This blog post goes for supporting ANY business – black owned, woman owned, a business owned by your friend, a business that aligns with your values. I know sometimes we WANT to support businesses but may not have the funds to do so or may just not be in the target market for the business. I always feel terrible when I can’t buy something for a business I want to support. BUT there ARE so many ways to support a business that costs nothing!
Two key points I want to throw in here before we get to this list:
Influencers are business owners
Listen, I’m not sure if you realize the WERK that goes into being an influencer but it’s a hell of a lot more than taking a cute photo and posting it to the gram. I know because I’ve been trying to become one and ummm it’s an entire full-time job and many of them work more hours than they did on their full-time jobs.
NO ONE OWES A BUSINESS THEIR SUPPORT
I’m going to repeat this right quick. NO ONE owes any business their support.
I don’t care if its your friends, your spouse, your auntie, your ex-boss, your mentor, your kids, the friend who’s business you supported – nobody owes you anything. It’s a business owner’s job to EARN support. Period. Also, not everyone is in your target market. Just b/c we’re friends does not mean you’re in the market for my macrame headboards (I don’t make macrame headboards guys). Now, if people choose to support your business, that’s dope! Be grateful.
Ok, let’s get to this list of ways to support for free.99
Perhaps you feel like you want to support your friends who are business owners, bloggers, and influencers but you just don’t feel you can buy their products or sign up for their courses. It’s ok. You don’t have to feel guilty but if you WANT some other ways to support your friends, here are a gang of ways you can do it:
- Get on their email list – Email is the most valuable lead a business has! The more folks on their email list, the more attractive they look to possible partners, sponsors, and even investors.
- Open their emails – Email stats are important and one of the key ones is open rates. If you open the email, their stats go up!
- Hang out on their website – Website stats also matter! Google analytics tracks how many times people hit the website AND how long folks are there. Just go to the site and spend 3-5 mins clicking around and getting familiar with content.
- Click on their blog posts – When you see them posting a blog post, click on it! Those page views definitely help boost a businesses “status” in these internet streets.
- Share their blog posts – Also share the blog posts on the social platform that makes the most sense. Bonus points if you share it in a relevant fb group with a lot of members.
- Follow them on all the platforms – Follower/subscriber numbers truly matter (noticing a trend about numbers and stats). Many times whether or not a business will get featured in a publication or considered for a partnership is solely determined by how many followers/subscribers they have.
- Comment on their posts – Posts with engagement are especially valuable to business owners and there is a hierarchy of engagement types. Likes are good, comments are even better.
- Repost, Reshare, Retweet posts – You have an audience that may now know this business or business owner, if they share something on social that might be interesting or cool, reshare it to your IG stories, your FB wall, or retweet it on twitter.
- Watch their IG, IGTV, YT, FB videos – Here we go again with the stats, the number of video views not only adds “social proof” to a businesses videos, it also boosts visibility to others. The more people who interact with the video, the more people the platform will show it to. (That actually goes for IG/FB/Twitter feed posts as well)
- Listen to their podcast – Just as with #9 above, the more people that listen to the podcast, the more people the platform will show it to. Ever noticed the “most popular” section of your podcast app, well that’s how people get there. Also, if they have a large amount of downloads, it’s more likely they can entice really great guests to be on their show AND get great sponsors.
- Listen to the podcast they were featured on – Give the podcast they were on a listen and help boost the downloads. So when the business owner pitches to be on another podcast they can say “I was recently a guest on the x podcast and it had x,xxxx downloads”.
- Leave a podcast review – Leave a review on the podcast! If you are supporting a guest on the podcast, be sure to mention the guest. Again this helps them with getting more features.
- Attend their free events – When they throw a free event, go to it! Often times free events are a lead in to getting sponsored events and the proposal will say “we had x number of people attend our last event”. You should be in that number!
- Promote their events – whether its a digital event, a live event, a trip, whatever the case may be, tell the people about it. Join the Virtual Street Team and get the word out!
- Introduce them to your audience – Businesses and influencers want and need access to as many people as possible that might be in their target market. You could share their social media page or website to your friends and followers and just state why people should go follow them or check them out.
- Feed them ideas – If you have a good idea for some content they should do, a product they should sell, a partnership they should pursue, a course they should take, anything, shoot the idea over!
- Have their back – When you see a typo in their post or if something looks off on their website or a link in their email doesn’t work, shoot them a quick note and let them know what you saw so they can fix it!
- Network for them – If there is someone in your network or someone you follow that might be a dope connection for the business owner or influencer, make an introduction!
- Recommend them for things – If you run across an opportunity that looks like it may be a GREAT fit for the business, business owner, or influencer, slide up in those DMs and recommend them for it!
- Offer to roll up your sleeves and help – You could always put in some manual labor. Offer to help pack orders, proofread a blog post, click the links on a website to make sure they work correctly, help do research.
Money is not the ONLY thing that’s important to a business, especially now where social media and internet presence are so important to businesses. You don’t always have to reach into your pockets in order to support a business (although most would ABSOLUTELY welcome your financial support).
But if you want to support a friend, a black business, a woman owned business, a socially conscious business, an environmentally friendly business and just can’t justify spending the money, the FREE actions in this list are absolutely great ways to also support business.
PS I’m so grateful you’re reading this! Thank you for being here. Not just because it boosts my viewer numbers and website stats 😉 but because the fact that you’re here means you WANT to support businesses in meaningful ways and I think that’s a beautiful thing. ❤️