Recently one Sunday morning, I turned on the radio while I was making breakfast. I heard this preacher who captivated my attention. I remembered listening to this same man on the radio many years ago. As I was listening, it occurred to me that this was an older gentleman, but his voice hadn’t changed in the 10 years since I last heard him.
I quickly googled Ed Bousman and learned he died of cancer in 2011 at the age of 92 years old.
I learned that his undergraduate degree was from a seminary, but he also had a Master’s degree in communications/marketing.
What is profound is when Ed Bousman learned that he had terminal cancer, in less than a year, he recorded an additional five years’ worth of sermons to syndicate on the network of radio stations that broadcast his weekly show. Keep in mind, Ed Bousman was 91- 92 years old when he learned about his cancer and then recorded all of these sermons. I find this remarkable. Even though he lived a long life, he still made the most of every moment, so he could continue to reach and impact more people.
The more I learned about this minister’s life, the more intrigued I became. Here are 10 marketing lessons on how Ed Bousman built his ministry and reached people. By implementing many of these principles, he still reaches new people today.
7 Marketing Lessons from Ed Bousman You Can Apply to Your Business Today
1. A Big Idea
Mr. Bousman started with one big idea for his ministry. Every successful marketing campaign begins with a big idea. He called his radio show, God Is Just A Prayer Away. What is the one overall benefit of why people should follow you? How do you weave this one benefit throughout everything you communicate and how you serve people?
2. Syndicated a Radio Show to Reach People
Ed Bousman, first syndicated his radio show in 1962, after telling his congregation to pray for something impossible. Ed prayed for a nationwide radio ministry. Throughout the rest of his life, he found ways to syndicate his radio show to reach more people throughout the United States and around the globe.
To start his radio show, he purchased 30 minutes of airtime on a local radio station. To syndicate his show, he bought 30-minute time slots on other radio stations across the country and around the globe.
Today, we can start a radio show for practically nothing in the form of a podcast. Podcasts are a great way to share our message, spread the word about our expertise, allow people to get to know us, connect with other people, and grow an audience.
Online radio stations are another form of radio that can reach people globally. Think about starting a podcast and then syndicating each episode on an online radio station. This will provide additional reach for your show.
Today, almost 10 years after Ed Bousman’s death, his sermons are still heard around the globe on his syndicated radio network.
3. TV Broadcasts
For several years, Ed Bousman created a TV show and syndicated it on satellite TV. Today, those videos are still on his website for people to watch. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to use video to connect with people. It can be as simple as broadcasting a live Zoom video on Facebook and Youtube.
You can broadcast videos from your home office on a smartphone or laptop. Technology has made creating our own media super easy today.
The purpose of a newsletter is to strengthen the relationship with your audience on a deeper level. Ed Bousman’s monthly newsletter was mailed worldwide, and each month’s newsletter is still on his website.
Today, newsletters can be sent via email and reach thousands of people. They can also be distributed and downloaded in the form of a pdf. Newsletters are one of the best ways to build a personal relationship at scale.
5. Published Books
A quick search on Amazon revealed several published books. He transcribed his sermons and then organized each book by topic. Here are a few of his books. New Testament Sermons Vol: I,II, III, and Twenty-Eight – Twenty Minute Sermons on the Book of Acts.
Today, publishing a book is far less expensive than any other time in history. Plus, the benefits of a book are immediate and long-lasting. Books can be compiled from blog posts, interviews, or by creating content on a specific topic. It has never been easier than today to publish a book.
Ed Bousman used his radio show to open opportunities for him to speak in countries around the globe. Speaking creates a personal connection with the audience like few other opportunities can produce. Speaking today can be in the form of being a guest on other podcasts, virtual events, or at offline conferences.
7. Hosted Annual Events
Hosting events is a fantastic way to build authority and further connect with your audience. Ed Bousman hosted an annual event and also held two retreats each year.
Today, events can be hosted online and offline in the form of conferences, summits, workshops, masterclasses, and other types of special events.
Events are a quick was to establish credibility and build relationships with your audience.
When Ed Bousman learned he was dying, he became even more focused and productive. He wanted to continue to reach and touch people, long after his time on earth. It has been almost 10 years since the death of Ed Bousman, and his family is still syndicating his radio show on stations throughout the United States and across the globe.
He continues to reach new people and impact their lives. He continues to influence new and regular listeners. Plus, people can discover Ed Bousman in different ways. It might be finding one of his books on Amazon, visiting his website, watching a video, reading a newsletter, or listening to him preach on the radio. Regardless of how you discover Ed Bousman, his dream lives on, and he continues to reach and impact people long after his death.
Ed Bousman’s passion is inspiring! He set an example of how to live a purpose-driven life along with a life well-lived. How are you using today’s technology to forge your legacy, reach people across the globe, and live with purpose and passion?
Are you building your email list?
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields a 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.
ExactTarget reports for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25.
One of the most profitable ways to build your audience is to increase the size of your email list.