The Chamber Board of Directors are your representatives and take on the task of overseeing financials, guiding policy and working on various chamber committees. Please welcome the board of directors for the coming year:
Have you ever considered becoming a member of the Chamber Board of Directors? In the coming months, there will be openings on the board as some of our long-time directors reach the end of their terms.
Modern Marketing 101: Best Social Media Marketing Courses
Continuing education is recommended in most fields, and the social media marketing field is no exception. The question is: How and where can you take courses that will expand and enlighten your knowledge about social media marketing? The staff over at financial news site Benzinga has compiled this list of the best social media marketing classes online.
From last week: Continuing our month-long blitz of handy-dandy infographics that boil complex marketing concepts down into comprehensive visual aids, here’s another one from SocialMediaToday that reveals 21 ways in which small businesses can have social media marketing success.
If you missed or want to re-read any of our previous Modern Marketing 101 installments, click here. We encourage you to print, save, share, and add these articles and resources to your business or organization’s social media marketing manual.
Note: This article was originally published on The Huffington Post –
Establishing a strong professional network can benefit your business several ways, from receiving feedback by bouncing ideas off successful entrepreneurs and business owners to opening doors that were once closed — building your professional network should be something you are always working on.
You have undoubtedly heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” right? I’m such a firm believer in building business connections and relationships that I decided to launch an online community that business owners and entrepreneurs can access 24/7 — EBOC launches July 15th and I’m excited to be able to provide a community that people can connect through.
The right connections can open doors with some amazing opportunities behind them, so here are eight tips to help you grow your professional network.
1. Make your presence noticeable.
You have to make sure people know what you are doing and what you have in the works — otherwise nobody will ever know. Keep in touch with your professional contacts via email, social media and face-to-face meetings.
When you maintain contact you remain on their radar, which can result in them name-dropping you to their contacts. A simple, “Oh, I actually know somebody you should contact” can occur simply because you kept your presence noticeable.
2. Attend networking events — online & offline.
Every industry has conferences and trade shows that provide great networking opportunities. There are also local meet-ups and local organizations that hold regular events that are great for building your network.
Many people forget that there are also plenty of networking opportunities online. LinkedIn groups are great and Twitter chats are becoming very popular these days. I personally love Twitter chats because they allow a huge group of people to participate regardless of their location.
3. Hang out at the same places the people you want to connect with hang out.
This applies to both online and offline — as mentioned above, LikedIn groups and Twitter chats are great places to connect. If you want to connect with a certain group online then participate and introduce yourself.
Offline this could be a particular lunch spot or a happy hour bar after work. Frequent the places that the people you want to connect with can be found at. Be friendly and social and you will make new connections.
4. Don’t always take — give as well.
When networking don’t always make it about you — make sure to share you knowledge and expertise and offer to help when you see an opportunity. Helping other people will often come back to you tenfold. Helping someone is going to give them extra incentive to return the favor.
Being a connector will also help your long-term networking — connecting two people you know who will benefit from knowing each other strengthens your network. The key takeaway: don’t be selfish and think of how you can help everyone you come in contact with.
5. Be a good listener.
When out networking don’t always try to dominate the conversation by talking about yourself – instead, listen to other people talk. First, people naturally love to talk about themselves, so if you can show that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say it will help to build that connection.
Also, by listening you can identify specific challenges someone may be having — and if you can help in any way or offer a suggestion it will help to strengthen the relationship.
6. Never be afraid to ask.
This one is short and sweet — if you want something you can’t be afraid to ask for it.
Want an introduction? Ask for it.
Want a meeting? Ask for it.
Want advice or feedback? Ask for it.
7. Always think about long-term relationships.
Making a connection and exchanging business cards is a foot in the door, but it’s long-term relationships that lead to business deals. Concentrate on forming long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial for both sides. Make a conscious effort to establish a two-way street for all of your professional connections.
8. Follow up with everyone you connect with.
Make sure that you follow up with every connection you make. If you come home with a few business cards make sure to take a few minutes the next morning and send an email letting the person know it was a pleasure to meet them. This is also a great time to let them know they should reach out to you in the event that you can ever help them in any way.
Also, if you promise to do something — do it. There is nothing worse than not following through with something you told someone you would do.
Jonathan Long is the Founder & CEO of Market Domination Media, an online marketing agency specializing in creative outside the box branding campaigns. Jonathan also created EBOC (Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community), an online community.
The Chamber recently announced its, “Chamber Challenge” for the 2018 holiday season. “Sometimes it helps to give people ideas for specific things that they can do to help,” said Tricia Maple, Chamber president. “So rather than just promoting the overall concept of buying locally this holiday season, we came up with a simple list of three action items.”
The first is to challenge yourself to purchase at least one fourth of your holiday gifts locally. Seek out and explore our local businesses, think outside the box for unique items and if you are purchasing gift cards, buy them from a local business. And if you must purchase gift cards to a national chain, purchase them at a local grocery store. Those dollars will still be kept somewhat local.
Second, patronize a business that you’ve never been to before. From downtown Steubenville to Hollywood City Center, Toronto, Mingo, Richmond and everywhere in between, there is no doubt a new (or long time) business that you’ve never been to. Make it a point to seek out at least one and make a purchase, meet the owner or manager and give them a chance to earn your repeat business.
Last, if you are headed out of town for any reason, gas up at a local gas station and eat locally before you leave. By filling your tank and your belly locally (and on a regular basis) you’re pumping money into the local economy.
Buying locally just makes good sense and the holidays are a great time to start making it a daily habit. “I say it all the time but it’s worth repeating”, Maple continued. “We can’t expect our local businesses to support us, our kids’ activities and sports teams, our churches and charities, our events and fundraisers and then not support them when making a purchase. It’s unlikely that Amazon is going to give you a gift card for your spaghetti dinner door prize table and doubtful that a Pittsburgh business is going to buy an ad in your school’s football program. Support those who support you and think local first.”
Winners in 5 categories were honored Wednesday evening at the Chamber’s 110th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. Pictured from left is: Shawn Mihellis and Yianni Bourbakis from Theo Yianni’s Greek Restaurant, who was named “New or Emerging Business of the Year,” Jenn Cesta from the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County, “Ambassador of the Year,” Dr. Jimmie Bruce from Eastern Gateway Community College, “Business of the Year,” Jim Morgan, recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and Jim McBane, accepting the “Young Professional of the Year Award “on behalf of Dan McBane, from McBane Insurance & Financial Services.
Chamber members have long been asking for a better way to promote the job openings they have at their businesses. And a new, improved tool is now up and running.
What began last year as a strategy to increase holiday shopping dollars spent locally quickly turned into a fun, informative two months of activities, events and buzz centered around our members. And this year is shaping up to be even better. Join us as we kick things off on “Small Business Saturday”, November 26th at 9 a.m. at the Chamber offices. Click here to view or print a complete list of activities and programs and a “Holiday Gift Guide” application.
American Express launched the first ever, “Small Business Saturday” back in 2010 to encourage people nationwide to support small local businesses. Since then, it has grown to include great programs and promotions that educate and inspire. Click here to learn more about its beginnings and the programs offered to your small business through the national program. And watch your email in the coming weeks as the Chamber digs in to the nuts and bolts of, “Shift Your Shopping 2016.” Make this holiday season one of your best. Get involved today.