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6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

Okay, pop quiz: Which social media platform has the most potential to boost your handmade business? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Something else?

Well, answers may vary, but my vote goes to . . . Pinterest! If you haven’t already set up a Pinterest business account for your handmade biz, you SHOULD!

Here are 6 reasons why:

6 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Handmade Business

#1 Pinterest allows you to show your products to more potential customers.

If you haven’t read this article from the Pinterest blog, you should. According to a recent survey conducted by Millward Brown Digital, 93% of the survey participants stated that they use Pinterest to scope out products to buy. And 87% said that they purchased a product, thanks to Pinterest. That’s some powerful statistics right there, folks!

Pin your products to Pinterest directly from your Etsy shop by using the “Pin it” button, or pin product photos that appear on your business blog. Choose photos that show your product “in use”: display your product with minimal props to show the size of the product and possible ways to use it.

#2 Pinterest helps you show other products that complement your product(s).

Here’s a fun idea. Create a Pinterest board for each of your products (or product categories). Pin images to that board that coordinate with your product(s). Think of colors, patterns, themes, etc. that complement it. Name your boards “What to Wear with _____ (your product).” Mood boards and/or color scheme boards are fun ways to showcase your product(s) as well. This technique can help customers imagine themselves using your products and could potentially increase sales.

This type of board would be great for including upselling images, too. See this post for additional information about the upselling technique.

Polyvore is another fun tool that allows you to create product collages.

#3 Pinterest enables you to answer your customers’ questions or solve a problem that they have.

An easy way to do this is to add some text on top of a product photo. For example, if you sell handmade scarves, you could create a Pinterest-friendly image that includes your product photo with the words “5 Amazingly-Easy Ways to Tie a Scarf” on top of the image. When the Pinterest user clicks on your image to read how to tie a scarf, they will see your scarves and perhaps make a purchase (now or in the future).

The key to this technique is to link the person to your blog, where you have step-by-step images of the scarf-tying process and then a link to purchase your scarves online. If your Pinterest image just links to your online shop and not the 5-step tutorial, people who clicked the image will not receive what you promised. And believe me, unhappy people don’t make good customers.

Tip: Use a tool like Canva or even PicMonkey to add text to a photo.

#4 Pinterest provides links to tutorials and tips for great product photography.

We all know how important great product photography is for a handmade business, right? Create a secret board and pin articles to read now or later. Search for pins about:

#5 Pinterest helps you find creative, new packaging ideas.

Handmade sellers are (or should be) always looking for creative, memorable ways to package their products. Pinterest is filled with great ideas for beautiful packaging. Create a secret board and pin to your heart’s content! Visit the board again later when you need some packaging inspiration. Possible ideas to search for are as follows:

  • items to include with your product in your shipping box (tissue paper, filler material, etc.)
  • creative labels for the outside of the box
  • pretty thank-you notes to include

#6 Pinterest inspires you to create new product designs.

Handmade sellers are always looking for ways to keep up with current trends, patterns, colors, etc. for future product lines. Pinterest is a great research tool that can help you with that! Keep your inspiration board secret if you’d like, and fill it up with images that might be potential design ideas for later.

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How else have you used Pinterest for your business? We’d love to hear any strategies you’d like to share! I hope you’ll try some of the techniques mentioned in this post, and see how Pinterest can boost your handmade business!

Juliebio

Julie Corbett – On The Dot Creations

On the Dot Creations features handmade creations and shares biz tips with those who sell them. Check out Julie’s free video series3 Reasons Your Product Photography Might Be Turning Customers Away, or her brand new online workshopDIY Product Photography.

Stress-Free Holiday Selling: The Mega-Ultimate Planning & Marketing Strategy Guide

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and we know you have enough on your plate as a handmade seller, even before the holiday madness starts. The little elves over at MadeFreshly want to make your holiday selling season jollier and smoother so they made this free, downloadable–even printable “Holiday Sales Guide”.

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This holiday planning guide will leave you knowing how to:
  • Create promotional material that converts
  • Promote your sale across all platforms (before and during sale)
  • Time your offers (with day-by-day example sale templates)
  • Be customer service ready
This guide also includes:
    • Holiday Planning Checklist for marketing strategy
    • Promotional Content Calendar

Download your Free Holiday Planning Checklist and Promotional Content Calendar Now! 

