Kenny Jahng is the Pastor of Media and Innovation at Liquid Church. He has a real knack and passion for advertising and is the man when it comes to helping churches and organizations reach their full potential and influence in marketing. He also has a lot of great insights when it comes to doing online church. Here are three questions I recently asked my good friend Kenny:
You're a man of many hats. Can you share what all (or most) of those hats are and how you balance them all?
That's a great question! Being an entrepreneur at heart, my vocation includes multiple areas at the same time. Currently, I am part of the pastoral team at Liquid Church, a growing multi-site, non-denominational Christian church that meets across the state of New Jersey. I am responsible for the Church Online campus, which has attracted thousands of attendees from over 150 countries this past year.
In addition, I lead a strategic marketing advisory firm, Big Click Syndicate LLC, serving non-profit, cause-related, and faith-based/church organizations. We help organizations with various social media initiatives, digital donor development campaigns and content marketing strategies. I love helping teams to become more effective in their messaging so that they can engage with more people. It's rewarding when we can help people use technology to scale the capacity for personal relationships. Last, but not least, I'm a husband and dad to two kids which ensures that life is never dull and full of adventure!
You are a systems guy and have shared how much video content is distributed each week at Liquid Church. How do you manage it all in an efficient way and what advice do you have for churches that want to do more with video, but feel overwhelmed thinking about live streaming, on-demand distribution, social media clips, etc.?
The first piece of advice for any church interested in video is -- it will become one of your highest ROI activities in terms of reaching and engaging with your staff, volunteers and community. Second is -- don't aim for accomplishing it all, all at once. Go for incremental gains. One project at a time. One platform at a time. Things get easier and you pick-up momentum the more you do it. Lastly, just do it. Remember -- Version One is better than Version NONE!
One of the pieces of advice you have given me over and over again is build and nurture that email list. I find many articles about this for business, but not the church. How should churches better build and nurture their email list or lists?
There are two key concepts which I teach my coaching clients about email from the start.
1) Email is a conversation. Not a periodical. Even your monthly newsletters -- you need to start thinking of them as a vehicle NOT to serve the organization, but rather to provide WIIFM value ("What's In I For Me") for the reader. No one likes someone who keeps talking about themselves and things that only pertain to themselves 100% of the time. But that's exactly what you're probably doing with a lot of your messaging (especially your newsletters and donor correspondence).
2) Start with an email-based "tour" of your church or organization -- I call this the 4x4. If you had the opportunity for a weekly 4 minute call with someone for just 4 times before they decided to visit your church or not, what would you talk about each time? You would forget the fluff and talk only about the most interesting, or most distinguishing facets from the other person's point of view, right? You'd probably leave it open on the last call for any questions or even an invitation to come on by sometime, right? Write out those conversations and turn them into an email.
Use conversational language, not formal jargon and turns of phrases. Use the word "you" vs phrases like "them" or "Smith City residents" or other generic ways to identify the individual reader. How often do you read your incoming emails out loud with a group of people? So stop writing your emails as if someone is doing that on the other side. Write an individual email that happens to be sent once to multiple people. Not a single email that is being written to multiple people at once.
Now you have your first email lead nurturing sequence including call to action ("just hit reply and ask me any questions you might have, or better yet, I'd love to have you come to a service soon. Let me know if you are planning on coming on a given week so that I can make sure you have a fantastic visit!"). And #boom, you're done! Offer it as a "mini tour" on your home page and any other relevant pages across the site.