It’s that time of year again. The annual renewal invoice for your professional trade association just hit your inbox. You think about about how you leveraged the association’s membership over the past year but it’s likely that you could have done more to get the most out of it.
Here are a few suggestions on how to effectively leverage trade associations to get the most of your memberships:
- Increase your credibility with your trade association membership.
Since belonging to a reputable trade association boosts your credibility within an industry, you should promote your involvement with it whenever possible. List your association memberships on your LinkedIn profile, your resume and business cards. Consider displaying the association’s logo on your e-mail signature and in your office.
- Participate in Social Media
Your organization likely has a LinkedIn Page, a LinkedIn group, a Twitter page, or a Facebook page. Follow these pages and join any groups associated with the association. Don’t stop there, though. Comment and “like” posts whenever possible to stay as engaged as possible. You might also consider sharing the organization’s posts on your personal social media sites to align yourself with the organization.
- Utilize the Member Directory
Keep your member profile updated with as much as information as possible. You can also utilize the member directory to search for contacts within your industry.
- Become Involved in a Committee
Contact your association to ask about volunteer opportunities on a committee or on the Board of Directors. This not only provides a great way to escalate yourself within an organization but it is a great opportunity to network with your industry peers.
Networking is perhaps a trade association’s greatest value. You should attend as many face-to-face events as possible, including meetings, happy hours and other social events. Be friendly, approachable and bring lots of business cards to promote yourself.
- Seek Out Speaking Opportunities
Contact your association to offer to speak at an event or meeting. It can be as simple as introducing the guest speaker or moderating a session but the exposure of being in front of your industry peers is invaluable.
- Submit Your News
It doesn’t hurt to submit your personal news to the organization’s newsletter or website. Contact the association about your recent promotion or accomplishment. It will cost you nothing and is worth a try in hopes that it will get published in a newsletter or on a website.
- Utilize Association Discounts
Association members often receive discounts to industry programs, seminars, conferences, etc., including the Executives in Transition program. Keep your eye out for these offers.
Are you on the board or in an association and need help with member acquisition and retention? Call us 303-216-0472 or email us here. Do you have a story of how you were able to get the biggest bang for your association dollar? Tell us your story!