Have you considered joining an industry association? Whether you’re a small business or big business, industry associations offer a lot of benefits. This episode of the FAQ Business Podcast, covers why you should join an industry association and the benefits you may not even have thought about before.
We have no affiliation with any of the organisations mentioned (other than being a certified member of one). We merely think industry associations provide amazing benefits (one example saved a client $1900 on insurance for instance!).
Disclaimer – All information provided today is general in nature. We do not know your individual circumstances, so seek advice for your situation from a trusted advisor.
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Listen to S2 Ep30 Why join industry associations? with Jane Tweedy | FAQ Business Podcast
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S2 Ep30 Transcript – Why join industry associations? with Jane Tweedy | FAQ Business Podcast
No matter your industry, whether you’re a builder or a coach like me, industry associations can be hugely beneficial to you, your business, and for reasons you might not even have considered. So today we’re going to look at why should you join an industry association.
00:18 FAQ Business Podcast introduction
Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast for business owners, covering four pillars, actionable education, inspiring leaders, businesses like you, and thought leadership, where we challenge your thinking. Hosted by myself, Jane Tweedy, I’m founder and lead trainer of FAQ Business Training, where we want to avoid you getting ripped off or ripping yourself.
We’ll feature an amazing diversity of guests with lots to educate and inspire you. Let’s jump into today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast.
00:59 Have you looked at joining an industry association previously?
Hi there everyone. I’m Jane Tweedy and I’m the host of the FAQ Business Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about why you should be joining industry associations. It may be something you’ve never, ever considered, something you looked at long ago and just put it aside at the time.
Often when we start, we can’t afford extras- things like joining industry associations. But as we grow, they can be hugely beneficial to you and your business. So today let’s look at all these benefits and why you really should be joining an industry association.
01:32 Disclaimer information is generic and may not apply to your industry
Before starting out today, I just want to point out that this information today is generic and general information and may or may not apply to you and your industry associations. So please make sure you check out what’s available for your industry because it will differ. Every single one offers something different at a different level and a different standard.
01:52 Industry associations are many different organisation types
And do bear in mind, they’re not typically government or, public organisations, they are private organisations. Therefore like any other business, they can run them the way they want to. So therefore you might have some set up as charities, some might be set up as not-for-profits. Some might be set up as commercial organisations that are trying to make money.
So do look into them and just because it’s commercial and they’re trying to make money, it does not make them bad. Hopefully in that case, they’re more of a social enterprise type organisation. So they are really focused on doing what’s best for their members. So do look into that when you’re considering what’s best for you.
02:31 There are a lot of benefits to joining industry associations
But today I want to focus on the benefits that are out there.
There are a lot of reasons why you should be joining. Things like social proof, learning, saving money. Not getting caught out when regulations change. Keeping up to date and building a business community with people that also work in the same industry as you. A lot of things are hugely beneficial when you are particularly a very small business, a micro or a sole trader type business.
03:00 Industry associations versus a peak body
So what sets industry associations apart? For a start industry associations can also be referred to as a peak body. Typically you’ll have one peak body, you know, the best in the industry, and then you will have maybe some other ones as well. So definitely look into what’s available for your industry, but typically there’ll be one that’s the standout. For instance, there might be a few different builders associations.
03:29 Peak body tends to include more advocacy
But the Master Builders Association in Australia is typically the one we would associate is the go-to and the peak body. Now the peak body position would obviously tend to be a bit more of an advocate for the industry. They will tend to do things like when political changes are occurring, they will tend to get involved and speak up. Whereas your normal kind of lower level industry association may not do as much of that.
They’re more about just looking after the members they have and the circumstances they face, rather than trying to make things different. So there will be some differences there that you can look into.
04:08 Code of conduct or code of ethics
But they all typically have similar things in common. Whether it’s an industry association or the peak body. So industry associations often have what’s called code of conducts or code of ethics. These can be very useful.
So typically industry associations and peak bodies have what’s called code of conducts or code of ethics. And what that does is it sets a minimum standard that all their members must abide by. Things like not ripping people off.
04:40 An example of ICF standards
In the coaching world, for instance, with the International Coaching Federation, there is a number of standards that you need to adhere to. But one for instance, is that you don’t lock people in extensively to contracts. So you don’t make someone sign up for a year. And after three months, they’re going, this is rubbish I want out, and you’re not letting them out that would go against the code of conduct. So make sure that you understand what you’re signing up for. Okay.
