Faith-based media and marketing

Archive for the 'Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? : Marketing for Worship Leaders' Category

Your Ad Says “Available Now” – Nobody cares!

 

Here’s a little tip for your faith-based or faith-friendly advertising. This will be short and sweet.  If your ad says “Available Now” it’s pretty likely that nobody cares, and that’s showing up in your click or open rate results.

Good Ad!If you are not Max Lucado or TobyMac, with throngs of people hanging on, waiting for your  every word and next project, then you’ve got to provide something more than “available now” to get that click on your banner or to get that direct email ad opened.

With all advertising and promotion, you have to ask yourself, “What benefit am I providing?”  or “Why is my target person going to click this?”   People click, and ultimately buy, because it benefits them.  They are exclusively tuned into WIFM radio = what’s in it for me!  Their time is valuable. Their budget is at their discretion.

Christian book readers like to read. If you are not providing them with access to preview-read your book, you are likely losing out on customers.  Christian music fans like to hear music.  If you are not providing the opportunity for them to hear, download, or watch your artist, why are you bothering to waste their time?  Game players like to play… Cause activists like to take an action… College candidates like to explore college options…

Instead of “available now”, use action words like hear, view, watch, see, read, act, explore, download… You get the idea.  If you’d like some help or feedback in your ad design process, contact one of FrontGate Media’s Audience Delivery Specialists. We’d be happy to offer our thoughts on your ad.

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Social Media In Action: Every Man Ministries

Social MediaOver the last two columns, we have addressed where you should start and what you should share.  Now let’s take a look at a real world case study.

Every Man Ministries (EMM) was founded in 2000 by Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church.  They have a “simple” goal: to revolutionize men’s ministry, free men spiritually, and ignite spiritual health worldwide.

With a passion to reach, relate to, and re-ignite men to become God’s men living out God’s purposes, Every Man Ministries engaged us here at FrontGate Media to bolster social media engagement.

There are two Target Audiences:

1. Man to Man Movement (M2M)
EMM connects men across generations, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups to spiritually impact the world and to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission in this generation. Through its men’s conferences, EMM offers life and leader development pathways to mobilize men to flex their spiritual muscles and empower them to obtain spiritual health.  The challenge with the M2M is in developing and executing a social media campaign that identifies, leverages, and targets the most searched and pressing issues facing men.

2. Church to Church Movement (C2C)
EMM provides a living, breathing church-based model that is fully developed, easily launched, well resourced, accessible, affordable, and serviceable at every level. The challenge with C2C is ensuring the EMM church model is synonymous with intelligent and intentional men’s ministry.

Every Man MinistriesThe Social Media Campaign
We set out to bolster awareness of Every Man Ministries and to find strategic ways to improve search engine rankings, to create new online communities on Facebook and Twitter, and to search out existing communities that tie into Every Man Ministries. We also assisted in created compelling stories that position EMM as a visionary movement in men’s ministry which inspired others to spread the word about the organization.

What did we share?  Our content buckets included things like Kenny Luck the Men’s Expert, EMM Appearances, Documenting the Movement, Pastor Training, Book Excerpts, Videos, and several more, including the Questions bucket I outlined in my previous column.  We focused on the ministry but also on Kenny as a regular guy.

What might the typical buckets look like for you as a Worship Leader?  Scripture that is impacting you right now, church events, weekly set lists, church leadership, problems you’ve overcome (tactfully stated,) favorite songs, song histories, mission/vision/values, your personal passions (family, sports, tech, comic books, whatever)  and more.  Remember to have your Questions bucket!

Highly successful, strategic video solutions delivered via YouTube were at the heart of this particular campaign. After researching the scope and effectiveness of EMM’s social media presence, we developed a targeted plan to provide new channels for content delivery through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and developed and maintained an integrated core following on each of these channels.

Results are ongoing, but at the time I’m writing this, we have seen:

• Increased Twitter following by more than 900%.

• Increased Facebook following by 690%.

• Uploaded more than 430 practical leadership advice videos to YouTube with a return of more than 41,000 views combined. We scheduled a gradual rollout that will take 2 years to complete.

• Developed and executed over 1550 content updates for Twitter and Facebook.

• Uploaded more than 100 practical leadership advice videos to GodTube with a return of more than 9,800 views combined.

