An open letter to friends and family on how to help me promote my online business


More times than not, friends and family have no idea how to converse with you about your new online business, let alone help you out to support your venture. Even if they have no idea what the business is or how it works, they can still help.

Dear friends and family,

I have started a new business. Whether or not that is exciting for you, it is a big frickin’ deal to me.

I appreciate all of your “Congrats” and kind gestures such as, “if there is anything I can do to help, let me know.” I truly am thankful for your support and there may come a day that I need you to crowdfund my bankruptcy, so I’ll keep that ‘help’ you offered in mind.

I know that you may have no interest in the sphere that my business is in nor what I do on a day to day basis. That is just fine. God knows I don’t care what you do in your cubicle every Monday through Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

With that being said, there are a few things that you can do to support me on this journey and help my business to grow.

Familiarize yourself with the business

When a friend opens up a brick and mortar business, we happily make the pilgrimage into the new joint to show our support.

“Did you hear? Louise opened up a kombucha brewery. I have no idea what that is, but let’s all go on Friday night and check it out.”

The equivalent of you sucking down Louise’s kombucha on a Friday night would be for you to simply visit my website.

Take a few minutes out of your instagram scrolling super busy life and look at my site. Scroll through it and read a bit. I took a lot of time and effort in choosing the wording correctly so that it is easy for users to understand. And hell, if you don’t understand it, let me know! Maybe you are not alone and my UX (user experience) is shite.

Did you know that if you spend time on my site, scroll down the page and click around, that Google sees that and it helps my ranking? True story. (maybe)

Nothing would make me happier than if you came to me and asked about something you read on my blog. Opening a dialogue about the project I am pouring my blood, sweat and tears into shows that you really care.

Like my damn Facebook page

This is tedious work, I know. That tap of the notification to like the page I suggested to you is super time consuming. But! I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to click like.

I just timed it and it takes two seconds, maybe three if you have slow fingers.

If you REALLY want to show support you will then like the posts that I post on said page.

If you REALLY REALLY want to change my future for the better, you will click on the links that we share and read them. Just kidding, I don’t expect to actually read the things that I share! I really just want Facebook to think that what I am sharing is interesting so it will give me ‘algorithm points’ (this is real).

If you open a link that I post, FB then thinks that you like me and just maybe my posts will show up in your feed again in the future.

I’m going to rank how your interaction helps my Facebook algorithm (numbers are just for demonstration).

  • Like +1
  • Emotion reaction +2
  • Clicking on the link +3
  • Commenting +4
  • Sharing onto your page +5.

The more ‘points’ I have, the more I will be seen by other people who may be potential customers.

(All of the above goes for LinkedIn as well)

Follow me on the Gram

I see you there, watching insta stories like your life depends on it.

As with Facebook, interaction matters. It is much appreciated when you like my posts. If you are ever feeling super motivated, let me know you care by commenting on a post.

When it comes to Instagram stories, I get Insta-juju-points if you comment on a story.

You are there anyway, you might as well help a sistah out and do some good while your eyes are glued to your screen.

Mention my business to people

This gesture is definitely the hardest of all of the things I have mentioned. It requires some knowledge of what it is that the business actually does.

Perhaps you are stuck sitting next to your bosses’ weird IT guy boyfriend at the Christmas party. This may be the perfect awkward thing to bring up to break the even more awkward silence.

Quick, get out your phone and read the ‘About’ on our FB page or the description on our Instagram profile.

Even better, Google my company name and then just hand him the phone with our page up and forego conversation altogether.

Don’t have your phone on you? It’s ok, you can just tag him later. (muhahaha now you have to become FB friends with him)

Who needs real conversation when we have the @ symbol?

Word of mouth is still the strongest form of marketing. Think about how much I would love you if someone became a client because of you. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

Christmas and birthday gifts

Things are overrated. Want to really knock my socks off? Here are some things that you can do that will take you under 2 minutes (and cost you nothing), but truly mean the world to me.

  • Organically share something from my site on social media.
    • Go to my site
    • Copy a link
    • Paste the link onto your Facebook wall/Twitter feed
    • Write something (bonus points if you @ us in the comment)
  • Write a post on social media mentioning us (with the @) and encourage people to like our page
  • Go on our Facebook page and invite your friends to like it
  • Leave a review
    • I’m not encouraging fake reviews, but if you have something to say- go for it. A 5 star here and a 5 star there never hurt anybody.

All jokes aside, all of this Google ranking and social media nonsense is the reality for new businesses. The internet is so oversaturated, it is so difficult to get seen without spending bookoo bucks on advertising.

The more clicks and shares, the more Google thinks a site is important. The more Google likes a site, the higher it will rank in their holier-than-thou results. That means more visitors to the site who are potential clients.

I know what I do is not a run-of-the-mill profession (although, now it kind of it) and it may seem alien to you, but it makes me feel good when I know that you are thinking of me and showing support.

Forget the bunny slippers this year for Christmas and just show me some social media love.

Unless Google Adwords does gift cards.

If they do, I want that instead.