Join the Localist Love Letters Challenge: Give Your Favorite Local Business a Google Review!

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A positive online review is like balm to the soul of a small business owner. When you own a small business, it’s hard to overstate how many complaints you get every day, but the online review — Google Reviews, Yelp, Facebook reviews, etc. — is a category all to itself, and people can get very nasty.

Happy customers rarely leave reviews — we visit the business, we buy from the business, we return to the business — that’s the feedback loop. But when someone has a bad experience and wants to vent their frustration, they go straight to Google Reviews to do as much damage as possible.

Bad reviews hurt small business owners exponentially for lots of reasons, including the fact that they rarely have big advertising budgets to combat them. The good news is, we can help — by leaving positive reviews for the businesses we feel positive about, we can help guide other people to choosing local shops that provide great service.

I’m the first to admit that it’s hard to remember to leave good reviews. We’re busy, and without the fiery passion of “bad service” driving us, we don’t remember to stop and tell Google or Yelp about a normal, or even positive, experience. I don’t always remember to leave a review, so next week, I’m challenging myself to leave five positive reviews — small “love letters” to my favorite small businesses — and I’d love for you to join me.

The challenge is called Localist Love Letters. I’ve been brainstorming and planning with Kelly Cummings of The Daily Do Better to bring this challenge to life, and we’ll be sharing tips and giveaways throughout the week. We have some great giveaways lined up — from Honeycreeper Chocolate, Golden Age Wine, Chocolata, Wild Honey Flower Truck and Dreamers Supply Company — and you’ll get extra contest entries if you review a local business, screenshot your review, and either DM @thinklocalist or share it in your stories and tag us.

To participate, you don’t have to sign up — just follow @thinklocalist on Instagram, and think about the businesses you love and want to review. Kelly and I talk more about the project on this week’s Localist podcast; you can find it here or wherever you listen to podcasts.


P.S. Want to be sure you see every giveaway so you have the best chance to win? If you like or comment on a few posts from the @thinklocalist feed, Instagram should get the idea that you like the account, and it’ll show my content quicker and more often so you won’t miss your chance to win.


Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast author of The Localist, a book about buying from locally owned stores and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram.

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