|Learn all the latest tips, tricks and techniques regarding social media and marketing for your business and ministry. Just the facts and not a lot of sales hype. I want your business to grow exponentially.We have a bunch of fun (a lil dancing will be required) and will have information you can apply directly to your business or ministry. Belt up it is going to be a great ride.|
I am sure most of you have noticed there have been a lot of changing going on here on the website. We are under construction, a realignment of our mission, if you will. We will be adding new sections, taking down some old ones. With any change it can be messy, and normally I would test all of this on a different site and when I had it the way I wanted I would launch.
But this time I wanted to invite you in the creative process as we make these changes. Trying something different. Trying to jump in the song before I know the words. So hang on. it is going to fun. Feel free to leave comments.
Here is a great video that outlines the Social Media Revolution. I thought it would be great for you to see. And let’s talk about how we can help your business make the leap into Social Media.
By Scott Magdalein, Guest Blogger
If you read this blog often, then you’ll see the word “brand” come up here and there. It’s used as a noun, meaning the collection of your logo, letterhead, visual identity, and design guide, etc. It’s also used as a verb, as in the action of standardizing all those things mentioned above.
Here’s another point-of-view: If traditional marketing is dead (not yet, but almost), then you’re going to have to move beyond the traditional view of branding, which tells you to get a good logo and plaster it everywhere. Your brand needs to become more built-in, natural and part of everything you say, do and think — not just everything you publish.
There are a handful of churches that grasp this concept. You can tell because you know them by more than just their logo. For example, LifeChurch.tv has a brand that reaches beyond their logo, which is nothing spectacular to be honest. Their brand includes their reputation for creativity, innovation, risk-taking and scope of ministry. As another example, Elevation Church’s brand is way bigger than a logo in that they’re known for audacity in a city full of stale religion.
What I’m saying is that your church’s brand has to be bigger than a rock star logo if you expect to be remembered. You have to become your brand and your brand has to become you. Sounds existential, huh?
Trying to work my way out of this depression. How do you Bounce Back after you have been knocked down?
What is branding? Take a piece of iron, shape it through fire and toil and place it on the raw flesh of an animal. That’s branding. It’s a pretty painful process. So is branding your church. However, in both cases, it leaves an indelible impression that deepens a sense of belonging and sets one apart.
I can hear the shrieks of horror. I know, I actually said “church” and “branding” in the same sentence. If you think marketing is a controversial word in the church world, try talking about branding. The reality is that branding is critical for your church. A well-branded church is one that is current and attractive, where people are proud to attend, where they feel connected and they see the vision clearly. Modern branding is not just about slapping a logo on something; it’s about making the vision plain for all to see. It demonstrates a sense of who you are and where you are going as a church. The pure essence of branding is communicating the essence of who you are in all you do.
Allow me a moment to dispel the concept of branding and break it down. What is a brand? To the person outside the organization, it is the perception of what the organization stands for and is all about. We trust the name, Dell. We feel safe in a Volvo. We feel hip if we have an iPod. We believe in the longevity of Craftsmen tools. A brand has meaning. A well executed brand has the precise meaning that the organization desires us to embrace.
In a similar way, all churches have their own brands whether they know it or not. Some are appealing and some are repugnant. Church “A” might be the church where all the upper-class people go. Church “B” is that “seeker church” that does not go very deep. Church “C” is that flamboyant church where the services last for three hours. Every church has a brand—every church has a vibe within its community. What are some of the “brands” of church in the community around you? What is your brand? Are you communicating it effectively? You might say that a church that no one knows about is without a brand—nope, its Church “D”—the church that no one knows about. (Be leery of that one!)
So if a brand is how you are perceived, then just what is branding? It is the use of design and communications consistency over time to create a deliberate impression. Design plays a part; architecture plays a part; communications play a part; and church culture plays a part. If you are being strategic, the line between who you are as a church and your target audience becomes the plumb line for your communication and your brand.
To be effective with branding you have to integrate your look and your message into every touch point you have with people. Go to your local Cadillac dealership, soak in the atmosphere and then grab every brochure you can find. Now, go to a Saturn dealership and do the same. Guess what? Cadillac stuff looks and feels like Cadillac stuff and not like Saturn stuff. Now go one step further… Go into your church and pretend you were seeing it for the first time—grab all of your handouts, fliers, bulletins and brochures. What story do they tell about you? What about your signage, your website, your foyer? What message are you consistently sending? Is it cohesive or is it hodge-podge. Wondering why no one knows what to think about you and you struggle to get people to follow the vision? You have to make it plain when you set it before their eyes (Habakkuk 2:2).
