We appreciate your membership with the ____________________ Chamber of Commerce. We want you to know there are several ways you can optimize your return on membership by following this list.
One of the many services provided as part of your membership includes the documentation of products and services you offer. Since the Chamber understands you are busy running your business, this build out is done for you and at no additional cost.
The First Month:
The Second Month is time to commit to:
We have just released an update to the Chamber Search Engine that provides additional controls. You can read about those below. You can also download this guide by visiting www.ChamberSearchEngine.com.
Chamber Nation has been creating a brand new program to help our customers market the value of Chamber of Commerce membership. This includes a new member education and support website called Members.Fyi (www.Members.fyi). You will find all new material to share and even an area to use for your new member orientation classes we call Getting Started with six easy to follow sections to use during these meetings.
There is also a hidden page you can promote to non-members called www.GetChambered.com that quickly introduces prospects to this website and all that can happen when they become a member of your Chamber of Commerce.
We highly recommend that Chambers of Commerce begin to embrace that "third" word which is "Commerce" and remind the world that the Chamber "IS" the local marketing program and members are provided with Member Assistants to document their products and services for search. Without membership your business is losing out on some amazing services and outcomes.
So that our customers (Chamber of Commerce Executives and Staff) can get the very most out of this program, we have created a special section just for them and is password protected so please contact support for access. The site is at www.Orientations.fyi and you will find a ton of valuable information and educational materials to help you grow and retain membership.
Finally, a bonus tip: create something amazing that people will want to photograph themselves in front of. This can be a giant chair or a beautiful backdrop. Use your imagination. Then post a hashtag poster nearby so you’ll be sure to see what they share.
Even though Small Business Saturday is right around the corner, there’s still time to participate. Show your interest and help others find you through marketing and social media.
NEXT CHAMBER COLLABORATIVE IS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5, 2018 - THE TIPPING POINT WHEN THE PROSPECT SAYS - WHY WOULD I NOT JOIN THE CHAMBER?
DON'T MISS THE NEXT COLLABORATIVE ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5, 2018: Luis Hernandez (our show host) will be discussing the difference between “feature and benefit” selling versus “emotional” selling, buyer personas and why it is so important for us to really understand our customers/members better.
After that we will present the question and ideas about "WHERE IS THE TIPPING POINT" when prospects begin to say why would I I NOT join the Chamber? We will also open up a discussion on the Chamber setting up a second level of membership that could offer the biggest return for the member and Chamber.
As our Production Team attempts to complete your Premium Production Member's buildout we run into roadblocks at times. If a member has no email address in your Member Database we have no way of communicating with the member. In addition your member will not receive information about prospective customers.
If your member does not have a website that we can gather information about their business or organization, we ask them to submit information at PremiumEntrance.com. In many cases members do not respond to our requests. When this occurs we ask Chamber Staff to encourage their members without a website to visit PremiumEntrance.com and submit the short form. This will help us to complete your entire member community in a timely manner.
The Holidays are the time for giving - what better time to include a 'Donation' feature to an Event Registration. Add a donation for a local food or toy drive. In Event Registration after you set up your packages, you can add 'Custom Fields'. One of the types of custom fields in your system is 'Open Donation' choose this, add a title and instructions if applicable and you are set.
process to create Newsletters In advanced email Editor - then how to obtain a system Link to display newsletters on your website
When you access the Advanced Editor in the Broadcast Email Message module, you will see
'Adv Editor Categories'. Click there to add, edit or delete categories.
When you create a message in this case a newsletter, you will select the 'Newsletter' category, check the box to 'Publish as Newsletter' and enter a 'Publish Date'. Then proceed to create and save your newsletter. You can send it out as you do with other Broadcast Emails. In addition you can display this and all newsletters you create in the same fashion on your website.
Access MMS Configuration - System Links - item # 26 Broadcast Email Module - there you will find a unique link that you can place on the desired website page. This will display all the newsletters you create so the public can read about Chamber News for months and years to come.
