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Guest Post,Social Media

4 Steps That Will Improve your Product Photography for Pinterest

Brush up on your product photography for your boutique, shop or product based business and learn how it can transform your Pinterest. Click through to read this guest post by Laura of The Badass BusinessMum.

 

Guest Post by Laura of The Badass BusinessMum

Taking product photographs for Pinterest is a little bit different from taking photographs for your shop. Your shop photography is all about showing your potential customers the details of your products, showing them all the things they’d be able to touch and smell and hear if they were looking at it in person.

Pinterest Product Photography is about bringing attention to your product in a way that fits with your buyers’ aspirations. Pinterest is used by people to plan things; it’s a visual to-do list and virtual inspiration board all rolled into one.

 

Make your Product Photographs tell an Enticing Story

Think about the lifestyle your buyers are aspiring to. Imagine these two scenarios for a second…

A jar of handmade bath scrub in a glass jar, beautiful label with a handwritten font, tied on with twine for that hand finished touch of luxury, sat on the side of a white bath. Nice picture hey, nicely shows off the product, it’s in a natural setting, technically everything is right.

Now, imagine the same jar of Bath scrub sat on the same bath, but this time in the background is a sea of candles, the light is dim, there’s a glass of champagne amongst the candles. The bath scrub is pin sharp, the background blurred enough to not overwhelm, but sharp enough to know what it is.

Which image tells the nicest story? Which one says, “Yes! I want that experience!”?

Use the photographs you take for Pinterest to sell the lifestyle, not the product.

And that’s the point of product photography for Pinterest. You want as many people as possible to re-pin your photographs. And every single time they do, that’s a link back to your shop.

So, I’ve put together a 4-step process to help you tell your Brand story with your product photography.

 


Step 1 // Get Inspired

If you’re not sure where to start, start on Pinterest! Create yourself a secret board and start collecting images that inspire you. Do a search for the type of products you sell, or start with popular brands in your industry to see what people are pinning.

Take note of what type of backgrounds are popular, common recurring props, textures, themes and styling and think about how you could use some of these elements in your photographs.

Use the words you associate with your brand when searching (eg; vintage, modern, luxury, minimalist etc) to see how other shop owners have chosen to represent their brands when photographing your type of products.


Step 2 // Choose your Props

You might have noticed that popular product photography on Pinterest is more than simply products on a plain white background. Popular pins tell a story; they inspire; they’re pinned because the person that pinned them wants to live in the World that your product is in.

They don’t want to live in a World of plain white backgrounds; they want to live in a World of beautiful Interiors, happy people, food that looks as gorgeous as it tastes, handmade Beauty products in luxurious bathrooms and stationary that’s used by people with flowing handwriting and posh fountain pens!

The moral of the story? Choose your props and backgrounds wisely. Your props and backgrounds need to:

 



Be on Brand
Choose props that work with your brand.

This includes things like the colours and patterns (or plainness) of your backgrounds, the amount of props you use and the atmosphere you invoke.

As an example, if you sell rustic style handmade wedding invitations, you might choose a faded wood background to photograph your invites on. But if you sell modern, minimalist invites you might choose a polished plain background.

 



Complement your Product
Your props need to compliment your product, not overwhelm it.

Use your props in the background, to put your products on or up against to display them at their best and to show your products ‘in use’ (eg; include a pen with stationary products, photograph art hanging on a wall, a canvas shopping bag with shopping in it)

Use other products in your range as props to create a cohesive, branded photograph.

If you sell clothing or jewellery, use a model to display it at its’ best. There is nothing that says ‘buy this gorgeous outfit’ like putting it on a gorgeous model whose life is obviously made so much better by her choice of clothing.

Are your products for the luxury or value market? Make sure your props match your product.



 

Step 3 // Take & Edit your Photographs

This section could be a whole blog post by itself (in fact, it could be a whole blog by itself), so I’m just going to touch on the most important points and if you need to delve deeper into the more technical aspects of photography, I’ve compiled a great Pinterest Board full of tips: Product Photography Tips & Inspiration.

