Every church has a brand — an image, a reputation, and a persona that defines that company’s character and reputation. What most pastors don’t realize is that you can also establish and build a pastor brand — an image, a reputation, and a persona that defines your own professional character and reputation.
Don’t worry, you’re not taking the spotlight off of Jesus or your church. Who takes a lamp and puts it under the bed? Your pastor branding is light turning up the light on the hill.
When working together, a strong church brand and a strong pastor brand can work wonders for attracting new members, but too many mistakes can compromise the entire operation. Be sure to avoid these seven pastor branding mistakes as you build a reputation for yourself:
1. Neglecting to use pastor branding altogether. The first mistake is by far the most egregious and damaging, but hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve already avoided it. A pastor brand is almost necessary for a leader in today’s world. (Yes, you’re an entrepreneur if you’re starting a church.)
2. Not establishing a consistent persona. Just like a church brand, a pastor brand has to be consistent to be effective. Know who you are, what you’re good at, and what your goals are.
3. Being fake. Even though you can craft and customize different attributes of yourself in a public context, it’s a good idea to remain sincere and true to yourself. People want to deal with other people–not with fictional characters.
4. Never guest blogging. Guest blogging is your greatest tool to success. Start out small by writing for other local establishments and niche blogs in your community, then scale up to more authoritative and visible publishers.
5. Not getting social. Social media is how most pastor brands build their empires. Get involved on as many platforms as possible, and don’t neglect local networking events!
6. Skipping out on local opportunities. There are tons of opportunities to build a reputation for yourself in your own city. Get involved at conferences and speaking events.
7. Forgetting about your followers. Respond and commune with your followers regularly; build actual relationships with them.
If you can avoid these pastor branding mistakes, you’ll have a far greater chance at making a lasting impression with your pastor brand. Work together with your church brand for the best possible results.