When a prospective member is evaluating whether your association / community is the right fit for them, one of the first things they’ll do is visit your website. This has been discussed in many of our blogs, but it bears repeating – the quality of content you present on your association website is terribly important to your community’s growth. What visitors read will either capture them or push them away.
Of the content you can offer as appetizer, testimonials may be one of the most strategically significant weapons in your arsenal. Words originating from your association can be impactful when well crafted. However, praise for your community coming from someone who made the choice to join your ranks as a member is just about as convincing as you can get. Their words carry quite a lot of weight since they don’t have a vested interest in a prospect’s affirmative decision and are offering recommendation willfully and free from chance of reward (thus making it more genuine).
Every successful association has a large pool of happy members to draw on when attempting to collect a selection of testimonials for publishing. The key is to highlight insight from a variety of different professional backgrounds. Below, we have provided a few of the personas you should target when putting together a testimonial content package.
- C-Suite Member
- Among your membership, your association will more than likely have some community members who hold high positions within their respective organization. These executive professionals bring a specific set of credentials and perspective to whatever they apply themselves to. What’s more, because of their status and standing within their industry, their insight carries quite a bit of respect. So, it goes without saying that gathering a testimonial of your association from this type of member will go a long way in empowering an affirmative decision from prospects evaluating whether your community offers value.
- Young Professional
- Without question, you want your association’s membership to grow. However, more specifically, you want your association’s membership to grow with the majority of new registrants being young, up-and-coming professionals. Your community will only be as sustainable as you make it. You constantly need to be targeting and envisioning the future. Therefore, you need to be engaging with the future generations of your industry. Also, you need to be promoting that your association is an ecosystem that values young professionals and keeps them directly involved in the progress of the community. Allowing a young member to do the talking on behalf of your association is a great opportunity to convince prospective young members that your community offers value and support. Young professionals are looking for resources that will allow them to network and develop as they forge their path into the industry. All they really need to figure out whether your association is the right fit for them is to see that you have a track record of supporting young professionals. A testimonial from a young member or two will accomplish this.
- HR Professional
- Associations, and their member management systems, can be a great help for human resource professionals. If your association makes use of a comprehensive AMS, the data that can be stored on the system is invaluable to HR personnel – especially when it comes to member credentials. Since all training, education, continuing development and certifications can be housed neatly within your association’s AMS, it can be easily accessed and referenced by member organization HR representatives. Cluttered paperwork is the bane of everyone’s existence, no matter your job title or role. The fact that your association’s AMS allows HRs to review member employees’ credentials in an expedited fashion will not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Having a human resource professional offer insight regarding the benefit your association offers at the organizational level would certainly be a worthy testimonial to gather. HR professionals have a tightknit community and having one of their own extol the virtues of managing certain aspects of your personnel through an AMS can be a convincing proposition for prospective member organizations.
- Committee Member
- Association members that form part of the community committee have interesting insight to offer since they are privy to the future plans and strategies being discussed for the association. They can speak from an informed position on how the association has provided value in the past, and plans to provide value in the future. A testimonial from a committee member will give prospective members a bit of a sneak-peek into the inner workings of your community. This founds the idea that your association is an open book and its initiatives are impacted and contributed to by everyone.
- Institution Alumni
- If your association is focused on recruiting recent graduates of your institution into the fold, there’s no better testimonial than one offered up by an alumni member. There is so much opportunity to provide new grads with value through an alumni association or community, and a current alumni member can speak to that reality from experience. From staying in touch with university news and events, to networking with alumni colleagues and being offered professional development opportunities – an alumni member can highlight all of the elements on offer that would be appealing to a new grad, just setting out into their young professional career.
- Event Attendee
- Events are a huge value proposition that associations offer. If done right, your association events can be the thing people look most forward to when scheduling their year. When you’ve successfully hosted a great event that members (and non-members) are raving about, don’t let that praise fall on deaf ears. Plate up those great one-liners and voluntarily offered acclaims in testimonials that you can memorialize those events with. Prospective members decide to join your association for many reasons, but it can’t be denied that people enjoy having a good time. And, if you can show through your event attendee testimonials that prospects having been missing out on the entertaining times your association has facilitated, a strong “fear of missing out” will begin to build within them – hastening their feeling of the need to member-up.
- Event Presenter
- Your event presenters tend to be some of the most respected figures in their field. So, naturally, if you can have them say something complimentary about your association and the value it provides to the industry / community it serves, that’s a homerun. What’s more, having someone of repute recommend your association legitimizes your standing and exemplifies to prospects that there must be quite a bit of value to mine as a member if the association is able to attract such sought-after speakers.
When it comes to content, prospects like to hear from experience. Testimonials offer insight directly from people who can truly speak to the value of your association’s offering. Having testimonials support your association-crafted content will strengthen your ability to convert prospects to full-fledged members.
If you’re interested in garnering further insight around association website content or any of the other elements that make an appealing web presence, please contact a Guild representative to find out how our team can support your efforts and vision.