Depending on how long your association has been around (or the nature of the industry), it’s probably safe to say those resources are plentiful - and incredibly valuable! But it’s not always easy to get members to take advantage of this particular benefit. Here are some tips for doing just that:
1. Diversify the type of content
eBooks, videos, live webinars, articles...the list goes on. Whether you’re developing your own resources or gathering content from others, it can come in many shapes and sizes. But that’s a good thing! People absorb information in different ways, so it’s important that you have a diverse library to offer. You may even consider taking one piece and turning it into something else. (For example, take an eBook and record a voiceover for those who like the podcast approach.)
2. Offer continuing education units (or CEUs)
If continued learning is important in your industry or if you offer any type of certification, this is a surefire way to get members to take advantage of your resources! Take an inventory of your content to see exactly what may qualify, and make sure that information is spelled out clearly anywhere that the content can be accessed. Better yet, find a system that’ll allow you to track those CEUs by individual member so they have something to reference.
3. Promote promote promote
Don’t be shy about that great content! Bring it up as often as it makes sense: Talk about member access at meetings, include links to relevant content in certain emails, add a note on invoices, ask members to contribute, etc.
What’s more is, you should be promoting your resources as a reason to join! Include information in a prominent spot on your website, but keep it all locked up in the members-only portal. That way prospects know it’s there, but the only way in is to become a member!
4. Call on your partners
What kind of partnerships do you have across the industry? Now would be a good time to ask for their help! Your partners are a great outlet for both promoting your content (to members and non-members alike) and generating more of it. Maybe they have something to contribute, or maybe they would be willing to help develop something. Either way, having both of your names on a piece will help reinforce its credibility.
5. Make the process seamless
So you have all of this great content and a plan to promote it...but where do you keep it all? Many associations solicit the help of a Learning Management System (LMS), or something equally handy for housing, tracking, administering, and granting access to all of its resources. Take some time to look around and see if that’s the right solution for you!
But keep in mind: You’ll want a system that has a great user experience, is cost effective while not skimping on features, and can generate non-dues revenue.