Author Archives: Phil Cooke

7 strategies to grow web traffic and influence

I receive so many questions about using your website and social media presence to increase your influence that I decided to ask my friend Miles Anthony Smith for his advice.  Miles works with Rawhide Boys Ranch as their Digital Marketing Director and is the author of Why Leadership Sucks™ and Becoming Generation Flux.  Miles shared with me his 7 key strategies for growing your web traffic and influence (and how to do it on a budget).  Here’s his advice:   ​

We have all been there. Maybe you have written a book, created an online course, or composed some music. Or you have something else to sell. You create a website, offer your wares for sale, and launch social media accounts which take a ton of creative energy and time not just to start but to keep rolling.

Then crickets…

I was even there once, and so was Phil. But just like the both of us, we have to decide if we are going to persevere long enough to get to a certain level of renown. We have to pay our dues, but the amount of time it takes to get a decent amount of traffic to build a tribe energized by your stuff, requires you to add strategy. Perseverance on the wrong tactics will only lead to frustration and failure.

So combine the right strategy and perseverance, and you have a winning combination!

Without further ado, here are my 7 secret strategies to gaining web traffic and influence (on a shoestring budget).

And each of these costs little to no money but does require your sweat equity.

1. Create long form (1,000-3,000 word) posts replete with engaging images, videos, and invaluable infographics. While you do need to write the copy, by all means you should use other’s images, videos, and infographics that fit with your topic. Then strategically ask others to share, link, and or email these articles with their tribe who are already interested in your topic. Don’t forget who your target audience is. Check out one of my Rawhide team’s long form/infographic posts. ADHD: A Growing Concern for Youth and Adults

2. Pick one social media channel for 90 days and focus all of your effort on it. This way you can become better; it is way too easy to get stretched too thin. We all have many spinning plates. I chose to focus on Twitter; I don’t even do Facebook. It’s just not me. Use the native scheduling tool, and in an hour or two you can setup the next month of tweets. Make sure to add images and links to all of your tweets.

3. You can supercharge your Twitter growth and engagement by targeting followers interested in keywords related to your brand. Check out my Twitter & Klout Growth Case Study to add rocket fuel to this strategy. Explosive, Targeted Twitter & Klout Score Growth: 113% In 59 Days

4. Leverage free Pay-Per-Click ads to drive brand awareness or even direct sales of your products like I did with my audiobook. How I Got $145 in Audiobook Sales With $475 in FREE PPC Ads

5. Find new ways to generate other revenue sources; in addition to my book sales and speaking engagements, I created an online video leadership development course on Udemy based on my book Why Leadership Sucks.

6. Generate inexpensive, yet targeted email leads by offering a sample of your ebook, music album, or audiobook on NoiseTrade. How To Get 889 NoiseTrade Email Subscribers In 121 Days For Pennies Per Day

7. Need help reaching new ebook customers on Amazon, iTunes, Audible, or Nook? You must check out Bookbub! How to Get 172% ROI & 8,841 eBook Downloads With $85 In 3 HOURS.


Phil Cooke is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” Find out more at

How to spot the best leader in the room

I’ve worked with national level leaders and creative people for a long time and sometimes I’ll be with a group I haven’t met personally. In those situations I’m always curious about who has the most experience, knowledge, wisdom, and vision, because that’s the person I want to get to know. And I’ve discovered a method that’s almost foolproof for quickly discovering that person within the group:

It’s the person who talks the least.

Invariably, the wise, experienced, and mature leader is the one listening, not talking. And for what it’s worth, the opposite principle works just as reliably: The least experienced person in the group is usually the one who does all the talking.

I’ve confirmed it time and time again in all kinds of situations from conferences to strategy sessions, casual meetings in coffee shops, and simply hanging out. The least experienced wants to share his knowledge with the group, impress everyone with his or her credentials, and is desperate to prove he’s a top level person who belongs. But non-stop talking about yourself undermines the very thing you’re trying to achieve – credibility.

Check it out the next time you’re with a group of leaders or creative people, and let me know what you see. After all, there’s a big reason why some people are wise, smart, experienced, and mature: they’re listening, not talking.


Phil Cooke is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” Find out more at

Should churches produce TV programs?

It’s pretty popular these days to bash local churches producing broadcast TV programs. Even megachurches with adequate budgets for media don’t escape the criticism. After all, the history of Christian television shows us that a significant number of programs through the years were downright embarrassing, and if anything, drove people away from the faith, rather than toward it. But in spite of the mistakes, poor quality, and questionable results of some church efforts, here’s 5 reasons I still encourage churches to consider a broadcast ministry:

1) The audience is still significant.
Amid all the buzz about people moving to the Internet, the audience for broadcast and cable TV is still huge. In fact, it’s one of the key reasons I wrote this post based on secular research that indicates TV is still the most effective advertising medium. If our goal is culture change, then the size of the audience means that TV still needs to be in the evangelism mix.

2) The audience still responds.
The last generation of Christian TV viewers were incredible financial givers. Their response to media ministries built universities, hospitals, and some of the largest mission outreaches in history. This generation hasn’t proven to give at those levels, but if you can engage them with an honest message, and amplify that message across multiple social media and other platforms, they still may respond – sometimes financially, and sometimes through action.

3) In today’s culture, the visibility of television programs matter.
Ask a nonbeliever about a major Christian figure today and chances are, those with TV ministries are the most likely to be named. Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Billy Graham, Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, T.D. Jakes, Jack Graham, and others are known around the world because of their exposure on television. And for most pastors and leaders, it’s not about ego, it’s about giving the message visibility.

4) In many cases, churches already have most of the elements in place for a TV program.
The Sunday service is happening weekly, the pastor is teaching, and many churches are already filming their services with multiple cameras. It’s not a major step from shooting a service for streaming or social media, to developing a broadcast TV program.

5) TV cuts through the barriers.
People can slam the door to someone knocking, refuse to listen to someone share the gospel at work, and stay away from church, but you’d be surprised how often people stumble onto a Christian TV program and actually stick around. I’ve personally seen letters and emails from people who’s lives have been transformed simply because they clicked on a Christian program and decided to watch. One man actually checked into a hotel room with the intention of committing suicide. When he sat on the bed, he accidentally sat on the remote. It turned on the TV and a Christian program was playing. He listened long enough to accept Christ, put the gun down, and go back home. I can give you plenty of other stories as well.

I know you can give me lots of reasons churches shouldn’t do TV, and there have been plenty of mistakes in the past. And we could certainly stand to see more creativity as well as correct theology when it comes to programming. But the truth is, television is still a powerful medium, and if we’ll take the time to understand how it works, and how it connects with an audience, it still can be an important element in sharing our message with today’s culture.


Phil Cooke is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” Find out more at