A robot unlocking growth with the a key titled motive

Everyone wants more attention. I've yet to come across a client who didn't say that their website needed, "greater visibility." When I ask clients what greater visibility would do for them, they say that it would help them grow. While this isn't entirely false, pursuing visibility is not a goal that leads to growth. Instead, seeking to understand the reason that people join is what charts the path to expanding membership.

Attention, in itself, doesn't have much value beyond reinforcing your vanity. Currently, the politician George Santos has a level of public attention that surpasses any other political figure. Though he may be able to spin off his notoriety into a, "Dancing With The Stars," appearance, he'll never be elected again. Similarly, recording your staff failing at the milk crate challenge on Tik Tok might garner some "eyeballs" but it's not going to drive sign-ups.

Members sacrifice something to join your organization. It costs them in dues, time, and energy. They don't do it simply because they saw you somewhere. We live in a time and place of amazing abundance. There are many excellent alternatives that they could spend their resources on. But despite this, some people still choose to sign up with you. They have a motivation to do so that surpasses the alternatives.

Motivation, comes from two root words, "motive," or reason and "-ation," which derives from action. A simple definition of motivation would be, "reason to do." Understanding what the reasons members sign up is powerful intelligence.

When you understand new members' situation, goals, obstacles, and the potential value they see in membership, it opens the door to opportunity. It can change how you market your organization, what you say in your offers, and where you seek attention.

The absolute best time to do this is immediately after they've joined. In six months or five years, their situation and goals will have evolved. Because of this, your very first sentences to them should be something like, "Welcome! We're happy you decided to join. What caused you to decide to sign up today? How are you hoping we could benefit you?"

John Hooley
President, Steward

John is a graduate of 10,000 Small Businesses, a certified Customer Acquisition Specialist, and a Zend Certified Engineer. He speaks and writes on connecting digital strategy to association goals. Outside of work he's an avid traveler, climber, diver, and a burgeoning sailor. He also volunteers with Rotary and Big Brothers Big Sisters.