Keep it Small

Marketing your organization can be really exciting!

Seriously, your head starts to swim with ideas, colors, and imagery for representing what you’re all about and what you have to offer.  Those are all good things.  Write those ideas down somewhere so you’ll remember them during your planning phase.  In fact, I like to keep an Evernote notebook full of ideas so that I can pull them up whenever I need inspiration.

At this point in the marketing process, a church or ministry may decide to hire a marketing professional, web designer, graphic artist, or all three.  Again, another great move!  It’s not wise to try and do it all yourself.  Just because your youth pastor has a pirated copy of Photoshop on his laptop doesn’t mean you’re good to go.  Designers spend years honing their craft and a well done, professionally designed logo or website can be an immense asset to your marketing efforts.

So far, so good.  It’s usually the next step where organizations make the wrong move…

For some reason churches and ministries feel the need to form a large committee when moving into new marketing territory.  There are several reasons why this is detrimental to your efforts and I’m going to give you a four…

It slows down the process.  Large committees equal long meetings where everyone wants their voice to be heard.  They were asked to be on the committee to share their opinion and they’re gonna share it.  When it comes time to review the artwork, it can take several weeks before everyone on the committee has a chance to look at it and get back to you.

It can drive up the cost of the project.  Time is money and when you have to make revision after revision because you have a couple of sticklers on your committee, you’ll pay for it.  Your ministry has other pressing financial needs.  You don’t need to throw money away because one of your committee members wants to see the logo in a slightly different shade of yellow.

It can obscure what you’re trying to communicate.  Let me explain.  If you’re the lead pastor, executive director, or president of your organization, you are going to be the most intimately acquainted with the vision.  It burns in your heart.  You think about it all the time.  You are going to be the most effective at communicating with your designer the concepts you would like to be represented in your artwork.  No one else will be able to do that like you!  Having a committee do that for you is like having your interior designer decorate your house based on third hand information.  You wouldn’t want to do that, would you?

Too many cooks spoil the broth.  In the end, no one is really happy with the design.  You end up compromising the vision to keep committee members happy, no one is super happy on the committee because it took too long, and your designer is now hoping you never call him again because of the frustration caused by working with your committee.

So what do you do?  Keep your team small.  Just you or you and one other person is perfect.  Remember, your designer is part of that team.  He’s not just a human computer mouse.  He has a ton of great ideas that will add massive value to your design.  Trust him.  This is what he does for a living!

Keeping it small will save you from frustration, save you money, and produce a product you will be much happier with for a long time!

Free Social Media Workshop Coming February 17th!

Hey Insparket friends!

Our next Free Social Media Workshop is coming up on Thursday, February 17th!

The focus of this workshop is on blogging.  If you’re a ministry leader or pastor, you NEED to be blogging!

In this workshop, we’re going to show you:

How to set up a first class blog for little to nothing

How to blog so people will actually read the thing

How to foster interaction with your readers (it’s about making connections!)

How to get people to spread the word about your blog

How to get your blog readers to come to your church (if they don’t already).

It’s going to be a great night!  Bring your laptop, connect to the free wifi, and follow along.

The workshop starts at 7:00pm and goes until 8:30.
We’ll be meeting at The Center
1411 Brady Street in Davenport, Iowa

Email me or call 309-269-7408 if you’d like more information.

See you there!

Perception is Reality

Hiya friends!

Today I wanted to briefly hit on a super basic marketing principle.  Instead of talking about tools like social media, web sites, branding, etc. I want to get to the core of what marketing is all about.  Here is comes…

Marketing is managing the perception that others have about your organization. Why is perception so important?  Because a person’s perception is their reality.  If a person perceives your church to be one that’s unfriendly to newcomers, it doesn’t matter how many pictures you have of hugs given and hands shaken on your web site; that person’s perception will be their reality until convinced otherwise.

One key goal in marketing is to get people to know, like, and trust you.  Why is that?  Because if they know, like, and trust you, they’re more likely to accept your product.  Since our product, as Christians, is literally a life (and eternity) changing product, it’s important that we remove unnecessary obstacles from being likable.  (Please don’t be offended by the term product.  I know it’s much more than that.  I’m just speaking in marketing language.)

So what are a few ways we can manage perceptions and get people to know, like, and trust us?  Here are a few practicals that don’t even involve a new logo or video:

Pay your bills on time. Businesses appreciate it and it gives them the perception that you appreciate them and are responsible.

Tip well at restaurants. A nice tip from “church folk” on Sunday afternoon really goes a long way in the “know. like, and trust” department.

Get involved in the community. Simply having a life outside of the church gives us opportunities to build relationships, manage perceptions, and show the community we care.

And tons more. Keep your lawn mowed, be polite, be patient on the road, return your shopping cart to the “Cart Corral”, get along with other believers, etc.

We’re always marketing (managing perceptions) even when we don’t realize it.  Lets do a good job of it for His glory!

What are some other practical ways of marketing our organization?