Written by Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
A really exciting aspect of memberships is that you can actually get free help. This is super important when first starting out, because you don’t want your membership website to seem barren and void of conversation and connection - especially in the discussion group.
1. Look to Your Audience – If you already have an audience that you’re creating the membership for, why not put out a call to them asking if anyone wants to volunteer. List the types of things you need done and make it like a job application. In this way you can be assured that they’re right for the membership but also have the right talents that can benefit the membership.
2. A Particularly Prolific Paid Member – Once you’ve started your membership website, you’ll notice some especially prolific members who always jump in to help, make suggestions, and have a lot of knowledge. You can ask them to keep doing what they’re doing in exchange for either free membership or something else of value.
3. Offer Volunteer Incentives – You can immediately incentivize all your members to volunteer to start discussions, contribute content and even recruit new members by giving incentives such as a higher affiliate payout or points to get free stuff.
4. Open the Blog for Guests – If you have a blog on your membership site, you can ask for volunteers to put content in it. You can set it up so that it’s mostly automatic with the exception of someone needing to approve the blog post for publication. You can choose to make the blog private for members only, or public to help encourage new members to join.
5. Implement a Point System – The point system has been mentioned, and it works well for encouraging activity on the forum, attendance at calls and so forth. Encouraging people to participate is volunteering in the respect that the more people who participate, the more people who will want to participate.
6. Reward Volunteers Publically – When someone has done something extraordinary, it’s important to recognize them. Member of the month and other freebies given to the most active members will automatically encourage more members to volunteer their time to keeping things moving.
7. Ask People – It doesn’t hurt to simply ask a member to volunteer a certain number of hours in a more formal arrangement in exchange for free membership (or ask those who aren’t members but whom you feel will benefit from a free membership). The number of volunteers you can get will coincide with the value of your membership.
8. Get Interns – Another way to get volunteers, if you have a popular and active membership already, is to get inters. There are laws and regulations you must follow when it comes to internships, but the main thing is that the intern needs to get more out of it than you do. So, it’s important to offer the interns some form of education.
You’ll be surprised at how many people will want to volunteer if you put out a call for a popular and valuable membership website. You have a lot to offer so giving people free membership, or points and coupons for your products and services based on what they offer, is a great way to encourage more interaction on the membership.
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About the Author: Doreen Dilger is a Certified Manifest Method Coach, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of Women Empowering Women Now.