Let our tried and true tips make this holiday time less stressful and more organized…all you have to do is read and apply what you’ve learned. Afterward, you’ll even save yourself enough time to leave Santa and his reindeer some cookies and carrots…or crafts. Here are the key strategies laid out simply in MadeFreshly’s Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide. The full article contains all of our useful advice but if you’re busy crafting and short on time, below is the condensed version of our sales guide. Read ahead to get ahead because your holiday selling season can’t afford to miss any tip here.

Before The Sale Be proactive, not reactive when it comes to preparing for the holiday sales season. Choose the deal you’re going to offer

  1. Define your profit margin
  2. Decide how much you can afford to discount

    *Bonus tip: This is a great time to get rid of excess inventory! 02_discounts1 Marketing Channels to Promote Your Sale Your promotional material or creative has two main goals:

  1. Lay out all sales information clearly
  2. Create a sense of urgency and desire

Focus on your strengths and make sure your promotional material is consistent and creative.

Channels to promote your deals:

Homepages/landing banners: Include promotional material on your own website so customers know there is consistency between internal and external marketing.

Social media platforms: Promote on any and all social media sites to get the most eyes possible checkin’ out your one-of-a-kind deals.

Send out an email newsletter: Copyblogger lays out 37 tips for writing emails that actually get opened and read. Check out MailChimp too and have your newsletter emails automatically distributed.

Promotional blog posts: Spark customers’ interests with a blog post showing the usefulness of your products and then mention you’re having an awesome sale coming up. Remember, customers want to know your product can solve a problem and make their life easier!

How to Create the Right Copy and Images for Your Promotion

When writing your copy:
  • Include a discount code
  • Be clear and specific
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Include a link with a Call-to-Action

    Here’s a great example of a promotional image with copy included: 07_SimpleBoldEnticing1 Make sure: -The image is clear and eye-catching -You include text, but not too much -Has a Call-to-Action: “Shop Now” -The image is the right size for each platform Here’s a cheat sheet for social media image sizes: social-media-image-size-cheat-sheet Part of the excitement of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping is because of the limited time deals. Make sure you stress that element of “limited time” in your creative.

If your deal is for a limited time, shoppers won’t want to miss so make sure you stress the urgency of buying NOW.

EXAMPLE:

“Black Friday Sale!”

75% OFF FROM 10:00AM – 12:00PM

65% OFF FROM 12:00PM – 3:00PM

50% OFF FROM 3:00PM – 10:00PM

The Most Important Part of Your Promotional Creative That You Probably Don’t Know About

If you don’t get anything else out of this section, make sure you remember to carry your creative consistently throughout the entire promotional process.

How’s that for alliteration? Consistently Carry Creative

Customers go through a 5-step process when deciding to take the final purchase plunge. Your consistent copy needs to meet them at every step and encourage them they are making the right choice. decision-making How to Time Your Holiday Deals-From Beginning to End

Not sure what deals to give on which days, or how to market them to get the most out of your sales? Not to worry, here are example sale templates you can use to guide your sales. Remember, your deals could be slightly different depending on your profit margin!

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale 09_BlackFriCyberMon1 Right upfront, your best holiday deals should be especially focused on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because that’s when you’re going to generate the most money. But whatever you do, don’t offer the same deal every day…you want to lead customers with a sense of…wait for it…URGENCY!

Black Friday

Marketing: Again, urgency with your ads and deals are key. “60% OFF or BUY 1 GET 1 FREE” are always great to use.

Your second best deals, after Cyber Monday, should be marketed today so make ‘em worth the virtual trip to your store!

marketing01_blackfriday1 Saturday

Marketing: You know what I’m going to say…urgency. Let your customers know today’s deal won’t be as good as tomorrow’s so they need take advantage of today.

“25% OFF” is a solid deal…it’s less off than Black Friday but more discounted than Sunday. marketing02_sat1 Sunday

Marketing: Get your customers excited for Cyber Monday with some well-thought out promotional creative. No one likes a tease…but a little something to look forward to never hurt!

