We think new members join for the professional development and networking, but a new member joins for one of these reasons:

  • They believe in the cause.
  • It is time to invest in their career.
  • Someone they respect is a member.
  • A boss or manager says they have to join.
  • They are on a hunt to find other like-minded people.
  • They know someone who is getting a lot out of being a member.
  • Someone they want to do business with pressures them to be a member.
  • A staff member or association member calls them and invites them to join.
  • To go to the conference or, to get a research report or, to get access to another benefit.
  • As a former member of another industry association, they know the value associations can provide.

Members often join not knowing very much about what the association can do for them. They join hoping that joining will be worthwhile somehow even though they have no idea what that value will be.

As association professionals, we think they know what they need from the organization, and they will go looking for it. But new members don’t. They don’t know what we offer; they don’t know how to find it, our members don’t even know there is anything they should be looking for.

We have to earn being top of mind. We have to become the source of solutions to their problems. The surest path to becoming top of mind is by proving value the moment they join.

Often unengaged members say, “I just never had time to research the website and see what was available to me.”Don’t let this be your new member’s mantra.

Amanda Kaiser is a qualitative member researcher. She has conducted 319 member interviews and counting. Through these interviews she helps associations understand their members’ goals, challenges, opinions, fears, and hopes. These insights become the building blocks of their member-focused vision and future-focused strategy, innovation and marketing plans. Amanda also writes a three-times weekly blog for association professionals. You can check it out and subscribe at SmoothThePath.net or follow her on Twitter @SmoothThePath.

Amanda Kaiser is a qualitative member researcher. She has conducted 319 member interviews and counting. Through these interviews she helps associations understand their members’ goals, challenges, opinions, fears, and hopes. These insights become the building blocks of their member-focused vision and future-focused strategy, innovation and marketing plans. Amanda also writes a three-times weekly blog for association professionals. You can check it out and subscribe at SmoothThePath.net or follow her on Twitter @SmoothThePath.

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