Jun 08, 2015
5 Survival Tips for the Understaffed Collegiate Leader // FREE DOWNLOAD
Here’s an excerpt from the ebook. See the link below.
Principle #1: Let the Robots Do Some of the Lifting.
Recently, I had a problem. I couldn’t correspond with our young adults or new applicants as well as I needed to. The volume of personalized nurture was just too much. I became a bit hypersensitive to people’s requests from me. “Can you meet to help me serve my neighbors better?” (“Why are you so needy?”, I would think to myself.) “Do you want to go out for pancakes? (Why are you SO demanding?!) “Can you hand me that pen?” (Good grief! This kid’s codependency is off the charts! I think we might need to medicate him.)
I got desperate.
How could I make all of the phone calls I needed to make? How could I remember to send out a series of emails consistently when I have so many other logistics to keep track of? How could I even keep up with our social media schedule? How could I track all the contact data for our young adults? It was all just too much.
So our Operations Administrator and I sat down and decided that the robots needed to do some heavy lifting for us. We decided to use as many pieces of technology as we could to fill as many gaps as we could.
Here are the best tools we found:
MAILCHIMP: Mailchimp is an online newsletter management system. The basic version is free. Use this system to talk with your students via email. Here is why I think it is better than any other service I have found. Their best feature is the “automated workflow” system. Here is how it works: You write a series of emails and you can set it to release those emails on a pre-determined schedule. For example, you could write a series of emails introducing someone to your campus ministry. The first email might be a link to a selfie video of you personally welcoming them. The next email might be a written post about how to get into a small group with links to the leader’s email addresses. The third email might be testimonies of students whose lives have been changed by the ministry. After you create your emails, you can set them to trigger as you want. We often set them to send the first email immediately after someone subscribes and then we stagger out the other 4 messages over the following 2-3 weeks. The point is that I only create content and I don’t have to remember to send each person a personal email on a specific date.
CHIMPADEEDOO: Because we’re a small staff, we don’t have time to enter names and email addresses into Mailchimp. Chimpadeedoo is an iPad app that will allow your students to input their data and it will automatically upload straight into Mailchimp. Also, if you’ve set up an automated workflow, the video of you welcoming them to your campus ministry will already be waiting in their inbox when they check their email later that night.
WUFOO: Wufoo is an online form builder. The basic version is free. We manage all of our applications, references and general inquiries here. It’s easy to use and you can set it to send the submitted form data to as many email addresses as needed. We even customize ours to segment according to the internship they applied for and direct them to a video made especially for that internship. Again, the keys here are automation and customization.
ZAPIER: Zapier is a fantastic tool that connects other online services. Let me give you a couple of simple examples. Imagine that after a student applies for a mission trip, they receive an automated personalized text message from you. Or imagine that the references they listed on their application receive automated customized emails from you through your Gmail account. Imagine that their data is automatically filed inside a Google Document – all without you doing ANYTHING. This is what Zapier does. It connects two different electronic programs and makes them to talk to each other to create automated reactions.
HOOTSUITE: Hootsuite is a social media scheduler. The basic version is free. A couple of years ago, we realized it was a better use of our time to sit down every week and schedule our social media uploads for the week ahead. Doing it in real-time had become too burdensome and distracting. Other times, we simply forgot to do it at all. Stop doing your social media in real-time. Instead, set aside an hour each week and schedule your social media posts.
You don’t have the time to do so much manual work. Let the robots do it for you and you’ll gain hours of valuable ministry time back.
You’ve got to read the whole thing! Click here to download “5 Survival Tips for the Understaffed Collegiate Leader” by Jesse Eubanks.