Updated: Aug 22, 2019
We’re just shy of 4 months until 2020, and everyone seems to on his or her hustle!! Whilst it may not be practical to keep buying 10+ of the same item your friend is selling or keep hosting events so you can give your cousin the amazing party planner some work, here are 7 simple and FREE ways to continuously support your network of friends and family in their business journey...
1. FOLLOW AND LIKE THEIR SOCIALS
This seems like the most obvious and easiest for people to do, so we will start here. No explanation necessary – I hope.
2. REPOST AND SHARE THEIR WORK
When you see a new piece of content that you love, that you can tell this person has put effort into or is super proud of, share it! The more eyes that get drawn to a person’s work and business the more brand awareness you create. Instagram stories are a perfect way to share other people’s posts. This won’t interrupt your own feed or content, plus story reach is statistically greater than those on the feed, so it’s a win-win for everyone! Be sure to tag their page as well and write a small tag line to guide people to head over to the business page. Some examples can be along the lines of ‘check out @username for [inset selling point]’ or ‘ love this from @username [describe product/service]’. This is a form of referral marketing, which brings us to the second tip…
3. REFER AND RECOMMEND THEIR BUSINESS TO OTHERS
If someone you know is asking for recommendations in an area another person you know can provide help with, speak up! Countless times people (some I personally know and some I don’t!) have tagged me in posts where others were asking for graphic design services, which lead to securing jobs or other business opportunities! I also make sure I return the favour and connect those people with the right network when I see appropriate work prospects. Referral marketing, aka word-of-mouth, in business is one of the greatest forms of advertising in terms of ROI (Return on Investment).
Here are some statistics:
92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know – Nielsen
People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend – Nielsen
77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. – Nielsen
81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts versus 78% who are influenced by the posts of the brands they follow on social media. – Market Force
43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends on social media. – Nielsen
84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products – making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness. – Nielsen
74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. – Ogilvy/Google/TNS1 offline word of mouth impression drives sales at least 5x more than 1 paid, and much more (as much as 100 times more) for higher-consideration categories. – WOMMAWord of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions. – McKinsey
71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
Consumers rely on word-of-mouth 2x to 10x more than paid media. – Boston Consulting Group
Word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. – MarketShare
4. SWAP YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
You can also barter your business services with your friends and family. This is very similar to collaboration, but you don’t have to take part in this at the exact same time. I will use real life examples for this one…
I have often traded my business services to friends in the beauty industry. They will do my hair/makeup for events, and I assist them in design needs or business marketing. Not only have we exchanged services at no monetary fee, but also in turn, they will get exposure from my posts when they do my hair or makeup, and I will get the exposure returned at a later date when they promote me as their graphic designer. This gives both of us the opportunity to a. have our work shown in real life situations eg at events (not just as an Instagram collaboration where it is a staged set up and no one outside of those 4 walls and the versions you post online see’s your work) b. get new content in the form of photos and videos from that event and c. have that content later shared and seen by both audiences which in turns drives double the consumer awareness and hopefully sales!
5. COMMENT AND ENGAGE WITH THEIR CONTENT
When you see a new post by someone you want to support, leave a comment! Comments drive the new social algorithm. If a post is receiving a lot of attention in the form of likes, comments and shares, Instagram will view this as a ‘popular’ piece of content, which leaves it on the feed for a longer period of time and shown to more people. Leaving a nice comment also makes people feel good! So take a second out of your scrolling and leave a comment on your friends content instead of on a celebrity post (I promise you Michael B Jordan isn’t waiting by his phone for your comment, and if he is, you should totally play hard to get!)
6. GIVE AND LEAVE FEEDBACK
If you have used a service or product and enjoyed your experience, go on to that business page and leave a lovely comment under a post (preferably one that relates to your own experience, the service you received or product you tried). Head to their Facebook page and leave them a rating as well! This builds consumer trust when others are looking through that page. Taking it back to point 3 on this list, referrals and recommendations go a long way in business! Also, don’t be afraid to give your friends constructive criticism. It is okay to have private conversations and point out what they are doing really well and any new ideas you may have for improvement. Especially if you fall in to the category of their target audience, your feedback is necessary and should be valued when delivered correctly and respectfully!
7. CONGRATULATE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS
i.e. BE A HYPE MAN.
When they secure a new client, complete a job they are proud of, an influencer or someone they admire finally wears or talks about their product or they make a new announcement or release a new product. Take time to acknowledge this, it can be a public acknowledgement in the form of a comment or message, or even a personal call or text to say you’ve seen this and well done!! “pay attention to those who don’t clap when you win”
And finally, not a freebie but I thought it was important to make note of…
When you do find yourself in need of a product or service a friend offers, USE THEM. And do not ask for discounts. If they offer one, that’s fine, but do not expect one and do not let them work for free. You would have spent the money else where so it only makes sense to support your friend’s hustle!
The more support you show others the more support you will likely see in return! Get to using your time online effectively.