Case Study: Increasing Membership and Engagement for Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE)

June 19, 2023 | Case Studies and Our Work

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The Association for Consulting Expertise (ACE) is a Portland-based organization that helps consultants, coaches, and other solo professionals develop their skills and network to expand their reach. 

ACE was experiencing declining membership and needed an event marketing strategy to reach new memberships and renew interest in the organization. 

Visible Logic helped ACE strengthen their messaging about membership benefits as well as setting them up with training and resources to continue marketing on an ongoing basis. Visible Logic also created and promoted a new event to reach potential members. 

Read on to find out how Visible Logic helped ACE get new members! 

The Challenge of Increasing Membership

ACE was experiencing a membership that was aging and declining. They were interested in reaching new and younger members to keep the organization going strong. Their model was based on monthly in-person meetings. During COVID, they had to pivot this model to Zoom meetings, but they weren’t reaching new people. 

As in-person restrictions were lifted, ACE knew they needed to focus on rebuilding membership. They needed to first clarify the benefits of membership and who their ideal client was, and then needed to engage with those people. 

ACE is an all-volunteer-run organization, so any marketing that needed ongoing attention needed to be quick and easy for them to implement. 

Clarifying the Benefits of ACE Membership 

Visible Logic did a member survey to better understand the perceptions of ACE and what people valued most from their membership. 

This survey helped clarify their benefits into 3 categories – Networking, Learning, and Promotion – which we crafted into messaging for their website and a flier. 

ACE can reuse this messaging in future marketing efforts as well as use this messaging to more accurately target their ideal client. 

An Event to Attract New Members

One of ACE’s biggest goals was to attract new members. Within one year, they wanted at least 5 new members to join ACE. 

Visible Logic created the idea of the Consultants Academy – an event meant to help new entrepreneurs successfully launch as consultants. The goal with this event was to reach potential members and show them the benefits of joining ACE. Because Consultants Academy targeted people early in their career, the hope was that they would become long-term members. 

To promote Consultants Academy, we launched a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign on LinkedIn. With a relatively small spend, we were able to drive traffic to the website. As a result of this campaign and other marketing efforts, over two dozen people attended the Consultants Academy.  

The Consultants Academy proved to be successful in attracting new members. ACE had 10 new members before the end of the year – twice their goal. In addition, the event yielded the addition of two new members to their board. 

ACE infographic

Setting Up Systems For Ongoing Marketing 

Because ACE is run entirely by volunteers, it was important that Visible Logic provided a way for ACE to continue marketing in a way that was quick and easy. 

We set up a marketing calendar and cadence for repeated and continual outreach using email and LinkedIn. With this in place, ACE could know exactly what they should be doing every month. 

Our team set up a “show-then-do” system for ACE to follow. We set up templates in Canva and MailChimp that made it easy for volunteers to plug in text and graphics to quickly great social posts and branded emails. As a start, Visible Logic took the lead on all of the marketing for Consultants Academy, so ACE could learn what goes into promoting events. 

Visible Logic put an event marketing system in place so ACE could continue marketing their events in the future. 

Results: Renewed Energy and Optimism 

As a result of the Consultants Academy and clarifying their messaging, ACE was able to attract 10 new members within a year – double their original goal. 

Here is what the team said about working with us: 

I think what Visible Logic gave us was a much stronger marketing identity as an organization and helped us develop better discipline of what we do to promote the organization.

–Terry Johnson, President of ACE

The success of Consultants Academy was a renewed energy and optimism about our organization, which had been flagging. We expect the financial returns from the event to accumulate over time, as we leverage the new energy and ideas, and more new members will be drawn to ACE.

–Allison Bishop, Treasurer of ACE

Although Visible Logic often works as a “done for you” service, we were proud to set up the all-volunteer team of ACE with deliverables and systems that they can use to continue marketing their organization. 

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