As of late I have been researching becoming a part of our local Chamber of Commerce. I have heard through many people how beneficial it can be. Membership fees tend to be fairly minimal and the exposure you receive is huge! You can attend monthly 'meet-and-greets' to open yourself and your business up to many new faces in a short amount of time. It is also informative to keep you in the loop with local events and how you could possibly get involved.

Here is a detailed list about why it is great to join your local Chamber of Commerce:

  1. Membership brings credibility to your business. 
    You can increase positive perception among consumers and business owners when you’re identified as a member of a chamber of commerce.
  2. Increase your visibility in the community. 
    As a new member of the chamber of commerce, you will be listed in the chamber newsletter, e-newsletter, on Facebook and have the opportunity to be highlighted in other chamber publications. You also can grow your business by advertising with the chamber and sponsoring events. 
  3. Create networking opportunities. 
    Chambers have numerous committees and serving on one of them provides numerous networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development. You can build your business while promoting developments of keen interest to local businesses and the community at large.
  4. Gain a voice in government. 
    The local chamber takes on the tough issues and opposes new regulations, taxes, fees, assessments and costs directed at small businesses. It also helps protect the principles of free enterprise and aids businesses in being treated fairly.
  5. Make business contacts. 
    The chamber’s most fundamental mission is to generate more business activity for the community. The chamber initiates more business-to-business commerce and more opportunities for networking and connecting local professionals than is available through most other local organizations.
  6. Receive chamber newsletters. 
    Newsletters provide new member information, interesting information about operating a local business, articles about the local community, a community calendar and details about up-and-coming chamber events, among other things.
  7. Acquire customer referrals. 
    Every day, your local chamber receives calls from individuals and businesses looking for potential vendors, and chamber members typically recommend chamber members.
  8. Chamber events and programs. 
    Chamber events and programs provide members with great opportunities to get to know new people and expand their prospect base. Chamber events are innovative and fun ways to help members meet potential customers, clients and vendors— and generate new business leads.
  9. Promotion and publicity. 
    With a chamber membership, you can reach potential clients through member exclusive advertising and opportunities for business-to-business advertising and publicity.
  10. Access to members-only discounts and services. 
    These differ from chamber to chamber but are definitely worth checking out.

With this many perks to being a part of your Chamber of Commerce...what are you waiting for? Yes, it might take a little time and effort on your behalf. But much like anything else, the amount of work you put into it can directly coincide with the amount of return you receive. So try it out. Support your local community. It could be the best decision you make. 




How is your online presence building going for your company? Have you picked some favourite tools and resources yet? It does seem like a lot of work, but with time and effort it will pay off. Let's go back and see what we have done so far. In step 1 we learned to listen to our customers, discovering the best way to understand and market to them. In step 2 we started buiding a content foundation that was practical and easy to understand for our target audience. In our last month, step 3, we got our content to the point where it is so interesting and easy to navigate that people began to "share" the content. Today, we move on to something a little different, the point of view of an eBook, an ever growing popular form of communication. 

In order to make your content most efficient and user friendly in the eBook world, you may have to change the format of some of your communication. You can do this by:
- auditing your current content 
- picking 2-3 monthly themes and consider targeting them specifically for eBooks
- creating a list of 3-5 strategic partners for eBook co-branding

This month is going to take a lot of review of your current materials. We know that what you are communicating is reaching your target audience quite well. We now want to expand that communication to reach an even larger, and ever growing, population. So review your material, find some themes, and focus on getting that content into the eBook world.