5 Ways to Up-Level Your Pinterest Profile

Taking the time to perfect your Pinterest profile is crucial to becoming profitable with Pinterest.  You want people to find you on Pinterest, to understand what your business is all about, and ultimately visit your website or join your email list.  Read on to learn 5 ways to uplevel your Pinterest profile.
Taking the time to perfect your Pinterest profile is crucial to becoming profitable with Pinterest.  You want people to find you on Pinterest, to understand what your business is all about, and ultimately visit your website or join your email list.  Read on to learn 5 ways to uplevel your Pinterest profile.

#1 Make the most of the Business Name field in your Pinterest profile

The Business Name field inside your Pinterest profile can hold up to 30 characters.  Most people just put their short and sweet name here but I recommend making the most of it by including a little bit about what you do as well.  This is helpful because your account will appear in the Pinterest search if anyone uses the words you’ve added to your business name when searching for Pinterest.  This can help you gain highly targeted followers.
 In the photo below you’ll see I have close to 100 characters.  Since this screenshot was taken you can no longer make your title larger than 30 characters.  Still, try to use as much of the space as you can and fit in a keyword or two if space allows.

#2 Add a professional photo or a logo as your Pinterest profile photo

I see lots of people adding snapshots of themselves or a photo of the product they sell as their profile photo on Pinterest.  These types of photos don’t help put your best foot forward though.  Instead, I recommend a professional photo of your smiling face which helps people connect with you or I recommend adding your logo.

Going with one of these options will help show that you’re a professional business on Pinterest and will help give you a better level of expertise.  If you go with your logo make sure the look and color are similar to everywhere else your brand is represented online.  This will help build brand recognition as people find you across social media and your website.

#3 Add your website URL to your Pinterest profile

This one seems like a no-brainer but I often see people forget to add their website to their profile.  Make sure people have a way to find out more about you.  If you haven’t yet, make sure to purchase your custom URL and use that like I’ve done in the Handmade Journey profile with handmadejourney.com.

A custom URL helps brand your business and looks more professional than say an Etsy URL or a wordpress.com URL.  You can redirect the custom URL wherever you like.  Just make sure you’re sending people to your main online presence.

#4 Tell customers how you can help them in the description

When you go to write your description make sure you tell your customer how your business will benefit them in the first part.  Whether you sell a product or a service you are helping people. But you’ve gotta be really concise because you can only fit 160 characters in the description.

Tell people who you help and what you help them with.  For my Handmade Journey description I say “Helping Etsy sellers turn their craftiness into sales”.  It tells people really quickly who I help and what I can help them with.

#5 Add a link to a freebie in the description

In the second part of your description you want to include a freebie to try to get people who see your profile onto your mailing list.  I include a little bit about what the freebie is and a link to the freebie.  The link won’t be clickable so I try to make it as short as possible.  You can use bit.ly if needed to help make the link shorter.  In my Handmade Journey profile I’m giving my followers a PDF guide but you can get creative here.

Some examples of what you can create as a freebie are printables, checklists, discount coupon codes, how-to guides, free gifts with purchase, etc.  The ultimate goal is to get people off of Pinterest and onto your email list so you can market to them in the future so definitely, don’t skip this step.

5 Easy Ways to Create Video for Your Handmade Business

Creating video for your handmade business can seem super scary. The first time I made a video, my hands got all sweaty and I had to do probably 100 takes before I felt it was worthy of being shared.

But as I mentioned in my last blog post 5 Ways To Use Live Video To Grow Your Handmade Business, using video for your handmade business is going to be an important part of your social media strategy in 2018. Read on to learn 5 easy ways to use video (that aren’t super scary)!

Creating video for your handmade business is a great way to your handmade products in front of more people and beat the Facebook and Instagram algorithms because they prefer video.

#1 Hyperlapse Videos

I love watching Instagram videos where someone speeds up their production process. Did you know those videos are really easy to do? With your cell phone, a tripod, and a nifty app called Hyperlapse- you can take videos as you are creating products and with the Hyperlapse app (iTunes), speed them up and post them not only on Instagram but Facebook as well!  And you don’t have to show your face or speak so it’s a low anxiety way to get started with video.

If you’re on Android a good alternative is your phone’s native hyperlapse feature (if you have a newer Samsung) or the Microsoft Hyperlapse app (Android).

