I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but every association CEO needs to hear these 5 reasons that could cause the extinction of an association.
1. Raising Dues: Many of your members are now questioning the value of their membership. I would guess that 20% have second thoughts about pulling out their credit card for another year of questionable value. The tipping point would be for you to raise dues. As many organizations are looking at FREE membership, by raising dues you are sending the exact wrong message to your followers.
2. Relying on Social Media to Get Your Message Out. The big players like Facebook and YouTube are hoping that you post more and more of your content on their platforms. Why? Because it allows them to gather data on your members as well as the opportunity to offer them alternative content that takes them further away from your association's message.
Status Quo Associations Will Not Be Around in 5 Years.
3. Making Your Members Work Too Hard. Most associations have their members use one platform (LMS) for their education, another platform for event sign ups and then tell them to go somewhere else (YouTube) to watch videos. By sending your members to different platforms to do different things, you are asking them to work to get at your content. Not a good idea if you are struggling to grow membership.
4. Your Vanilla Content. The majority of your members, regardless of their age, have joined your association for you to provide them with educational content. You need to be careful here on 2 fronts. First, you need to focus quality time developing your content. Your content needs to be so good and proprietary that your members realize and appreciate that it makes their professional (and personal) lives better. Second, you need to deliver that content via mobile friendly video or animation as this is what your members are expecting. Video is now the new text.
5. Lack of New Non-Dues Revenue. You had better start to think of how you are going to generate new and more non-dues revenue as you will soon see that members will not accept member dues increases. As a matter of fact, there will be significant downward pressure on member dues. How will you replace and grow that revenue? You will need to be creative with partnerships and be in a position to use mediums other than print to generate advertising revenue. Other revenue opportunities include non-member subscription, pay-per-view and syndication. All avenues should be explored now to avoid shortfalls in the future.
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Dan Stevens is president of WorkerBee.TV and is a sought after guest speaker on association trends. To book Dan for your next event, please contact John Heppenstall, Director of Marketing at; firstname.lastname@example.org