Quincy is the founder of Launch Plant, which was created to help start up churches by creating a full brand experience from beginning to end.
What’s In This Session?
- Executing a complete church launch (10:30)
- The 3 phases of launching a church brand (12:58)
- Why you it’s imperative to not squander your launch (19:23)
- Social media promo kits and signage (25:33)
- The “must-have” checklist for your church plant (29:18)
- The two most popular pages on a church website (32:20)
- Building your website a single-page landing site (34:00)
Show Notes & Resources Mentioned
- Qhue Creative
- Church Plant Launch Website Example #1
- Church Plant Launch Website Example #2
- Firefox Send
3 Instant Takeaways
- Get interest. Before setting a launch date, make sure you’ve invested in creating a great brand. Having a strong brand will help build confidence in the minds of your sponsors by appearing well thought out and put together. It will also create a firm foundation for social media and advertising.
- Build a team. Find the people who are interested in supporting your ministry by committing to participate and help you in running your new start up. You can hold a startup party, interest party or social and begin to explain the vision for your church and surround yourself with team members who will support you.
- Invest in signage. If you are renting a building, as most church plants do, it’s important that you let visitors know they’re in the right place. Pop up signs & flags are a great way to accomplish this.
The Full Transcript
Brady Shearer: This is the Pro Church Podcast session number 176, the ultimate church plant launch checklist with Quincy Harriman. Well, hey there, Pro Church Nation, and welcome to the Pro Church Podcast. You’re now part of a small group of pioneering churches doing everything we can to seize the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services. Why? Because we’re living through the biggest communication shift [00:00:30] in the last 500 years and what got us here won’t get us there. I’m Brady, your host, and this is session number 176. You can find the show notes for this session at ProChurchTools.com/176, and in this session of the podcast we’re joined by Quincy Harriman discussing the ultimate church plant launch checklist, so let’s do it.
[00:01:00] Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast. This is Brady, your host. So great to have you along with us for the ride. We like to start off each and every session by sharing with you a pro tip or a practical tool that you can begin using in your church or ministry right away. Today I want to share with you a tool from the good folks over at Mozilla and Firefox. This is called Firefox Send. You can visit it online. The website is Send.Firefox.com, [00:01:30] and basically the idea behind this is that Firefox wants to enable you to send large files up to one gigabyte in size and share them online privately and encrypted.
Basically this is a tool similar to FilesToFriends.com, which is another tool that we use very frequently. In fact, the conversation that you’re about to listen to, basically every time we record a podcast we ask the guest to upload their recorded side of the conversation to FilesToFriends.com, [00:02:00] which is a way to send large files bigger than gig in that case. You can send large files over the internet without having to sign up for anything. Send.Firefox also very similar. You don’t have to sign up for anything. I think the file sizes are a little bit smaller. It says it’s going to let you upload and encrypt large files up to one gig to share online. You’re not going to be able to send video files, at least not very big ones, but one gig is still substantial. Especially if you had compressed video, you could send that encryptedly.
Basically it [00:02:30] will create a link that you can along to whatever, to whoever. You can send the link to your pastor, to a friend, to a family member. Then similar to Files to Friends, each link created will expire after 24 hours of after it has been downloaded one time. Then all the files that were sent will be automatically deleted from the send server. Basically this is to create something that’s highly secure, highly private, and also encrypted. If you’re sending sensitive information [00:03:00] for whatever reason that might be, consider checking out Send.Firefox.com. Both Send.Firefox.com and FilesToFriends.com, very similar, will allow you to send large files to others for free without having to sign up for anything, but the catch is that whatever you’ve uploaded and sent will be deleted and expire within 24 hours. Just be aware of that, but feel free to check it out. Again that link is Send.Firefox.com.
With that being said, we’re going to transition into my [00:03:30] interview today with Quincy Harriman. Quincy is the founder of a very cool brand called LaunchPlant.com. LaunchPlant.com. Basically the idea of this brand is to help those that are working with startup churches, planting their own churches by creating a full brand experience from beginning to end. This includes logo, website, social identify, brand identity, signage and the like, basically everything that you would need to rebrand a church from scratch or launch a church [00:04:00] from scratch when it comes to the digital, design, and visual world.
Basically I brought Quincy on the show to walk us through that entire checklist. You know, you may not be able to work with Quincy. Most people that are listening will not be able to or will not, but what we wanted to give you is an entire breakdown, a walk through of a complete church plant launch checklist when it comes to communications, digital, and visual brand identity. On this show, we talk about executing a complete church launch, the three phases of launching [00:04:30] a church brand, why it’s imperative to not squander your launch, social media promo kits and signage, the must have checklist for your church plant, the two most popular pages on a church website based on the data that Quincy and his agency has, and finally building your website as a single page landing site. Very interesting. We’ll be back in just a moment with my interview with Quincy Harriman, so sit tight.
