Let me ask you this: Does your association have a specific plan in place to grow your association’s membership? Maybe you’re doing a lot of marketing: inbound marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, etc. Maybe you have a pretty good referral program in place. But are you targeting individuals exclusively or companies as well?
Now let’s back up for a second. We’re not talking about individual memberships versus organizational memberships. Both, in this case, apply. But, let’s say your organization offers individual memberships only. Well, even though you’re trying to recruit individuals, are you still targeting companies?
If not, you may want to! Here’s an example: Let’s say you work for an architecture association and you’re trying to recruit more architects. Well, you absolutely want to have website content, emails, social media posts, etc. directed towards architects, but you may also want to put together a marketing campaign directed towards architecture firms as well.
See, your association helps people become better industry professionals, and companies often like it when their employees are involved in professional organizations (they want the best and the brightest, after all). That said, it’s worth reaching out to those companies and encouraging them to encourage their employees to join.
A few tips for doing that:
- Put together an email marketing campaign - If you know the companies you’re trying to target, identify the leaders of those companies (this will require a little research - check LinkedIn!) and send them a few emails explaining why their employees should be members of your organization (and how it can help their company, ultimately). Just imagine how easy it would be for a senior leader to forward that email to a junior employee (AKA a potential member of your organization). The company may even offer to pay!
- Put together a flyer - Consider putting together a one-page flyer, again, explaining why companies should encourage their employees to join your organization. You could then use that flyer in a myriad of ways - as an attachment in the emails we mentioned above, as a direct mail piece, as a content piece on your website, etc.
- Create a company-focused landing page on your association’s website - Let’s say you do send companies a few emails or that one-page flyer we were just talking about. Well, you may want to give them a unique place to go next, rather than your association’s homepage. Consider creating a company-focused landing page with even more information about how their employees can benefit from joining your association. (Note: Most of the information on this page will be the same as what’s on your standard membership page - it’ll just be written for companies/employers).
Now these tactics are all designed to grow your association’s membership. But let’s say you’re already targeting companies. Or, targeting companies doesn’t really make sense at your organization. Well if that’s the case, that’s totally fine! And the good news is, there are still PLENTY of other ways to grow your association’s membership.
One of our favorites? Inbound marketing! Learn what it is and how to do it in our free guide, Growing Your Organization’s Membership: A Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations!