Creating A Successful Digital Ministry Onboarding Plan

Not having a plan for integrating new team members is a recipe for losing money. The longer it takes someone to start doing their job, the less impact they have. Unfortunately, many groups do not plan for this until the task is upon them. This sends a message that your people's time and efforts do not matter. Keep reading for some common new hire pitfalls you should avoid.
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Breaking Down Silos: Analog Experiences

When you break down silos, information and ideas flow from one thing to the next. Experiences do not always start or end with your church website. Many of you have called for a product or service, only to get transferred from one person to another. Every time you needed to re-explain your situation. It is obvious that the company you are dealing with thought about seamless experiences. This article will provide tools and advice on how to avoid these situations at your church.
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Style Guides and your Church

A style guide is an essential tool for unifying your church's website, social media presence, and email campaigns. It establishes all the small pieces of your church brand. It not only helps you understand everything your have, it informs all future web projects. You can even use it for design elements in your physical spaces!
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Experience A New Church

The fastest way to understand your target audience, is to become them. If you want to reach church visitors, take a Sunday and be one. Do not just attend a friend's church service. Begin your search with online research. Explore their social media presence. Then attend a service and see how well they integrate digital media. As you form your opinions, document your thoughts. Take these notes with you and see where you can improve your own church.
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Cautiously Cultivating a Personal Brand

Have you ever heard of Billy Graham? Does the name Rick Warren ring any bells? These men and many others have contributed greatly to the kingdom. They also invested in creating a personal brand as well. If done properly, it is not a narcissistic or prideful thing to do. It gives you focus as well as a bit of fame. That fame, when stewarded well, can be a powerful force for change. This is a quick guide to creating an online personal brand while remembering that it is not all about us.
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Strategic Partners for Online Ministries

Is your church trying to reach a particular demographic? I would surprised if you did not just think "yes, in fact we are trying to reach several". There are several ways you can test how well your website is reaching those people groups. User interviews, surveys, and usability testing are just a few tools you can use. Yet, the major obstacle is not failing to use those tools. It is finding volunteers. Instead of always looking for volunteers, create partners for your digital ministries.
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CWS Podcast - Ep. 58: Getting Your Content Out There

cws-podcast-logoThe primary motivation for viewing a website is to consume content. That content may exist to inform, persuade, or compare; but it should have a purpose that is aligned with an overall web strategy. Yet regardless of your intent or your audience not everyone will wish to consume this content just on your website. By providing multiple mechanisms to view it, you maximize your audience exposure and increase the odds of adding new members to your church.
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The Open Source Church

Open Source is a concept created by the software development community. It is basically that developers share the source code of a project for free distribution, and collaboration on future iterations of the project. This concept has been adopted by several influential churches, and is a new way their hard work and innovation can benefit churches around the world. While you may not be developing the next ground-breaking iOS or Android application, there are many ways your church can help and contribute.
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Local Search for your Church

Because churches traditionally have physical locations, the majority of searches for churches have locational context. As search engines have evolved, they realized this key component and integrated it into their search results. The prime example of this is Google's integration of their search, maps, and location listings. If you execute a search for "pizza", you will not get a global listing of pizza shops, but (especially if you are on a mobile device) ones closest to your geographical area. Given this illustration, you can see how optimizing and promoting your church for local search is of great importance. Here are three steps for accomplishing this.
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CWS Podcast - Ep. 19: Web Team Meetings (Part 1): Who to Invite

cws_podcastIn this episode I will outline the various church roles that should be involved in your regular website meetings; ensuring you keep the right people informed, as well as the proper authority to make those crucial decisions to guide the direction of your website. Unfortunately, most sites often start with one person who knows a little HTML, and the guidance of "go make us a website". However as more people in the church get involved and interested in what the website can do, decisions become very complicated. So how do you form that winning team? A few key players in your church can meet and help your website exceed the expectations of everyone at your church.
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CWS Podcast – Ep. 18: Creating a Great Contact Us Page

cws_podcastMost service organization have two main conversion points, request for information and donations. I have articles on both, but this episode will deal with the first and undoubtedly easier problem. I believe that the majority of information funnels on your website ultimately lead to a conversion point where you ask the visitor to contact someone. From church events to membership; you want that personal contact to ensure they get all of their questions answered and hopefully move them on to that next step. I will outline the various contact methods, and provide tips on properly presenting each.
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Be a Digital by Default Church

The British government has adopted the phrase "digital by default". This means you start as many projects as possible in a digital space. By considering digital deliverables first, their strengths become more apparent, and their weaknesses can more easily be mitigated. This article delves into how this idea can be applied to your church.
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