Surveys aren’t the way to good customer service. They might’ve been five years ago, but they’re being used with such an annoying regularity that no one wants to take part in them. But how do you improve your business’ customer service if you don’t know what your customers want? Trust us. There are other ways. Here are a few things you need to ditch in order to begin providing better service.
As I just mentioned, surveys are overdone in 2018. Call the bank, they send a survey. Get the oil changed in your car, survey. Everything is a survey these days. Sure, you can get people to participate through free goods and discounts, but no one wants to waste time telling you how to do your job.
Try this instead: try one-question, emoji-style ratings when you send a follow-up email thanking them for their business. Smiley face or sad face. Or use a clickable star rating the way Amazon or Goodreads does on their reviews. Then give them contact information to a real person if they have more to say. They can rate you in a second as well as ask for a follow-up.
Not Filling Empty Positions
When an employee leaves, there’s a time before you hire again while you’re searching for an ideal candidate. If that process becomes long and drawn out, co-workers are usually called upon to fill in the gaps. After this occurs for a while, management often thinks that position doesn’t need to be filled since everyone is managing fine. Unless you are making it worth the employees’ while financially, you are over-burdening the employee. Burnt out employees don’t provide good customer service, let alone excellent service.
Try this instead: as soon as the employee gives notice, begin the hiring process. As a preemptive solution, always have up-to-date job descriptions on file so there’s no time wasted writing them. Ask good employees for referrals. Fill that position or compensate the individuals who are taking on an increased workload.
Everyone working for you should know two things: what’s expected of them (including how they’re measured against those expectations) and how you expect the customer to be treated.If they don’t know these things, it’s difficult to do their job.
Try this: Give employees processes and missions to go by so it is clear to them to what degree your company believes the customer is always right. This empowers them to do right by the customer on a level that you support, even if you’re not available to ask.
If your employees are always making up excuses as to why something didn’t happen or why they’re not meeting expectations, your customers will grow tired of this. Customers recognize an excuse. Excuses never smooth over any of the ruffled feathers.
Try this: Ban certain language from your employees’ repertoire. Things like, “I’m new” or “That happened because X is new” don’t matter to customers. They don’t want an excuse. They want a solution. Make sure your employees are skilled at providing them.
Square Hole, Square Peg Thinking
Yes, protocols are essential to businesses operations but you also want your employees to be creative problem solvers. They should not feel hemmed in by rules that can never be bent. Sometimes, it is necessary to make allowances.
Try this: as mentioned earlier, let employees know how far they can go to do right by the customer. It’s important they feel empowered to act on the customer’s behalf.
“Not My Job” Mentality
The customer doesn’t care whose job it is. When they have a problem, they want it handled. There’s nothing more frustrating than an underling saying they can’t do anything or the customer being passed around the company explaining the issue each time.
Try this instead: even if the person answering the inquiry isn’t fully equipped to solve the issue, they should remain the main point of contact for the customer. The employee is the one who works for the company. They are the most skilled at dealing with peers and departments. Stay in good communication with the customer and allow one point person for customer convenience and relationship building. This way your customer will see them as an advocate for them.
If you want to start providing better customer service, think of the customer experience. Consider the things that bother you most about dealing with businesses. Then refrain from introducing those frustrations into your environment.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. She is a regular blogger for Frank Kenny who Chamber Nation purchases content from for our customers use.
easily use alternative event registration and other networking systems for check out with your chamber nation calendars
When creating a calendar event you can click on the dropdown to link it to a registration and you will see a new option for 'Enter a custom registration URL'. If you select that option, a new field will display right below where you can enter the link.
On the more info page for calendar events, it will display the registration button like normal but in these cases the button will go to the custom url they entered.
If you have any questions or need anything else please let us know. Thanks!
