In this episode we talk about:
- Building relationships with business owners
- Visibility within your community
- Opportunities and events with the Chamber of Commerce
- Training and education from the Chamber
Christian: [00:00:15] Hola, hola. Today we're going to talk about why business owners should join their local chamber of commerce. Now, here at BitBranding, we're very familiar with the chamber of commerce. We have our distinguished guest, not guest. He's actually part of BitBranding. Mr. Aaron Pearson, who actually has been part of the chamber of commerce- I mean, we've been part of the chamber, but he's been very involved in the chamber of commerce here in Allen, Texas.
Aaron: [00:00:44] Yes. It's not just me, but I am the one who goes to all the events. So I guess I'll have some insight to chime in about specific events and things that I've done or involved in a couple of ways.
Christian: [00:00:57] Let me tell you something, Aaron was the ambassador of the month or something like that.
Franklin: [00:01:04] When was it?
Christian: [00:01:04] In April? Was it April?
Franklin: [00:01:06] I think it was April.
Aaron: [00:01:07] Yes, in April.
Christian: [00:01:08] Yeah, it is in April.
Franklin: [00:01:08] It says April 2017, ambassador of the month.
Christian: [00:01:12] Wow. A round of applause for that. No, but in all seriousness, we definitely recommend here at BitBranding that all businesses join the chamber of commerce, and today we're going to be talking about a few points of, you know, why as a business owner you should join and be involved really in the chamber of commerce.
Franklin: [00:01:34] Right. And the chamber of commerce- Me personally. I'm going to speak on my own personal experience with, like, the words chamber of commerce. I thought it was like a secret society, honestly because you hear chamber of commerce, and it sounds, like, super, super, super, like, distinguished, and it sounds super professional. So somebody presented it to me once, and I was, like, I don't know if I'm actually even qualified to be a part of the chamber of commerce. But actually going and interacting with the people, you see that building relationships with those people is like basically, the premise of why joining the chamber of commerce is so important. You get involved in the community, and everything other then- everything, I guess you could say, not other. Everything that you can think of that gets you around like-minded individuals that are there to help you grow your business and possibly you can help them grow there as well.
Christian: [00:02:33] Yeah, absolutely. I think the main thing here is going into the chamber of commerce with a mentality of basically creating friends, building relationships, building friendships, not with the mentality of, you know, what am I going to get? What business am I going to get out of this? Because to be honest, you know, a lot of people go into the chamber and they don't get any business for, you know, three, four, five, six months. So you have to create those relationships, and you have to create those friendships.
Aaron: [00:02:59] Right. And I think that that's a very good thing because it's kind of like inviting your brother-in-law or somebody like that to do business with you. It's kind of like you feel obligated to give them business, but for a business owner, it's your relationship who's on the line too. So if I recommend Franklin to come over to this place to eat and he doesn't like it, now that looks poorly on me. So it does take time for people to get to know you and create a good relationship with you, and then it's just a multiplier of people who have good experiences. And you don't know the network that people will know about. Just so many different people that know each other. They can spread you to it once that you do have the trust.
Franklin: [00:03:40] Right. Spending the time and actually, like, building that trust with the individual will give them the ability to say you know what? I can successfully refer you to this person.
Christian: [00:03:53] What is that phrase that they say? You do business with people who-
Aaron: [00:03:57] You know, like, and trust.
Christian: [00:04:00] There you go. I like that.
Franklin: [00:04:00] I like that. That should be put on a shirt.
Aaron: [00:04:03] It's probably on a lot of shirts. A lot of people use that, but yeah. I mean, you do business with people you know, like, and trust. I mean, we've spent a lot of money with people where we could have got it cheaper, but we want to continue to foster relationship with business owners because they've taken care of us and we want to take care of them.
Franklin: [00:04:21] Right.
Christian: [00:04:23] So BitBranding here, we do a lot of the online stuff for businesses, you know, and we make sure that businesses are visible online. But one of the main benefits of joining the chamber of commerce and being present and participating in all their things is being visible to the community.
Franklin: [00:04:45] Right.
Christian: [00:04:45] Being visible to, you know, everyone around you. To all these other businesses. And you know what they say, you know, out of sight, out of mind. So you know, if you're not participating, if you're not doing any of these things, people are not going to remember you. They're not going to know, and the other thing, I think the key word here is being consistent.
Franklin: [00:05:02] Exactly.
