Joining the Covington Chamber — What’s the Return on Investment?
With so many potentially beneficial business activities vying for our time, it’s worth asking: is it worth it for me to join the Covington Chamber? How do I know if my investment has been successful? What does success mean to me?
Let’s start with the easiest measure: ROI. Return on Investment is a common, straightforward metric to gauge your results using concrete numbers. Here’s a basic formula for ROI:
ROI = Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment
Cost of Investment
or, for our purposes:
ROI = Sales/Income from Chamber – Membership Cost
Identifying Chamber Gains
This calculation is simple when folks say, “I found you on the Covington Chamber website,” or “It was such a pleasure to meet you at our last luncheon and I’d love to explore having you help me with my next project,“ but what if people don’t share how they found you?
One way you can more accurately measure your gains from membership is to provide specific discount codes. Do you offer a member-to-member discount? Use a specific coupon code for those members. If you’re advertising your business in Chamber publications, use a separate code on those ads. It only takes a few extra moments to create unique codes, but it will provide much more accurate information about how people are finding you, and which investments are working hardest for you.
Other Ways to Measure Success
Many times our goals for chamber membership go beyond new clients and customers. Maybe you’re focused more on name recognition and brand awareness — do people know you? Do they like you? Most important, do they trust you?
One fun and eye-opening way to check how the Chamber (and other sources) are impacting your brand is to take a look at your website’s Google Analytics. First, under Acquisition, look at Channels. Look at the Direct channel (people typing in your url directly, rather than searching for a term and finding you via search). If this number is increasing over time, it’s fair to say that potential clients and customers are thinking about your business specifically.
Second, look for chamber-related traffic. Under Channels, check out the Referral channel. It will provide a list of URLs that are referring traffic to you. Chances are, you’ll see referrals from the Chamber!
Getting Involved and Extending Your Reach
Lastly — let’s talk about trust. Direct referrals and web referrals often provide immediate returns, but building trust in your community is an investment in your long-term success. People associate chamber membership with good business practices and trustworthiness — so make sure people know you’re a member!
The Covington Chamber already helps boost your name in the community — by listing you in the Chamber directory, introducing you as a new member, featuring members in its newsletter, etc. But by going a step or two further and getting involved, you can exponentially increase the impact of your membership! Whether you share your knowledge and expertise at a luncheon or through guest blogging (hint, hint), serve in a leadership role, sponsor community and nonprofit events, or you simply show up to Chamber events with a welcoming smile — the Chamber is a great place to build a favorable, trustworthy name for yourself in our area!