05:07 Industry associations can provide social proof
What they can also provide is social proof. And you’ll notice sometimes when you see websites or when you go pass a bricks and mortar style place, that there will be something in the window saying we are a member of… that’s really good. So it gives people that comfort when they’re looking from the outside, that you have attained a certain level of standard. You’re adhering to standards in your industry.
05:30 Somewhere for a client to complain to if they have an issue
But also what it means, if you’re not doing the right thing, they have an additional level of checking, another layer they can go to and say, ‘Hey, this person’s doing the wrong thing. They’re a member of your association, you may want to check them out’. So it does give that social proof to your customers and potential customers. So that can be a really good thing.
05:50 Memberships can include certified members
Many of them have different levels of membership. So you can just be a member in which case you only have to adhere to that minimum kind of standard. But if you want to achieve some sort of certified standard, then you’ve got to go and apply for that.
06:04 May need credentials to get certified status
And you have to have certain credentials. You have to have certain experience or certain education, or usually a combination of the two. Maybe you have to meet some sort of knowledge assessment as well to get through. So that’s something that can be very common among a lot of the industry associations.
06:25 May want to look at when completing due diligence on other businesses
So again, when you’re considering it as looking at another business, you might want to see, are they a member, or are they a certified member of that organisation?
Often, they also have things like life members and fellows, and things like that. These are clearly people that have been in the organisation for a long time, and again have built up extra credibility, if you like in that industry.
06:48 Industry association directory listings
Often these industry associations will offer things like directory listings. So just another way for you to get found online. And again, if someone wants to find a master builder, then they’ll probably go to the Master Builders Association and look through their directory. So you want to be on that directory.
So directory listings, it’s amazing how many people do join these associations, or even just a local chamber of commerce, and don’t bother to fill these in. Please make sure you do, they’re really important.
07:17 Job boards and project listings
You may also have things like job boards. So they can be two things here. One could be listing jobs, vacancies in your business. But on the flip side, it could also be people listing projects or things that they want help with. So for instance, I know that Kate Toon has The Clever Copywriting School, and she will post jobs for copywriters, or people will post jobs for copywriters on her site. So, although that’s not technically an industry association. I would call it a quasi industry association. They’re all people who are copywriters gathering together. That to me, is still an industry association. So definitely look on those for different job opportunities and for work opportunities as well.
08:04 Certifications or credentialling
Some organisations, as I mentioned before have certifications. An example of this is the one that I am a member of, which is the International Coaching Federation. So it is a global standard of coaching. As we know, there are hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of coaches out there, putting their shingles up and saying, ‘Hey, I’m a coach’.
08:26 Certification can help you stand out – positively!
Well how do you differentiate yourself from all these people that are literally just sticking a shingle up. One of the things you do is join an industry association like the International Coaching Federation. And you complete their certification requirements.
And in their case, they have three levels. They have associate. They have professional and they have master certified coaches. I have the PCC or the Professional Certified Coach level.
That means I’ve done a certain number of hours training. 125 hours of training. I’ve done 10 hours of mentor supervision, and I have done at least 500 hours of coaching. Okay. So when you’re signing up to that. You know, you’ve got to prove these levels to get that qualification. You have to sit a knowledge test for coaching, and you also need to do the ethics and things as well. Once you sign up to all that, then you get that award, that Professional Certified Coach award. It lasts in my case for three years.
09:27 Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
And then what happens is over that time, you have to do certain CPD hours – Continuing Professional Development hours. So those hours require you to do ongoing training. You can’t just sit back on your laurels and think that that’s it. It’s not it. So that’s really important.
09:45 May get work because of your credentialled status
Now in my case, I’ve recently picked up two jobs because of being a Professional Certified Coach. So in one, they found me on that directory listing I mentioned earlier. So, I made sure I had my profile properly set up. They sent out a request for tender to 29 different coaches on that platform. I applied for it and was successful.
10:09 Correctly complete your LinkedIn profile
The second one, was actually a contact through LinkedIn. And again, I had it properly set up on LinkedIn that I was a Professional Certified Coach with ICF. They were able to find that, they were able to reach out to me, and I am starting work for them. So this is where it gets interesting. So those sort of things can lead to opportunities.
10:30 Refer also our is studying worth it podcast
So I’ve seen debates about this before, and I did a podcast about is studying worth it? Okay. And that one does talk about the certification stuff, but at that stage, I hadn’t picked up these two jobs because of it. So I’d even more say that these certifications are worth doing in that situation, where these actually count for getting new work. So pretty good.
10:54 CPD training keeps your learning up-to-date
The CPD training is useful from many perspectives. One as I said, it keeps your standards up, as a Professional Certified Coach in my case. But it also offers the ability to just learn. And keep up with your industry and changes in your industry, which can be very useful. So I see the CPD thing is something that’s good if you have to do it. Or even if you don’t have to, just to keep up with the play.
