Do you need a Digital Hero?
This is a risk management question. Read this article as well as the article, “An Argument Against a Digital Hero.”
If you work in a security-conscious environment, your answer might be, “Yes.” The Digital Hero role may be a crucial partner to your M2DMM work. Opening digital accounts, such as Google Adwords or Facebook, and running ads require a real person’s information such as their name, their identity card, payment details and often even an address. In a secure context, you may not want to use your personal identity nor anyone else’s who is living in-country.
A Digital Hero is someone you draft to partner with your ministry in the M2DMM work from afar. They sponsor all of the accounts that are needed for a successful M2DMM endeavor. They are someone not living in country who are able to protect the ministry from localized security threats (i.e. hackers, hostile groups or governments, etc. — basically anyone against the spreading of the Good News in your context). In general, your information should not be visible to the public, but the Digital Hero adds an additional layer of security over the standard privacy controls found in today’s digital landscape.
UPDATED NOTE: Facebook has closed several team accounts due to them using a Digital Hero. If you do not follow Facebook’s policy, your chances of getting locked out is VERY HIGH. Facebook has gotten very strict in 2019.
How to Recruit a Digital Hero
Kingdom.Training desires to create a space for shared ideas and resources that will accelerate others. While there are many ways to obtain a desired outcome, a clear step-by-step solution may spark quick and confident action. We are very thankful for our friends at Launch M2DMM, who coined the term Digital Hero, for providing the following helpful guide to help you search for and mobilize this partner.
Step 1: Find a Digital Hero
Finding the right partner for every role within your M2DMM initiative is important. Finding the right Digital Hero is important because they will hold the keys to many of your digital assets and you will likely be working with them from a distance, even potentially across several time zones.
Can you just use a fake account?
No. If you use a fake account, this is a breach of the terms of service for Facebook and many other digital services. These services have automated ways of detecting unusual activity and have the right to shut down fake accounts. If your account is fake, you will be permanently locked out with no grace, no repeals, and no exceptions.
If the name of the Facebook page you are using doesn’t match with the name of the payment method for your ad account, they may also flag the account and ask for proof of identity. You need a REAL identity that has a personal Facebook page with a matching payment method. Identifying a Digital Hero from the beginning will save you a ton of time and energy by not going through what others have already experienced with getting locked out of accounts.
The Values to look for in a Digital Hero
➤ A value for obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
➤ A value for service and sacrifice so that others may know the truth (Romans 12:1-2)
➤ A value for consistency, excellence, and responsive communication (Colossians 3:23)
➤ A value for balancing security concerns with the “worth-it-ness” of our mission as believers (Matthew 5:10-12)
➤ A value for flexibility and helpfulness as things can often change and bend as they progress (Ephesians 4:2)
What are you asking of your digital hero?
➤ That they join your team and use their Facebook account to create the ministry page (They also need to be ready to provide a copy of their driver’s license to Facebook if asked for verification of their identity)
➤ Physically go to a UPS Store and open up a mailbox in their name
➤ Help set up a payment method in their name with the UPS Store Mailbox address as the billing address
➤ Work with you and your administrating organization monthly to reconcile spending on the card
➤ Be available if issues come up and you need verification (If you travel, Facebook may lock down the account and ask for a selfie of the account holder’s face). It is recommended that this account not be shared across several locations. You will be flagged.
➤ Commit to this role for “X” years (create clarity about the initial length of commitment)
1. Create a list of candidates who
➤ all have generic names like Bob Smith
➤ ideally, are part of the same organization/church/network that will be handling funds to pay for advertising
➤ you have a decently strong relationship with because you are asking quite a bit of them initially, both in trust and energy
3. Set up a phone call
➤ Use the call as a major vision casting opportunity. This person is going to play a catalytic role in seeing movement happen in your country
4. Confirm they read the PDF and invite them to be the Digital Hero
Step 2: Set up a Mailbox Address
For the billing address of your online accounts, you need to have a “street” mailing address, NOT a PO box. Also, you do NOT want to use the Digital Hero’s home address. Remember, you want to always add layers to your privacy and security. The UPS Store Mailbox is the best way to secure this address.
Option 1: UPS Store Mailbox Setup
➤ Ask your Digital Hero to physically go to a UPS store and to buy a yearly subscription to the smallest mailbox possible
➤ You will need to reimburse your Digital Hero for this. You can usually get a yearly subscription to a mailbox for $100-$250 a year (depending on the size & branch)
➤ Your Digital Hero will make this address the billing address on the payment method, and will use this address any and everywhere online when signing up for various digital services that are needed
Option 2: iPostal1
➤ Offers mail forwarding, photo of mail, etc.
➤ Learn more at https://ipostal1.com/select_plan.php
Step 3: Fund the Advertisements and Other Digital Assets
You need a system for taking funds allocated for the online strategy and getting them into the payment method in your Digital Hero’s name.
Set up a system of receiving funds from your donors/team account
What money will be used to pay for ads and other services? Are you raising it? Where are people giving?
Secure a credit/debit card in the name of your Digital Hero
You have three options:
1. Use your Digital Hero’s existing credit card (note: they will need to change their billing address to the new UPS Store mailbox address)
2. Have Digital Hero apply for a new credit card in their name that is only used for M2DMM purposes (apply with personal address and switch to UPS Store Mailing address once card is activated)
3. Use a pre-paid debit card that has a robust online administration portal such as bluebird.com
Reconcile and reimburse your Digital Hero’s card for all expenses
You have two options:
1. Have all expenses reimbursed from your administrating church/organization/network to the Digital Hero’s credit card account (before their bill is due). This requires both trust and a great deal of clarity.
2. Have your administrating church/organization/network give petty cash advances to your BlueBird Account.
Either way, you need a solid system for keeping track of receipts and getting petty cash or reimbursements done on time. Online access to an account to see expenses is nice.
Have a Contingency Plan
Another important thing to remember as you progress in a M2DMM strategy, is that you will want to have contingency plans. Inevitably, you will get locked out of your Digital Hero’s account.
One of the best contingencies is to make sure that your Digital Hero is not the only admin on a page. This may require more than one Digital Hero.
If you only have one admin on a page and the admin’s Facebook account gets blocked, you no longer have any access to the page.
As you grow over time, we recommend having at least three REAL administrators on a Facebook page. This could be an additional Digital Hero at some point, or the Facebook accounts of your local partners that are collaborating on the page. Either way, the more admins you have, the less likely you are to completely lose access to your page. Risk assessment should be considered with every potential admin of the page.
For additional commentary on the role of Digital Heros and other step-by-step components for an M2DMM strategy, check out Launch M2DMM.