Do you think Pinterest could be the secret weapon in your business, but don’t know how to set up a Pinterest business account? Well, friends, you’re in for a treat! Jessica Sciuva, my fabulous VA and owner of JES Virtual Consulting, shares a few tips for getting started.
If you haven’t set up a business account on Pinterest yet, I highly recommend you do it, like ASAP.
Check out these statistics about Pinterest in 2019.
Some key points in this article include:
- There are over 291 million monthly active users
- Women make up the majority of the users on Pinterest
- 50% of millennials use Pinterest every month.
If your target audience includes millennial women, Pinterest is where you need to be. Leveraging the power of this search engine by learning how to start a Pinterest business account can greatly impact your bottom line.
According to the article, “Ninety percent of weekly users turn to Pinterest to help them make their purchasing decisions.”
I know this is true for me. I don’t go to a specific website to look for a cute dress, I go to Pinterest. Why? Because I can immediately see a variety of dresses from different stores and at different price points. If I see something that piques my interest, I instantly visit that store to check out more. It also opens my eyes to new brands that may become my favorite.
Another insane statistic from this article is, “By 2020, Pinterest ad revenue is projected to surpass $1 billion.”
Ads are powerful on Pinterest, especially if you are selling products, but it’s also a great way to gain email subscribers and increase your brand awareness. This article goes more in-depth about ads.
So you may be thinking, this sounds so good, but how do I get started? Head on over to this blog post for tips on how to start a Pinterest business account and set yourself up for success.
And do me a favor, hover over the picture to this blog post and pin it for me.
In the early 2010s, bloggers were queens. I was a mommy blogger (although I hated that phrase) for many years around this time. I made some money, some friends, and discovered so much about marketing and how to start a blog to get leads. Plus, I got to write. What’s better than that?
Back then, I didn’t have anything to sell but my stories, and the currency was my readers’ attention. Y’all, my first post was about my new stove — I mean, really now. Blogging has since gone out of style for me and the blogging crew I ran with (ran as in, Tweeted with in all hours of the night), but I still think knowing how to start a blog to get leads is essential for many small and networking marketing businesses. While blogging for business isn’t “make or break”, it can provide a substantial lift to a business brand and provide great custom content for social. And also? It’s a great way to sell a product. Yep, I said it.
If you have a small business or networking marketing company, you may wonder why you should bother to start a blog to get leads. After all, you’re already having trouble juggling allthethings without adding blogging to the mix. Before I hop into the nitty gritty of starting your blog, I want to share three reasons you should register your URL and get started.
- Blogging can set you apart from others in your industry, networking marketing company or direct sales company. Shockingly few people are going this route, and the ones who are can potentially reach thousands of additional “cold” leads.
- Having a blog helps you sell without being salsey. When you make your blog about your life or your industry — or a combination of both — you will include products or services that you also sell.
- Your blogs can provide content that will serve your community and your ideal customers. That builds trust in you and your product.
How to Start a Blog to Get Leads
Before you begin, assess your comfort level. Blogging can feel a little intimidating when you start it up. How much time do you have to commit to launching your blog? How much money could you spend on monthly packages or hosting? Remember: You don’t have to spend anything on a blog. It’s a myth that you have to spend thousands of dollars for a simple blog! There are platforms out there that give you a nice, simple look and cost zero dollars.
Choose your Platform
Some of the most common platforms out there include:
- Wix (drag-and-drop interface and no tech skills needed; $8 per month when you pay for a year)
- SquareSpace (drag-and-drop interface and can be a bit complicated depending on what design you choose; around $12 per month)
- WordPress.com (free version gives you lots of bells and whistles, but includes ads; the professional version is $4 per month and includes your own .com)
- Strinkingly – This is a brand new one to me, but I’ll be building one for a lucky DIY Digital student and doing a tutorial on their Forever Free plan!
- WordPress.org (requires much more setup, including the purchase of hosting and a domain name but is incredibly powerful once set up) — I use Namecheap; they have a WordPress hosting package for only $22 for the whole year.
