Every association has the task of figuring out the best way to attract and retain members. Do you invest in external resources to create and execute a marketing plan, or do you have the internal resources to reach the same goals?
When asking new members how they heard about your association, one of the most common responses we hear is, “from a current member.” Before you turn to outsiders to develop a marketing plan for member recruitment, try arming your current members and biggest fans with the knowledge that you have as staff, to assist in the effort.
Industry professionals have a high level of trust and credibility among their colleagues. Prospective members do not feel like they are hearing a “sales pitch” from a fellow colleague about why their company should join an association. By sharing experiences and information, members can give others a clear road map of how their organization has succeeded and grown by being part of an industry association.
If having official association ambassadors is new for your organization, make sure you offer the tools to equip your members with all the information and knowledge that they need. Some members may request a simple one-sheet with bullet points while others may benefit more from one-on-one training or videos that they can reference when talking to prospective members.
A member-to-member recruitment effort is also a great opportunity for micro-volunteering; asking each active member to solicit only one additional new membership will yield great results for the association from only a small commitment of time from each volunteer.
When prospects see how passionate your current members are, this will drive interest, web traffic, and further conversations. No matter how large or small your association, your existing members can be your best resource and strongest advocates in recruiting and developing loyal new members!