There are five things that, if adopted in the right combination, will provide as close to a guarantee for a successful 2022 as you can get … if you get started on them today. The even better news is that any one alone done well will single-handedly make a major impact on a more successful 2022 than it would have otherwise been.
Here are the five game changers:
- Swagger. Show your industry, your members, suppliers, staff, and everyone you encounter that you are back, optimistic, confident, and open for business. Everyone is looking for hope, vision, clarity, truth, and community. That’s you. Be that beacon that a non-profit is uniquely suited to providing. You have a mission, a long history of service, a trusted brand, a loyal team, members who believe in you, and resources that are in demand. It’s time to own them, not with hubris or arrogance but with humility and knowledge that you are worthy of your members time, attention, and confidence. Let the world know why you matter – there’s a hunger for what you stand for.
- Relevance. No news here that this is the holy grail of success; however, it’s time to reframe how you understand, define, and deliver relevance. Let me explain. Don’t think out of the box but reframe the box by better understanding your members constraints, the job they want you to do, and the alternatives they have adopted that have made your organization less relevant. Consider that there are three categories of jobs your members are seeking: functional jobs (certification, professional development, etc.); emotional jobs (I feel better about myself because I belong to your organization); social jobs (your members want you to be part of the solution for the social issues they care most about in the context of what your non-profit stands for). Step back, re-examine what you offer and focus on the few most important drivers, and stop doing anything that isn’t best in class. When you walk into a Channel boutique, there’s nothing there you don’t want to buy (or so I’m told). Make everything you do exceptional.
- Convenience. If we’ve learned anything these past 18 months, it’s that having something delivered to our door, easy payment methods, and online work from our homes is a major differentiator and now has become table-stakes if you want to compete for the time and attention of your audience. Netflix, Amazon, Venmo, and DoorDash are now your competitors for what it means to be convenient, and they’ve set the bar awfully high.
- Monetization model. It’s time to seriously consider an à-la-carte, subscription, value-based pricing model for membership, events, publications, and services that your members are now buying from a prix-fixe menu. Even hotels are now unpacking their value prop and offering the pool, late-check-in, and other services à-la-carte, just as the airlines did years go. Just pay for what you want and what you use. It’s time to think about member lifetime value, not event registration and annual membership dues. If you want to retain members and attract a new generation, price your services like today’s best brands, retailers, and service businesses.
- Stickiness. To stay relevant, adopt a new monetization model, be more convenient, and have more swagger, you need to be top of mind and in a relationship with members in a way they want to hear from you, interact with you, and feel connected to you, every day. You have to be sticky. What are the sticky brands and relationships in your life? For me, it’s Athletic Greens every morning with an email from them encouraging me, my Fitbit, my two morning newspapers, and a handful of other sticky commercial relationships that keep me coming back for more. You can be one of those sticky brand relationships.
Now what? Start small, pick just one of these, meet with your team, and see what you can quickly prototype, or perhaps improve upon one of these you are already doing.
A well-worn trope, but it’s true: don’t waste this crisis. Come out stronger, better, smarter, and more valuable for your members. 2022 can be the best year of your career if you’ll step up to the opportunity all of this uncertainly, fog, and confusion has presented us with.