In order to attract new members, you must first make your association worth joining. What are some things that you can do to make your organization more appealing to potential members? What steps can you take to add member value and make new members want to join your association? Read about four best practices below.
Be Available for Your Association Members
Developing a strong association starts on the inside. The relationship between association members and staff should be personal, open and genuine. This means your association’s staff must be available to your members above all else. Answer questions with transparency, don’t be afraid to overcommunicate, and always be ready to extend a helping hand. This will only lead to increased trust between your association’s members, staff, volunteers and leaders, therefore strengthening your association from the inside-out. Learn more about the power of authenticity in communication here.
Listen to Your Association Members
In line with availability, it is vital that you listen to your members. Listen to their input through member surveys, focus groups and conversations. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to hear what is most important to them. Take that information and cater to their needs, creating member benefits and programs that they desire. If you find your members are most interested in networking, give them opportunities to interact (virtually or in person) with fellow members. If they value education or are working towards a certification, build webinars and events around the issues they deem most important. Not only will this benefit your members, but it will also provide you with a strong pulse on the interests of your association’s industry.
In today’s world – especially in the wake of COVID – everything has an expiration date. More often than not, this expiration date comes quickly. To approach this issue, make sure you are bringing new ideas to the table as often as possible. Innovate with new events, benefits and programs. Even if they don’t work out, you’ll get a better sense of the interests of your members.
If your association looks like all the other associations in your industry, it will be hard to maintain current members and attract new ones. Innovation will help you stay above the noise and make your association worth joining. Here’s another way to look at it: create programs and resources that make people feel like they are missing out if they do not join your association.
Know Your Association’s Mission
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your association needs to build strategic plan and develop a mission and vision for the long-term. Having this in place is crucial to strengthening your association and creating benefits and programs that will keep your association on the forefront of your industry. Learn more about developing a strategic plan for your association by reading this article. And if you have any questions about strategic planning, Raybourn Group International is always here to help.