Well hey there, Pro Church Nation. Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast. Today we’re joined by Quincy Harriman. [00:05:00] Quincy, welcome to the show.
Quincy Harriman: Hey, hey. Glad to be here.
Brady Shearer: Here’s how everything went down, Pro Church Nation, to give you the backstory. Every year we publish our updated best church websites of insert year here. We’ve done it for 2015, 2016, 2017. The most popular thing that we do on Pro Church Tools, which was definitely by accident. If you search church website in Google, I think we’re number one, which is pretty cool. Year after I found myself putting these websites on, [00:05:30] and I just loved them. There was a small handful that I realized were all coming from the same place. They were coming from Quincy and his team. It got to the point where I was like, “I need to bring Quincy on the Pro Church Podcast to discuss church websites, because apparently unbeknownst to me, I love his more than almost any others.” Question, that is high praise to you obviously. Welcome to the show.
Quincy Harriman: Thank you.
Brady Shearer: If people are unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the amazing websites that you build?
Quincy Harriman: Yeah. It’s such an honor to be on [00:06:00] this show. We’ve kind of had a relationship digitally for a while it seems like, sharing each others posts and all that. Yeah. I jumped into the creative work probably well over 10 years ago. I’ve done a little bit of everything, which is actually kind of the biggest benefit to why I do what I do now. I ran an LED billboard company for a while. I was a co-owner in that and sold that. I’ve worked as a creative director at a web firm. I’ve done print design in a sign shop, done the whole [00:06:30] thing. All while I did all that I was in ministry and working as a youth and young adults pastor for a while. Now I’m an executive pastor at a church, so I’ve seen able to kind of like find that convergence between the things that I’m really great at, which is creative stuff, websites and helping brand, as well as building the kingdom and launching churches and helping people launch really strong and be successful in what they’re doing and the calling that God’s given them. That’s kind of where [00:07:00] that’s happened.
I started up my own web kind of firm, digital agency, just doing really branding at first. Then as soon as I started doing that, people said, “Hey, can you do a website?,” and I’m like, “Well, I can. I never really thought I should.” Then it just kind of snowballed into, “Wow. I guess people need a lot of those services in the church world as well.” I never really thought it was a category that I wanted to help out at first. I didn’t really think that was the end goal. But as I started to find there was a lot of churches that were growing [00:07:30] needs of wanting premium, high quality creative work but also not to be gouged out of the price range for that but to believe that there is something to be said about paying a good amount for it. I kind of found a little bit of a niche market with church plants, with churches that wanted to relaunch and some branding, that kind of stuff.
I started throwing out some websites, and you started picking them up, and I started losing my brains. Then it happened one year. Then it happened another [00:08:00] year. I think in 2006 we had six of our websites on there. Then 2017 the list is smaller. I think there’s 25. We’ve got one of them on there too, so the ratio’s still really good. We’ve been really, really thankful for even being premiered on those kind of blog posts that you’ve been doing.
Brady Shearer: These post obviously like they’re not exhaustive. We don’t look at every church website, all 300,000 of them in just America alone obviously. What’s funny is that again I had no idea up until pretty recently [00:08:30] that all of these sites were coming from one creative agency, because I would just find them. I don’t know how I found them, but it’d be like, “Oh, this one,” and then linked to this one, and, “Oh, wow. These are all great.” Maybe they have like some similarities maybe, but not really. What’s the name of your actual agency, Quincy? Because we’re going to talk a little bit about kind of like one of your very unique products, but what’s kind of like the general agency name?
Quincy Harriman: It’s Qhue Creative. It’s spelled a little different because I didn’t take my own advice of branding and to not be simple. I just made up a [00:09:00] name and started selling things and it worked. It’s Q with a Q-H-U-E Creative. My name’s Quincy and my last name’s Harriman, so it just kind of made sense. That’s the overarching digital agency, but the sub brand that we’re talking about today and the subdivision of my company that’s kind of been getting a ton of traction lately is called Launch Plant.
Brady Shearer: LaunchPlant.com. Basically the idea behind this is if you are starting a church, a church plant, a startup church, whatever you want to call it, Launch Plant is [00:09:30] going to give you everything you need when it comes to visual communications. We’re talking logo, brand identity, website, social, signage all in one.
Quincy Harriman: All in one.
