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Whether you're starting up a professional association or you've been running one for years, there are a number of traits that the most successful organizations have in common, and knowing these traits can help you to improve upon your association. If you're feeling as though you have no direction in running, promoting, and building upon your association, below are some tips to help it to grow:
SEE ALSO: Content is King, Even for Associations
Include a Job Board
Job board sites are all over the Internet these days, and more and more professionals are turning to these resources in order to find work. By including a job board on your association's site, you can not only offer members and prospective members an added perk, but you can also provide your association with added revenue through job posters. The draw here is that you only accept job posts from companies that are specific to the industry that your association serves.
As with any type of business or organization, the people involved have to be engaging and truly committed to helping clients or members. This means that your association's staff has to really care about its mission and goals. In most cases, professional associations are run as not-for-profit, and this can lead some employees/volunteers to not give their best. Instead of allowing just anyone to come on board, make sure that you're selecting only candidates who have demonstrated a clear desire to engage with and serve members.
Social Media is a Requirement
In the past, professional associations could get away with occasional newsletters and a few emails, but today's professional demands access to social media and social networking when interfacing with an association. If you haven't already started sharing content on social networks and recruiting members through social media, it's not too late. Go ahead and create profiles for your association on all of the big social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter, but don't forget to look for social networks that speak to the industry or industries your association serves. In fact, if you want to get innovative, hire professional developers to create a social network for your association specifically. Once you've established a social media presence for your members, make sure to update it daily with new, original content.
Keep Your Branding Message Consistent
Consistency is the key to great content, and it's also the key to a strong brand. Companies such as Apple and Lexus have thrived due to consistent branding messages, and your association can benefit from this approach as well. Find what it is that your association has set out to do, how it does what it does, and what it offers, and stick to those points whenever you create content. For example, if your association is dedicated to up-and-coming engineering professionals, your content could be designed around the idea of "engineering your way to the top". In each piece of content, whether it be text, audio, video, graphic, or animation, you could incorporate how your association is assisting new engineers in working their way up through their selected career paths.