That’s right, I said use volunteers to generate traffic to your church Facebook page.

Here is how:

  • Identify people who actively use Facebook and other social media tools.
  • Ensure they are people you want communicating church information.  Do they align with and live by your values and beliefs?
  • Divide volunteers and place in different demographics.  IE – Stay at home moms, teenagers, men, women, singles, etc.  Volunteers would be responsible to interact with these demographics and communicate church happenings these sections would view as interesting.
  • Instruct and train volunteers to share church events, reply to questions and prayer requests and invite others to join your page. It much more powerful when church information comes from a church member versus the church staff

(And lastly, if you really want to increase your traffic on Facebook, give your staff some flexibility to be online during their workday as well.)

How does your church increase traffic and participation on Facebook?

*Special thanks to my friend Kyle Kutter who helped me understand this concept via blog and conversation.

In the past three months, I have networked with the following people -

Will Mancini – Founder of Auxano
Maurillio Auromin – Founder of The A Group
Drew Goodmanson – Founder of Monk Development
Justin Wise – Co-Director of Center for Church Communications
Brad Leeper – President of Generis
Julie Bullock – Generosity Strategist with Generis
Bryan Miles – Founder of MAG
Scott Williams – Blogger at Big Is The New Small
Tony Morgan – Church Strategy Consultant
Travis Gates – Co-Founder of Church Media Group
Kent Shafer – Founder of Church Relevance
Michael Smalley – Author and Founder of Smalley Online
Larry Shaffer – Vice President of Insperity (Formerly Administaff)
William Vanderbloemen – Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group
Brent Spicer – Chief Strategy Officer of Dave Ramsey Group

Before I aggressively began networking, only two of the people listed personally knew me.  I was on a mission to connect with as many people as possible.  Why network with people?  Because it is the most effective way to market your services.

I found the best way to build my business is through networking. I contact people, share my services and listen and learn about their services and products.  Here is what I learned.

  1. Swallow your fear and reach out. I cannot tell you how many types I thought, “This person will never email me back” when sending influential people emails.
  2. Everything is not the truth. During your networking conversations, do not always believe comments or opinions. In most cases, the people you are engaging do not know you. They are giving you an opinion. Take some time, digest and see if what they are saying truly resonates with you.
  3. Be open to partnerships and collaboration. Out of the fourteen people I connected with, 3 working partnerships were birthed.
  4. Be prepared to give. It is not wise to network with the mindset of “what’s in it for me.” Genuinely care about what the other person offers.  Listen and encourage.

To all the people listed above, I truly thank you for your time and wisdom.

What would you add to the list when networking with people?

The tagline is a short phrase that captures a company’s brand essence, personality, and positioning. Traditionally used in advertising, companies are increasingly using tagline on other marketing collateral as the centerpiece of their positioning. There are several basics to consider when developing a tagline:

  1. A tagline must be short.
  2. It must be differentiated from others.
  3. It must be unique.
  4. It must capture the brand essence.
  5. It must be easy to say and remember.
  6. It cannot have any negative connotations.
  7. It is typically displayed in a small font.
  8. It can be protected and trademarked.
  9. It evokes an emotional response.
  10. It is difficult to duplicate by others.

From: Wheeler, Alina. Designing Brand Identity. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2003.

I love when organizations communicate messages visually. Chick-fil-A developed a video that is both effective and emotional. The video is a powerful reminder that Every Life Has a Story. Church it is “high-time” that we view people in this manner. Enjoy.

WHAT IS BRANDING?

  • Branding is the process by which the true character and mission of your organization is communicated.
  • There are two ways of thinking about branding -

The big “B” BRAND represents the impression that the organization leaves in someone’s mind as a result of the total experience with the ministry. BRAND would include every person-to-person interaction that occurs on behalf of the organization.

The small “b” brand refers to the visual representation of the organization everywhere the ministry officially “speaks” through communication tools (brochures, websites, signage, business cards, etc.) The three basic building blocks of the brand are the logo, tagline and graphic identity (look and feel).

THE NEED FOR BRAND DEVELOPMENT IN MINISTRY

If you are not a brand you are generic.

  • Brands build relationships.
  • Brands inspire trust.
  • Brands clearly define what you offer.
  • Brands remove ambiguity and therefore they remove risk.
  • Brands make the commitment decision easier for a potential first-timer, member or ministry volunteer.
  • Brands create an experience.

At the heart of any ministry is the stewardship of a message – the message of the gospel. Branding is a tool to communicate this message with cultural relevance.

  • Denomination or religious language alone is no longer a viable brand.
  • Your ministry has something to brand- your “corporate grace.”
  • We live in an age of “graphicacy” over literacy.

THE BENEFITS OF BRANDING

  • Branding creates more influence with people outside of the ministry.
  • Branding helps build ownership and enthusiasm around the ministry’s mission.
  • Branding helps keep the ministry focused on people (mission) rather than programs, buildings, or personalities.
  • Branding models ministry unity in a concrete way and helps align a decentralized structure and strategy.

The brand integrates and correlates every element of the ministry. This includes everyone from the staff and volunteers to the members to first-time participants to the community at large. Unless there is a clear and consistent view of the church brand, ministries and programs may go off in different directions and fragment the message of the ministry.