Brady Shearer: It’s spread out over 12 months I think is how the payments work. You can find there’s three different packages. Choose one that works for you. I’ve seen a friend of mine, I’ve seen people that I don’t know kind of go through this process, and as they’re starting a church they get to start off the right way. What we want to spend the majority of this podcast discussing with you, Pro Church [00:10:00] Nation, is if you’re starting a church, and this applies not just if you’re doing a church startup, church plant, but maybe you’re going through a complete rebrand. I’ve spoken with a variety of churches recently that are moving into a new building or as we head into the fall doing a complete refresh when it comes to their branding after finally getting the team on board.
What is like the ultimate checklist that you need to consider when it comes to going through that? I want Quincy to kind of walk us through his process. When he begins working with a church, how does it start and how does that kind of work? [00:10:30] I’m going to pass it over to you, Quincy. Imagine I’m a church. I come to you and I say, Okay. I’m starting this church.” Maybe I have a name, maybe I don’t, and I need everything. Where do we take it from there?
Quincy Harriman: Perfect. Awesome. Great question. This is what I do. First of all before we jump into the checklist, I’ll just give a little bit. If you’re even a church that’s in a rebrand, there’s also like that relaunch phase as well. We’ve been able to help and take churches through the same process that isn’t maybe a brand new church that’s launching in like September, [00:11:00] or January, or next September or something like that. Just kind of keep yourself aware that this can apply to all churches, even though we target a lot of church plants. Really what Launch Plant is is it just helps your church take off. We know that successful church plants, the stronger they launch, the more stronger they’re going to be sustainable. That’s the goal. The goal is, and I’ve actually built my whole business into the sake that I don’t want to do work [00:11:30] with you after you launch. Not that I … I can, but I find that it’s actually better for me to launch you really strong, give you everything you need, and that you can kind of take it from there. If you need some extra help along the way, we’re there for you.
I want to give you a little bit of kind of a walk through of what that looks like. If you’re a church plant, if you’re new, if you’re thinking about launching a church or if you’re a church that wants to relaunch, if there’s something that’s kind of going in and you’re saying, “You know what? Our creative needs [00:12:00] some catered help,” this is how we do it. First thing we want to do on all church plants is whether that’s you coming to me. Brady, I’ve got a lot of people that come to me, literally they’ve only ever told the dream to like their spouse. It’s like, “Hey, we want to launch a church. Now what?” Sometimes I’ll get those kind of inquiries. It’s like, “Oh, where do I go?,” you know? I’ll forward them on to the right church planting networks, certain tried type of networks. [inaudible 00:12:29], a great [00:12:30] church planting network.
I’ll kind of forward them on, but all church planting networks are usually saying all the same thing, and they’re coming back to me saying that you need to invest at least 10, sometimes up to 20% of your launch budget into proper marketing. Where we found a success in that is like say we don’t need to tell you how much that’s going to be. Let’s just look at what your budget is and then we’re going to say, “Hey, we now know that you’re going to need to invest some money into this to do it right.”
There’s going to be three phases that I broke this whole process [00:13:00] into. We’ve done now over a couple dozen church plants all over North America. We’re actually doing one in England right now as well, so we’re kind of reaching really far away. These are some of the things that we learned, because no one was really doing this. There was church networks that would help you with the systems and the processes and how to do it and coach you in that, but then they would just leave it up to you to find whoever you know to do a website and a logo. You’re finding your nephew’s friend’s cousin that works [00:13:30] in a garage, and he’s like, “He’s great,” and the next think you know he doesn’t know how to help you in the exact lingo of how to market your church. That’s kind of what we’ve been able to do. We have success in that and we take deep pride in you launching really strong.
The first thing you need to do in every church, I always say there’s two launches to a church. There’s a launch of the brand and then there’s the launch day. This is really important to nail down. You’ve probably seen this lots, Brady. It kind of works with startups as well is someone will have an idea for a [00:14:00] business and they just post that on Facebook as a status update like, “Hey, guys. I’m launching my new bread company. Would love for you to like help me out with it,” but there’s no California to action, there’s nothing. There’s no brand laid out. There’s nothing. We’ve found that like even just by general marketing that the successful brands are the ones that launch really strong and they have something. You don’t have to go crazy, but you need to have a logo. You need to have an identity. You need something that someone’s going to connect to you and a call to action.
[00:14:30] The very first thing I say on a checklist, the very first thing you need I like to call it get interest. You need to get some interest into that. The very first thing you need to do is, like in any startup, you need money to launch a church. It’s really just focused around money. I don’t want to be like crazy, but you need to, if you’re going to launch a church, you need to be able to collect the sponsorships and the support from whoever is going to help you raise that money to launch that church. We work in a window between we’ve helped launch churches in under [00:15:00] like three months, which is insane fast. We’ve done it all the way up to a 14 month window. Our packages work around that 12 month window because it just seems to work the best, but we have done it faster and we have done it longer.
