Five Ways You're Not Supporting Your Friend's Small Business
Supporting small business is easy with a few simple steps.
Etsy. Teespring. Café Press. Lularoe. Pampered Chef. Tictail. YouTube. WordPress. Vocal.
These are just a handful of the ways to make real money, working from home, from the comfort of the internet. There are easily a couple hundred, maybe even a thousand more. And more and more people are using these, either to create a full time living or to subsidize a traditional paycheck.
If you have access to social media (or even if you don’t), chances are excellent that you know at least one person who is connected to someone who is working from home, using the internet as their office space. Chances are fair that you know a few.
Chances are also fair that you could be doing more to help your friend make their living. Here are six things that you are doing wrong when it comes to helping your friend, working from home.
You are not accepting invitations.
Even before the internet, catalog marketing companies like Avon or Tupperware relied on their employees to host parties to drum up sales. Today, these parties are still the best way for sellers to market their products but more often than not, they are using Facebook to host their parties, in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.
Where they may only know a couple people in their physical neighborhood, they can send invitations to every one of their Facebook friends from college, high school, previous jobs, and get 20 or 30 people involved. Not accepting invitations to these parties blocks you from participating in them or even inviting other people who may be interested.
You are not following their pages.
Setting up a Facebook page or Instagram page specifically devoted to marketing whatever they are marketing has become one of the first steps in building a work from home business. The next step is to share that page with all of their friends. The more people who follow the page to receive updates, the more visibility the page receives, not to mention the more administrative privileges become available to your friend, slash the page administrator.
You are not clicking their links.
There is little less discouraging than knowing that you aren’t making sales because no one is even looking at your products. Returning to the idea of social media marketing, posting links to online stores or blog posts is the quickest, fastest way to reach the most people possible. But it is only as effective as the people it reaches.
By clicking links, you are telling the Facebook algorithm that you are interested in what that person is sharing. The more you do it, the better you train the algorithm, the more likely you will be to see that person’s posts more consistently.
You are not sharing their links.
Maybe you’re not a kitchen dweller so your friend selling Pampered Chef products isn’t going to have a lot you are interested in buying. Maybe you don’t wear jewelry so you aren’t going to find much in your friend’s Etsy shop. But just because you aren’t interested doesn’t mean you don’t know someone else who might be.
Sharing links means more people will see them. And if you share mutual friends (realistically, how many Facebook friends do you have that are your friend alone, with whom you don’t share any other mutual friends? I’m guessing not many.) sharing links doubles the chance that those mutual friends will see the posts.
You are not saying anything about the links when you do share them.
Simply making a quick note that your “friend makes super cute stuffed toys out of old T-shirts” will not only personalize the post and sets it apart from the rest of the noise on social media, it also gives people a reason to want to click. Between helping a friend of a friend (see also: a real person) and finding super cute stuffed toys made from old T-shirts, there is incentive to click the link.
While it goes without saying that the best, most obvious way to support your friend’s small internet-based business is by purchasing their product, there are other ways you can still support them, even if their product isn’t in your tastes or your budget. The internet has made the world a much smaller space, giving small business owners access to an almost infinite pool of potential customers. But that pool only becomes infinite through word of mouth, through friends supporting friends.