5.02.2017

3 Ways To Support an Indie Entrepreneur with out Spending a Dime

Right now I'm sure you've got a number of people you know IRL & online sharing their indie business venture all over your social feeds.  Whether its a college friend who's started their own pottery biz, or an online aquaintance slinging her direct sales clothing line, or a high school buddy rocking their fitness training - I'm sure your Facebook feed is full of individuals trying & succeeding at running a business for themselves.
support small business with out spending a dime
It is very, very hard to get noticed as a small business.  And even harder when you're staring brand new.  Often people start with who they know, so they will follow you on various platforms with their business accounts in the hopes that you will follow back.  Gaining exposure is the whole reason we all use social media.  Your small business owning friends are hoping that this exposure will lead to sales and business success.  Sometimes the business ventures of our close friends don't align with what we may really need in our lives - I don't need a custom wood cutting board even though it's a pretty stinking awesome idea - but we want to support them any way.  How can we support them when we really aren't into buying what their selling?  Here are three ways to help them succeed with out spending a dime.

Interact with their Business Social Media Accounts
Social media accounts gain more credibility the more individuals interact with them.  This is true for both Instagram and Facebook.  You may notice that the more you interact with a certain account on these platforms the more content you see from these accounts.  The more engagement an account has the more appealing it is and the more likely it is to be organically promoted by the platform.  For example, from a blogger perspective, the more likes/comments/interactions on a social media account the more appealing the account is to brands that may be looking for influencers to promote their brand.  It often seems suspicious if an Instagram feed has 10k followers but only has an average of 30 likes per post.  Brands may suspect the individual has purchased followers rather than gained them organically.  So if you simply interact with the social feeds of the indie businesses you care about instead of just giving a follow to your college roomate's new business Instagram or Facebook page, you will increase their credibility.  It is very easy to double tap a heart or leave a short comment every once in a while.

Share Their Content on Your Platforms
If you share the content of businesses you like on your social feeds, you can guarantee two things - 1) the post will read new viewers, and 2) if the business already has a good hashtag game, their post may show up twice in hashtag searches.  You don't have to have a lot of followers on a platform like Instagram either.  You both don't have the same exact friends and you both don't have the same exact followers.  Also, your unique content is already being viewed through your hashtag game so if someone finds your profile, they may also see that content you shared and interact on that page.  Of course, as we go a long the degrees of separation increase so the likely hood of interaction will decrease as well...but I can't tell you how many times someone has shared in a Facebook group 'Oh my friend owns such and such check them out for whatever was asked.'  I have found many wonderful shops and services by happening upon their site from a feed I follow.

Recommend their Business to Friends
This goes a long with the previous tip - if someone asks for a recommendation for custom wood cutting boards, recommend your friends business!  While that's really specific, if you're ever in a conversation about a thoughtful gift, a specific need, or related request suggest your friend's business first.  Shopping with and supporting small business is the key to their growth - like duh - but even if you can't spend a dime maybe you can help someone else spend theirs.

Support for your social sharing friends doesn't have to be costly on your end.  We all can't drop change when someone shares their newest hustle on our Facebook feed but helping them reach their goals is as easy as interaction & promotion.

How do you help your friends grow their businesses?

xoxo, Moe

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