That first kind of section if you were to say in an ideal one year kind of gap, we’d say that first couple months is you need to get yourself a great brand, a logo. Your visual identity needs to be nailed down. We take deep pride in that. We want to [00:15:30] create something that isn’t just looks cool, but it’s amazing. It connects with the vision, the ethos, and just where you’re going, the demographic and geographic location. It’s not ripping off something around the corner. It’s unique to that. We do a brand. We do a one page website. The one page website, CrossAndAnchorChurch.com, that’s what’s featured on this, the 25 of the best websites for 2017. That is a launch website. [00:16:00] It’s a one page website that really just goes through really just what, why, when, and how. It’s kind of just like tell me why you want to launch a church.
You need to tell people why. What’s the vision? If you don’t have a vision, it’s hard to motivate people to want to do anything more. You need to tell them where you’re going. That’s kind of important. If you’re going to be launching in Boston or New York, we helped one right down in New York, in Queens in New York just [00:16:30] about maybe six, eight months ago. They need to know that. There’s something about that area they need to know. They need to know why that area. Why did God stir your heart for that area? Those kind of things, and then they need to know how they can support. Kind of the major things when you’re launching a church is you need some money, but you also need some people who are going to pray with you and what to even get more interested in joining the team. Maybe that’s like compelling them.
That first kind of phase, the things that you need from there is a brand, a website, and I can’t stress this [00:17:00] anymore. Brady, I know you’re right on with me at this one, but like put some work into some general SEO, some search engine optimization. It does not take a ton of time to do some right keywords and searches so that if you do that, if you do it right and you say you launch that website just to talk about the dream of that church plant 12 months before the church actually launch, by the time people get to the time that they’re going to launch that church and they’re Google searching that church [00:17:30] name or in that area, you’re already going to have some organic presence online. We’ve helped church plants get into the first page of results all organically simply because of precedence and just having the right things laid out. That’s kind of important.
The other thing is you want to have your social media platforms ready to go. I’d say the first thing when you launch, when you launch the dream of planting a church, you need to have a brand, a website, and social media, and then [00:18:00] a platform to take donations. You can use something as simple as PayPal or Pushpay. There’s so many options out there, Tithe.ly. The list goes on. I could give you so many, but you need something that you’re going to be able to collect some money from some people that then they can do that. Then what you want to do is you just want to just leverage your social media platforms and just all your digital influence and just say, “You know what? Hey, this is what we’re doing. Why don’t you just take a few minutes and take a look over our website? Take a few minutes and follow us on Instagram [00:18:30] and stay updated on our stories. We’re going to do a live on Facebook in the next few weeks.” That’s kind of the very first thing you need to do. That’s the very, very, very bare minimum.
Do not tell anyone about an idea of a church if you don’t have something already laid down. It’s dangerous, because you can lose out on some of your largest donors and supporters if they don’t think that you are already prepared. That’s what we do is we help you get prepared. Hopefully that’s good. Is this good, Brady?
Brady Shearer: [00:19:00] Yeah, because I think that’s is easy to have kind of a visceral reaction to that and be like, “Well, what if I just say things? Why is that such a big deal?” We’re in the midst of launching a new brand right now, and there are two phases to that: the day that we announce it and have our landing page up that says, “Hey, sign up for updates as it gets closer,” and the day that we actually like open for business.
Quincy Harriman: Exactly.
Brady Shearer: You only get one shot at a launch.
Quincy Harriman: Yeah, exactly.
Brady Shearer: It’s so important to maximize that one shot as best as you possibly can. [00:19:30] We just went through this with Nucleus in April. We only get one shot at like announcing this to the world, so we put everything that we possibly could into that first week where we were open for a week. We’re like, “Okay. We’re accepting this paid beta, this group of people that are working with this minimum viable product where it’s not like fully where it needs to be but it’s got everything it needs right now. If you want to be this charter member, a charter church, you’re welcome to join us.” We only had one shot at that, so we executed that very carefully. The same goes for your church. Like you’ve only got one shot at [00:20:00] welcoming and introducing this to the world, so being careful and also protective of that I think is important. I’m fully on board with what you’re saying.
Quincy Harriman: Yeah. I think I’m with you in the sake of minimal viable. There’s this growing trend of launch businesses and launch churches with as least amount that you possible can. I think there’s something to be said about that, but there’s also something to be said about just we live in the easiest time to make things look awesome. It’s just as simple as it [00:20:30] is. You don’t need to know everything. Like Pro Church Tools is all about empowering people to be able to do the things on their own, and there’s so many opportunity on how you can do things.