FREE SHIPPING ALL DAY goes a long way. marketing03_sun1 Cyber Monday

Marketing: Today is the day to finally let it all go. Let loose and offer your best deal of the season. Be clear and direct…you want customers to understand exactly what and how great your deal is.

“70% OFF TODAY ONLY” is an example. marketing04_mon1 Tuesday

Marketing: Include one last deal that rounds up all of the customers who weren’t able to catch your Friday through Monday deals–20% OFF gives them a chance to still save but not get the same bargain as the weekend shoppers. marketing05_tue1Christmas Sale

A FREE SHIPPING deal is perfect for your ecommerce shoppers who missed the Black Friday/Cyber Monday craze.

      • Decide your cut-off date on offering free shipping so your customers can receive their gifts in time for Christmas.

10_Free-shipping1 New Year’s Sale

People celebrate the new year like it’s a holiday, so why not ring ‘em in with a deal? 10%-20% OFF should be enough to get them to your store. marketing06_ny1Be Ready For Questions

People always have questions so be ready to happily answer. That little extra customer service turns first time customers, into loyal, repeat ones! Common questions:

  • How long will my product take to ship?
  • Will it ship internationally?
  • What’s your return policy?

Get Planning Now for a Stress-Free Holiday Season!

I know after reading these tips you’re eager to know more…and there is more! Download our Promotional Content Calendar here that will help you lay out your marketing plan for November and December. All you have to do is cut and paste your copy and images. Start planning now and you’ll be totally prepared for the holiday craziness that is about to ensue! Get even more detailed marketing strategy in the full article here: The Mega-Ultimate Holiday Planning and Marketing Strategy Guide (With Snowflakes On Top).

rachelmadefreshly

This is a guest post from Rachel at MadeFreshly: Rachel is the resident Content Fairy at MadeFreshly, the ecommerce platform that makes your passion pay off. Click here to get her actionable tips and inspiration for entrepreneurs every week!

The Ultimate Guide (with tips & resources) to Boost Traffic and Get Customers

ultimate

Picture this. You have an incredible product that you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into for your consumers to enjoy.

You’ve taken your photos, edited your images, written a description and made a great logo. You’ve put in all the effort you need to create your store. You then launch your store and announce it to your hundred (or so) social media followers.

You then have a few sales here and there. You get some traffic – but you find yourself unable to make a real, genuine living off your business.

It can make us feel defeated – and to be perfectly honest, it happens to most of us.

How can you turn this around? How can you make consistent sales off your product? I’m here to show you how.

Research and know your target market

Your target market are the people who will be buying from you – so you will need to  know everything about them. Their age, income, gender and overall demographic. Research and get a solid understanding of your target. This will help build a foundation for proper and effective marketing.

Here’s an infographic that breaks it down the information you need to gather.

Additional resources for understanding your target market:

10 Questions to Ask Before Determining Your Target Market

How to Define a Target Market and Dominate Your Niche

Defining Your Audience

5 Social Media Tips for Finding and Engaging Your Target Audience: New Research

Once you know your target audience it will help give clarity to who you are seeking to attract.

Make sure your store has all the appropriate content to convert

Before you spend time, money and resources marketing your site, you want to first make sure your site has all the proper information and images needed to convert traffic into customers.

6 Ways to Build a Bridge between your Customers and your Brand

How to Create an Easy Return Policy

Why the Wrong Product Title Can Hurt Your Online Store’s Sales

The Perfect Product Description: Short-and-Sweet or Full of Details?

5-Step Formula for Writing Handmade Product Descriptions that Sell

The Secret To Writing Product Descriptions For Ecommerce Success

The 10-Minute Website Tune-Up

Offline Marketing

Get their email addresses and add them to your email newsletter. If you don’t currently have a newsletter tool,  Tinyletter is free and Mailchimp has a variety of plans.  Simply print out a few sheets of paper with a name and email column. If you want to get fancy, the mailchimp mobile app has a email opt in feature.

10 Guerrilla Marketing Ideas For Promoting Your Business

Five Offline Marketing Ideas to Help Get Your Business Noticed

Email Marketing

You want to funnel your audience into a newsletter to grab repeat business, fill out surveys, run contest and promotions.

