Every association knows that a vibrant growing membership base is absolutely necessary in order to survive. While retention efforts certainly help, and are a crucial part of your overall growth strategy, without new members to replace the ones that leave you will soon be left with a dead or dying organization. Not only do you need to replace members who, for whatever reason, dropout, they also need to compete with thousands of other organizations and distractions vying for your membership’s time. Your members today have access to more volunteer and professional development opportunities than ever before, so it’s vital that you make a solid impression.
The best way to break through the clutter and draw potential members to your association is to show them current members who love what you do. A powerful member video, shot in crystal clear high definition and with impeccable audio, will act like a magnet for prospective members. Membership videos like the one above made for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, generate a ton of excitement for the association.
There are three factors as to why membership videos work so well as a recruiting tool.
1) The Peer Influence Factor
A peer holds more sway over his or her peers than an actor, spokesperson, or even an executive in the association. Peers are able to communicate in a way that speaks directly to the audience and touches their life specifically. No other type of marketing you produce will have this kind of impact.
The principle is simple – dentists respond more positively to other dentists because they both know what it’s like to be a dentist. Teachers respond to other teachers better than they would to a real estate agent, who in turn will respond to other real estate agents better than a teacher. If you see someone who is like you, doing something you don’t have experience with, you are more likely to give that activity more thought because of the professional connection.
When prospective members see your current members speak with passion about your association, they are more likely to listen to everything you have to say.
2) The Credibility Factor
Often a prospective member will have heard of your organization but isn’t all that familiar with what you do. No matter their level of understanding or recognition, there’s a simple reason prospects are not already members. That reason is credibility.
In order for someone to trust and like your association, it has to appear credible and trustworthy. Member videos show that your current members love your organization enough to publicly throw their support behind it. That’s a powerful message to prospective members.
When current members can’t help but gush about their experiences with their association, it shows prospects that they can at least trust your organization because people like them already do.
3) The Likability Factor
Just because someone trusts you, it doesn’t automatically mean that they like you. Credibility is just not enough, your prospective members have to feel that stirring of positive emotion toward the association in order to act further. A well produced member video will do just that.
This factor is tricky because you can produce member videos and testimonials that increase the credibility of an association but not the likability. If your members are not coached properly, or the video quality isn’t the highest caliber, your members could come off as trustworthy but not likable. That’s a huge problem, and a misstep that you can’t afford make.
People are naturally drawn to smiling, enthusiastic people. When membership videos are done right, they influence with a smile. A happy, enthusiastic member will influence prospective members way more than text on a screen or a brochure in a hand. If the prospect can see that members of your organization are successful, happy, and engaged, they are sold.
What to do next?
If you haven’t planned to produce your member videos, now is a great time to start. Or why not capture some production-quality videos at your next event or conference. Since association conferences gather together an association’s members, leadership, vendors, and supporters in one place, there is no better time than a conference to capture these videos. The excited atmosphere of the event will make for great videos.
Member videos are incredibly powerful tools to harness the natural enthusiasm of your current members to show prospective members just what your association is all about. These videos are an effective and cost beneficial way of reaching out to new prospects. Nothing is more credible than a peer to peer endorsement communicated through beautiful high definition video. If you have any questions please leave a comment below or feel free to contact me directly.