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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast jeeplaw's Avatar
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    Do Chambers of Commerce work for you?

    I'm contemplating paying my $160 to be listed in the local chamber of commerce. I understand the benefits of networking and getting your name out there to promote your web design/hosting business, but I'm curious as to what kind of success those here in the forums have found doing just that..joining a chamber of commerce and reaping the benefits of an improved customer base.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot animatics's Avatar
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    I think it depends on your business. For web and graphic design I found it to be a pretty good way to meet prospects. I also found that there were some people that only do business with other chamber members.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Sgt. Baboon's Avatar
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    One thing I do to maximize my potential ROI for a Chamber is too offer to design or redesign their website in exchange for membership and free advertising (like an ad in their directory book or something similar).

    This can position you as a trusted source my other chamber members, and they will look to you first.

    How many members are in your local Chamber?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The Chamber is good for me providing I take advantage of their networking events, functions, etc. I also gave them a bunch of my literature and biz cards that they give out to new businesses plus are on display in their offices.

  5. #5
    Jamison DaDaHost's Avatar
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    I'm trading some work for a Chamber membership this month!

    Everyone has told me that if you are a chamber member go to ALL the events! This is where you meet people and discover new business.

    Jamie

  6. #6
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    Also consider the size/participation in the CoC. How many other web designers are there in it? How large is the CoC, etc.
    That cost for a CoC in a business area that is 1,000,000 in population is good, but for a small town of less than 50,000 it might be better spent elsewhere.
    Brian Poirier
    SunStockPhoto: Stock Photos, Fine Art Photos, Event Photography

  7. #7
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
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    Brandon,

    Where are you?


  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict Sgt. Baboon's Avatar
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    Brendon you mean?

  9. #9
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
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    No no, I mean Brandon Eley. He's been talking about CoC's quite a bit lately. He'd be a good person to comment.

  10. #10
    i'm a girl silver trophy Toni's Avatar
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    Joining the chamber of commerce is an excellent idea. But, the value is really in the networking opportunities. If you are good social smooze, then go for it

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    They definately work, if you attend functions and meet/network with people. Just getting a membership and sticking the plaque on your wall won't bring any business. You have to get out there and work for it - get their memberlist and send a letter to all the members (they usually give it out to members for free)... go to functions and meet people, sponsor a newsletter, etc.

    I've landed several web design and hosting gigs from being a member of the chamber... but all were because we are active in the community, not because they just looked us up.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    To add to the above... membership also gives you credibility. It also shows you are an active and supportive member of your local business community.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot animatics's Avatar
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    I agree that it gives you credibility. The more things yo can do to establish yourself as a trusted member of the business community the better.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member dhoran's Avatar
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    Only for health insurance

    I joined the local Chamber basically to buy into their group healthcare program. Other than that, I haven't seen much benefit. Since I receive most of my work from outside the local area, networking hasn't been a big deal for me. ...jsut by 2 cents.

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up Other benefits

    I paid $100 for an individual membership to our local chamber. They have 12 monthly cocktail suppers called 'after hours' each time in different location--hotels, golf courses,etc. This is a small community , everything is close by--I get 12 great suppers of seafood (this is a coastal area) and often free drinks--at least the beer is always free. PLUS, if i want to get up early, there are 12 free breakfasts, one each month, always at same location. I live along most of the time, so I chow down at these events and keep my home kitchen clean. I figure that if I divided the membeship fee by the number of good free meals--it is a great bargain.
    Plus they give away lots of great door prizes at these events--I won a massage last time.
    I go by myself and often just choose a table of people I dont' know and ask 'may I sit there' and before long everyone asks--what do you do--we wear nametags at these events--I say that I make websites that rank real high in search engines. That gets them to talking....I make good contacts . I have some sites about this area that I am always interested in selling ads on even if they don't want me to build them a site so it is a good use of my time.

  16. #16
    Rent A Cop Dan
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    Has anyone ever hosted a chamber event?

    The local one here is always having business speakers that are free for members but cost a small fee for non-members. Just wondering if anyone has ever put on an event like this (a presentation on what a website can do, or something like that).

    Was it well attended? Was it worth it? What did you focus on?

    Keep it Real,
    dan
    Dan's Site
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    Current Projects: ArcadeRat! # Scouting News # yW

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast jeeplaw's Avatar
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    I'm not involved yet with the chamber (hence my post here), however I am thinking about planning a small local 'talk session' involving website design, promotion, marketing for small businesses and non-profits. The local community center does rent out rooms for evening sessions. I think I would just need to advertise in the local paper to get participants.

    Basically the format would consist of me introducing myself, and then stating the reasons why a roundtable talk concerning a businesses internet presence would be a beneficial thing. I would then go into the search rankings, advertising, pay per click marketing, etc.

    I may wait to do this until I get accepted into the chamber, I'm not sure yet.


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