Every association needs to establish a strong online presence to stay relevant and competitive. The challenge lies in making yours stand out. One effective strategy is placing the spotlight on your board members and committee chairs.
A crucial component to your organization, they are the ones who make important decisions, provide guidance and direction, and drive your association’s mission and vision. By showcasing their expertise and insights, you can demonstrate to your members and potential members that your association is a credible and authoritative source of information and knowledge.
In this post, I’ll share some ideas for highlighting your association’s key players, including creating a thought leadership program, leveraging social media, and developing content that showcases your leadership’s unique perspectives.
Create List of Current Thought Leaders
Before you can showcase your board and thought leaders, you need to identify who they are. Your board members are likely already known to your members, but your other thought leaders may not be as well-known. Thought leaders are individuals who have a deep understanding of your industry or profession and are recognized as experts in their field.
Start simple with a spreadsheet that includes:
- Organization or Company
- Title at Company
- Role with Association
- What topics they can speak on comfortably
- Social media links – in particular presence on LinkedIn
- Links to published articles or thought pieces on relevant topics.
Creating a Content Strategy for Showcasing Your Board and Thought Leaders
Once you’ve identified your thought leaders, the next step is to create a content strategy for showcasing their expertise and insights with your members and the wider community. Your thought leadership series or program should align with your association’s strategic objectives and address the key issues and challenges facing your industry or profession.
There are many associations that have successfully showcased their board and thought leaders. The Project Management Institute, for example, has a thought leadership series of reports and theBerkeley Path Wanderers Association profiles board members through their blog. The National Association of Realtors has a podcast series called “Center for REALTOR® Development” that features interviews with their board and thought leaders.
Types of Content to Showcase Your Board and Thought Leaders
Plan for using a mix of content formats, such as blog posts, interviews, videos, podcasts, and webinars. If this sounds labor intensive, I’ve got you covered. One way to cover your bases is scheduling a Zoom call with several thought leaders at once, typically around one topic.
5 leaders, 5 questions, 1 hour of time can result in:
- One long video which can be an on-demand webinar
- 5-10 shorter on-demand videos divided by leader and/or question asked
- Get session transcribed for 5 blog posts, again either by topic/leader
- Utilize just the audio for 5 podcasts divided by leader or question asked
- 25 quotes– either as graphics or short-form video – to use on social media and within email to direct people to blog post and on-demand materials
Even without the video component, sending one question to a group of leaders via email is an easy way to create a compelling blog post and multiple quotes to use to promote the piece.
Tips for Conducting Interviews with Your Board and Thought Leaders
- Prepare questions in advance: Prepare a list of no more than 5 questions that are relevant to the key issues and challenges facing your industry or profession.
- Keep it conversational and engaging. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be difficult for all of your members to understand. This is especially helpful to maintain interest of student members.
- Be flexible: Be prepared to deviate from your script if your interviewee brings up an interesting point or perspective.
- Use visuals: Use visuals such as slides or infographics to help illustrate key points and make the interview more engaging. These can always be added in post-production so no need to worry at actual time of interview.
- Be sure to follow up with a personal thank you for everyone’s time. This is a critical step when additional “asks” may be needed.
How to Promote the Content Featuring Your Board and Thought Leaders
Once you’ve created content featuring your board and thought leaders, it’s important to promote it effectively. Here are some tips for promoting your content:
- Use social media: Share your content on your social media channels and use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.
- Email newsletter: Include links to your content in your email newsletter and encourage your members to share it with their networks.
- Collaborate with influencers: Partner with external influencers who have a large following in your industry or profession to help promote your content.
- Repurpose your content: Repurpose your content into different formats such as infographics or slideshows to reach a wider audience.
Given the effort, I also recommend clients specifically track their board and thought leader showcases outside of normal monthly numbers. Be sure your capture specifically metrics for website traffic, social media engagement, and email open rates.
Highlighting your board and thought leaders can help you attract new members and increase engagement with existing ones. People are more likely to join an association that has a strong and visible leadership team. By showcasing your board and thought leaders, you can also provide your members with valuable insights and perspectives that they may not have access to elsewhere.
So, start shining the spotlight on your board and thought leaders today!