at weddings, but that concept can be extended to ministry and business relationships:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor (Eccl 4:9)

The upside reasons to co-author:

Greater Flexibility: It may or may not be less time writing—because the time you save on sharing writing will be taken up with conversations, but it is less time in front of the screen and at the keyboard – typically. This team-player approach maybe helpful if you have a full plate of speaking engagements or a day job because you often “take turns” doing pieces of the book so your work time can be a little more diversified in the various tasks—not just mainly in front of the screen.

Greater Audience Reach: books that are co-authored or collaborations bring  each author’s sphere of influence into the circle come launch time. It could also mean a varied platform as one of you might be terrific at Instagram Book wall 1while the other rocks facebook. One might have a radio show or podcast while the other has a powerful online video presence. A co author might also have a reach into an audience you don’t have. For example, when we teamed with youth speaker of women of Faith’s  Revolve tour, Chad Eastham, so he could translate our “Waffles & Spaghetti” material to the net generation.

Greater  Trust: Often in a co-authoring situation, a reader will see two trusted or three trusted names and the power of so many quality people in one book is appealing so it can move a persons to buy the book.

Greater Balance: Sometimes co-authoring will help you gain those few extra hours to sleep, work out, or spend with your spouse of family.

Greater Veracity: With many voices, you must have agreement of theology. You are less likely to go off track spiritually with greater accountability.

Greater Friendships: All our co-authors have become dear friends because of the honest conversations and numerous hours spent connecting over deep, important ideas. We have also remained friends because up front we talk over co-author details so everyone if unified and pulling in one direction. We always have an agreed upon mediator, and to date we have never had to use that person/company.

Greater Synergy: Having varied ideas, styles, voices, passions is electric!  You may just enjoy the energy and excitement of a team project.

Co-authoring isn’t for everyone—but it could be for you.

Pam and Bill Farrel are the co- Directors of Love-Wise.com. Their newest co-authored book is A Couple’s Journey with God

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This Christmas, I had the joy of speaking at many women’s teas and Christmas events. My message was on “Christmas Light” and it is based on our family’s Christmas Advent Wreath and Dinner and Dialogue tradpam speak christmas ncc 2015ition. We use Isaiah 9:6 as the center of our celebration and conversation because it is the center of the hope and light we all enjoy because of Christ’s birth.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

This Christmas, which name of Christ are you leaning on? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or Prince of Peace?

Those same four names can lead us to creative ways to bless back those who have been a blessing to us during the past year. In doing so, we reflect the light of God’s love.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light (Psalms 36:9)

advent wreath candlesFor those who have blessed you, not just personally, but professionally, let’s look at 4 simple ways you can boomerang back some of the blessings that have been extended to you:

Wonderful Counselor: Give those who supported you a little support too. Send them a book (video, conference scholarship, a meeting with a mentor or counselor, a day away at a conference grounds for solace) that equips them for an upcoming important event in their life (marriage, birth of a child, care for a parent), or comforts or lends wisdom for a struggle he or she might be working through (that they may have shared with you).  This can be a fun way to express your creativity too. For example, we often give our book, Men Are Like Waffles, waffle spaghetti with ws bookWomen Are Like Spaghetti,  and wrap it in a pasta bowl with spaghetti noodles, waffle iron with waffle mix and the utensils needed to cook these up. On occasion I have a friend in ministry close enough to send a fun gift to– like our Red Hot Monogamy book wrapped in a set of sheets, or in a basket of fun “hot items” like Red Hot candy, hot tamales, a gift card to a Mexican food café, or a collections of hot sauce bottles.

Mighty God: Offer to pray them through a difficult situation or circumstance. Send Bible verses, prayers,  or a Bible gift item with a verse they can hang their heart on to have hope. My friend, Lisa Copen, of Gutsy Goodness, has an invisible illness that keeps her in daily pain, yet joy of the lord neh 8 10 necklace lisa copenshe runs Rest Ministries to help others in pain and she also creates beautiful messages of hope on necklaces. During a difficult season in my life, God led me to Neh. 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Today, I wear that phrase to encourage me on a necklace Lisa made for me.