If you are worried about showing too much of your process, that’s okay. You can record yourself packaging orders or even just record a small part of the process. You don’t have to give away any secrets. Keep these short and show just enough to draw people into the video.

#2 Show Off Your Products

Do you make something using glitter, or a material that is really hard to catch its true beauty in photos? A video is a great way to show the details that photography is hard to capture. Again- you can accomplish this with your phone, and an app called Boomerang (iTunes or Android). Boomerang is an app from Instagram that takes a burst of photos or a video and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward.

Lets say you make decals with glitter vinyl- you could record a short video of you turning that decals different direction in the light to catch the reflection of the glitter. Bommerang will than speed that up into a short video that plays backwards and forwards. There are all kinds of fun ways you can use it to show off your products!

#3 Show Off Your Workspace

I know, I know… you’re likely thinking “But my workspace doesn’t look like it came out of an IKEA catalog! I work at my dining room table”. That’s okay! People love to know the person or place behind a product. You don’t have to show off all of your workspace either.

Don’t want to hear yourself on video? You don’t need to say anything if you don’t want to. Just pan around your space and post!

Side note- did you know you can turn the sound off videos on Instagram? So don’t worry if your dog is barking in the background, or your toddler comes running in while you are recording it- you can still post it, and just turn off the sound.

#4 Collage of Your Products

This tip doesn’t even require you to take a video at all! All you need is photos of your products and any collage video app. My go to app is FilmoraGo (iTunes or Android). I just upload photos of my items, add some cool effects, some music if I’d like and I have a professional looking video of my items I can post.

These types of videos are great to do for holidays and special occassions- so create different collage videos that showcase your seasonal products together.

#5 Introduce Yourself

I am pushing my Handmade Journey Academy members this year to really take a step outside of their comfort zone. Putting yourself in front of the camera may be really far outside of yours. As I said- it was really scary at first for me, and sometimes still is! But again, all you need is your phone and a tripod.

I challenge you to record a quick 30-second video introducing yourself to your audience. Share a little bit about yourself and why you started the handmade journey that you’re on. You’ll be surprised at how much your audience loves connecting with you in this way.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

5 Ways To Use Live Video To Grow Your Handmade Business

In my 2018 Handmade Seller Predictions Guide, I shared how live video is going to be huge on social media this year. With the Facebook Algorithm changing (again!) and Instagram showing less of your posts to your followers, live video is an amazing way to hack the algorithms and connect with your followers.

Its easy to see why- 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. (Source: Livestream and New York Magazine Survey) Here I’m sharing 5 ways to use live video (on Facebook or Instagram) to grow your handmade business!

 

Live video is an amazing way to connect with your buyers and increase your sales to grow your handmade business. Here I'm sharing 5 of my favorite ways to use live video to get in front of new customers. Use live video to grow your Etsy shop today!

#1 Connect With Your Audience With Live Video

Did you know that 4X as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it? That tells us that video- not just Facebook or Instagram Live- is a great way to connect to your audience. Especially in the handmade market where customers want to get to know the person behind the business!

And there are so many ways to connect with your audience using video.  Share a quick video about why you started your handmade business or to tell a little bit about yourself.  Tell your audience why you fell in love with the products you make and why you’re so passionate about your business.

#2 Host a Live Video Sale

Have seasonal items you don’t want to hang on to until next year? Items that have slight flaws that you don’t want to sell at full price? These are both great products to offer during a Live Sale.

During a Facebook or Instagram Live you can show off your items by hosting a live sale. Encourage your viewers to share the video with their friends. You could even offer viewers a discount on their purchase if they share the video.  This is a great way to get in front of new buyers.

#3 Build Hype for New Products

Coming out with a new product line? Or maybe just one new item? Live video is a great way to share your new products, give a demonstration on how to use them, or share your inspiration for your new line or product.

You can answer any questions your followers have about the new items or show them sneak peeks of what’s coming.  You can even include your customers in the creation process by asking for their opinion on colors, materials, or product ideas.

#4 Give a Look Inside Your Business

You can also use l video to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and how you work. Share your processes, your work space, your materials, etc.

You might also focus on an aspect of your business that your target audience would be interested in learning more about.  To you, this info may not seem entertaining but we love to take a peek into other people’s lives and businesses.

If you’re not comfortable using live video just yet, try creating a hyperlapse video (sped up video) showing you crafting.  You don’t have to show your face either.  Just show your hands making the product.

