Do you know who your perfect members are? They’re the ones who stand to get the highest perceived value out of your organization and are willing to pay for what you are offering. Using information from surveys and research, you should be looking for common traits, needs, behaviors, and motivators for each of your membership segments.
Creating member personas enables you to better understand the needs of the people you want in your organization. This helps you package and price your benefits to provide the highest perceived value for each of your desired member groups – and tailor your messages and communications appropriately.
When members perceive your organization as valuable, they stay. When prospects think the benefits of being part of your organization is worth the investment, they join.
How to Create Member Personas
In our post, Growing Membership By Working Smarter, Not Harder, we explored how to segment your membership according to their needs and the perceived value they get from your organization. If you haven’t read that article yet, take some time to go back and refer to it.
If you have never surveyed your members – or haven’t in a while – that’s a step you shouldn’t skip. Research in the way of surveys, focus groups, or interviews is essential to understanding who your members are so that you can segment them according to common characteristics and needs.
Here are a few characteristics and themes you may want to explore as you create your member personas:
- Membership type
- Level of experience and expertise
- Common challenges and problems they are trying to solve
- Size of their organization
- Title or job function
- Specific common interests (events, subscriptions, etc)
- Annual investment
- Level of participation in events and programs
- Why they joined, what they like about the organization, what they dislike
- What other industry organizations they belong to
- What they are looking to get out of interacting with your organization
- Most-used benefits
- Website and social media interaction
- Primary needs
- Level of satisfaction with your organization
- Barriers to renewing or joining.
Once you’ve assigned some characteristics to each of your membership segments, you may find that it’s easier to relate to them and understand what they need. You should keep re-visiting these personas as you create your membership strategy. They’ll remind you which members are getting the most out of your organization – and willing to pay for your services – and where you may need to make some changes to better cater for the segments you’re not connecting with.