6 Insights from Gary Vaynerchuk for Church Leaders

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Business Gets Personal event in NYC featuring Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and Dave Ramsey. I was the guest of Bryan Miles from eaHELP … they help leaders like you by providing North American based Executive Virtual Assistants that you can delegate tasks to, so you can focus on what’s important in your ministry. Want to learn more? Click here to download Michael Hyatt’s book on outsourcing called The Virtual Assistant Solution — FREE to unSeminary readers!

Gary Vaynerchuk is co-founder and CEO of a social media brand consulting agency, video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce. If you haven’t bumped into Gary and his online antics, you’re missing out. He’s passionate (intense really!) about leveraging social media to connect with people and convert them into devoted fans. During the conference he ditched his “pre-packaged keynote” and brought people on stage to give them coaching on the spot. It was a master class in communications. Here are a few key insights I gained for church leaders:

“The cost of entry of relevance today is content.” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • Gary noted that in today’s hyperlink culture only those people and organizations that generate helpful content get attention. If your church isn’t producing content that actually engages with your community online, you are at risk of being irrelevant. Check out this post from Connexus Church on a topic designed to get parents’ attention and help them … rather than just talk about what’s coming up at the church.
  • Take Away: Is your church generating content that tackles the issues your community is facing? Are you packaging your sermons in a way that people can access and share easily?

“What if you became a media company and actually tried to help people rather than selling?” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • One of the people seeking Gary’s advice was a real estate agent from Los Angeles who asked how his company should leverage social media to reach new clients. Gary pushed the agent to not use Twitter or Facebook to spam links about recent listings or open houses … but instead to become an “expert” in the field and generate content that positions him that way. For example, rather than sending links to open houses, write an article on “5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Visiting Open Houses” and use Twitter Search to find people who are going to open houses and share that article. Repeat that process … and people will see you as the expert in your field.
  • Take Away: How can churches leverage content and social media to proactively reach out to people rather than just respond to questions and post links to our latest sermons?

“Social media is special because it’s consumer insights at scale.” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • Gary stressed that social media at its core is all about relationships … at scale. It’s millions of people talking about their likes, dislikes, passions, aversions and worries. In the past, if you wanted these insights you needed complex systems and expensive reports to generate vague data. Now you can use free tools to dig into specific topics that people are talking about in your community, such as what questions people near my home are asking on Twitter. Or look at your Facebook Trending report to get a sense of what’s important to people in your social graph. You could even use these tools to poll your people and ask about what’s important to them.
  • Take Away: How are you using social media to understand your community and the people you are trying to reach? You don’t need to guess … the data is there.

“Facebook — right now — is the best advertising platform since Google Adwords in the 2000s” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • This was a throwaway line, but it stuck out for me. Gary was commenting on the fact that the Facebook social ads platform is as important to grasp as Google Adwords was 10 years ago. Google Adwords literally changed the advertising world forever. If Gary is flagging that Facebook ads are that important, you need to pay attention. You have the ability to place inexpensive ads in front of the exact types of people you want to reach as a church … today. (Think “guys between the ages of 35 and 40 with kids, who read Tom Clancy novels and live within a 10 minute drive of your location”.) Carey Nieuwhof and Casey Graham talked about this as well last week on Carey’s podcast. This is a massive opportunity for your church … take advantage of it.
  • Take Away: What are you doing to get up to speed on using Facebook ads to reach your community? (Hint: Reading this book would be a great place to start.)

“Don’t be crippled by the fact that you can’t be perfect on a daily basis.” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • Gary has been a massive success in a number of different arenas, including social media marketing, small business growth, coaching, writing and consulting, just to name a few. He believes having a bias for action and being okay with the fact that you are going to make mistakes is critical to making an impact. I sometimes wonder if church leaders are shut down by worry about what will happen if what we’re attempting isn’t “successful”. I believe taking faith-based risks is at the core of what it means to lead a thriving ministry. We need to seek those risks and take the leap!
  • Take Away: What are you risking right now in your ministry that has the potential to fail?

“How do you keep people motivated? … Ask them what they love!” @garyvee [tweet this]

  • Gary has a team of over 400 people working for him. He talked about what it’s like to manage this fast-growing and expansive team. One of the insights he gave was the value of understanding what makes people tick and then rewarding them with it. If people really want flexibility to be home with the kids a few afternoons a week … structure their jobs to make it happen! If they love travel and want to work remotely … set them up so they can work anywhere. Rather than guessing what motivates people, ask them and then have the guts to structure different “deals” for different people.
  • Take Away: When is a good time to ask your team how you could structure roles and rewards in a way that would motivate them?


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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.