What's in this session?

  • The Instagram DM (0:22)
  • #1: Google My Business (2:05)
  • #2: New visitor information on your website homepage (3:35)
  • #3: Photos of real people at your church (5:36)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Today, on Pro Church Daily, we’re talkin’ about three low-hanging fruit strategies for your church. – Well, hey there, and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show, where in 10 minutes or less, you’re gonna get a daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus, while we try and navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined, as always, by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer, and today, we’re talking about three low-hanging fruit strategies for your church. – I got a DM pretty recently from person of Pro Church Nation, Alex, and I wanted to read it on this episode of Pro Church Daily. It says hey Brady. At church we have an average of around 25 people attending. Recently, we’ve been having guests turn up every week, which we haven’t had someone visit for a few years. – Wow. – The visitors say they found out about us through Facebook and the website, which we’re always making sure that we update now. The eldership of the church are now starting to catch on about the benefits of what I try to push. Thanks for providing tools and knowledge to those who need it. And it got me thinking about how there are 300,000 churches in America alone, and how we talk every day on Pro Church Daily about tips and tactics that you can implement, and how, for so many churches, there’s still these low-hanging fruit strategies, this kind of ya gotta do this first. And so, for you, we’re gonna share three strategies that, if you’re listening or watching this episode of Pro Church Daily, and ya haven’t implemented these yet, stop everything, forget about the Instagram question sticker and implement these right away because they’re gonna make a huge difference for you, and they’re very easy to take care of. – Yeah, and especially for smaller churches. We know that most churches, the vast majority of churches, 90% of churches, are 350 people or less. And most of those churches are a hundred people or less. So, for smaller churches, and I’m a pastor of one of them, I know how easy it is to look at all these new features on the internet and see what Elevation is doing, and, oh, I gotta do that, but we look past these simple things, this low-hanging fruit that we’re talking about. And so, this is for you, if you’re listening. These are things that you can do today, super-actionable steps. If you’re listening to this at work, just stop what your boss is paying you to do, and take the next 10 minutes, and do these things ’cause they’re easy, they’re low-hanging fruit, and they’re there for the taking. – Three strategies: Strategy number one is Google My Business. When you search for your church in Google, you’ll see a search result, likely in the top three, that’s your church’s website. – Yep. – Now, if you have the Google My Business profile filled out, not only will you see that search result in the normal search results of Google that you’d think of, there’s gonna be a separate section on the right-hand side of your screen. – Yep. – It’s a big column, it’s the Google My Business profile for your church if you have it filled out. Within that profile, it’s gonna have, obviously, your name, it’ll have photos of your church, it’ll have your hours of operation, your website, phone number, email address. It’ll even have reviews pulled in automatically from Google reviews into this Google My Business profile. – Yep. – It’s 100% free to set up, all you need to do is go to the Google My Business website, and then what’s gonna happen is ya fill out your profile, and then, to verify your profile, they’re gonna send you a piece of snail mail so that you can actually verify that the address that you’ve put in is correct. It’s an amazing way to boost your search engine rankings and profile, and, thank you Google, it’s free. – Look, whenever I travel, I use Google Maps to find whatever church I’m going to visit. On Saturday night, I pick up my phone, open Google Maps, I type in church near me. And so, if your Google My Business isn’t filled out at all or not filled out correctly, you’re not gonna show up in the top 10 searches if at all in that search result. And so, I’m not gonna find your church. So, for new visitors coming to your church, this is essential. – Strategy number two, new visitor information on your website’s home page. Here’s the bottom line, your church’s website is your most important marketing tool. And we did a case study recently of more than a thousand church websites from all around the world. All 50 states, all 10 provinces in Canada, were represented in this case study, and we found that 62% of church websites didn’t have readily accessible new visitor information on their home page. – Wow. – Churches would talk about their potlucks, and they talk about the current sermon series, and they’d talk about their upcoming VBS and men’s retreat, and they wouldn’t even consider a new visitor. 