Every association needs a well-crafted action plan to identify and recruit prospective members. And while it is important to recognize that recruitment strategies may vary from one association to the next, we have identified four key steps every association can take to find and attract prospective members:
How to Attract Association Members:
- Educate and cultivate prospective members.
Educating prospective members is one of the most important responsibilities an association can take. The classic strategy to educating prospective members is to describe your association’s work.However, keep it simple. Don’t try to tell a prospective member everything there is to know about the association before they’ve visited a meeting or attended an event. The important first-step is to get the prospective person interested and wanting to know more.
- Create an event.
Think about what kind of event would be most effective for introducing prospective members to your association. For instance, would professionals in your industry feel more comfortable attending a weekly meeting or a social event?At events, give current members a copy of your association’s story and cause, so they have a notecard of conversation starters. Additionally, remember to exchange business cards and make a note to yourself about conversations with prospective association members. Afterward, follow up every conversation with a personal note or phone call.
- Focus on association benefits.
It is important to address the benefits association members receive. For instance, members may enjoy access to career enhancement services, such as programming concentrated on their specialty and access to free career resources.Additionally, focus on association membership benefits that extend beyond what meets the eye, such as:
• Camaraderie and friendship with professionals in the same industry
• Opportunities to develop leadership skills, such as board positions, within a well-established association
• Business networking
- Don’t be discouraged.
Don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t show an immediate interest in your association. It is good to be persistent; however, it is also good to give prospective members space to make a decision.Ultimately, individuals join associations for similar reasons, such as:
• They want to be associated with others who share their same interests
• They want to have their interests represented and what their association is doing to improve it
• They want to be informed about what is happening in their area of interest
Read more: Attracting new members is a critical aspect in associations’ futures. Therefore, it is essential to plan for the future today. Begin by reading our blog post Associations: Plan for the Future with Microsoft Dynamics.