Member Marketplace for Small Business A GUIDE TO GETTING STARTED

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1 Member Marketplace for Small Business A GUIDE TO GETTING STARTED

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3 A Member Marketplace Success Story I was excited to see the Chamber roll out Member Marketplace, and I immediately took advantage of the opportunity, said Jeff Tippett, director of Calvert Creative. Through this service, Calvert Creative has already signed three contracts with a new client and believe we have entered a long-term business relationship. Member Marketplace is another reason my Chamber membership is well worth the investment. 2 A Guide for Small Business

4 Put Member Marketplace to work for your small business You joined this organization to be part of a community and grow your business. It s part of what drives your economic engine. Member Marketplace not only connects your business with other members, but also allows anyone in the community an individual or non-member business to take advantage of the products, services and experiences your business has to offer. This guide is intended to help business owners understand how to use Member Marketplace better. Member Marketplace can help your business connect with customers, support your brand and have a positive effect on your bottom line. We ll show you how in these three chapters: 1. HOW SELLING WORKS Customers already know and trust your organization. Learn how to use Member Marketplace to write and post effective offers and respond to user requests. 2. HOW BUYING WORKS Anyone other member businesses, individuals and non-member businesses can buy almost anything via Member Marketplace. They can easily browse for the products, services and experiences you are selling. Or, if they don t see what they want, they can make a more specific request and Member Marketplace does the work of finding the business that best meets their particular need. 3. BRING YOUR ACCOUNT TO LIFE Being a part of this business community already gives you an advantage over the competition. Now turn that advantage into new business by connecting with other members of the organization and with the entire community by actively participating in Member Marketplace. 3 A Guide for Small Business

5 Dashboard Your dashboard is an overview of your activity on Member Marketplace COMPANY NAME AND LOGO Edit these under the Account menu. 2. TOTAL SAVINGS The total amount of your lifetime savings. 3. CONNECT Have something to share? Tell the community about your company on the Social Feed. 4. POINTS You earn points by using the system. 5. FOLLOWERS The number of other businesses that are following you and that you are following. 6. ACCOUNT Edit all of your business & contact info here. 7. SELL SOMETHING Click here to start selling your products & services. 8. REQUEST SOMETHING Ask for anything and we ll find you a supplier. 9. SEARCH Search for the businesses, products, services and experiences you are looking for by name or keyword. 4 A Guide for Small Business

6 1 How Selling Works There are two ways to sell on Member Marketplace. You can post as many exclusive offers as you like and you can respond to requests from users. ANATOMY OF AN OFFER OFFER TEMPLATES RESPONDING TO REQUESTS REQUEST NOTIFICATIONS 5 A Guide for Small Business

7 Anatomy of an offer Offers are your discounted products, services and experiences that you make available for anyone in the community to take advantage of PRICE Drive new traffic to your business with an aggressive price. Remember that Member Marketplace does not take any portion of your offer you keep all of the proceeds. 2. DESCRIPTION Whether you start with one of our Offer templates or write your own, be sure to read and then re-read your offer to ensure that it sounds good. Be concise. 3. DISCOUNT We calculate this for you when you enter in your pricing information. Be competitive when deciding how much to discount your product, service or experience. 4. BUSINESS PROFILE All of the information in this panel can be edited in the Account menu on the top right of the main interface. 5. HOW TO REDEEM + FINE PRINT We give a few basic instructions that apply to all offers, so be sure to include any special instructions that you might have for your customers. Include details such as special terms and conditions that may apply. 6. LIMIT HOW MANY ARE AVAILABLE Limit the number of times this offer can be redeemed. Remember that sometimes it s better to offer fewer redemptions at an increased discount. 7. PURCHASE OPTIONS Indicate how the buyer should redeem the offer here. 8. PROMOTE ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK Your offer will automatically be promoted within the community and on the Chamber s Facebook page but you may want to go a step further and Like and Tweet your offer on your own social feeds. 6 A Guide for Small Business

8 Offer templates Sometimes you need a little help getting started, so Member Marketplace has built templates that can be easily customized to fit your exact need BUSINESS CATEGORY Once you ve selected one of the twelve business categories that best fits your business, you ll be able to start with pre-written and fully customizable offers. 2. TEMPLATE OFFER Don t worry if the pre-written offer is not exactly what you want. Once you click on Customize, you can change everything to make it a better fit for your particular offering, including copy writing, price, number available, product details and fine print. If you want to start over, you can cancel at any time and begin again. We even give you an opportunity to review the offer before it instantly goes live to the community. 7 A Guide for Small Business

