20 Things You Can Do to Support Small Business Saturday That Don’t Cost You Any Money
Small Business Saturday is a U.S. holiday to shop and support local entrepreneurs that are investing their talent, treasure, and time in their local community. While the goal is always to get you to buy something, I want you to start doing things that don’t cost you money to support a local business. Here’s my Top 20 List of Things You Can Do To Support Local Entrepreneurs. They range from super-easy to super-rewarding:
1. Like their Posts
This is the lowest common denominator. However, it makes a difference. Likes encourage entrepreneurs to share and share more often. It also helps them to know that they have an audience for their product. For you, it’s super simple to click a thumbs up or heart icon!
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2. Like their Local Business page
If they have a Facebook Business Page, Like it! This helps the algorithm learn. As it learns, it will recommend that business page to more people. As more people learn about that business, they can build their customer base even more!
3. Follow their profile
If liking is step one, following is step two! When you follow a page, you’re going to be in the know on everything that business is doing! By following their profile, it’s easier for you to engage with them more regularly. You’ll see how important that will be in upcoming items!
4. Follow all of their profiles
Most businesses have more than one profile. The savvy business owners post different content on each of their profiles. This gives you a different perspective on their business and brand that you won’t get on just one profile page!
5. Comment on their posts
Now that you’re following their profile, say something! Ask a question. Leave some inspiration or a word of encouragement! Disagree with them! Whatever you do, don’t speak in emoji! No one knows what heck that stuff means!
6. Share their Posts
You’ve seen the signs all over the airport, “See something, Share something!” If you can share memes 5 days a week and funny videos every hour, you can share a post from a local business on your network. If they have a special offer, share it. A news announcement, share it. A really beautiful image, share it! Sharing is caring!
7. Recommend their Business
Oh, this is a good one! Did you know recommendations are a form of digital currency. It’s almost like you’re giving a local business money, when you give a recommendation. Google, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and more all use recommendations to provide more visibility for local business. Also, your recommendations can help them reduce their ad budget and put more money into service and product innovation.
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8. Write a Business Review
Beyond a simple recommendation vote, write a meaningful review if you’ve benefited from that local business. By meaningful, you need to be specific. People want to know what the experience was like. What made it stand out from everyone else. Why would you want more people to experience it. Write the review on their website, Google, Facebook, or Yelp profile!
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9. Sign-up for their Business Newsletter
E-mail newsletters are a huge investment of time, money, and resources for a local business. Finding and creating content to share on a regular basis is challenging. So if your local business has made the investment to create a newsletter, join their list. You’ll instantly become a VIP! All the best deals, they go to the people on the list! Are you on the list?
10. Send Her a Business Referral
If someone ask for their product, don’t send that new customer to their competitor. Send them a referral. In fact, send two. If you’re feeling really fancy, give them your name so that the owner knows who’s sending new business. Who knows, there may be a special perk for your thoughtfulness!
11. Join their Local Tribe
We’re halfway through the list! Now, let’s get real! That is, let’s do things in the real world! Local businesses and local brands that have online and in-real-life (IRL) communities are awesome. It’s like taking a factory tour of your favorite company. It let’s you become a part of their culture. In turn, they become a part of yours.
Free events are great ways for you to meet the local business owners and entrepreneurs in a non-sales engagement. It’s like a coffee date. We’re just getting to know each other before they ask you out. Maybe you’ll get better snacks than the samples at the big box-mart.
13. Check-In at Their Local Business
Go to their store in the real world! Check-in on your profile while you’re there! They will get a notification. Some local businesses will give you access to their wi-fi when you check-in. Others will give you special offers that only unlock when you check-in. See, doing something for free gets you rewarded!
14. Tag Them in Your Posts
It’s always best to ask permission before taking a selfie at someone’s property. However, if they say it’s cool, tag them in your posts. Let your peoples know that you’ve found a local treasure they should checkout too! Plus, the local business will be able to repost your content on their feed! Reciprocity is amazing!
15. Use Local Business Locations In Your Posts
One of my favorite things to do is to tag a location in my posts. It not only helps people make a connection, it helps them find that connection in the real world! More than that, the business location will be a part of the larger regional location for the city. If his location is not available for tagging, you have my blessing to do plenty of cardio while you roll your eyes.
16. Subscribe to their Channels
Don’t forget to subscribe and ring that bell to get all notifications! Subscribers are like followers. However, subscribers play a more active roll in getting the content. They want it on their device as soon as it it’s available. Similar to a magazine subscriptions, podcast and video subscribers can often get content that’s not available to the general public. It’s a next-level of the list!
Since you’re subscribed to their channels, watch their live streams! You can even interact with them while they are live. Ask those probing questions that you’ve always been curious about understanding! Live streams are happening all the time, so tune in on your favorite network!
If you’re feeling really creative, do this. Write a blog on their site and share your testimonial from the customer perspective. If you’re feeling super fancy, do a video blog for them upload or embed on their site. You’ll forever have superfan status with this move!
19. Co-host a Local Business Podcast
Just like guest blogging, you can show up live to co-host a podcast on a mutually important topic. Co-hosting a podcast also brings your audience to the conversation. It doesn’t matter whose audience is the largest at the time of the recording. Long tail economics will make both of you winners from the investment.
20. Invite her to speak to your tribe.
After your one-on-one podcast, invite her to speak to your tribe. This can be your leadership team, the local Rotarians, a chamber of commerce, your church group, or your local meetup. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch. Ask them to talk about the problem they are solving for the community with their business. What drove them to discover this need? Done well, that opportunity will open many unseen doors.
21. Don’t Ask for a Discount
Quid Pro Quo is getting a really bad rap these days. So, if you’ve done any or all of these 20 free things, don’t ask for a discount on their products or services. While it’s not illegal. It’s tacky. Value local businesses so that they can return that value back to the local community tenfold.
Now it’s your turn
What did I forget? What would you add to this list of free things? Here’s your opportunity to do some of the items on this list! I’m looking forward to seeing you in action. Go for it!
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