We are excited to re-launch a Daily Deals program designed to help drive traffic into our local businesses! It is the perfect time to create or share what specials your business is running as it's just in time for the start of holiday shopping. The Chamber is going to run an ads in print and on social media directing potential visitors to a special landing page on our site. This landing page (which currently looks like this) is where your deals will appear, promoting your locals special or any other deal that your business may be offering. Discounted services, discounts on food, specials on drinks, discounts on merchandise, etc are all examples of what you can load here.
Here is what we need from you:
Boulder City Chamber Communications Director
How to find the direct link so people can leave google reviews on your member businesses - it was impossible before this trick!
THANK YOU TOM WITH THE NORTH PHOENIX CHAMBER WHO SUGGESTED THIS TRICK IN THE LAST www.CHAMBERCOLLABORATIVE.com MEETING.
You don't have to watch this video if you follow this 2 step process:
Businesses need to evolve periodically. Whether you like it or not, you have to look at the trends going on around us and make decisions accordingly. These decisions may involve reaching out to a new demographic, offering new services or products, or changing the way you do things like tailoring your marketing writing to Google’s ever-changing rules.
If it’s been a while since you’ve innovated in your business, now might be the time to consider a facelift.
Many business owners embrace tradition and refuse to yield. That worked for Blockbuster, too. But seriously, no one stopped watching movies. They just changed the way they did it. The same may be true of your business. To keep from closing your doors, you need to watch for trends. Here are a few that may influence how you think about your business.
Three Not- So -New Trends That Are Shaping Today ’ s Businesses
When you talk innovation, very few people have the intestinal fortitude to be on the bleeding edge of adopting completely new approaches. That’s why this article features trends that aren’t so new that they haven’t been tested but are still new enough that they may give you some exciting ideas.
If you sell products, you may have been watching this trend. Today, you can get hobbies, pet toys, clothing, beauty products, razors, books, teas, coffee, wine, fitness equipment, snacks, dinner, and so much more sent to you weekly or monthly. They have sample and full-sized boxes. Some companies allow you to control your selections, delivery frequency, preferences, and many other customizable options.
But for most of the boxes, you don’t know what’s coming in them until they arrive (or you see an early opener on YouTube). The boxes always boast a value of more than you pay for the subscription service.
Why it works: it surprises and delights recipients. Often it streamlines something they need or want and offers an attractive entry price. Many box services use word of mouth and offer discount codes to influencers in their target market like mommy bloggers or YouTube beauty experts.
It used to be when you started a company, you needed to invest in resources and other start-up expenses. These days, a new type of business is putting that onus on contractors. Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and others aren’t ponying up the necessities for their business operation, contractors are. From homes to cars, boats to crafts, there are businesses that are building their entire empire on things they don’t own or need to worry about maintaining.
They pay their contractors a portion or charge them a fee to be listed on their site. Some of them cover the contractors under an insurance policy to ensure the property is protected but the contractor is in charge of their own maintenance, production, and other critical components.
Another idea that’s similar is how direct marketing companies work. They make the product and then have an army of contractors sell it for them. Each contractor runs their operation as a mini business adhering to the manufacturer’s rules for selling and they receive a commission when they move product.
Why it works: fewer start-up costs to hamper growth.
Reshaping a mission
The final trend that more companies are embracing is telling their “why,” and in doing so, embracing a culture of giving back. Many businesses find a cause to support now and give a portion of proceeds (either of the whole business or a particular product line) to that group or cause.
Why this works: a study has found that young people (especially) are willing to pay more for a product that supports a good cause.
If it’s been a while since you rethought your business strategy, it might be time to open yourself up to some of the newer trends out there. These ideas won’t work for every business so consider your offerings and your target market before making any big decisions. However, you might just find that these ideas get you thinking about one that’s an even better fit for your operation.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com where we access these articles with permission.
Do you have an SEO strategy? Maybe not. But you likely know that SEO is an important part of your business getting seen on the internet.
Things change often with search engines so it’s good to have an agency, guru, or SEO expert at close hand. If you can’t afford one of those things for your business, you’ll have to do it on your own and stay abreast of all of the changes. One of those changes you should be considering is how voice search is impacting SEO.
