Why don’t people join associations anymore? Well, it could be because they do not hear about your association.
When I talk to members, the vast majority say they become aware of the association because someone told them about it. A coworker, a peer, a friend, a professor, a boss, or a vendor encouraged them to go to a chapter event or a conference, and then they were hooked. Most association awareness happens because enthusiastic current members are out there promoting the association (or their chapter, or the conference).
Not only does word of mouth make people aware of the association, but word of mouth also provides the social pressure that encourages new members to join. “If Sarah, who I respect, is recommending this organization, it must be worthwhile,” they think.
I have heard from some associations that word of mouth is not working like it used to. Why? Here are the two top reasons:
- Members forget to recruit – current members do not realize they play an essential role in attracting new members to the association. Let them know that the association becomes stronger when members tell other people like them about the association.
- Members do not want to recruit – current members are not receiving great value or having fantastic experiences with the association, so they do not wish to refer their friends to the organization. Ask yourself is the association (or chapter or conference) currently word of mouth worthy?
Are current members getting a ton of value and having great experiences with your association? If they are, gently remind them to tell their friends.