Professionals join organizations in order to exchange business with others but often miss an opportunity to let their member-peers know what they do. This overlooked opportunity is your online member profile. Some organizations offer members the chance not only to post their contact information but also to post links to their company website, blog, articles, and more, but many members let the organization automatically generate their contact information and leave their profile at that. It may be time to revisit what information people see if they find you online in an organization’s directory.
For example, a commercial real estate organization that I am a member of has its membership directory available online, but after a brief glance through the directory I noticed that very few members have their headshot posted. Since it’s a large organization, it would be nice to scroll through the directory after a networking event and see some familiar faces. Also, if you meet someone at an event but don’t get their business card, the membership directory should be a tool you can use to connect with them. If their profile is not filled out, you may not be able to find them.
Your online profile is one more marketing tool at your disposal to communicate your experience and expertise. You should take full advantage of it by filling it out and keeping it up-to-date. This is true for LinkedIn and other social media profiles as well.
If you don’t ask, the professional organization may not make it a priority to advise members of all the opportunities available – so be sure to ask from the outset to capitalize on your membership.
-By Berbay Account Manager Erica Hess