5 Steps to Grow Your Association

What good would a menu be if it told you the date the restaurant opened its doors but forgot to list the delicious food on offer? Not much at all. Yet, it’s surprising how many associations focus on details such as who founded them, when and why, and forget to list their delicious offerings – the real, practical ways in which they benefit their members. If you want a strong membership and increasing membership numbers, you need to show clearly why your association is the best choice and make joining irresistible. Start with these five simple steps:

Know Your Strength

If you’re going to tell your prospects why they should choose your association, you need to know what makes you the best. People are interested in the ways your association can:

  • Make their life better
  • Further their career
  • Educate them
  • Represent them

Identify what your association offers in each of those areas and ask yourself what makes you different from other associations in your field.

Identify Your Audience

The more you know about your prospects, the more you can speak directly to them. It’s time to listen – hang out on social media, follow conversations on blogs and forums, look at your social and website stats, ask questions or send a survey.

Do everything you can to get to know the people you want to recruit, then build your marketing around them.

Make Your Message Shine

Your message needs stand out. Crisp writing, compelling headlines, straightforward copy, and clear calls to action will all serve you well.

Be strong, confident, and consistent in your marketing, from blog to tweet, and remember to always focus on the one question that will be at the front of your prospects minds: “What will joining this association do for me?”

Show, Don’t Tell

Talking about benefits is important, but nothing is more compelling than letting someone see for themselves what makes your association great. Can you offer something for free, or at a discounted members rate? How about a free copy of an exclusive members report, or the chance to attend your most popular event at members rates? Give them a taste of what joining you will do for them.

Let Your Members Do the Talking

Your existing members are one of your best assets when it comes to marketing your association. Displaying member testimonials is one way to get your members to do the talking, or giving prospects the chance to talk to existing members and find out for themselves why they enjoy being in your association.

The competition for new members is tougher than ever. Hone in on your strengths and make sure your prospects know how those strengths can benefit them, making it clear why your association is the best choice.