Why then, do we have six different logos and fourteen different layouts and six paper types and nine color schemes? Why is our website outdated and unrelated to everything else. Do we not realize how much time and money we would save if we just chose “our style” and “our logo” and stick with it? Why are we re-inventing the wheel over and over?
One of the reasons branding is not utilized in the church is because it forces us to take a determined stance on who we are. It is risky. Branding is essentially a highly concentrated use of communication. It has only one downside. To the extent a well-crafted brand can assist in growth, an un-strategic or even poorly aimed brand can keep people away and even disassociate your members. I’ve seen it happen!
So how do you create a branding strategy and ultimately a brand that is truly effective? This is a portion of the process we walk through with churches as we help them to establish a branding strategy.
First, become determined. Branding does not just happen. It will require a major commitment. It takes setting your sails hard. It requires a sense of integrity (consistency). It requires knowing who you are and who you are trying to reach. It requires making decisions with short and long term goals in tact.
Second, make sure you connect. If you are not achieving at least a 10% growth rate before you start your branding initiatives, you might have issues with connecting. If your members are not actively inviting people, or visitors are not staying, there are reasons why that have nothing to do with design. Advertising and branding will not help a church in this position; it will only expose the disconnection between you and the outside world—causing visitors not to return and to tell all their friends to avoid your church.
Third, renew a commitment to the lost in your community. You start with who you are trying to reach. What do they think about you church? If you want to affect what they think, you have to know it. What are there needs—perceived and real? Where do they shop? What do they eat? What do they wear? What are their challenges and their successes? You need demographic information on them, but it won’t suffice. You actually have to learn their lifestyles well enough to “become as one” as Paul challenges us to (1 Corinthians 9:20).
Fourth, know your strengths and your weaknesses. Remember, man looks on the outside. If you do not take stock in what you have been showing people—the good and the bad, you will not know the basis for how to connect with people. This means knowing who you are most adept at reaching in this season of your church. This is not being “exclusive”. Be like Paul. He was “all things to all people”, but he was also the “Apostle unto the Gentiles”. Know when to be broad in your reach, and know when to communicate to the red hot center of those with whom you have influence.
Fifth, connect the dots. The successful brand for you lies on the bridge between who you are as a church and the people you are called to reach. Make sure your communication does not abandon who you have been. You need to hold the hand of yesterday while you reach out for tomorrow. If you don’t, you will disassociate your congregation and confuse those around you.
Sixth, gain an external perspective. You will be more accurate if you enlist third party assistance in determining your branding strategy. Why? “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God and the precious believers around know our hearts—but the outside world does not—it is their very nature to look on the outside. What this means is that it is nearly impossible to self evaluate how people see you. You are too close to the action. You see your intentions; they only see your follow-through. To look at your church “on the outside”, you need the help of outsiders.
Whether you realize it or not, your church’s marketing materials tell a story. They are windows into your culture and tell us what you value. They are not always read, but they are always evaluated. Are your materials telling the story that is on your heart? Are they conveying the experience with excellence? Are they relevant to me as an outsider? What do they communicate to the unchurched? The mischurched? The member? The staff? What do they say about you? Is it consistent? Do you really know who you are and who you are called to reach? Do you know what to tell them? Are you doing it in everything you do? Define it. Design it. Train it. Maintain it.
Article by Richard Reising
Richard Reising is the author of ChurchMarketing 101: Preparing Your Church for Greater Growth (Baker Books). Reising is a recognized authority on church marketing and branding and the founder and president of the Dallas-based Artistry Marketing Concepts, an organization that helps churches and ministries make wise use of marketing, design, and technology. He has helped hundreds of ministries in the United States and worldwide through speaking engagements and training seminars.
Cutting Edge Media Content Here: http://thinkintl.tv/ Tech Networks and Communities Mentioned: http://churchtechleaders.org/ (Church Technical Leaders) http:…
A title that catches your attention – I could not resist getting this information to you. Has your church taken time to look at the cost of parishioner or conversion acquisition costs? More importantly should these tools be used in the church? I have a lot to say about this subject – But you should first look at this article and then leave a comment.