- Tumblr.com (quick and free, and a great solution for those who just want to blog and share their products; technically a social media platform, so it’s simple to use)
Plan your Content and Goal
Because your blog will be one part of your lead generation strategy, commit to your writing schedule, and then brainstorm 20 topics you could integrate with your product or service. After you do that, write 20 more topics that are related to your brand or industry. For instance, let’s use essential oils (since I’m helping a client with her Young Living website right now):
Topics with Product
- Essential oil blends for sleep
- Essential oil blends for energy
- Cooking with essential oils
- DIY recipes
Topics with Personality
- Mom life
- Healthy living journey
- Recap of a recent make-and-take event
- Traveling with kids
See how these work together to promote her product and her brand?
Include the type of product or service you want to link to in each article so it’s top of mind while you’re writing your thoughts.
Your next planning step deciding how often you’d like to publish. This is completely dependent on you and your time, and should be able to fit in with your other marketing scheduling without overwhelming you.
Can you commit to one new post per month? GREAT!Will you post three times each week? INCREDIBLE! Feeling the quarterly publication schedule vibe? Friend, that’s FANTASTIC!
Approach your blog from a place of service. What’s on your mind that could uplift, encourage, help, inspire or entertain your customers? What would they enjoy? That’s what you should write.
Next Steps: Tech
IT’S NOT SCARY…COME BACK! Seriously, learning how to start a blog for leads is not nearly as complicated as it seems — specially when I walk you through each step.
Next week, I’ll get into the specifics of starting your blog and beginning to generate leads!
What is a Lead Magnet?
In marketing terms, a lead magnet is a valuable resource that your leads — potential customers — can download or access in exchange for their contact information. If email addresses were currency, lead magnets would be the product your leads buy with their currency. The best lead magnets for direct sales have a high percieved value to your potential audience, giving them plenty of incentive to provide their email to you, as well as an invitation for you to contact them with information about your company, products or services.
You can find thousands of lead magnets online, and most likely, you’ve downloaded some yourself. Coupons, free gifts, samples, e-books, training guides, video access; these are all considered lead magnets. Lead magnets for direct sales can be a game changer for your business, as it can provide exceptional value to your customers, establish you as the go-to person, help you brand yourself, and so much more. If it can work for millions of brick-and-mortar and online retailers, it can work for your small business and direct sales business!
Lead Magnets for Direct Sellers
Of course, as a direct sellers or small business owner on a budget, freebies or complicated and time consuming e-books may be off the table. Additionally, you may be limited to what you can provide to an external audience according to your company’s policies and procedures. As you’re planning your lead mangets for direct sales, consider these factors: How much time can I commit to creating this? How much money can I allocate to a lead magnet? Does this adhere to my company’s rules? You might flex your creative muscles a bit when choosing your lead magnet, but it will pay off in spades, and can help you generate new leads on autopilot.
Gift with Purchase
One most-utilized lead magnets in the retail industry is the gift with purchase, and for good reason. It not only gives an added value to your customer, but also sales for your business. Gift with purchase can be anything with percieved value, from a handful of samples to a full-sized free product. For direct sellers, you may consider something complimentary to your product you can send for free — a small makeup bag if you sell makeup , a glass roller container for essential oils affiliates or deluxe samples of a full sized product for skincare consultants. In all three of these examples, the free gift is very inexpensive or complimentary to you. Makeup bags, glass rollers and small jars to distribute samples are all available for less than $1 per item. Each provide a personalized touch to your sales.
Video has exploded on social media, with live video being top of the list. In fact, more than 95% of brands in a recent survey said live video would be a part of their marketing plan. Video can help showcase your personality and solidify your personal branding for your direct sales business. It can also be used as a lead magnet! A video series can include tutorials on your products, DIY follow-along videos, demos and more. Once you decide on your video series topic, take some quick videos ( less than 2 minutes per video) and upload them to YouTube as unlisted videos. After your new lead signs up, send them the video links via email each day for the legnth of the series (p.s. email automation can help tremendlously with this!)
