building buzz

in february, i was a part of the elmbrook children’s ministry conference i had a great time leading the workshop “a fresh idea in leading volunteers.” i often lead this workshop at churches and i always look forward to the response and experience of the participants. the workshop is based on one of my favorite marketing/word of mouth books of all time “creating customer evangelists” by ben mconnell and jackie huba. i love applying the principles from the book in how to build a loyal sales force to building a loyal volunteer base.

the 6 basic principles to building a fantastic volunteer experience – so that buzz is built and new volunteers are drawn to the excitement:

  1. Customer Plus Delta: Use volunteer feedback to inform your decisions, don’t be afraid to regularly ask what is and isn’t working – then implement the feedback.
  2. Napsterize your Knowledge: Continue learning and improving in order to give it away – Provide training and encouragement to volunteers to motivate and inspire them.
  3. Build the Buzz: As ministry excitement builds – use visual cues to spread the buzz. Consider new ministry graphics, brightly colored volunteer t-shirts, and videos highlighting all that is going on in the ministry.
  4. Create Community: Provide opportunities for volunteers to be in community with other volunteers – so they can encourage and learn from each other, community only enhances the ministry experience!
  5. Bite-Size Chunks: Offer volunteers serving opportunities that are just right for them. Some volunteers will like starting with small tasks and moving towards more complicated roles, other volunteers are high-capacity and desire to start with the biggest job possible. The key is to know each volunteer – and provide the just-right opportunity for one.
  6. Create a Cause: Vision cast often reminding volunteers the purpose behind the work!

How are you creating a ministry that builds buzz and instantly attracts new volunteers?

Creating Customer Evangelists


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