Making Church Marketing Simple | Madisen Mayfield

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Madisen specializes in equipping faith-based organizations and leaders with all things branding, communications, graphic design, and marketing

Podcast Transcription


Welcome to the Church Growth podcast. My name is Jason Hamrock and I am your host today. Glad to have you here. Hey, real quick, if you wouldn’t mind, go subscribe. You know, subscribing to receive our podcasts would be a delightful thing for you, because we love to create content that helps educate and equip you on all things church growth related. And it’s a great podcast, you’ll get a lot out of it, so make sure you go do that.

Well, today I’m talking with Madisen Mayfield. Now, Madisen grew up in the church, you’re going to hear that story. And she is using her gifts and talents that God has blessed her with to serve churches and other organizations. She just recently launched her own company, we’re proud of her for that, and we’re excited to see what God’s going to do through her new organization. So without further ado, here’s Madisen.

Hey, Madisen, thanks for joining us today. How are you?

I’m doing well, thanks for having me. I’m so glad to be on the Missional Marketing podcast today.

I’m glad to have you. We’re excited about this, because I have some questions for you. I want to learn about you, and more importantly, our audience wants to learn about you. So, first of all, tell us about yourself, and kind of the gifts and talents that God’s given you, how you have been using that for churches.

Yeah, so I first and foremost, I am from Georgia, born, raised, still live there, still live in the same city just northeast of Atlanta. I’m very grateful for the community that God has placed me in, and love it here in Georgia. And so typically, I grew up in a church family, Christian family home, very grateful for the heritage that God has blessed me with. And what my family taught me was to love God, but to love the church. And with that came a love to serve in the church, a love to serve people, and how to use your talents and gifts for the church. And so I saw my parents do that week in and week out, still doing that today in different ministries, the biggest one was Worship Ministry. And seeing generations in my family using their gifts and talents.

And so from a young age, knowing that and having to be at church when the doors were open and every week, and until every time that church is going on, we were there. And any type of event in the community, we were there. And so with that, I was saved at the age of seven. And not long after, it was not just sitting on a pew, but it was how can I be a part of the church? And how can I use my gifts and talents, and what are my gifts and talents for the church? And so very early on, I saw God knitting different things in my life outside of church, that he would soon turn into me using in the church.

And so I first get started in graphic design by accident, that’s how I tell the story. I was in eighth grade and I needed something to do in the class. And a teacher rummaged through his closet, found an Adobe Photoshop book, literally threw it at me. I caught it, and I tell the story that I never put it down. I spent an hour, five days a week, reading that book cover to cover and sitting at a computer. And then I got into high school and there was a banner printer that wasn’t being used, and they needed somebody to do it, would you be willing to learn how to do it and get into print design? Absolutely, why not?

And so there were marketing classes I was being put in because of scheduling conflicts. And then when the opportunity arose in high school that I had to have some type of internship, I just felt a very strong calling on my life that it had to be marketing and media graphic design in a church. And I fought that because I said, let me get this out of my system, so I can pursue the medical career that I want. And God had other plans, and he carried that on, and he placed me in a local church where I became a graphic designer as a sixteen year old. And I became the graphic designer overnight, and I look back on some designs because I still have them all, and I should have been fired a long time ago I tell them, because of how bad some of them are. And there are some good ones, but there are definitely some that I wish I could erase from on the online platforms that still exist.

But I carried that on, and really committed to that what I need to do in college and just started building more skills and everything. And so what drew me into the church marketing world was really a calling, and I had felt that calling before, but it was just finally the surrender. And seeing how God really committed every opportunity, that people seeing potential in me, mentors that I’ve had, and teachers, before I even saw it in myself, and just applying that into the church world to use my gifts and talents to build the Kingdom. And it’s something, when I’m reminded of that, it’s like I get to do this, this is what I get to do. And so I love what I get to do, and love getting to help my local church where I continue to serve, heading up marketing communications. But also getting to help other churches and other church leaders any way I can.