Voice search is increasing with greater use of mobile and the increase in access to artificial intelligence. If you have a business that focuses on local clients or customers, voice search is incredibly important as local searches are 3 times more likely to be voice searches than text.
But exactly what’s different between voice search and keyed search?
Plenty. Here’s what you need to know and the changes you need to make to what you’re already doing:
4 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search
Consider Placing for Questions or Phrases
In voice search, most people ask a question or make a statement surrounding a need. For instance, “Where’s the nearest taco place?” Think about what sorts of questions people would ask to find your business. Then create content around those questions. For example, someone might request “Best dog groomer in Nashville.” Write a blog post under that title. Write a review of several different places where you can get your dog groomed from doing it yourself to a portable groomer to your business.
Offering other ideas besides just your own business makes you a reliable resource. However, there’s no need to directly mention the competition. Speak in generalities of the competitors unless you find that people are often searching for you and your nemesis. For instance, if there’s a rivalry between your hot dogs and another place in town, mentioning them directly could help you “steal” some of their search results.
Use the Right Language
There are regional ways of saying things (not accents) and naming items. Just listen to a comedian making fun of their hometown. For instance, some parts of the Midwest refer to washcloths as wash rags and vacuums as sweepers. If you sold those items and wanted to rank for them locally, you may consider using those local terms.
Also, while it might be hard to rank for some terms like“pizza restaurant,” it might be easier to rank for “best pizza place near me.” Most voice searches will use less formal terminology or language because voice search is based on how people talk. And when they talk to search or their virtual assistants like Siri, Google, or Alexa, they speak like they’re talking to someone they know. They don’t speak formally the way they might when looking something up online.
Localize the Search
Wherever possible, if you serve a community (meaning people in town come to you for your service or product and you’re not an internet business serving all areas), mention the areas you serve. Not only will this clear up any confusion but it will also help you rank in that area. But don’t simply state the name of your town over and over. Any bot can do that. Pepper in things about your town that will help people and search engines recognize you really are serving that area. For instance, if you are a carpet cleaner you might add content to your website that asks, “Having people in for the Waynesville Sauerkraut Festival? You want clean floors. We can help.”
This type of personalization is best used when switched out throughout the year. Websites were never made to be stagnant. Remember to refresh content on a regular basis.
Become More Verbose
When typing in a search, most people use 2-3 word phrases. Voice search is much longer, 5-7 words. You’ll want to keep this in mind when optimizing your content. It’s important to do some search research to find out how people are searching for things that you provide. When it comes to voice, they tend to be more long-winded and describe what they need than when they’re texting it.
If you’re concerned about search engine optimization--and you should be--it’s important to consider how search is changing that, especially if your customers are largely local. Create content and optimize your web copy around how people speak and the questions they’d ask to find you. It’s well worth the time investment to do it now rather than wait until your competitors do it.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com who we purchase the rights to this content from for our customers.
LITTLE BACKGROUND AND PLANS FOR THE CHAMBER COLLABORATIVE
For years the CEO of Chamber Nation, Richard Scully held national meetings once per month to know how to build the Chamber Nation program to best suit Chambers of Commerce throughout the country. Five years ago those meetings ended because so much of the platform was built and performing well.
Today, we are venturing down a new path of Membership Development and Growth. Because of this Chamber Nation has decided to bring the Chamber Collaborative back in earnest with a highly qualified host from the Chamber industry to share ideas that are working in the field, take input from participants, and have other executives share insights they have to help grow membership.
Fortunately, we have a starting point with a terrific host who has proven first hand membership development experience within the Chamber of Commerce industry. Luis has much to share in this area that we know participants will be excited to learn. Like before we will hold these meetings to 30 minutes, but the CEO of Chamber Nation and others will stay on the line after the session has ended to answer or discuss other issues you may have. We will also provide support for both Docu.Team and the MembershipPublishingSystem.Com. We hope you will register below for future meetings so you won't miss any great ideas on growing your Chamber of Commerce.