Send me your Social Media questions and I’ll try to answer the most popular topics as we explore this topic together.

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Reprinted from Worship Musician magazine. Scott is excited about the new Creator Leadership Network track at this year’s Christian Musician Summits. He has led classes for us at NAMM as well as teaching on marketing to the Christian Leadership Alliance. Featured in Adweek, Scott is the President of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and the largest in reach to Church musicians. He is also the co-founder of Creator Leadership Network: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com).

 

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Social Media – What Do I Share?

Social MediaSo based on the last column, now that you’ve planted you embassy in one or more of the social media countries, what do you share?

As we explore social media more deeply, let’s take a look at what you should share. Notice that I said “should.”  There are lots of things you “can” share, but as you’ve probably already noticed from other people’s posts, there are lots of things you don’t really need to be sharing.

One of our core Audience Delivery Services at FrontGate Media is Social Media.  We have a lot of experience in this area.  I spend my time working for our clients to develop a strategy around their ministry or business. I’m going to share our strategy with you.

As I’ve mentioned before in this column, we are all about Fan Development, and you should be too.  You want to provide value to your friends, fans and followers. You want to engage them in a way that builds them up. You want to connect with them more deeply, and they want to connect with you!

Social media is certainly about being…well, social. It’s about sharing life together. AOL calls it your Lifestream. That’s a great name.

It’s great to get a bit more personal with folks and share your life.  Remember that they want you to share in what they are doing too, so do keep an eye on your friends.  Some worship leaders post every single thing that comes into their minds or in their daily life, including pictures of the dentist examining each mouth in the family. That does accomplish the goal of sharing more personally, but for most of us, that’s a bit over the top, even though we love you Carlos.

From a more formal strategy standpoint, I want you to think about the types of things you have available to share. We’re going to call those content buckets.  Each content bucket is an area where you can have ongoing stuff to share.  Stuff is defined as information, pictures, videos or anything else you can think up.  You are going to use these buckets to create specific posts for your social media outlets.

I want you add in a bucket named Questions.  That’s going to remind you that you should be asking your friendbase some questions along the way. Don’t be that friend who only talks about himself or herself.

For most of us, we have lots of information to share, so that probably needs to be more than one bucket.  I worked together for years with Rick Muchow, the worship pastor at Saddleback Church. Let’s use Rick as an example.  In addition to pictures and videos related to his worship leading, to his church, and to his passions for family and kayaking (and probably other things too),  he has multiple information buckets to choose from.  Content buckets for Rick might include Rick Muchow the Worship Leader, Rick the Trainer of Pastors, Where’s Rick? (appearances),  Rick’s songs/albums,  Rick’s latest articles,  Rick’s book snippets, Rick’s gear, Saddleback’s set list, Saddleback’s calendar, Saddleback’s teaching series, and more.

That’s all related to his church-work life. We haven’t even listed personal areas yet, and each of us should. What does God have in your life, as passions or struggles, outside of your music and service to the church?  That’s where you can get more personal.

Hopefully, you can see how easy it is now to post relevant, interesting, engaging information at least 3-5 times per day every day.  Once you’ve listed your content buckets, then you are ready to figure out how often to post from each bucket. Rick would not be trying to figure out what to post, but what not to post.  You can also pre-schedule at least a week’s worth of posts in one sitting.

Remember your Questions bucket?  You can write posts specifically for that bucket, but you can also just take content from the other information buckets and turn those posts into questions.  Instead of a post like: “Saddleback This Week:  Easter Performance at the Town Center” you might ask instead “Will you be able to join me at the Town Center this week for our Easter Performance?”

Send me your Social Media questions and I’ll try to answer the most popular topics as we explore this topic together.

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Reprinted from Worship Musician magazine. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and at the Christian Leadership Alliance. He is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (http://www.FrontGateMedia.com/) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (http://www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com) .

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Social Media: Where Do I Start?

Social MediaPreviously in this column, we touched on the basics about Social Media. Let’s go a bit deeper into this over the next few columns.

Social Media continues to be a hot topic with lots of questions from the audience as I teach on marketing at events like the Christian Musician Summit and Christian Leadership Alliance.

