How to Choose a Shopify Theme That Fits Your Business

You're ready to set up shop on Shopify, and you're ready to choose a design theme. Some themes will work well for your particular business, and some won't. How to decide?

You’re ready to set up shop on Shopify, and you want your website to look nice. But you’re not a web designer, and are not at all interested in learning to code your own design theme. Shopify to the rescue, with their theme store!

You can get pre-made themes elsewhere, but for most cases, I’d recommend you start in Shopify’s own theme store. Shopify is serious about having only high quality, mobile responsive, flexible, beautiful themes in their theme store. Their selection process is thorough and strict, and I don’t think there are any “bad” themes in the Shopify theme store.

However, some themes will work well for your particular business, and some won’t. How to decide?

How to use the Shopify theme store

Screen shot of the Shopify theme store

The Shopify theme store

Head to the Shopify theme store here. You can look through what’s available right there, or you can start narrowing your search based on cost or type of store.

Once you’ve clicked to view a theme, read the description to get an idea of who it’s meant for – some will say they’re for high-volume businesses, so you’d know you’d have a hard time making it user-friendly for your shop with just a dozen products. Some feature large photography or video, and if you know you don’t have that kind of content, you can move on to the next one.

Read who supports the theme. If Shopify supports it, you know you won’t have trouble getting help with it. If someone else create and supports the theme make sure you read the reviews about their responsiveness when assisting with theme questions.

Scroll down to view the different styles (if any) the theme includes, to get an idea of different ways it can look.

Look below that for reviews to get an idea of how this theme worked for real life shop owners.

When you find a theme you’re interested in, click the “view demo” link to see it in action. And use the “desktop” and “mobile” icons in the top bar to see how you like it on a phone vs. computer.

How to choose a Shopify theme

Think about aesthetics

Don’t think about whether you will like the theme. Think about if it’s going to be fitting for your brand and appealing to your customers. You may see a theme with some high tech flashy features that you like, but if you run a personal, handcrafted paper business, that’s not going to be fitting.

You will want to ensure that the look and layout of the home page, category page, and item page will work for your purposes. View it at full screen size, and all the way down to phone size – just grab the edge of your browser to make it thinner and see how it will look at different sizes.

This theme, for example, is probably too boring and straightforward for a toy company

This theme, for example, is probably too boring and straightforward for a toy company

Think about your logo

Can you imagine your header/logo on top of your chosen theme? Will it look good the way it’s laid out in the theme, or is it too colorful, the wrong shape, or not fit the layout for any reason?

A circular logo or one with illustration might not work well here

A circular logo or one with illustration might not work well here

Understand your content

Your content is the photos and text you plan to add to your site. Do you have content that will fill the available spots and look good there? For instance, if the theme is heavy on big huge beautiful photos with text overlays and you don’t have anything like that, choose something simpler. If the home page features blog posts and you don’t want a blog, skip that theme.

Do you have big beautiful photos to fill this space?

Do you have big beautiful photos to fill this space?

Consider your products and product categories

Will your shop categories work with the theme? For instance, if you have only one category, but the theme has a huge expanding menu of 50, it may be hard to get it to look right for you. If you have 50 categories with subcategories, make sure the theme will allow for that without having to stack your list up unattractively.

This theme is intended for one or a few products and won't work well for a larger shop

This theme is intended for one or a few products and won’t work well for a larger shop

Can you get help?

Check the reviews, and read the description to see if the theme developer will be available with support if you have any problems or questions.

See if Shopify or another developer supports it, and read the reviews

See if Shopify or another developer supports it, and read the reviews

Customizing a Shopify theme

There is quite a bit you can do in the Shopify admin to make a theme “yours” after you’ve installed it.

These are the changes that most themes will allow you to make:

  • Replace the existing logo with your logo, in a similar size
  • Replace the background color with a different color or pattern
  • Change the fonts
  • Change the colors of text, navigation menus, and boxes
  • Add to or hide content from various parts of the site
  • Add your newsletter subscribe form or link

You can also adjust all your products and content. You will be able to control:

  • Names and amount of categories & subcategories
  • Social media account links and options
  • Large feature photos
  • Information page text, home page text, blog entries
  • Links shown in the header and footer
  • Products, of course!
Shopify theme settings in the admin

Here’s what you’ll see before you’ve added your logo and products

shopify theme editor

Here your Shopify theme is with your products and logo, showing the whole menu of things you can adjust and customize on the right

Making changes beyond the settings given to you is something best left to the experts. My advice when you’re starting out is to find a theme that you like pretty much out of the box, and not messing with it too much. Shopify’s themes are designed to look beautiful and sell well, and too much tampering can damage both of those things.

You’ll end up with a much better site if you work hard on your photography, product descriptions, and calls to action than if you over-customize your theme.

What’s the next step?

