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Answering Your Membership Questions #1

Updated: Mar 30

🎤 Engagement, value propositions, decline, oh my! I’m receiving more questions than ever about #membership so I’ve started doing something new—a live Q&A!

For 30 minutes each month, I’ll answer as many Q’s as possible. During our first conversation, we received 48 questions, so I decided to also respond to a few of them on my blog this month. Let me know what you think about the Live Q&A’s and blogs, and if you like them, I’ll keep doing them!

What can we do to better communicate membership value?

It’s important to know exactly how your organization brings value to your members. Who better to articulate that than members themselves?

Ask them to describe how being a member makes a difference in their lives. This is, by far, the most powerful marketing and program development tool you can utilize. By inviting your members to share their stories, you’ll know precisely how your organization brings value to your members.

Further, there should always be a list of benefits that’s exclusive to members only. Members want an incredibly personalized service experience. They don’t want to feel like a number, they want to feel like they’re a person who is valued by your organization.

Members crave a secure relationship—feeling cared for, appreciated, and respected. Members with an emotional connection to an association are considerably more likely to renew, to volunteer, and to refer your association to others.

It’s critical you take the time and effort to build those relationships.

How do we improve membership engagement?

We all know this isn’t a one-size-fits all world anymore. Claiming a niche is imperative to your organization’s future success in today’s competitive and distracting marketplace.

Shifting your approach to become meaningful to someone – not everyone – is the key to growing your membership right now and will support creating long-term sustainable membership growth.

Further, if it’s not contributing to your association’s growth or delivering value to your members, quit doing it.

When you wait too long to respond to where the market is going and what your membership base needs, you run into decline or demise. This is why we’re seeing employee turnover occurring at such high rates. It’s also why we’re seeing membership organizations experience disengagement and flat or declining membership.

What can we do to attract, engage, and retain younger members?

Recognize that you may not have all of the answers and be willing to learn, absorb information from various channels. Stay current on industry publications and trend reports, and regularly view content on the latest social media channels, including YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram! If you are part of a trade association, you must regularly review industry research to know about the latest workforce trends and developments.

When a major social shift occurs, it typically starts with younger generations and will trickle up to the masses. Paying attention to youth culture will give you a glimpse of the trajectory of what’s to come. We can’t settle for the status quo or stay stagnant. You’re either growing and evolving…or you’re on a sinking ship. There is no middle ground.

Follow the 30% Rule: At least 30% of leadership should consist of those within their first 5 years of professional work! Boosting the cognitive diversity of your leadership teams will allow you to gain more insights to engage a wider range of members.

Register now to join us on Thursday, March 23 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) for our next conversation!


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