I’m just saying even if you don’t use me, just put some effort into it. Don’t just put a post out of don’t just say it casually. When you say things casually, the commitment is casual commitment. Our encouragement always is like how could we make this so it [00:21:00] makes people stop and think, “Wow, I want to do something about that. I want to be a part of that.” We put that thought into the brand, we put that thought into the website, and we put that thought into how we launch it. You know, Brady, you’re the boss when it comes to that. You guys crushed it with Nucleus. That’s kind of the first phase.
The second phase is kind of like in any launch phase of something, there’s always the drop off phase. It’s kind of like you got that initial momentum the first couple months and everyone’s excited about it. That might be 10 [00:21:30] months away from the church launch. It’s like how do you keep people interested. How do you keep them? You got their interest at first. I like to say the next phase is gain momentum, and that’s kind of like where you need to start getting some traction. It’s kind of like the train has started and it’s a slow move, but we know that kind of leadership principle. After the train gets going, it’s hard to stop. That’s what this next phase is, and it’s kind of like that six month in between phase before you’re getting ready to plan the launch day but you need some people to be part of your church. It really starts [00:22:00] … money is still a focus on there, but really where you start focusing is building a team.
We create all the resources you need, all of the creative materials you need to be able to help you build that team before you launch. That comes down to whether you’re doing a startup party or an interest party or a social or whatever you’re going to do to kind of just share the idea about this church. We design the signage for that. We design [00:22:30] invite cards for that. We design presentation backgrounds for that. We’ll design anything you possibly need to make that incredible. We’ll do some email marketing if you have an email list that’s been captured through the website. We’ll do everything we can to kind of keep that momentum going.
That’s where we’ll be like, “Hey, have you thought about this grassroots idea? Have you thought about this kind of marketing strategy? Have you though about maybe doing a popup shop over here?” Sometimes it’s just keeping your name present enough [00:23:00] that people want to be like, “Yeah, I want to be a part of that. I want to know what’s going on with that.” That’s kind of the next phase. I would say that there’s a little bit less work creatively with that. It’s a lot more consulting in those moments where we’re giving you kind of creative ideas on like, “Hey, this is what we’ve seen has worked in this church plant in an urban center over here. This is what we’ve seen in this suburban church or this rural church that’s really worked well.” You’re kind of like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. I can do that.” That’s kind of the benefit of being able to do this is every time we do this one more [00:23:30] time, we learn something on that. We get some metrics and we know what worked and what didn’t work.
The third phase is really kind of like it’s the all in phase, and that’s the go live. That’s your launch day. Launch day, we go through a whole launch day checklist with you. A lot of people will meet in a school or a theater nowadays for launching churches, or like a community center or something like that. What we’ll do is I [00:24:00] work digitally with clients all over, so they’ll go and they’ll take up through a walk through of photos and video right through the whole school. We’ll do Google Map. We’ll look right around the school. We’ll check everything out. We’ll do some market research around the area. Then we’ll give you a strategy on two things: one on marketing for that launch day and two how awesome your launch day can look.
The marketing will come down to sometimes we’ve done billboards and some really creative campaigns [00:24:30] on digital advertising, social media advertising, all kinds of stuff like that. Sometimes we’ve done the traditional mailer approach with a targeted social media approach around it. It all depends on the area. Then some areas like in the southern states, they have a lot more responsiveness to like direct marketing and direct mail campaigns where in Canada here, it can still work and I don’t want to say that it doesn’t, but we’ve found more success [00:25:00] in some other things and a little bit more creative approaches and more just like just the ask.
We always say we just try to leverage the team. If you’ve got 40 people on your launch team or 100 people on your launch team, what is it going to look like for them to be able to connect with all of their social influence? I don’t know what the number is now, but it was I think close to 300 average Facebook friends. Just imagine what that looks like when you take the 300 times 40. You’re just able to get for free [00:25:30] a massive amount of people. We provide them with a social media promo kit. We provide them with like invite cards for the launch day. We provide them with all the marketing things that they can think of. Like, “Oh, man. Maybe we should look into a movie theater advertisement right before the screen comes on. Maybe we should look into,” whatever the case is, some train ads or some bus ads or stuff like that.
Each city’s a little bit different because the vibe’s just a little bit different. [00:26:00] You’ve got to really think that through. We take a lot of care and structure and research into saying, “Hey, what’s going to work good in this city?” We leverage the person that’s on that, that’s a pastor that’s there, and be like, “Hey, you know what? I keep seeing these things.” You know, we’ve had success with even those neon signs that are on boulevards. It just seems like one of those things you never want to see or never want to use, but it works. We don’t just put all of our money into one thing, but we say, “Hey. This is a good marketing approach.”