I’ve been involved in social media since the very early days in 2007 when I brought one of the first Christian social media sites into our FrontGate Media group. We have served as Social Media agents for the Barnabas Group, Barbour Publishing, GMC, Kenny Luck at Every Man Ministries/Saddleback Church, the Christian Comic Arts Society and others.

I look at Social Media like establishing an embassy in a foreign country. By setting up shop inside one or more of the social media worlds, you are able to reach out to the local inhabitants, start to learn their culture, and establish relationships.

So where do you start?  The answer to that depends on how much interest and time you have available to devote to the process and the learning curve involved.  For the social media noob, you may just want to start with Facebook.

At a minimum, our FrontGate Media team generally works all of our clients in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Facebook is far and away the single best Social Media outlet to be involved with.  LinkedIn has grown increasingly more valuable due to its focus on business connections. With great networking groups and relevant information about each member’s business or ministry ventures, I’m very excited about LinkedIn.  Twitter is still interesting to me as a microblog, basically a very short blog, but the newness of Twitter has certainly worn off for me.  However, my opinions don’t really matter. What matters is where your fan base lives and which Social Media outlets they value and participate in.  If you want to reach me, then Facebook and LinkedIn are mine, but other people love Twitter.

It is also a great idea to be posting video on YouTube and reaching out to their audience. In the Christian market, it is worth being involved with GodTube for video and probably with the Shoutlife social network.  Technically, video sharing networks not pure social networks, but common usage has lumped them into the same group as Facebook and Twitter.

ReverbNation (www.ReverbNation.com) and the Christian-owned Indieheaven (www.Indieheaven.com) are also excellent resources for musicians.

What about Myspace?  If you aren’t already there, I wouldn’t bother starting there until after you’ve mastered all the previous networks I just mentioned, which is likely to be never.  What about Google+?   It might be worthwhile when they’ve opened up to business pursuits, but as of this point, I haven’t seen anything compellingly new that will make Google+ more than a “me too” add  on to the Google services.  That could change.

As you will continue to hear me repeat, marketing is all about Fan Development: how do I create, grow and maintain relationships with my growing audience or fan base. Social Media is an AMAZING resource that serves you well in this purpose.  Social Media makes it possible for you to have constant, immediate, direct interaction between you and your fans, one fan at a time.  As artists, never before have we had such far reaching connection to our fans without standing directly in front of them at church or on tour.

Send me your Social Media questions and I’ll try to answer the most popular topics as we explore this topic together.

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Reprinted from Worship Musician magazine. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and at the Christian Leadership Alliance. He is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (http://www.FrontGateMedia.com/) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (http://www.CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com) .

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NAMM 2012 Night of Worship Line-up

I just got the line-up for the 3rd Annual NAMM Night of Worship, presented by the Worship Arts Technology Summit (WATS,) and Worship Musician Magazine.
 
The night will feature the Lakewood Worship Team with special guest Israel Houghton, the amazing Blues Counsel Band (a super band of blues veterans,) and close out the evening with Lincoln Brewster & Band.
 
The event takes place on Thursday, January 19, 2012.  The line will be started by 6:00 PM with the doors opening at 6:30 PM for those with tickets and then at 6:45 PM for everyone else. I believe we’ll be in the Pacific Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel again, but will confirm that in the near future. FREE ADMISSION, NO NAMM BADGE REQUIRED.
 
CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com will again be administering a guitar giveaway which will feature an autographed Yamaha guitar signed by all of the Night of Worship artists. The Night of Worship event was created by the Worship Arts Technology Summit (WATS) and Worship Musician Magazine. WATS members include Yamaha, Shure, Elation, MediaShout, and Yamaha Commercial Audio.
 
The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization’s popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, check out http://www.namm.org/ or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).
 
For those who don’t already know, FrontGate Media is #1 media group in reach to Worship Leaders and Church Musicians.  These worship nights at NAMM are some of the best worship gatherings of the entire year long. It’s tough to get any better than a room full of worship leaders and musicians worshipping together…
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Promotional No-Brainers

Over the last few columns, we’ve been talking about Promotion.  Last time, we walked through a brief overview of Advertising.  Now we are going to talk about some specific No-Brainers.  

