Asking for people to support your business is always a delicate matter but, especially after the past couple of years, can feel a little awkward. Many consumers are still recovering financially and it’s also the time of the year that they are being hit up the most. Nonprofits need help, holiday sales are competing for their attention and inboxes are being cluttered with every business they’ve ever interacted with asking them to spend money.

So, what’s a business to do? You still have to stay afloat, and putting your head in the sand until the holidays pass simply isn’t an option. Here are a few creative ways to ask for support, even from those who aren’t in a position to buy what you’re selling right now.

Ask for shares: Sharing a social media post is a simple action your customers and clients can take to share the love during the season. This has the benefit of not only amplifying your message but helps your post reach more potential clients. Don’t be bashful; ask directly for shares.

Gather reviews: One of the easiest and most valuable ways a past customer can lend their support to you is by telling the world how great you are so that you don’t have to. Ask for reviews and make it easy to do by providing direct links to your Google profile and Facebook business page so all they have to do is click.

Launch a referral campaign: Your customers already know how wonderful you are, so it makes sense that they probably know someone else who would think so too. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of a nudge. This can be done by asking followers and subscribers to tag friends or forward an email along to someone else.

Grow your email list: Even if someone isn’t in a spot to open their wallet, that doesn’t mean they won’t be later. Telling you they want to hear from you in their inboxes later is sort of an IOU. Give opportunities to get added to your list everywhere you can think of: your website, your Instagram bio, your posts, the list goes on.

No matter how you decide to ask for support, don’t forget the most important part of it all — gratitude. Today’s average consumer has many choices on how they spend their dollars and are working harder than ever to earn each one. Keep this in mind and sincerely thank them accordingly for however they decide to support your business.

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