Why Churches Need A Brand

Why churches need a brand

Branding is all about making sure that people can easily remember who you are and connect with what you do.

It’s not just about logos, colours, fonts etc (although these are important ingredients). And it’s not just about looking cool.

But wait, does the church really need branding?

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the idea of branding in the church space is that it is showy or fake.

But branding isn’t about dressing yourself up to be something that you’re not but presenting and profiling who you really are.

Whether you're loving it or not, everyone knows McDonalds brand

Think about the famous golden arches from McDonalds. Even the very mention is conjuring up a very specific image complete with products, flavours and experiences (whether good or bad).

Branding brings clarity about who you are as a church

Whether you like McDonalds as a restaurant doesn’t matter. Because when who you are and what you do is clear, people can make a choice about whether they want to engage.

That’s the power of a brand.

We all know it's not about us anyways

Let’s be honest, as churches, we don’t really need to build a name for ourselves. Because we exist for the one name that is Jesus.

But we are the physical and tangible expression of Jesus on the earth today. So shouldn’t we want people to remember who we are and what we do?

Your next steps

You may be interested in learning more about branding in my three-part online course, The Sticky Social Content Formula. Because your content will always struggle to have impact until you understand who you are and who you’re trying to reach.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

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Everything you need to know about ring lights

So what is a ring light?

The clue is in the name. It’s literally a ring of light that lights your face better on camera.

Customise your ring light

You can usually adjust the colours from warm (yellow-ish) to cold (blue-ish) as well as the brightness. This can help fit your local context as well as present you in your best light (pun definitely intended).

For example, at my desk I have a window that provides a lot of light to the right side of my face. I use my ring light on a blue-ish setting to make content creation more even.

Do you need a ring light?

If you’re someone who is creating content regularly (e.g. a church leader or creative) then a ring light can be super helpful.

You don’t need to be a beauty influencer (although I did feel like an absolute diva purchasing one).

Why buy a ring light?

Lighting goes a long way in getting high-quality visuals because it means the camera doesn’t have to work as hard.

Upgrading your camera gear can cost a lot of dollar but great lighting is much more inexpensive and make a huge difference.

In other words, you will often get better results with a cheap camera + great lighting than vice versa.

Film at night with your ring light

If you live in the UK like me then right now (in November), it’s getting pretty dark pretty early. If you don’t have the luxury of natural light or you want to film in the evening then a ring light can help a lot.

Which ring light is best?

There are plenty to choose from but I bought the Neewer 10inch table top on Amazon for just £33 and am pretty happy with the results. There were some much more expensive options but I’m not sure what else you could want to include for an extra £100+.

Happy content creation – I hope you’ve found this article helpful.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

Discover more

How to leave meaningful comments on Instagram

To maximise the opportunity of social media in reaching more people, we have to learn to move from simply producing content to having conversations.

If you want to reach more people, you need to be talking to more people. If it sounds obvious, it’s because it is.

But this is where so many of us get it wrong. Instead of engaging in conversations online in a similar way to how we do in person, we can often lose that personal touch and start to behave in ways that are a bit spammy.

So how do we have great conversations on Instagram that produce genuine connection and expand our audience? The simplest to start is in the comments section. A proper engagement strategy on Instagram will dedicate time to leaving meaningful and valuable comments.

Define your target audience

Who are you trying to reach? Because it makes sense to spend time interacting with those sort of people.

For example in my sphere, I spend time interacting with churches, creatives and thought leaders. Instagram is an endless game and you simply don’t have enough energy or resource to spend it with everyone.

Get ruthless and actually define your target audience. Note that for churches, your digital audience may well be very different to your Sunday gathering. And that’s ok. It reflects the reality that social media is much better suited towards digital evangelism as opposed to digital discipleship.

Focus on similar communities

If you’re a church but you’re leaving comments on a nightclub then you might be barking up the wrong tree. Not because those particular people don’t need Jesus but simply because it’s not a similar profile.

You can easily leave a few thumbs up or other meaningless emojis on any image but will that really help you create a conversation?

The biggest mistake churches make is to truly believe that everybody is in their target audience. Whilst it’s a nice and inclusive thought, the reality is very different. If you focus on everyone, you will reach no one. By watering down your emphasis, you actually become less palatable full stop.