We have a terrific tool for our customers to use in order to move community businesses from being educated in the value of membership, to actually being a qualified lead. This process makes it much easier to grow membership.
Here are the 5 reasons that makes ACH, a smarter choice for Chambers looking to make recurring payments work.
Checklist for turning on auto-pay for clients:
NOTE: Because of the high rate of Credit Card expirations and card number changes you might consider having us activate ACH payments from a checking account for auto payments. Make sure you have Authorize.net enable ACH payments in your Merchant Account.
Once the above is completed, contact Support to turn on auto-payments and/or automatic invoicing. (For a faster response, include a short note indicating that you've gone through the above checklist.)
More information on how auto-pay will work afterward:
Some people think a chamber membership is all about networking and because of that they see it as obsolete. After all, you can just meet other business people online, right? Search on Facebook and a number of business groups will come up, many geared to a certain profession or business size.
Some of these groups are private so you have to apply to get in. A few even require you to answer questions and promise to play nicely with others. Upon acceptance, you can spend all day chatting it up with other like-minded business owners (for free!).
No need to join the chamber, right?
Saying that joining a Facebook group for business replaces the need for a chamber membership is like placing a nickel in your piggy bank and claiming to have a retirement account. Sure, the two are kind of similar but you’ll never get the same amount of return from that group as you will from a chamber membership. Here’s why.
With a chamber membership you get the following things you won’t get from a Facebook group:
1. A Connection with the Community and a Marketable Designation
The chamber is a well-respected community organization. Many people see it as similar to the Better Business Bureau. Your membership plaque or window cling tells customers that you are intending to be part of the community for a long time. Being a member of an online group is not a reputation builder.
2. Knowledgeable Help
With an online Facebook group, someone will ask a question, others will give their advice. This can be a wonderful experiment in crowd-sourced learning. However, it can also have its downside. While the group administrator may have asked a few questions when someone entered, most groups do not vet members. Anyone can offer advice, skilled/experienced or not. It’s difficult to tell the good from the bad.
Facebook also allows frequent contributors in the group to receive a designation next to their names. Be aware this just means they answer questions often. This does not indicate expertise of any kind just a willingness to jump into conversations and post.
3. Hands-on Learning Opportunities
The chamber offers hands-on learning opportunities as well as lunch and learns. For many people, it’s hard to learn by being told what to do. But seeing it or working on it on their own through the instruction of others, can help improve the learning experience. That’s why some chambers have created learning opportunities that include things like social media help and in-person website attention. Check with your local chamber to find out what sort of learning sessions it offers.
With Facebook groups, there’s a limit to the amount of information must people are willing to share. In depth learning will likely occur elsewhere.
4. Ribbon Cuttings
When you open a new location for your business, hit a milestone anniversary or some other accomplishment, your Facebook group might send you some emoji balloons but the chamber will be there with a social media mention, perhaps an article, help on a press release, and/or a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate your time in business.
Your Facebook group may be exceptionally supportive and you may even feel like you have a group of online friends, but it’s likely that as supportive as these friends are, they are not lobbying on behalf of your community and business on a local, state, and national level. Your chamber is. Many businesses forget this valuable part of chamber work. While most businesses can’t afford their own lobbyist, they can afford chamber membership.
I’ve known a lot of people to get “burned” by something they shared on social media. If you need help on a delicate matter within your business, it’s likely you don’t want to splash it across a public forum, even if that forum is a “private group.” If you’re dealing with something sensitive and you need advice on next steps (like in the case of a termination, business bankruptcy or going-out-of-business situation) you don’t want to share that with the world. At the chamber, you can get the help you need or a reference to someone who can assist you without sharing it with the world. Chambers handle delicate situations all the time and they do so with discretion.
