Do your members have a good reason to spend money with you? Memory lane might yield a golden age when joining a professional association – but times have changed. Nowadays there is competition from other associations, from the free information available online, and from the numerous other ways people might choose to spend their money instead of starting or renewing a membership with you. Knowing your value proposition and communicating it has never been more important, so how do you get started?
Understand What Your Members Need
Your value proposition and your members’ needs are linked. If you don’t understand what your members need from your association, how can you be sure you can offer it to them? There are lots of ways you can find out:
- Talking to them at meetings or conferences
- Making a phone call
- Sending a survey
- Analyzing social media and website metrics
- Listening to conversations online
Understanding what your members need is so vital, because whether or not you can meet those needs is the difference between growing your membership or watching it shrink.
Ask What You Can Offer Your Members
Now you need to take a good look at what your association offers its members. It’s important to really get to the nitty gritty here. Just saying “representation” isn’t enough. How do you represent them? Where and using what methods? Evaluate your association’s offerings from discounts to conferences to workplace support and ask yourself:
- How will this improve our members’ lives?
- What makes this worth spending money on?
- Why are we a more attractive option than our competitors?
Your members want to know exactly how joining your association will make their lives better. If you find your value proposition isn’t as strong as you would like, go back to what you have learned about your members needs and start working out what you can offer to meet those needs.
Send the Message Loud and Clear
Your members and prospects are seeing a lot of messages every day. Make sure your message stands out with a clear statement of the benefits you can offer them. Whether you’re updating Facebook or writing a circular, take time to polish it and make sure your message shines.
This isn’t about the hard sell – it’s about repeating your message in an engaging and interesting way that will inspire the recipient to action. Make it clear that joining your association brings them strong benefits.
If you want to grow your membership and keep your existing members, it’s time to get clear on how you can improve their lives, and make sure you tell them about it.