Making Money In Your Free Time: Marketing with Pinterest
Last time you uploaded your first product into your Free TpT Store. Now you are probably asking, "How will people find my new product?"
That is a great question! You will need to do a little bit of marketing in order for people to find your resources. Today we will start with the easiest and most effective marketing tool I have found so far.... Pinterest!
What is Pinterest:
If you haven't heard of Pinterest you are missing out! It is the number one easiest tool to find creative ideas for your classroom (an anything else you can imagine). It also happens to be a really great free way to market your own resources. Pinterest is basically a bulletin board you can 'pin' your favorite ideas to. Think of it like a scrapbook filled with all of your favorite things.
If you don't currently use Pinterest.com, go now to set up your free account. Don't worry about how to use it right now... just make sure you have an account set up. Then resist falling into the highly addictive blackhole of wonderfulness and come back to read more.
Literally everyone uses Pinterest. Why wouldn't you want to market for free in a place where everyone already is? Pinterest is a fabulous place to explore, save and share ideas with others. It is a community. You will find people to follow on Pinterest that you will wish you knew in person.
Pinterest allows you to pin and share any image on the internet with anyone in the world...including images in your TeachersPayTeachers Store. It is literally the quickest way for your product to get advertised without you spending a penny.
Pinterest is a community of people sharing ideas. As a word of caution, don't be overly sales minded or people won't follow you. Pin a TON of stuff that you love. Pin ideas for lessons, recipe ideas, home decor ideas, etc. Literally anything you want. As you pin your favorite things, mix in a few of your own products as well. Be sure to place them on boards that are appropriate for the product (we will talk about boards in a minute) and pin other similar things from other teacher authors and bloggers to that board as well. The idea is that well all help each other find fabulous things! The more you pin and share the more followers you will get and the more people will repin your items as well. It's a great big happy circle. You can help me, I can help you, we can both help the newbie that has no idea what she is doing.
What is a Pin:
Basically, when you "pin" something to a Pinterest "board" it is like cutting it out of a magazine and hanging it on a bulletin board to help you remember it for later.
A pin is just an image grabbed from a website. Anytime you see something on a website that you want to remember or find again you 'pin' it to a board. It grabs the image, puts it on your board and automatically links it so you can find the website quickly when you need it.
What is a Board:
A Pinterest Board is just a way for you to keep your pins organized. I currently have almost 15,000 pins. Can you imagine trying to sort through all of those pins to find one idea for one lesson? It would be a nightmare! So they created boards to help keep things organized. Think of a board like a notebook of your ideas. You might have a notebook of recipes, and a notebook of hair style ideas, and a notebook of snack ideas, etc. Each board is a collection of similar ideas. I currently have 140 something boards. If I know I am looking for a St. Patrick's Day activity idea, I can quickly go to my St Patrick's Day board and skim through those 134 images to find what I was looking for.
As you title your boards, try to think of the things you will be pinning the most. You won't want to have a board that was so specific that you only had one or two items pinned in it, but you also don't want it to be so vague that it has 5,000 pins in it. You can always rename them later, so don't stress about what you title your board.
How Do I Pin My Product:
There are several ways to pin images to your Pinterest boards. One way is to set up a shortcut in your browser tool bar. Learn more about how to set up the shortcut here. That will help you pin an image from any website. You don't have to do it right now, but I do recommend using this feature to make future pinning easier.
However, TeachersPayTeachers makes it even easier for you to pin products! On any product page you will see a column off the the left with various options for sharing. The "Pin It" option is a quick link to Pinterest. As you can see, this product has been pinned straight from the TpT website 20 times
All you have to do is click that button and a box similar to this will pop up:
Notice that it grabbed the main product image? This is one of the reasons why it is so important to make that an amazing product image in your store.
If you are happy with that image you will want to update the caption below the picture by clicking the little pencil icon. You may think it doesn't matter what the caption says, and while that may be true of other things you post it is wrong about products you want to promote. You should always update the product caption using searchable words and phrases. Think about what you would type into a search bar to find this product. Use those key words to create a sentence or two description under your picture.
For my example, I wold be sure to include the words St. Patrick's Day, Preschool, Curriculum/Lesson Plans, etc. If someone gets on Pinterest and wants to find St. Patrick's day Preschool Lessons, I want mine to be found by the search engine. Please note that anyone else repining your product might change your description, but I have found most people don't take the time.
I also caution you to not try to sound to salesman like. Yes, you are trying to sell your product, but you are selling to the people in your Pinterest Community. Post it like any other product you might find on Pinterest. If you found this product on TpT and you were so excited to tell your friends about it, what would you write? That is your description.
Off the the right it says, "Choose Board". If you already have a board created to put your product in you can select it from that list. If you need to create a new board you can do that by clicking the red + and creating a new board. You can click on the board title or click the red save button to add it to your board. Pinterest will try to predict which board you want to add your product to and list 2-3 suggested boards under the "Top Choices" heading. As you can see from my above example, it doesn't always work... but it is kind of awesome when it does.
Following Other Pinterest Boards:
Following other peoples Pinterest Boards will also help them find you. Don't go and follow every board you can... take your time and find people that genuinely have the same interests, tastes, styles, etc. By taking time to follow specific people you will enjoy Pinterest more and you will make more connections. It's basic networking. Chances are, if you like their pins they will like yours as well.
Following another Pinner is easy. Click on their pin. Save the pin if you would like to so that you can find it again later by clicking the red save button. You can click on the persons name and decide if you want to follow everything they post or just this one board that they post on. RecipeGirl is awesome! I follow all of her boards, but sometimes you will find someone with a similar taste in food and a completely different taste in everything else.
Any person and/or board you follow will add to your Pinterest Feed. You will start seeing every time that person posts something. Make sure you are being picky about what you want to see. There is a ton of stuff out there and no reason to waste time following someone you won't actually enjoy.
If I only wanted follow her dinner recipes, I could just follow that one board... but since I love all of her stuff I will choose to follow her by clicking the top follow button.
You can alloys unfollow people as well by simply clicking that button again.
Sometimes you may want to collaborate with someone else or even a team on a board. Collaborative boards can be shared by groups of people to share similar ideas.
My husband and I have a shared breakfast food board. If one of use finds a recipe that we want to try we will stick it on our shared board. My sister-in-law and I share a board of baby shower ideas that we collected for our new nephew's baby shower. I also share a boards with hundreds of other teachers sharing $5 and Under products. You can quickly see who you share a board with by looking at the little circle at the bottom of each boards image.
This board is for people with Kindergarten products and/or Kindergarten teachers to pin fabulous resources on that are only $5 or less. As you can see there are 158 people sharing this board. If I wanted to add another person it would be as easy as clicking the gray + sign.
Collaborative Boards can be a great way to shae your products quickly. If you are invited to Collaborative Board please be sure to accept the invitation and add products regularly (according to the rules of the board). If you look at the board above, you can see that there are 14.9 Pins and 2.2K people following the board. That means that every time I pin a product to that board, 2.2K people see the pin. Obviously most won't repin in, but a bunch will... Which means more sales for your store.
Next time e will talk about how to make high quality image for your Products so that they do fantastic on Pinterest!!!
This Weekends Homework:
1. Create a Pinterest account, if you don't already have one.
2. Create an appropriately titled board for your TpT product.
3. Pin your TpT product(s) that you added to your store last time to a Pinterest board.
4. Play around on Pinterest and find some other fun ideas, recipes, etc and add them to other boards on Pinterest.
5. Find a few other people on Pinterest and 'follow' them or specific boards.