Audience Growth Strategy: Visual Content Creation
Audience Growth Strategy: Visual Content Creation
14. Audience Growth Strategy: Visual Content Creation
Class Introduction10:05 2
Why Do You Want to Make Money from Your Craft?03:51 3
Exercise: Take an Honest Look at Your Financial Situation12:05 4
(A)lways (B)e (R)eleasing37:06 5
Priority #1: Email List49:00 6
Priority #2: Your Product Photography39:09 7
How to Build an Audience14:40 8
Which Audience Building Strategy is Right for You?10:21
Exercise: Personal Focus Group11:48 10
Student Examples: Personal Focus Group30:50 11
Audience Growth Strategy: Search (with Tiffany Whipps)28:14 12
Student Examples: Search (with Tiffany Whipps)21:36 13
Audience Growth Strategy: Press (with Brigitte Lyons)51:56 14
Audience Growth Strategy: Visual Content Creation38:57 15
Visual Content Creation: Pinterest12:27 16
Visual Content Creation: Instagram33:04 17
Student Example: Visual Content Creation07:54 18
Is Your Growth Strategy Working?17:04 19
Honing Your Craft20:57 20
Exercise: Identify Where You Are and Where You Need to Be08:37 21
How to Optimize Your Experimentation12:53 22
How to Go From Experimentation to Focus22:25 23
Student Examples: Finding Your Focus16:52 24
How to Handle an Evolution in Your Craft26:59 25
Student Examples: Handling Evolution12:39 26
Pricing to Support Your Craft21:11 27
Student Examples: Pricing15:48 28
Build Your Momentum Plan26:58 29
Student Examples: Build Your Momentum Plan13:51 30
Simplify and Celebrate Your Progress12:02
Audience Growth Strategy: Visual Content Creation
- [Megan] For most of us, I think just about everybody sitting here, in order to sell as much of your craft as you need to hit your financial goals, you need to grow your audience. And so we talked about five ways to build an audience for your craft. We talked about shows. We talked about stores. We talked about search. We talked about press, and we talked about visual content. And because my goal with this class really is to simplify, one of the resources you get when you purchase this class is this amazing Grow Your Audience quick-start guide. So if you're taking notes and you're following along, and a couple days from now, you're like, "Wait, what was I supposed to do?" This is your resource so that you can come in and say, "Oh, right, here's my checklist. I can work through this super valuable tool." And you're going to say, "Really, this is it?" Really, this is it. It's just repeating these things over and over and over again to make this work. So now I want to dive in and talk ab...
out visual content creation. And as we talked about before, this works best for really almost any kind of product. It's sort of our catch-all category. If search isn't right for you, if you can't really easily describe your product, if you don't have that kind of, "Wow, that's such a new and interesting idea," factor that gets you featured in press, visual content works really well for you. And even if you have some of those things, if you have search or you have press-worthy things and you're like, "But I just think visual content is really fun," you can make it work for you in that case, too. So what do I mean by visual content? The big buzzword the last couple of years has been content marketing. What do you guys think of when you think of content marketing? Angel. - [Angel] I think about blogs. - Blogs. Mostly written, right? - Mm-hmm. - [Female 1] It's basically creating content that will lead your customers to you rather than you seeking them up. - Right. Another way to put it is an inbound marketing strategy, right? People find you based on your content. Jordan. - [Jordan] Sounds like a lot of work mostly. You're constantly putting stuff out. - Right. And there is that element of putting things out there, but I think the other reason that a lot of makers shy away from content marketing is because we think about it as writing. We think about having to write. But here's the beauty of what's happened in the last couple of years. There have become some amazing visual platforms that put the emphasis on images instead of on writing. And you know what? That's how people buy our products. It's really hard to sell someone your product if they've never seen it. I actually cannot think of any circumstance where that's ever worked, where I've described my product, and they've never seen anything I've made, and they've bought it. I cannot think of a single scenario where that works. Whether it's in person and they're seeing the thing or they're seeing a picture, it's all about what this thing looks like. Yes, we can use text. We can use writing to support that, but at the end of the day, it's the visual pieces that sell us. And I remember when Instagram and Pinterest first came on the scene, and I was a pretty big Twitter user, and these things showed up and I was like, "Finally. Finally there are platforms for me." So when I say visual content, I literally mean images. Simple as that. So it may be something that's just straight up photography. Maybe it's some kind of compiled image. Maybe it's something where you're throwing text on there. Any of these things would count as