Secrets to Growing Your Association Without Breaking the Bank

For nearly 10 years now, I have personally worked with a long laundry list of associations to address their gripes, such as “How do I grow my association’s membership? How do I stop members from leaving?” Or even “How do I increase member engagement”.

Over the years, I have seen many common themes emerge. The industry and field of these associations have varied, from small professional associations to large training institutes, but interestingly enough – their problems do not go away. In our latest webinar, I dive a little deeper into the topic of growing your association.

What are the most common problems associations face?

  • Your members don’t appreciate the value you offer, often citing that they could “get it for free on the Internet”.
  • Your website has a decent amount of visitors, but they don’t convert because you aren’t engaging them. 
  • Your membership turnover rate is high – members aren’t motivated to renew.

Do any of these ring any bells? The good news is, you aren’t alone. The better news? There is a way out. The secret of growing your association. Our webinar spills our three key secrets on how to address these three common problems and actually garner results. 

You might be doing all of the right things to offer value to your members, but the reality is you might not be doing them with the right strategy or execution. The bright side to this is that you don’t have to go completely back to the drawing board and start from scratch – you can use what you have, it might just be a matter of looking at it from a different perspective, and that is the perspective of your member.

Instead of offering a laundry list of benefits to your members, all of the trivial value, it’s more important to offer fewer benefits that align with your member’s needs and do them really well! Any benefit that you can’t offer really well, isn’t worth working on.

Our Membership Secrets in Action 

Our client Cool Cleveland is a great example of this. They implemented our first secret to addressing their concerns about their membership not recognizing their value, and they saw a 300% increase in membership in just two years. 

How did they do it? Well, they started thinking like their members. They started to understand their member’s needs and wants and tailored their content accordingly. In our webinar, we walk you through exactly how. 

One of the other secrets we walk you through in the webinar is to ensure you’re focusing on relationships, not transactions. Your members are people, not just numbers. The reality is that transactions are very easy to cancel, but when you’re engaged in a relationship, it is much more difficult to break.

Engaging with your Association Members 

Here’s how someone recently turned the tables and applied this to me! I bought a Tesla a year ago and was having a hard time with my car. It ended up being a major manufacturing defect and having to be constantly serviced.

Thankfully, they have a mobile service, so they actually came to my home or office or wherever I was. The technician that came was the same guy – every single time. And every single time he struck up a conversation with me about things unrelated to my car – life, work, anything.

Eventually, we knew so much about each other that I was starting to wonder if the focus was on our relationship or fixing my car. I was considering bringing the issue up to the manager because I was concerned my car wasn’t actually getting fixed. I didn’t end up contacting the manager, and you know what stopped me? This guy.

I have a great relationship with him and I didn’t want to throw him under the bus – he’s been great to me this past year, and then I realized they did just that to me. They focused on their relationships, and it made it that much harder for me to walk away.

Now we’re solving the problem internally, I still have a great technician I can trust, AND they are giving me a new car. Talk about a win-win! 

Association Engagement Workshops

The goal of our webinars and workshops is to create win-win scenarios for you and your members. Our focus is on developing long-term relationships where both parties feel heard and seen translating into equal value. 

If you’re curious to learn more about growing your association, how to engage your members, increase member retention, and why you probably don’t have an average member, be sure to check out the full webinar. We address all of these and dive deeper into how you can change course. We also give you tangible action items that you can start implementing right now.

Interested in learning more about member engagement? Head over to our blog to read How to Increase Your Member Retention with a New Marketing Strategy.


Farhad Khan, CEO

A tech entrepreneur specialized in creating membership websites for professional associations to increase member engagement. My background is as an engineer for Nortel and Ericsson. I started my own tech company in 2009 to help associations and nonprofits solve their challenges with my digital technology skills.