A community ambassadors program can be an important part of your chamber’s business model, but how do you get people to join and stay active? A person in our Chamber Professional’s Group on Facebook asked:
How many of you have an active Chamber Ambassador group? How do you encourage this group to support the local business community by attending Chamber events (Ribbon Cuttings, Chamber meetings) How do you recruit new Ambassadors to join?
There are a couple of ways to entice someone into wanting to be a part of something.
Give Ambassadors Tasks and Let them Go
These folks are willing to help. They volunteered — and in some cases paid — for the opportunity to be in this exclusive group. Make sure you take full advantage of their offers to help.
Have a staff member act as a liaison to the group so that they have what they need to be able to carry out the chamber’s work but for the most part, they should be given expectations (maybe even in written form) and a little autonomy to do some amazing work. If you dictate everything they do, they’re not ambassadors. They’re greeters. And they won’t take pride in membership.
Velvet Roped Entry and Exclusivity
By now you’ve heard this phrase – the idea of holding others back but allowing them to see the wonderful goings-on in your group. We did this as children. You may have placed a sign on our door “Secret Meeting Keep Out.” That only made other children want to be a part of these meetings.
Do the same with your ambassadors group. Make sure other members and people within your community know about their meetings, know what they do and see the important work — and better yet — fun, they’re having. Photo sharing sites or posting to your chamber social media pages are a great way to do this. Soon others will want to be a part of things.
If you can offer something solid (as in an item, not a discount) to these folks for being an active member of this super exclusive group, you’ll have increased interest from others to join when they see the group wearing/displaying this item.
The Law of Scarcity
Closely related to the velvet ropes theory, is the motivational idea of scarcity. This is another trick children use when someone asks if they can join/play. “Nope. Just two people allowed.” While you want to provide more opportunity than that, creating a wait list situation to become part of the chamber’s ambassador program will drive interest.
If you’re worried about turning people down, tell them the ambassador program is full but you envision space becoming available shortly and in the meantime they can help out as … and then insert a volunteer position you need to fill, such as chamber social media ambassadors.
An ambassador program is a great way to do more with less. It excites volunteers and makes them feel a larger part of the chamber membership.
Interested in this topic?
Here is a free chamber-specific resource for you…