Yeah, yeah, I’m excited to talk to you about that. But your story rings true with so many of us, and I’m the same way I never thought I’d work for a church, but God’s got a huge sense of humor. And next thing I know, I spent over a decade serving my church in the same kind of capacity. And so we all have those very similar stories. And it’s really cool how God just taps into, he gives us these these strengths, and weaknesses, and talents, and gifts, and then he says, hey, I want you to use them to serve me and my church. And so I think that’s really, really cool.

Well, you wrote a book recently, and I can see it on your screen there behind you. So you wrote a book called Making Church Marketing Simple, which causes me to think that maybe churches haven’t made it simple. And so you have I think it is six tips or seven, you have to remind me of the tips, I’ll have you talk about it. So okay, first of all, why did you write the book? And then what are you seeing that churches are doing wrong, that’s not making it simple for churches to do marketing?

Yeah, so good question on why did I write a book? I asked myself that almost every day through the writing process of everything. It actually came, I actually was praying through Next Steps at the end of 2019, I was about to enter my last semester of graduate school. And this is before the pandemic, so we’re entering, and so this is not even thought of at this point. And my pastor is doing a sermon series called No Way, And to pray for God to do No Way things in your life in 2020. And trust me, I had joked with them and said, how dare you make us pray for your because we have a pandemic, and we were saying no way every day in 2020.

But in that, I just was praying, you know, God, what is it you would have to do, or you do through me, that I’m going to say No Way? And for some reason, it’s weird thinking of it, God, I just felt the strong sense to write a book on church marketing. And I’ve always loved reading, I have always loved writing, but me writing a book, and writing a book on church marketing, I didn’t feel qualified at all to do it. And so I was seeking advice for it, because that’s a big task to say you’re going to write a book. And so I went to my brother and I didn’t tell him anything, he’s one of the most scholarly people I know and who I go to a lot for advice. And so I went to him and said, I’m just praying through some some next steps, you know, just I’m needing some advice, what do you think? He said, well let me go pray about it, and I’ll get back to you. So he comes to me and he says, I think you should write a book. I said, well, I guess I’m done fighting that one with God, I get that point.

So I started the process of writing the book in February of 2020, I finished my first rough draft two days before my church shut down for the pandemic. And so at that point, I started really questioning what in the world? You have made me write a church marketing book, and everything has been turned on its side right now in our world, in the church world, does this book even have relevance anymore? So the second rough draft went into adding some pandemic related situations, and to make it more timeless, because church isn’t the same right now. But I finished, and I launched the book in November of 2020.

But the reason it’s called Making Church Marketing Simple, is because when I went into it, how I entered the church marketing world, and how I’ve seen so many others churches try to attempt it and make it complicated. On one hand, ministry is very messy, It’s very difficult. Marketing is very messy and difficult. You put those two together, and it’s a combination of disaster that can happen. And I remember sitting as an intern, in over my head, overwhelmed, trying to complicate things. And if I knew, ready to quit, honestly, I was just so overwhelmed. And I finally said, if I’m going to do this, then I’m going to have to first pray, get in a posture of prayer, and I’m also going to have to make this simple. Because this is church, this is something that I’ve been a part of my entire life, why am I trying to turn it into something else at this point?

And so what I did was go back to the basics, if you’re feeling overwhelmed. what has helped me is always go back to the basics. And that’s in anything, personally, professionally, and spiritually, go back to the basics, go back to your foundation. And one of the things that I went back to was even, because I got my start in graphic design before I even got into marketing and communications of it, I went back to how I would kind of do a questionnaire for people. People were requesting so many graphics to be done in every ministry. that was overwhelming, and so how did I get all the information? Because coming and telling me you need a promotional package for an egg hunt, didn’t tell me where it was, when it was, who was it for, what was included. But if I ask the questions, the simple questions, what we learned in elementary school, the who, what, when, where, how and why, that gave me all the information I needed.

