By Kendra Holaday
Hey y’all! You know what one of my favorite things about a Small Business is? The friendliness and feeling that you’re dealing with real people. Sure, my love for shopping means the employees at my favorite stores in the mall recognize me when I walk in (no shame!), but it’s still a big business. You might know sales associates for the local store but you’ll never see the owners or designers. With small businesses, chances are you’ll not only see the owners and designers, those are the people you’ll be interacting with every time you’re there! Even when I know I shouldn’t be spending $40 on a romper or $20 on some new decoration for my apartment, I feel better knowing the money I spent is helping the family of the business owner as well as them accomplishing their dreams. It’s a bonus when those people are also in the store and have friendly conversation with you when you stop by!
Alright, where am I going with this post right? Well, what if you extended the friendliness and personal touches outside of your business/office and client meetings? Where can you add personality and “real life-ness”? Keep reading to find out!
(And yes I just made up that word. For the purpose of this post we’ll pretend “real life-ness” means having a family, goals, real life successes and struggles, showing what you like and dislike, etc.)
The first way to showcase this personality and make customers feel like they know you is through social media! Whether it’s random posts or if you have a certain day of the week you like to venture away from strictly business, there are multiple ways to add that “real life-ness” to your business. Social media can be a great way to show a snapshot into your life. Some of my favorite boutiques, here in CoMo and around the country, will feature images of their families, photos wearing their products at a recent event, their favorite quotes, or them redecorating their stores as a break from just featuring their products.
I have one more idea to show your personality and “real life-ness”, blogging! – I promise blogging is not as hard as you might think it is. If it is YOUR blog then you have all the freedom in the world to post about anything you want! You don’t have to set deadlines, specific topics, or worry about a grade like you did in English 1000.. You can use your blog for more than just showing your personality and talking about your “real life-ness” too. You can share what you’ve learned and help future and current entrepreneurs, write in more detail about your own products or services, or a variety of other things! Ways I’ve seen small business owner blogs share personality and let outsiders into their personal lives is by writing about their family, recent adventures, faith, or big news.
Need some examples of what to post? Check out my ideas below!
1. Post about something you enjoy doing. For me I could include reading a book, drinking coffee, spending time with family, watching a baseball game, or a variety of other things!
2. Share one of your favorite items from your business. Maybe each Friday you pick the favorite thing in your store at that moment. This is not only a way to feature things you enjoy, but you also get to advertise some of your products.
3. Include your family and/or friends. Show your busy weekend at your daughter’s soccer tournament, how messy this new project with your sister has made your kitchen table, enjoying your favorite artist this past weekend at a concert, or whatever you’ve been up to with the people you are closest to!
4. Show the behind the scenes of your business. Maybe your favorite hobby is exactly what your business sells. Instead of showing only the final product, show the process it takes to get you there. When people see the work behind that invitation, beautiful photograph, or warm scarf they see that it didn’t just magically appear!
5. Feature your favorite products outside of your business. Obviously you want to feature items to help you sell, but give a glimpse of your life outside of work. Do you love Kate Spade like me? Have some Hunter rain boots that came in handy on a rainy day? Found a book that you absolutely related to? Share some pictures or stories associated with those things!
6. Share things you value and believe in. This could include a good work-life balance, your faith, a mentor you’ve always looked up to, a healthy lifestyle, or anything you want!
7. Lastly, share successes, struggles, and reasons to be thankful. It doesn’t have to be all of them, they don’t have to be super detailed, and if you aren’t comfortable, don’t post it! I know as a customer though, when I see a small business has shared on Instagram that their stores success has helped them purchase a new home or vacation for their family, it encourages me to support small businesses more! Struggles are a little different, but maybe it’s something as simple as struggling with time management and a way you’re working to be better at it. I know I can 100% relate to that struggle!
for stopping by Small Biz Friday! –