Engage your customers with email marketing

Email Lists Made Easy

SEO Basics

SEO is time intensive and may not be the quickest solution to getting customers right way, but its still very beneficial to learn and have the basics down. Below are some resources to get familiar with SEO:

Google’s SEO Starter Guide

SEO Simply Put

Beginners Guide to SEO

How to Use the Google Keyword Planner to Find Keywords for SEO

Social Media

You want to stay active on all social media platforms and be sure to never go stale. Take the information you learned from researching your target market then create content and grow your following.

How To Use Pinterest To Drive Traffic To Your Etsy Shop

Organize Your Online Content with Pinterest

6 Secrets to Twitter Success for a Handmade Business

Facebook Marketing: 3 Business Pages that Get it Right

Using Social Media to Connect with Your Biggest Fans

5 Awesome Examples of Instagram Marketing From Real Brands

Instagram Instantaneously For Etsy Sellers

Drive Quality Traffic from Facebook to Your Etsy Shop

Twitter for ecommerce

Tips:

  • Find out who the influencers are in your industry and ask them to help you run a giveaway. The influencer benefits, because they get product to give to and engage their audience. You benefit by being able to gain some of their following. Be sure to ask them to tag/like your business page in order to enter the contest.

  • Run small affordable ad buys on Facebook and niche blogs. This will only work once you understand your target audience.

Joining the Conversation with your Ideal Customer using Facebook Ads

This is a lot of information; and sure, this may seem like a lot of work – but that time can be cut down drastically with applications like buffer and HootSuite.

Social media scheduling tools

Little known ways to track your tweets and posts

5 Social Media Monitoring Tools to Simplify Your Marketing

Run flash Sales and Promotions

Every now and then you will need to run sales and promotions to help boost your online  sales.  It is also a great way to get rid of inventory that has been sitting around for a while.

Boost Online Sales with Short-Term Promotions

Top 5 Tips For Running A Successful eCommerce Promotion Campaign

How To Do A Sale The Right Way

You may have now come to the conclusion that marketing is a little bit of everything. Although it might seem overwhelming right now, over time you will discover your strengths and what works best for your audience. For example, after a few months you may find out that Instagram and your newsletter generates the most sales – these will then be the platforms you will want to place your focus and energy on; however, be sure to not let the others go stale because people check out everything. A potential customer might think you went out of business if they check out your Facebook page and see that your last post was from 2 months ago.

What type of marketing have you tried to gain customers? Share by commenting below.

trin

Trin Salaloy – Made Freshly

Trin Salaloy is the co founder and creator of MadeFreshly – a simple to use online store creator.  He is a designer, entrepreneur and online marketing guru. He’s commented to making it easy for entrepreneurs to make beautiful websites.

5+ DIY PACKAGING IDEAS

5-DIY-packaging-ideas

Having your own handmade business is hard work.

You’re busy creating your fabulous product or service.

You’re working tirelessly behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly so that you have a life beyond your business.

You’re being diligent about your social media/marketing and getting yourself out there.

You take care in presenting your fabulous product or service for those repeat sales.

You have a solid logo or colour scheme, but may not have the cash to get a professional to design your entire branding package.

Let’s be honest, you’ve spent a good chunk of change getting to this stage.

Here are 5 ways to keep your branding consistent without breaking the bank:

5-DIY-packaging-ideas-rubberstamps

1) RUBBER STAMPS

A fairly easy way to keep your brand consistent is to invest in some custom rubber stamps of your logo and/or secondary marks in a few different sizes. Keep it simple with black ink or use similar colours in your brand palette. This way, you can create simple hang-tags, calling cards, Thank You notes and packaging items, while experimenting with different stocks or styles while maintaining the basics of your brand.

5-DIY-packaging-ideas-bizcards

2) BUSINESS CARDS

You should always include a business card with any package you send to your customer/client and if you don’t have the cash to have one professionally designed, you should at least spend some time making one uniquely you. You can check out some great ideas over on my  “Calling Cards”Pinterest Board,

5-DIY-packaging-ideas-thankyou

3) THANK YOU CARDS

One of the easiest and impactful way to show your customer/client that you care and that they MATTER to you, is to send along a handwritten Thank You note/card.

