You are all very aware of real estate when it comes to selling or buying a home or business. But what about buying things online? Do you own your name on all the social media channels and websites, whether it be your personal name or your church’s?
In 2009, I wrote a blog entitled “Digital Real Estate.” In it, I pointed to people like worship leader Matt Redman and pastor Rick Warren, as well as churches like Life.Church and Willow Creek – that had claimed their name on Twitter, but were not yet tweeting. They just wanted to reserve their name in case Twitter took off. It did and they started to tweet. This, my friends, is what I call Digital Real Estate.
Years ago, I had to wait for another Greg Atkinson to let his domain expire and then I jumped on it. I’ve been blogging at GregAtkinson.com ever since. I have my name (@GregAtkinson) on Twitter and Instagram.
I mentioned in 2009 that when Facebook started offering vanity names I was on vacation and missed grabbing my name by 2 days. On Facebook, my personal web address is www.facebook.com/greg.atkinson1, instead of www.facebook.com/gregatkinson. Another Greg Atkinson beat me to it!
Call me paranoid or egotistical, but I prefer words like intentional and strategic, which are used all throughout my writing.
In this blog post, I want to share with you something that has been on my mind for over two years now. And that is: You need to reserve your church’s name on the .church domain. You can purchase your church’s name here (if it’s still available).
I was consulting with a church in February of this year and told them to buy it and they didn’t. Now their name has been taken. I told another church to buy their church’s name on the .church domain about 2 years ago. They purchased their church’s name, but didn’t quite grasp the concept. Instead of getting Grace.church (I’m making up a name), they purchased GraceChurch.church. The “church” is redundant.
I see smart and wise churches around the country grabbing their church’s name on .church. I strongly suggest you do the same. Follow the example of Life.Church and so many others.
Allow me to tell you what I tell churches that I consult with (and if I’m wrong then I’m wrong, but if I’m right…). I tell church leaders and pastors that in the near future when people think of churches on the web, they will automatically associate the name of the church with the .church domain.
So, for example when I told a local church (Let’s say GraceChurch.org for example) that in the future when someone hears about your church from one of its congregants, they will say something like, “Cool. I’ll check you guys out online. It’s Grace.church, right?” “Right.”
Just trust me: As familiar as we are with .com and .org, it will be just as normal and familiar for .church.
BOTTOMLINE: Go today and grab your church’s name on the .church domain. What do you have to lose?
PLEASE NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with the .church domain, nor do I receive any payment for writing about this. My link for you to buy it goes to GoDaddy.com because that is who I personally use, but I really don’t care who you go through to purchase it.
This is about future-proofing your church, which I talk about a lot in my consulting.
Here is what Life.Church and Willow Creek’s Twitter account looked like when I first wrote about this in 2009:
I think they have no regrets in reserving their “digital real estate.” Now go grab yours! Trust me.