The Secret to Standing Out as a Small Business
The biggest thing you can do to get noticed is to support others! Seriously. Work together with other small businesses to promote each other and you will exponentially grow your results and exposure! The only way that small businesses can compete with larger corporations and achieve economies of scale is, in fact, by joining forces!
When you join forces with other businesses (strategically of course), magical things happen. Here’s what to do:
1) Team up with businesses who have the SAME audience you’re trying to reach. You want to be in the same industry, but not competitors. In other words, find other businesses that have audiences who would be likely to buy your product. I know this seems so simple, but I cannot believe how many people I see collaborating who are going about this all wrong. Do it right and you’re literally DOUBLING your audience of potential customers.
2) Pick businesses who are at a similar place as you are. By having roughly the same amount of followers, and the same business size, you’re playing on an even field. Both parties are more likely to equally benefit. No one wants to leave the collaboration disappointed.
3) Your customers already trust you, and they will appreciate seeing you support another small business. That established trust will create a word-of-mouth like response to when you promote others. Your audience will check out what you’re recommending and vice versa.
4) Get the details of the party in an email or a message so that you can refer back to it. That way you both establish expectations and what your responsibilities will be from the start to avoid any potential confusion down the road.
5) When reaching out, you have to be specific with what you’re willing to collaborate on and your ideas. If you’re just like “hey, I’m so-and-so. Here’s my business and you should email me back if you want to collaborate,” people are not going to take you up on that. Specifics are the difference between someone being interested and someone taking action! People don’t want to search you down to see if you’re a good fit or wait for you to reply with more details, they want to be able to tell right off the bat.
Here’s a few potential ways to get your collaborations going!
1) If you have a blog for your business (which you should), create a gift guide or theme product round up (something similar to our Trend Reports). Include one or two of your own items, but the majority should be comprised of products from other businesses. Select items that compliment your business that your customers would also likely use. SHARE SHARE SHARE on social media and tag all the other businesses you included. I promise they will retweet, repost, and share with their followers (which will also be potential customers for you)!
2) Reach out to other small business owners directly! It’s a simple as, “Hey! I think our brands are super cohesive and I’d love to support each other. If you share my specials, I’ll share yours! Let me know how this sounds and if it would help, I can send over pre-written content.” Emphasize this is something mutually beneficial!
3) Consider pairing up with another small business to offer each other’s products as free gifts and incentives for extra exposure (this is great to take advantage of when everyone is running sales for the holiday season). You can even swap $5 gift cards to give to customers with a purchase.
4) Giveaways are also a great place to team up with other brands and support each other!
5) Suggest complementary products for each other on social media and in newsletters.
6) Share your business knowledge and advice by swapping guest posts on each other’s blogs or take over the other’s Instagram for a day! In this approach, you’re not only gaining visibility, but also credibility. Again, this ONLY works when you build alliances with businesses who match your audience.