January 14 is my 5th anniversary of joining the membership team at the Chamber – it has certainly whizzed past! One of the main reasons I joined is my love of learning about all the different types of businesses across the region and the amazing, often unheard of, work that goes on. One of the things I get the most satisfaction out of is sharing this knowledge and connecting people so they can make an even bigger difference in this fantastic region we live and work in. This is even more relevant today as we move ahead with the renaissance of our region and the diversification of the economy. I am proud to be part of a dedicated membership team who are here to help you get the most out of your chamber memberships - but as the old saying goes “you get out of it what you put in”. One of the most common questions I get asked by members is “how do I raise my profile and expand my network of contacts?”, especially into new sectors of business. The good news is that as a member of the Chamber you have access to a huge ready-made network of contacts and a range of channels to help get your message out there. I always say to members “our network is your network” but you have to work with us and send us content to allow us to support you in sharing your news. As well as having over 1,200 member organisations the Chamber has many connections and followers over a range of platforms that we can cascade your messages out to. The membership team alone has over 4,500 followers on Twitter and 6,900 connections on LinkedIn - that adds up to a lot of opportunities to explore in the coming year. So how can you make use of the chamber channels and this network better in 2018? Contact your dedicated membership network manager to chat about your plans for the year ahead so they can advise on how your chamber membership might support you with achieving them. Not sure who your MNM is? Phone 01224 343900, ask for the membership team and we will let you know. Update your company profile to make it easier for other businesses to find you in the membership directory and to stand out from the crowd. As members you can access the Membership Directory when you are logged in to our website at agcc.co.uk. If you have forgotten your login or don’t know how to update your profile, call us and we will guide you through it. Send us a news story about what you have been up to. Are you delivering a new service? Have you won a new contract or any industry awards? What about appointed a new team member or raised money for charity? You can send all of these stories, along with high quality eye-catching pictures, to email@example.com and they will be published on our website at www.agcc.co.uk/member-news. All your stories are published on the website but they will also be considered for inclusion in the next Business Bulletin as well. Take at look at the media pack on our website which has details of editorial opportunities and the themes for the magazine during 2018. The important pages are 9 – 11 which tell you about Hot Topics, Opinion Pieces, Lessons I’ve Learned in Business and On the Move These are all free and included in your membership. It also contains opportunities for discounted advertising and, if that is part of your plan, Jim will be happy to chat through options with you. Follow and interact with us on social media. The membership team will regularly cascade out your member news stories on Twitter but you can also tag us in your own tweets and we will retweet to all our followers. Remember our network is your network. The main Chamber account is @Chambertalk but it is also worth following our @AGCCevents, @AGCCtraining and @AGCCresearch teams to keep up with the latest activities. The membership team have their own accounts which all start with @AGCC_ so in my case @AGCC-Mary You can also connect with the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce group on LinkedIn and Facebook and share your news stories and post with us using these mediums. These are just a few ways you can tap in to the Chamber network in the coming year. Please do call us to see how else we can support you in the months ahead. We look forward to hearing from you.