visual content. And then when we're thinking about visual content, we're thinking about also where it lives. So we might be talking about Instagram. This is a few images from my Instagram feed. So that's one of the big ones. The other big one is Pinterest. So those are the two big platforms that we're going to talk about in terms of visual content marketing. They're not the only ones, but they're the biggest. They're really well suited for images, and really it's the best place to focus because they have the biggest audiences. I also mentioned when I was talking about visual content creation, I mentioned this idea of blogs. And so your blog can also be a vehicle for visual content creation. I'm on a lot of internet marketing email lists, and one of the other trends I keep seeing over and over again is write long, write long, write long. You have to write these long blog posts. My blog posts are like a picture and a really short paragraph because for me, the value is in the image. That's the content that I'm creating. I don't have to write a thousand words. Now, you don't have to blog to do visual content creation. If Pinterest is an avenue you're going, your blog absolutely supports that. And as we heard Tiffany talk about in the previous segment, a blog can also really help search results because it gives you more content to be indexed. It gives you more of those backlinks, but you don't have to have one. If you're like, "Well, Megan, I don't have a blog." Don't feel like you have to panic. The other thing is that you don't have to recreate the wheel if you do want to have a blog. So Rochelle asked this question before about...she's like, "I have an Instagram. I don't like Pinterest. What about the blog piece?" And I mentioned Marta Spendowska, and I love what she does here because she literally...and I'm pretty sure because she's a smart girl, that she has this happen automatically. Her Instagram posts post to her blog on her website. And this is really smart for a couple of reasons. One, it saves your content somewhere else on the web. I made that joke about Facebook having their turn-off internet button. Somewhere in Facebook's offices, I think there's a turn-off Instagram button. You just press it and Instagram goes away. That could happen. They could decide they don't want it. I don't think they're going to, it's pretty valuable property for them, but you just never know. Plus, actually going back to this idea of search, this content on Marge's blog is search indexed in a way that her Instagram posts aren't. So it's another quick little value add. So that's just another way to use a blog without feeling like you have to recreate the wheel. Really, it's just another home for your content. And if that feels overwhelming, you can forget it, but I wanted to talk about that because Rochelle asked that question and I think it was a really good one. So let's talk about how to actually use visual content to grow your audience, and it's pretty simple, or it's pretty simple in theory even though it actually requires some effort to execute. So the first part is literally to consistently create great visual content that attracts your ideal audience. You got to put the pretty pictures out there. So that's step one, and that's the step that I think most people intuitively understand. You get that if you're joining Instagram, the point is that you're sharing images. But the second piece and the piece that is absolutely essential is to then use proven strategies, and we're going to talk about what some of those are, to grow your audience. We talked before about how this is not a, "If I build it, they will come." If you build it, they probably still won't find you. We have to do things to get found, and there are proven strategies on both Pinterest and Instagram to help you get found and help you gain followers. And then this isn't on here, but we are going to talk about it a little bit at the end. Then, of course, we need to make sure that we're taking those followers and we're getting them over to our email list. We're converting them to traffic. Perfect. So we're going to look at that piece as well because I know that's something that at least one of our studio audience members is struggling with. Got one and two checked off, but we got to work on that next piece. So when we're talking about how to use visual content to grow your audience, what's interesting about this process is that you can actually think of it as a little mini version of honing your craft and growing your audience. So honing your craft is getting better at developing that visual content. And then the growing your audience is using these strategies that we're going to talk about to find the best way to do that to actually grow. So before we go any further, I also just want to answer this question of, why are we focusing on Instagram and Pinterest? What about Facebook? And someone did ask this question before, and there's a few reasons that we're focusing here. First of all, Instagram and Pinterest are where people specifically go to see beautiful visual content. I mentioned it's kind of like Facebook is the coffee shop, Instagram