Either purchase some lovely cards that echo your brand’s style and/or colour palette or look for ones like these to download and print yourself.

“TOP TIP: Use a thicker or specialty cardstock for that extra-oomph if you’re printing them yourself”

Upgrade the look with some simple white envelopes lined with coordinating scrapbook paper or again, some downloaded templates.

5-DIY-packaging-ideas-wrap

4) WRAPPING ESSENTIALS

In order to maintain that professionalism that you want your customers/clients to experience, it’s sometimes better to splash out on a few key branding items. A good, solid logo and colour palette FOR SURE. Often a professionally designed business card can really set the tone. Digital design for your main portal of reaching your customers/clients (whether it be an online shop such as Etsy or a Facebook Page or an actual website) is often best left to the professionals.

There are some great and inexpensive ways to accompany these big purchases, though, all the while maintaining consistency.

a) Use a rubber stamp or coordinating label to mark any generic boxes, envelopes or packaging material you may use.

b) Wrap each package in kraft or hand-stamped (see? those rubber stamps come in handy!) wrapping paper and tie with sumptuous ribbon, baker’s twine or linen thread to echo your brand’s aesthetic.

“TOP TIP: Instead of plain tape, use a coordinating or contrasting washi tape to secure the wrapping paper/package”

c) Print out some simple (or silver or gold) labels with your logo and stick them on some inexpensive coordinating coloured cardstock, punch a hole and thread it through the above tied ribbon/twine/thread.

d) Buy some inexpensive shred (from somewhere such as Staples or U-Line) to give that extra-special feel as well as protective padding.

5) MAKE IT YOU

Let your imagination shine through here and don’t simply copy something you’ve seen somewhere else; use those ideas that you like and build on them to make it wholly your own.  After all, your brand is who you are… let that personality shine through!

………………………………………………..

Have a great weekend!

Geribiowashi

Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion

Geri Jewitt is a graphic designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, a design studio focused on branding for small businesses and helping them stand out from the madding crowd.  Recently adding custom letterpress design + printing to the studio, she loves working on custom projects, such as wedding stationery or branding collateral! She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about owning a small creative biz and offers tips, tutorials, templates and design inspiration.

The Languid Lion – CharlieBoy Press – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Instagram

How to Build an Honest Marketing Strategy that Wins

munishopCoral Linen Tote Bag from MUNI shop

If you live in a snowy region, you’ll know that every time there’s a big snowstorm the news and weather channels cover it all. day. long. If you’re anything like me, you watch the report for five minutes and then wonder: who in the world is going to watch this all day long? 

The answer to that question is: my husband. He eats snowy weather reports up with a spoon. He simply can’t get enough of the Doppler, the predictions, the pictures or the footage of snow. He loves it, and he tunes in and switches between snow-reporting channels all. day. long.

Here’s the important question: Which viewer is more valuable to the news stations? The woman who tunes in for five minutes or the man who tunes in for five hours? Which person is going to watch more commercials, share snow report videos, and talk about what they’re hearing on the news? The guy who tunes in for five hours, of course.

I’ve always understood this about business. “My people” are the only people I focus on. Many sellers will jump through hoops for that one-off sale: they’ll stuff keywords, list and re-list all day long, spend eight hours chatting in the forums, etc., but I’ve never been a seller who looks for one-off sales (or five-minute viewers).

I only want to talk to the people who are willing to really tune in. I know they’re what matters most to my bottom line, and I value them immensely. In fact, I invite my Energy Shop customers to read Marketing Creativity regularly (the blog where I discuss all the marketing strategies I use to find Energy Shop customers).

Know why? Because if you look at the core of my strategy, it is simply this: 

Find people who deeply appreciate your work, and then
Deeply appreciate those people, and then
Brainstorm ways you can find more people just like them.

There’s no scheming or tricking involved. I certainly do not use fear-based tactics or cringe-worthy advertising strategies. I offer full disclosure into my very honest marketing mission: I want to find the people who really get what I do.

Who are the people who get what you do? And where might you find them?

lisawashi

 Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.