Litchfield Chamber of Commerce Website is Hub for Members
The Litchfield Area Chamber of Commerce is an organization of over 250 business leaders working together in support of its members. Their ongoing mission is to create, promote and enhance a healthy business environment.
Dee Schutte has worked in the Chamber of Commerce industry for the past twelve years, and is currently the Executive Director with the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce. As part of her leadership role, she knew that their website was visually and functionally outdated. Dee explains, “Our old website had good content, but it was disorganized and clumsy too find. On top of that, it looked like we were re-living the 90’s.” For an organization like the Chamber of Commerce, it is important to look professional and always keep the members updated about events and news. But with the old website, it was too complicated to update content. Dee remembers, “Every time we had an update, we had to go through our webmaster, emailing him updates and waiting for them to get done.”
When strategizing for the new site, they already knew they wanted to be able to manage content themselves. They also wanted to get increased visibility for their website, and then more effectively engage the people who visit the site to explore what they had to offer. As a member-focused group, the Litchfield Chamber also wanted to drive traffic and customers to their supporting members.
Today, their new website is updated in some fashion daily, and the WordPress platform is essential for them to manage the content themselves. They also use special software called Chamber Master that integrates with WordPress and is used to manage chamber events and news. Dee explains how Chamber members can even edit their own information on-the-fly, “Our members have a user name and password that they can quickly update their business listing, add events, job postings, hot deals, and member-to-member discounts.”
Dee is beginning to learn Google Analytics to see how their website is being utilized by their members, “We’re new to Google Analytics but over time we plan to use the tool to see where traffic is coming from and what portions of our website are utilized and which are not. By tracking this information, we can make adaptations quickly and gain a better understanding of what people are looking for.”
For Dee, and the Litchfield Chamber Board, working with a web team that was both responsive and knowledgeable was the most important. Dee explains, “The team at Vivid Image offered expert guidance and suggestions that were based on best practices. They were easy to contact and met our tight deadlines. With Vivid Image’s help, we were able to exceed all of our web goals and solve the problems we were having with the previous website.”
With Vivid Image’s help, we were able to exceed all of our web goals and solve the problems we were having with the previous website.
As a person who works with business leaders every day, Dee has some great advice for other businesses or organizations who are in need of web or social media services. This solid business advice can apply to almost any major professional decision, and is the foundation that Dee used while making the decision to work with Vivid Image:
1) Get Educated – “Vivid Image offers a lot of expertise and ideas in their blogs, trainings, or one-on-one coaching.”
2) Get References – “Ask your colleagues and people you respect who they have been happy with.”
3) Trust your Instincts – “Working with a web marketing partner should feel like the right fit for you.”
Today, the Litchfield Chamber has received only positive comments about their website. They have set the standards high for other rural Minnesota Chamber organizations. Dee and her team are very satisfied with the results, “Our Board of Directors and members have a sense of pride in how the Chamber is represented on the internet.”
The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce is going above and beyond to promote their members online and off. Dee notes, “There are many direct and indirect benefits as a result of a Chamber membership. At times, value is apparent, at other times, it’s not. One thing is certain – the Chamber is constantly working on our members behalf to produce bottom-line results for our local economy through efforts in public policy, economic development and business assistance.”
We are honored to have worked on this web project with the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce and to be a proud member of their organization! We encourage you to get involved with your local Chamber and community as well.