These No-Brainers come from my media group, FrontGate Media (http://FrontGateMedia.com).  Our group is celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year. We are the #1 source of Christian Music fans and Worship Leaders & Church Musicians. 


iTickets.com is the leading web site for Christian conference, concert and event information. It’s also the leading ticket sales site for Christian events.  You can post your concerts and church services FOR FREE in the #1 online event database.  Go to http://iTickets.com and sign up as a member. Membership is free. Click the ADD EVENT button at the top of their page to enter your events one by one. Be sure to submit all events AT LEAST TWO (2) WEEKS IN ADVANCE. 

HearItFirst.com
HearItFirst.com is the #1 Christian Music web site with more than 264,000 members!  HIF will launch a new-and-improved indie section before the end of the year, so be sure to sign up for free membership at http://HearItFirst.com to stay updated on the launch and receive your weekly newsletter with free music and artist exclusives. With the debut of the new indie site, Indie musicians will be able to create a free artist profile on the site including music, video, and more. 

NewReleaseTuesday.com
NewReleaseTuesday.com is the largest crowdsourced Christian Music site. That means that they have 50,000 NRTeam members constantly adding their thoughts and comments in this music community.  You can get a Free Artist Profile here on NRT.  We accept submissions for featured song downloads from indie artists each week. Go to http://newreleasetuesday.com/ and sign up for the free membership.

 

ConversantLife.comConversantLife.com is hosting major discussions about Christian topics and themes.  Get involved with Undiscovered, Conversant’s indie community for music, film, photography and writing.  Go to http://conversantlife.com/. Click on Undiscovered in the top navigation to see more about what we are doing. Click Join in the top navigation to sign up for a free account.

My philosophy on advertising is that in most cases, the goal of your ads should be Data Capture.  You can read my blog on that topic at http://tinyurl.com/WhatYourAdShouldDo.

So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy, the Four P’s, Social Media, PR, Advertising, and now some No-Brainers.  Until next time…

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Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (http://www.frontgatemedia.com/) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (http://www.creatorworship.com/) .  Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com

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Promotion: Advertising

Adweek - Holy WarOver the last few columns, we’ve been talking about Promotion.  Last time, we walked through a brief overview of Public Relations otherwise known as PR.  Now we are going to talk about Advertising.  

My philosophy on advertising is that in most cases, the goal of your ads should be Data Capture.  You can read my blog on that topic at http://tinyurl.com/WhatYourAdShouldDo.

The key to all of advertising is to answer the following question for your target audience: What’s In It For Me?  The person viewing your ad is fully tuned into WIFM.

Your message has to answer that question with something of value to the end user.  Period.  If you don’t do that, then your ad will not be effective.

Many ads in our Christian market industry simply say “Available Now” which is ok if you are someone like Hillsong or Chris Tomlin where fans are literally excited just to know that something new is out. However, for most of us that is not the case. Give your targeted ad viewer something of value to respond to so that you can capture their contact information.

Music sells because people hear it and like it.  Just about every music ad should at least invite the viewer to “hear it now,” watch it now,” or “free song download now.” You don’t need to say it exactly that way, but that should be part of your message. Be sure to capture their contact info in this process!

Advertising is about Benefits. WIFM is about what the viewer finds beneficial to them.  With music, a massive part of that is the listening experience, but it isn’t the only thing. Worship music delivers additional benefits to the listener.  Your church or personal life experience shared in the songs delivers benefits.  Use your advertising to tell about those benefits.  Look here at the well done direct email ad from VideoBlocks.com sent through Worship Musician and WorshipTogether. Ask yourself what’s in it for you? What benefits are they pitching you?

Ads are not just banners or direct emails or printed ads.  Advertising in its broadest sense can include everything you do from your email newsletters to what you say on stage to what’s on your trailer as you drive to your next gig.  Since advertising nothing more than targeted communication, it can encompass all the way s in which you communicate.

What can you give that is of value?  Some things are probably connected to your music, but others may have no obvious connection. Hearing or watching your music is of value, hopefully! You can also do giveaways of your music or of things connected to your music like song posters, or VIP time with you.  Many people do giveaways of the latest techno-gadget like an iPad or  Flip camera because those things are of value to the audience. 

Look at what others are pitching you in their ads. Watch TV, listen to the radio, look at the ads on Facebook and Google, or on the web sites you visit.  Some will be more effective than others, but start paying attention to what others are doing in their ads. That will help you to grow in this area.