9 Responding to a request When Member Marketplace users have a particular request of your business you ll be notified via and be given the opportunity to respond directly to the buyer Requests are a two way street. Not only can you request anything from the member community (see page 12), other businesses can request things from your company as well. 1. YOUR BEST PRICE This is your chance to get in the game. Enter your best offer so that your bid is competitive. 2. RETAIL PRICE Enter the retail value of this product, service or experience. 3. DETAILS AND SPECIFICS Be as specific as possible so the buyer knows what they are getting, and have confidence that you can deliver on time and within budget. Take as much room as you need. 4. COMPLETE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION It s important that the buyer can easily contact you to discuss any questions they have regarding your response. 8 A Guide for Small Business

10 Response notifications Whether your bid has been accepted or not, it s important that you took part in the process. It shows good will on your part and also lets the community know that you want their business. ACCEPTED :-) NOT ACCEPTED :-( 9 A Guide for Small Business

11 2 How Buying Works There are two ways to buy on Member Marketplace. BROWSE MEMBER OFFERS REQUEST ANYTHING USING REQUEST TEMPLATES 10 A Guide for Small Business

12 Browse offers Anyone can search and browse for exclusive offers, that have been posted by members SEARCH BY KEYWORD 4. MAP VIEW Search for deeply discounted and exclusive offers The map on the left reflects the listings on the right. posted by members by keyword or member name. Click on any of the pins to see the offering, or, click on 6 any of the listings on the right to see the offer location. 2. SEARCH BY CITY OR ZIPCODE Searching by City or Zip is a great way to find offers 5. POSTED OFFERS near your location. Ideal for browsing any category Current offers are listed chronologically and give you a like Restaurants, Entertainment or Lodging. quick overview of the product, service or experience. 3. SEARCH BY CITY OR CATEGORY Click on any offer to reveal the details and show in Narrow your selection by category such as Consult ing, Automotive, Design & Marketing or General to - formation about the selling business, along with other offers from that company. name a few. 6. MAP IT AND DETAILS Map the associated offer by clicking MAP IT or click DETAILS to see the full offer listing. 11 A Guide for Small Business -

13 Request anything Ask for anything and Member Marketplace will connect you with the member business that can best meet your particular need FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE (SEE PAGE 16) Other businesses will want to know as much as possible about your company in order to respond appropriately. Be sure to complete your member profile, if you have not already done so. Including a good picture of yourself adds a nice touch. 2. REQUEST DESCRIPTION Whether you start with one of our Request templates or write your own, be sure to include a short, descriptive statement about what you are looking for. Simply enter the name of the product, service or experience you would like to purchase. Be concise and direct. 3. WILL PAY UP TO Give the bidders some guidance into how much you are willing to spend. This will ensure the responses are not out of your budget ENTER DETAILS Generally, more details generate higher quality responses, while fewer details may generate more responses. In any event, give bidders some guidance into how much you can afford. Consider including such items as deadlines or when you need it, more specific details on what you need, and how many of a specific item or the frequency of service that you desire. 5. HOW TO REDEEM Potential bidders may have some questions for you regarding your request, so give them a way to contact you directly. Include your name and phone number. 12 A Guide for Small Business

14 Request templates Requests allow anyone to ask for anything. You can build your own or you can start with some pre-built and customizable templates to get you on your way REQUEST TEMPLATE Request templates help you get the ball rolling when you need to ask for something. You can use any of the templates to start, and then customize them to your liking. 2. REQUEST THIS After you click Request This, you ll be able to modify all of the details, such as what exactly you need, additional details and specifics, and price. Lastly, you ll invite the business categories and/or specific businesses that you want to receive the request. 13 A Guide for Small Business

15 3 Your Brand and Personality Follow these steps to bring your Member Marketplace experience to life. BRING YOUR ACCOUNT TO LIFE YOUR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS PROFILES YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE STATUS UPDATES MEASURING SUCCESS A WEEK ON MEMBER MARKETPLACE 14 A Guide for Small Business

16 Bring your account to life Over time, your activity and dealings on Member Marketplace will convey your voice, style and personality. MARKETING ADVANTAGE Being a part of this business community gives you an advantage over on the competition. Now, turn that advantage into new business by connecting with other members of the organization and the entire community. As you continue using Member Marketplace, you ll gain more respect among the users and gain new customers. The easiest way to get started is by posting your first offer. Members can post as many offers as they want, but be sure to make them for something specific, timely and valuable. If you re not sure how to write an offer, use one of the offer templates to help you get started. They re easy to modify to meet the specifics of your offer. 15 A Guide for Small Business

