Do you ever take a look around at your membership and notice that the group is full of seasoned professionals that are inching closer and closer to retirement? If so, it might be time to start targeting a younger crowd that can stay in the association for years to come. Obtaining young professionals as members, however, can be tricky. The millennial generation is known for wanting experiences rather than material items. That means you truly have to give them an experience and offers they cannot receive elsewhere. Luckily, a new group of college graduates enters the work force every year so you have a new group to target each year.
Reach. In order to convince young professionals to join your organization, you need to reach them where they are. Set up a booth at their college fair, contact the leader of a club that is related to your association, get online. Students at a fair are always looking to get involved in something and students in a club are already involved. These are the perfect types of people to bring in to the association. They are open and willing to learn about something that is more of an extra-curricular. Reaching millennials on social media is also always a good move. When doing this, however, make sure to be relatable and provide useful content. You can’t just have social media and expect someone in a younger generation to follow it.
Membership levels. Students coming out of college are often drowning in their student loans. The last thing they will want to do is put more money into getting a leg up in their career. Some options would be to offer a free membership to students or a free or discounted first year of membership. Offering free membership to students, allows them to get involved in the association early and understand the value the organization holds. They are then more likely to continue paying for their membership after their time in college. If you want to ensure that you hold onto them during that transition period, the free or discounted first year will most likely keep them hooked.
Benefits. When trying to attract a younger crowd, make sure to stress the benefits. Networking is a huge benefit to post grads. They are looking to make connections in the industry and often struggle with finding a place to do that. These connections are great but there is also a chance that they will find real friends among the members. This can also be an incentive to join. Push the people aspect of the association and any other benefits that would specifically apply to someone just entering the work force.
If you make these adjustments and understand your target audience, your association will be booming with young professionals before you know it!