Are you all over the place in the business systems under the hood of your Church Creative Team?
If yes, it may be holding you back from having the social media presence you want to have.
If no, these tools will help you streamline even further.
In today’s post I am talking about my favorite tools to create creative processes that will save you time and help you when you are ready to scale.
Why These Tools Matter
#1 Inefficiency is Costing You Time and Money
You may be able to fly by the seat of your pants for some other church things, but you’ve probably noticed Communications and Creative doesn’t work that way.
I’ve noticed when we don’t have good systems in our Creative Team, we aren’t able to keep good staff or volunteers because it can be a frustrating experience for them.
Inefficiency costs us time, which costs us money.
#2 A Lot of Tools are Unnecessary and a Waste of Money
You may be hesitant to pay for more and more tools. Especially, if you or someone on your staff has had “shiny object syndrome” where you want to buy all the best tools and then you don’t use any of them, but end up paying for them.
Or maybe you’ve paid for tools in the past and been unsatisfied. There are so many tools out there. So I’m going to go over only what is necessary.
#3 Using the Right Tools Creates Automation and Freedom
Creating automation in your church communications team will help you streamline everything you do and create flexibility day to day.
Managing social media, contractors, coordinating with other staff in your church can be a heavy weight when you are managing it day to day and operating on text messages or unorganized google docs.
Stressed work, is never your best work. Using the right tools will get you out of stress mode and into creative freedom and time flexibility.
The Tools I Didn’t Include and Why
I have used all of the tools listed. I would never recommend a tool that I haven’t used myself.
You will see some of these tools are project management tools and I included them in this list because Church Communications has a lot to do with awesome project management.
You may also notice that I do not include any “done for you” graphics or stock photo services where you pay a monthly fee.
Here’s the main reason:
- Stock photos and graphics do not work well on social media, they will most likely be your least engaged with posts. People want authentic, not stock.
- I would rather have you post a not as good photo of your church where someone can be learning and getting better in the process on your team.
These services can be useful only if:
- They provide you with more than stock graphics and photos
- They can provide custom content
And lastly, I'll go over when the free version is worth it and when it’s not. All the tools below have free versions that will work for you.
Here we go!
Social Media Tool #1: Asana
What it is: Project Management System
- Easily collaborate with your team
- Intuitive user interface
- Adaptable to your systems
- Can be used for all church project management
- The business industry standard
Free version: The free version has all that you need. The paid version is expensive and may not be worth it if you are a very large organization.
Other similar tools: Airtable is great. And I’ve created a free social media and marketing calendar template just for churches that you can download here. The paid version is great for scaling or if you are a larger organization, but you can do everything with the free version.
Social Media Tool #2: Later
What it is: Social Media Scheduling Tool
- Schedule your posts in advance
- Use auto schedule for videos and images
- See what your Instagram grid looks like in advance
- Easily adjust your posts for Facebook and Instagram simultaneously
- Detailed analytics feature for best posting times and other insights
- Save your hashtags in groups
- Always improving as an App
Free Version: You will need the paid version of this one to use some features you will need, but it is low cost.
Always innovating and staying cutting edge. Low cost to start. Preview your feed before you post. Link in bio feature.
Similar Tools: Planoly is a bit chapter and does a great job as well. If you want something totally free use Facebook Creator Studio and that will get the job done.
Social Media Tool #3: Kapwing
What it is: Desktop Video Editor
- Easy to use so any volunteer can learn
- Add a youtube link instead of waiting forever for a video to upload
- Add Auto Subtitles
- Growing and developing company that is always improving
- Great email support
Free Version: Free version can create 7 min or less videos great for social media and paid version is worth it if you use this as your primary video editor. Low cost.
Similar Tools: I’ve used the Veed paid version and I really like that one too if you are going for the paid version.
Social Media Tool #4: Google Drive
What it is: File Storage and Management
- Connects with all your other GSuite features (analytics, google ad grants, email, calendar etc.)
- Keep all your files in one place and you can easily see them
- I like the user interface better than dropbox
Free Version: Free version will get you far. Make sure you team’s only store the best photos and videos in your google drive so it doesn’t get clogged up.
Social Media Tool #5: Webflow
What it is: Website Builder
- Flexible for developers like Wordpress but not clunky and slow.
- Pretty and easy to use like Squarespace but not limited.
- Incredible tutorials in an understatement.
- Forward thinking company, the new way to make good websites
- I’ve personally built two websites through Webflow, Wordpress and Squarespace and Webflow outdoes them all.
Free Version: You’ll need to pay for hosting at a minimum of $16/month depending on what features you use.
Social Media Tool #6: Lightroom
What it is: Photo Editor
- Great for experts and beginners
- You will use lightroom as your scale
- User interface is better than other editing apps
- The gold standard for photo editing in all industries
- Works great on mobile and desktop
Free Version: You only need the free version to do great editing. The main thing you get with the upgraded version is the selection tool where you can select certain parts of the photo to edit and remove objects.
Social Media Tool #7: Teleprompter Premium
What it is: Teleprompter App
- Paid version is a flat rate and you get it forever
- You can read from your phone or tablet
- You can mirror the text for a legit teleprompter set up
- You can film videos way faster when you have text right in front of you and it doesn’t look like you are reading at all
Free Version: You’ll want to pay for this one to import your scripts and mirror the text
Social Media Tool #8: Slack
What it is: Internal Communication System
- All of your internal quick church communication in one place instead of getting lost in texts and emails.
- Organize by channels for all your staff and volunteer teams
- Quick chat app
Free Version: You only need the free version and you can add as many people as you want. The paid version allows you to save more messages and files. The free version deletes messages and files after a certain amount.
You should only get the bare minimum amount of tools that you need and make sure all your tools work well together.
Consider these tools within your current processes and determine how you can streamline your systems to overcome inefficiencies, save money and scale when you are ready.