Providing excellent membership value is one of the most important ways associations improve recruitment and retention rates. But where should you focus your efforts? In the latest episode of Association Adviser TV, we spoke with David Lewis, executive director of the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, and Lauren Hoffmann, director of marketing, communications and membership for several regional and national associations, to hear their best tips for making the most of your membership value proposition.
- Encourage individual contact. Let members know you’re open to suggestions and want feedback in order to better tailor membership value to their needs. The best way to ensure you’re delivering member value is to listen to how your members think you could provide a better service. But don’t just wait for suggestions—anticipate member needs and seek ways to actively improve their member experience. Make sure your members know you’re happy to serve them on a personal level.
- Keep a close eye on the industry. Be a connector between news, trends and members. Stay on top of the media to find and share with members the content that is most relevant to their interests and needs. Social media can be a great tool for discovering what your members are talking about, understanding what matters to them and keeping them informed about the latest industry news.
- Provide professional development resources. Associations are in a unique position to help close skills and information gaps because of their access to high performing professionals. Offering unique career development opportunities like classes, workshops, webinars and certifications add great practical value to membership that encourages renewal.
- Leverage member expertise. Associations also have the opportunity to shine a light on members who have unique expertise about relevant topics by giving them a trusted platform to share their knowledge with a wider audience. This could be online, on forums or websites or at live events. Associations can call on members to write guest blogs, share their success stories or speak at events. You could also interview them for featured articles in your association’s publication. Help members learn from their high-performing colleagues by facilitating that connection.
To make sure membership in your association remains valuable, anticipate and respond to member needs while encouraging open communication and feedback. Your member recruitment and retention rates depend on you letting your members know you are happy to improve their experience in any way possible. By providing unique opportunities for professional development, learning and networking, your association can have an influence on holding the industry to a high standard. Establish your association as an industry partner by offering quality benefits that members need and by directly asking your members what you can do to serve them. Being equally skilled at communicating and listening will set your association apart and deliver real value to your members.
To hear David Lewis and Lauren Hoffmann speak directly about the topic of enhancing membership value, tune in to the latest Association Adviser TV episode.
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