Joining the Chamber

Joining the Chamber


Joining the Chamber – the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce – might have just changed my life.

In my research and self-directed business education these last couple of years, I’d heard other professional photographers recommend joining my local chamber of commerce.  It would provide a way for me to become involved with my community and for my community to get to know me.

I didn’t know how it worked at all.  I thought it’d be a very small annual fee (if any), my business name would be thrown on a list, and occasionally, I’d be invited to attend a meeting in a large, fluorescent-lit room where I’d blend in with a hundred other mellow individuals, quietly listening to some city official speak.  I also thought that I could only join the chamber of commerce for the city in which I lived.

I was wrong about all of those things.


How It Started


After I officially launched Sweet Green Photography at the beginning of September, I took a week off to bask in the birth of my baby.  I had spent 9 months hunkered down in my home, utilizing the internet to educate myself about the process I was about to undertake, crying, and obsessing over every little detail.  When I did leave the house, it was primarily for groceries or a random appointment.  Now that my “baby” was born, I felt like I could go anywhere and everywhere.  And I needed to go everywhere, because now that my business cards could direct people to a live website, I had to find people to give it to.  But I didn’t know where to go.

“Join your local chamber of commerce.”  Those words of wisdom came back to me pretty quickly once that week of relaxation was over, and I thought, “Now what?”

I went to the Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce’s website and learned that it would cost over $400 for me to join.  Yikes.  I had that money part ALL wrong!  I momentarily swallowed that thought and decided that I needed to find out if I was actually eligible to join.  While registering our cars to obtain Colorado license plates last December, Nick and I learned that we didn’t technically live within the city limits of Golden.  On their website’s “Contact Us” page, I submitted a question, asking if I was eligible to join, and left my name, address, phone number, and email.  I never heard from them.

While I was waiting to hear back from them, I continued my mission to discover who and where to focus my energy.  In my blog post “Tackling Twitter,” I was doing just that – tackling Twitter.  I started searching for people near me and those that listed their location as Denver.  Specifically, those that also used their 160-character limit to include the words “Mom” or “Dad” in their bio.

One Denver Dad I started following was Jon Goldberg.


Denver Dad Jon


Jon, @lodojon on Twitter, is a Denver residential real estate agent.  Who used to be an attorney.  How smart is this guy?!  And how wonderful would it be to work with somebody who really knows his stuff like that?  He’d be great to work with when buying a home!  Talk about someone who’d really dot the i’s and cross the t’s, leaving no stone unturned.

In addition to looking for Denver moms and dads to follow on Twitter, I was also trying to share articles, information, and events that I thought would be helpful to them.

In the spirit of sharing that helpful information, I knew I HAD to make Denver parents aware of how valuable Jon could be to them.  So I retweeted him.  Err, quote retweeted actually…if that’s even a verb!

Joining the Chamber (Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce) Sweet Green Photography Denver, Colorado, Family Portrait Photographer, Twitter SweetGreenPhoto, The Chamber

Soon after that, Jon messaged me and asked if I’d be interested in getting together to learn more about each other and each others’ businesses.  An established Denverite wants to hear about Sweet Green Photography?!  Of course I’ll meet you, new buddy!  😉


The Coffee Date


A few weeks later, we met for coffee.  He let me choose, and of course, I picked a Starbucks.  🙂

We talked for two hours.

In those two hours, Jon was able to answer my questions about Chamber membership and clarified that I could join the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce even though I lived in Golden.  I wasn’t restricted to only the Golden one!

He also enlightened me on the Denver professionals networking scene, gave me inspiration, and invited me to his upcoming Leads Group meeting.  As his guest at this Leads Group meeting, I would have 30 seconds to introduce myself to a group of local business professionals who would also each have 30 seconds to share their names, business names, and brief bits about their business offerings.  He shared with me the different occupations of individuals in this group and how many of them had helped his own business.

A week later, armed with business cards, I met Jon in downtown Denver, at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, to attend his Leads Group meeting as his guest.


The Leads Group Meeting


Right before the meeting began, we met up, and he immediately starting introducing me to people.  People were handing me their business cards and asking for mine.  I couldn’t believe!  And everyone seemed so genuine and warm.  My kind of people.  🙂

The 90-minute meeting flew by!  It was as structured as he’d said and more memorable than I expected it to be.  At my home, later that evening, I kept thinking about everyone I had met in that meeting.  I had absorbed a lot about each of them and relished in their professional yet down-to-earth natures.  I realized that even if I never saw any of them again, I would remember their names, their businesses, and happily send business their way.

Apparently, this is what it’s all about.  🙂

At Starbucks, Jon had spent an hour trying to convince me that, in Denver, it really is that simple.  Through the Chamber, and especially through a Leads Group, you meet other business professionals.  You learn not just about an individual’s business but about the personality and character of that individual as well.  And then, further on up the road, you naturally refer potential clients their way.  After that Leads Group meeting, I realized how and why that worked.  And I wanted to be a part of it.


Making Myself Official


In order to join a Leads Group, I would have to be a member of the Chamber as well.  I took a few days to consider the costs and decided it was worth the invest.  I was able to join both the Leads Group and the Chamber for under $450.  Around the same amount I would’ve spent had the Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce called me back.  And I was getting the value of the Leads Group.  And the whole Denver Metro area vs. solely Golden.  Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Now, if you search the Denver Metro Chamber Business Directory, you’ll find Sweet Green Photography under Photographers!

Sweet Green Photography, Denver, Colorado, Family Portrait Photographer, Joining the Chamber - Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

And who are all of these wonderful people in this Leads Group I’ve been referring to?  The reason I was drawn into joining the Chamber?  We are known as Leads Group 7.  We even have our own –  🙂  Look!  I’m on there!

Sweet Green Photography Denver, Colorado, Family Portrait Photographer, Twitter SweetGreenPhoto, The Chamber

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  1. Lynn Biermann on January 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm


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