Make a tangible list

Rather than just a general sense of who you want to interact with, make an actual list of 5-10 accounts that you’re going to start interacting with. They don’t necessarily need to be your target audience but have a shared community that you would like to introduce yourself to.

Avoid short and spammy comments

There is no shortcut to creating comments of value. It actually takes time and we would be foolish to think that we can skip this. So actually watch/read/think about the content you’ve just seen and then add your perspective.

Write a whole sentence or even a paragraph and you’ll instantly jump to the attention of those who scroll.

Be genuine, positive and personal

Say thank you for sharing. Tag the account in question (it may notify them which is an added advantage). Use first names where you can as well as emojis.

If you’re a church or a business then you need to decide your approach in how you personalise things. You can sign off as a volunteer name or you can simply be the brand itself. Just be consistent.

Write something that you loved about the content. Or a question that you have about it. Make it clean, simple and just genuine interaction. Enjoy the process of talking to people.

Focus on being helpful above all

Don’t copy and paste comments all over different accounts. You need to personalise your approach. One of the ways you can do this is by actually responding to other people who comment as well as the account holder.

If you take the time to answer questions others may have, you’ll find them trickling through to follow you.

Allocate time for commenting

After reading above, you may be realising that commenting on Instagram is actually proper work. It requires energy, time, effort, thought and heart to succeed. So instead of checking Instagram every 20 minutes, why don’t you allocate a proper session (30-60 minutes) where you are active in conversation and community. Use the power of batching to help supersize your productivity in this area.

We all know a fake spammy comment when we see one. So don’t be a robot – bring your humanity to the equation and watch and see as people will interact with you and become part of your community too.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

Discover more

How to have a healthier relationship with your phone

Let’s be honest, many of us are addicted to our devices. The compulsion to check the notification. The rinse and repeat cycle of app checking. Just one more hilarious short form piece of video content.

You’re not alone – this stuff is designed to be addictive and it takes strong discipline to survive in the 21st century (without becoming a hermit).

But the easiest way to create discipline is simply to change the design of your environment.

So how do we have a healthier relationship with our phones?

1. Leave it in a drawer at the end of the work day

Out of sight, out of mind goes the saying. And it really is true in this case. We can break the cycle of checking by literally removing the temptation to do so. When checking your phone requires you to get up, climb some stairs, open a door, travel across a room and open a drawer, we find that laziness can actually work for us instead of against us.

2. Turn off all of your phone notifications (apart from calls)

Notifications are annoying and generally don’t serve us. Every time you break your focus to check your phone, you are conditioning yourself to be distracted and grow your inability to do deep work. Besides, who is in charge anyways? You or your phone?

When you turn off notifications, you notice something very strange – that which once was urgent is suddenly not urgent at all. And you now have space to focus on the important.

There are some jobs where this is not possible. E.g. being on call as a doctor. But for most knowledge workers, the need to be permanently available is a myth. Have the necessary conversations with colleagues and leadership.

3. Don't use your phone as an alarm clock (just buy one)

Using your phone as an alarm clock makes it very easy to start the day on social media instead of exercise, prayer or all the other things you’d actually like to e doing. You actually don’t need to use your phone as an alarm clock – just spend £10 and get one. (Alternatively once you have kids, you don’t need alarm clocks anyways).

4. Put it across the room (or in a different room) when you sleep)

Sleeping next to your phone is such a bad idea. Ever wonder why you check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Yeah that’s why.

Blue light (from your phone) is bad for sleep. And I find that thinking short-term first thing in the day sets me up for a shallow day.

5. Turn it off for 24 hours every week

If the idea of turning off your phone for 24 hours each week freaks you out then I have some good and bad news for you.

The bad news is that you have an addiction. The good news is that now you know about it.

One way to switch gears is to reverse the psychology. Instead of thinking about when you don’t get to use your phone, think about allowing yourself to have it for six days per week.

I use this technique during the day to have intense bursts of time on social media. Better to schedule 2 hours to be on Instagram than to let it creep into all day.

6. Take a book everywhere you go instead

The problem with phone addiction is not just the interaction with your device but also what it causes you to miss out on. This is what we call opportunity cost. What if we took all of that additional unnecessary time and invested it into reading (or whatever else you’d like to!)

I’ve found that taking a book with me greatly helps in those moments are waiting between appointments or moments.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

Discover more