What is a Chamber Ambassador?
Ambassadors are a voluntary position at chamber of commerce and play an essential role in member communication and retention. Each Ambassador is charged with conveying member needs, questions and concerns to Chamber staff. Generally speaking, an ambassador would be expected to encourage member involvement. Different chambers have different guidelines and varying levels of expectations for their ambassadors.
How to utilize current Ambassadors
Whether you’re a member of the chamber or not, Chamber Ambassadors are a great resource. These people tend to be more in-the-know about the community, and can offer a member’s perspective of the chamber. Feel free to ask our current ambassadors anything.
Why be an ambassador
Being an ambassador can be a time commitment, but will benefit your business in addition to the chambers. Ambassadors receive direct access to chamber members, getting your foot in the door with a local business. Talking about the chamber is an excellent ice breaker, and the relationship you build is just that – yours. Active Ambassadors generally receive a higher level of word of mouth referrals and direct business from fellow members.
Stand Out as an Chamber Ambassador
Some chambers have specific requirements or checklists/paperwork for their ambassadors to complete. If yours doesn’t, or you’re just looking for some guidelines, you can develop your own checklist. Here are some actions that will make you stand out in your community:
- Mail a letter of introduction to new members and/or your assigned list
- Welcome new members via email
- Email your member list to invite them to a chamber event
- Call the newest members to see if they’re going to an event that you’ll be at
- Network at chamber event – make it a point to talk with the members that you called or responded to your emails.
- Encourage non-members to join the chamber
- Remember a Member when doing business – and tell them!
Welcoming a Member to the Chamber
While the chamber typically has their own onboarding process, a personal welcome to new members will make you and your business stand out. When they have a question or attend an event, you will be the first person they seek out.
Sending an email is a quick and easy way to do this, but there’s less paper mail nowadays which means it’s a great way you can really stand out. (Or if you don’t like the hassle of mailing, consider using Smart Relationship Marketing).
You don’t need to be a marketer as a chamber ambassador – your goal is to be a relationship builder. When I say ‘invite to an event,’ you don’t have to copy/paste the whole long event details. Try sending a quick, simple email that says “I’ll be at X Event, I hope to see you there” or “I’d love it you chatted with me at X Event if your going.”
Network at Chamber Events
Don’t forget – you’re a member, too! Networking is a great way to build relationships with fellow professionals, and you never know who will need your services in the future.
As an ambassador, I encourage you to look for new members and welcome them and introduce them to other people. Remember your first day of school? Being the new person is never fun, but it only takes one friendly face to change that. You should also look for people that talked to, either over the phone or through email chains. This puts a face to the name, and again keeps you top of mind and furthers your relationships.
Networking doesn’t end when the event does. Collect business cards so you remember who to follow up with the next day.
Encouraging Non-Members to Join
Hypothetically you love being a chamber member so much that you volunteered as an ambassador. This passion should carry over when you’re talking to other businesses. Connect their needs with the benefits of membership. Not only will they thank you for helping their business, but the chamber will (probably) also keep you in mind when they’re selecting a business for extra promotions.
Remember A Member
I wouldn’t be a real chamber person if I didn’t encourage you to do business with a fellow chamber member. Doing business with a local business just makes sense – for you and your local economy. When you remember a member, please tell them. Most people won’t tell you why they picked you to do business with, which makes it hard for businesses to connect the dots from their chamber membership to their customer base.
If you’re interested in becoming a Chamber Ambassador, please email Jennifer@LittleRiverChamber.org.