5 Quick Tips to “Turn-On”
Your Chamber Membership!
A chamber membership is like a new computer ~ if you never turn the computer on and use it, you will never see the real value of owning a computer. Being active in your local Chamber of Commerce will help you to grow your business. It is time to “turn on” your membership!
1.) Join and get listed in the Chamber Directory book and Website!
Note: The directory is printed and distributed to the entire membership. Often they print and distribute many more membership books and offer them around the community. My own chamber, Beverly Chamber of Commerce, distributed over 1900 membership books last year! This, along with being able to get a listing on the chamber website with a direct hyper-link to your own website has an equal value to the cost of your membership. Most memberships equal the cost of 2 cups of coffee a week!
2.) Meet with the director and drop off brochures for chamber office.
This is important even for the older members who have not been in to the
office in awhile. The more you connect with the director and staff, the better they understand about your business and who is a good referral for you.
3.) Have a Ribbon Cutting or Host a Networking Event at YOUR Location and take pictures for a press release.
If you are a new business be sure to jump at the opportunity to get the local mayor and the chamber to come to your place of business. Even if the event is not well attended you still get great press coverage with the chamber promoting your event and sometimes this makes it in the local paper. Use the press release about this event on your company website to show you are active in the business community, TWEET about it on Twitter.com, list it on your
status on Linkedin.com and also post it on your fans page on Facebook.com and blog.
4.)Attend Coffee Connections, Ribbon Cuttings, and other chamber events several times per month & at different times of the day.
“Out of site out of mind”, we have all heard this phrase, but today’s business climate requires that you do not sit and wait for business to walk in the doors. Beyond doing traditional advertising campaigns, businesses are finding that social networking is the key to getting new business and maintaining existing clients within the business community. If possible, attend chamber events at different times of the day. If you only go to the morning events or the afternoon events you could be missing a section of members who can only attend at a specific time.
Networking Tip: Less is better!
Meeting everyone in the room and collecting a stack of business cards is not the most effective way of networking. The goal of networking is to make an initial connection. Go with the objective to meet a handful of people and then follow-up with them after the event if possible. Relationship building requires more than showing up to one event and collecting cards. Think of it the same way you think of dating. You do not marry someone on the first date. It requires many dates and learning to mutually trust each other over time. It is the same thing with business relationships, they need time to develop before you are someone they do business with or refer business to.
5.)Advertise & Connect with fellow Chamber Members.
-My chamber offers a set of free mailing labels from our member database & $100 for subsequent ones. Check with your own chamber to see what they offer.
Opportunity to be featured on local access TV. In our community we have a show on BevCam-“Beverly Business Today”
-Check to see if your chamber offers a Mass mailing annually to members or residents and be sure to advertise in it if it is offered.
-Member to member discounts – see if your chamber offers this and puts it on their website.
-Sponsor chamber events as another way to connect with members.
-Advertise in the chamber monthly newsletter.