 



My top tips for taking photographs

  • Pay attention to lighting. Natural light is best, so if you can get next to a lovely, big window, that’s a bonus. If you can’t, use white lights to avoid colour casts and adjust the white balance on your camera to compensate for artificial light.
  • Blurred backgrounds are brilliant for product photographs. To make a blurred background, you need to create a shallow depth of field (so your camera focuses only on a small area and blurs everything else). You need to be able to adjust the aperture on your camera to a low f-number (which is called a wide aperture – yep, confuses me too!) to create this effect.
  • Use a tripod or the timer on your camera to avoid camera shake & make sure your photos are pin-sharp.
  • Take lots of photos! Move your props around, change locations, take photos from different angles, experiment with different lighting. What looks great on your camera might not look so great at full size, and vice versa! So give yourself loads of options.
  • Don’t let a ‘lack of equipment’ stop you! There are tonnes of resources on Pinterest that show you how to create backgrounds, DIY lights reflectors and diffusers, everyday item prop ideas and how to take photographs with your phone. You don’t need a DSLR & thousands of dollars of ‘stuff’ to take brilliant photographs!

 



My top tips for editing photographs

  • Make your Pinterest images vertical, the recommended size is a ratio of between 1:3.5 – 2:3, with a lot of people saying the ‘best’ size is 736px x 1102px.
  • Learn how to make simple edits such as removing colour casts and changing the brightness and contrast. Super simple changes can make a big difference to your final photographs.
  • You don’t need to know how to use Photoshop to edit your photographs. There are several highly rated free options such as Pixlr and Pic Monkey.
  • Create collages. Collages are a brilliant way of creating vertical pins from horizontal photographs, showing different angles of your product and showing some of the processes that went into creating it.

 


Step 4 // Create your Pins

The final step is to create your pins. You can create pins in two ways:

  1. By pinning direct from a site
  2. By uploading an image to Pinterest and adding the link manually

As I said, the aim with Pinterest is to get the maximum number of re-pins you can and to do that I’d recommend creating a selection of different pins for each product you want to promote. Select between 3-5 different photographs that highlight the different benefits of your product and might appeal to different buyers. As a starting point consider a selection of the following:

  • A collage that shows the design / manufacturing procedure (especially if your products are handmade or individually designed)
  • A styled flat lay
  • Your product being used
  • Your product in situ / on display
  • A collage showing different views / different parts
  • Seasonal variations

 



Include the different variations on your shop site or just use them on Pinterest, whichever best suits your site design.

The title and description on your pin are important for getting buyers to click, not just re-pin or like it. Use your keywords in both the title and description to greatly increase the chance of your pin being shown in a pinners’ Smart Feed and in Pinterest Search.

Use your description to continue to sell the lifestyle, or solution to a problem that your product provides. Mention your Ideal Customer, so they know you made this product just for them. And lastly add a call to action, show your customers know what you want them to do. (eg; Visit our shop to find out more about….)

Make getting Product Rich Pins part of your Pinterest marketing strategy too. Rich Pins are special types of pins that display more information, take up more space and are therefore more pinnable thnon-Richich Pins. A big benefit of Product Rich Pins is the inclusion of real time pricing and stock availability.

I really hope this post has given you some actionable ideas of how to tell your story with your product photographs. The best advice I can give you is to experiment and have fun. And use product photography as a great excuse to buy gorgeous props!

 


 


my-profile-picABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura
is Head Twin Wrangler & Business Owner at The Badass BusinessMum, where she helps new Bloggers & Business Owners develop their Brands, master Pinterest, get organised & create compelling Content. Before she started The Badass BusinessMum, she ran an Etsy shop selling her Hand Drawn Prints & Cards, which helped develop her love of Product Photography.

Keep up with Laura! Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

Blog + Business Tips,Guest Post

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Your About Me

Not sure what to include on your website's about me page? Click through to read Christina from The Social Butterfly Gal's guest post all about the dos and don'ts of writing your about me.
Guest Post by Christina Ochoa of The Social Butterfly Gal

 

The about me section on your blog is one of the most important pages ever. Think about it. When someone lands on your blog, the next thing they are going to do after they read a post is go to a page where they can learn more about you. The about me section is the one place where you can state who you are, what you do & who are you’re targeting, pretty powerful stuff, don’t you think? So when it comes to crafting the about me on your website/blog, here are some dos and don’t’s to consider.