#5 Answer FAQs

Customer service is an important part of any business. Chances are, you answer every question that comes in, even if it’s a repeat question. While it’s important that you respond to every question, this can eat up a lot of time. Fortunately, this is an area where live video can be useful.

For example, you might identify a common question that you receive, and rather than answer the question again and again, you can have a Facebook Live video session to answer it. Its also a great time to see what other questions your followers may have about your products.  You can link to this video next time someone else has the same question.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

6 Things to Try When Your Etsy Sales Slow Down

I know how frustrating it can be when your Etsy sales drop unexpectedly.  Many people will try to find something or someone to blame and will lose motivation.  That’s the opposite of what you should do though.  When sales drop that’s a great time to experiment with something new.  Trying something new will renew your motivation and hopefully lead to more sales.  Here are 6 of my favorite things to try when your sales drop.

When your Etsy sales slow down it's easy to lose motivation. Here are a few things to try so that you can get your sales back up as quickly as possible.

Run a Sale

During slow periods you may want to offer an extra incentive to shoppers to purchase your products.  You can use Etsy’s new Sales & Coupons tool to create a sale or create a coupon code.  When you set the sale up make sure you tell your buyers that it’s a limited time only sale to encourage them to make a purchase then and there.

Also, make sure your sale is enticing enough.  I recommend using a discount percentage of at least 20% off or an amount of $5 off.  Buyers aren’t really motivated by discounts that are any lower.

Run Ads Through Etsy

Etsy Ads are a way to purchase ad space on Etsy.  On each page of the Etsy search results you’ll find designated ad spots at the top and at the middle of the page.  You can pay for these ads for a chance for your product to be featured in these spots.  It’s a great way to build momentum for your business and increase your sales.

Plus when you turn on Etsy Ads you’ll also be buying ad space in the Google search results with Google Shopping Ads.  This gives you an even bigger chance to grow your reach by appearing for shoppers browsing on Google.

Host a Giveaway

A giveaway can be a fun way to get some excitement buzzing about your brand.  I love Instagram giveaways because you can collaborate with other handmade sellers or Instagram influencers and get in front of their audience too.

Try to collaborate with other sellers who have the same target audience.  If you sell jewelry you may want to team up with someone who sells scarves.  Or if you sell soap you may want to team up with someone who sells wash cloths.

Work on SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is the work that you do to make sure your listings have the best chance to appear in as many different Etsy search results as possible and as high in the search results as possible.  This work is the key to getting views on Etsy which will lead to sales.

SEO is a never-ending process so even if you’ve put in the effort to optimize your listings in the past you can always improve.  Look at the past few weeks and see if any of your keyword phrases aren’t getting any views.  If they aren’t you may either want to try extra renewing or you may want to try a different phrase.  If you’re not sure what SEO is click here to learn the basics.

Take New Photos

I can’t stress the importance of good photos enough.  If you want to ensure that buyers click on your listings you need a photo that is inviting.  The recipe for success is a photo that is bright where the product is the star of the show.  If you feel like your photos could use some work I recommend taking advantage of slower times and experimenting with new backgrounds or photo locations.

Also if you sell accessories or apparel try to find a friend who is willing to model your products for you.  Modeled photos give the buyer an idea of the size of the product and how they can wear the product.  If you’d like to learn more about taking great photos for Etsy click here for my top photo tips.

Keep Trying New Things

Hopefully, these tips help break you out of your low sales rut.  The key to growing a business is to focus on trying new things and experimenting until you find what works for your products.  Stay curious and focused on learning new things and you’ll find that you can quickly turn a period of low sales around.

Want even more help optimizing your listings for Etsy SEO?

Ways to Stay Motivated When Etsy Sales Are Slow

When your Etsy sales are slow it can be easy to feel like you’ve done something wrong.  Usually that’s not the case.  Retail sales are a constant roller coaster ride of ups and downs that often can’t be explained.  Here are some tips that will help you stay motivated and moving forward with your business when sales are slow.

Here are some tips that will help you stay motivated and moving forward with your handmade business when Etsy sales are slow.

Find Something That Motivates You When Etsy Sales Are Slow

It’s hard to stay positive and motivated when sales are down.  So take this time to lean on some motivational tools.

