Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reinventing membership as a revenue tool for associations

David McKnight (@djmcknight), President at Digital Publishing Innovation, shared this Seth Godin blog  via LinkedIn:

 How much for a really small slice?

  • When the hardware store sells you a single screw for a dime, shouldn't they just give it to you? Especially if you're a good customer?
  • Shouldn't that singer (you bought all her albums) return the love? You're only asking for a few seconds, a hug, a handshake, an autograph.
  • It's easier than ever to break your offering into smaller bites, into pieces that are part of the whole but are tiny on their own.
  • Add up enough small slices and that's the whole cake. Asymmetry is the rule now, not the exception.
  • Small slices can't be free in the long run, not if that's the only kind of slice there is.
  • Either you need to figure out how to sell your small slices, or you need to invent some big slices that are obviously worth what you need to sell them for.
Seth makes great points. I remember listening to a panel of “mommy bloggers.” When asked if they made money, one quickly responded: “Yes, in a thousand little ways.” Sounds a lot like Seth’s question, “Can you break your offering into smaller bites?”

Can we as association professionals convert this thinking to our non-profit world?

Seth’s "small slices free" could be considered the freemium model.

A model we need to explore. As Brian Clark says, building our audience increases our revenue potential. And, free is one strategy for quickly building the size of your audience and increasing your revenue streams.

What is your association doing about your current revenue models?

Associations can learn from others. We could offer free stuff to everyone in our profession or industry and then "make money" when they buy products, services or upgrade to premium membership.

Thanks for sharing this David.

Tomorrow, I’ll post examples and ideas under the “FREE: A New Association Model.” Stay tuned.

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