Not all advertising has to be paid. You can work out advertising trades, for example, do a drawing with the church that is hosting you as a guest. Send a personal video greeting advertising your upcoming appearance and tell the people to logon to your Facebook page for a chance to win free tickets to the evening concert.  That ad promotes you being there, giving them a flavor of who you are and gives them a chance to get in free, while adding themselves to your Facebook page. That’s just one example of a no cost ad idea.  The church gains because they are bringing you in as an added value for them members, so by showing the video, they are communicating that added value to their members.

Paid ads are also an option.  Any artist who is looking to develop a national following should be adverting on HearItFirst.com and NewReleaseTuesday.com, two top Christian music sites, and worship artists should be considering Worship Musician magazine.  To move into the national arena, you really need an advertising strategy rather than just putting out a couple of ads, which is part of what the team at FrontGate Media does for the entire Christian music community and for musicians. Contact us for a free consultation before you pay for an ad anywhere. It’s what we’ve been doing for over 10 years.

So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy, the Four P’s, Social Media, PR, and now Advertising.  Next time we’ll take a look at several “no-brainers.”  Until then… 

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You’ll find Scott’s regular column in Worship Musician! magazine: “Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP”. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM, the Christian Musician Summit and at the Christian Leadership Alliance. He has been featured in Adweek and is the Founder and President of FrontGate Media, the largest culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (http://www.FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (http://www.CreatorWorship.com). Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com.

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Promotion: Public Relations or PR

Over the last few columns, we’ve been talking about Promotion.  Last time, we walked through a brief overview of Social Media.  Now we are going to talk about Public Relations, otherwise known as PR.  PR is about writing press releases and pursuing media coverage.

PR is one of the best tools in your marketing arsenal.  While Social Media connects you one on one with fans, PR allows you to connect with mass audiences through the writers, editors, radio & television show hosts, producers: the gatekeepers at various online, print, radio or television media outlets.  Put another way, where as Social Media is about developing relationships with your fans (Fan Development,) PR is about developing relationships with the information gatekeepers in your physical area and your industry.

PR is an art form.  A great PR strategy is based on the relationships a PR person has built with the media outlets. PR is the art of matching your project with the needs of the gatekeepers. This is one area where you truly can benefit from an experienced professional who can strategize and execute a coordinated PR plan.  My company, FrontGate Media, has served as the PR agency for many people and projects. However, if you can write with good grammar and make a clear presentation of information, you can handle doing your own PR in the beginning.

First, please learn from others. The internet has made it VERY easy to find press releases from other companies.  I wrote my very first press release to announce that I had joined a company as their VP of Marketing & Sales. I modeled my news release after a similar release from another company. I searched the web to find a press release from another technology/agency type of company announcing their new VP. I did a find-and-replace with my name for his. I rewrote the paragraph about his family to be about mine. (I didn’t have a dog…) After reviewing a few press releases from other companies, it was very easy to model my release after their releases.  You can do that too.

Who do you send releases to?  If you followed my discussion about God’s Growth Strategy, then in the beginning, you may simply have your church staff, a couple of key people at other local churches, a couple of key people in your city government, and a few local writers and radio show hosts on your list.  You can build that list yourself.

As you expand from your church to your city, and then from your city to your county, and then to the tri-county area or state, all along the way you can be building your press list. You can be developing relationships with more gatekeepers.  Find the places where you think your news should show up: the Christian Examiner or the Christian Post in your city, the local city newspaper, the local Christian radio station.  Find the people at those media outlets who may want to know about what you are doing. Religion or entertainment editors and columnists are likely candidates for you. Also be sure to include key people who are not in the media, but with whom you have been involved: at their church, booked into their event, produced your album, etc.

What do you write about?  I purposely put this question AFTER “who do you send to?”  There is no way you can know what to write about until you know who is going to receive the press release. What you write about depends on what your gatekeepers want to know.  Again, a quick search on the internet can yield a ton of press releases that will give you ideas about what to release yourself.

Take a few key gatekeepers to lunch and ask them. Many journalists are happy to spend a little time with you and can give you great coaching for the cost of a decent lunch. Very early on, I had lunch with the woman who was the marketing & media columnist for the Orange County Business Journal.  That lunch not only established a good relationship with her, but from it, I learned things I still use today.

