Tammy Boushek is the Executive Director of Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC) in Douglas County, MN. Love INC is a national organization founded in 1977 in Michigan. It believes in helping people reach their potential and understand their value as created by God.
By Andrea Dwyer, Member Relations Coordinator, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
In 2018 the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce website had more than 170,000 views. This means that your business has the potential to be marketed to and seen by all of these viewers.
When you joined the Alexandria Chamber, you received login credentials to access your online portal on our website. Logging in to your portal gives you control over what viewers see when they search for your listing or service.
To log in to your portal follow these steps: visit www.alexandriamn.org > hover over the Members tab > click Member Login > type in your login credentials and you are in! You can update your contact information, upload media, access your referral report, submit an event and more.
When you click on the “Update Your Contact Information” section you will be able to edit both the business and employee profiles. Once you are in that section, you can click “Edit My Profile” under the business section to add long and short descriptions, add key words and update general information. This gives you the opportunity to fully describe what your business or organization does or provides.
Also under the “Update Your Contact Information” section you will see a list of your current employees. Click “Add New Profile” to add an employee or to have someone removed from your account, click the drop down under “Relation Type” and change the status to “Former Employee.” Beside each individual employee you can click “Edit Profile” to change contact information, add social media and more. You can also set your employees up to receive Chamber communications so they stay up-to-date about what is going on in the community. Studies show that getting your employees engaged in their community is a great tool for retention.
Under the “Referral Report (YTD)” tab, you can see how many referrals your listing has received on the Chamber website within the year. This tool allows you to see which months were more active and plan your marketing strategies accordingly.
“Total Referrals” is the number of times your information was provided to or seen by a site visitor. “Total Impressions” is the number of times your information was displayed during the date range. “Total Leads” is the number of times a visitor clicked on a link or was provided with additional information about your business. Finally, the “Lead Rate” percentage represents the number of potential customers who are clicking specifically on your links and business information.
By taking advantage of your Members Only Online Portal, you have the ability to create a listing that will appeal to your clientele. Remember, always click “Save and Submit” after every change. All changes will be approved within 24 hours, with the exception of holidays and weekends.
Please reach out to us at the Chamber if you have any questions about your member portal. Call (320) 763-3161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Sedesky is owner of Quality Computer Services of Central Minnesota, LLC. It is a locally owned and operated sales & service company with 25 years of experience in computer repair and networking services.
By Tara Bitzan, Executive Director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
When I first started my job as executive director of the Alexandria Chamber, it was requested by my board that I attend Institute for Organizational Management (IOM). This professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation was designed to enhance individual performance, elevate professional standards, and recognize association, chamber of commerce, and other nonprofit professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of nonprofit management. The curriculum, comprised of four week-long sessions, is taught by university professors and chamber and association industry professionals.
Because I have always been eager to learn and grow through quality training opportunities, I easily agreed with this request and I’m happy to report I just graduated from IOM this month!
One thing I learned is that the Alexandria Chamber is governed by a pretty smart board. While I came into this job with extensive knowledge of the Alexandria Lakes area, I knew basically nothing about leading a Chamber. They did their homework and knew that this program could not only help me be successful in this job, but also have a positive impact on this organization and our community.
I’ve urged many of my colleagues at Chambers around the state to attend. Sadly, their boards aren’t as smart as that of the Alexandria Chamber. Other directors have alluded to the fact that their boards don’t support the expense or the amount of time the director would need to be away from the office.
I can tell you that what I learned in the past 3.5 years from this program has already paid off for the Alexandria Chamber through substantial savings in finances and time.
That’s what good training programs do. They teach people how to do things better, be more efficient, work smarter, and improve on what’s already in place.
This message can be directed by Chamber boards, but my target audience is really all businesses and organizations of any size or make up. If you do the proper research to ensure a training or conference is reputable and is a good fit for your company or for members of your team, it will never be a waste of time or money. Investment in yourself, invest in your team, invest in your business/organization, and make sure you never stop learning.
Aaron Tosh is Liquor Store Manager of Cash Wise Liquor at 801 N Nokomis St. NE in Alexandria, MN. Cash Wise Liquor is part of a larger umbrella named Coborn's, Inc. and is employee owned. The Alexandria liquor store location is open 8 am - 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am - 6 pm on Sundays.