Christian: [00:05:02] It's not just showing up to one of the meetings that they do and then not showing up for another three or four months. It's actually being consistent and participating in all the things that the chamber does.
Franklin: [00:05:12] Exactly. Being physically present I think is like the icing on, not the icing on the cake, but it's kind of like one of those even playing fields. Like you said, we do all this stuff for a lot of people online, but the people aren't going to have, like, that, I guess you can say, that online relationship, like, in such a small community like Allen. Well, I wouldn't say that it's small, but it is a smaller community of the metroplex. And just like any other area, if you're not, like, physically there. Like, if you have that online presence to actually build rapport with people, it's kind of hard if you don't have, like, a nice balance of actually being there where people can touch you, shake your hand, give you a hug if they want to, and then they see online. They see online all the time, but they don't see you around. I'm pretty sure that I'll buy pizza from a guy that I see everyday, shake his hand every other Wednesday or Tuesday or Thursday versus seeing the ad from that person online or seeing it on Facebook.
Aaron: [00:06:14] Right. I think the biggest thing is that just showing up. Everyone knows how valuable time is, and if you take the time out to say, hey, I'm going to show up and I'm going to be part of this, you're invested in it. Because it's really easy to say, hey, we'll just sit behind our computers and run an ad, but to actually show up to an event. And, you know, if the events 30, 45 minutes that's 30, 45 minutes just at the event, not drive time there, drive time after. Like, it's a really big time commitment, and people recognize that whenever they see you showing up. If they don't- it's kind of like we're in this exclusive group, and you're just not paying your dues basically.
Franklin: [00:06:49] Right. I like it. You can say that it's kind of like family. Like I feel weird calling cousins and asking them for stuff and saying, hey, can I borrow five bucks? But you can't call somebody and say can I borrow five bucks if you haven't called them in awhile or talked to them. If you go into that person's store, you're going to their ribbon cuttings, you're going to their, like, their sponsored networking events. You get the opportunity to actually- that person sees that, hey, you know what? They are dedicated to actually getting to know me and know my business.
Aaron: [00:07:24] Right. And that's a very good segue into opportunities and events which is our next one. And there's a lot of things, and I'll talk specifically to some opportunities that we have just being a part of the chamber which is we want to put on a 5K, an offline event, and we needed to talk to the city council members. Well, just because we're part of the chamber, we actually knew the chamber board president at the time, and he did a warm introduction for me to go and talk to that person which could have taken months or not ever happened because they're busy. But just the connections and the opportunities that you have to get your foot in the door. You just never know who knows somebody to bring you into that situation.
Franklin: [00:08:07] Right. And then on the other hand, you think about all the different businesses that you don't really know that are around you whenever you have, like- what was that that we had? It was like a happy hour or something like that, and Aaron and I went to it. There were some people there that I didn't know that were actually even involved in the chamber, but they were there. You got to shake their hand. You get to find out about what they did, and it's just overall like, I guess you could say, a general way of actually being able to go to somewhere where, like, there is a different pizza restaurant there, and you get to see the different selections, types of pizza that they have. Or different boutiques that are in the area that you didn't know were there, and I just love the fact that you get to experience different types of, I guess you can say, people and atmospheres whenever they have events. Like the gala, for example, like, where we got the the award for best-
Aaron: [00:09:07] What was it?
Christian: [00:09:08] Emerging business of the year.
Franklin: [00:09:09] Emerging business of the year where BitBranding received that award, and actually see exactly how many people were really involved with the chamber which was super eye opening because you see a couple people throughout the week. But like at that event, you got to see how large and how massive and how far the arm of the chamber actually stretched.
Christian: [00:09:28] Right, and I mean, to be honest, it just opens up a lot of doors for a lot of businesses, and it's very important to, yeah, be involved in these events. And in essence they give you those opportunities. Another huge part of joining a chamber of commerce is the training and education that you get from being a member, and not even being a member. Like, if you don't want to join right away and you want to just check out some of the training and education that they have, I mean, they have some great stuff, you know, ranging from social media marketing stuff all way to tax preparation to legal services and help.
Aaron: [00:10:05] I was going to say, I think we did like business plan. They did free business plan planning with us that they brought in somebody to go into the chamber boardroom. Now that was for a member, but that is-
Christian: [00:10:17] It was a services that's free if you are part of the chamber, and, I mean, that's just great, great things for us. Another big thing and this kind of meshes with the events, but one of the events that we went to actually had guest speakers talking about entrepreneurship and starting your own business. And these are things that you might get somewhere else, but these are provided by the chamber for just being a member which I think is just great.
