I came across an interesting term the other day, one that’s rarely mentioned in the association space: servant marketing.
What is that? What does it really mean?
Well, it’s a lot like how it sounds. It’s a type of marketing that’s focused on helping (or serving) others. It’s not about “selling” your organization to get more members. It’s about helping people and putting their needs before your own.
That said, is your association practicing servant marketing? Are you marketing to people or for them?
We should all be marketing for people, but I understand, that’s sometimes difficult to do. If you need help practicing servant marketing, take a look at these three tips, or rather, fundamentals:
1. Always be helpful
Remember, servant marketing is all about helping others. That said, your content should always, always, always be valuable. No matter what. Don’t worry so much about making a “hard sell” at the end. If your content is valuable, that’s a direct reflection of your association.
2. Practice empathy
A big component of serving others is understanding them - knowing what their goals, challenges, and pain points are. If you know these things about people, you can then create content to help with those goals, challenges, and pain points.
Not sure what your members’ and potential members’ goals, challenges, and pain points are? It might be time to create/revisit member personas. Tips on how to do that here.
3. Listen and converse
Too often, when marketing content is distributed, people think, “Oh, they’re just trying to sell me something.” But that’s not what you want people to think about your association’s content. You want them to think, “Oh, that might actually help me.”
So how do you change that common perception? Well, it’ll take some time, but it’s all about listening and conversing with people. Listen to what people are talking about and create content based on those wants, needs, and interests. Don’t view your content as something you just put out and move on from. View it as a conversation piece - something you and your members/potential members can talk about and engage with.
Ever heard of inbound marketing? It’s a type of servant marketing that your association could really benefit from. It’s all about creating valuable content to attract people and convert them into members. Learn more about how it’s done in our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations below. (P.S. It’s free!)