Your Urban Church Marketing Specialists
We at smallbiztechnology.com use Asana as one of the key tools to manage our editorial process and all of our projects.
It helps that it’s free for 30 users or less – but we’d pay for it – if we had to as well.
I like it because it’s easy to add tasks and assign tasks. But the other features it has such as tagging, dates, sub-tasks and more – make it invaluable.
- Recently Asana added even more features – translating to awesome benefits for teams.
- Sometimes you delete tasks and need to find them and get them back – Asana has this feature now.
- You can also use Asana to track your time (especially billable client time).
- Often times tasks change but you want to know what has changed in that task -you can now do this.
Asana rocks and you should consider adding it to your tool set – your business will thank you
- See more at: Small Biz Technology
Let me start this post off by saying, “I’ve had every version of iPad and iPhone that has ever existed.” My last iPad was the White iPad 2 which I rocked with a portfolio type Skinny Case. My iPad has always been my Technology Swiss Army Utility Knife of choice. I use it for web surfing, speaking, researching, reading books, music, videos…
Recently I left my iPad 2 in my rental car at Thrifty in Tampa, FL. (That’s crazy because I travel a lot and this has never happened.) Unfortunately it was not recovered and that’s an entirely different blog post. I’m still believing that it will be recovered, according to Find My iPhone it hasn’t been logged into wifi yet.
Prior to the incident of leaving my iPad in Tampa, I had purchased 5 iPad mini’s. Honestly, I was just a little excited that The Apple Store in #OKC happened to have them in stock while I was shopping. I thought they would make great Christmas gifts.
One of those 5 Mini’s ended up being an early Christmas gift to myself. Fortunately, I was able to restore my new iPad Mini from the last iCloud back up of my now “lost” iPad 2. I began browsing around my new little apple device before I headed out of town. My family and I were headed to Hawaii the day after I began using my iPad Mini. This trip is a combo speaking and vacationing trip. (I’m actually typing this post from my 19th floor balcony on Waikiki Beach.)
I have been using the Black iPad mini wifi only for a few days now and have come to the conclusion that I prefer it over the iPad 2. Below are 10 Reasons Why.
10 Reasons Why I Prefer The iPad Mini Over The iPad 2
Here is a great article from church consultant Tony Morgan. Tony has served on the senior leadership teams at NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth–each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His newest book, Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing), was released in 2009. The article is an incredible read, and a conversation all leaders should be having in their local church. Read below
A friend in ministry recently asked me what questions church leaders should be asking. I thought about the types of questions I try to help answer when I’m working with them in the church consulting or coaching relationships. Here are the first questions and some bonus thoughts that came to mind:
- When was the last time I heard from God? Am I doing what he called me to do? This is the “Acts 6? question. Acts 6 is a great reminder that it’s possible to be doing the ministry of God without doing the ministry God has called us to do.
- What should our church be known for in this community? For a moment, ignore anyone who attends your church. What does the rest of the community know about your church? That’s a better reflection of whether or not you’re really accomplishing your vision.
- Are we really focusing our time, money, leadership, prayer behind the things that will produce life change and community impact? If not, there’s a good chance that “fairness” is driving these decisions. Fairness never produces revolution.
- Is our church growing both spiritually and in numbers? Churches that are stuck and not bearing fruit hate this question. As I’ve shared before, I don’t believe healthy churches are necessarily big churches, but healthy churches are growing churches.
- Is there a clear path to help people take steps in their faith with the ultimate goal of them becoming fully-devoted followers of Christ? Having a vibrant Sunday worship experience is only one component of that. I’m amazed at how many churches haven’t really established a discipleship strategy beyond Sunday morning. Continue Reading…
Welcome to my church marketing blog. I will be the first to admit I have not been the best at keeping this blog updated. I promise to do better in the future. As you can see we have a new design. Thanks to Nyghel for the header design and to Bryan Veloso for the great code.
I started this blog because I was distressed about the number of Urban churches that were behind the curve when it comes to marketing and branding. I would often see in my travels, multiple logos or ineffective billboards without any true ROI. I felt led (church slang for gut feeling) to create this place where ministries could find assistance in pushing their vision further.
If you haven’t answered the questions, What do you do, Why do you do it, Who do you serve, and Why should anyone care. This is the right place for you. God Bless