 

Do Tell Your Story

Your about me should express who you are and what you do in a professional and authentic style. Getting a little personal in your bio isn’t bad at all. For example, on my bio, I share with my audience my journey in my background section. In a brief paragraph, I share how I started my journey in digital media in 2000 with AOL. Sharing the intimate details of my journey helps potential followers, clients, etc. relate to me. Your story is the thing that separates you from the crowd. Don’t forget to tell it!

 

Don’t Use a Selfie

Your potential clients/ followers need to build their trust in you before they consider working with you or following you. That applies big time to the pictures you use. Whatever you do, don’t use a selfie! Professional headshots are always the way to go! Don’t have a headshot? Grab a friend and ask if they could take one for you.

 

Do Include an Email Address

Make sure you include an email address that you check regularly. If you’re going to add a contact form, still include an email address. Another blogger might want to get in touch with you for another reason. From personal experience, I’ve stumbled across many websites that only had a contact form. I had to do some extra digging to find their email address and ended up spending way too much of my time looking for it. DON’T be that person who only has a contact form!

 

Don’t forget to humanize your brand

Humanizing your brand is important. If you’re active on Instagram, include an Instagram reel. If you Snap, include your Snapchat code. I use Instagram & Snapchat to share exclusive behind the scenes pictures/video of my business & a little of my personal life. Showing some personality on your about me is a great way for potential followers/ clients to see the real you.

 


 

13256412_10204698510582394_6103769091999929260_nABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Christina Ochoa, founder of The Social Butterfly Gal. My mission to help creative entrepreneurs build powerful digital strategies so their brand soars. My goal is not to live to work but to be passionate about the work that I do; to inspire, empower and help others on a daily basis.

Keep up with Christina! WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat!

E-Mail Marketing,Guest Post

How to Utilize Your Email List as a Boutique Owner

Not sure what to send out to your boutique or shop's e-mail list. Kory from korywoodard.com is sharing her e-mail strategies for all you product based businesses because you can send more than just discount codes! Click through to read more and to gran Kory's workbook.

Guest Post by Kory Woodard of korywoodard.com

 

Whether you run a service-based or product-centered business, one of the key elements of your marketing efforts and customer relations is likely to work on connecting with potential and previous customers. From getting potential customers to be excited about your product / service to getting previous customers feeling good and wanting to come back for more, you’re likely spending a lot of time on social media connecting, sharing, and fostering those relationships. However, there’s one place that you may have missed when putting your marketing plan together. Your email list.

 

I know what you might be thinking, “But I have a product-based business. There aren’t many ways to connect with my customers through emails for my type of business anymore.” Well, I have a surprise for you… that’s just not true. Email lists are not just for bloggers, service-based businesses, or the big dogs out there. There are several ways that you can work on building relationships with past and potential customers. In fact, taking that extra time to foster those relationships via email have proven to generate more sales than you might be seeing via your social media posts. According to studies done by McKinsey, email marketing has proven to be 40x more effective than that of Facebook and Twitter combined.

 

So now that you’re a little intrigued about what email marketing can do for your business, let’s talk about how exactly you can start utilizing your email list so that you can start building better relationships and driving more sales for your business.

 

melissahebbe-blog-korysguestpost

 

Connect more personally with your customers

When social media sites first started become really popular, businesses realized that it was going to be a great way to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy more regularly, right? The problem with that, though, is that as time has gone on we as a society have become more aware of when we’re being marketed to, which means we’re less likely to tune in to every single post by our favorite brands. On top of that, there’s one sort-of obvious setback on social media: it was created for short style content. This means that, while yes, you can create captions, tweets, or posts that relate to your customer more personally but with the quickly changing algorithms and our short attention spans, you’re still not likely to be seen.

 

The great thing about having an email list is that you can create more long form content for your customers. You can share a behind the scenes story on what led you to create your shop, which will likely inspire your customers and build trust with your company. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of long form content, another great way to connect more personally with your customers is to share sneak peeks during your product creation. Are you literally making your products by hand? What’s the process of creating an outfit with a new piece that your dream of creating or collecting for your shop?

