Do you have a business in the US? Big business, small business, NGO, charity, community group. Whatever it is, if you need to promote it in your local area, then this is for you.
Okay so here is the plug. Your free listing on Merchant Circle gets you....
* all the space you could want to promote your products and services on your own business listing (yes, it is already there, just go claim it and make it work for you!)
* facility to add photos or videos to promote your business
* a way for your customers to give you a review
* A way to monitor and manage your business reputation. Yes! You have one - who knew?!
* a newsletter function that allows you to create professional newsletters that look great and allow you to track how many you send it to actually open it
* a business blog attached to your business site. Simple, simple, and did I say, simple to add to, even if you know nothing about writing blogs
* coupons and advertizements to appear on your page AND on the pages of all the other merchants you connect with to network
* prominance in your local area in online searches
* enhanced traffic for your regular website if you have one
* a simple (again!) way to have a website even if you don't have your own yet
* interface to communicate with customers and potential customers direct from your Merchant Circle page
* an easy way to connect with other business owners in your area for joint promotion and referrals to help you both
* an easy way for your customers to FIND you when they need what you do
* remember, I said this is free, right...
* reports to show you how much traffic your site is attracting
* access to the Merchant Circle forum where you can mix, mingle, moan and marvel at the great information and helpful contribution that the members make to help each other
Well that's part of it. There are other things if you are an accomplished webmaster, or even a shakey one, including scripts to add your Customer Reviews and your blog to your regular website easily. Talk about making your main website easy to update!
More widgets and the like are added all the time so you probably have enough to know that there is something there worth grabbing. And I should mention I suppose, if all that isn't enough, you can upgrade to a range of paid services that turbo charge your ads with Google, Yahoo and the like.
The strength of any online community can only come from the people who participate. I have been honored to be asked to moderate this forum and for that I need active members asking questions, fielding answers, making suggestions, and sharing their successes, and not-so-successful efforts to promote their business. The tools are there... all we need to do is use them well.
Come join us - and drop by the Forum and tell us your story.