Imagine someone in your audience talking to a close friend. Half way through the conversation they say, "You've got to come with me Sunday. They're starting a new series about ________. It looks like it's going to be really good."
The problem is that in many churches we don't give our audience enough information to get excited enough to be the one spreading the news.
Here are three steps to adding word-of-mouth to your next teaching series:
- Do the work.
Outline your next series in as much detail as possible. Explain the value your teaching will offer. Why is the topic or the text important to look at? What difference will it make in the lives of your audience?
- Stop "pushing" your series promotion, start "pulling" them toward it.
What do I mean by this push and pull? (see great little post by Seth Godin) Many communicators fear that the next series may overshadow the current one. Or worse, that it will distract their audience's attention from what they should be doing today in response to today's message and focus it on something new and shiny that will happen in the future. This is completely valid...so don't distract them, tease them. Mention the new series, but don't "promo it". Send them somewhere else for more information. This could be on site at an info table or it could be online, but let them take the next step to find out more.
- Be predictable.
I don't mean be boring! Be predictable enough that your audience can spread the word and not be surprised. Surprising them too many times and it gets riskier for them to invite a friend. People can't get excited if they don't know what's coming!
So plan your next series. Know where you're going and why it's important for them to not to miss it. Start promoting it at least 3 weeks out and make sure your audience knows enough about what's coming that they can persuade their friends to join them.