 

Giving this sort of behind the scenes peek into your business not only builds trust with your customers but it also makes them more interested in what you’re doing and selling. If one of the ways I’ve mentioned doesn’t necessarily work for your business, think outside of the box in relation to your brand specifically. Have you shared any personal updates on social media that got really great reactions? How can you flesh that out a little in an email?

 

Sending your customers shop updates

This is likely the most obvious strategies out of the three I’m sharing, but it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have only share about product updates or sales on social media. It’s safe to assume that people on your email list already really like what you’re doing and are either past customers or are thinking about buying from you. Instead of hoping they catch your Tweet or Facebook post about new products or sales, emailing them directly lets you know that they’re much more likely to see your updates, which means they’re much more likely to purchase.

 

The first thing you have to make sure you’re doing is sending updates on when you’re having sales. I don’t know about you, but I almost always make a purchase when I know there’s a sale going on. When you’re running some sort of promotion, this is one of the few times when you can get away with sending emails a little more frequently. Don’t just tell them when it starts and hope they purchase something. If you have a promotion going on for a week, send an email at the beginning of the week, one in the middle with photos of your on sale products from past customers, and one more the day the sale is ending.

 

Another really great time to send over shop updates is when you’re adding new products. If you haven’t shared the behind the scenes of the inspiration, creation, or collection of this item, now’s the best time to do that. Share with them what makes you love it so much, peeks into how you made the item, or what you think it would be paired with best for a cute outfit. People love getting to see these sorts of things, especially when it’s just exclusive to a small group of people. If you can get them excited about the piece right before you’re making it available for purchase, you’re likely going to make at least a few sales the day it’s finally available.

 

How to use or style your products

One of the key things that holds consumers up and keeps them from buying an item is if they can’t seem themselves using it at some point in time. While there’s a great percentage of people who might buy that item anyway, I know that I’ve talked myself out of many purchases because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it or where I’d end up wearing it if it was a piece of clothing. This is another great time to get into your customers’ inboxes and help them get an idea of how to use or style your products.

 

Here’s a great example: if you run a boutique that sells jewelry for all occasions, you might have great product photography around your site of what you envision to be the best time or place to wear your pieces, but those occasions might feel a little removed from some of your customers. Jane might not be going to many public events, so she might feel like she’s not “fancy” enough, won’t wear anything, so she’s not sure if she wants to buy. She signs up for your email list anyway hoping to get a little inspiration and change her mind. Meanwhile, you’ve noticed that there are quite a few fashion bloggers who have been inspired by your pieces and are showing them off for all sorts of occasions from dates, to job interviews, even sprucing up a casual outfit to go shopping. If you spend time curating a few pieces from different bloggers once every week or every two weeks, you’re not showing Jane that she doesn’t have to be going to fancy events or even have a particularly “fancy” wardrobe to wear your pieces. Now she’s decided to buy a ring and a necklace to her jewelry collection.

 

Email marketing is not about running discounts every month to generate more sales, writing long form content every week, or even having to spend more time (that you probably don’t have) to create more photos or promotional emails content that you can send to your readers. In fact, as a product based business, you don’t necessarily have to commit to sending as often as once a week to your list. Instead, it’s about creating this space for your most interested potential and past customers so that you can connect with them in new ways and continue driving sales for your business.

 

Will you be testing out any of these strategies?

I know it seems like a huge undertaking to try out email marketing for your business, but I dare you to try one of these strategies over the next few months. In fact, let me know what you’re trying in the comments so I can check back in with you and see how it’s going. I can’t promise that you’ll generate more sales, but I can promise that you’ll find much deeper relationships with your customers, which should at least drive a few more sales per month. Need more help coming up with content for your list? Click here to download Kory’s workbook to help you nail down more than two month’s worth of ideas!

 

 

melissahebbe-blog-korysguestpost

 


 

kory-woodardABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kory Woodard is a full-time business owner and blogger, and most of the time she can be found dreaming up new ideas to help passionate women follow their dreams on their own terms. The rest of the time she’s spending time with her husband and pup, enjoying life! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Check out Kickstart Your List, Kory’s e-mail marketing course, here.

