What Does Your Webpage Say About Your Club?
Now that your club has a webpage to mark your online presence, have you given some thought to what your webpage says about your club? Does your webpage capture the weekly energetic meeting, express the creative Table TopicsTM, and showcase your amazing club members? Your club webpage opens your club to prospective members who are looking for a club to visit. As you setup and manage your club webpage, think of what brought you to Toastmasters and your expectations in evaluating an online business webpage.
What Brought You to Toastmasters?
Improving Public Speaking Skills: Many of us came to Toastmasters in search of ways to develop our public speaking skills. Tap into your prospective members needs with pictures of members speaking at the podium and a brief description of their speeches. Here's an example of a caption for the picture: "John Smith, CC (Competent Communicator) demonstrates…?. John is working on his first speech from the advanced communicator manual,…?" Highlight your club members who have speaking opportunities at their children's school, Rotary Club, church, or company events. Personalize your site with pictures, stories, and progress of your members' speaking development and opportunities.
Fellowship and Leadership: Many of us looked to broaden our network or learn to lead and found opportunities are plenty in Toastmasters. Our clubs have become an extension of our family. We've shared job promotions, birthdays, marriages, graduations, and many celebratory events with our club members. Make sure to celebrate club members who taught at TLI, volunteered at club/area/division contests, or attended the District conferences. Share the joy with pictures and captions such as, "Awesome Toastmasters Club congratulates Jane Smith, CC, CL on her promotion as Floor Supervisor at ABC Company. She's putting her critical thinking, mentoring, and motivation skills from her Competent Leader manual to work in her new supervisory role." Spotlight your club's camaraderie through tales of family and friendships.
What Is Your Expectations of an Online Site?
Accurate Information: There's nothing more annoying than calling a phone number that's no longer in service. Topping that annoyance is calling someone who cannot help you with your questions. The kicker of them all is arriving to a location that's no longer open for business. What's your impression of a business with the wrong phone number and address? Maintaining an accurate Contact Us (email address, phone number, and physical address location) is imperative for prospective members to find your club. Ensuring prompt replies to both email and phone message, within 2 days or less, speaks volume to the club's interest and initiative in helping the prospective members find a home for their public speaking and leadership development. How do you value a timely response to your inquiry?
Updated Information: Opening a site with a "last update on 12/17/2012" does nothing for a prospective member but for them to quickly click the back button. Information is updated in seconds with minutes seen as outdated. Staying abreast of the updates takes only a few minutes with contributions from your club members. The Toastmaster can update the site with the meeting theme. The Grammarian can share the word of the day. The Table TopicsTM Master can hint at the questions. Of course, the VP of Public Relations (VPPR) can manage the posts if a more centralized process is preferred. Club members will need to feed the information to the VP of PR. If daily updates prove challenging, weekly posts of pictures with captions may be more ideal. The VP of PR can create a team of marketers/promoters to take pictures of the meeting and ribbon winners. Share the pictures with captions to highlight the club activities and liveliness. What's your response in seeing a site that has not been refreshed since 12/17/2012?
Keeping Up: Your webpage serves as an avenue to stay in touch with members and prospective members. Share your meeting notes recapping: the speech details; Table TopicsTM questions, participants, and responses; constructive feedback and evaluations; and winners of speech, Table TopicsTM, and evaluation. Current members can keep up with the club and members without missing a beat in the camaraderie. Prospective members can get a glimpse of the club personality, culture, and feel more involved with the club. How do you feel about a site if you've emotionally connected with the stories and testimonials?
With the coming new year, prospective members will take to the Internet to search for ways to improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Will your webpage encourage them to come to your club for a visit? If you need help and support for your club website, reach out to your Area Director, Division Director, and District Staff for support.