97% of people are searching for local organizations online. And so, when someone stumbles across your website, very often it’s gonna be a new visitor tryin’ to figure out is this church for me. So, you gotta have easily accessible new visitor information. For the Nucleus framework, we always suggest for our churches the very first card we call it the featured card, it’s bigger and wider and it’s very prominently displayed at the top of the home page. We say dedicate this to new visitors. Create an I’m new card, create a plan a visit card, where they can actually fill out a plan a visit form, so that when people come looking for your church, you don’t say we’re not here for you. – Right. – Image if someone walked into your lobby on a Sunday morning, and you didn’t acknowledge them. – Right. – And they were new. That’s what we’re doing with our websites, and it needs to stop. – I was looking through my, the Google Analytics for our church’s website this week. And in Google Analytics, you can see kind of the map that people take when they land on your site. So, it shows what page they land on and then where they go from there. And I don’t remember the number off the top of my head, but the vast majority, I’m talking vast majority, landed on our home page and then clicked on our I’m new card. That was their first step. And so, like you said, it’s just the same as if someone walked in your building, brand new to your church, and you didn’t acknowledge them. We need to stop believing the lie that our church website is for the pleasure of our church members. It’s your front door for new visitors, and they’re knocking every day. We need to greet them. – Final strategy is photos of real people at your church. Clip art, stock photos of people’s faces, is just not going to cut it anymore. – No. – It’s unacceptable, and it’s unnecessary, especially because you can take beautiful photos with your mobile device using portrait mode or not. We have a full case study on how to shoot photography, shoot great photos with your mobile device, and make them look amazing. It has been approved by our resident photographer, – It has. – Alexander Thrills. So, there’s no need to use stock photos of people’s faces that don’t attend your church or to use clip art. The reason I say that is because in our case study of churches, I think, if I’m remembering correctly off the top of my head, almost 40% of the churches that we looked at had stock photos of people’s faces. – Wow. – So, two out of every five church websites using people that don’t attend their church. – Yeah, and it’s disingenuous. – It’s obscene, and I’m gonna get worked up about it. Instead of doing that, we have that free resource that you can use to learn how to take great photos. It’ll take you a day, and you can swap out those photos. It’s gonna make a big difference. – Yep. – And to prove that, it’s a study that we often cite because it’s a first-of-its-kind study that is really, really insightful. It’s Yahoo Labs, Georgia Institute of Technology. They looked at more than a million photos on Instagram. Photos of human faces had 38% more likes, 32% more comments. That is a huge distinction from posts on Instagram with no human faces. Now, you might be thinking photos of human faces, that includes stock photos. Except for the fact that when someone sees that, and then attends your church, and your stock photos don’t match your actual church, – Right – and they get upset. – Right. – So, just take photos of real people at your church. Super easy, and that is the third strategy. – Yeah, and you don’t have to reach any further than your pocket anymore to do this. This coming Sunday, reach into your pocket, grab your iPhone, grab your Galaxy, whatever phone you have that has portrait mode, and just start taking photos of real people in your church. Ask ’em how they’re doing, chat with them, and take their photo, and just throw that on your website. Start implementing it immediately. And when people visit your website, especially newcomers, first-time visitors, they’ll see an accurate representation of who your church is and what your community is like. – Three low-hanging fruit strategies: Number one, Google My Business; number two, new visitor information on your website’s home page; and number three, real photos of people in your church smiling, also on your website, and in all of your digital media. If there was a fourth strategy, it would be the featured resource for today, which is the central hub strategy. It’s a strategy that I’ve been teaching for a couple of years now. We finally begin to see case studies coming from churches that we’ve been tracking. You gotta track them for a year or so – Yep. – to prove that this works. So, we put together a case study of a church called Forefront that implemented this strategy and saw a 53% increase in sign-ups, – Wow. – And then a greater than 100% increase in digital connections, small group engagement, and outreach numbers. And it’s all documented in this case study with exact examples and strategies on how you can implement the same thing. It’s 100% free, and it is linked in the show notes for this episode. And that’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see ya next time. Hey, thanks for watching this episode of Pro Church Daily. Make sure you subscribe to this channel and turn on notifications so you never miss another video. – And while you’re subscribing, why don’t you go ahead and hit the Like button. – Thanks, see ya next time.

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