Updated: Dec 2, 2019
The holiday season is fast approaching!! Black Friday deals are starting earlier and earlier each year, and in the middle of the chaos is Small Business Saturday!
Now I know that this time of year you can get pummeled with everyone telling you to "shop small" and "support small business". I agree that we should all support small businesses, but I also understand that sometimes you just can't shop small business, for a variety of reasons.
For example, we're not exchanging gifts this year in my family, because we just bought a house and our finances are still recuperating from the big purchase!
But I'm here with a different message for you: you can still support small businesses, even if you aren't able to shop them this year! I'm sharing 6 specific ways below, but there are many more! This year, I challenge you to join in doing at least 1 of these to show some small biz love!
Way #1: Like and/or Comment on Social Media Posts
Guys, let me tell you from first-hand experience -- social media marketing is HARD. It's not enough to post as a small business owner. There are all sorts of coding and algorithms that decide who gets to see our posts, and when, and it can be disheartening to know that we're not able to reach our friends and fans in the way we'd like to.
But here's where you can help! Liking and/or commenting on posts from your favorite small businesses increases the reach of that post. I know Instagram the best of the social media platforms, so I'm going to use that as my example here. Instagram "rewards" posts that have lots of likes (and even more bonus points if there are lots of comments). When a post has high engagement, it circulates more and reaches a wider audience. So when you take 10 seconds to 'like' or comment on a post, it's actually helping us connect with more people!
Way #2: Share Social Media posts
This is very similar to #1, but it's worth mentioning separately. Your friends might not necessarily be my friends...and when you share one of my posts, it 1) helps me connect with more people and 2) helps these new friends trust my brand.
**NOTE** Since this is very similar to a digital recommendation, I would suggest taking this step only with businesses you trust. I wouldn't share a post from a business I didn't know, because it might not share my values/beliefs, and that will reflect back on me.
Way #3: Add A Small Business to Your Wish List!
I love this one! How many of us have had someone ask what we wanted for a gift, and we answered with "oh nothing, I don't really need anything right now."? I'm raising my hand over here!
But here's the kicker...how many of those people ACTUALLY get us nothing?? If you're like me, my friends and family are so generous, and I always get something even when I beg them not to.
This year, instead of giving the 'nothing' answer and leaving your loved ones to guess, ask for something from the DeBord Studios shop, for example! Your friends and family will have a much easier time shopping for you, and you'll be showing your favorite small business some love!
Way #4: Write a Review
This is a big one! If you purchased a product or service in the past and were pleased with what you received, please consider writing a review. Reviews are a great way to build trust with potential clients, because they can see that working with me isn't scary or difficult. I can tell people that it's a fun process until I'm blue in the face, but they won't believe me nearly as much as they will believe you, as a fellow customer.
Shopify says as many as 70% of us check reviews before purchasing something (I know I do!). Your review could help someone else feel more at ease with purchasing something they want or need. Hooray for being awesome and helpful! :)
Way #5: Spread the Word
We have all sorts of methods for marketing these days, some better than others. But the best form of marketing hasn't changed over the years....word of mouth.
In the past 3 years, I would estimate that at least 50% of my clients and students hired me because they heard of my services from someone else. A personal recommendation has no equivalent for building trust with new clients, and it means so much to me personally when someone recommends my services.
Take a business card (or several!) and spread around at work, around town, or to friends and family. If someone's looking for a service that you know we provide, send them our way! We really appreciate the support.
Way #6: Ask
Sometimes, the best way to support a small business is to ask how you can help. If you know the business owner personally, grab a cup of coffee and ask them about how you can support their efforts. Don't worry, we're not typically looking for volunteer work! But you might be surprised with the ways you might be able to help. Maybe we're looking to make a specific connection, and you happen to know the perfect person. Maybe we need someone to bounce an idea off of, or an outside opinion. Or you can always offer some encouragement! I think everyone could use a little more encouragement in our lives haha.
I hope these tips were helpful! Let's go show small businesses some love!
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