Hopefully your chamber is bringing on many new members. When you do, you no doubt introduce them to their benefits in some way. Here are a few ideas of how chambers across the country are bringing new members on board.
Tips for Onboarding New Members
If you have a new member orientation session one of the first things you need to decide on is how often you plan on having it. The benefit to having it monthly is that you can ride that “new member” anticipation and excitement, but unless you have a constant flow of new recruits your numbers will be small.
If you host it every other month or quarterly, you’ll have a larger attendance and won’t have to put on the presentation as often, but you will lose some momentum if someone just missed the orientation session and now must wait 3 months. It may hardly feel necessary at that point.
It’s important to keep these meetings relatively brief. Beth Stevens from the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce said of theirs, “We have it during the lunch hour and provide a light lunch for our new members. It usually lasts one hour. We cover member benefits, how to get involved, an overview of our website and how to use it, and we give them a quick survey of their expectations as a chamber member.”
Two Innovative Ideas
“Member Orientation” doesn’t sound very exciting so one chamber started referring to their monthly onboarding luncheon meeting as a VIP gathering. It sounded more grand and brought more new members in. It even interested existing members who wanted to learn more about their benefits.
While networking is important, most small business owners can’t get away for a new member session where they assume all you’ll be doing is going over benefits they can read on your website. The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce is toying with a brilliant idea of creating short videos that would be emailed in a drip campaign. This is how many Software as a Service (SaaS) companies operate. They email you a weekly how-to video that you can watch at your convenience. This is a great way to meet your members needs, cut down on your administrative tasks, and make members feel like you understand their lack of time.
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