There are many ways in which you can support small businesses like mine without spending a penny of your hard earned cash! Obviously, purchasing what I make is one way, but there are many more and they all help!
For small, online businesses like mine, engagement on social media is key. Relying on the search algorithms of online market places just isn't enough anymore so social media now plays a huge role in marketing. Since most of us don't have huge budgets for marketing campaigns, social media is all we have.
- A simple like goes a long way on Instagram or Facebook. It tells the algorithm that there are people out there who want to see this work and allows the maker to know that we're not just shouting into an empty void.
- A comment weighs even heavier, especially if it is over 3 words in length. Comments help to keep the conversation going, encourages human interaction and helps us to be seen. Genuine comments matter the most, if you like something, say so! It might also make someones day.
- Hit share on Facebook, Retweet on Twitter, or Regram on Instagram, but make sure that it links back to the maker. This for us is huge, because not only does it give us the warm feeling of someone liking our work enough to share it with those they care about it, but it also helps us to reach a whole new audience that we wouldn't otherwise have access to and with that comes potential new customers.
- Subscribe to newsletters and forward them on to friends and family who you think might also be interested in them.
- If you've previously purchased something from a small business and love the product or had amazing customer service, why not post to social media and tag the business? Not only will you make that persons day but it also shows other potential buyers that you're a real business, can be trusted and that your product has been well received!
- Magazines, blogs and retailers who scour instagram looking for people to feature or to carry stock will be looking for brands who not only have amazing products but also, a well engaged audience. Those likes and comments show these people that this maker has a devoted customer base and that their products or services are of a really good standard.
- If you've previously bought something, did you leave a glowing review? Maybe on Etsy? It's easy to check if you can see still leave a review. Or, if you can, leave a review on their Facebook page.
It's tough running a business on your own and at times it can be lonely. Sometimes, it's just nice to know that there are people there, who understand, know what you're going through, and can help lift you up when you're feeling down or like you want to give up.
- Be a cheerleader and help to banish those self doubts
- Be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen
- Be a voice of encouragement
- Help lift those who might be having a wobble
- Just be present
If you do get the opportunity to shop, remember to shop small, shop handmade or shop independent. If you want to help to promote the shop small business message this Christmas I've put together a free graphic for you to share and tell your story with! If you would like to download the high resolution file please click here to download.