If you’re like many organizations, you’re consistently looking for ways to enhance your member experience. While some associations rely on hosting networking events or sending free branded swag, you can engage them simply by shining a spotlight on select members.

A member spotlight is typically a brief profile you write to highlight the person’s achievements and contributions to the organization. These member spotlights are often relatively short, just a few paragraphs with some quotes directly from the person, similar to this example from Builtin. Depending on where you publish your member spotlight, you can use the content to write a more robust profile on your valued member.

Writing and publishing a member spotlight can engage your members while also rewarding the member you’re profiling. And if you publish and promote it far and wide — on your website, in your email newsletter, and on your social channels — it demonstrates to prospective members that your organization touts high-achieving, prestigious professionals among your ranks.

But how do you get started with a member spotlight? First, and most importantly, you’ll need to select the right member and glean the information you need to write your profile. To get there, you’ll need a list of questions on hand to help you direct the discussion and flesh out what you know about this person.

Here, we’ve rounded up some important benefits of writing member spotlights plus 20 crucial questions to help you prepare for an interview:

  • Benefits of Creating Member Spotlights
  • 20 Member Spotlight Questions to Ask

Benefits of Creating Member Spotlights

While creating a spotlight is a relatively low-lift task, the effort can pay off in spades for your organization. And the advantages go beyond just the warm-fuzzies of outlining the achievements of one of your members.

The most common benefits of creating a member spotlight include:

  • Engaging members. As we mentioned above, member spotlights can catch the eye of current and prospective members. This simple form of member appreciation and recognition can go a long way toward making the members you spotlight feel special. This level of recognition enhances the member experience overall, and also encourages other members to submit themselves for future profiles. 
  • Helps your members get to know each other. One of the most common reasons people join associations and member organizations is for networking opportunities—and member spotlights are their own form of online networking. If you send out a member spotlight in your member newsletter, you’re introducing them to hundreds or thousands of people. And this introduction could forge valuable connections. 
  • Introduces members to new ways to participate. When you highlight a member’s contributions to your organization, this can inspire other members to become more engaged. On the other hand, profiling a member’s favorite events or volunteer drives can help others discover new opportunities to network and plug into your organization.
  • Amplifies your reach. When you profile a person in a member spotlight, they’ll inevitably share it across all their networks. This helps you increase the reach for your association’s marketing as the member and the people in their network share and discuss the profile across social media and other sites. Just don’t forget to tag the member when you publish their spotlight!

20 Member Spotlight Questions to Ask

After choosing a member you want to spotlight, you’ll need to collect some crucial info to create your profile. To compile everything you need to start writing, you’ll need to get in touch with the member and ask them some key questions. 

But whether you choose to interview the member you selected via email or over a Zoom call, make sure you do your homework first. Prepare for your interview by looking up the member’s social profiles, reading through their website or portfolio, and writing down your list of questions ahead of time. Not only does asking all the right questions ensure you don’t miss any crucial information for your profile, but it also helps you steer the conversation and keep it on track.

To help you dig into your first member spotlight interview as quickly as possible, we’ve put together a handy list of 20 questions to learn everything you need about your member.

Professional member spotlight questions

The first portion of your questions for your member should center on their career experience. You’ll need to curate a list of questions that draw out the details of how they got where they are professionally. So, you’ll need to get an overview of their accomplishments, any accolades they’ve earned, and their future aspirations.

  1. How long have you been a member of [your organization’s name]?
  2. Why did you join [your organization’s name]?
  3. What’s your favorite part of being a member of [your organization’s name]? 
  4. What committee do you currently volunteer with? (Note: This is under the assumption that they’re currently serving on a committee.)
  5. What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
  6. What is your current occupation?
  7. What do you love most about [your industry]?
  8. How do you define success?
  9. Who inspires you?
  10. If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would you choose and why?
  11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter [your field]? 
  12. What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?

Fun member spotlight questions

While many of your questions will focus on professional achievements and goals, your member spotlight should also include some facts about them as a person. Send them some prompts to help your readers get to know what motivates the member, a little about their background, and relate to them.

  1. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
  2. What’s the last book you read?
  3. What is your favorite hobby? 
  4. What’s the first concert you ever attended?
  5. What’s the next place on your travel bucket list? 
  6. Are you currently binge-watching any shows? 
  7. If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  8. What’s one item you can’t live without?

Moving forward with your own member spotlight

Now that you have a foundational list of questions, you can add or subtract questions based on your needs and send them off to the member you’ve selected for your spotlight. Once you’ve received their responses, you can start writing and shaping your profile!

If you want additional ideas on how to engage your members on your website, in your newsletter, or via events, check out our Membership Engagement Guide.