How do you think and dream about brand development at your church?  How do you see branding?

*Content provided by Will Mancini and the Auxano Team.

Healthy pastors lead healthy churches.  Below are keys to being a healthy pastor.  Do not skip over #1.
1. Let God restore your soul daily.
  • Psalm 23.  Matthew 11:28.
  • Worship.  Prayer.  Solitude.  Listening.  Bible reading.

Averill quote: I pray for you to know the REST of Jesus in all things.  The enemy will deceitfully persuade you that you have many things to accomplish in order to keep things running.  I am all too aware of this temptation.  Simplicity in Christ leads us to only one thing to do- let Christ do it.

2.  Give your marriage priority attention.

  • A bad marriage ruins the rest of life.  (Remember the Proverbs.)
  • A good marriage fortifies you for the rest of life.
  • Is your home a tunnel of chaos or an oasis of rest?

3.  Work with your personal rhythms.

  • For me:  start early, try and leave early.
  • Creative work in the mornings.
  • Between 4-7 p.m.:  not my best time for mental focus.

4.  Keep your Sabbath rest.

  • A principle of creation:  rest one day in seven.
  • Sabbath is a day to pray and play.
  • Eugene Peterson:  hike all day.

5.  Do the things only you can do – and delegate the rest.

  • Be ruthless in simplifying your work.
  • Empower others!
  • Take some time now to save much time later.

6.  Focus on results not time at work.

  • 40-50 hours a week, total for me.
  • However, the point is not to clock your time but to get things done.
  • Focus on your highest impact activities.
  • Managers do things right.  Leaders do the right things.

7.  Get regular exercise and eat healthy.

  • For me:  weight lift and cardio 4-5 times per week
  • If you are healthier and fit, you can work harder and you will last longer.
  • Exercise is a huge stress reliever.
  • Avoid The Three White Killers: salt, sugar and flour.

8. Ask for help.

  • Secrets are dangerous.
  • Need help? In the last 18 months, has a trusted person told you, “I think you need to talk to somebody about that.”  If the answer is yes, get help.
  • Every prominent Christian leader and pastor I know, regularly visits a counselor.  It is okay to ask for help.

9.  Let God heal your anger.

  • Ask God to show you … heal you.
  • Ask a close friend if you seem angry.
  • Consider:  Elder prayer, counseling, talking with an insightful friend.
  • This is enormously important!

10. Don’t be crushed by criticism.

  • Consider the source.
  • Be willing to receive criticism from trustworthy people – people who are for you, who are insightful, who are not negative.
  • Consider if you are a pleaser.  Galatians 1:10

*Excerpts from mentor program with Jeff Wells.

Scott Harrison is CEO of charity: water.  charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to developing nations.  So far, charity: water has helped ONE MILLION people gain access to clean drinking water.  How did this happen?  I heard Scott teach on his Big Ideas and Strategy at Catalyst Dallas.  Here is how it happened.

3 Big Initial Ideas

  1. 100% donations from public go directly to water development work
  2. Use technology to prove work with pictures and GPS coordinates loaded to Google Earth
  3. Create an epic brand that rivals the likes of Nike and Apple

Strategy

  • Admit and communicate failure
  • Get a mean coach
  • Marry the brand
  • Don’t run out of money
  • Find your big idea
  • Wasn’t our story. It was their story. We gave it away.
  • Think big and then execute.

He concluded with this quote – “If not us, who? If not now, when?”  I have attended several learning conferences and listened to many effective and inspring people.  Out of all the talks, I have never been more inspired to think BIG.  I resonated with all of my heart on the strategy point of thinking big and then execute.

What is your BIG idea/dream?  How will you execute?

1) The leadership owns the brand promise behind the brand.

Example: STARBUCKS

2) The experience of the product or service exceeds the expectation created by the brand’s promise.

Example: NIKE

3) The brand remains fervently relevant.

Example: FEDERAL EXPRESS

4) The brand maximizes the position of the product or service in relationship to other products or services.

Example: VOLVO

5) The brand stays consistently consistent.

Example: APPLE

6) When you encounter the brand there is a feeling that the brand makes sense.

Example: Car Commercials

7) The brand leverages all applicable marketing tools and media.

Example: MCDONALDS

8 The brand protects the value equity that has been built by the organization over time.

Example: COCA-COLA

*Content delivered by Will Mancini and Auxano Team.

Enjoy notes from my time at Catalyst where Andy Stanley talks about “Taking Courage.”  I invite you to not glaze over the ending questions.  Instead, break away and mull over questions and ask God to lead.

A single act of courage is often the tipping point for something extraordinary.

3 Phases of Courage

1) Courage to stay, when it would be easier to go.

“You never know what hangs in the balance, when God says stay.”

2) Courage to leave, when it would be easier to stay.

3) Courage to ask for help, when it would be easier to pretend that everything’s okay.

“Secrets are dangerous.” You are afraid.

In the last 18 months, has a trusted person told you, “I think you need to talk to somebody about that.”

What story do you want to tell? What story do you want your children to see?

Words are powerful.  Oftentimes we spend little energy on using words to inspire and motivate.  Use this video as tool with your staff when considering which words to use in communicating your message.