We hope you’ve had a great experience going through the StoryBrand book with us. While I’ve shared minor annoyances about the book, they don’t matter as much as the advice. I hope you’ve found the book and the chapter reviews just as helpful. At the least, I hope it got you talking and thinking about how you communicate. I’m excited to review this chapter because of how helpful it is.
Besides prompts at the end of each chapter, Donald Miller includes suggestions for better websites. The website is important enough to dedicate a chapter to improving it.
You’ve clarified who you are. You’re clear on your proposition. Start with your website. One of the reasons a website is a good place to start is, unlike printed materials, it is easy to change.
Miller says your website should be the equivalent of an elevator pitch. The ‘customer’ needs to know you have something they want.
On Website Content
Most content management systems like WordPress and Drupal take care of some technical stuff. One of the most significant challenges organizations have is communicating well.
Communicating in an engaging way has become about storytelling not the tools.
Five Components Of Great Websites
An Offer Above The Fold
“Above The Fold” apparently comes from the newspaper industry. In the context of websites, this is the visible part of your website before scrolling. This part must be audience-centric. Miller suggests that ‘customers’ should know what’s in it for them from them.
Make it obvious what you do and how that connects with the website visitor.
(Church) Application: Articulate what you have to ‘offer’ those you hope to reach in a sentence. You might have a vision or mission statement that isn’t succinct.
Obvious Calls To Action
What do you want people who visit your website to do? Do you want them to plan to visit your church? Watch a sermon? Contact your pastor?
(Church) Application: Be explicit about what you want people to do. Have a button or way of displaying it prominently throughout your website.
Image Of Success
In the context of the church, I found this an interesting exercise. What does a picture of success look like? I tried to get ideas from some church websites. Some had images of happy individuals. Others had groups of people hugging or smiling.
And some had photos of the back of people’s heads. Believe or not, there were also some church websites without any photos; only text.
We live in a multimedia age and text alone on websites just won’t do it.
(Church) Application: revisit the photos or images on your websites. What do they communicate? It will be helpful to think through the images you use. Consider their (potential) image and message.
Bite-sized Breakdown Of Revenue Streams
In the business context, Miller says, “Find an umbrella message that unifies your revenue streams”. I’m not yet sure how to appropriate this for the church context. You might want to think about your online giving strategy.
Can I leave you to think through what this means for your context?
Very Few Words
Miller says people don’t read website anymore. This study seems to support this. Don’t use too much text and make use of read more.
(Church) Application: Miller suggests cutting half the words on your website by using images and summarising paragraphs in bite-sized sentences.
Your website is one of the easiest communication assets to edit. It should be living. A place where you constantly communicate with your audience. It can be a cost-effective way of reaching congregants and those exploring the Christian faith.
The advice in this chapter is sound. What you know doesn’t make a difference unless you put it into practice. Try this and let us know how it goes.
We’d also love to hear your thoughts on this chapter.
Bonus: You Might Also Want To Read These Related Posts:
- [Podcast] Your Church Website Is An Outreach Tool
- Vital Information To Include In Your Church Website
- Church Website “About” Page Considerations
- How You Should Think About Your Website
- A Church Website Case Study: Needs, Wants and Don’t Fits
- Church Website Case Study: Before You Start Coding
What is your church’s website doing well and what is missing the mark in relation to this StoryBrand model?