I started thinking about a membership community way back in 2013 – in fact it was the very first business model I created.
Over the course of a two year period I have bought into several membership communities, attempted to create communities, and consumed a lot of educational content about building and growing communities.
…safe to say I’m still learning (aren’t we all). One thing I feel strongly about is community ‘management’. In other words, I put a large proportion of my time and effort into managing the community aspect.
It’s especially important that when you join as a member of any community that you quickly feel welcome as a member of the community and that you also understand where you can quickly gain value.
Here are 5 examples of communities that people have typically joined or are at least familiar with:
- BNI – A business networking community where everyone has a shared objective
- Weight watchers – A health and wellness community where everyone has a shared behaviour
- Avon – A network marketing community where everyone has the same intention
- University or College – An alumni community where everyone has a common shared identity
- Rotary International – A charitable community where everyone has a shared purpose
Being an employee in an organisation where everyone has the same objective, or identifying with a political party where everyone has the same point of view are also common examples of communities.
What’s interesting about these examples is that it’s not so much the ‘content’ that you receive as part of your membership (although this is important), but rather the community of which you are part of.
Perhaps it’s something to do with being around like minded people with a shared philosophy, or being part of something bigger than yourself, or being able to identify as having something in common with others, or feeling an emotional or strong connection with a community?
Regardless, it’s human nature to have a need or desire to seek a community that you enjoy being a part of and where you can find peer support, recognition and acknowledgment. We’re social animals!
To be clear, I’m not saying that CMA Membership is the same as joining these international recognised communities, but the philosophy or purpose is very similar. In that the whole of the community is greater than the sum of the people that are a part of it.
So without blabbering on too much I’d like to provide you with 6 reasons why you should join the CMA Membership Community.
Six reasons why you should join the CMA Membership community
One – A support network
Setting up, running, growing and building your own business is hard. I don’t think there’s anyone that would tell you any different. It can be quite a lonely place too, and you will need support a lot of the time.
That support could be to have the facility to bounce ideas around, or to vent your frustrations, or to ask for help and advice when you need it the most.
You need to be around people you can trust, who truly care, who will listen and support you.
Two – Inspiration and motivation
When you are running your own business it’s entirely possible to have a bad day and a good day all in the same day, and it’s important to have a great source of inspiration and motivation.
This source can come from being a part of others’ achievements and seeing other people grow, or it can be from helping others’ to get over a challenge or frustration in their business.
When other people share their stories it can really motivate you and lift you up.
You need to be around people that inspire and motivate you.
Three – New ideas
I like the saying “you’re either green and growing, or ripening and rotting” and personally I find value in a membership organisation where I can learn something new, or at least get new ideas to build on.
This doesn’t necessarily have to come from content provided by the organisation, which can be really valuable, but perhaps there’s more value in the conversations and the sharing or discussion of ideas and concepts within the community.
A membership organisation that facilitates conversation between the members is hugely valuable and helpful – and this could be both online and offline through forums events and live calls.
You need to be around people that help you create new ideas – ideas are currency in the 21st century.
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Four – Challenge your thinking
Occasionally we need to be called out on our BS & sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees when we are so close to our business.
A trusted group of honest business people are there to support you, and sometimes that means telling you something you need to hear, but may not necessarily want to hear. But that’s how we grow and develop our thinking and get better at what we do.
People that want to see you do well aren’t people that are always going to agree with you. In fact, if you surround yourself with people that always agree with you you won’t really grow at all.
You need to be around people that challenge your thinking.
Five – Accountability
When you’re the boss you get to decide what you do and when you do it. That’s great, but it’s not always for the best. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt and some level of accountability to make sure you do the things you said you were going to do.
Forming a trusted relationship with accountability partners can be a great solution – it works well for most. This small peer group will help you to achieve your goals and ensure you do the things you said you were going to do.
There’s nothing better than a little bit of peer pressure to get something done.
You need to be around people that push you and encourage you to do your best.
Six – Access to expertise
In business you will come up against problems and challenges, and you will be seeking help and advice from time to time. In a well curated and facilitated membership organisation there will be people that have likely come across and solved the problems you are having, and you can tap into that expertise.
In general, when you are joining a membership organisation you have to make sure you are getting real business value from it.
For most that means that making sure you can learn and grow so that your business will benefit in the long run.
You need to be around people that have a different sets of skills an expertise than you do.
Chris’ concluding remarks about membership organisations
In my experience a great membership organisation will facilitate frictionless interaction between their members, because this is where the true value is. It’s the place where real business problems and challenges are discussed, solutions are created and ideas are formed.
It’s in the interaction where the magic happens. It’s how the relationships are strengthened and the trust is built, and thus the ability to share and discuss openly and freely.
A great membership organisation has the ability to bring forward thinking people together, which creates a value where the whole membership is greater than the sum of the members.
- What makes a great membership organisation for you?
- What’s the best membership organisation you have been a part of and why?
- Why would you stay as part of a membership organisation?
Let me know what’s on your mind by joining the conversation in the comments section below.