Aaron: [00:10:43] Lunch was provided too. So that was good.
Christian: [00:10:46] Yeah, exactly. They also new membership luncheons. I mean, there's a bunch of events and programs and trainings, and you can definitely gain a lot of knowledge, you know, from attending these things.
Aaron: [00:10:58] When you said- you made a comment about the membership luncheons, one thing that came up was that a lot of people think that the chamber of commerce is for, like, older people. I'm doing air quotes at this point, but they think it's for an older crowd, and that's not necessarily the case. Actually, it's a good reason we're doing this podcast, and it's not really on our notes. But there are young professional groups, and it's just getting involved with other people who are around your age, 35 years and younger, who are growing businesses, going through the same struggles, and those could be friends that you make for life. You're going through the exact same thing. Getting down in the trenches together, growing businesses, and just making connections, and I think it's our job since we're all millennials here to get involved in the chamber of commerce because eventually those older people who are involved are going to be gone. So it's our job to start taking over- not taking over, but really.
Christian: [00:11:52] Really going to take over.
Aaron: [00:11:52] Yes, take over, but-
Franklin: [00:11:54] Take it all.
Aaron: [00:11:55] But just getting involved so that the next generation can continue the chamber of commerce because it is so beneficial for business as a whole.
Christian: [00:12:04] Wow. I like that a lot.
Franklin: [00:12:07] That was a really-
Christian: [00:12:08] A real good plug for the millennials to join the chamber.
Franklin: [00:12:11] Right.
Christian: [00:12:12] No, I agree 100%. I think I'm just going to end this with, and I've already said a few things about this, the importance of participating in the chamber. One thing is joining. Another thing is participating and being active. That's what's really going to benefit you in the long run.
Franklin: [00:12:34] Exactly.
Aaron: [00:12:35] Absolutely. Anybody have any last little tidbits?
Christian: [00:12:39] I don't really think so.
Franklin: [00:12:40] I don't think I have anything.
Christian: [00:12:40] Yeah, I don't have anything.
Aaron: [00:12:41] All right, so something new that we're going to start doing towards the end of the show is asking a question of the day, and I'll throw it to these guys before we wrap up here. Who has a question of the day?
Christian: [00:12:51] Do you have a question, Franklin?
Franklin: [00:12:53] Yeah, I do. What's your favorite summer movie? So far I'm going to say it. Spider-Man has topped the top of my list. So.
Christian: [00:13:03] Oh, so currently right now.
Franklin: [00:13:04] Currently right now.
Aaron: [00:13:05] July 2017.
Franklin: [00:13:06] July 2017. What's your favorite movie in theaters?
Christian: [00:13:09] And I'm going to tell you something. If you're wondering like, OK, I know the answer to this question. I have my favorite movie, you know? Where am I supposed to tell these guys? Well, you can go to our website. It's been bitbranding.co/podcast, and you'll see the episode number and you will be able to leave comments right at the bottom of that page. OK. So just leave us the comments right there on our website.
Franklin: [00:13:31] All right.
Aaron: [00:13:31] And we will respond. We're not just going to make you leave a comment and then we don't say anything.
Christian: [00:13:36] Right.
Aaron: [00:13:37] So that's a good question. Let's answer that. We have about a minute or so. Christian, I'll throw that to you. What is your favorite movie for 2017?
Christian: [00:13:45] I'm going to say the same thing. Spider-Man Homecoming. That was just amazing. Although, I do want to check out Baby Driver. Have you seen that?
Franklin: [00:13:54] Yes, I have seen it.
Christian: [00:13:55] I have an article I need to give you. It's just crazy. The editing was done simultaneously while they were filming the movie. It's something crazy. I just want to watch that movie so bad.
Franklin: [00:14:03] Yeah, that just gave me chills.
Aaron: [00:14:06] Have not seen it. Have not seen Spider-Man, so I will get on that, but anyway, we will wrap up here. We want to thank you guys so much for joining us on this episode. This is episode 4 of the Marketing Natives on why business owners should join a local chamber. The most important part about this podcast is for you to subscribe and share this if you're getting some value out of it. Also, in the bottom right-hand corner, you iPhone users, there are three little dots. Click those dots, and you can share this. Share it with a friend. Share it with a millennial business owner that you know will get some value out of this, and that's really it.
Christian: [00:14:43] Yeah. We'll see you next week.