is the museum, Pinterest is the store. You could sell from any of those places but it's really hard to sell from the coffee shop unless you're selling coffee. I mean that metaphorically. The coffee shop is where people go to catch up, get their news, interact with friends. Your art and your craft might show up there and they might think, "Oh, that's cool," but there, most people are not in a buying frame of mind when they're on Facebook, and it's not where they're going to see pretty things. Facebook does not do a good job of making your pretty content look pretty. Let's be honest. It's really a good thing they bought Instagram because they needed something there to actually do something with all that beautiful content. Your pretty pictures, they get lost on Facebook. And then on top of that, if you're using Facebook strictly from a business perspective, if you have that business page, it's pretty much pay to play now. Anytime you're putting a link in a post, you really need to boost it to show it. It's just the way that the algorithms work. And that's because that actually Facebook understands that their customers are there for the coffee shop. They're not there to be sold to. So if you want to sell to their audience, you're going to need to pay up. And while there are totally valid times to use that, and I really do believe in investing in your business, I also am really mindful and respectful of the fact that a lot of you guys don't have a lot of money to spend. And so if we can get results on Instagram and Pinterest without spending all that money on Facebook, I'd rather you spend your time there. So now I want to talk about whether you should focus on Instagram or Pinterest because they are two distinctly different platforms. Even though they both have a visual bent, they have very different strategies, and managing both can get really overwhelming. So even though you're picking visual content, I then want you to make another decision about whether you're focused on Instagram or focused on Pinterest. Rochelle said, "I understand how Instagram works. I don't like Pinterest." Cool, you don't have to use it. You have my permission. So you don't have to focus on both if that's making you feel overwhelmed. That's really key. When you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that you don't have to do it all. This is about helping you make the right decision so you can focus. So you want to play to your strengths, and we want to look at what type of content does best on each platform, and then what activities best grow the audience because there are different pieces, and these are going to play to your own strengths as a content creator. So with Instagram, it's all about the beautiful photography. You can throw in some quotes. I know some people who do a great mix of like, "Here's some inspirational quotes or some text or some funny things," and you can mix those in and those do also work. But at the end of the day, you're selling a product, and that means great photography. Pinterest is a place for great photography, but what actually works the best on Pinterest, and I can say this because I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, is really images that link back to a blog post. Images that link back to a product page do well, but actually a Pinterest user is three times more likely to click through to a blog post than a product page, three times more likely to show up on your site from a blog post. So if you're not willing to blog, it makes Pinterest a hard strategy. Not saying you have to blog a ton, but it is important to keep in mind that creating some content on your blog is going to really boost a Pinterest strategy. So this is just to give you an example of what I'm talking about. This is not the be-all-end-all. But on Instagram, it's fun images. I mentioned I did this series that I literally just called Megan Holds Things. And this does crazy well on my Instagram. I actually dumped a few of these on my blog and then pinned them to Pinterest because I just wanted to see. Crickets. There's nothing really about it that makes sense for a Pinterest audience because Pinterest people are bookmarking and thinking about things they want to come back to later. And this is like, "Hey, cool image," scroll, scroll, scroll. Whereas on Pinterest, things that connect back to blog posts work really well. And if you're going to put something to connect to a blog post and you can throw text on it, even better. People click through way more often to a blog post when an image has some text on it. Because again, it's a reminder that the image goes somewhere. So then the other piece is what activity best grows the audience? So on Instagram, it's social interaction. At the end of the day, Instagram is still social media, and that means interacting with other people. And so that's liking other people's posts, commenting on their posts, following other users, engaging on the platform. This is what grows your audience, and we're going to talk more specifically about this strategy, but know that in order to really grow an Instagram following, you're going to have to spend some time hanging