When Taylor Swift drops a new album—we share her music. When Kylie launches a lip kit—we buy it. When Kanye goes gospel—we all talk about it.
So how come, when the people we love launch a business or release a new product or create incredible content—most people cannot be bothered to support them?
I saw a conversation similar to this unfolding recently and it really hit home. Why is it more socially acceptable to celebrate a celebrity entrepreneur or famous creative than it is to support the small business owner next door?
I have been an entrepreneur for over a decade. I launched a photography business straight out of high school, created a wedding blog in college, and scaled a thriving community shortly after getting married.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past ten years as an entrepreneur is that having support is critical. Social proof matters and it can be a catapult for those hustling and grinding to build a business.
If it wasn’t for my friends and family cheering me on (even when my photos looked like they were taken with a potato) or sharing my work (even when I had to shamelessly ask)—I know that I wouldn’t have seen the same season of growth in those early years.
Today, I want to remind all of us that supporting small business doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money nor does it even require you to leave your home. You can champion the creative, entrepreneurial, dreamers in your everyday life… and it’s simple to do.
It is absolutely free to be an advocate for a friend who is running a small business. And if you’re willing to do it for Beyonce, shouldn’t you also do it for your friend?
Heck yes! I think so. Let’s talk about how!
5 Quick Ways to Support Small Business:
- Follow, like, & comment on their social media content. Engaging with small business owners’ content helps them to get more eyes on their work and also creates social proof that they have a community behind them. It also tells the Instagram and Facebook algorithms that the content they are sharing is relevant which helps them to break through the noise.
- Share about their business online and in person. Referrals are a game-changer for service and product-based businesses. In fact, it’s how a lot of them grow! So refer your small business friends whenever possible.
- Cheer them on! Running a business is hard and I mean really, really, really hard. Be an affirming voice in a sea of doubt. A kind note, email, or text message goes a long way when they are battling imposter syndrome.
- Respect their time. Your small business friend has a lot on their plate, and they’re likely doing the amount of work that most companies would have 3-4 people doing. Remember if they take a little while to get back to you, they still like you and want to talk and spend time with you. They just read your message, smiled, and kept on getting things done. Also, just because they work from home doesn’t mean they are free to hang out or can drop everything they are doing to help you at 10am on a Tuesday. Respect their time in the same way that you hope people respect yours.
- Pay full price. When you do want to hire them or purchase their product (because let’s be honest, they are awesome at what they do) don’t ask for a discount. Pay full price because they deserve it. And if they do offer you something for free—think about how you can support them. Perhaps repeat steps 1—4 and send them an unexpected gift, thank you card, or dinner out to show your gratitude.
Did you notice that 4 out of 5 of those suggestions didn’t involve spending money? Sometimes all we need is your voice, your advocacy, and your encouragement.
Supporting a small business can all the difference in someone’s life, so start showing up.