Ways to Support Online Small Businesses

There are PLENTY of ways to support small businesses without buying. Every little bit counts and it's super appreciated! There's a list of ways to do so for your favorite online shops.
1) Favorite their shop.
It's simple to do and you can get updates from their shop for new products. People browsing may come across your profile and go through your list of your favorite shops.

2) Favorite their products
Do this for ones you really like. Your followers will see your favorites and others will see this as they come across your profile. Shop owners go through their stats and like to see which products are popular. This is super helpful!

3) Share their links and images on social media. 
Most shops will have share buttons on their products like Etsy and Storenvy. You can tweet it, share on Facebook and more.  Retweet and add your own comment.  Share an image with a link on your other social media accounts.

Remember if you regram- tag them in the caption where it's visible!

4) Share a product in a collection/treasury.
I love to see this. Put together a theme of products in a treasury on Etsy or a collection elsewhere. Let them know you featured them! These pages usually have share buttons so shop owners can share the link with their followers.

5) Share a product on your blog
It doesn't have to be a completely solo post about their shop, just one shared product in your faves or wishlist posts is quite nice. People may have Google Alerts set up and seeing their product pop up in a post feels pretty amazing.

6) Follow them on social media
If you like them, do it! Engage with them, like their content or just lurk throughout updates haha.

7) Give a compliment
This can be done on their instagram, blog, over twitter and even on the marketplace listing of a Storenvy product! These are always nice to read.

8) Recommend or give out their business cards to friends
If you have a friend that may be interested then yes, pass on a link!  Sometimes you get multiple business cards in your order. Remember sharing is caring! ;)

9) For online presences-  If you MUST ask for freebies, don't ask for too much
If you feel like you can work together well then go for it.

Be careful asking for free products and don't get your hopes up high because  small businesses are *gasp* SMALL! Always consider that they may be self employed and/or a one-person team.

Giving up a product sacrifices time and money with no sure guarantee of benefits (like tons of traffic or an actual sale). Some only do MADE TO ORDER because supplies can get expensive. This is why some are quick to say no.

10) Put their button on your blog.
Love the shop THAT much? Why not put up a button for them in your sidebar?  I know some people are super fixed on not doing free ads but not all small businesses have extra money on the side to pay for ads yet!


1. Buy a product or two!
Yes, handmade is generally more expensive but everything is made with love, hard work and lots of time. Buy for yourself, family or friends. It could be a great gift for someone :)

2) Share across social media
Instagram it or share a picture on other social media. Tag their account, share a link and/or use their hashtag. We love to see these especially if you're using the product. We may even want to feature it on our own accounts. ;)

3) Blog about it
Review it as a solo post or include it into your post (ex: "Latest Haul!")  It's not required to share their social media links but a link back to their product/shop is appreciated.

4) Leave a review
Do this on their shop/website and include a picture of you using it, if possible!

5) Buy a giftcard/e-voucher for someone else.
Know someone who would love their products? Do it!! You can always ask if they don't have the option in their shop.

So you want freebies? 

Important things to consider! You may not be the only one asking. I always get messages from randoms wanting freebies and sending their stats over. I've never heard of them before and they have never tried to interact with me once or since.  

Read policies before asking. There might be information on whether they allow it or have certain requirements for sponsors. It might be risky to jump in asking first before reading. You might not come off as genuine and as if you're sending out a mass message to other shops.

1) Pitch yourself well.
What can you offer to them? Why would they choose you over the rest?

You need to show this. Stats don't mean much because you can have high stats and little views/interactions. We can tell who bought their followers.  Larger stats don't necessary mean good if nobody is actually reading or interacting.

2) Build a relationship with them
Shop owners notice who has stuck around the longest with support. If your first interaction with a brand is asking for free stuff, a good chance you'll be rejected.  Get to know them. Interact with them. Share off what you've actually bought from them.

You can't just walk into a store and ask a stranger for free products, right?  Having a prior relationship will be super helpful. Sometimes the shops will come to you.

2) Remember stats are nice but NOT everything
I partnered up with a blogger to find out for myself. They had thousands of followers and 100+ comments per blog post. It's been a few years and never once did their followers use her discount code. Only a small amount actually clicked onto the link. Tip: Track your links.

It's easy to find out whether someone has bought their followers through giveaways or doesn't make effort in reaching out to other bloggers/youtubers.

Support the community! Be genuine, build real connections and don't do this 'comment for comment' crap.

3) Keep it relevant
What kind of content do you create or share? 
Would it actually fit with your blog, social media and/or youtube channel?

For example: a youtuber wanted me to send them my plushies. Their blog and channel mainly consisted of nail art. Even though anyone can like anything... the target market at a glance wouldn't mesh with my products.  

A better fit would be someone who shares handmade, DIY, geek, cute things, etc on a regular basis like one of my favorite blogs, Dorkface.

3) Don't try to be friends with the intentions of getting freebies
Dropping those hints so strong. We notice this and it's rude.

4)  Complaining/negative comments about the price
That is a mistake. Their target market obviously sees the value and would pay for it. If you aren't even remotely their ideal customer, then why would we send you something for free?

What are your favorite ways to show support?

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