Take out a pen and paper, your tablet, your laptop, or even your phone. Find a way to write your answer to this question down before going any further.
What are three reasons I should join your chapter?
Good work. Oh wait, you didn’t really do it? Seriously, go back and do it now before going on. It shouldn’t be too hard. Just write down your answer before moving on.
Now look at what you wrote down. Here are some very important questions to consider:
- Are your answers things that non-members care about?
- Do your answers obviously make the lives of non-members better?
- Do your answers fill an unmet NEED in the lives of non-members?
- What are all the other places on campus a non-member could get the things you wrote down?
- Are those the reasons YOU joined originally? Are they the reasons you stay?
- Do your recruitment activities or events make people FEEL those reasons, not just hear them talked about or read them on a brochure?
- Do you think discerning students would actually invest a lot of time, money, energy, and risk their reputation in exchange for those three things?
- Would the highest caliber students on your campus care about those answers?
So often, the answers given to that question are based on the biased view of people who are already members. They’re good answers, but they’re only answers that matter to people that are already in the organization. We seem to mentally shape our justifications for membership around our lived experience, but non-members (especially high quality ones) don’t have the same experience as you so don’t care about what you think they should care about.
That’s not true for everyone’s answers, but critically look at what you wrote down. Discuss this exercise with the other “workhorses” in your chapter. Better yet, discuss this exercise with high caliber non-members on campus that you know. Build a recruitment, marketing, and conversation strategy around what high caliber non-members actually care about.
So, why should I join your chapter?