By: Christina Welty
I was never a cheerleader. Perhaps it’s my lack of coordination (seriously, I won the Klutz Award at our office Christmas party!) However, I do understand the importance of cheering others on and recognizing people for the good work they’ve done.
Drawing attention to ourselves – whether as an individual or as a company – may be hard for some. We’ve been taught to be humble and not draw attention to ourselves, but let’s face it. The workplace (and life in general) is busier than ever and we need to take the time to be our own cheerleaders.
One of my favorite commercials is from Publix and features a little boy who is playing his first soccer game. You see the dad pacing back and forth on the sideline as he watches his little boy fall down, miss the ball, pick up the ball and run in the opposite direction. At the end, the dad runs up to the boy (to console him, no less) and the little boy says, “Did you watch me?” The dad replies, “Yea, are you ok?” The little boy exclaims, “I WAS AWESOME!”
Watch the Publix video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtAwOpQBYPI
Obviously, the little boy needs to improve his soccer skills, but this short commercial illustrates that you must believe in yourself and put yourself out there to succeed. And if anything, it will make you smile!
I have worked for associations for over a decade, graduated from the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives PAL program and attended many meeting roundtables and Education Days. Although I have worked with countless dedicated members in that time, it’s rare to receive a compliment because:
It takes time out of their already busy schedules,
- It’s hard to recognize successes because they are not in the day-to-day trenches of meeting planning, recruiting members, etc. and
- Quite frankly, what we’re doing is “our job”, isn’t it?
In talking with many association professionals, I’ve found that they have similar feelings. So how can we tell others that we’re awesome (and get their help with this too!) without turning people off?
Client Testimonials. Pinpoint members and ask them for a quote. It could be about the association in general or about a recent meeting. Then when it is time for your next membership recruitment piece or conference registration brochure, ask for their permission and include that quote. Members will see that people just like them have benefited from being a member or attending a conference. Have members create a video snippet and post it to your website. Have a contest where the winner gets a free membership, exhibit space, meeting registration or something else of your choosing. Members also like when they are thought of and can contribute. It makes them feel important (and they are!)
Get involved AND have the credentials. Get involved with professional associations and the community. Partners encourages its employees to join and actively participate in many organizations including TSAE, FSAE and the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Joining an association allows for idea sharing and improving your skill set in order to help others.
Word of Mouth. When its membership renewal time, do you utilize your current members? If they are willing, have board members and other active members contact potential members and talk to them about how they have benefited from being a part of the association. If your company is up for a new project or recruiting a new client, do you use your current clients/members? They are your best resource!
Put yourself out there. Make sure your client’s websites and social media pages are up to date. Nothing is worse than having out-dated information (or on the contrary – nothing new in the last few months). Remember to share success stories. One glance at Partners in Association Management’s website – www.yoursearchisdone.com – and you will see the client successes over the years. For example, one of our clients wanted to increase revenues and involvement in their Annual Convention (who wouldn’t?). We devised a marketing plan and within four years, revenue increased by 35% and attendance soared from 500 to 800 attendees. This meeting has become one of the industry’s largest displays of products and services in the country. One way Partners in Association Management is successful is if its clients are successful. And one way to recruit new clients is….prove that success. This is perhaps why we acquired not one, but two new clients in 2013.
I’m already teaching my children the importance of being your own cheerleader.
And as you can tell, my son Benjamin is starting early!
What other tools or ideas do you have for letting others know that your association, client or you as an individual are awesome?