There’s nothing wrong with joining Facebook groups. They can be extremely helpful in hearing advice from people who may have gone through similar situations. But these memberships will never cover everything your chamber can do for your business. Still, there’s no reason to choose between one or the other. When it comes to business growth, multiple tools and investments are required, and chamber membership is an excellent one.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Writer’s Weekly. Used with permission from Frank Kenny as we purchase this service for our Chamber Nation customers.
Clickable smartphone link code:
The following link can be used to make a clickable phone link. You can copy the code below and paste it into your webpage, mobile app, then edit with your phone number. This code may not work on all phones but does work for iPhone, Droid / Android and Blackberry.
This video shows a quick and easy way for Chambers to add a code that will give member pricing to those people who are not in your Member Database.
We purchase communication guidance from Frank Kenny so Chamber Nation can provide valuable content to our Chamber Nation customers. Here is another important tool for you.
Here is a must do for you. Download the recently released 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General. It's their 10th annual report with lots of trends, data, and insights about membership organizations. You will find it super valuable. It's 79 pages and free.
You will discover things like...
One recruitment channel that has seen recent growth in reported effectiveness is paid digital marketing. ...digital channel was almost invisible in our research until 2015.
Associations with increases in their one-year membership and five-year membership numbers are significantly more likely to have a higher percentage of millennial members.
In looking back over data from the last ten years, it is significant to note that the 2018 key membership statistics mirror the resiliency that associations have reported over this period, perhaps challenging those who have prophesied the imminent demise of the association membership model.
When it comes to fulfilling new memberships, for 2018, only 44% of associations report sending a mailed welcome kit to onboard new members. This is down from 51% in 2017and significantly down from 83% ten years ago in 2009.
In our 2010 research, only 22% of associations reported offering automatic annual credit card renewals. This payment method has expanded over the years. Automatic annual credit card renewals are especially popular among IMOs, with 45% making this option available.
When asked the engagement opportunities that associations report as increasing over the past year, over half of individual membership associations report increases in participation in the following areas: in their public social media (73%), in a private social network (59%), in their young professional program (54%), and in attendance of their webinars (52%).
Here are the sections:
Content creation takes a lot of time and energy in trying to find things that appeal to your audience. But a lot of the challenge is in thinking about what to post. If you know your audience well, it becomes infinitely easier to create and curate content they’ll enjoy.
The Three Rules of Good Content
Before covering items from your daily life that would make good business content, remember that all good content keeps in mind the three rules. The highest shared content does at least one of these three things. It:
If you can do these things for your target audience, they are more likely to share your posts.
Finding Content in Your Daily LifeWhy is finding content in your daily life important? Because it keeps you from having to dig around and spend a lot of time creating what isn’t natural for you. The kind of content in the following suggestions are things you’re already doing and you can naturally capture those things in words, images, or videos to help make stronger connections with your audience.
Best of all, because they’re things you’re already doing or experiencing, they’re super easy and don’t require elaborate sets or set up.
The key to all of these pieces of content is creating something people can identify with and will want to be a part of. All of these ideas invite people in to your world, and thus, help them to better decide that they want to be a part of what you’re doing.
Ideas for Content in Things You’re Already DoingMost of these can easily become word posts, image memes, images, video, or even Live events. Vary the format and use the one your audience responds to most. Test out the formats and see which type gets the most shares.
Think about how you spend your day. You’re performing these tasks and visiting these places and people anyway. Take your audience along for the ride. Not only is it an easy form of content but you’ll likely make some loyal customers that way too.
When they see who you are, they can make an educated decision about doing business with you. After all, people do business with those they know, like, and trust and these ideas will help you establish that.
Why is the H1 Tag so Important?
The H1 tag is the most important heading because it’s the highest level tag that shows what your specific page is about. Search engines generally give this tag more weight over other headings, so it usually improves your search engine ranking when you use it correctly and in conjunction with other onsite SEO techniques.
Adding a H1 tag into your Weebly website is very easy (video below).
GO TO Facebook Forum
We answer Facebook Forum Questions Here so You Can Search Solutions at Anytime. Helpful for Chamber Staff and Their Members.