out on Instagram, interacting with other people. Sometimes, you're going to have to spend time on Instagram interacting with other people maybe whose images you don't love because they're your ideal customer. Because you know that they're a person that might buy your product. So you want to keep that in mind. We're not being disingenuous here. I'm not saying go to something that you don't love the image, and you're like, "Oh my God, this is the most beautiful thing ever." That's not what we're doing here, but just know that if you want to only fill your feed with beautiful sunsets, this strategy, you're going to have to loosen that up. You're going to have to think about looking at some other things. With Pinterest, the audience growth is not about the interacting on the platform. In fact, there's so little user-to-user interaction on Pinterest that when it happens, it's weird and creepy. When somebody comments on one of my pins, I'm like, "You are weird and creepy, or you are just spamming me with a link." I almost always delete the comments on Pinterest because it's just not the way that platform works. There is secret interaction. There are weeks where the only communication that my sister and I have is secretly messaging each other pins on Pinterest. I haven't talked to my sister in two weeks, but we sent each other six pins yesterday, that kind of thing. So there is that, but that doesn't grow your audience. You have to know those people. So really, what grows your audience on Pinterest is content curation, going in and repining from the site. So if you're a person who naturally goes on Pinterest and is like, "Look at all the things. Repin, repin, repin, repin." This is going to be a much better strategy for you because it's what you're already excited about. There's a reason that I spend way more time on Pinterest than I do on Instagram. It's because I really like repining stuff. I want to see the pretties. I want to curate them. I want to put them on my own boards. That's really what this is about. There is another piece to Pinterest which we are going to talk about which is also this idea that Pinterest is a search engine. So if you started to geek out a little bit about that SEO stuff yesterday that Tiffany was talking about, know that you can apply that also to Pinterest. And so you can combine search and visual content, and I actually do a lot of that too, and we're going to talk about that in a minute. So think about what you're more comfortable with. Are you more comfortable having to produce lots of photographs and interacting? And I want to say something right here about the photography piece. Now, there are lots and lots of companies where you can get stock images for your Instagram. You guys are not going to use those. You know why? Because you make your own product. You're trying to sell a visual thing. So if you're committing to Instagram, you're committing to taking the time to playing around and experimenting and always creating new photography. And then you're going to be committing to that interaction. For Pinterest, it's more of a commitment to blogging and curation. So we're going to come back to in a minute those of you who are thinking visual content creation, which way you're leaning, but that's really what you want to think about. And as I mentioned, Pinterest is a search engine. So you really can also dive deep into this SEO stuff with Pinterest. And I have to admit SEO has always mystified me. Even hearing Tiffany talk yesterday, I'm like, "So many words. So many words. It's so word." But I am actually really good at search engine optimization on Pinterest because it's tied to that visual piece and it makes so much sense for my brain . So much sense, in fact, that if you search the word, "Black," literally just the word, "Black," on Pinterest, you will find one of my products. That's actually not what I was trying optimize for. I was trying to optimize for black stacking mini ring. But you can hit search results, and actually, it is...I find it easier to rank high in search on Pinterest than I do on Google. Part of that is that there's actually less competition. There's so many less people who understand that Pinterest is a search engine. They think it's another social platform. So if you know that and then you literally apply the strategies that Tiffany talked about yesterday to everything you're doing on Pinterest, you have a huge advantage. I rank for so many more search terms on Pinterest than I do on Google, even with my blog posts. So you can think about combining that as well. The other thing to think about is with deciding between the two platforms, one-of-a-kinds versus repeatable products. So there is a challenge with Pinterest and one-of-a-kind, and that it takes a while for content to go viral on Pinterest. And by go viral, I mean show up high for some search term or start being a pin that gets recommended a lot. That's the other way that content goes viral on Pinterest. It takes a while. My experience is usually it takes anywhere from four months to a year to get something to kick, and sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes things