5 Steps to Get Started on ShowMeLocal.com

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Once you’ve signed up at ShowMeLocal.com there are a few things you should do right away in order to make your business profile start working for you.

STEP 1: Add Business Information
The very first thing you should do after signing up for your ShowMeLocal.com business profile is add your business information. Click on ‘All Settings’ in your Business Management Area; from there you can add important information about your business, such as your hours of operation, price/product/service lists, payment options, driving directions, and more.  
This information is vital to the success of your ShowMeLocal.com profile.  Your customers will appreciate the convenience of being able to get important information quickly and easily online, so you’ll want to make sure that you provide them with as much information about your business as you possibly can.
You may also edit the default blog post, which appears on the main page of your SML profile, to be more personalized to your particular business.

STEP 2: Upload Pictures
From the  Business Management Area you can also upload photos of your storefront, interior, and products.  This is especially helpful for business that deal in a service industry, such as restaurants or hotels, where how your business looks is an important aspect of getting customers to purchase your products or services.  But it can be helpful for any business.  Adding a photo of the outside of your store helps customers put context to your location, and allows new customers to more easily locate your business.
You can also get creative with your photos.  For example, you can put up pictures of your staff to emphasize the friendly nature of your business, or if you operate a real estate firm you can upload photos of properties you have for sale or rent.

STEP 3:  Create a Coupon or Special
It is no secret that consumers love a good deal.  Coupons or specials (sales, promotions, etc.) are a very effective way to get customers into your store and buying your products or services. ShowMeLocal.com  makes it easy to create and manage your coupons and specials by providing powerful creation and management tools.  In the Business Management Area you can manage your coupons and specials, and even automatically assign coupons to “thank you pages” as a token of appreciation, allowing you to thank your customers for their feedback by offering them a deal!
Creating a coupon is exceptionally simple.  You can choose from a list of pre-made coupons, or input your own terms, or you can even upload a coupon you already have.

STEP 4: Start or Join a Business Network
Business Networks are what makes ShowMeLocal.com unique.  By creating networks with other businesses in your local market, you can share customers with your peers and develop a “main street” feel online.  When you join a network, your business information will appear on the profiles of other businesses in the network, including your coupons, specials, and job postings.
This is an extremely powerful feature! You promote your business associates, and they promote you—without you having to lift a finger. Never before has an opportunity like this to get the attention of customers who frequent other businesses in your community existed. 
Creating and joining networks is easy.  You can even invite non-SML members to sign up at ShowMeLocal.com and join your network!  Invite all the businesses in your area!
 
STEP 5: Create a Flyer to Hand Out to Customers
Creating a promotional flyer helps you connect your online presence on ShowMeLocal.com to your brick and mortar store.  ShowMeLocal.com allows you to automatically create a flyer that you can hand out your customers and let them know about your ShowMeLocal.com listing.  By utilizing flyers you can turn your current customers into website visitors, which will help you then turn them into loyal customers who will continue to visit your business and evangelize your products and services to their friends.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when first using the Internet as a marketing tool is thinking that their website will promote itself. The truth is: it will not. As business owners, with brick and mortar stores, we have to realize that in order to enhance our online presence we must take one more extra step and inform our customers of how to find us online, just as we would inform customers how to find our store offline. If everyone in your network prints out flyers and gives them out to their customers your chances of getting new visitors will increase dramatically.

Creating flyers is automatic, and can be accessed from your Business Management Profile.

In coming blog posts we will show you other ways that you can enhance your listing and take even more advantage of your presence on ShowMeLocal.com!

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