Top 10 Reasons to Consider Joining a Trade or Industry Organization
By Michael Isaacson for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series
If I asked most people, “Why you haven’t joined an industry group or trade association,” I’m certain I’d hear the same answer from 99% of them.
I’m just too busy.
We’re all busy, and we are cramming more and more into an already jammed workday. But what if I told you the potential benefits that far outweigh the extra time you’d put in? What if I said those benefits could help you use your time more effectively and actually help you build your business?
I took some time to search the internet and I read dozens of blogs and articles on the subject. Following are the 10 best reasons I discovered for someone joining a trade or industry organization.
- Networking. Deepen existing business relationships and make new contacts on a regular basis.
- Free Stuff. Get access to exclusive online resources or discounted/free publications.
- Get Work. When a fellow member needs to outsource a project, they often turn to colleagues they trust within their industry organization.
- Update your knowledge of business and trade basics or acquire new skills through seminars, workshops, break-out sessions at conferences and online courses.
- New Ventures. Become involved in new industry ventures and projects by being visible and accessible to your fellow members.
- Shared Learning. Find a Mentor or Protégé. New members benefit from the life experience of seasoned professional; and experienced members get access to fresh, new ideas.
- Collective Research. Many organizations conduct their own research, or sponsor research, which can provide information, answers and solutions for you and your business.
- Become a voice within your industry. You can help promote the benefits, strengths and values of your industry and, in turn, those of your business.
- Civic Leadership. Many professional organizations are active in civic and philanthropic ventures, which give you the opportunity to become involved in many worthwhile projects.
- Make friends. Get support from a like-minded community. Joining an industry organization can limit the isolation that sometimes comes with be a freelancer or small business owner.
As with everything in life, you get from it what you put into it. To reap the benefits of membership, you need to get involved and share your ideas and talents. And as with every “top 10” list, I may have missed several other good reasons for joining a trade or industry organization. Let us know how joining one has helped you, either personally or professionally.