One of the many bonuses of living in a smaller city like Airdrie, is that we have so many budding and successful local businesses. We have so many options right here among our neighbors. That being said, it can also feel a bit overwhelming. I mean, there's no way you can be expected to do all your spending, totally local. How can one person support so many small businesses? Not to mention the financial obligation of choosing small, local businesses over big names like Amazon and Walmart. Here's the thing, there are MANY ways to support local businesses, without spending any extra dollars*. Here are 10 ways to support local businesses, that are mostly, almost, totally free.
1) Write a Google Review: Google and being seen on Google is absolutely essential for businesses these days. If you are not seen on Google, you will be almost invisible online. Leaving an honest review on your favorite businesses not only helps others find them, it tells Google that your business deserves to be found in searches. 2) Search in Your City: Another great way to help people find your local businesses, is to target your google searches locally. This will bring up keywords on local business profiles and listings, as well as tell Google what people are searching for locally most often. So, for example, "cake baker Airdrie", or "Airdrie photographer". Even if what you are searching for could be a countrywide service, putting your municipality boosts search results for local businesses that are listed on Google. 3) Leave a Facebook Review: Taking the time to leave an honest review on Facebook is such a compliment to a small business. It encourages interaction in real time between the business and the community. It will help others quickly get a sense of what others have experienced. And the almighty algorithm will take notice. Don't forget to follow the page as well. 4) Interact with Social Media Content: Let me tell you. Keeping up with social media is a full time job for a business. It's exhausting. And one of the least rewarding parts of using social media, is that even if you put your heart and soul into your posts, it can be a true reality that NO ONE will see them anyway. We need YOU to interact with our posts so that the platforms put our posts in the feeds and people actually see us. How do you interact? It's so easy. Comment on the posts. That's the best way to interact. It can be as simple as, "I like this". Next, like, love, even angry react is an interaction. Finally, share. Share once, or many times. You know those Reels that are always in your feeds, over and over? Those have been repeatedly shared. Any interaction helps our businesses be seen on social media. Multiple interactions helps our pages and profiles be seen more often. And that's how people can connect with us! (TLDR: comment on our posts). 5) Spread the Word: This one is so easy. We've been doing this one since the beginning of commerce. TELL PEOPLE! I'd say about 80% of Kendra Paige Photography clients come from word of mouth and I can't feel more special about that. Tell your friends, family and peers about businesses you love. Tag them in social media posts. And share your experiences on your own social media, along with a tag. 6) Tag and Share: This one is basically the same as #5, but with less effort. You don't need to be filling up your time writing referrals and recommendations. Just tag us. Posting a picture of a meal you enjoy? Tag! Wearing an outfit from a local vendor? Tag! Notice a business is having a sale? Share their post to your stories. This is so, so helpful and so, so easy. 7) Pay the List Price: Okay, this one isn't exactly "free". I can tell you with utmost confidence that most small, local businesses are not trying to price gouge you or rip you off. MOST of these businesses are nickel and diming themselves to remain in a semi-profitable bracket. Yes, it costs more for a little shop, without any corporate support, to operate their business. And yes, their pricing might be slightly more than what you can find at the big guys. But I promise your dollars are going WAY further into the community and with much more personal effect when you pay to shop locally. When you support local, you literally support the actual person running that business. It's a tremendous, enduring thing to do. Every time you pay more to shop local, you are supporting EVERY local business! It's actually pretty cool how shopping locally can improve the economy. (TLDR: discounts would put us out of business). 8) Thrift Locally: This one might feel like a bit of a stretch. When you donate to local thrift stores you have the chance to support more than one business and organization. First, you support the thrift store. Second, you support the wonderful less waste factor of buying secondhand. Third, often thrift stores are associated with local charities. Fourth, you're supporting one more employer that offers a job opportunity. And lastly, you can keep locally made products in the community. Have a locally, handmade pair of baby booties? Thrift them! 9) Nominate Your Favorites: Many municipalities have local polls that proclaim the "best" of the area. When your newspaper, or community organization or whatever runs a "Best of", nominate us! Don't leave it up to someone else. Make sure your community hears about the good ones. 10) VOTE Locally: Your votes count, and as local businesses, we need you to tell your elected officials that we matter to you. Don't forget to check in on your MLA's, city counselors, boards, committees, the mayor, and see what they are doing to keep business local. As a small, one person operation, Kendra Paige Photography only thrives locally. I truly, fully appreciate every single client. And even if you can't or don't need my services, I THANK YOU for supporting me in all these other ways. #supportlocal #shoplocalairdrie