You've just joined the world's coolest club. Congrats!! Now, how do you help it to grow?
HOW TO GROW CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Growing membership in your club (Rotary, PTA, a Co-working tech hub, etc...) is a lot like growing interest in any other business. The better you plan, the better your results.
It's easy to believe better sales tactics is the solution. "Let's just ask more people to join!!" But without a clear vision for "Who" you're attracting and "Why" they'll enjoy it, you risk creating a revolving door. Many clubs find it easy to recruit but hard to retain. People join easily, then quit just as fast.
Part 1: TOO MUCH TO DO: Most clubs' recruitment efforts focus on activities and accomplishments, the things they actually do. But most people in today's America already have plenty to do. The "To Do List" never ends. We don't need more.
Part 2: LACK OF IDENTITY: A Recipe for Failure - becoming exclusively inclusive
"We only invite anybody!!" - a sure path to lack of identity.
"Nobody joins a club because of What you do. They join because of Who you are!"
Help us understand WHY you do what you do, and you build emotional connections we get to care about. Why do you care? What type of person joins your club? Who will I get to spend time with, and Who will I get to become as a result?
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Become Exclusively Awesome (Whatever that specifically means to you.
"We only invite people who (x...)!"
BETTER AUDIENCE, BETTER PITCH:
#1: WHAT DO YOU DO: Make a list of your club's activities and accomplishments
-philanthropy, entrepreneurship, wine-tasting, fundraisers, playing golf (or music, or euchre, or video games), reading, etc...
#2: WHY DO YOU DO IT: Now list all the reasons Why you care about the activities and accomplishments in list #1. Take your time building a comprehensive list, then pick the top 3 reasons. These will represent your Core Values.
#3: WHO ARE YOU: Make a list of personality and career characteristics now common to your membership (ie - we're business owners, we're parents, we're Catholics, we're libertarian, or leaders in the community, etc...) The more specific the better - avoid vague, relative terms like moral, enjoyable, or diverse, which are open to broad interpretation.
#4: WHERE ARE YOU GOING: Look at your "WHO ARE YOU" list (#3 above). Ask, "Why is it especially important to promote our Core Values (#2 above) among others who share these characteristics? What are you becoming or creating? Where are you going? This is your vision.
#5: SPECIFY YOUR AUDIENCE AND MAKE THE PITCH: Now go find the people who share your core values (list #2) and also share, or might like to develop characteristics in common with your current membership (list #3). Then ask them what they think of your vision (#4 above). Wait for their response, then enjoy their input. You'll learn a lot about their values and compatibility.
Luckily, you know who you are. You know why you care and what you stand for. You're extremely multi-faceted, fascinating in fact. But fascination takes time.
You only have a few moments of my attention. And this is why you take so much time to carefully craft your description, not to explain every detail, but to help me understand it in a few words. So I can know why you care and decide to care too. So I can decide to be part of the incredible Stuff you all do.