You’ve heard the saying, “What you say is not as important as how you say it.” Well, what you say is certainly important, but when it comes to marketing — and particularly, marketing to young professionals — how you say things is key.  

To successfully communicate with both prospective young professional members and your existing young professional members, we highly recommend embracing the following:

1. Be authentic

First and foremost, young professionals (YPs) are seeking authenticity. They’re used to seeing ads and sales pitches left and right, and as a result, they’re pretty good at tuning those out. 

To make your organization’s messages stand out and resonate with young professionals, focus on authenticity. Avoid fluff language and try to be as personable as possible. And be transparent in your messaging as well! Approach it like this: Rather than marketing to young professionals, think of it as simply talking to young professionals. Your messages are bound to come across as more sincere.

2. Be succinct 

YPs are very protective of their time. They may want to hear from you, but they’d likely prefer those messages to be brief. That said, make your content “bite-sized.” You can always link to longer content, if necessary, but in emails, and on social media, and in your blog, keep things short and sweet. By doing so, that also makes your content more shareable — which is an added bonus!

3. Leverage FOMO

You’ve heard of FOMO, right? Fear of missing out. Well I’m here to tell you, it’s REAL, especially with social media playing such a prominent role in young professionals’ lives. 

FOMO seems like a bad thing (no one wants FOMO), but it’s a feeling that can actually work to your organization’s advantage. For example, let’s say you’re hosting an upcoming webinar. In one of your promo emails, try saying, “Join 200+ young professionals like yourself who’ve already registered for this webinar.”

No one wants to be one of the few (or so it seems) YPs missing out!

4. Prioritize word-of-mouth

You likely already know the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, but when it comes to getting in front of young professionals, word-of-mouth recommendations are of UTMOST importance. (Think about how much this generation reads and relies on reviews.) That said, if you’re currently not doing much in the way of word-of-mouth marketing — in other words, you’re kind of just hoping it’ll happen organically — now is really the time to put a more formal strategy in place. 

How are you encouraging your existing young professional members to spread the word about your organization to their peers? Do you have a referral program in place? Do you have a “bring a buddy” special for your events? Do you make your content shareable (going back to the importance of point #2)? 

Yes, word-of-mouth marketing is a little bit out of your control, but there’s no harm in trying to push it when and where you can. Get that ball rolling! 

Engaging with young professionals is different — or should be different — than engaging with other generations. For more tips on growing the YP segment of your organization, check out our free guide below! 

Note: This post was originally published on 6/3/19, but updated on 12/30/20 for added value.