Members are the backbone of any association – they’re the reason your organization exists. In many professions, membership to an association is mandatory, but the majority of association members out there join for networking, access to industry publications, status, or for discounted continuing education from a trusted source.

It’s becoming increasingly important for associations to demonstrate to members the value membership offers them, and continue to do so throughout the lifespan of their relationship with you. After all, members ensure the legacy of your association lives on (and often drive a significant percentage of your revenue).

Of course, demonstrating membership value is one of the biggest challenges associations face. Robbie Kellman Baxter, President and CEO of Peninsula Strategies and author of The Membership Economy, identifies a strong onboarding process for new members as one of the key steps to creating a loyal and happy member.

Last week, Baxter hosted some 400 attendees of an Abila webinar, during which she broke down the onboarding process and provided actionable steps association professionals can take to ensure members get started on the right path immediately after joining, During the webinar “Don’t Miss the Boat: Onboarding for New Member Success,” Baxter helped a few association professionals – right then and there – overcome obstacles, and she left the audience with some pro tips for achieving overall success.

She distilled onboarding process into 10 simple steps you can take to create the necessary hooks to make your members love you. Here’s a snapshot of her recommendations:

  1. Market to the right people.
  2. Remove all friction from the signup process.
  3. Understand your best members.
  4. Have a serious heart-to-heart with your board.
  5. Provide instant value when someone joins.
  6. Immediately reinforce new members’ “good decision” to join.
  7. Show new members how “people like them” have made your organization part of their routine.
  8. Track engagement, and follow up with those showing a lack of activity.
  9. Build a culture that welcomes new members.
  10. Designate a “Member Success Lead” on your team.

Want to get the full scoop, a more detailed list, and an extra tip? Download Onboarding in 10 Simple Steps today. You can also watch the webinar on demand, download Baxter’s Onboarding for New Member Success Checklist and watch part one of the series, Make Your Members LOVE You, for a deep dive into the art of onboarding.

As always, Abila’s webinars and downloadable assets are completely free of charge! You can also contact Robbie Kellman Baxter directly for some one-on-one coaching at