So that’s where Making Church Marketing Simple: The 6 Questions Every Church Leader Needs to Answer came from. And that’s what I go through, but that’s kind of the framework, is answering those six basic questions about your church. And that’s going to build the foundation for really marketing, so you’re not worried about all these different platforms and things like that, and do I need to be on Tik Tok, do I need to be on [inaudible]? I don’t know what Reelz are, what are Reelz? Is that something on Snapchat? Is that something on Twitter? Now, Twitter’s adding some type of story feature component. But this is going back to the basics, don’t worry about all of that, because if you don’t have a foundation, and know who you are, and what message you’re carrying, there’s not anything to market at that point. And so this isn’t a how to exactly book, of how to make the best social media posts, but this is answering the fundamental questions that can just calm you, say take a breather, and let’s build a foundation. And then we can move forward and take it to the next level of really building a marketing strategy that’s effective, and that works for your church and your churches.

Great advice, I think sometimes we overcomplicate things. So going back to the foundation, back to the basics, and telling stories, and just getting back to that is really, really good. Okay, so we have a lot of people that get to listen to this podcast. Thank you, listeners, for listening in. And we get a lot of pastors, or church leaders, or even volunteers, that really don’t know where to start. And they may be, it doesn’t matter what size of church they’re in, they’re just going, hey, we haven’t really done this. What would you say to them about where do you even start?

So I think, like I was just saying, I think so many churches, they see the world moving very quickly, and even coming off a year where it felt like the world was paused and shut down, the world kept moving. And to me, it kept moving at a faster pace than ever before, because people were consuming so much content. We were doing this a lot, and scrolling, and content becomes very old, very quickly, and so I think churches, just trying to rush to keep on top. And again, go back to the basics, don’t make it complicated. I think the biggest, you know, we were talking about this before this episode, that a lot of churches are trying to live in this comparison trap of the church down the road. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with looking to other churches for inspiration, I do it all the time. So I always tell people, find you a local church to gain inspiration from, find you a regional church, and then find you that national local church, a big megachurch, and take ideas from them. But make sure that they are ideas that work for your church, don’t try to be something that you’re not. What the megachurch is doing may not fit for your smaller local church. We have several different mega churches that are in our area, some that are in our area that are at a national and global level. But that doesn’t mean that even at my church, that those are going to work, and you have to be okay with that. But that doesn’t mean that your message, and what you’re doing, what you’re preaching, is not effective enough. Because we’re all one body, we’re all building the same kingdom, and you have to be okay with that.

But you can’t start out in developing a marketing strategy, even if you’ve never done this before, with trying to imitate other churches. You have to be true to who God has called you to be, and then walk in that.

Yeah, that’s really good advice. So how have you guys at your church, you know, kind of coming out of COVID, I know we’re not quite out, but a little bit past it, what have you guys done differently? And how has that, you know, online, how has online caused you to market differently? And have you seen any other churches do anything that’s different?

Yeah, so the the best piece of news that we gained out of the pandemic, was we actually got livestream equipment. Twenty four hours prior to our first online service, we did not have livestream equipment. So I can completely relate to so many other churches that found themselves in that similar predicament in March of 2020. And there was actually a conversation of do we rent equipment or do we buy equipment? And we said, okay, we’re going to buy because this online wasn’t going away. Whether COVID was over or not, you know, you’re in this. We’re still, we’re on the other side of it, but we’re not completely back to normal yet, but online was not going away. Yes, we were on Facebook, we were on Twitter, we were on Instagram, we had a website, we were online, but we weren’t online either.

And so that’s where my role in being over marketing communications, I think in one word how we had to change our online presence and how we marketed online, that not only in a pandemic, you know, where we were shut down, but even now, a year later, is intentionality. And being more intentional, that this isn’t, we knew it wasn’t just a Sunday and Wednesday night thing, the church wasn’t. But I think the pandemic taught us this really isn’t just a Sunday and Wednesday thing, or whenever your church has services. That this is an everyday thing, being a Christian, or being a part of the church, doesn’t just happen for an hour on Sunday an hour maybe on Wednesday nights. This is a 24/7 thing, and it doesn’t mean we’re going to call you and every member every day, or text them, or be knocking on their door every day. But it made us switch from, when I post something on social media now, is it adding value to a member? And I’ll even like, give, I’ll even call out a name, you know, so to speak. Create that person in your church, whether you know them or not, and just kind of walk with them in their daily life. You know, school was happening, work is happening, you know, they’re living a Christian life even outside of the church building. And how can churches, we have access to some of the greatest resources, the same online platforms that the biggest corporations have, so how are we using it to add value to our communities lives, to our members lives? And so that’s my biggest thing.