11:22 Industry associations can offer negotiate deals
Another great benefit of industry associations is that they can negotiate deals on behalf of their audience. So say for instance, I go to a general insurance broker. And I’m a coach and do various other things. So mine’s a bit more complicated, and maybe I can’t get it through an industry association and that’s fine. I’ll go to an insurance broker as I do.
11:46 Many industry associations offer insurance deals
But if you do offer just one thing, then it makes sense to go to that industry association and see what do they offer, if anything. Because many of them have negotiated deals. So if I’m a one-off person going to a broker saying ‘I’m a tutor, can you give me insurance?’ They’re looking at you in isolation. Whereas, if I go as the Australian Tutoring Association and say, we’ve got, so many hundred members. How about you do a deal for all of our members? Because the reality is, each one of those members is not going to have a claim. It’s going to be likely that only one in a hundred members is ever going to need to claim.
12:28 Can be less risk to the insurer when lots of businesses from one industry
So they can actually adjust the levels of insurance, because the risk to them is in some cases actually smaller. Because when they’re only doing the one person, that one person could be the one person that’s claiming. Whereas when they’re doing a hundred people, they know 99 of them by statistic reasoning are not going to actually claim. So you’re only left with one claim.
12:51 A significant insurance savings example
So this is where it gets kind of interesting. And the reason I brought up the Australian Tutoring Association, the ATA, is because this is a prime example of this being hugely beneficial. I had a client come to me a number of years ago and say to me, she got a quote for tutoring (insurance). And it was two and a half thousand dollars for public liability and professional indemnity. The thing was, she wasn’t even sure whether she needed professional indemnity. And I said to her, well, why don’t we look on the ATA, the Australian Tutoring Association and see if they mention anything about insurance.
And it wasn’t really looking at from a price perspective. But, but more from an information perspective. Do they say that, you know, you need professional indemnity insurance. Anyway, there was an insurance section. Sure enough and it said, yep we offer insurance to our people. It’s done through Aon, which is one of the top insurers in the world. And it was $20 million public liability, a million dollars professional indemnity. And it, you know, mentioned the excess and all that stuff. And it was like $300.
$300. That was all, she had been quoted a two and a half thousand dollars. So even if you add in the 300 hundred dollars to become a member of the association, she could get a year’s insurance and a year’s membership for 600 bucks. Compared to two and a half thousand dollars that she was quoted just for the insurance alone.
14:20 In this case the industry association membership is just an extra benefit
And she gets all these additional industry benefits from being an industry association member. So in that case, if you’re a tutor and that’s all you do, It’s really a no brainer. There really are no other alternatives you’d even bother looking at. So, this is why it is really important to look at these industry associations.
And if you haven’t looked at them recently, look at them again. Because if they have those type of deals for insurance, that just becomes a no brainer to join them. Even if all these other benefits didn’t happen, which they do. So definitely, definitely check them out.
14:53 May be legal resources and advice for your industry
Some also offer things like legal advice and resources that might help your industry. For instance, they may have standard terms and conditions, that you can just literally grab off the website that a lawyer approved for that industry. Great starting point.
15:09 Modify any legals for your business commercial needs and get lawyer checked
Like any legal contract, I would always still say, you know, have that commercially modified for your business and then get a lawyer to check it again is super important. Because these standard terms do leave out a lot of standard things, that might be relevant to you and your business. But at least they’re a starting point and better than a generic starting point. So there they’re well worth looking at.
15:32 Community forums
Another great benefit, community forums. Most of them offer some sort of forum either. Either through some sort of website, some sort of platform, or just through something like a Facebook group, but it gives you the opportunity to share your problems and issues.
15:48 Find collaborators and back-ups
It gives you the opportunity to find collaborators and potentially back-ups, because if you’re doing something by yourself and you go away, or you’re going to be sick and need an operation or something. Sometimes you need to have a back-up. So to find those people, where else would be a better place to find them than an industry association. So things like that, fantastic. Another great use of that membership.
16:14 Regulatory updates about your industry
What about regulatory updates? I see so many small businesses who have no idea about regulatory updates. So this can be an awesome one for you, to keep on top of things. So if a regulation changes and that’s going to affect you, then hopefully that will be something that your industry association will share via newsletter. Some of them will put on webinars for you, all that sort of thing. So definitely that can be a huge benefit for joining, and that alone can save your bacon. Right, so fantastic.