Blog + Business Tips,Guest Post

11 Free SEO Tools To Help You Get Found

Looking to get your boutique or shop's website and products found online? Then you need to checkout these 11 free SEO tools that will your boutique and shop get discovered on the internet. Written by my friend Haley Burkhead from maraburkes.com.

Guest Post by Haley of maraburkes.com

 

All of these fantastic tools are 100% free which is awesome because free fits right into everyone’s budget! These tools are super helpful for different aspects of search engine optimization and I don’t want anyone to miss out on it. SEO is vital to a successful business or blog because SEO is what gets you found through Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine. Google ranks each website and deems the site as either high quality or low quality based on a variety of factors. A crazy amount of people are on search engines like Google every single day. So go grab yourself some FREE tools that way some of those people can be led straight to you!

 

1. Yoast SEO Plugin

Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. With this plugin, it makes it easier to write better content, add meta tags, analyze pages, manage technical SEO settings, upload XML sitemaps, have RSS optimization, and enable breadcrumbs. It’s a fantastic plugin that truly gives fantastic results.

2. Google Trends

With this website, you can plug in key words and analyze the trends as well as compare a trend to another key word. This can help with picking key words in blog posts that are being commonly searched.

3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner

This one used to be free, and I believe it is still free to certain individuals that used to use it (or so I am told)? Honestly, this is a fantastic tool but there are other keyword planner’s out there without all the hassle from Google that are definitely worth checking out as well!

4. Robots.txt Tester

This tool simply tests the txt file. Yet another useful tool that is super easy. Just upload the txt file and you’re good to go! This site does all the work for you.

5. HTML/XHTML Validator

Easy way to validate HTML / XHTML documents. And below is the link the validate the CSS files!

6. CSS Validator

Drop your code’s style sheets off here to validate them! Super easy and very convenient.

7. Google Page Speed Insights

Maybe your website loads fast on your computer but what about someone else’s computer? Or better yet, what does Google think about your site speed? With this tool, you can get into the head of Google and see what it deems your site speed. You want to score 70 or higher but the majority of people who have entered their site on Google’s Page Speed tool have not gotten to a 70. Or even a 6o for that matter.

8. Mobile Friendly Tool

You may think you’re site is mobile friendly. But you need to make sure Google recognizes your website as mobile friendly. An easy way of doing this is popping your site URL into the box and Google tells you what it is

9. Google Analytics

Let’s face it. Google analytics is a great tool that furthers that whole “I conquer anything, especially this business” mindset. But Google analytics is a fantastic way of crackin’ down on some SEO.

10. Structured Data Testing Tool

This tool helps you maintain + make sure that your site presence on Google is still top notch. No need to slip away in the search results!

11. All in One SEO Pack

Automatically optimizes your site for search engines. How easy peasy!

By increasing your SEO with all these crazy awesome tools your going to see a major spike in traffic, sales, and engagement. Search engine optimization is crucial for success and many companies hire at least one person that specializes in this sort of thing to make sure their site is up to date for Googles standard every second. It’s important.

And since it is so important, I don’t want you to miss on it!

 


 

 

12654568_584951691654124_8661934952257543146_nABOUT THE AUTHOR
Haley, a yorkie obsessed fur mom, is the owner + creative director of Mara Burkes Creative! Web design is a major source of happiness in her life, which is why she got her college degree in the subject. Keep up with Haley and her web design and SEO knowledge over on her blog.

Follow her on social media: Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

 

 

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Guest Post,Social Media

15 Instagram Tips: A Collaboration

On the Instagram struggle bus? Click through to these 15 tips from some amazing Instagram pros. Your Instagram for your boutique and online shop will flourish with these fifteen Instagram tips.

Today we’re celebrating National Social Media Day. I wanted to do something special for this day because hello social media strategist over here! 😛 At first, I thought of just sharing tips on Instagram because it’s my favorite platform, but I thought about getting others involved and how much more fun that would be. So I put out some calls and got some helpful tips from some amazing people. I’m laying out all the tips on this blog post, but we would love it if you would head over to Instagram and give everybody’s tips some Insta-love.