randomly kick for no reason that you can't control. If you're making something that you can repeat again and again, that's awesome. It's perfect. They click through to the thing, they buy it, it's perfect. If you made something one of a kind and that thing goes viral after it sells out, that's definitely more of a challenge. Now, you can do things, like when they click over to that product, you can say, "Hey, this is sold out." This is easier to do on your own site than Etsy. "Hey, this is sold out. Join my mailing list or go here to shop." But the problem is that if you're using rich pins, Pinterest shows a little sold-out button so people are probably not likely to even click through because Pinterest is telling them it's sold out. So it's not impossible to sell one-of-a-kinds on Pinterest but it's definitely easier to sell repeatable products on Pinterest. Either one really works for Instagram. The other thing to think about between the two platforms is price point. So what I have found is there is definitely a price point that works better for Pinterest and that is slightly lower. And by slightly lower, I mean under 200. It's not perfect. I can tell you one time I sold a $340 necklace on Pinterest off of $25 worth of ad spend. I've never been able to repeat it. I wish I could figure out exactly how I did it. It was like super dumb luck . But in general, what I find is that lower price point things do better on Pinterest because higher price point things usually require some relationship building, and that's what Instagram is better for. It's better for the relationship building. So this necklace retails for about $150 for me. I get a decent amount of sales of this off of Pinterest. The pin kicked. It started to go, not hugely viral but minorly viral enough that it's getting some repins. People are buying off of that. These pieces retail for $500 or $600. I've yet to sell one off of Pinterest. I have sold multiples off of Instagram from people who are buying from me for the first time. So the first thing they did was buy a $500 piece from me, but they had been following me on Instagram. And actually, you can make the argument that with a lower price point product, that actually makes Pinterest a little bit more valuable because it's such an easier click to buy. I'm actually thinking about Matt. So you have this great following on Instagram, but you might not need that relationship-building to get people to buy. What you might actually need is ease of purchase, and ease of purchase, definitely Pinterest wins because you can't put links in your post to Instagram unless you're paying for ads. So it's like, "Hey, go to the link in my bio." And I do it too because it's the only way you can do it. But on Pinterest, it's like, "Click the image," and suddenly I'm on a page where I can buy it. And for a lower price point impulse buy, works super well. Actually, this is a conversation that Tiffany Whipps and I have been having a lot. We get together a lot and talk about our own strategies. And her price point is definitely lower than mine, and she has much better luck selling off of Pinterest than selling off of Instagram. It's also because she's super smart at search, but she doesn't need to build that relationship. She needs to lower the barriers for purchase. Whereas on something like this, the barriers for purchase are pretty low. My website works pretty well. But you have to trust me to drop that kind of money, and where I build that trust is on Instagram. This is actually the reason why even though I've really optimized for Pinterest, I am actually personally shifting a lot of my strategy to Instagram because my goal is to sell more of these higher-priced pieces. So, Rochelle, I know what you're thinking, but I want to make you say it anyway. - [Rochelle] Definitely based on what you just said, Instagram all the way. - Matt. - [Matt] So Pinterest is like super foreign to me. I've gone on it to be like, "How do you make a lamp out of some weird stuff?" That kind of thing. But I've never spent more than five minutes on it. So definitely going to try and shift over to Pinterest because, like what you said, I think that would be a better route for my price point and my type of product. - As I was talking, I kept thinking about you and your particular situation, and I think that actually makes more sense for you. But that said, because you do have a nice Instagram following, we are going to talk about some strategies to convert that a little better for you because we want to take advantage of the audience that you have. Jordan, are you thinking visual content creation? I can't remember where you were at. - Yeah. Visual content creation, I have always focused on Instagram because I really felt like that's where moms hang out. It's the one-hand scroll. You can hold a baby and [inaudibe]. So I don't know, but Pinterest also, I feel like I'll look into that a little bit more because I haven't even really considered it a platform to sell things on honestly. - It actually is a very, very powerful platform to sell things on. That said, I think for you, that mom demographic is so huge on Instagram, and I