9 Ideas for Making it Member Personal: Dale Carnegie’s Advice for Associations Part II

In the first part of our series, we examined four ways in which the wisdom of Dale Carnegie is applicable today. The second part of our series continues to explore how Carnegie’s insights are applicable to personalizing the modern member experience.

5 – “Success in dealing with people depends on a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.”

To capture attention and loyalty, you must understand the different segments of your audience. Don’t assume you or your committee chair knows what you need to know. A chair who’s been in business for decades won’t have the same perspective as a new young member in their first management role.

You can grasp a membership segment’s viewpoint by understanding issues they worry about, situations that stress them out, and expenses they weren’t expecting. Learn about their aspirations and goals. Once you get a better sense of their professional lives, you can determine how your association can really help them. Let them know you understand the problems they face and tell them what steps you’re taking to help them.

6 – “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important… always make the other person feel important.”

Give people the opportunity to have a voice, comment, or make a suggestion. When they give feedback, let them know how it made a difference—what you did as a result or how it influenced the association’s thinking or action.

Show appreciation to all volunteers, not just board and committee members but any member who gives their time in an ad hoc or episodic way. Members notice when their volunteering goes unnoticed. Thank members who make a call on your behalf, review a session proposal, help at an event, or give time in any way.

7 – “You must develop a deep, driving desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase your ability to deal with people.”

Never stop learning about your members because their needs and interests constantly change. Pay attention to what they do, not just what they say. Tools like rasa.io can help you learn what members are really interested in and will track how those interests change over time.

Keep up on what’s going on in the industry or profession by reading trade media and talking with members. Improve “your ability to deal with people” by strengthening your communication and marketing skills, and, of course, your association management skills too. Read, attend virtual and in-person educational events, and cultivate a network of association peers. Professional development will transform your life and make a positive impact on your members.

8 – “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Personalizing content with someone’s name isn’t the only way to capture a person’s attention. Personalize membership by sharing content that resonates with members.

People expect personalized content, according to a Reuters Plus report:

  • Percent of consumers expect to see more personalized content in the future 77% 77%
  • Percent say personally relevant content improves how they feel about the brand associated with it 63% 63%
  • Percent of consumers see brands in a more positive light if they provide them with content that matches their interests 58% 58%

Readers—members and everyone else—put a high value on any service that delivers a selection of personally relevant content they can’t easily find anywhere else in one place. Use a service like rasa.io and you become an indispensable part of your reader’s life.

9 – “Pay less attention to what [people] say. Just watch what they do.”

What people click is more telling than what they say in a survey. Online behavior reveals a person’s real interests and needs: web pages and blog posts they read, web and email links they click, and content they download. When rasa.io delivers an email newsbrief to a member, the member’s clicks drive the AI which determines the content mix in future newsbriefs. If the member’s interests (and clicks) change, the content changes along with them.

What Dale Carnegie had to say is relevant today

Much of what Dale Carnegie taught his students and readers apply to association management in the 21st century. Make a concerted effort to listen to members, observe their behavior, respond with relevant products and services, and personalize membership.

At rasa.io, we are here to help you individualize the content you send to members and gain valuable insights from what they are interested in reading about. Sign up to start sending a smart newsletter today.

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