 

1. You can’t always be everywhere, but you should be where your audience is.

instagramtip-katiewilliamsen

“Choose the right social media networks. You do not need to be on every social media network. Instead, you want to select the networks that are most enjoyable for you and best serve your target market. Once you select your social networks, share only what you love. Because you represent your brand on social media, it is extremely important to love the content you share. If you love it, chances are good your audience will love it too. They choose to follow you, so be sure share content related to your niche that you enjoy.” — Katie Williamsen

 

2. Hashtags are super important!

instagramtip-cotihowell

“Make trending hashtags work for you, as long as they’re relevant.” — Coti Howell

 

3. Have a signature post.

instagramtip-leconsulting

“Come up with at least one signature daily post. Maybe it’s #hotmessmondays (like @rosemarywatson) or maybe it’s something super unique to your brand. Either way, having a signature day will keep people coming back to your profile on that day to see what this week’s post is and it’ll help your engagement!” — Le Consulting

 

4. Captions are key.

instagramtip-saganlives-1

“Write longer captions (ideally to tell a relevant story, share a valuable lesson, or provide more detail on the topic of your Instagram post) to connect more deeply with your followers and build better relationships with them. People will engage with you and remember you better if they feel like they actually *know* you and can relate to you and your stories.” — Sagan Morrow

 

5. Engage with your audience.

instagramtip-ripe_mangoes

“Engage. Engage with your followers and non-followers. Build a relationship as if you’re about to get to know a friend.” — Love

 

6. Shoutout your favorite products.

instagramtip-keeleybehlingstudios

“Share your favorite small business product you’ve recently purchased or used. Share what drew you in the first place. Maybe it was the sellers personality, awesome pics or all the amazing uses that product offers. Tag them in the photo and description. Those shout-outs create a great networking opportunity and we can make another maker’s day!” — Keeley Behling

 

7. Be true to yourself.

instagramtip-littleaholicbycsd

“ALWAYS be you, regardless of media.” — A:holic by CSD

 

8. Find a balance between business and personal.

instagramtip-saganlives-2

“Achieve balance in marketing your biz and posting more personal lifestyle images by using an alternating-images theme: go back and forth with the same ratio of a biz/product image and a lifestyle image. When you are CONSISTENT with your ratio (whether it’s 1:1, 2:1 etc), it will produce a lovely aesthetic to your feed and encourage more people to follow you… especially if you stick to an on-brand color scheme!”— Sagan Morrow

 

9. Be YOU.

instagramtip-j.s.coaching

“Be authentic and transparent, the most appealing thing about you is WHO you really are.” — Jennifer Scott

 

10. Respond to comments (and use your desktop computer!).

instagramtip-ashlynscarter

“Answer every person back on social media — it’s you bread-and-butter form of customer service for those of us with online businesses! My best tip is to get off your phone app and jump on your desktop or laptop to answer Instagram comments on your photos. You’ll type faster, which is a good way to maintain your brand voice and tone – less likely to get lazy! So, next time you have a slew of comments to respond to, put down your phone, pop open your laptop, and head to instagram.com to knock out your responses in no time.” — Ashlyn Carter

 

11. Post quality photos.

instagramtip-ripe_mangoes-2

“Always post clean and clear photos. Your flatlays and the props you use, make in intentional and cohesive. It’s better to take photos with even gray lighting, than bright and obvious source. Because once you edit, it will evenly apply the changes with minimal contrast/shadow. Again, unless it’s intention.” — Love

 

12. Your dog will always win your audience over.

instagramtip-tmistick

“Incorporate your pets! It’s no secret that the Internet loves cute cats and pretty pups, so don’t hide them from your followers! Photos of my dogs always increase engagement and introduce me to new followers.” — Tori Mistick

 

13. Post consistently.

instagramtip-carolinecreates

“Being consistent, scheduling posts like a pro” is key to having a successful Instagram. — Caroline of Caroline Creates and Creating Bizness

 

