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Church Communications | Social Media | Content Marketing Hosted by Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson, The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast is a practical and fun show dedicated to helping church leaders and church communicators reach people more effectively with their message. New episodes drop weekly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
 
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I love a good scroll-stopping headline. In our profession, church communicators and marketers are always looking for a quick list of best practices to help us get more emails opened, increase clicks, get more followers, etc etc the list goes on and on. Over time, the playing field changes, and those tried and true best practices, well, aren't anymo…
 
If you've ever received a "bad" gift, you get it. It's not that you're unappreciative. You just don't know what to do with a wall-mounted fish that sings when people walk by. You don't think you'll ever wear a pink unitard that says "Work Out" anywhere. When guests arrive at your church, it's a nice gesture to give them a gift to say thank you for …
 
Have you ever walked out of a church service? Turns out, lots of people have. This week on the podcast, Meagan and I read some of the crazy, hilarious, upsetting, and uplifting stories we heard from you! IN THIS EPISODE The amazing AUDACITY Legit reasons to get up and leave What some "normalized" actions can communicate to today's crowd that might …
 
A church website is more important than ever in the post-covid, digital world. The year 2020 accelerated everyone's digital savvy by leaps and bounds, so more and more people will be using your church website than before. We'll discuss how to make your home page guest-friendly and how to optimize other pages for your regular attendees as well. IN T…
 
Today, you have two lobbies to think about. There's the physical lobby and the digital lobby. You've probably thought about how to cast vision in your lobby a little, with handouts, signage, posters, etc. But have you thought about your digital lobby? Meagan and Seth give practical ideas and strategies for communicating your vision both directly an…
 
What is a First Time Backer? Well, it ain't no holla back girl, that's for sure. In this episode, I talk with my good friend Jeff Reed from TheChurch.Digital about the future of the church in a hybrid digital/physical expression and what to do about it. We also talk about the phenomenon of your regular attenders who haven't been back in a year feel…
 
Women have had to fight for a lot of rights and freedoms and the church is one of those places where the debate still quietly rages on. My guest this week, Adesewa Greg-Ighodaro helps women in the professional world in Nigeria, Africa to find their voice for sharing the Gospel in their workplace, their families, and in the church. She is a communic…
 
Resumes don’t always tell the whole story. When someone jumps from job to job it could be because they are not dependable and looking for the next big paycheck. It could also mean they are a high-capacity leader looking for a place to thrive. If you think you’re a high-capacity leader or you have some that work for you, this podcast will help you u…
 
If you feel like you can’t keep up with what’s happening in the world of digital communication, follow Natchi Lazarus on Instagram. I talk with Natchi about what the church looks like in India, some of the latest trends and developments in digital media, and his new book The Connected Church in this episode of the podcast. In this Episode: What’s d…
 
Easter is coming. After a tough year in 2020 and a somewhat heavy Christmas, Easter might be a dark cloud in the future for some church leaders and communicators. This episode is your permission to see the bright and fun future of hope that this Easter represents! Meagan and Seth talk about several great ideas for online fun with Easter this year t…
 
Every leader knows that they can't do everything. Which, of course, makes us feel like we can't do anything. Of course, that's not true, but who wants that? Learning to delegate tasks and doing it in a way that ensures the tasks are completed well is a learned skill. Paul Fleming has been a successful business owner, entrepreneur, pastor, and commu…
 
If you're in communications at your church, you probably need some help. Before we hire more staff, we first try to find volunteers. So where do we start? How do we recruit volunteers for our content teams, what teams should we create (like a Photography team)? In this episode, we'll tell you what has worked for us to recruit, train, inspire, and l…
 