We help you with that marketing approach, [00:26:30] and then also too we help you with the launch day. The launch day is really like you’re coming into a school we’ll just say. You’ve got to make that school look like a church. You need signage, so a lot of retractable banners, maybe hanging signs. Maybe you need some custom pipe and drape. Maybe you need a backdrop for your information center or your guest center. Maybe you need some flags out on the road, some sandwich board signs. Maybe you need a banner across the school because they’ve allowed you to do that. You’re going to need [00:27:00] all of this creative. Maybe you’re going to need some social media stuff for the launch day. Maybe you’re going to need a countdown and a really sick Instagram grid. Maybe you’re going to need some custom Instagram story graphics coming up to it. Maybe you’re going to need some presentation artwork for the very first Sunday, how to give, that looks all stylistically in the same brand. Maybe you’re going to need a connection card, a tithing or giving envelope, booklets for your teams. Everything you can think of [00:27:30] is kind of just on this list, and we cater that.
We know what the must haves are, so we always tell you what the must haves are. That’s kind of what I’ve already listened, but sometimes there’s some extra bonuses that like some clients, they want something more. They want a custom kids logo brand. They want it to look consistent in the overall brand of the church that we’ve decided, but they want it to be a little bit different, a little bit maybe funkier, some color, color scheme’s a little bit different. [00:28:00] They want some apparel to go around that. Those are things that we help cater to also the vibe of that plan. We know what works, and what works is just putting … then honestly it just is really practical like, “Don’t get this, because those things will break in like three months.” I’m a big pusher of just retractable banners. They’re easy. They’re actually pretty affordable, and like you can change a space really quickly with them. [00:28:30] We just kind of encourage a lot of people to do that.
That’s really what it is, because we take deep pride in that when you come to the end of your launch day and you end up with 300, 400, 500, maybe even more, maybe 1,000 people on launch day. How many salvations ended up happening on that launch day? That is something that we just get so jacked about, and we want that. We want success for you, because we know [00:29:00] that that is proving that this works, but it also is going to prove long term viability for your church, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s launching strong so that the mission can be strong in the community.
Brady Shearer: If you had to kind of like lay out the top five, top seven must haves when it comes to communication of a church launch, I know that you’ve mentioned a couple of times that every city, church, pastor, and situation is unique. Across all the church plants and websites that you’ve built, [00:29:30] top five, top seven must haves.
Quincy Harriman: Yeah, that’s great.
Brady Shearer: How would you nail that down?
Quincy Harriman: Yeah. I would say we’ll start from the beginning again, and these are the must haves. We’ll probably say maybe closer to 10. I’m just making up a number right now. Obviously the must haves at the beginning is just a really simply, sleek one page, a simple landing page for the website to tell you a why and collect some donations and get some contact information from people. The brand, social media, that’s a for sure. The next [00:30:00] thing would be, let’s just jump all the way to the launch day, is you need to market it well. You need to put some money into social media advertising. That’s just you’ve just got to do that.
You’ve got to have, whether that’s like … video advertising is the way to go, so pay someone to record a video. We don’t do that because we’re not on site, so that’s kind of hard for us to record a video for you, but we strongly encourage that you get someone to record a video of you [00:30:30] sharing about why you’re going to launch a church and do it really well. Do it well. Put some money into that. That could be on your website, but that also can be on your social media platforms. Upload it directly to Facebook and all that jazz. You can talk to Brady about all that stuff. He knows all that. Then market it well. Market it strong. I’d say the other thing is where we find the highest success in marketing is through social media, and that’s just getting to know people in your neighborhood, in your church. [00:31:00] When you use your Instagram, use local city hashtags, that kind of stuff, and just be present on your Facebook page.
Then for the launch day, the must haves are I would say some signage. You need clear signage. People need to know where they’re going when they get there. They need to know that they’re at the church, so there has to be flags. You need flags. Don’t go and do it without flags. You need something unless you’ve got like a billboard right in front of [00:31:30] your church location that can tell that. You need something that people know that they showed up to the right place. Then they need to know that continues into the church.
I would say the for sure must haves are signage. That would be retraceable banners in the church telling you like where the nursing mother’s room is or where the washrooms are or where the auditorium is. It sounds crazy, but I can’t tell you how many times people just miss out on those really basic things. You just [00:32:00] need the next steps of that, like a connection card, get connected kind of card. That needs to be designed.
Then also just like kind of like what the plan is of your overall website. Your website will change in the life of your launch. You’ll start as a one page launch website, but about three weeks before you launch it needs to change into the traditional kind of church website where it needs to tell the information of like the [00:32:30] Sundays kind of page, explain everything about Sundays, the Meet the Pastor. Our two most visited pages that we have on our websites, all of our website, are Sundays and our Meet the Pastor page. Why? Because they want to know what the church is going to be like and they want to know who runs that church. That’s all they want to know. They want to know that, so you need to do that. That’s really important at the beginning. If you don’t even have that and you’re an existing church, you need to make that right now.
