Hello everybody, welcome to observations from the field. I’ve got an observation on how to grow your membership in 2021.
We’ve been talking to a lot of associations and learning about their membership and what’s most valuable to different segments of the membership. First of all, sometimes we treat our membership as a homogenous group, as an industry that is all the same. What I’ve learned over time is that every company is unique and that’s obvious, but you also see some commonalities around different segments.
Let’s address small and large companies as an example: small companies right now are very interested in things like compliance – am I complying with the new regulations, interpretation, tell me what this piece of legislation means to me.
Thirdly, how do I promote my business and generate more business development opportunities within the association? It’s all about business survival and or growth. Large companies look at things a little bit differently. They want to take advantage of their scale, which often means they want to be leaders of the group or the association, or a board-level kind of opportunity is very attractive to them. They want to be involved, maybe in your Washington clients, the things where they can show influence and power, and that they’re important. That’s a big deal for them.
The other thing that’s a little bit different from the business development side is, I think they love to see their brand on the websites in leadership roles, showcasing their executives. The other part of it is sometimes they’re less willing to share. They’ve developed all these programs and services and they educate their staff, for example, they may be a little hesitant to tell everybody else about how they do it.
So, be familiar with that when you ask them for content and thought leadership. Let me get to this main component, what do you do about it? The first thing that I would do, hold a series of focus groups with small and large and maybe supplier components of your membership. Learn the specific examples of how membership has benefited them. Use those examples in your collateral materials, in your videos, on your website. Friends, too many of our association websites are all about the association and not enough about the members. That’s one way to grow your membership in 2021.
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