14. Your Instagram bio matter.

instagramtip-whyhellobeauty

“Capture your audience quickly by nailing your bio. Keep it matter of fact yet witty, add as much detail as you can about who you are – within the 150 character limit! – and if you are a user, add in your Snapchat details. Scroll through winning Instagram accounts and look at their bios to brainstorm ideas for your own!” — Emily Crawford

 

15. Have fun!

instagramtip-melissahebbe

“Don’t take your Instagram so seriously. Yes, it is an important tool for business, but have fun with it by collaborating and connecting with others (like with a mini series such as this one).” — Melissa Hebbe

 

Looking for more Instagram tips? Enroll in my free e-mail course, Become An Insta-Pro in 3 Days.

melissahebbe-blog-becomeaninstapro

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Guest Post,Social Media

How to Drive Small Business Sales with Pinterest

Guest post by Krista from blogbeautifully.com | Is your e-commerce site or boutique on Pinterest. If it's not, you need to read this post on why it should be how as well as 5 tips to get you started. Click through to read these Pinterest tips for your small business.
Guest Post by Krista of blogbeautifully.com

 

Hello lovely readers! My name is Krista, and I run a website called Blog Beautifully where I teach people how to reach their true potential online. I’m lucky enough to call Melissa Hebbe one of my closest blogging friends – which is why when she asked me to come over and share some of my best Pinterest tips with you, I jumped at the chance.

I guess I’ve become somewhat of a Pinterest-Guru over the past few months, even though that wasn’t something I ever planned on. I just truly love using Pinterest, talking about it, and helping other people rock their accounts. I hate the label “expert”, but when a reader messages you addressing you as the “Queen of Pinterest”, you know you’re onto something!

Today I’m going to focus on the business side of Pinterest, and how you can knock it out of the park when it comes to promoting and selling your products on Pinterest. In a rapidly evolving online business world, Pinterest is the latest-greatest marketing and sales tool. Here’s why utilizing Pinterest should be at the top of your business’s priority list:

  • Marketing and sales integrate seamlessly and are somewhat innate in the platform itself – so you don’t have to worry about coming across too “sales-y”
  • Everyone and their MOTHER is using Pinterest these days (seriously, ask her), and most users are on the site at least once a day
  • Pinterest is a visual-based platform, meaning you can use it to showcase the beautiful aesthetic you work so hard to make sure your products have
  • Oh, and did I forgot to mention the best part? It’s completely F-R-E-E. What other marketing tool comes at zero cost to you? None!

Before we move on, I want to mention that in all the tips I’m sharing today, I assume you have a website and online inventory for your business up and running. If you don’t, where have you been, gurl!? It’s the 21st century, get on board!

Without further ado, let’s go over my 5 killer tips for standing out as a small business on Pinterest, and locking down those all-important sales.

1. Sign up for a Business Account and enable Rich Pins

Having a “Pinterest for Business” account means you can access Pinterest Analytics. In the Analytics section, you can not only see how your pins are performing, but also gauge traffic flow to your site from Pinterest, which is super important. A business account is also the first step towards enabling Rich Pins, which are basically Gods among pins.

What’s a Rich Pin? Check out the difference in the pins below:

krista-blogbeautifully-pinterest-small-business-owners-ecommerce

See how the first pin has a bolded title, plus the logo and name of the place it was pinned from above that? The first pin takes up a lot more space in the Pinterest feed, and is more eye-catching. Plus it’s giving out more information to potential buyers.

For your account, you’ll want to enable Product Rich Pins, which allow you to showcase your products and prices on Pinterest, like so:

image #2

Here’s a quick guide for enabling Rich Pins (it’s not hard or scary, I promise!).

2. Tell a story with your pins.

Gone are the times when you could snap a picture of your newest arrival against a white backdrop and call it a day. Oh no. We want to see your products in action. We want to know what they look like on an actual human being, not draping from a rickety old clothes hanger.

With each pin you create for your business, focus on showing potential buyers exactly how to use your products, AND what benefits they’ll get by owning them. Think Before-and-Afters, gorgeously styled outfits, and “caught-in-the-moment-looking-happy-and-carefree”. Sell the EXPERIENCE of owning the product, not the actual product itself.

