“We’re hoping members will refer others”
Sentences like these come up often.
Hope doesn’t make for a good strategy.
Far better to provide a mechanism for that to happen.
If you want referrals, provide an exclusive invite members can share with 1 friend only. Release some secret news that no-one else knows about and tell people not to tell others (trust me). Solicit contributions from members on a joint project they would love to talk about. Profile members in a way that lets them show off to their friends.
Don’t hope for something to happen. Do something that’s going to make it happen.
It sounds really obvious, but we never cease to be surprised