And my biggest piece of advice to churches, is something that I had to kind of look at myself, is just the intentionality of using the online presence for marketing. But also just building and encouraging Christians, and people that never heard the gospel before.

Well said. Yeah, because I agree with you. You know, before the pandemic, it was still you, churches weren’t online, they were kind of online, but not really online. This is put real deep focus into actually doing ministry online, not only for your congregation, but for people outside your church when it isn’t an option to come inside the room. We were always like just driving people in the room. Like your point on when you would post something on Facebook would, in the past, be like, hey, have you signed up for whatever, or are you going to go to this thing? And now it’s more engagement about what’s going on in life, and how are you coping, and here’s some resources for you. And it isn’t always about get inside the room, although that’s pretty important.

And we still do that, yeah, there’s still that time and space for this post, it’s not like we kept our campus shut down forever. But it’s juggling that, that church isn’t…I think it really put the perspective that we knew church wasn’t a place, but we’ve always kind of still viewed it as a place. And the pandemic, when you shut a church campus down, it’s like God forced us to see, church really isn’t a place. Like it is, but it’s the body of believers, and how are we reaching them? How are we reaching the church?

Yep, and using these platforms that other big companies are using. And I was just out in Silicon Valley this week, I happened to be out there. You know, you’ve got all these, Google, and Facebook, they’re all there. And it’s like, yeah, what what God created, because God created this, you know, big companies are using it, why not the church? How are we not leveraging it, to the fullest extent, to reach more people? Not only your people, but people outside your church. And so, I’m with you on that one.

Yeah, so I mean, and use it, you know, a lot of these platforms are free for us to use. You know, we had a conversation with our pastors, that if this pandemic had happened even ten years ago, especially even 20 years ago, could church service even have happened? And you take like YouTube and Facebook, those are free to get on. A lot of churches, you know, you get your smartphone, and you open up the app, and you’re ready to go in an instant, and keep using that.

And one of the most rewarding things is like, oh, I don’t have, you know, we’re just a small church, but this online presence eliminated geographical boundaries. Now is geographic, is the geography of everything, that demographic that we’re looking at, is that so important for who you’re marketing and who your main audience is? Absolutely, we’re not throwing that completely out the door. But we have people watching in Croatia when this first started, and the greatest reward was we had people actually saved watching online. And it’s people that some day were coming to church, and they knew they were lost, but it wasn’t there yet. But something, it clicked on a TV screen for them. Or some people that we couldn’t get in the church, no matter how many times their family invited them, how many times we personally invited them, but they listen to it at work, on their phone on a Sunday morning, and they’re saved in their workplace. When you start thinking about that, like there’s people that will never maybe walk in a church door, but they can have church in their pocket on a screen, and you can be the carriers of the gospel on these online platforms. See it from that perspective, and it will make you want to live out the great commission digitally.

Exactly. Well said, yeah. So, you know, thanks for sharing your story because you’ve got a it’s a unique story, but it’s a story that a lot of us are familiar with. That, you know, you grew up and God gave you gifts and talents, and you’ve been serving the church. So share what you’re doing as well, like you just launched something.

I did. So in addition to being in the weeds of the church world as the Director of Marketing and Communications, I had also over the past seven years been gaining freelance clients along the way and this was with churches, and also nonprofit organizations, and small businesses, and some authors as well. And so God just kept pressing on me that it kept getting to a point, and it was actually while I was writing my book that I just felt the calling to open my own business, take the leap of faith, take the freelancing and not call it freelancing anymore, but turned into a full business. The name and everything, the whole vision of the company came from writing this book.

And so it is called MK CRTV. And actually, at the time of recording this episode, it just opened officially for business a couple of days ago. So we’re still trying to get all the website, and all social media launched, but I’m excited. It’s MK CRTV and creative is spelled CRTV. But MK CRTV, it’s a creative agency that specializes in equipping and empowering faith based organizations and leaders in all these, branding, communications, graphic design, and marketing.