also think till we're done tweaking some of your prices, you need that kind of relationship building that Instagram really provides. Kaylynn, are you thinking visual content at all or you're going towards other routes still? - [Kaylynn] I'm working on other things, but I tend towards Instagram, I think. - [Female 2] I'm a Pinterest junkie, so I'm going to focus to there. - Yeah, it's a good place to hang out. Denise. - [Denise] I'm like Matt. I just don't know a lot about Pinterest. My experience with it is back when I had my first kid and I would nurse all the time, I was just looking at Pinterest. That was it. But from what you're saying, it seems like Pinterest would be a better platform for me and my price point and those impulse buys, and so I think once I get to a place where I'm working on visual content, I feel like that is where I need to be. - And what's nice too as far as... I know you're talking about search as being something that's really important for you, and you can make Pinterest a really easy extension of your search strategy which makes it a really powerful platform. And I have to say, I can turn anybody into a Pinterest junkie. I just got my husband on Pinterest. My husband doesn't even have a Facebook account and I got him on Pinterest. So I can convert all of you if you give me enough time. You're just no-social media, right, Connie? And that's okay. - Pinterest isn't so bad because it doesn't have that... - It's not actually social. - Yeah, it's more of a search engine. You don't have to be there so much. - So you might do some stuff there. - [Female 3] I actually love both and I do use both, but for me it's because I do want to focus on search and I do have a blog, and I already see more traffic coming from Pinterest to my Etsy store than from Instagram. I will focus on that more strategically while Instagram is for just relationship-building. I already made a bunch of connections and friends in the industry, and potential clients. So that's more of just hanging out and posting my images to inspire myself and others while Pinterest will be to drive traffic to my store. - I think that's a perfect way to look at it . Pinterest is really...that's where your aggressive audience growth strategy is going to happen and Instagram is a space that you can connect and have deeper connections, but you can use it a little bit more personally and informally. - Exactly. - Pat. - [Pat] Most likely Instagram, but I had a question though. You've talked about one of a kind verses other type of product. What about limited releases or limited edition type stuff? - It's funny. They fall somewhere in the middle. Are you asking between the two platforms or just in general how to handle it? - Just in general how to handle it. - It definitely works better for I would say things, again, like Instagram than Pinterest because of, again, things...if it's limited, it's going to sell out at some point and that's a little bit more challenging. It's easier on something like Instagram to create that scarcity, remind people like, "Hey, there's only one or there's only a couple," because again, you have that ability to interact. Whereas on Pinterest, you can put on your strap. You can put weird like, "Only two items left." But my Shopify theme, it looks really stupid. Like, "Only one left," but it's one of a kind, so of course, there's only one left. So it's a little harder to communicate that with people, so that makes Instagram definitely a better platform. And then if you're looking at things like shows versus stores, limited editions are again still easier to do with shows than stores because you can put something...if you put something on your line sheet and you only have so many of it, then it sells out. It means you have to update your line sheet all the time, and that's annoying. I like to do mine once, maybe twice a year. So it's easier to do those kinds of limited edition things at shows as well. - And then I have the same question when we get into pricing too in terms of... - Yes. And so we could absolutely talk about that when we get to pricing because believe you me, we're going to talk about pricing today. You guys didn't think you'd get through a Megan Auman class without talking about pricing. It's going to happen. Michelle. - [Michelle] I have a similar question with the limited goods. I'm working on small handmade leather crafts. So the leather that I get isn't always going to be the same, but I can still use the same pattern. So is that something that's repeatable or? - So if there's a little bit of variation in things like that, that's totally doable. It's amazing how most people don't notice the subtle differences that we notice as makers. So actually, Tiffany has a really good example of this. She has this raw amethyst necklace and that actually went viral for her on Pinterest. Every single one is a little bit different, but they're close enough that she just does that as one listing. And so it went viral. She can keep selling it over and over and over again. I think maybe once she had a customer be like, "This is not the same as the picture," and she was like, "See here in the