Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce? Wait, let me restate that. Are you an active member of your local chamber of commerce? The difference between the two questions is worth every penny of your membership fee.
Now that you’ve joined the chamber, what is your next step? It is always a good idea to review your chamber’s benefits and then take action. As different as chambers of commerce can be across the country, you’ll find their “member benefits” to be quite similar.
First things first, check your chamber’s website to confirm that your business is listed on their member directory. Since being a chamber of commerce member makes your business more desirable to consumers, why not advertise the fact you are a member by displaying your member certificate and window decal — if your chamber offers them — where your customers, clients, patients and others can see them. Also, check with your chamber to see if you have the option of using their logo on your company’s website. This gives you another avenue of visibility.
You’ll want to make sure you know when your chamber holds their meetings. Attending meetings gives you more face-time with other chamber and community members.
As an executive coordinator of a chamber of commerce, I find this next benefit to be widely under utilized. If your chamber has a weekly newsletter and members are encouraged to send in information, then advertise and promote your business! Send in upcoming events, sales and discounts, concerts, specialized training and more. This also applies to your chamber’s social media sites. Ask your chamber to post current happenings for your business on their Facebook page and on other sites for exposure.
When your chamber of commerce announces upcoming events, ask if they will be having vendors. Consider getting a table or booth and be available to talk with consumers about your service or product. As social media and digital advertising take over the Internet, there is still something to be said about face-to-face interaction. Another great way to connect is to attend Business After Hours. Be the sponsor at one of these events, which gives you more exposure and the opportunity for your business to be highlighted. If you would like to host your own Business After Hours event, your chamber can be a big help to make this a successful event.
As similar as benefits can be across the board, your chamber will have also have unique benefits specific to them. Get involved and take advantage of as many of them as you can.
There is no better investment for a business or professional firm than membership in your local area chamber of commerce. But, your membership alone is not going to bring you new business. Your membership connects you to the community and local businesses and your active participation can only gain you exposure.
YOU have the power to get the chamber of commerce to work for you!