I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Branding, Association and Membership Fees

I call myself a researcher. It is my title at work. I like the sound of researcher. It evokes an image of a bespectacled geek with her nose in a pile of musty books (my third idea of heaven). However, the updated term for the services I am offering is Information Consultant.

I have made $750 net with my business so far. I have am agreement with the COO of my company for an additional $1,200 spread out over the next six months.

Why I am hashing this out?

Well, I am conflicted. Should I re-brand myself as an Information Consultant or should I stick with researcher?

I have designed new business cards but don't want to order them until I am sure of which way to market myself. I am not opposed to the title Information Consultant but I just don't have the same visceral reaction to it that I have when I hear researcher.

In looking for other ways to market my services, I ran across an association for information Professionals. I am thinking I should join the association, however the membership fees are $200 a year.

Reasons why I am wary of joining:

1. Price: I have never joined a professional organization where I was responsible for paying my own fees. I have no idea if this is a reasonable price or not.
2. Time: Would I have time to participate in activities? Attend events?
3. Quality: Will joining really expand my connections and ultimately drive more business to me?

Reasons why I would like to join:

1. The association offers a mentor program. I would 'hopefully' have an experienced professional to call on in times of need for support and advice.
2. The association has a listing of its members on the website. I could 'potentially' gain clients this way.
3. Networking opportunities.

What do you think? Have you ever joined an association? Has it helped you? Did you feel you received your monies worth? What did you learn?

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