When starting a small business, it takes a village. It takes time, work, and dedication to take an idea, a passion, a purpose, and make something with it. It takes exposure, awareness, and word of mouth for the business to find its audience and take off. From there, the trials and tribulations are never ending.
So what happens when your friend starts their own business?
It’s instinctual that we’d want to help our friend’s business in any way we can. Beginning with a purchase is a great way to start, but what else can you do? Supporting your friend’s business with a purchase doesn’t have to be the end. It can be the beginning.
Spread the Word
Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool in both physical and digital spaces. We tend to trust personal recommendations more than other forms of marketing because it comes from someone we know and trust. Spreading the word to your social networks online or in person is a very helpful way to increase awareness of your friend’s business to your social circles. Whether you’re at a social gathering, chatting with work colleagues, or in another casual setting, providing a word of mouth recommendation of your friend’s business is a great way to support your friend’s business.
Become an Engaging Participant on Social Platforms
An effective way to support your friend’s business after a purchase is to engage with their brand on social media. Liking posts, commenting with supportive words, tagging friends, and providing shout outs to your friend’s business gain more weight in the social media algorithm. As a result, higher engagement creates higher awareness and exposure for your friend’s business beyond your digital networks. If your friend is just starting their business, this is especially important because you can help your friend find her online audience.
Leave a Review
When we’re searching for specific products and services online without a word of mouth recommendation, many of us turn to online reviews. Star ratings, volume of reviews, frequency of reviews, and quality of reviews become a dependable source to verify and validate the quality of a product or service. Taking a minute to leave a review on platforms like Google or a testimony on your friend’s business website can help establish credibility and validity of their products and services. When potential customers explore these reviews, higher ratings and quality of reviews could make the difference for potential customers to take a chance and make a purchase for your friend’s business.
Visit Their Website
Another way you can support your friend’s business after your first purchase is to visit their website. Be sure that you don’t leave too quickly though, as this is a practice called ‘bouncing’ that can have a negative impact on the site’s ranking. Instead, spend some time reading their blogs, leaving positive comments, and exploring each page. If you experience any problems or difficulties navigating a page, be sure to mention it to your friend because other potential customers could face similar navigation problems and be deterred from making a purchase. Visiting your friend’s website can go a long way toward improving their ranking on search engines.
Be on the Lookout for Events and Opportunities
Another way you can help your friend’s business is to keep an eye out for events and opportunities that might be a potential opening for your friend’s business. Any chance to get a business’s name out there in the world, either at a craft show, networking event, classes, and more can benefit your friend’s business. The more people know about a business, the better! Drop any assumption you might have about what may or may not be of interest to your friend. A heads up for any event is helpful.
Be There as a Friend
Life is stressful, and the pressures are no less when running a business. Offering your time to your friend can make a big difference during times of stress. Just letting your friend know that you’re there for a cup of coffee, dinner, or a quick chat on the phone can be all that it takes to help them through a difficult time.
It Takes a Village
Supporting your friend’s business after the first purchase is invaluable for their confidence and esteem. Even reminding your friend that you’re proud of them and the work that their doing is vital to supporting their professional journey. An investment of time and cheering on your friend can make all the difference in their world.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
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