This is a subscriber-only article.

Save 33% on Entrepreneur+ during our Memorial Day Sale

Use code SAVE33 at checkout.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Join The Club Chambers of commerce can help you get your foot in <I>lots</I> of doors.

By Dominique King

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Although photographer Melissa Leeper enjoys travelingto photo locations and meeting people, she describes attending herfirst local chamber of commerce event as more than a littleintimidating. "They had me stand up, and they introduced me. Iwas so nervous," recalls Leeper, 35, who founded Leeper Photo,her own homebased studio, nearly two years ago and is a member ofthe Greater Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, a suburban Detroitgroup.

"Joining the chamber and the Business Women's Networkreally helped me make the transition from a corporate environmentto [entrepreneurship]," agrees training and communicationconsultant Christine Gloss,a past BWN president. "It gave me a lot of practice in talkingabout my business and what I do."

Still, chamber membership provided a much-needed jumpstart forLeeper's networking efforts. By attending smaller gatheringslike morning coffees and her chamber's Business Women'sNetwork (BWN) meetings, she gradually became more confident."I eventually developed a three-sentence spiel about what I doand was able to practice that at chamber events," she says."That helped me better deal with clients on the phone aswell."

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In