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My Social Media Hack for Mom-and-Pop/Startups

Updated: Mar 13

Less than 2 years in operation? Consider this social media hack, save time and money to focus on reaching customers and strengthening your business foundation.

  1. Engage in Open-air markets when you are ready.

  2. Create a video story and upload to YouTube and get your media link

  3. Add your media link to your QR code business card

  4. Engage Your Community in person and through your QR code business card.

This shortcut/hack is intended for early startups and mom-and-pop small businesses who don't have the financial resources, time or working knowledge of social media platforms.. (For other businesses interested in tapping Social Media Platforms click here: )

Congratulations! Your startup business by the first year will likely have your products and services ready to go public. You may be ready to get your feet wet in your community markets, pop-ups, vendor networks and organized art markets.

Your cutomers are out there, seeking the experience of street shops, pop-up events and art markets. This summer, customers simply want to meet up, get fresh air and shop.

It's about time: The “shop local” message is taking hold.

For most startups, this is how we introduce our goods and services, finetune pitch and build trust to engage customers and stimulate economic growth. For most startups, this is the pulse of our business. Engaging with customers, face-to-face.

Step 1: Be an Early Bird: Locate and apply for open-air markets.

Most organized markets require applications, each has their own time frame and fees. Open air markets or pop-ups, are opportunities to be your authentic self, fine tune your pitch, share your product, purpose and perfect your table display. It is likely you will sell your products, build your audience, create a following.of customers who like and support what you offer; will refer friends and share your contact information.

By creating a warm and friendly environment your guests learn about you and your products. Even if they do not buy in that first exchange, it is likely you will be remembered return as a customer. Here are suggestions that work for us:

  • Greet your guest with a warm hello, establish a face-to-face encounter

  • Introduce yourself and the name of your business

  • Inquire about their market visit -first time -a neighbor -a regular?

  • Listen to what they have to say, including their name and interest topic

  • Don't be shy, proudly present products and how they may serve them or a family member

  • “Please let me know if you have any questions” is a friendly invitation to look at your products.

  • Offer your business card, explaining the QR code access and how it works.

  • If they showed interest, invite them to share your card with a friend and family member

  • Close with: "We look forward to seeing you again, Thank you for stopping by (Name your business).

*TIP: ahead of time, plan a product or service giveaway. Create sign up slips asking for contact information, including their name and email. Draw for the give away at the end of day and notify winner by email. This is the beginning of your email contacts for later consumer messaging. Your email list will become valuable to you, even if it’s in the future. (More on emails in future post.)

Step 2: Design your business video Story

Creating your video story needs to happen only once. Select someone you trust, someone with video and editing skills. You may have someone in your family who can do this for you be sure they have the skills and is willing to fix anything you may want different. Remember, this video story represents you and your business.

TIPS for making your video story:

1. Select a Videographer: Identify someone familiar with video production for posting on YouTube. Lots of younger people have basic video and editing experience. Invite them them to support you in the creation of a short 3-minute video, edit and upload.

2. The Interview: You are your best spokesperson, you understand and tell your story better than anyone else. In three minutes, share who you are and reason behind why you love what you do for a business and what makes your product unique. Add your contact information and any other social media you may be using.

3. Add Photographs to the video: products, people, happy customers, action, also, use background music to fill quiet moments and create those emotional ties to the customer.

4. Your story should be clear, honest, engaging and well told. This is the impression customers will walk away with. Review and approve the video before uploading. Consider it a three minute pitch.

Step 3: Create your QR Code business card.

1. QR Code: A QR Code is a barcode that when your customer uses their camera to scan the code, it directly connects your customer to your uploaded video story,

Once you have uploaded the video, your video to YouTube or Vimeo, you simply copy and paste the link into your QR code as your designing your new QR code business card.

2. Print a new QR business card. One of the fastest, easiest and cost effective ways I know to order your QR code business card is to go to Vista With a little know how, or support, your QR code card can get done in 30 minutes.

TIP: Be sure to upload your image/logo; all relevant contact information and social media links you have established. This is when your video link is connected to your QR code. (Basic Vista Print QR code business cards are priced at 100 for $18.).

Step 4: Engage your customers with your video sto


By simplifying your video story to one location, you can link it from anywhere. But most importantly when you make face to face contact, you have a legitimate media link to your unique story to engage your customers. who can easily share with others. This is your social media hack!

No worries about figuring out social media platforms; no daily or weekly posting, stories, reels, etc. You have a basic media link that connects you directly with your customer, not the millions of followers who may never buy from you! It is good for name and product recognition which can benefit your business down the road when you have income to hire a social media manager as a consultant.

Making a video story may appear overwhelming, but it is likely you have supportive people in your circles who know how to produce a basic video story, edit, and upload, you have the makings of a social media hack. Using this hack is how to can engage customers in your first year or two.

If you find you need help or assistance, I’m happy to offer a free review on all of the above and answer any of your questions with yourself and your videographer. Up to an hour at no cost. I'm happy to help my fellow startup business..

Your video story, your QR business card, your customer.

This is what I do.

Cynthia Gomez, Owner &

Producer of Creative Content

Please sign up for my blog: I am a local small business owner supporting start up and small businesses in the use of social media through storytelling, face to face relationships, trust building and managing resources and time.

I draw from my own experiences as a small business with the intention of financial solvency and community prosperity.

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