The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications

E077 - Personalizing Your Brand

Joanna: Today we're going to be talking about what it looks like to make a brand more personal and based on a relationship rather than just constantly trying to sell stuff.

Joanna: James I wanted to talk to you about this today because I've been noticing what you've been building as your own business has been getting bigger is something that's really more personal. You're trying not to just constantly do advertisements you're really trying to get to know people show people behind the scenes and all this kind of stuff. Talk to us about what you're building, what's new and what like I mean before you never we never saw your face and now suddenly you're starting to show who you are. The guy behind the business and all the people you're working with so talk about what you're thinking is with that.

James: So what I was starting to realize is that as VMC and Stokhub has been growing. People are starting to look at us more like the cable company which is it's just this nameless faceless organization that exists out there and what I what I've learned from that is people then assume that anything you do is always going to be an ad and I mean partially that's true. I mean I tend to whenever I see a big company or a company that I interact with a lot I just assume that everything they're doing is always positive, positive, positive and sell, sell, sell and that's not what VMC really is. VMC is working with churches to create stuff and yes we do sell products but it's more of a community vibe as opposed to a you know a store front. And there's so much that goes into what we do. So these these packs that we make and stock clips don't just show up one day on the website for people to use there's there's a lot of work that a lot time there's a lot of effort and a lot of fun stories that go into making that whenever I see posts on Instagram from other churches using VMC content. I usually kind of have a smile on my face because I know the story of what it took to get that specific shot that people are worshipping to this great drone shot over the mountains and I'm remembering how I almost crashed the drone 10 seconds before that because I forgot to do something. There's a whole story in my mind about it and that's what I want to start sharing more of I want to say hey look there's some real people there's a team of four full time people now doing this and it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort but we also have learned a lot about cameras and gear and travelling and making awesome looking content and we want to start just sharing kind of more the personality. There are people that know us personally and we want to start sharing that more with everybody.

Joanna: And I love that I mean if I find it makes anything creative more meaningful when you know the story behind it like that's why I think people love like an interview with the cast of a film or they want to know the meaning behind a song that they love so much because when you're using content of any kind or it's any kind of art or whatever it is when you get the story behind it of like well we nearly crashed this drone into a tree or the battery died at the last minute or you know whatever it is it just makes it all more meaningful and then it doesn't just become a transaction it becomes more of a community is as you say and I think we're seeing that across the board right with all kinds of stuff. It's such a noisy social media world out there and so if we aren't having meaningful genuine relationships people can smell it a mile away and they shut it off. It's very easy to unfollow. It takes less than a second to say I'm so sick of these ads that are coming at me all the time. This isn't adding any value to my life. I'm gone. That's the same thing for churches.

James: Absolutely, even churches can be in ad mode all the time like "hey come Easter" or "hey come to this event" and people can start tuning that out. And the reality is there's lots of really talented really smart people that work for churches and I think some of that personality should shine through if you're a great communicator working in a church I think you should let some of your personality come out. And then I think you should let some of your leaders personality start coming through rather than it being all business all the time. I mean anyone that works for a church knows that when you work with people for 40 hours a week there's lots of interaction there's lots of smiles. It's not all serious all the time it's not all good all the time is not all bad all the time but there is a lot more going on there should be more personality and more of the vibe of what your staff are coming out in their communication.

Joanna: And then it builds trust when you know the people who you're working with it changes a ton of things. It's a lot easier when it's anonymous to yell at someone or assume they're I don't know something if something goes wrong then or if you're unhappy or you don't understand a decision or maybe there's a product or service or a program that no longer is being offered. If you know the people you get more of a sense of what's going on. I think of my other podcast Word Made Digital. I interviewed a friend of mine Ben Stapley. He's overseeing tons of creative and communications work at a church of 10,000 people based out of Miami. And I can't remember if I've talked about it on this podcast I know James you and I have talked about. I just don't remember if it was said on the podcast. But in brief he's talked about how to get behind the scenes more on church life and church culture for your people. So one of the things you said is is there any meeting that you have regularly like maybe it's the prep for Sunday meeting that you can literally turn on Facebook live camera just to add it to the room of conversation and that anyone who would want to can listen in on on what the run through is for the Sunday services not personal private. They're gonna find out about it on Sunday anyways it's not private information but it gives people an interesting behind the scenes look into how the team interacts what's going on how people think and how how things come together. And of course a ton of people would never want to watch it. They're busy at work at that time. They don't want to watch that video. But knowing that they could. As my friend Ben was talking about it just really builds trust knowing that people have access to see behind the scenes. I thought that was a cool idea.

James: It also makes everything so much more relatable. Like we're all just regular people whether you're a celebrity or not. We all are just like people are people. And so it's important to let people in on. I mean I'm more thinking about upcoming trips for VMC like I want to start sharing because things always go wrong. I want to start sharing when things don't go to plan, don't go right because it's important to kind of say like you know this is sometimes it's a struggle as much as it is fun to get out into the mountains and do shooting and I love that kind of stuff. Never has it gone to plan and I mean I have broken plenty of gear and gotten stuck in the mud and crashed drones and missed flights, and weather is awful and pouring all day and I'm literally sitting in the car just hoping for some sunshine. So yeah it's just it's going to make it more relatable. It's gonna share more of the story behind what's going on with our brand.

Joanna: Yeah and later this week we're gonna talk about that on some future episodes talking about an upcoming trip you're doing and some tips about how to film in places that might be popular with other people so we'll dive into that later this week. Thanks!