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Chambers of Commerce: Cheering Your Way to Victory

by | May 21, 2009 | Industry News & Trends

Champion Your Greatness

Champion Your Greatness

In today’s economy you have to be your own cheerleader, you have to call your members’ attention to your greatness. Not an easy thing to do for groups that have formerly focused on promoting others’ businesses and helping them to succeed. I could make all kinds of witty analogies here and maybe even add some funny quips but that won’t do anything to alleviate your concerns over cancelled memberships.

Providing value has become the mantra of organizations looking to retain members. We all know we have to do it but where do we start? Chambers of Commerce are in a unique position to aid your members. Your chamber members may be small businesses struggling in this economy who can’t afford (or don’t have the confidence or knowledge) to take on technology. Maybe they’re just looking for some guidance. Step in there, fill that gap by providing technology assistance (not talking about a help desk, more like making suggestions on low-cost social media options). You could set up a member level that allows them to have their own page on your website (something that is easy and at no additional cost to you with, providing them with a web presence and a connection to you. How about creating a webinar (maybe focused around technology?) and uploading it to your site? Not feeling multi-media savvy, you can also upload informational PDFs and white pages.  Allow companies to post discounts for your members on your chamber website. It not only brings them business but it allows others the opportunity to maximize their dollars – get more bang for the buck.

Be more efficient at helping your members connect. The technology is in place to allow your members to network on their time (whenever that is). With financial concerns and family commitments, it is hard for members to meet at set times. Having a web community means never having to worry about scheduling conflicts. With live chat and messaging, your chamber members can make it, when they can make it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   While you are providing an online community to meet your members’ social networking needs, why not consider a professional one as well? The career center feature on’s membership management software allows members to upload resumes, search and browse career categories, apply for jobs even subscribe to the career RSS feed so they can be notified of new opportunities in their field. 

As important as providing value, you have to ensure your chamber members are aware of the value you provide. Number one reason people cancel gym memberships – they just don’t use them like they thought they would. Don’t allow your members to say that about you. Make yourself an integral part of their lives. Do that by promoting content and opportunities they can’t find elsewhere.

Once you have membership management software in place, it’s time to talk about it. Place it at the bottom of your electronic signature in emails, make it a focus of your newsletter, email your members, email prospective members, advise industry people and news outlets, blog and tweet about it — essentially shout it from the rooftops, virtually and physically. Tell everyone you know. Tell them to tell everyone they know. Encourage chamber members to use the refer-a-friend feature (in’s membership software) to bring in new businesses. If you find this kind of marketing exhausting, you are on the right track. The more energy you put into it, the more cheers from the crowd you’ll hear.

You can do this kind of social media work on your own. You can design a membership module, an admin feature, something to help you manage careers, build a website, manage your dues collection. You could end up with a dozen different pieces working apart from each other or you could look into Our membership management software and social networking capabilities translate into a complete online community at an affordable price. We’ll have you live in 72 hours and we can even help you with ideas for launching your great new site. What are you waiting for? Go team!


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