As any serious marketer knows, there are many ways and places to market your business. It has been said that you should be part of at least 3 different types of networking groups.
1. Referral Networking Group 2. Service Club 2. Your local Chamber of Commerce
The first is your closed group, where your business type is the only one in the group and referrals are the main focus. The second type of group is your service club, where you can network, while giving back to your community through projects and fundraising activities. Both of these groups usually meet weekly and have a set structure and time limits for each part of the meeting. The third is your local chamber of commerce. Your local chamber has a broad membership base within the business community.
A chamber, unlike a referral group or at times a service club, usually has more than one of a particular profession in the membership. This gives the member an opportunity to network with and gain several “Referral Partners” within their field. I know when I was a member of the Glendora Chamber before joining the staff, there were several members that did the same kind of work as I did. This was an asset! It allowed me to network and see what was working and not working for them, in regards to advertising and other networking groups. We also would share ideas and industry information. Since I did not do all types of loans at the time, I was able to refer out and have a list of professionals I knew and felt comfortable with to send my customers to. As a business professional it is important to have a list of contacts to send your customers to when they are in needed of other types of services. This will show your customers that you are a source for anything they may need, and keeps you at the forefront of their minds. I always kept a printed list of different companies and service providers on my website at all times for my customers. The chamber can be your source for this, if you do not already have your own resource list.
At the Glendora Chamber there are many ways to get your message out besides networking at our breakfasts , lunches and mixers.
- When joining the Chamber or renewing your membership you receive free advertising through our monthly bulletin and bi-monthly newsletter. Take advantage of these! These newsletters and bulletins go out then are archived. They are also linked to our Facebook page and other sites and blogs to be viewed by thousands of people.
- Make an attempt to go to our workshops and seminars no matter what the topic is. We may have a workshop that has nothing to do with your industry, but there will be other professionals there to network with and possibly connect with for future referrals and business. The chamber has had, and will continue to have, very informative workshops on a variety of topics, such as internet marketing, legislative issues, and business planning. Business Killers is one such workshop. The chamber is hosting this workshop on Thursday, March 22nd at 5:30 PM at The Citrus Valley Association of REALTORS®. The Business Killers Workshop deals in depth with 6 common mistakes that can threaten your business. It will give you steps to help you prevent these costly business killing mistakes. Visit our website for more details and to reserve your seat. This workshop is for everyone who is interested in protecting their business.
- Put your information such as business cards and flyers in the chamber lobby. Visitors come in every day for information. Don’t be left out!
- Take advantage of our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr pages. These were put together to promote YOU the member.
- On our Facebook page members can post events that they are holding, or you can email me and I will do it for you. If you have a video or pictures, we can post them on our YouTube and Flickr page for you. Using these pages will increase your search engine optimization and help get you noticed on the internet. The more links to your website or blog, the better!
- On our website there are numerous places you can have content posted to be viewed by visitors, such as our Member News Section. You can also, for an extremely small fee, have a banner ad and or business card ad on rotation on the home page. These ads cycle through and are linked to your website. More of these types of opportunities are forthcoming…so stay tuned.
- Be part of a committee at the chamber. The Ambassador Committee is one such opportunity. As an Ambassador, you are the face of the chamber in the community and you are the one up front, helping at events. The Ambassadors also have their own webpage with pictures and links on the chamber’s site. Remember what I said about the more links the better?
These are just a few of the many valuable ways to market with the Glendora Chamber. For a list of all the benefits pleasecheck out the member brochure for more information or give us a call.
I would have to say, and serious marketers would agree, that marketing with a chamber is by far the most economical, high-impact, method you can use. So, take advantage of the opportunity! At the chamber, we have the resources that can help you, but it takes participation by you to be successful.
On that note…Are you a member of three types of networking groups? If not, keep in mind that your competitors probably are!
By: Joe Cina, Business Development Director, Glendora Chamber of Commerce