listing where it says it's not the same as the picture?" And they were like, "Oh, I didn't read that." She's like, "Well, not my problem." I don't think she said that. She's much better at customer service than that. But that was a general thing. So I think in your case, you can literally...if it's cut from the same pattern, you can just say, "Leather is a natural material, there's going to be some variation." Actually, I know Sarah, you actually say that on all of your products. - [Sarah] Yeah, a little disclaimer at the bottom. - Just a little disclaimer like, "This is going to be a little bit different." But you certainly don't have to do a new listing for each one because that's a lot of work. And what platform are you thinking of then? - Pinterest. - Pinterest. Sarah. - I want to focus more on Pinterest for the search engine part of it. My price point is like $100 to $150. So I do think I'm going to stick with Instagram, but then just focus more on repeatable strategy on the Pinterest now. - You're in that same situation where you have a base on Instagram but you have the potential to bring in some more people from Pinterest. You can shift to that focus. And I think we have a few questions from our online audience, so let's take a look at those. Okay, so this is a great question. So we're not going to dive super deep into Pinterest in this class and there's a reason which is...I'm going to talk about in a minute. But this is a great question which is, "Should you repin images that are similar to your own work or images that are different or both?" Yes, yes, and yes. So one of the things that's really key to keep in mind about Pinterest is Pinterest looks at what things are pinned with. Relationships between things are really important on Pinterest. So the biggest mistake I see people make on Pinterest, and I'm going to just save this from all of you right now, is they make one board with their products and that's the only place they pin to. And then what happens is because you're just starting out and you don't have a lot of traction and you don't have a lot of followers, Pinterest only thinks that your products are related to your products so they never show them to anyone else. When you go on Pinterest, you can look at an image. You scroll down and you see related pins. And now because everyone likes the algorithms, Pinterest will also just start serving you related pins in your feed. I know people don't like that. I personally love it because I'm like, "Show me all the things, all the things all the time." And also because my boards are very curated, Pinterest is really smart and it mostly only shows me things I like. So what you really want to do is you definitely want to repin images of things that feel related to your work on the same boards that you're pinning your work to because that's going to increase the likelihood that you're going to show up. So I'm a jeweler. I make statement necklaces. I repin other statement necklace images that are not my work because it's going to help my work show up better on the platform. I pin outfit images that I didn't create because it's going to help my outfit images show up better. So you definitely want to put your context in. You can also stretch this pretty far. So I have a board on my Pinterest that's called Black and White and Sometimes Gray where I pin images that are black and white and sometimes gray. And what this means is that I can take a black and white image of my jewelry and put it in a context... Not black and white as in it has no color, but as in my jewelry is black and white. And I can put it in context with, say a living room that's mostly black and white and gray. And that, again, gives it a different context and it's a completely different subject matter, but I happen to know that my audience really likes home decor so it's a way to create that relationship. So the answer for that one is definitely both, and you want to do that a lot. Great question. Let's take a look at our next question. "What are your recommendations for very high-end products, Megan? We make high-end custom upholstered furniture handmade and have a retail showroom too." So Jake, with that one, this is a tricky one because of your category. So really in terms of nurturing a high-end product, Instagram is really the place to go, but here's the thing. People are used to paying more for furniture. If you're someone who's looking for a good piece of furniture, you know what you're going to pay. And honestly, if I was out looking for a new piece of upholstered furniture, do you know where I'm going to search for that? On Pinterest. And so this is I think the exception to the rule of price point. I would absolutely make sure that you have a really strong Pinterest strategy because Pinterest says this really well if you ever hear anyone from Pinterest talk. Pinterest is a place where people go to plan for the future. And a piece of high-end furniture is a future plan. Usually, a statement necklace, not a future plan unless you're thinking about it for your wedding. Then it is a future plan. So really, that's another way to think about it. Are your customers