Whether you're a communication director just starting out or you're starting over, the first 100 days is an important time in the life of your ministry. What do you do first? Where do you start? In this episode, Seth and Meagan will give you some advice for how to execute a solid communications plan by laying out a few milestones and tools to help …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media You're a church staff member sitting in the crowd and you hear an announcement about your area of ministry that you had NO IDEA was happening. Ever been there? Pulling a rabbit out of a hat is a welcome time for "Ta-Da!" but when it…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Usually, the copy comes last. It's an afterthought behind the graphics, the plan, and the aesthetic. But the copy is what causes people to take action, so it should be an important checkbox on our content creation list. Because we o…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media This very important episode is a very honest conversation with my friend Jason Caston. Aside from his many communications credentials including Daystar, AT&T, and writing his own books and strategies, he has a very poignant perspect…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media I'm going to tell you how I started, organized, and managed almost 30 Facebook groups for my last church. We'll talk about how to run a group successfully and how to facilitate community online with your people. In this Episode: The…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Literally one of my worst fears about video chat is that I’ll forget the video is on and do something embarrassing. There are rules, etiquette, if you will, to being on a video call and suddenly we all have to learn them. In this ep…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media There sure are a lot of experts in everything all of the sudden. It's weird. They have lots of opinions and sometimes, they start to sound the same. But the truth is, not every guru's idea that happens to work perfectly with a produ…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media There's a good reason for why we are all at each other's throats, depression is on the rise, suicide rates are up, and we are generally angry all the time. It's not just because it's an election year or because of quarantine, though…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Right now, we are rethinking EVERYTHING! Especially when it comes to core practices like guest follow-up. With a much larger digital audience than ever, it can be a bit overwhelming. Text in Church is one of those tools that can hel…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Kyle Draper and I used to work together in student ministry at a large church here in DFW. Now, we both have found our way into the digital marketing world and have joined forces again in this episode to pull back the curtain on soc…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Joe Chavez is the former social media director for Elevation Church. In this episode, we talk about how to set up Facebook ads for people in and out of your church depending on which of the 3 levels of connection they are in. We'll …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media The church is facing a crisis of identity at this point in time. As we deal with civil unrest, racism, and divisiveness in our churches over multiple issues, Nik is one of those guys who always seems to have a clear heading. This is…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media The future of the church is a big question. We know it will always endure, but what will it look like? Joanna and I discuss the impact of the digital renaissance that has been forced upon the church in 2020 and how churches can go f…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media The carousel post on Instagram is a powerful way to engage your audience with ideas and content in a deeper way. It uses a tactic called "microblogging." What is that you may ask? This episode is all about it and how you can get you…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media How do you know when you're doing well on social media? What metrics do you look at to determine success? Do you have goals? These are all things that churches must begin to master in order to have an impact on social media. Tammy B…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Seth and Meagan share some of the big takeaways and highlights from The InstaSummit that just happened last week. This summit was all about helping churches master Instagram and understand the platform. They will go into detail abou…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media As some churches consider reopening their buildings for services, we still have to think through safety and process along with keeping a strong guest first impressions presence alive for your live stream. First impressions expert Gr…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media On this episode, Meagan and Seth talk about TikTok, the state of social media, and 5 types of engaging Instagram posts that connect during a time of quarantine. LINKS Seth on Instagram Meagan on Instagram OTHER GREAT LINKS The Insta…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Carl Barnhill of Twelve-Thirty Media specializes in making Sunday happen for churches. But now, that looks really different since moving to the online-only format during the COVID-19 pandemic. Should pastors try to do the same thing…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media While quarantined, Seth and Meagan try to help church leaders and communicators figure out how to train and resource staff for online ministry. We're dropping links to a lot of great tools and giving you some ideas for training newb…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Leaders are learners, I always say (and so do lots of people smarter than me). Especially in the world of communications where the game is always changing, we have to constantly be evolving our skillset and honing our craft. These a…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media What if there were a way to reach people online in a real way? If you are church planting in 2020 (or dealing with a viral outbreak), planning for the digital church is a much bigger deal. Join me as I talk to Jeff Reed from Stadia …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media If you're like many church communicators, you wear a lot of hats. Often the hats don't fit but you've gotta strut out into the street with it on anyway. Many of us have to manage a church website and have no idea how to code or trou…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Wes Gay says we should pay attention to what major brands are doing on social media, not what major churches are doing. Do you agree? Find out the reasoning behind this idea on episode 115 of The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast! LIN…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media This episode I talk to Phil Bowdle about his new book ReThink Communications. He says that Attendance, Engagement, and Attention have all changed and the church has to make a shift. Find out more in this episode! LINKS Phil’s websit…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Every church communicator faces three obstacles to doing their job and Ryan Wakefield stops by to talk us through solutions for them. What do YOU do when you've got no time, no money, and no buy-in? LINKS Free Instagram Course from …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media You've GOT to have good photos in this visual society. But putting together a team that can get great shots on a regular basis is tough. Rob Laughter joins us to talk about how you can start a high-quality photography team at your c…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media What project management software are you using for church communications or creative tasks at your church? There are literally hundreds to choose from, but these four always seem to rise to the top. Meagan and I will break them down…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. We're breaking down some of the tools of the trade that we're using or have…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Church Communications | Marketing | Social Media Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. We're looking at a few Instagram posts from churches we follow and talking …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse and Meagan Ranson Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. Do you hate church apps like Meagan does? Maybe you don't know a lot about them? Apps aren't for everyone, but there are a l…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. Instagram announced it would be making visible likes less so in the coming weeks and influencers and marketers are kinda nervous. But is it a …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. In this episode, I have to start by apologizing for the equipment malfunction that caused my side of the audio to sound like I was recording i…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. In this episode, Meagan and I discuss our favorite fonts right now and what we like about them. Then we're going to hear how she chased a pop …
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. Recently, I gave a talk at That Church Conference about how to handle trolls and online negativity when it shows up on your church's social me…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. Do online tools like YouTube, online church, or social media replace IRL ministry (in real life)? Dave Adamson, the social media pastor at Nor…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. This week on the show we're getting you ready for Christmas! It will be here before you know it. Do you have a plan? We've got a 4 step proces…
 
THE SEMINARY OF HARD KNOCKS PODCAST with Seth Muse Helping you find common ground with your people so you can empower them for spiritual growth. Get notified when I drop a new episode (and other perks) HERE. YO! This week we're hitting the highlights of a few talks we heard at That Church Conference. For a very limited time, you can get the FREE re…
 
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