Then after that, you need to talk about like kids’ [00:33:00] ministry and your kids stuff, maybe if you have life groups or action groups, whatever you’re going to call those things, and a contact page. They need to know what it’s going to be like when they get there, how to get there, and who’s running the church. That’s really the really basic big ones. The other things could kind of come as it goes. Obviously having a beliefs page is important and all those other things, but that’s kind of it. You know, we can share some links of some of the websites that we have that are post launch now. They do, like Brady’s already mentioned, [00:33:30] kind of run in a very similar theme in the sake of site structure, but that’s because it works. You don’t have to rethink everything. Even though there is a different vibe, that may just come in the way the colors and the way the presentation of things play out, but you need a website that’s clear and is early to use, is mobile friendly, extremely mobile friendly, and those things. Yeah, if that makes sense.
Brady Shearer: You talked a couple times of things that interest me when it comes to your church’s website. Instead of like a full website, you’ve mentioned [00:34:00] just a single landing page. Would you use that just at the beginning? Is that a long term strategy, and what’s the idea behind that?
Quincy Harriman: It’s kind of two things. One, I just like to always cater to the needs of my clients. Sometimes I’ve worked with church plants and they’ve come out of like a bad situation with someone else. I know that never happens in any digital agency, but it’s kind of like post web trauma. I found that a lot of them were being just asked [00:34:30] to make multiple pages of just randomness, just stuff that just doesn’t really … you know, it’s just not important. Part of the reason why I encourage people it doesn’t have to be just a one page, you could do three pages or whatever, but just the information needs to just be clear and concise. Someone’s going to land on there and they’re going to give you a minute to look over that, and that’s what you’ve got. That’s the first time you’re launching it. They don’t need to know a ton of stuff. Just give them the basics. Give them the why, give them where, and give them how they can get involved. [00:35:00] That’s just all they need. That’s all they need right then.
After you get the information from them, you can keep them in the loop. You can tell them down the road, three months down the road, “Hey, we got more information on our website. Actually we’re talking now a bit about why this city, or why this community, or why this exact location.” Then I think you need to progress with the person closer to launch, so your mind frame changes a bit, Brady, a bit at the beginning. At the beginning, you’re [00:35:30] selling the launch of the church, the idea of launching a church. Later on, you’re selling to come to church and you’re explaining to people why they need to be a part of this community that’s life changing. The needs of the website need to adapt to that.
If you’re launching a church and you’re still talking about joining the team on the launch Sunday, they’re going to be like, “What? What are you talking about? I just got a mailer in my mailbox [00:36:00] about like a new church launch and then you want me to join a team? I don’t even know you.” You know, it’s just weird for some people. Rather than that, just be like, “Hey, we want you to come out. Here it is. This is when it’s happening, and this is why it’s going to be awesome. There’s free cookies and coffee and an incredible kids’ program. You need to check it out. It’s like church that you’ve never been a part of before.” Whether that’s true or not for somebody, for some people that’s probably just true because they’ve never seen that before. They’ve never been introduced to a new church, so they’re just going to come to check it out, right? [00:36:30] The landing page kind of starts as an entrance and a little bit more kind of moves down into like a few more pages or more content as you get closer to the launch. It kind of just informs people of who you are, what you’re about, and why they should show up.
Brady Shearer: Awesome, awesome. Any other kind of final things that you want to hit when it comes to startup church, church plant launch checklist for communications or final tips and tricks that you’ve learned along the way that you want to share?
Quincy Harriman: Yeah. I think the [00:37:00] big thing is don’t underestimate the power of the people. Don’t underestimate it. All the successful launches have had people that they just took the resources that they had and the creative that we gave them and they just pounded the pavement. They pounded the pavement, and the combined that with strategy and stuff like that. It was kind of like our campus pastor. We just launched another campus at the church I’m a part of, [00:37:30] and I told him that he should go do some mailers or some door hangers around the community before it launched. I just kind of said that.
We printed all this stuff off. He did it, and I didn’t really give him any criteria what to do. He went above and beyond. The next day he came back and he’s like, “Yeah, we hit up maybe like a couple hundred homes or something like that.” I can’t remember the exact number. I was thinking, “Wow, that’s not very many.” When you’re just dropping off stuff at doors, you can go through a community pretty quick when you’ve got [00:38:00] 40, 50 people. I was like, “Why’d it take you guys so long?,” and he said, “Oh. Well, we knocked on all the doors.” I just started laughing. I was like, “Oh, no. I didn’t even mean for you to do that, but that’s amazing that you did that.” The result of that was huge.
