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By Sally Glick - Not enough can be said about being actively involved in the business community, or with an industry trade association, when you are trying to enhance the firm’s brand or to increase awareness of a “famous person” at your firm.

Identifying the ideal association and then volunteering for a committee often helps to jump start this critical process. By getting involved quickly, you have the chance to meet new people who represent your target market, and at the same time, you add value and demonstrate your expertise without the stigma of "selling" anything. In fact, the third party endorsement of the association often elevates you to a status you could not achieve on your own.

The more involved you become, and the more your firm’s name is linked to a well-regarded organization, the stronger your reputation will grow. This type of activity leads to more referrals and ultimately more business.

It is not easy. When you volunteer or take on assignments for an organization, you have a responsibility that is serious – and should not be taken lightly. It is because of your commitment that you and the firm will benefit, so prepare to roll up your sleeves and put in the time you need to establish yourself and your credentials.

By the way - have fun. That's the one ingredient that is sometimes missing in volunteering!

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