Everlasting Father: Good dads make life just a little bit easier. Perhaps your gift can help lighten the load or ease the work of someone who has eased your load. Options can include gift cards, but you can also add your logo (or theirs) to tools that people need for work as a small reminder that you care: usb drive, coffee mugs, water glasses, sticky note holders, coasters, desk accessories are all items we have receivedbrave book courage mug and given.  (Often your local Christian bookstore is a great place to find unique gift items with some deeper scriptural meaning– and it is a terrific way to thank your bookstore with your business!) For example, to go along with my book Becoming a Brave New Woman, I was able to purchase a coffee mug with a verse on courage on it to give to some brave women who had helped me be brave.

Prince of Peace: One of the best gifts you can give a leader is to enrich their own walk with God. You might give them a beautiful book mark, a new Bible, or a new devotional. The year A Couple’s Journey with God book was released, some of our friends got a copy of that devotional with some travel items like luggage tags, flight ticket holder and passport cover. Our book Devotions for Men on the Go and Devotions for Women on the couple journey luggage tagGo have been given with items to keep those friends “on the go”: coffee gift card, coffee thermos or dark chocolate espresso bean candy; gas fuel card; or cute key chain or fitness item.

To gain creativity, think of your life, and a walk a mile in your own shoes and ask, “What would make my life easier, stronger or better?” Make a list of those items, then put on your friend’s tennies or heels and  walk through their life asking that same question. Chances are the circle of their life and the circle of yours will over lap and there may be items in your world or the books and resources of other author friends you know that could bless those around your ministry.

 

pam bill merry christmas sign 2013Pam Farrel, with her husband Bill, are the authors of 40+ books. including their newest 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman. They are the co-directors of Love-Wise.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 simple skills bill pam headerIn this ever changing world, it is easy to want to sit back and watch others sink or swim. Have you ever been with a group and you all want to do something that appears fun, exciting, thrilling—like jumping off a rock ledge into a lake on a hot summer day? There is a moment when everyone dares everyone else to “go first”. Finally, the bravest (or maybe just the craziest) runs and jumps in!

Often new options of social media feel this way. There was a time when Youtube, Vimeo, LinkedIN, Facebook, GooglePlus, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Periscope were new—and there will be MORE NEW options!

So why would we try to learn and use social media?

Because we all want to reach people with the hope and help offered through a personal relationship with God. We also want to strengthen individuals, marriages, families, churches,Simple Skills Pam Farrel Quote change businesses, and communities (and countries!)

The Apostle Paul put it this way:

Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. (1 Cor 9:19 NABRE)

As writers, speakers and book store owners—social media does handcuff us to the populous. It is time consuming, and many days we might even feel “enslaved” to the digital world.

But we do it (Likely not all forms, but a few favorite forms) because it is another road to reach some for Christ.

Yes there is a learning curve—yes, learning it will be time consuming, but just like learning to swim, when we learn it, we can enjoy using this skill! When we learn a few favorite social media methods,  we can use it to reach others. However, no matter your chosen favorite social media, to learn how to use it best, you have to jump in and SWIM.

We can take “swim lessons” from others who seem capable:

  • Leaders we can observe – We gain principles as we read and survey their choices.
  • Leaders we can help – We gain network friends and see the more inner workings as we participate.
  • Leaders we can become – We gain wisdom as we try—and maybe fail some and succeed some or swim and tread water somewhere between.

On Oct 12, Bill and I are “jumping in”. In conjunction with the release of our newest books:

 

Simple skills live legacyWe will host a 7 Day Celebration of SIMPLE SUCCESS. Each day we will share a SIMPLE SKILL, a SIMPLE SUCCESS TOOL and a SIMPLE SUCCESS TIP. We are weaving together a “life raft” of social media to keep our Simple Skills ™ message afloat for 7 days.  We invite you to take a dip and jump in with us!

Go ahead, jump in with us, and we can all learn together! 

