Share a Story - Change the World
Here's my webpage. Click here to see what I am doing. Don't click the link yet, let me communicate with you a bit first. Some things...
This topic is so squeamish for some that they won't be able to read any further once they click the link and see that this conference is the 5th International Christian "Storytelling-in-Ministry" Conference. For the sake of this discussion, I am talking "Identifying your target market."
So how did I choose it? I didn't.
Now would a great time to talk about the difference between
Let's get something else straight. One, I am not an expert on Marketing. I started this group hoping to learn from others and I am learning just like everyone else in the world.
TIME OUT; I just got up and went to my library and counted the books I own on Marketing, 26. I have all of them but two, one of the two came in my mail today. The other was so stupid in it's introduction that I set it down and haven't picked it up since. I also get some pretty neat stuff online from Jeff Walker and Bob Baker, one an internet sale guru and the other a music business guru. I do know some things about marketing, more now than before and I do have a suggestion for everyone to go out and spend some money on two things. One, a paperback book called "Duct Tape Marketing" by John Jantsch. Yes, I have mentioned it in the marketing group before today. Let me tell you the other thing you need to spend your money on; software. Not just any software, you need to buy, "Marketing Plan Pro ver. 11." REALLY... I'M NOT KIDDING. JUST GO BUY IT.
These two things brought everything that I have been reading about marketing into sharp focus. Just to make my point clear, here is a definition from Robert D Hisrich's book entitled, "Marketing." The actual definition takes up six, count them six pages. Pithy sentences like; "Marketing is the performance of business to consumer to user." Or try this one; "Marketing is the process by which decisions are made in a totally interrelated changing business environment on all the activities that facilitate exchange in order that the targeted group of customers are satisfied and the defined objectives accomplished." Well, why didn't you just say so?! Then, now that he is really warmed up, he launches into a four part definition, which covers the afore mentioned six page definition.
How does our boy John Jantsch handle the definition? I am glad you asked.
"Marketing is getting people who have a specific need or problem to know, like, and trust you."
So what's the plan? First it is not built on Hope, even though I hear myself saying that all the time. "I hope someone signs up, I hope I can get this right, I hope I am skilled enough to get the right attention from my "Suspects" enough to at least get them to become a "Prospect" and perhaps a "Client." And who knows, maybe, those who come to the conference might become "Repeat Clients" at least that is what I hope. No, I think I needed a plan.
So here it is in a nutshell.
Thanks, Buck. This could have made a really good blog entry, as well. Of course, you've got a captive audience here in the forum for feedback too.
I'm always interested in hearing about people attending (frontend participation) and planning (backstage work) conferences, festivals, &c. I will definitely send the website link to my mum & sister. Maybe one of their church communities would be interested in this.
And I love David Allen. Whenever I need some inspiration or I'm stuck in a rut for "getting things done" I go seek out him or another similar guru, Merlin Mann. They've got some really good advice and tips. Oh, have you ever run into <a href="http://www.fluentself.com/blog/">The Fluent Self</a>? She's quite inspirational too.
I know that yesterday, I mentioned connecting with the market through media. Check that until later. Here's something else about identifying your market.
So part of the mission of Marketing is identifying your market. Yesterday I talked about that at some length. So the next part of marketing is deciding what is the specific need or problem that your market is facing. If you look at the super huge churches, there seems to be no problem with resources. Can't plan a building program, they just hire a project engineer. But the real problem is developing leadership to fill the expanding need for teachers and Bible Class leaders, that will fill the rooms of that new building. In the smaller churches, that problem may be as fundamental as inspiring a handful of 4th generation church goers who feel no compunction to add to their dwindling numbers.
So I was pondering these things. Ponder means taking more than a day to think about answering a question. I travel a lot, so I get to wander into a lot of churches where no one knows me. And when you look like I do... well you get to see the soft belly of the church if you know what I mean. No one is quite certain I'm for real, and I don't look like I am bright enough to come in out of the rain and I stopped wearing a suit & tie to church sometime during the 90's. My point is, people look at my surface and decide how much to invest in me.
There is some truly awful preaching out there, poor speaking technique aside a lot of it is just awful for a thousand other reasons. That's not my judgement, that's the expressions I read on the faces of the occupants of the pews and Sunday School Classes of some of these churches.
Years ago we had Sunday School Conferences... each denomination did. They may still be around... but I haven't heard of them. Hmmm Still Pondering...
As storytellers we know about connecting with the audience... whoops... in this case... congregation. Long before the light came on for me about the purpose of this conference; John Walsh was pondering the same thing. He started the group, thinking that he was going to train Christian Storytellers to go out and train churches on storytelling skills. The first three of these conferences were planned for storytellers. That was the year that we tellers were outnumbered 12:1 and we realized that this conference isn't really for storytellers but for those in roles inside of various levels of church leadership.
So the "Core Market" is established. Who's the competition? hmmm the horizon seems fairly clear. Still pondering.
Tomorrow, I will talk about the "Talking Logo" and it's role in promotions in all of the media outlets that I can think about.
"It's Communication, not Performance."
Is anybody still interested?
I think you've got a good start, because you already have the Story you want to tell. Our trade isn't about the performers, it's about keeping Story alive. In the case of church performances or teaching or leadership, it's about one specific Story. But you are right, the soft belly 4th generationers need to know about options. How does one present the Story in another way to appeal to more people or at least new people who Need it? Communication (or getting the Story out there in an appealing way), not Performance (possibly insincere or overproduced "acting").
I don't know about Sunday School conferences. When I went to the United Methodist church, there was some focus on youth conferences and retreats for various ages, like Emaeus and Chrysalis. Is that the kind of thing you mean?
A lot of things can happen in a day. We had storms, lots of rain, in two day 3.75 inches here on my place. My basement has flooded, pump died, replaced pump. It is almost midnight, whoops one in the morning. So now I sleep.
A talking logo is a four or five word statement or phrase that gives your core message about your business. In a split second, a person can make a decision about whether or not they want to continue the relationship. Coca cola uses "The Real Thing," Poppa John's Pizza "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Poppa John's." I have become a fan of talking logos. I am starting an unofficial list, soon it will go from my head to my journal. "Nothing runs like a Deere." "Dodge built Ram Tough" Toyota, "Moving Forward." How many can you capture in a day? Wanna Play?
The talking logo, tells anyone who hears it exactly what your business is and how good you are at it.
The Conference talking logo is; "It's Communication, not Performance."
Sweet dreams everyone.
Well, that's up to you... the talking logo creates an image story in the hearer's or reader's mind. Ask some of your friends what they think of when they read or hear your "talking logo." Hint: Don't prime the pump or even tell them it's "yours" Let them see it as foreign and then see what they say. You may have to widen your circle to get someone who hasn't heard you use it or seen your printed material.
Let me know what they say. I am very curious.
I've posted it on my friends' listserv, Twitter & Facebook. Let's see what kind of reaction I get...