For a worship leader, I’m sure you can locate press releases about other worship leaders releasing albums, going on tours, offering resources, achieving great milestones, and more. We cover those press releases as news all the time on CreatorWorship.com. Start there.

Lastly, you can always use a wire service like ChristianNewsWire.com, Religion News Service or PR Newswire to send your press release far and wide for a relatively low cost ($500 or less at the low end.)   Wire services exist to distribute your release to the mass market of gatekeepers.  The benefit a wire service provides is that for a very reasonable price, they can deliver your press release to a lot of gatekeepers. The downside is that those gatekeepers probably do not have the same relationship with the wire service that they have with a PR agent. It is not uncommon to hire a PR agent and use one or more wire services at the same time.

The real question you have to ask yourself is, “is my press release worth sending out nationally or internationally to people who have never heard of me before?” If so, then seriously consider one or more wire services.

So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy, the Four P’s, Social Media, and now PR.  Next time we’ll go deeper into Promotion with Advertising.  Until then…

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You’ll find Scott’s regular column in Worship Musician! magazine: “Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP”. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorWorship.com) .  Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com.

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Promotion: Social Media

Last time, we talked through an overview of the Four P’s:  Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  In the next several columns, we’re going to dive more deeply into Promotion, covering Public Relations, Advertising and in this column, the basics about Social Media.

Social Media is one of the newest and most valuable tools in your Promotion toolbox.  I’ve been involved from very early on, starting in 2007 when I brought the largest Christian social network into my media group family at FrontGate Media.  After a year of watching clients not understand how to use social networks, we started to provide Social Media services.  Social Media started with an explosion of online community sites including today’s leaders: the Facebook community, Twitter’s micro-blog service, and YouTube’s video sharing site.  There were many, many different Social Media sites bringing together people who had similar interests or connection points.  Obviously some caught on more than others.  MySpace grew to become the early leader, especially for music artists, and now has fallen far from its high point of glory, becoming almost irrelevant.

Friend Scott on FacebookWHERE DO I START?
Today, most of us should focus mainly on Facebook and Twitter for communication, and YouTube for video content.  You also should consider Christian specific sites including the online community ShoutLife.com, and for videos, GodTube.com.  For more traditional business purposes, I’m also a big believer in LinkedIn.  There are many more Social Media or related sites you can get involved with including MySpace, iLike, Tumblr, Friendfeed, Blip.tv, Vimeo… the list goes on, but for most of us, we will likely only have enough time to do a decent job with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Once you have some experience with those, then certainly dive into ShoutLife and GodTube.  Start with the leaders: the audience there is enormous and your audience probably already is active there.

FAN DEVELOPMENT
Our Social Media strategy at FrontGate is based on one idea: Fan Development.  If you approach all of your Social Media activities with the idea of Fan Development, then you will succeed.  Social Media is all about developing a relationship, and in your case as a Worship Leader, it’s a relationship with fans of your music. If you don’t like the term “fan,” then let’s say with the people who have been touched by your music.   Your “friends” or “fans” want to be more involved with you. Social Media allows you to reach a lot of friends instantly and consistently. This is something we’ve never been able to do before!   You can now have DIRECT contact with your fans anytime from any place!

WHAT MAKES A GOOD POST
Social Media can be a total waste of time.  If you’ve spent any time on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen someone stream a bunch of wasted posts. If all your posts are about laundry, eating and television, you probably aren’t developing fans.   You posts should help your friends to connect just a little more to you. A GOOD post gives your friend or fan something of value in connecting with you. A GREAT post gives them a direct interaction with you.  For example, I think you can see the difference in value between the following posts:�
“I’m working on the album cover for my new album today!” vs. “I picked the album cover for new album today! See it at http://www.jadonlavik.com/” vs “Help! I need to pick my new album cover today: what do you think? Vote at http://www.jadonlavik.com.”

Social Media is not just a short or text based form of advertising. Do not just push out ads for yourself.  Share things about you, just like you would in any relationship.  It’s great to help your fan know all about your music.  It’s also going to connect you more deeply with different fans when they find out that you love “It’s A Wonderful Life” or that you are a big Chipotle fan, just like they are.

