When people talk about a secret weapon, usually my mind goes to heroes versus villains in comic books or cartoons. The secret weapon is usually this rare treasure our hero took nearly the entire episode or movie to find and in one swipe, the enemy is gone. For our villans, I have this view of a secret weapon like that of Star Wars, a laser beam that is way overpowered, overly complex, and one little glitch and everything falls a part.
In this chapter, we are introduced to StoryBrand’s secret weapon. There’s a lot of marketing noise and unless you are really clear in your communication and focused on your customer’s story you’re not getting through
Simple, Complete Elevator Pitches
If I had to summarize this chapter, I think the title of this section would suit it best: come up with a simple, yet complete elevator pitch to give to your customer, audience, or team. The noise of everything else actually gets in the way of this.
Let’s take ChurchMag as an example case of this. If you didn’t know, ChurchMag actually has a tagline for the blog. It’s “We are church tech.” This statement is something that as senior staff writers, we poured over it and other statements to come up with the best option we could think of. The state we are church tech incorporates a “we” community. We speak from experience, not from a corporate mindset of wanting to sell you something that we have never experienced. This community is something we hold as the very essence of what we believe ChurchMag should be about.
And of course, we focus on church tech. Not specific niches like church marketing, church stage design, or church Photoshop files. We do love all of that, but it’s around what it means to be part of a team with a church tech ministry. When we think of church tech, we think of drinking too many Mountain Dews, making our PowerPoints pixel perfect even when no one asked us to, and trying to make our website better well after everyone else is asleep for the day. It’s what we do.
But what about your ministry, your church, or your organization? The book notes that you have five seconds and you need to answer three questions in that time. Like I said, a simple, complete elevator pitch. Here are the three questions:
- What do you offer?
- How will it make my life better?
- What do I need to do to buy it?
Fast To Understand, But Fully Cooked
In the book, Donald Miller says this:
People don’t buy the best products. They buy the products they can understand the fastest.
For many pastors, this rubs in the face of their faith. We need to be slow, understanding of ourselves, others, and our God. We need to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and always deep in the Word or prayer. Honestly, when we talk about marketing, it’s hard to deviate from the old analogy of a quick microwave or a slow roast.
But that’s not what is actually being said here. If you have something that can we understood very quickly, you are either a marketing genius, or you and your team have spent hours upon hours of time trying to nit pick at the mission statement, logo, and other marketing pieces that are put out for the masses to see. Done right, it is complete because everything about your church is express in that one statement or image. Done well, it is not too wordy, but concise. And if don’t with skill, it is something even the first-time church goer can understand.
Noise Or Music
The last part of the chapter, I absolutely love. In a world where everyone is trying to get your attention, everywhere you go you hear a lot of noise. Is your ministry or project simply adding to the noise?
But as Donald Miller puts it, with the right rules and adjustments, we can also make beautiful music:
We are either making music or noise. Nobody remembers a company making noise.
This conversation of clarity in a noisy world is actually not new. In his award winning book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t, Nate Silver says this:
The signal is the truth. The noise is what distracts us from the truth.
Of course, he is not talking about God or your ministry, but he is talking aboutthe truth in a very busy set of data. Honestly, we switch out the word data for faith, and it’s what we preach every Sunday.
Donald Miller is not even the first Christian to say this. Ron Martoia in his book Static: Tune Out the “Christian Noise” and Experience the Real Message of Jesus talks about how we use christianese when we evangelize non-Christians or disciple young Christians. We expect them to speak our language in our culture and they miss it. We are not watering down the Gospel, but we are also not going to confuse them. This is something I think I think Donald Miller misses in this chapter but is very important.
So what about you and your organization? What is your 5 second pitch and have you given it time to slow roast? Would you be willing to share it in the comments below and talk through why you picked that?