17 Your personal & business profiles The more the community knows about you the more likely they are to want to do business with you. Design every element of your profile to best reflect your business YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE Your personal profile is accessed under the account menu and contains personal information about you and your position in your business. It is separate from your business profile. 2. PICTURE Upload a nice picture of yourself. It helps buyers understand that you are personally involved in making their buying experience via Member Marketplace a good one. 4. LOGO This will appear on all of your promotions so use an image that represents your business well. Recommended image size is 700x700 pixels with a minimum 100x100 pixels formatted as JPG, GIF, PNG. Uploaded logos will be cropped to fit a square container. 5. DESCRIPTION Write a clear and informative bio that describes your business, products or services. 3. YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE Your business profile contains all of the basic information about your company including name, logo, description, business categories and phone number. 6. BUSINESS CATEGORY Add as many as are appropriate, so customers can find you easily when making requests. 16 A Guide for Small Business

18 Your social media profile Collectively, your Social Media Profile tells a story about you, your company and its mission. Complete this part of your profile to help potential customers get to know you better WEBSITE This may be the single most important part of your Social Media Profile. You can link customers to your main site or build something special for Member Marketplace consumers. 3. FACEBOOK Most businesses have a presence on Facebook. It helps you connect with your customers on a more personal level and allows your followers to easily share things about you. 2. LINKEDIN If your business serves a business-to-business (B2B) market, then a LinkedIn business profile is becoming an especially important part of your social media footprint. It s invaluable for reaching decision-makers. 4. TWITTER A wide variety of people, organizations, businesses big and small, local and international all use Twitter to make their presence known and to connect with customers throughout the week. 17 A Guide for Small Business

19 What s your status? Let others know what you have been up to. Status updates allow you to engage with others on a more regular basis. FOLLOW TO LEARN MORE Member Marketplace status updates are for letting others know about the things that make your company special. They allow your followers to take a peek behind the scenes of your business and connect with you and your employees on a more personal level. It s kind of like having your own private social network. It s easy to search for another business. Simply click on the buy tab and enter the name of the business, product, service or experience you are searching for. How to post on the Social Feed From your Dashboard click on the orange +POST ON YOUR SOCIAL FEED under your company name. You ll be presented with a prompt where you can enter your content (up to 140 characters). Next, click on the orange SHARE button and it will automatically be added to the application s social feed. Has your company earned an industry award? Has there been an article published about you or have you hired a new employee? Has your sales team met their quarterly goal? Are you opening a new location or expanding your operations? These things are important to people making buying decisions, and the only way they may ever know about them is to tell them in a status update. Status updates are a way to stay in touch with your customer base and lets them know that you are paying attention to the activity on Member Marketplace. They also let the community know that you will be ready to respond promptly to any direct requests for products, services or experiences that they may make of your company. 18 A Guide for Small Business

20 Measuring success Your dashboard is the window into how you are using Member Marketplace TOTAL SAVINGS This number represents your company s savings from buying and requesting products, services and experiences. 2. FOLLOW AND BE FOLLOWED The more you are active in buying and selling, the more followers you will have. By following other businesses, you let them know that you re interested in what they are offering which will encourage them to connect with you. 3. OFFERS These numbers let you know instantly how many offers are currently on Member Marketplace and how many of those offers your company has reserved. 4. REQUESTS The surest way to know that you re successful is to have a good number of requests. Make requests for products and services to save on your business expenses. Respond to requests from other businesses to boost your sales. 19 A Guide for Small Business

21 A week on Member Marketplace It s possible to plan ahead on Member Marketplace. Here is an example of how you might spend a week saving money and engaging your customers. With a little planning and commitment, Member Marketplace can become not only a way for you to save your business money, but a powerful marketing platform that can create new sales from a community that already trusts your membership in our organization. MONDAY SELL SOMETHING There are two ways to sell your products, services or experiences on Member Marketplace. First, launch an exclusive offer only available to account holders. Remember, you can post as many offers as you like and you have full control over how many of your offers can be redeemed. Second, you can browse open Requests that account holders have submitted and see if you are in a position to fill a need. TUESDAY UPDATE YOUR STATUS Give potential customers a behind the scenes peek into your business. Post a key happening, event or award that your company has earned. Status updates are key to adding a personality to your brand and could help in earning a request. 20 A Guide for Small Business

22 WEDNESDAY BUY SOMETHING You can browse or search any of the Offers that are already posted. If you don t see what you need, you can Request anything from the members. Member Marketplace can have a positive effect on the cost of doing business. Take some time to look at your regular or special needs for products or services and see if another member can help you out at a substantially discounted price. THURSDAY MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS Check to see how your current offers are performing and make adjustments as needed. If sales are low try increasing the discount but lower the number that are available. FRIDAY FOLLOW FRIDAYS Search for the types of companies that you would like to sell to or are part of your supply chain and follow them. This will pay off in new sales, and product and service discounts for your business. 21 A Guide for Small Business

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