This week, I want to spend a little time talking about small business success. Leading up the Small Business Saturday, we are all working hard to do what we can to be seen as a small business. My primary resources for this are Pinterest and Tailwind. So, this week I’m posting two guides for my fellow handmade business owners (Etsy Makers! Hello!). One will be on how to use Pinterest, and one will be on how to use Tailwind.
Good luck to all this holiday season! Shop local and shop handmade!
Pinterest is an amazing marketing tool. It is a search engine like no other — where all searches come up with photos and you can save as many as you want for later in organized categories.
For a handmade business, such as an Etsy shop or a blogger, this search engine can drive traffic to your product at an amazing rate. Over the last six months, with the help of a scheduling app called Tailwind, I’ve used Pinterest to grow my blog and my Etsy Shop.
My Pinterest account has 1.3 Million people looking at it every month, seeing my blog posts and Etsy listings as they browse Pinterest. And that is WITHOUT SEARCHING FOR IT!
That’s what makes Pinterest great. You get your products seen by like-minded people, regardless of their search results. It is all about who they follow.
But where do you start?
First, you need to understand how marketing your business on Pinterest works.
Pinterest relies on regular SEO rules for the initial search results, but after that Pinterest marketing is all about circulation. Your goal is to get your pin “re-pinned” on as many other boards as possible.
The Life of A Pin
Sally has a Pinterest account. She like fashion and art. She has Boards on her Pinterest page for Jewelry she has found, shoes she likes, and artists she admires. Sally has 200 people who follow her boards because they have similar interests.
When Sally pins something to one of her boards, it appears on the feed of her followers. Much like Facebook, a feed is sorted based on your recent interests and pages you follow.
Sally searches for “beaded necklaces” and finds a pin for your product (for the moment, let’s pretend you design jewelry). She saves it to her “Jewelry” board. Her 200 followers now see this pin, even if they did not search for anything. It will now appear on their feed because she pinned it and they follow her.
Even though she wasn’t searching for beaded jewelry, Meagan is looking for a gift for her sister and sees your pin. She then saves it to her “gift ideas” board. Meagan has 500 people who follow her who now see your pin, and they weren’t searching for jewelry either!
Now you can see how Pinterest can reach more people than the average search engine.
How To Set Up Your Pinterest Page
So you start an account on Pinterest for your business.
Your profile should be one sentence explaining your business and what people can get from you. Make your profile picture a picture of you! Give your business a face.
I’m not going to give too much advice on how to set it up. There are a million nit-picky things you can do it improve your Pinterest business page. For now, just get the thing up and running!
Boards should be categories of things you sell or make, occasions they would be used for, of people who would love them. If you sell jewelry, boards for “beads,” “necklaces,” “earrings,” “weddings,” “bridesmaids gifts,” “fashion trends 2018″… There should also be categories about seasons your items fit into (like “Christmas decorations” if you make ornaments,).
You should also make board that do NOT have to do with your business specifically. Yes, it makes sense for them to tie back into it, but if you make jewelry, but you also love wire art, make a board for that.
For example, I design crochet patterns, and a huge number of my boards are about that, but I also love Cosplay, Guinea Pigs, and offer help with Craft Fair Setup and Craft Room Organization. Those things all loosely link back to my business, so I have boards for them all as well.
Someone may be preparing for a craft fair, use some of my tips from my “Craft Fair Prep” board, and by following me, find a few crochet patterns to use at their next fair. Get it? A loose link to your business can put content in front of your audience that they didn’t even know they were looking for.
Remember, there are a lot of things that are similar to what you do! A lot of jewelry enthusiasts like fashion, so add some Fall Fashion boards!
Get The Pinterest Extension on Your Browser
Open your favorite browser (I prefer Chrome) and find the Tools option in the upper right drop down menu. Find “Extensions.” Search for “Pinterest” and add it. This will make the Pinterest button appear when you hover over any picture on a web site.
Now it will be much easier to Pin all those listings from Etsy or all your blog posts when they go live. 🙂
Then, all you have to do is hover over the first picture on your listing, click the “P,” and pin it to a few boards! Easy peasy, and fast!
Pin at least 10 pins on each board.
Make sure the description includes the name of the item/blog post. This is where you can use your SEO skills to add a few keywords.
Find Group Boards
Check out www.pingroupie.com to find Group Boards.
Group Board can be set up by anyone, but you have to follow them and be invited to contribute. These boards a great way to spread around your pins with like-minded people.
Once you find a Group Board you want to join, there are usually instructions on how to request an invitation.
Pin Other People’s Pins!
This is the most important rule of Pinterest! Pinterest is all about circulation! You want other people to save your pins to their boards, so you should be doing the same. Add other people’s pins to your Boards.
It is a turn off for Pinners to follow a board that is obviously just advertising one business.
Spread the love!
Pin from Group Boards!
If you are on a Group Board, be sure you are pinning things from it regularly. The only way they work is if everyone is re-pinning things off of them, and if you want your pins to get re-pinned, you need to do the same.
NOTE ABOUT PINNING: In an average week, I pin 90-100 pins. I would say no more than half of them are from MY blog or Etsy page, usually less. People have to find you somehow, and they may not be looking for you when it happens.
Optional: Make your own images with Canva
Canva.com is a great site (and it’s free!) to create Pinterest images. You know the kind — those awesome ones that have words and borders. You can make your own images on Canva to fit Pinterest. This is especially great for blog posts or sales!
Once you get the idea and have several full boards of your own, consider using a scheduling app called Tailwind.
Tailwind schedules your pins according to when your audience is looking at your pins. It then allows you to schedule them out in advance so you are not having to spend all your time on Pinterest getting your content in front of the right people.
Tailwind got me from 15,000 to 1.3 Million views a month. And I only pin for 30 minutes a week!
You can try it for 30 days for free, so why not give it a go and watch your Pinterest audience grow!
Have any other Pinterest business tips you find are working? Have any questions?
Add them to the Comments!
This post includes affiliate links for Tailwind. I really use Tailwind, adore it, and highly recommend it. I would never affiliate with a product I did not use myself every day.
Kati is the designer behind Hooked by Kati. With thousands of patterns sold around the world, Kati prides herself in creating innovative, easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She has designed for several publications, including Crochet!, Crochet World, Simply Crochet, and I Like Crochet. Kati finds her inspiration in science fiction, video games, and numerous visits to the zoo — all passions she shares with her husband and two boys.