By: William Ferguson
Membership is the lifeblood of any association and everyone is responsible for keeping it pumping. From your board members to the person who answers phones at your association’s headquarters, recruiting and retaining members is everyone’s job. A great way to get everyone on board and excited about membership with the organization is picking a fun theme or idea to rally around.
Last year, I shared with you a membership materials makeover story. This year, we’re at it again as we continue to push membership to the next level and ignite our inner superheroes! When we sat down to decide how to incorporate the superhero theme into membership materials we knew we were going to have a lot of fun. Who doesn’t like superheroes? This campaign isn’t just about recruiting new members – it’s about recognizing how amazing our members and leaders are already!
The old adage is “it takes a village to raise a child”. In our world, it takes the entire team to make the ideas go from a brainstorming session to reality. Don’t forget to include key staff and members of your board or appropriate committee when launching a new membership campaign. Sharing information with your team members helps everyone do their job more efficiently and ensures that you won’t miss an opportunity to cross-sell membership.
Outside Help: It’s all about that vendor relationship!
Most associations do not have their own graphic designer and printing expert on staff. That means you need to work closely with outside vendors to make your plans a reality. Remember to pick the right person for the job you need done. We work with a number of printers and graphic designers but to get the look we wanted, we had to choose wisely. By fostering relationships with vendors you really get to know what their strengths are and you learn each other’s communication style. This will help ensure a successful outcome to all of your projects with them.
When choosing a graphic designer to work with, always ask for examples of their past projects. Many will have a sample portfolio to share with you and some will even have examples on their website (if they have one). Some designers are better at certain types of design so make sure you ask them about the type of work they’ve done, what their favorite design work is, and if they have experience with the type of design you’re looking for. Pricing will vary but is usually either based on the entire project or is a flat hourly rate. Even if the designer is offering a rate beyond your budget, you can always ask them if they’d be willing to work with you on the pricing – especially if you anticipate having many projects for them in the future! A good designer can also offer you insight into what the best printing process would be for your final printed piece.
Ignite Your Inner Superhero!
Honor your leaders and volunteers often. Celebrate your team’s successes. Toot your association’s horn. We’re all being asked to do more with less every day. The idea of rebranding, kicking off a campaign, or even marketing in general can seem like an overwhelming task. Every single person that works towards your association’s goals is a superhero, including you. When you celebrate success instead of letting it just slip by, you reinforce the reasons you’re here in the first place.
We’ve reached the middle of 2015; how’s your membership faring so far this year? Is it time for a change of strategy or image? Remember to ensure you’re working your membership plan and engaging your entire team. Please leave us any questions in the comments and take a look through our previous blog posts for more great ideas on membership, leadership, and management!