16:47 Events and conferences
They also tend to hold events and conferences. Because of the Covid world we now live in, many of these things are now online. Often now they’re offering hybrid type situations or that offer a combination, some online, some in person. So definitely make sure that you are getting yourself out there, and getting involved in some of these events and conferences. I know for me, I kind of appreciated the Covid world in some respect, because I joined the last ICF conference that was held normally overseas in places like Prague. And maybe not that practical for me to go to.
17:24 Many events are now online
It was fine. I could just join it online. Granted, it was run overnight. It was eleven at night till seven in the morning my time, but I could either watch it on the replay, or I could do what I did and watch the end sessions and the start sessions live. And have a nap in the middle for the middle sessions. They can be great, really great way to keep up and they also give you CPD points.
17:46 Be a board member of the association
You also can become a board member of these organisations. Often, because often they are associations and things you can join. And what that allows you to do is give back to your industry, share your knowledge, make sure that if you’re frustrated about something going on in your industry, you get the chance to have a say. So that can be a really good thing to do.
18:08 Could target your services to other industry associations
It can also be a great place to target your services. So for instance, for me, being a business trainer. What do I find at industry associations? A whole lot of businesses that need training. Perfect place for me to be. In fact, if you are involved in an industry association listening to this podcast. I would love to put my hand up to come and have a chat to your audience about a topic that your audience needs to hear about. And I’ve done this a few times.
18:38 I’ve spoken to a number of industry groups
So I have spoken to an accountancy group, a subgroup of the main chartered accountants association. I’ve spoken to web designers through WordCamp. I’ve spoken to copywriters through CopyCon, driving instructors through an organisation, all sorts of things I have spoken at or about, because I have a lot of knowledge that those people can use, their industry association members. It gives their industry association a chance to add more value to their members, by holding these events, conferences, trainings, etcetera. And they can be fantastic.
In fact, I was gutted with Covid. I’d literally just signed up to do some training in New Zealand. And of course, Covid kind of put paid to that with an industry association that had something like 700 members across the country. And I was going to be able to tour around and do workshops and it was going to be amazing and then Covid hit.
19:35 Lots of possible opportunities
So something I can hopefully pick up again, because there’s so many opportunities out there. So, rather than just joining your own industry association also consider joining other industry associations for your target market. Now, obviously you’re not going to be joining them as the associate, professional, master coach type thing.
You’re going to be joining them as potentially an interested party or a subscriber, or something like that. So often they do have kind of that level of membership, which is more like a visitor, lurker kind of membership. That’s fine. Join them as that.
20:11 Could advertise, have a stand, speak at an event
Consider putting ads in their newsletters and magazines and things. Consider having a stand at their conference. Consider, you know, speaking at the conferences, etcetera. So those are the sorts of things can be a great way of getting new customers. I know for instance, that when I spoke at CopyCon the copywriting conference with Kate Toon’s Clever Copywriting School. I picked up like a hundred copywriter contacts on LinkedIn.
20:36 You can curate your LinkedIn feed
A hundred. So that’s lots of different opportunities to have people I can refer people to, who might need copywriting skills. But also people who might need my services as a business coach and trainer. And it just gives lots of great interesting connections on LinkedIn. Because honestly, with things like LinkedIn, you curate your feed. You decide who you’re going to interact with, and who you’re going to accept in your feed. And that has a huge impact on what happens in that feed. So you could be just as I said, an advertiser or something like that, but at least check out some of these industry associations.
21:14 Lots of reasons why you should join an industry association
So hopefully today I have given you a lot of intel and insight as to why you really should be looking at joining your industry association, but potentially also joining some other industry associations, at least as a subscriber, to get that intel as to what’s going on, in your target market. So that is what we’re putting out there today. Industry associations, highly recommend them. They are very beneficial to you and your business, from both a growth and a social proof perspective from your own side, but also potential clients on the other side. Thank you for listening in today. I’m Jane Tweedy, and I hope you’ll look at joining your industry association soon.
21:59 FAQ Business Podcast – please subscribe
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Today’s podcast episode featured our host Jane Tweedy. Her details are as follows:
Jane is a Professional Certified Coach with International Coaching Federation (PCC with ICF), business advisor and trainer. She loves working with growing small to medium business owners who are doing the right thing, to help them do it right! Currently, Jane offers at least 50 live sessions a year to train small business owners.
Jane offers a variety of services to clients and her online school and membership site went live late 2021. Jane’s focus for 2022 is building the membership and online school out further, and offering implementable small group training – something she finds is often the missing link.
If you are interested in training, speaking, or anything else Jane has to offer, please connect via email@example.com or via the contact forms on our websites.
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