planning for the future? I was on Sarah's website this morning looking at camera straps because I'm going to India in a month, and I was like, "Maybe I need a pretty fun camera strap to go to India." Planning for the future. So this is a case where your customers are planning and making decisions for the future, and Pinterest is a really great strategy for that. Great question. I think we have one more. "Do the recent changes on Pinterest policy affect the positive effect of power pinning and promoted pins?" So what I have seen a little bit is that the power pinning strategy...and what they're asking about is a strategy that I talk about in my Pinterest class here on Creative Live. Power pinning doesn't grow your audience as fast as it used to, but all the changes that Pinterest have made make search even more valuable on Pinterest. If you can optimize something for search, you can get it to pop up really well. So it changes the power pinning strategy a little bit, but at the end of the day, Pinterest is still looking at relationships. So the more content you can put your work in context with, the better off you'll be on Pinterest. And here's the thing, I also want to say about promoted pins this is not a case where... I know there was always this thing that you heard people say on Facebook like, "I'm not going to boost my Facebook post because as soon as you start paying, Facebook never shows anything to anyone ever again." This is not the case with Pinterest promoted pins. I promote pins on Pinterest. I don't promote a ton of content because I'm actually pretty good at getting it found in search, but I do promote pins from time to time and that has in no way impacted my non-promoted content getting found. I've still had content get shown. So I find that it hasn't really had a huge effect on anything going forward. Oh, interesting. So Tea and Becky says, "I've noticed that I get more customer traffic from Pinterest and more business-to-business traffic with Instagram." That's actually a really interesting observation, and I would sort of actually say that's pretty true too. What's interesting is that I think a lot of the people who buy my jewelry off of Instagram are other business owners, weirdly enough. Whereas a lot of my totally cold customer traffic comes from Pinterest. So I definitely see that working as well, and that actually means that anyone who's in a B2B creative field, so maybe you're a graphic designer looking for clients, maybe you're an interior decorator... Interior decorators are getting hard because that's such a big category on Pinterest, but that relationship building is so much easier on Instagram, and business- to business really is about relationship building. So that's a great comment. Tea and Becky, I totally agree. I think we have one more comment. Daisy Chain says this, and I also totally agree with this one. "I like Instagram but Pinterest is more forgiving when I don't post regularly enough." This is why at the end of the day, Pinterest still always has my heart, and it's because Pinterest works for you when you're not working on it. That's the beauty of search. Tiffany was talking about that before, that she had her best online holiday season ever, even though she literally did nothing to promote it because she was getting all of this traffic, A, from Google, and B, I happen to know that she was getting some of it from Pinterest off of some viral pins that she had. So Pinterest really does work for you when you're not on it which is nice because you can do your little work, set it up, go in your studio and make things, and if you don't get on it for a couple days, it's okay. I think I haven't been on my Pinterest in like a week, and I have not felt any remorse about that. But every morning I'm like, "Okay, I really should post something on Instagram today." So that definitely is something to keep in mind as well depending on how you handle...if you're a person who that idea of having to consistently...I call it feed the beast. If having to consistently feed the beast stresses you out, Pinterest might be a better strategy for you than Instagram.
Ratings and Reviews
I truly enjoyed this class, as it is very detailed, but straight to the point. 30 modules, more than 10 hours, it is so worth it! I also loved the interactive part of it. Building your business from scratch is not easy, there is so much to do. This class gave me some important pointers and valuable guidance, thank you Megan! I strongly recommend this class to anyone who wants to work smarter, not harder and be successful.
Fantastic class! If you have never taken a Megan Auman class, this is the perfect one to start with. It filled in some knowledge gaps that I didn't know I had. Lots of great basic knowledge that I haven't been able to find elsewhere. Super helpful!
First of all, it's so fun to learn from Megan! She is so motivating and enthusiastic – making you feel great about your business even when you are just starting out. The class is well put together, easy to follow and has simple, actionable steps to follow in order to actually move forward. I definitely recommend you check it out for yourself!