Your video series should have a percieved value to your potential customers. What can they learn from you that they can’t get elsewhere? How can you simplify their lives or meet a need? How can your video series solve their problems or address their pain points? Videos should address at least one of these questions. Remember: a video series is designed to show YOUR expertise with your product or service, so don’t stress about how it looks! A short smart phone video is all you need to get started.
If you’re the creative type, this lead magnets for direct sales idea is perfect for you. This category of lead magnets includes:
- Guide to..
- How to..
- Cheat Sheet
And so so SOOOO many more. Seriously, the list could go on and on with ulimited topics. A great digital download 1) solves a problem or addresses a your potential customers have and 2) compliments a paid product or service you offer. It has to fit both parts of this equation to work for your business. One of the most creative I’ve seen is from Young Living essential oils. I could mark off all the products I used, and the guide told me which YL products I could use instead. Brilliant!
Digital downloads are usually created in a design program like Canva, uploaded to a cloud store site (like a website, Google Drive or Dropbox, or email marketing platform), and emailed to the lead upon request. Again, automation can help this, but as you start, you can send them individually through your personal or business email address along with a personal note. Encourage your leads to engage with you by prompting questions or feedback about the digital download.
Don’t think you have design chops to knock out something like this? Think again! Canva has tons of pre-made templates in the platform and even more for purchase on other websites, like Etsy and Creative Market. It’s worth the investment!
“Answer some questions and we’ll tell you what kind of cheese you are!” Buzzfeed is basically the king of the quiz.
But they are definitely doing something right. Judging by my Facebook feed, people love to take quizes and share their results, which means the companies who created the quizes are getting traffic and leads while they sleep. Quizes can work for any type of company, and aren’t difficult to create. Your quiz should focus on the benefits of your product or service in a fun way, and each question should lead users to an outcome that compliments one of your products. For example, if you sell organizational tools, you may develop questions about your potential customers degrees of disorganization (“You’re a neat freak!” or “You’re a total pack rat!”) (but nicer, because who wants to be called a pack rat??) Your quiz results will provide: 1) an email address 2) valuable information about your customer 3) a ready-made sales tool for you to follow up with the specific product to meet their needs.
Quizes can be set up easily with almost no tech knowledge on Quiz Monkey.
Once you’re settled on the ideal lead magnet, get ready to find even more customers to nurture and serve!
My son was in Kindergarten when I started my business. His class was the K5 Beehive and I was simply delighted by all the themes in their classroom, called the k5 Beehive. I didn’t need much in the way of a simple mood board for my new company — from the get-go, in embraced the Honeycomb lifestyle.
I’m a huge proponent of brand consistency, but for me, it’s always been simple. Take my own personal “brand” for instance: I’m a southern girl who loves the color pink, cats, iced coffee, Disney, makeup and the beach. I bet you already have an idea of what a face-to-face meeting with me would be like. Knowing how I communicate — and as a result, the type of people I’m most likely to attract — helped me tremendously when I was running my direct sales business. My personal branding helped me attract the people who were most likely to buy from me, because I could tap into their pain points, likes and desires.
Simple Mood Board Tutorial
One part is knowing your idea customer persona, but another is knowing your own brand and the brand your company reflects, especially when you’re a direct sales pro or a solo-preneur — because in these cases, they are tied very closely together. A simple mood board — known in design circles as a collection of colors, fonts, textures, compositions and ideas that represent an overall brand — can help you establish your business brand and keep you consistent.
If you’re not sure where to start, follow these three simple steps to create a small business mood board that will help you capture the essense of you and your business.
Step 1: Make A Favorites List
Sometimes we’re so busy managing our lives and our day-to-day business that we don’t stop and think about what makes us (and our business) tick. Take a pad of paper and write down everything you love the most. Dig deep with this activity, and make sure you add in elements of your business “why”. Start with these questions:
- What’s your favorite color?
- What’s your favorite season?
- In what part of the country did you grow up?
- What’s your favorite TV show? Why?