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We will share videos, tweets, Facebook posts, infographics, images, quotes through the 7 days of emails—and in our social media.
Ways to jump in:

Lastly– you try a campaign too! And invite me to jump in on your team too!

Ready, set  . . . jump!

pam bill close rebecca beachPam and Bill Farrel are international speakers, authors of 40 books, and Co-Directors of Love-Wise.com

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Red hot wives correctOne of the ways of multiplying sales is to develop a challenge that the “everyday” man or woman can fit into his or her already full and responsible schedule. This is one reason books like: The Love Dare or Purpose Driven Life (and other 40 Day challenges) have done well in helping books fly off the book shelf. My friend, Arlene Pellicane, has several 30 Days to books (30 Days to Younger You; Happy Husband, etc.) My new book, Red Hot Romance Tips for Women is a 26 Day challenge to help women become a more loving wife. It is an A to Z look at the 26 traits husbands find most desirable in a wife. (Ired hot song of S 3 4 bill pam had the wives set goals using my “K.I’S.S.” method which I walk women through in my Red Hot Romance Tips for Women book)

Each wife buys the book, (paperback or ebook) then there is a short reading of a few pages each day in Red Hot Romance Tips for Women  (where she will select the idea she wants to implement). I encourage whole Bible studies, women’s ministries, or friendship circles do the challenge together. I also offer a daily email for 28 days (26 daily challenge “extras” and encouragements plus a day before and after as introduction/ reminder and a wrap up/ follow up (with ideas of the next book to use to enrich her marriage).

red hot collageI also created a Red Hot Wives private facebook group that is an optional meeting place for these motivated wives. The facebook group, along with my blog, had additional reach to feature books by other authors , as well as our own (like Red Hot Monogamy couple’s study), that touch other books and resources which impact marriage. I also had a daily graphic that was reposted, tweeted and shared by many members.

There were also giveaways of romantic items and books during the challenge to keep women connecting to the several times a day.

So far several thousand women have done this simple Red Hot Wives Challenge, and many of them have seen their marriages rescued and most all of them have seen their marriage improved or enriched. Even the few who have serious marriage issues have found a safe place to receive prayer and support during a difficult season in their marriage. To pull this off, I teamed with a talented graphics person, who automated as much of the contact as possible, however she also did the hard work to invite women into the private facebook group and did trouble shooting with the women who might not be as techie.red hot kindness

To expand the reach, next time I will team more with Christian counselors or writers who are also counselors. The challenge was especially popular during the Valentine season (and was a great godly, Biblical rebuttal to the “Shades ” attack on marriage as my tag line was, “Never settle for Mr. Grey when God’s Plan for Love is Red Hot!” Over all, the vast majority felt the challenge enriched and enhanced their marital strength, and for those with already healthy marriages, the challenge created many positive romantic memories and gave them an opportunity to be a bright light of God’s love in a world desperate to see if any couple has the real deal of a happily ever after marriage.

The wives have the option of staying in the Red Hot Wife private facebook group and I have seen women (and myself) share helps and resources and encouragements there between challenges, so a true community of wives who care about their marriages is growing organically). This group will receive marketing on future romance and marriage enrichment like invitations to our speaking, webinars, teleseminars, as well as video or new book release emails. A challenge is a way to really locate then minister to your target audience.

red hot adClick for details on the Red Hot Wives Challenge that our ministry runs. We are also working on connecting to churches that might want us to run a Red Hot Challenge for their local community, or speak on Red Hot Monogamy, Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives, or a Wow Wife Night featuring 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband: Put a Smile on His Face.

Some church leaders might want to target a time of year, like “Make Your Summer Sizzle” or “Make Every Day Valentine’s Day” . For more information about how the Farrels can team with your local church or community, contact us through Love-Wise.com website contact page.

The Farrels are relationship specialists, international speakers, and ministry leaders who have writtenpam bill red umbrella rebecca 40 books and have been happily married 35 years. www.Love-Wise.com .  Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (and most of the books by the Farrels) are available at most of the Christian Retailers bookstores, as well as online at CBD or Vyrso (ebook by Logos)

 

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