parallax background

Stand Out And Be Noticed

A proven approach for growing your certification business

Last week I talked with a certification director, a long-time friend with a new puzzle.

For 30 years she has built and managed her professional association’s certification program in 35 countries and it is not keeping up with workforce demands.

Employers are finding other professions, other certifications that seem close to the certification she conducts.

It’s harder to get her own members to want a certification that seems invisible or not clearly valuable in the job openings they can have now.

Like most certification directors, she concentrated time and relationship-building with advanced practitioners and academic leaders but failed to focus on growing her program through networks of new and emerging businesses.

Can you imagine being the first certification in your space yet having no idea how to handle the double whammy of higher demand for what you do best along with a rise of new certifications with higher visibility, connecting new graduates with jobs?

I’ve heard this scenario again and again.

I regularly talk with certification professionals who have conducted programs in one or more industries for decades and settle for low-growth or no-growth numbers as long as they are in the black. But this is no longer sustainable.

The shock and struggle starts with the new, younger board members asking the painfully obvious question:

“What are you doing about workforce gaps and our own colleagues going to work on certifications in almost-like-us associations?

If you don’t have the answer to that, what are you planning to do?

95% of the time, these struggling certification directors are all dabbling with the same things to get different results:

1. Wasting hours searching the Internet for a similar model or business case.

2. Calling up their colleagues and pleading for help or long lunches to brainstorm.

3. Rallying the staff and all committee members in sprint campaign to “Get our name out there.”

4. Dipping into cash reserves to send more staff and officers to more conventions just one year to “make more connections.”

But none of these are increasing results in any significant way, are they? No, because they are missing the most important thing of all.

This isn’t how certification business growth works in 2022.

Contrast those who are struggling with the many successful certification organizations who are driving up participation and collaboration at the same time:

1. The Customer Experience Professionals Association went from brand new to 4,500 in 70 countries in 8 years.

2. The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters went from start to their 1st NCCA Accredited Certification in 3 years and expanded to programs for entry-level practitioners and collaboration with continuing education providers, all before their 10th anniversary.

3. The Association of Change Management Professionals went from brand new to 1,000 and 300 Certified Change Management Professionals in 7 years.

What are they doing differently than you are?

They have learned the secrets of standing out in a crowd of look-a likes.

And if you don’t learn those secrets as well, your certification business will not grow. If you do learn and apply those secrets, you will fill your candidate pipeline with good-fit, budget-supported applicants.

The communicators can help.

The Communicators can help you enroll more applicants and employers into your certification. It’s all about powerful communication. Here are four of our proven strategies:

1. We’ll help you Identify the top 3 reasons why an employer would notice, then prefer people with your certification. This will get people applying the first time or at re-certification time driven by their reality and reasons instead of yours.

2. Learn how to gather and harness the power of your certificants’ stories to increase trust and credibility. True stories of your profession will convince others they want to belong to something more meaningful than an online form.

3. Master customizing social media to attract your specialized profession without divulging exam secrets. The people most qualified for your certification will reward you for figuring out the social media maze that cuts a straight, fast path from not knowing you to can’t live without you.

4. How to write value-specific emails that attract applicants and employers like a heat-seeking missile. People will enthusiastically get back to you and engage in your certification when your emails stand out from the crowd and make them smile.

If you’re tired of the struggle to get the attention your certification deserves and would like to know how to reboot your certification program to the most valued and respected one in your industry, – a certification program that stands out and is noticed – despite the massive changes and challenges in the industry, perhaps you’d like to chat with us.

I’m Georgia Patrick, CEO of The Communicators, and since 1991 we’ve helped hundreds of certification organizations grow and thrive by standing out in a crowd of look-a likes. We can help you as well.

I’m looking forward to speaking with you and discovering how we can help you take your certification business to the next level. If you have any questions, you can contact me at: