Marketing your association seems like a huge undertaking; just another thing to pile onto your already overloaded plate as a small staff association leader. It doesn’t have to be that complicated! Marketing your association can be as simple as making a few small tweaks to what you’re already doing. Here are a few examples.
1) Send a welcome kit
How do you welcome new members when they join your association? Associations can do everything from sending a welcome email to mailing out a kit with bumper stickers, a welcome letter, and other types of swag. And members go for both! Sometimes a “welcome packet” is worth the extra effort, but sometimes it just gets lost in a stack of mail on the members’ coffee tables. It all depends on the association, but don’t ignore new members entirely! Remember they had to make a tough decision to invest money in their dues for your association, and we all know that money could have gone elsewhere. New members are at a critical time where they could either join and become completely disengaged or 100% committed to engaging, volunteering, and bringing their friends. A welcome kit could sway that move either way!
2) Optimize your emails
Your members expect to get emails from you, but they probably don’t expect to get emails they are excited to read. No offense, but how often are you really ever delighted with emails sent by anyone besides direct contacts? You can make your association emails delightful! That will increase knowledge about your association’s events and happenings, and that will bump up engagement. Check out this blog all about it!
3) Smooth out your website
Your website is the first point of contact for many of your new members, and it’s only growing in relevance. It’s also a place where people can search for your association’s expertise, job postings, or other important information that you provide your community. Make sure your website looks good! That means no dead links, easy to read and navigate, and regularly updated material.
4) Build member-advocates
Word of mouth marketing is always going to be the most valuable form of marketing there is. As nice as it is to have a good reputation online, when it really comes down to it members and potential members are going to listen to their friends and colleagues first. If you regularly offer your members value and prove that their time and money investment is worth it, they’ll share the love by bringing their friends and colleagues.
5) Spend time on Social Media
Go fishing for engagement where your members already are. Establish your social media presence and see what works. Your members are already liking and sharing their friends’ stuff. I bet your association could get in on that!
Don’t feel like you have to add “market my association” to your to-do list. Just start with one of these things, and just start thinking about it for the first step. Then you’re well on your way!
Need some help with step 5? Download our free guide to social media for small staff associations!