Provision of Valuable Resources

There are a variety of valuable resources you can provide to your members through your AMS – not least among them is e-learning courseware. Professional development courses allow members to garner specific knowledge in an expedited and cost-effective way. Having an association management system that allows you to develop, house and host learning content is a huge advantage that your members will want to exploit, without question.

Your association is already in the business of providing resources intended to benefit its members and the industry they contribute to. It only makes sense to offer the most interactive form of educational value that can be provided. The community you’ve created will most likely be founded in the idea that everyone involved is focused on continually improving their abilities. There is no greater asset for encouraging continual improvement than e-learning courseware.

Included below are several of the top reasons why you should ensure your AMS enables you to offer educational content. If your solution isn’t capable of supporting e-learning, members will be left to wonder whether there’s enough juice to squeeze from your association.

Built-In Value
When you can offer something to your membership within the bounds of your association, why would you opt for anything else. The more resources members can exploit and consume within your association’s AMS, the more accustom they will become to thinking of you first when looking to take in something of value. Creating that mental association in the minds of your members between value and your community will go a long way in building the case that they should stick around. When your members are in search of a particular resource, they’re going to find it. The question is, will they find it with you or elsewhere? They will, of course, have to consume certain resources outside of your association. However, where the opportunity exists to keep them with you, that shouldn’t be passed up.
The more you can keep members inside your association’s ecosystem, the greater the chance that they will have meaningful interactions with administrators and fellow members. E-learning is a fun way to gain knowledge on any given topic, so having these types of courses available to your members will draw them in. What’s more, once they complete a course, it gets the juices flowing and they want to discuss their experience of the program and what they learned. Anything that stimulates positive engagement is golden in the association world. The more your members interact with association representatives and colleagues, the stronger and more cohesive your community will become. Administrators can make great efforts to create opportunities for engagement with members. However, try as they may, if your association doesn’t offer valuable resources (like e-learning), engagement (despite their efforts) will dry up. You can talk the talk but if you don’t walk the walk, members won’t stick around for the conversation. It has to be accompanied by value.
With the Times
Developing and providing e-learning content is a great strategy for staying in the know. Creating a valuable course usually requires a certain amount of topical research. While conducting this research, your association will not only educate themselves on the topic at hand – but also other related topics that have influence on the subject matter, exposing your association to the most current thoughts and ideas regarding this or that. Providing e-learning keeps your association in the ever-evolving conversation of what is currently accepted and what is a burgeoning concept. It’s very important to know where the industry is and where it is going if you want to stay relevant in the eyes of your members. Another important factor to consider is how providing e-learning courses not only informs your association of the industry’s interests, but also of your members. By tracking which courses garner the most interest and uptake from your members, your association is receiving invaluable insight into what people are looking to consume. Knowing where the industry wants to go and what your members find interesting will keep your association with it, instead of falling behind.
Value Proposition
Any prospect of your association is going to conduct their own evaluation of what you have to offer them, should they make the decision to join your community. With the information you provide through your website, they’ll take into account all the valuable resources you describe. If e-learning is not listed as one of your resources you’ve made available to members, that may raise some eyebrows. It would be quite uncommon for an association not to have continuing education courses within their content arsenal. For the majority of prospects, a lack of e-learning will be enough for them to turn away from your association. Some may offer the courtesy of inquiring as to why you choose not to provide e-learning resources. That’s almost a worse scenario than having them just decide not to join – since there’s really no adequate response for deciding not to benefit your members with educational content. Bottom line, when someone is deciding if your association is a fit for them, you want to be able to check that e-learning box for them. Offering e-learning may not be the deciding factor that convinces them to join. However, not providing e-learning may be the nail in the coffin that confirms your association will not be beneficial to them. Having educational content is a value proposition that will draw prospects to you and keep members around.
Industry Impact
No association wants to be a bystander in their industry. They want to contribute in a meaningful way, and more than that, they want to set trends and forge paths. To impact your industry, you need to wield some influence. People aren’t going to pay attention to your efforts if you haven’t previously established your association as a respected voice in the industry zeitgeist. The best way for an association to establish itself as a major player is to become the epicentre of value. Offering high quality resources, like e-learning, will allow your association to build that perception of value within your industry. As that profile of value grows stronger and stronger, your educational content will begin to steer conversations within the community and even influence the evolution of how things are done. It goes without saying, the more respected your association can be – the better. It all starts with what you bring to the table. Make sure the value you are offering can support the influence you aspire to command.
Everyone learns differently. For this reason, it’s important to diversify your educational offerings. E-learning is the best available resource for offering a multi-faceted educational experience, since it can deliver information audibly, literally and visually. What’s more, it’s a format most are familiar and comfortable with. Not to say that people can’t come to enjoy new ways of consuming information. However, when you deliver content to your members in a way they can take in easily, because of their familiarity with the medium, it removes a barrier between them and exploiting your value.
Community Building
Your association spearheads many initiatives to cultivate a strong sense of community among its members. Each effort has merit and serves a purpose in the greater scheme of things. Your association hosted events do quite a bit of good when trying to strengthen the bonds between your members. However, as integral as your events are, you can only host so many – since they are no small undertaking. So, you need valuable assets available to your members online (via your AMS), that will uphold a strong sense of community throughout the year. E-learning courseware is the type of resource that stimulates intrigue and conversation, lending itself to the support and reinforcement of a strong and active association community.
Improve Retention
The worst trend an association can see is one where members are letting their membership lapse or are opting out of recommitting. You can have a great marketing strategy that effectively targets prospects, but if you aren’t retaining members, word will get out that your association is offering nothing of substance. Keeping your current members invested in your community is your greatest marketing strategy. And, of course, the best way to keep your members in the fold is to meaningfully engage with them and give them a significant supply of value to exploit. Just as e-learning resources attract prospects to your association, they will also empower you to retain current members. You can essentially addict your members to the value and quality of resources you provide so much so that they can’t imagine not maintaining their access to your offerings.

Your AMS can be a treasure trove of value for your members and can serve as a great support system in cultivating and maintaining the type of cohesive community you aspire to achieve. Ensure your solution is capable of housing and hosting e-learning resources so your association can capitalize on the appeal they produce. You want your association to seem valuable to prospects and be valuable to members – the provision of e-learning is an important piece in making this a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about how Guild can equip your association with an AMS capable of housing valuable member content, please click here.