  • One of my favorites is music.  Different music motivates us so find a positive song that really speaks to you or better yet a positive playlist.  Click here for a YouTube playlist of motivational songs that Handmade Journey members have recommended.
  • Read a motivational book or audiobook.  One of my favorites is You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
  • There are a ton of YouTube channels and podcasts out there that are motivational.  I love the GoalCast channel on Youtube because it shares inspirational stories of people’s rise to the top.  Brilliant Business Moms is one of my favorite business podcasts.  Beth Anne delivers content for business owners in a positive and encouraging way.
  • Laughter can truly be the best medicine.  Find a new comedy movie or TV show that’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

Find an Accountability Buddy

Each of us needs someone that we can talk to about our business.  Here are a few ways to best use an accountability buddy.

  • Find someone who has a similar business or is at a similar stage in their journey.  Check in with them to share your successes and struggles.
  • Have an honest discussion with your accountability buddy about the things that can veer you off track with your business.  Let them know the things that have derailed you in the past so that they can motivate you when those things come up in the future.
  • Commit to a regular check-in time and put it on the calendar.  Knowing that you are going to be checking in with your accountability buddy is often enough to keep you motivated and moving forward with your business.

Learn a New Skill

Slow times in your business can be useful for learning a new skill which helps us keep our minds active and busy.

  • See if there are any local crafting courses being offered in your area.  Being around other creatives can be super motivating.  Even a paint night can be enough to break you out of the trap of feeling unmotivated.
  • Try out a new technique or new material.  This is one of my favorite ways to break out of a rut.  My very first crafting business was making candles and if I lost motivation all it took was ordering a new scent to try.  Same with my sign making business.  If I got bored I’d try out a new stain color or wood type.  The change of pace helped me get excited about my business again!

Try Something New in Your Business

This is where you take the new skill you learned or something you’ve been wanting to try and you put it into practice.  Shaking things up by trying something new can help us stay interested in our businesses even when things aren’t going as well as we would like.

  • Try a new way to drive traffic to your Etsy shop.  Click here to learn some new ideas like hosting a giveaway, online party or signing up for a craft show.
  • Create a new shop icon or cover photo for your Etsy shop.  Sometimes when our business feels a little stuck it can do wonders to freshen up our shop.  Try using a free program like Canva.com which has free templates for shop icons and cover photos.
  • Try out a new marketing platform like Pinterest.  The amazing thing about Pinterest is that after you pin something it doesn’t get buried in a feed like an Instagram or Facebook post would.  In fact, pins spread out like a spiderweb as they get more and more repins.  This means that you can put in work on Pinterest and see additional results over time without putting in continued efforts.

Remember How Far You’ve Come

When I’m feeling a little bummed out about my business I love to take a look back and remember all the things I’ve already accomplished.

  • Keep track of your sales in a fun way.  You can buy beautiful scratch off maps that are similar to a lottery ticket to celebrate each sale in a new state or country.  Click here to see an example of a US scratch off map on Etsy. You can also print off coloring pages from your computer and color in each state or country as you make a sale.
  • Look back at your older photos or social media posts.  Often I’ve found that I’ve fine-tuned my product creation and my photos over time without even realizing it.  Taking a look back at photos you’ve taken a few months or years ago can really be eye-opening to show you how much you’ve grown.
  • Read some of your past reviews to remember how happy your products have made buyers in the past.  Creating a product that people love is often one of the main reasons that we all start a handmade business so this alone can often be really motivational.
  • Take a screenshot of accomplishments like when you hit your first 100 sales or when you receive a really great review.  You can even print these out and tape them up around your workspace.

Ready Your Business For Busier Times

The best way to make use of slower times is to really work on your business so that you’re ready for busier sales periods like the holidays.  You’ll stay busy which can help you stay motivated.

  • Take the time to get organized.  Make sure you have all of your supplies in stock and that you’re caught up on paperwork.  When sales are busier we often don’t have as much time for things like this so the slow times can be a perfect way to get caught up.
  • Get your shop in tip-top shape.  Really learn and implement SEO strategies so that you can appear in as many search results as possible.  Also, take new photos of your products to make your shop look fresh and inviting.
  • Train a friend or family member to help you with your business.  Many sellers, especially those who create holiday decor or products that make a great gift find that their sales go up exponentially during the holiday season.  Use the slower times to find someone who is willing to help with your business and train them to make your products or package your products.
  • Prepare some freezer meals during your slow times so that you’ve got a quick and easy dinner already made on nights you’ve got a ton of orders to work on.  HappyMoneySaver.com has a ton of quick and easy options.

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