This goes for your pin descriptions too. Be creative and engaging. Tell a story. No “Handbag now in stock. $40 + S/H”. Can you say Boring?

3. Stick to the 80/20 Rule

To be successful on Pinterest, you have to be pinning A LOT. A lot A LOT. If you don’t have time to do that, hire someone to do it for you (I hear Melissa’s available!).

When you’re going about your pinning, remember: only 20% of your pins should focus on your own products. No more than 1 out of every 5 pins. Yep, that means that 80% of what you promote on Pinterest is going to be other people’s products, services, and content. Why? Because nobody wants to follow someone who’s super spammy and only cares about Me-Me-Me, that’s why.

So spread the love. Chances are, if you support other brands by sharing their stuff, they’ll turn right around and do the same for you. It’s a win-win.

And hey, if you’re not totally sure what you should be pinning, Tip#4 is for you!

4. Your boards need to appeal to your “ideal buyer”

In the blogging world, we talk a lot about someone we like to call our “ideal reader”. Basically, an ideal reader is an avatar of who we think the perfect person to read our blogs would be.

The same thing applies to your business, only instead of having an Ideal Reader, you have an Ideal Buyer. If you want to run a successful business, you need to have an understanding of who your target market is: From basic things like what age and gender they are, to more in-depth things like occupations, hobbies, and income.

When creating your boards on Pinterest, keep this avatar of your ideal buyer in mind. Check out one of the Pinterest mottos I preach on my own blog:

“Your boards are not for you. Your boards are FOR YOUR READERS”.

The same thing applies in regards to you and your buyers. Each board on your Pinterest account should be something that interests and appeals to your target market. For example, if you’re a fashion boutique owner, some of your boards might be:

  • Fall Outfit Inspiration
  • Chic Office Attire
  • Spring 2016 Trends

Not sure what your ideal buyers are into? Stalk them! That’s right, you have my permission to head over to their Pinterest accounts and have a good old creep through their boards. Think of it as “market research” (I promise I won’t tell).

5. Lastly: Don’t forget the most important board of all — yours!

You won’t get very far on Pinterest if you don’t have a board promoting your own products. This board will be your Pinterest bread-and-butter. So if you don’t have one already, go ahead and create a brand new board and name it after your business. Then, pin every single one of your product pins to this board, making sure each pin links back to the sales page for each particular item.

You should definitely still pin your products to as many of your other boards as possible, but having them all in one convenient and easy-to-find place makes it a cinch for anyone who stumbles across your Pinterest to quickly see what you’re offering.

Speaking of easy-to-find — make sure your business’s board is in the very top row of the boards on your profile. To move boards around, simply click on a board and hold your mouse down, then drag it to wherever you like.

OTHER TIDBIT TIPS FOR PINTEREST SUCCESS

  • Join Group Boards in your market and pin to them regularly. Use PinGroupie.com to find the right group boards for your business.
  • Cut back on time spent on Pinterest by investing in a pin scheduler like Tailwind, or a looping tool like Boardbooster.
  • Make sure your brand’s aesthetic extends to your pins and profile. Stamp your logo, business name, and website URL on every original pin you create. If your brand has a specific color scheme, stick to that on Pinterest too.
  • As of earlier this month, Affiliate Pins are allowed on Pinterest again. That means pinners can include a direct affiliate link within a pin itself, and it also means that if you don’t have an affiliate program set up for your business yet, you need to act fast or risk missing out. For all the details on how affiliate pins work and how to make the most of them, check out this post.

P.S. I’m in the midst of creating a Pinterest e-course with literally HUNDREDS of awesome tips like these! If you found this post helpful, sign up for my mailing list to receive early-bird specials and be the first to enroll!

A big thanks to Melissa for having me here today and for always being such an awesome friend! Have a lovely day, friends.

 


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Krista is a blog coach + mentor and the founder of BlogBeautifully.com, a resource hub for aspiring bloggers. She’s a full-time blogger and solopreneur who loves talking about Pinterest, growing your email list, and making money online. Follow her on social media: Pinterest | Twitter | BP Club | Blog