As someone who works for a small business and has for 10 years now, I’ve often thought of the question, “How do you support a small business for free?”
It might seem like you have to spend money or shop at the store, but that’s not actually the case.
Did you know some of the best ways to support small businesses are things you can do for free?
Yep, it’s true.
And a lot of them you can do right from the comfort of your own home on your phone, tablet, or computer.
You always hear about how important small businesses are.
Small businesses are the backbone of America, especially those in your local community.
Walmart, Target, Applebees, Taco Bell….those places are everywhere.
But, the local coffee shop that brews your favorite blend, that’s special.
The small bakery in town that makes amazing blueberry muffins, that’s the only one in the country.
Your favorite photographer in the region is trying to get their beautiful images out there to book more clients.
The list of local businesses could go on and on.
But no matter who they are or what they do, getting their name and brand out there is important.
Keep reading to learn more about the 10 best ways to support a small business for free!
The easiest and number one way to support a small business for free is to follow them on social media.
This might seem obvious, but one of the best ways you can support a small business for free is to follow them on social media.
Pick your favorite account and follow them there. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever it is.
Most companies nowadays have multiple ways you can connect and follow them on social media, so just pick what is most convenient for you.
For me, it’s typically always Instagram, but I do try to follow brands and people I like on Facebook or Pinterest too.
How to support a small business for free? – Like and comment on social media posts!
Now that you are following the person or brand, like their posts and leave comments too!
Did they ask a question like, “How’s your Monday going?”
Well, then answer it!
It sounds really simple, and that’s because it is!
They want your likes and comments and to connect with you.
I know I want to know how your Monday is going because if it’s bad I want to help try to make it better!
Whenever I post something on social media, it’s because I want to engage with my readers and followers and get to know them better so I can provide better things for them.
I promise you that small business you love is looking for the same thing!
They want your feedback and likes, so don’t be afraid to engage with them. It makes a difference.
Third on the list – Review a product
Along those same lines, if you have bought something or used something from a small business, write a review.
Tell people what you love about it and why.
Tell your friends and family!
Shout it from the rooftops (okay maybe not that), but you get the idea.
The bottom line is if you like something, tell people about it.
It’s one of the things I love doing with my coffee reviews, telling people about a small coffee roaster that might be completely new to them.
There are so many roasters out there that have such amazing blends and messages behind their brand.
And I love that I can share those brands with my readers!
Be sure to check out my coffee section on the blog for the latest brands and blends I’ve reviewed.
If you sign up for KT’s Coffee Corner, you’ll be the first to learn about anything new coffee-related I’m working on as well as upcoming companies I’ll be reviewing on the blog!
It’s like a coffee preview every month.
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Post a picture of their product
This is something I’m trying to get better at because I do try to shop small when I can.
But actually posting a picture of what you bought from a small business helps them out so much!
You can tag the company on your Instagram or Facebook (assuming they have one) and share what you love about the product.
It’s like a bonus way to write a review of a product.
Even on my personal page, I like sharing things I’ve bought from different companies because I like the product and want my friends and family to see what it is and maybe try it out too.
It’s like a free advertisement for the company too and they always love that! 🙂
Share blog posts
Any average blogger is likely a small business (like me!).
But, a lot of small businesses that have a brick-and-mortar store or sell a product have a blog on top of that too.
It’s a good way to build up interest and talk more about a brand’s history, what they do, and their products.
Share those blog posts if you see them!
Especially if it’s a brand you love and they break down maybe how their business works or what their product does.
It’s a free way to promote their stuff and it means a lot.
I love when coffee roasters take the time to read my blog posts and then share them with their followers on social media.
It brings a huge smile to my face and I’m so happy they took a few minutes out of their day to read my thoughts about their coffee.
Sign up for email lists (and actually stay on them!)
Look I’m as guilty as the next person at subscribing to something and then unsubscribing a few days later.
We all are.
But, since joining this small business world as a blogger, I’ve learned how important email subscriptions are.