Sometimes it’s just taking that extra step, and with Launch Plant we just kind of create the creative courage that you want to hand out something to someone. That’s really what it [00:38:30] is is that when you see an invite or you see something that you’re so proud of, it’s like, “This is the church I’m part of.” It’s not even just from the pastor. I’m talking about from the first person that joins that team, they’re proud of that logo, they’re proud of what’s being put on there. They’re going to go and they’re going to share that with the world. They’re going to tell everybody. That’s where we’ve seen success.
We did an Easter campaign just last Christmas … last Christmas, wow. Last Easter, and we used the skull and the graphic, [00:39:00] and we had some questions when kids had to hand it out at school. Whatever. But we did find out that we went through four times the print material for invites, and the reason was simply this: it was rad. It was rad. People loved it. They wanted to give it away. When you’re doing creative stuff, make sure you don’t just miss out on the most simplest thing. Hire somebody who’s going to do something or use someone who’s going to do something that’s incredible. Just do that, because it does more [00:39:30] than just like as a showman saying, “This is a great thing or a great piece.” What it does is it actually empowers people to want to invite people.
We say at our church be a bringer, and that’s what we encourage all church planters to do is you want to leverage your team and you want to help your team and empower them to be bringers. Because the more people that show up on Sunday is the more opportunity that Jesus is going to be revealed to them. It’s kind of [00:40:00] like some people don’t like talking about numbers in churches and they get kind of weird about that, but numbers reflect names. When you have a bigger number, there’s more names that can meet Jesus, and that’s what it’s about for us and that’s what I love about Launch Plant and helping churches launch really well.
Brady Shearer: Amazing. Great way to close it out, Quincy. I know we’ve talked a little bit about it, but do you want to kind of like close out just mentioning Launch Plant, what kind of church that you guys tend to work with, and if someone’s [00:40:30] interested listening to this why they might want to consider you?
Quincy Harriman: Yeah, for sure, Brady. You know, there really is no like one perfect kind of client I would say. What usually happens is that we’ll get contacted by someone who like literally had that dream of like wanting to plant a church and didn’t know. They just did a Google search and they found us, and that was the first thing. We can help you from there, so like right from the dream to launch day. Like we can do that. Or sometimes you’re halfway through the process [00:41:00] and you’ve been working with a local designer, maybe a friend of a church that you’re a part of, or maybe another graphic designer, and they’re just busy. Like we find this a lot that a lot of church planters are coming out of another church, so they’re using the graphic design support from that church. Let’s just be honest, every graphic designer at every church is already tapped out, so it gets a little bit full for them. Then they have a logo and a website kind of on the move, but they need some help picking it up.
Don’t worry about where you are in [00:41:30] those phases. You might be all the way like a few weeks away from the launch day and you just need some help. You can contact us. We can make some custom packages for you. But at the end of the day, we love helping churches from the beginning because it lets us kind of set a precedent, but we’re willing to kind of pick you up wherever you are. If it’s launching a church well, we want to work with you.
Brady Shearer: Awesome. Well, thanks for coming by and spending time with us on the Pro Church Podcast, Quincy. It’s been a blast.
Quincy Harriman: Yeah, this has been great, so much fun.
Brady Shearer: There you have it, my interview with [00:42:00] Quincy Harriman from LaunchPlant.com discussing the ultimate church plant launch checklist. Just to do a quick recap of what we discussed, we talked about executing a complete church launch, the three phases of launching a church brand, why it’s so imperative to not squander your launch, the social media promo kits and signage you need to be thinking about when starting or rebranding or launching a church, the must have checklist for your church plant, the two most popular pages on a church’s website. Whether you’re launching a church plant or working at a start up church, either way [00:42:30] or if you’re working at a church that’s been around for 100 years, that insight is highly, highly important and helpful. Finally, building your church website as a single page landing site. A big shout out goes to Quincy. Thanks for stopping by the show and sharing all of the helpful information that you did, Quincy. Very much appreciated. All of Pro Church Nation thanks you.
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We publish three new sessions of the Pro Church Podcast every single week. Every Tuesday, we come out live at 3:00 [00:43:30] AM eastern time with an interview session just like this one. Every Thursday at 3:00 AM eastern, we’ve got a new coaching edition of the Pro Church Podcast where I’m coaching and consulting for an hour in real time with the church and you get to listen in to that convo. Then finally 3:00 AM eastern on Saturdays, the Ask Brady Show. Four great questions from the people of Pro Church Nation, Q and A show with my cohost, Roxanne. Three new sessions every single week, each highly, highly unique but valuable on its own. Make sure [00:44:00] you’re subscribed at ProChurchPodcast.com. Listen to those shows. Give us feedback. Thanks so much for listening, Pro Church Nation. You are the best. We’ll be back with another session real soon. This is Brady signing off for now.