Wonderful. Well, congratulations.

Thank you.

We’re going to be watching you to see how you’re growing, so that’s exciting stuff. And I’ll put a link on this, so that everybody can get over to the website and check you out on the social platforms as well. But tell us a little bit of, where do you get inspiration? What are you reading? Who are you following? You know, how have you been developing your your skills and talents?

Yeah. So first I listen to a lot of podcasts, a lot of podcasts. So that is something in 2021 I had to make time for, so I was like okay, how can I do some multitasking. So when I exercise in the mornings I listen to podcasts, one of them is the Missional Marketing podcast that listen to. So I don’t know what I’m going to do on my episode, if I’m going to be able to listen to it while exercising. But I also listen to Sean Cannell and [inaudible] and Think Media marketing, so they have a lot of good tips about video specifically that I’ve leaned into.

And then I read a lot of books. So I love Don Miller’s books and he does a lot about business, and then just a lot of different church books. So not just marketing books, but the ministry books. I think that’s the greatest blessing, because you kind of see the ties in between that. But then I’m also always improving my skills, because my thing is the moment that I quit learning is the minute I start growing. And so I always want to keep learning, and keep bettering my skill set, and improve, because it’s changing every day. You know, the platforms are always changing, there’s new platforms popping up, new marketing tactics that we need to implement, things like that.

And so in the church world, who I’m following for that is Pro Church Media. I love Pro Church Media, they have a lot of different courses as well. And I’ve tapped into those, I love their courses about learning different programs, or just planning too. The Church Communications Facebook group, if you’re not a part of that, go join that. That’s one of my greatest resources, or are just really just to you know, see what other churches are doing, what they’re struggling with. And it’s such a good community to be a part of because no one’s perfect in there, everyone’s got, it’s a space where you can just let all the problems go. And people are so willing to help if you, from, oh, my Facebook page isn’t working, can someone help me out? And so that’s what I’m looking a lot into, and just consuming a lot of tutorials on YouTube, things like that, just keep the skill set going, and keep learning more, and keep in refreshers.

Yeah. Well thank you, Madisen. Yeah, I appreciate that. And I’ll add how to get connected with you. I’d encourage you church, if you’ve got questions and you want to pick Madisen’s brain, do so. So, I appreciate your time today, thank you so much for joining us.

Well, thank you so much for having me, I certainly enjoyed my time. And I just thank for the honor of being a guest on this podcast, it was a pleasure.

Oh, my pleasure, thank you. We’ll take care, we’ll talk to you soon.

Well thank you once again, Madisen, your insights and your advice is very, very practical, very real, and extremely well said. Sometimes church is just about getting back to the basics, the foundation. You don’t need to have sophisticated programs, you don’t need to have multi-million dollar programs, sometimes it’s just going back to the basics. Right? Going back to where God has you, and how you built your church, and I think often we overlook that. I think often we focus so much on programming, and building things, we forget about ministry.

We forget about, ministry is all about relationships, and developing relationships, and learning what God’s doing in the lives of the people who call our church their church home. I think some of the best advertising that you can do is actually capturing those stories of changed lives, and utilizing those on these different platforms as Madisen was saying. These giant companies use them all the time, why can’t the church, they’re free. And so many of you are, but if you actually change up your strategy a little bit, go back to the basics to cover what is important, you’ll find you get a lot more engagement.

So I would encourage you to reach out to Madisen, or reach out to us. We would love to educate and equip you, so that it can help you grow your church. That’s what we’re both about, we care deeply about lost people, we care deeply about shepherding people that are trying to follow Jesus and be more like him, and we’d love to help you out. So go to because there’s a ton of free resources, lots of lots of tools that you can use to see how you’re faring in the Google world. But certainly if you’d want to schedule time with Madisen, or with us, to learn more about how you can get better at reaching more people, please do so. Again, our posture is always to serve, always to educate and equip, so that you are empowered to do something about that.

There you go, until next time, God bless. Take care, and we’ll talk to you soon.

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