I’m on a lot of email lists for products, coffee brands, new blog alerts, blogging courses/tips…you get the idea…there are a lot of emails that come my way every day.
And it can be overwhelming. But, I’ve learned some easy ways to manage all those emails so that I don’t unsubscribe and actually stay on those lists.
Below are my top three tips for managing your email subscriptions:
- Some bloggers or brands let you opt for a weekly or monthly only email.
This is my preference when it’s for a product-based company especially. I don’t need an email every day about the product. I already know what it is and why I love it. So just change your email frequency if they offer something like that.
- Only get updates/emails for what you need.
For example, there are a number of good old-fashioned bloggers I follow and have for years (A Lady in London is one). I just like getting the updates for when a new blog post is published, so that’s all I’m signed up for. Nothing more.
- Send things directly to a folder in your email.
This is one of my favorite ways to manage emails, especially for things I don’t need to see right away (I use this with a lot of things for my day job especially…I sometimes get 100+ emails in one day). So, rather than having everything come directly to your inbox, send them to a specific folder. Maybe you follow a lot of bloggers and get alerts whenever they post a new article. Make a folder or label called “blog posts” and just send all the emails there. Then you can get to them on your own time and they aren’t cluttering your inbox.
Sign up for text alerts too!
Along the same lines as an email list, a lot of companies (even small ones) now do text alerts.
This can be a great way to get a surprise additional discount for products that you love and it really doesn’t take any effort on your part.
It’s just a text message that comes across that you can choose to do something with or not.
But, typically you are the first to know when a sale happens or new changes are coming if you are signed up for text alerts.
And, that helps support the company too!
How to support a small business for free? – Use one of their freebies
A lot of bloggers have free things you can use if you sign up for their email lists. Find something that interests you that your favorite blogger is promoting and use it!
There are so many bloggers I follow and network with that have such great stuff that is absolutely free!
Some awesome things I’ve downloaded that are completely free include:
- Free social media and Pinterest templates from Online Blog and Business Help
- This awesome Easter Activity Placemat from Ever Harc
- Amazing free stock photos for mom and parent blogs from Ivory Mix
- My favorite meal planner kit from Domestically Creative
And if you use any freebies, for either personal or business use, and you like it, promote it!
Share the awesome free tool or resource you found with friends and family (just like I’m doing here!).
Sometimes I even send freebies I find to friends or family if I think they would like them. Any little thing like that always helps.
And, speaking of freebies, I’ve got a FREE Work From Home Planner.
Filled with Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and even Yearly templates it works great no matter how you like to manage and plan your schedule.
There are even pages for goal setting, brain dumps, and vision boards. It’s got a little bit of everything and something for every type of employee/business.
Sign up below to get access to this free planner!
Display a company’s sign in your front yard
You know how you see those signs for a roofing company or maybe a lawn care company in people’s yards?
That’s free advertising for that business.
If you have or know of a great company that did any work on or around your house (or even a family/friend’s house) ask if they have a small sign you can put in your front yard.
Place it by your mailbox for a few months and it’s free advertising for that company.
How to support a small business for free? Send a message to the person or company
This is one of my favorite things to do.
If you really love the content someone makes or the products they sell, tell them!
I know it’s so hard putting yourself out there like that (trust me, I’m still working on it myself).
But, with my blog, I’ve experienced first-hand what it means when someone tells you they love something you wrote or created.
It just fills you with joy.
I’m telling you, if you buy something from a small business or read an article that you love written by a blogger, tell them.
Send them a direct message on Facebook or Instagram. Or, better yet, send them an email.
I promise you it will mean the world to them.
I hope I’ve helped answer the question of “How to support a small business for free?”
There are so many amazing small businesses out there and so many easy, free ways you can support them.
So choose one or two of these and help that local company or blogger you love out!
And, if you are a small business or small blogger reading this and making content, keep going!
I know it’s hard, but keep making the things that you love and sharing them with your followers and readers.
Special thanks to everyone that reads this blog and supports me in any of the ways above too. I appreciate every single one of those, more than I could ever say.
Seriously, thank you! 🙂