by Josh Amos

Hello to all of our affiliates, members, and armed citizens everywhere! I know, I said this last year, but where did the year go? The Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network had a great year of growth and achievement, and we thank you all for coming along with us. This growth benefits our members in that we have more in our Legal Defense Fund, we have more affiliated attorneys in more states and wider outreach with our Foundation’s educational booklets.

bookletOur affiliated instructors and gun shops deserve a special commendation. When an affiliate takes five or ten minutes to give our booklet and recommend membership in the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network to students, customers, and friends, it really makes a difference. Not only do more people join the Network, but more importantly our affiliates reach the kinds of people that we want to join. You see, we have specifically chosen to grow the Network by admitting quality members who share the Network’s core values of responsibility, education, and good training.

In 2017, we considerably expanded one of our membership growth incentive programs to help our affiliates recruit new members who share our Network values. For several years, established affiliates have had the option to offer their students and customers a coupon to save a little money on first time, full price memberships. We customize each coupon to identify the affiliate to whom it is issued. A neat secondary effect was that through coupon codes we got to see and recognize the performance of our affiliates. There are big time instructors who deliver big numbers for us, but there are also smaller-scale operations that proved that their geographic locations or smaller populations were not going to keep them from giving a good account of themselves. Each week I try to phone or email affiliates who’ve sent us new members because I like to say thank you.

Speaking of which, some affiliates have switched out of our old commissioned recruiting incentive to the coupon promotion with astounding success. Jeff and Robyn Street from Step by Step Gun Training in Naples are an outstanding example. Since switching to couponing, the Streets’ new member outreach results have quadrupled or better. Many affiliates find it easier to “sell” Network membership with the coupon offer and we thank them for their enthusiastic efforts.

We ask that our affiliated instructors and recruiters pass out booklets to 200 of their students and customers each year to maintain their standing as a Network affiliate. This outreach keeps the Network competitive in the face of our competitors’ non-stop, big budget media campaigns. Affiliates, if you don’t teach that many students, or the market is slow, I want you to understand that you can give out our booklets at ranges, gun shows, matches, clubs and the many places shooting enthusiasts gather. Take our Foundation’s booklet wherever you meet responsible armed citizens and tell folks there why you value your Network membership.

The Network is not content to rest on our past performance. Each year we are able to budget more money to reach out to armed citizens and build Network name recognition. Our 2018 budget for magazine advertising is bigger than in years past, so you will see more of us in GUNS, SWAT, American Handgunner and Gun Digest Magazine. In addition, we are going to be running  spots with Gun Talk® Radio and we continue to work with podcasters all across the spectrum. Our goal is to educate armed citizens about the aftermath of use of force in self defense while increasing name recognition, which in turn makes it easier for our dedicated affiliates to introduce us to their customers and students.

2017 was a great year for the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network and we are planning on an even better 2018! We really appreciate our affiliate instructors and gun shop owners telling their friends and customers why Network membership is essential for responsible armed citizens.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.