Inbound: Membership Personas
Updated: Jan 15
We're all in an ever evolving technological time zone where the the needs of our members are changing rapidly.
Here at SMOOVEmedia we believe there are 3 essential ingredients to attract strangers and change them into visitors.
Strangers being students that haven't heard or known of the Union previously, and visitors being members who have interacted with or visited our premises, services, or online platforms.
First introduced in 1983 by Alan Cooper, personas are an essential corner stone to creating an inbound methodology based organisation.
In order to better communicate with your members, it's useful to start by asking yourself a few questions.
As SU's have diverse groups of students and needs, it would be a major mistake to have only one member persona documented - we usually recommend starting with two general personas (below 21, and above 21), then a persona for each department. For example, the 'clubber', the class rep, the campaigner, the sport secretary, the society committee, and the active ambassadors.
Question 1. What are their backgrounds?
Do they have a part time job? What is their weekly disposable income?
How about weekly disposable time? When are they free? Are they parents? If so, do they utilise childcare?
Question 2. What is your demographic?
Think - Age? Income area? Do they commute? Are they international students? Do they skew to a particular gender? Number of children? Level of study?
Question 3. How can you identify your audience?
Do they have a particular "look"? Do they have "tribal markers" eg: a particular brand? Are they brand conscious? Where do they hang out? On and offline? And on which platforms? Consider how do they prefer to communicate or receive information.
Question 4. Real quotes?
What are their typical sayings? Quotes? Etc.
Question 5. What are their goals?
Dig deep with this one - put yourself into the members shoes or - even better - ask a few members who fit your target demographic.
Do they want to have a family? Do they prefer security and stability? Or being more entrepreneurial? Do they aspire to climb the corporate ladder? Or to work for a purpose led organisation that is making the world a better place?
Where do they want to be in 5 to 10 years?
Are they in a stable relationship? Is having a family important to them? If yes, are they in a shared house? How are their finances? Are they still a student doing post graduate course?
Question 6. What are their challenges?
Is it time? Do they need space? Flexible course delivery? Or to feel part of a community?
Question 7. How can we give value?
This is where you can tie in how we - and what we do - can solve their struggles and challenges, and subsequently reach their goals.
Question 8. What are their common objections and questions?
Fill this question in through consulting a few colleagues, then use this section to create and update your FAQ pages for your services sub-sites. So you can inoculate these objections and reduce the amount of issues that can be self solved by students.
Question 9. What do we need our members to know about us?
Is it that we have the best coffee in town? The cheapest? Or whether it is sustainably sourced? Are our services customisable? Are we a charity? Are we student led? Or our menus decided and voted on by students? Our awards? Do we give societies sponsorships and grant funding?
10. What is our pitch?
Do we have the best coffee in town, fund your graduations, and meet new people. Join us at the Union cafe!
11. Examples posts
Now try creating example posts, tag lines, etc for platforms and published materials.
You can download a free worksheet here, that will help you create your own membership personas.
The Persona Core Poster by Creative Companion