Often, small businesses have great ideas for products and services that would appeal to a niche or even a wide market. Yet, despite their success at creating a viable product, they are ill-equipped to promote their business to the public, especially online.
Online marketing is one of the most vital marketing ventures a business of any size can undertake. Sometimes small businesses are unaware of the importance of online marketing, or are unable to keep up an online presence.
That's where a seasoned blogger like you comes in.
To a small business in desperate need of an online shout-out, you are a beacon of hope, a glimmer of opportunity - even if the small business doesn't know it yet.
If you want to get connected to your favorite small businesses, give their reputation a digital facelift, and potentially get paid to do it, listen up. Blogs like yours are a great way to promote the products and services of your favorite small businesses.
If your readership is large enough, you can provide these small businesses with a wealth of potential customers with just a few words on their behalf. Here's how you can get started:
Think of your favorite small businesses
When you look to become an "official" blogger of a business, make sure it's a business you have an interest in and are willing to promote. Although a genuine positive remark about a small business' products or services will be apparent to your readers, an insincere positive remark is just as apparent.
It's also important that, if you want to discuss a business on your blog, that the business fits your blog's theme. Although you could refer to your favorite coffee shop on your fashion blog, it would seem odd to constantly mention an antique store on your technology blog.
Once you have a list of small businesses you are interested in, limit yourself to just a few, or even just one. That will be more manageable.
Reach out to businesses on social media accounts
Just like you'd interact with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter, communicate with small businesses on social media.
A few ways to network:
- Like or comment on their updates, photos, etc.
- Praise their products and/or services
- Share their campaigns with your followers or friends on your own social media accounts
- Link back to the business' website or Facebook page on your profiles
This will show them that you are interested in them as a consumer and as a marketing expert. This will help you develop a relationship with the small businesses before you approach them about blogging.
Tell them how you can help
Once a positive relationship has been established from your efforts on social media, reach out about your interest in their business. Mention how their website would benefit from a blog specifically themed around the business. Offer your services as a blogger.
Offer your services as a social media advisor
Explain how the business could benefit from your expertise. A social media consultant keeps subscribers, followers, and interested customers informed of the business' news. Social media consultants would keep platforms such as Facebook and Twitter current, and spin positive content.
From the small business perspective - what would you recommend for bloggers trying to work with small businesses? Does your small business work with bloggers to promote their brand? Do you have additional tips on how bloggers or small businesses can work together?