Expert Content: A Great Way to Recruit Association Members

At a conference I attended for continuing education, author Cal Harrison (“The Consultant with Pink Hair”) offered several suggestions on marketing that, while intended for association management companies, are also applicable to associations recruiting new members.

Harrison emphasizes the importance of identifying and highlighting tangible indicators that you are good at what you do, that you are a source of expertise. Expert content, he suggests, will create followers. Followers will eventually become members. And we’re not just talking about followers in terms of Twitter and Facebook (although that can be an effective tool in recruiting followers).

So, how “expert” is the content on your website? There’s plenty of information on membership, dues, and conferences, right? But is there content showing that the association’s members are the leaders in their field? Are we showing expert content attributed to members—and on the public side of the site?

This is where the debate gets complicated. Are we suggesting giving away valuable information, or at least some of it, rather than restricting it to the dues-paying members? Yes. This approach suggests we have to do more than promise access to substantive, timely, and valuable information. We have to show it. At least some of it.

So take a fresh look at your website. Is it clear to the first-time visitor that the association is a source of expert, current and relevant content? Expertise drives content, and good content will attract members, Harrison emphasizes. If the association is the home of the industry’s

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