No matter how small your chamber is, even YOU can get an celebrity or big name to endorse your organization or event. It may seem far-fetched, but people do it every day. All it costs the celebrity (or influencer) is a short blurb and it can mean the world for you, boosting your social proof power into the stratosphere.
How Celebrity Endorsements Work
Social proof is one of the simplest yet most effective marketing strategies available. The way it works is incredibly simple:
Your potential customers see an expert, influencer, or other big name talking about you and your products. Through the endorsement, they realize you have something highly valuable to offer.
Testimonials are a common example of social proof that shows off people that have taken the desired action (like joining the chamber).
Social proof shows that you’re a legitimate company and sets you apart from the competition. While chambers of commerce naturally sound legitimate, this builds another layer of trust. This blurb is what kicks the potential customer off the fence and urges them to buy.
Who’s Going to Promote Your Brand?
So, how do you choose a big name to reach out to? Step into the shoes of your audience. What kind of person’s word would mean something to them? It could be someone your audience already knows or a qualified expert in your field.
The key is not just the person’s name recognition but that they’re relevant to your audience and your offerings. For example, you could get an endorsement from a blogger in your industry. Your website visitors may not know the blogger, but they can click on the link you provide and see that they run a popular blog with a large audience.
Molly Priest Gebler, Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce, has worked with an influencer who likes to talk about towns. She shared that “In 24 hours we have gotten 42K views on TikTok, 5K views + 1K likes on Instagram, and 24K views on Facebook. We got to highlight some of our members and they were thrilled.”
However, your “celebrity” doesn’t need to be known across America.
This could be a local celebrity the like mayor or city councilors, school superintendent, weather person or news caster, etc. So think: Who is famous in your town?
It could also be a social media influencer, blogger, or someone just well known in a certain industry (think Frank Kenny in the chamber industry).
How to Get ‘Celebrity’ Endorsements
Start by brainstorming people to reach out to. Look at all your contacts in your network. It’s much easier to get an endorsement from someone you already know than reaching out cold to a stranger.
Once you’ve looked at your network, research popular content creators and social media influencers. Look in particular at other people your audience follows.
Create a shortlist and start reaching out to the people on it. Create an elevator pitch that explains briefly what you do, how you’re unique, and how you deliver value. It helps a great deal to offer some type of incentive. For example, offer to promote their business to your audience. This will make it a win-win. Sometimes you’ll be able to offer a trade, but not always. Other times you’ll need to be prepared to pay them.
Joe Gagnon, Anderson Area Chamber says that “Cameo is a great way to promote your Chamber! You just send in your order and what you want the celebrity to say and, hours later you get your result. Go Shooter!”
In addition to the endorsement you’re trying to get right now, think also about building a relationship with this person. Even if they say no now, you can keep in touch with them and maybe in the future you may be able to help each other. If they give you an endorsement, thank them and keep them in mind for ways you can repay the favor.
Any Organization Can Get Powerful Endorsements
When reaching out to influencers or celebrities for endorsements, don’t stop yourself thinking the person is too big. While they’re most likely to say “no,” they could also surprise you with a “yes” and give you a great piece of social proof.