- What’s your favorite music? Why?
- Why did you start your business?
- Who is your best customer?
- What is does your home look like?
- In what clothing do you feel most comfortable?
- Where do you like to travel?
- What is your most defining trait?
- What is your top product?
- How do your products or services make you feel?
These probing questions are just the start for building on small business branding ideas. The above activity not only helps you define what you want from your business, but how you want it reflected to your customers. There is an in-depth workbook exercise for my DIY Digital Member site students.
Step 2: Pin What Makes You Happy
I love using Pinterest to help me establish a mood board or a look for my brand, as well as find other small business branding ideas. Start fresh with a Pinterest board, type in something you love (a food, color, activity) in the search bar, and then pin to the newly created board. Don’t put too much thought into it — just search, pin, search. Don’t worry about where the pins lead; right now, we’re focusing on a look. Click and pin what catches your eye, and take advantage of suggested pins and search keywords provided by Pinterest.
Try this activity for three minutes a day for three days. After some supercharged pinning, you’ll be ready to step back and take a look at your board from a birds-eye view. Can you see patterns? Are there certain colors or fonts that stand out? We’re not reinventing branding here; you’re using established elements as a building block for your brand. This board is your simple mood board.
Step 3: Make an Image
Take a screenshot of your board for reference, and then load up Canva, PicMonkey or Word Swag (or any other app or program you use for photography and design). Snap a selfie and upload it to the site. Finally, pick a color and font that’s is similar to others on your board and type in a quote (or make one up!) that sums up what you see on the board.
Examples of font combinations via PicMonkey
It’s important to not think too much about what you’re doing during these initial exercises. Your brand will likely morph and change as you grow. Once you’ve completed the image, you can use it to gather feedback from your customers, build and tweak or start making templates based on the colors and themes (i.e. decide on one to three coordinating colors and one or two fonts).
Branding is essential to a small business, so it’s better to start with something than grow without any type of brand direction!
Hot dogs are on sale, fireworks booths are peppering parking lots across the nation, and corporate America is looking longingly at the calendar in anticipation of a day off: that can only mean one thing — Independence Day is almost here. If you’re working your business, you’re liking browing for fourth of july social post ideas, and that’s a good thing: it means you’re being intentional in your business.
Here’s the thing: hundreds of thousands of others are also posting their fourth of july social post ideas, too. It’s easy for your post to get lost in the chaos of brand posts and shares from friends and family. Here are some do’s and don’ts for your July Fourth social posts to help you stand out in the crowd and celebrate this uniquely USA holiday.
Fourth of July Social Post Ideas
- Do put thought into your post. Make it a reflection of you and your brand.
- Do keep your post subtle. I call it the “essense of holiday”, with just enough red, white, and blue to let your customers know it is, indeed, a July 4th post, but not so much that it fades into the background of all the other flag pictures on Facebook. Here are a few for inspiration from top brands.
- Do share products you use during Fourth of July celebrations. For instance, if you’re a direct seller for a cooking company, share a demo for a festive food using your product. It isn’t a sales post, but what I call a “positioning post”.
- Do engage with your customers! Post a poll or quiz about their own activities, ask them to choose their choice two of your favorite foods, post trivia about the holiday, or create your own meme.
- Don’t post your own videos from a fireworks display. Seriously, nobody wants to see those. They don’t photograph or video well, and if they wanted to see fireworks, they already saw them.
- Don’t share generic “Happy July 4th!”clip art, stock pictures of flags and fireworks, or branded posts from your company.
- Don’t post a spur of the moment image just to say you posted on July 4th. Last minute posts usually feel rushed, and in addition, it takes you out of your own celebrations. Plan ahead and be present.
- Don’t make your Fourth of July social post about sales. Although many brands have amazing holiday specials — including yours — your customers are probably not pulling out their wallets on July 4th. Post sales before the holiday or save them till the weekend after.
With these do’s and don’ts, you’ll have the tools to celebrate the holiday with your customers while enjoying time with your loved ones.