Look to young professionals to attract new members to your association

Most members join a professional organization early in their careers.

Read on to learn how to get even more of these young professionals on board.

Young professionals in your industry represent a vast pool of potential new members for your association. The Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study, shows that, of the members of professional organizations who responded to the survey in the study:

  • Twenty-two percent of joined as a student.
  • Another 13 percent joined after graduating and before taking their first job.
  • Forty-one percent joined within the first five years of employment.

So, how do you get even more of those young professionals on board?

I’ve found that associations typically look to members who are far along in their careers to guide younger professionals to join. This is an effective approach. Long-time members are often hiring managers and mentors in the industry. They’re in a unique position to help spread the word about the value of your organization to young professionals.

But here’s another approach that’s often overlooked: Ask your younger members to help recruit other young professionals. People often feel a fast connection with their peers. They’re more likely to join your organization when they hear about a great member experience from another young professional.

Here are four ways to ask young professionals to help your association recruit young professionals:

1. Collect testimonials.

Ask young professionals who have recently joined your organization why they joined. Ask them how being a member has helped them in this stage of their career. Invite them to share their advice to other young professionals who are thinking about joining. Be sure to include the testimonials in your recruitment campaigns, including emails, social media, and your website.

TIP: Learn how to collect and use testimonials. Read the article, How to Gather and Use Testimonials to Drive Member Acquisition and Engagement

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2. Develop case studies.

Identify a few stand-out young professional members – ones who have become highly involved with your organization within the first year or so of membership. Ask if they’re willing to share their story of when and why they joined your organization, how they have been involved as a member, and how their membership has helped them grow their careers.

  • Interview these members, and write up their stories. Or, capture their stories on video. As with your testimonials, include the case studies in your recruitment campaigns.

TIP: Get more mileage out of your case studies. Pull out key points or quotes to use as testimonials on your website and in campaign emails and other recruitment activities.

3. Use your online member community.

If your online member community allows you to provide limited access to non-members, invite young professionals to join the community. Start a discussion group for young professionals. Ask some of your most involved younger members to actively participate in the group, sharing tips, resources, and benefits of joining the organization.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software allows you to give non-members limited access to your online member community to demonstrate the value of being a part of your association.

4. Offer leadership opportunities.

Ask young professionals to become involved as committee members and committee chairs. Consider appointing a board seat just for a young professional. When other young professionals see their peers in leadership roles, they will know that your association values the opinions and growth of young professionals.

Recruit more members.
Watch the webinar on-demand: Blueprint for boosting association membership.


Kyela Bishop at YourMembership AMSBy Kyela Bishop, YourMembership Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands

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