Years ago, the chamber was THE place to go for networking events in your community. And I’m not saying it isn’t still the premier business-focused networking group in your area, but let’s face it, there’s a lot more competition now. From home-grown MeetUp groups to LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups to entrepreneur online community opportunities, there are groups that can fit anyone’s schedule.
But you’re still THE CHAMBER, right?
No one else can claim that, but when it comes to winning over new members, they won’t be as interested in your pedigree as they will be what you have to offer them. That’s where content comes in. If you can beat these upstart groups at the content game and become a top business resource for members of your community, they won’t be tempted to look at another networking group.
Content Tips for Getting Heard Above the Noise (and the Latest Networking Group)
While there’s rarely a reason to turn a blue bird away from your windowsill, you do need to know who your most successful members (from a chamber perspective) are and what makes them so. Look to recruit more people like that.
When you attract people who aren’t a good fit, you either burn a lot of resources doing things to keep them involved or you risk a dissatisfied member. Knowing a great member from one who will ultimately be unhappy can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Don’t create content that attracts the wrong member. Take the time to figure out who you want to create for and do it. Leave those “wrong members” for the other groups.
Use Content to Connect People
Although the interwebs often feel like a fire hose of information, the content that is most valued makes the person feel like it’s speaking right to them (the reason I wrote the previous tip. You can’t write to someone if you don’t know who that someone is). Just as you connect members to members, connect members with your content and the content of other members. If you stumble across a helpful article on a topic you were just speaking with a member about, forward it to them via social media or email. It makes an impression when you direct it to someone specifically.
Know the Difference Between Gold and Lightning
Both are shiny and attract a lot of attention but content gold stays consistently valuable and the tools you used to create the gold can be replicated. You can recreate that success in other posts like it or by updating your information in the original post months from now.
Lightning, on the other hand, strikes once and its effects can’t be replicated. (Remember that dress that broke the Internet? I never did figure out why anyone cared about its color.) Don’t waste your time trying to recreate a lightning post just ride out the magic like a type-cast actor does in a role on a successful sitcom.