What are your certifications worth?

Your association prides itself on offering certifications that are valuable within your field. You know they really mean something. But does your audience?

The number one obstacle to selling something is convincing buyers that they need it. So, what will it take to convince professionals that they need your certification? At the end of the day, it all comes down to three factors:

1. Will earning your certification advance their career?

This is really the only question that can truly motivate individuals to pursue a new certification. However, as an article in Live Career notes, it can be a very difficult question to answer with certainty: “Most organizations we polled couldn’t provide hard figures on whether certification holders were more likely to gain employment, advance in their current jobs, or earn higher salaries than those who aren’t certified.”

If your certifications do help people advance professionally, then you’ve got to say so – explicitly – with as much objective evidence to back up your claim as possible. If they don’t, what will it take to change this situation?

2. How prominent is your organization’s stature within your field?

It doesn’t matter whether anyone outside of your profession has ever heard of you, but within your profession, your association must be a household name – and one that’s widely regarded as being synonymous with excellence.

3. How effectively do you differentiate your organization from its competitors? And how compellingly does your brand cut through the clutter?

Live Career has estimated that there are nearly 1,600 professional certifications available in the United States, many of them in the hottest growing fields. That means that in most professions, consumers have options, and they need to know why they should pick your certifications over others. Make sure you stand out, powerfully, and that your audience gets the message you want them to receive, immediately, at every opportunity. (See our earlier post on becoming a brand favorite.)

Maybe you know all this already. But marketing your certifications more successfully can be challenging…and may require some objective help from a fellow marketing professional.

Stay tuned to Backe social, where we’ll continue to explore the challenges that professional associations face today and tomorrow – in our Professional Associations series.

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