There are so many ways you can support your favorite small businesses, and many of them don’t cost anything at all!
The following list is the product of my greatest wishes and frustrations – and a little research, commiserating, and brainstorming, too. As a solopreneur, I’m so busy creating content, programs, and products that I don’t have much time for social media and working with the ever-changing algorithms. (In fact, I stopped posting to my photography Facebook page altogether because the algorithm killed it.) There are all kinds of large and small headaches behind the scenes of your favorite small businesses, which in some cases is simply one person trying to make a living doing what they do best that adds positive value to the world while trying to get enough sleep to be able to continue doing it.
I hope you will find this list useful in helping you to support favorite small business owners and shopping small and local, in general. (I’ve taken the liberty to include some specific wish-list items and links of my own).
Ways to Support Your Favorite Small Businesses
Write a Positive Review/Testimonial
- For any products or services purchased or classes you’ve taken
- You need not write a book: A few heartfelt sentences will suffice.
- Post online and tag them.
- Email them directly with a testimonial they can use on their website, social media, etc.
- Indicate how to display your name (full name, name and initial, first name only, geographical area).
- Bonus: Give permission to include a small picture of you (boosts credibility of the testimonial).
Subscribe, Follow, and Engage with Their Posts on Social Media
- Comment, like, and share posts to amplify their online presence. (The algorithms can be brutal for solopreneurs who don’t have time to post much, and “organic reach” tends not to go very far.)
- A positive comment (words of encouragement, a nice hello, emoji, reply to product) goes a long way and tells the algorithm to keep showing you their posts.
- Share/repost their posts and tag a friend.
- Share both current and older blog posts on social media.
- Subscribe to their YouTube/Vimeo channel.
Sign Up for Their Newsletters/Mailing List
- You can sign up for mine on almost every page of my website.
- Forward newsletters to friends/family/colleagues who may resonate.
Buy and Gift Local Artwork and Products
- Order a print from a local photographer. (I offer my photography in a wide range of price points, from small, laminated images and greeting cards to poster prints and canvases.)
Post or Send a Picture and Give a Shout Out
- Take a picture of their product/art in your home .
- Photograph their shop/products at craft shows.
- Tag on social media or email directly.
Help Connect the Networking Dots
- Tag them in opportunities.
- Do you have a connection that could be a good fit?
Word-of-Mouth Recommendations to Family, Friends, Colleagues
- It goes a long way!
Cheer Them On
- Send a positive, appreciative, encouraging message.
Offer to Trade Services
- Not every small biz owner is open to trades, but it can’t hurt to inquire!
Buy Gift Cards/Subscriptions
Purchase Services & Products
- Pay with cash if possible.
- Don’t ask for discounts or freebies.
- Tip well, if you’re able.
Donate Items They Could Use
- For art works, product development, displays, packaging
- For photographers: picture frames (I currently am in need of frames for matted artwork 18″x24″ or thereabouts.)
For Portrait Photography Clients
- Share portraits with the photographer’s watermark/logo and tag them.
- If an image doesn’t have a watermark, be sure to tag them!
- Give permission to share a few of your images (on their website, social media, newsletter).
- Don’t edit professional images on your own, apply filters, etc. It compromises brand integrity/consistency.
Be Patient and Understanding
- Small business owners don’t have the resources of larger companies.
- Who and what do we serve by opting for fastest, cheapest, and more?
- Remember that small business owners work really hard and are only human.
Reach Out and Ask
- If you have some spare time, ask if there’s something you can do to help.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and will make a small business owner’s day!
Here Are a Few of My Featured Products
- 2024 Upper Hudson River Photography Wall Calendar
- Hudson River Sunrise Greeting Cards
- Loving Wisdom Card Deck
- Meditation Jar Lanterns
- Resource Your Life with the Magic of Mindfulness Online Course
- Private Photography/Mindful Photography Mentoring
Browse through the complete collection in my shop.
© 2022-2023 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this post or excerpts of it as long as you give proper credit to Susan Meyer and SusanTaraMeyer.com. Susan Meyer is a photographer, writer, and spiritual teacher who lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.