What is your next step from the live stream service?

We’re all hustling to just get. Facebook. To. Work. right now, but don’t forget about the other things you can do online. 

I know it may be weird to think about a next step/membership class as an all-digital thing, but take a second and ask yourself: how much of that is because we’ve never thought about it with a real purpose?

Can your next steps class be digital?

My short answer: yes. But should it ALL be? Maybe not. There’s a way to integrate the digital into the organic class that can be pretty powerful. If it were up to me, this is what I would do…

Prep for a Digital Next Steps Class

First, if you have a class already, this part is somewhat simplified. You need to break that class up into sessions if it isn’t already and film each session. The production value doesn’t have to be at Star Wars or even Napoleon Dynamite, but you can create some quick videos with your phone. Just make sure your audio is good and you should be fine. 

If you have slides, get somewhere that you can put a TV behind you that your computer can run slides on. It’s also ok if you run the slides yourself on camera! 

Once the videos are shot and edited, upload them to YouTube as “unlisted” videos. Create a playlist named after your next steps class and put them in order. This is just so you can come back to them later.

Now your videos are ready to go!

Setup the Emails!

This is where it may get tricky. Hit me up if you get confused and I’d be happy to help walk you through it. 

Set up an automation series of emails in your email marketing tool. If it’s easier to use your database CRM like Planning Center or Church Community Builder for this, go ahead.

You want to create a series of emails to automatically send to those who want to take the online next steps class. The first email should contain at least a welcome and table of contents for the series.

The next email should send either 1) the first email in a series of emails with one session linked in it per email, or 2) a link to the playlist for them to watch through as fast or slow as they want to go. You’re call. I like number 1 and here’s why:

If you send one video at a time, you can also put a form at the bottom to ask a few questions along the way. Why do this? I’d want to ensure that for something as important as membership, they were actually watching the videos. But that’s me, I’m old school like that.

When the last email sends, it should have a feedback survey in it so you can improve the process. In that survey, you should also put a link to your calendar or some way to automatically set up a phone call to follow up with the connections pastor. I’d use Calendly. It’s awesome.

If you want to go next level, I’d look into a teaching/course platform like Teachable. It’s made for this sort of thing and it’s free. 

Now you’re setup to do the course online, let’s talk about how to get people to it.

Live Stream capture

When your services are streaming, it is an ideal time to bring up Next Steps Classes. When you do, make sure there is a link posted in the comments that will take them to a web page with the signup form embedded on it. 

This form you will either 1) create in Mailchimp or your mail client and share the link, or 2) create a form yourself that is linked to your CRM. Either way, it has to be connected to whatever triggers your Next Steps class email automation. 

You will be able to see who is in the class, what emails they have received, opened, and clicked on the backend.

Make the capture form available to department heads to check every week and have them follow up with those interested in volunteering with their dept or if there are questions specific to them.

When the last email hits with your follow uplink in it, be ready to have that phone call or Zoom meeting with them to add the personal touch.

Follow Up

Make sure the last email you send in the automation or manually includes a link to a survey to see how you could do this whole thing better and an opportunity to set up a call with the appropriate person. 

From here, whatever you do for new members is up to you. Do you do a certificate? Take a family photo? I’m sure you pass their names off to the department head of where they’d like to serve (an awesome question to ask in your survey). Just make it personal.

I know that’s a lot of stuff, but hey, I didn’t say this would be easy, just helpful!

What to do for guest follow up online

If you’d like a really great plan for following up with guests online, my friends at Text in Church put together a RIDICULOUS PDF that lays out a plan for that. You can get that
HERE. You don’t even have to join my list for it (but it would be cool if you did)! 

How are you dealing with being a scattered, digital church?

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