Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Unemployed - What Can I Do?

With 6.7 percent now unemployed in the United States - or 10.3 million people - Americans are distressed to say the least. President-elect Obama has cautioned that there will be no quick or easy fixes to this crisis. As more and more people join the ranks of the unemployed, more and more people will be competing for the fewer jobs that make themselves available. While there is much to be discouraged about, there is still a lot of opportunities to be had.

There are ways to stay afloat, even if you haven't had luck getting a job and your unemployment benefits are running out. Google recently announced that their Local Business Referral Representative (LBR) program is shutting down at the end of the year. Essentially, the program was meant for LBRs to collect information from businesses for Google Maps, including hours of operation and store pictures. The LBRs would also introduce the business owners to Google Maps and Adwords.

Greg Sterling writes in his blog, that he believes Google didn't fully commit to the program and that 'Adwords itself, is not a self-service product that can be readily adopted by the mass of SMBs.' We agree with Greg, but we also believe that there was just not enough incentive for people that would've made the program lucrative enough for them.

Back in October, we introduced the MerchantCircle Marketing Advisor Program. The benefits for our advisors are a monthly reoccurring revenue from the members they sign-on to our paid products. With over 10,000 paid products sold to our merchants since December 2007, our merchant base of 655,000 is only at the early stages of being introduced to affordable, effective online advertising solutions. Even in the midst of a recession, we've argued before that marketing is one of the last things a consumer-oriented business should cut. Instead, expensive, ineffective advertising like the Yellow Pages should be the first to go.

Month over month, we've seen one of the lowest churn rates in the business. We've actually seen less business owners stop online advertisements since the economy was officially declared "in a recession." The fact of the matter is, we have over 700 Marketing Advisors who are helping local business owners find more customers online. In this economic time, this means a lot to us, and to the business owners, and quite possibly to you.

To find out how you can be a MerchantCircle Marketing Advisor - click here.

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