HOW OFTEN
To be effective, it is generally accepted that you want to post relevant content approximately 4-5 times per day.  Just doing 1-2 posts per day is like tossing a pebble in an ocean.  Doing more than 5 posts per day may get people tired of you, and will probably result in poor quality posts as you try to come up with stuff to say.  Post as often as you can deliver something of value.

TweetDeckTOOLS
My favorite and FREE tool for managing my Social Media accounts used to be Tweetdeck, until Twitter bought it and removed all that was good about it.  Arg! Now we are using HootSuite which was #2 behind the original Tweetdeck.  It allows you to manage all your key accounts in one piece of software to view, post and schedule future posts. Look it up on Download.com.  For advanced Social Media users, check out the Twubs excellent hashtag content aggregator.

There is so much more that I can say about Social Media… I think I’ll have to write some additional blog articles at www.FrontGateMedia.com/blog.  When I do, they will be under “Marketing Tips.”   Stop in and friend me on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ScottShuford and also at www.Facebook.com/CLNetwork.  On Twitter, you can find me at www.Twitter.com/ScottShuford and www.Twitter.com/CLNetwork .

So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy, the Four P’s, and now Social Media.  Next time we’ll go deeper into Promotion with Public Relations.  Until then… :)

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You’ll find Scott’s regular column in Worship Musician! magazine: “Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP”. Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engaged media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorWorship.com) .  Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com.

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The Four P’s

Every business school teaches The Four P’s in their basic marketing class. The Four P’s are Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  There have been attempts to expand the P’s but in the end, these four areas completely encompass the basics of any business or ministry.  By the end of this article, you will be equipped to “wow” your Baptist preacher friends this four point “P” business sermon.

PRODUCT is the mix of things you offer. For musicians, the obvious products are songs and albums, but those are not your only options.  Songs can generate royalties from publishing and cash from Download/Memory Stick/CD/Vinyl sales. What about other product options?  Concerts are a product option.  What song is connecting the most with your audience?  Those song lyrics can be turned into art you can sell: art to hang on the wall or wear on the body.  We have frequently turned song lyrics into bestselling shirts for our Extra Mile Merch clients. Songs or lyrics can also become jewelry.  Your VIP fan club could be a product in your mix providing extra music and discounts or special meet and greet time with you. Another product that has become very popular for artists is the charity they promote like OneVerse or World Vision.

PRICE is your pricing and offers structure for all that product. Sometimes your price may be free. Free is definitely a price.  Most of the time, your price structure will vary based on the intersection between your cost and what people are ready, willing and able to pay.

PLACE is the stretch word in our sermon… Place means distribution methods for your products.  For most of your products, distribution will certainly start with the trunk of your car, and will also likely include your web site.  It may include your church, local Christian stores, and other churches you’ve served.  Online options for music could include retailers like iTunes, or music subscription services like Rhapsody. It may include music licensing through a service like CCLI.  Your lyrics may one day be something you can license to someone else just like VeggieTales has done with their entire brand.  Aligning yourself with other organizations or events can provide another place for distribution.

PROMOTION, simply put, is getting the word out. This is the area we will dive most deeply into in future columns.  Social media, public relations, radio, advertising, promotions, online, offline, word of mouth, point of purchase… all of these are Promotion.  With all of the new technologies from the last two decades, promotion on a large scale has become much more complex as you try to sift through the multitude of options that now exist.

Don’t worry about all that complexity if you are following my thoughts on God’s Growth Strategy as outlined in my previous column.  When you are working on those concentric circles of growth, promotion is much more manageable.  The basics of each area of promotion are easy to pick up and learn. As we progress through the various promotional options, I’ll also have a handful of No-Brainers for you.

So far in the MAP, we’ve talked about your Mission, Fan Development, the Non-Profit option, God’s Growth Strategy and the basics of the Four P’s.  Next time we’ll start to go deeper into Promotion with Social Media.  Until then… :)


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You’ll find Scott’s regular column in Worship Musician! magazine: “Ministry + Artistry = Profitability? Creating your MAP”.  Scott has led classes for us at NAMM and the Christian Musician Summit. He has been featured in Adweek and is the CEO of FrontGate Media, the #1 culture-engage media group reaching the Christian audience (www.FrontGateMedia.com) and is the co-founder of Creator Worship: online radio for worship leaders (www.CreatorWorship.com).  Email your comments or questions to Scott@CreatorLeadershipNetwork.com.

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