Building anything from the ground up takes a little bit of faith, and that is no different for the founder of Spiritual Word — the entertainment platform “bridging the culture with Christianity.”
“In the beginning, it started off with inspirational quotes, from God, the Bible, and as it began to grow and matriculate, I started seeing platforms like The Shade Room come about,” founder Shawn McKenzie told AfroTech. “And you know, Angie is a wonderful woman and great friend and I just studied how she was able to really draw and capture her audience to engage on her platform with headers and with tweets and discussions.”
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Building Spiritual Word
It was then that McKenzie figured out what was missing from his platform. As he switched gears a bit to hone in on what was driving the culture, he notes that things weren’t turning out as he’d initially hoped that they would.
“In the beginning, it wasn’t a success. Things started to fall apart. Followers were leaving, because again, just to be transparent, when people followed in the beginning, it was for a specific reason. So, when you start to change things, they’re like, ‘What am I following?'” he explained. “So, that took a while, but around like 2019, I can say that’s when it, I can’t explain it…it just took off. I don’t know the reason, [but] the platform blew up.”
Switching Up The Strategy
The new strategy still kept his Christian values, but Spiritual Word began to become what he calls a family reunion experience.
“Because when you’re at a family reunion, you’re talking, you’re laughing and you joke and point things out about one another, but at the end of the day, you still come back to that one common ground, which is what most of you know, for Black families is Christ and his love.”
His decision to keep the name Spiritual Word was because when users experience the website or social media accounts, they’re not seeing gossip — or anything messy.
McKenzie says, “it’s giving you that perfect balance.”
A Recipe For Success
While the platform has had tons of success over the years, McKenzie recalled a July 2021 post that sent their numbers soaring.
“This one was the catalyst, there was another one, but this was really epic,” he shared. “It was titled, ‘Men Are Sharing Things They Wish Women Knew About Them.’ Talking about love and relationships is the talk of the town, you see it all the time on Black Twitter, but now hearing it from a man’s perspective, as well as having women chime in, I believe that’s what really caught on, and caused it to blow up.”
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In the future, McKenzie aims for Spiritual Word to be a hub for content creators both physically and in the digital world.
“We currently have a warehouse, but I definitely want one of the buildings to be where creators can come and record. Where you can also praise and spend time with God,” he shared. “A place that’s of peace and entertainment.”