While you can probably find something that will work fine as you build your business, there will be a point where it’s time to have something custom to you. You may need special features, or maybe it will just be time to quit trying to cram your content into a one-size-fits-most solution. Instead, you’d like to have a custom site built just for your brand and your content. A successful creative business is anything but cookie cutter, and there will come a time where your business will demand something custom.

Once you’ve seen some success from your site, we’d love to help you take your business to the next level by designing something custom for you.

Get our free ecommerce checklist

Ecommerce Setup Checklist

Download your free ecommerce setup checklist

Make sure you don’t miss any steps when setting up your shop by downloading and using our ecommerce checklist freebie. It covers everything you’ll need to plan and prepare for as an online business owner.

How to Catch Press Attention in Promoting Your Business

A well-placed press mention can have phenomenal effects for your business—so how do you catch press attention?
If you’ve ever discovered a great brand through a favorite blog or magazine, and then wondered how you too could get your business featured in it, you’re not alone. A well-placed press mention can have phenomenal effects for your business—so how do you catch press attention?

Sarah Coats had this same question when we redesigned the logo for her company, Beloved Paper. A watercolor artist and stationery designer who creates all her original artwork by hand, Sarah was focused on re-launching and transitioning from being known as a wedding designer who does prints to an artist who also makes stationery. She had a clear set of goals, and among them was pitching to blogs and magazines for features and reviews. But her biggest hesitation was something many business owners can relate to:

“How do I promote my business as successful when I feel like such a tiny fish in all the waters?”

Create a brand that will catch the attention of your targeted customers & media outlets

To start her new brand in the right direction, we set Sarah up with two months of marketing support with our marketing expert, Jena. Jena’s mojo sessions are one-on-one email consultations that are completely customized to each business owner’s needs and goals. She acts as both a business mentor and brand strategist, helping you get your new brand out there.

In Sarah’s case, Jena helped her identify and communicate Beloved Paper’s unique selling proposition, and guided her through the process of discovering her ideal customers. Both of these exercises are fundamental to brand-building: when you know precisely what you have to offer and who is looking for it, you can tailor your visual identity and brand experience to those exact purposes. This sets you up to effectively promote yourself not just to customers, but to members of the press, too.

In tandem with the marketing mojo sessions, Christine got to work on Beloved Paper’s new logo. Sarah had a very focused set of business goals and design aesthetics, which is a great way to start a design project—apart from being beautiful, great design should serve your business purposes.

“I would like people to see my logo and see a luxury and established brand. I would like it to incorporate some watercolors and gold foiling as that is my main design style. I would like to eventually create a wedding stationery catalog so the branding needs to be professional enough for stores to pick up.”

Christine submitted an elegant concept to Sarah, featuring classic typography with floral illustrations growing around it. Some small tweaks in the next rounds included thinning the lines of the box, adjusting the floral pattern, and changing the typography so that it’s a combination of a custom, hand-drawn type and a serif font. The final result was a classic, elegant logo that lends itself beautifully to gold foil, and sets the foundation for additional brand elements that establish Beloved Paper as luxury, sophisticated and heartfelt:

wedding stationery logo

Belove Paper logo. A logo and brand identity for a custom stationery designer specializing in weddings.

Come up with a launch plan to promote your rebranding

As her launch date neared, Jena helped Sarah come up with a timeline and strategy for promoting her new look. Would she be blogging or sending a newsletter? What social media channels would be best to build buzz and capture new customers? And how could Beloved Paper get on the radar of magazine and blog editors who’d get her name and beautiful work out there?

The first step was coming up with a list of publications to pitch to. When you create your own list, consider why you’re targeting each specific publication, then use these insights to customize your pitch.

For example, one of Sarah’s dream magazines focuses on family and marriage, as opposed to just weddings. This aligned perfectly with how Sarah approaches her own art: it’s a way to find the blessings of every day and turn them around to impact other’s lives.

Next, refine your focus. When you pitch a publication, instead of asking them to feature you, draw their attention to why or what they should feature:

“The fact that you re-branded isn’t newsworthy to a blog who hasn’t heard of you yet, so you don’t want to make that the focus of the pitch. The focus is on the products you’re wanting them to consider for a feature. Direct them specifically to what you know they might like based on what you know their audience is interested in.”

For each of her pitches, Sarah highlighted a specific product or invitation that she thought would most resonate with each outlet. She included professional, stunning photographs of these in her pitch, making it easier for editors to imagine how Beloved Paper would look featured in their publication.

Most importantly, be enthusiastic. Yes, promoting your business is hard work, but when you have a site design, logo, photography and brand that is absolutely on point, you’ll WANT to share it with everyone! It’s exactly this enthusiasm that will help you promote your business in an authentic way, and to the right audience. As Jena says, “The more you can let your heart and energy shine through, the more it will reach out to connect with people.”

beloved-paper-print

We asked Sarah about her experience working with Aeolidia and she told us:

“I could not be more grateful for the work that Aeolidia put into my rebrand. I had followed their work for quite some time and loved not only their designs but the business tips on the blog as well.

Being an artist myself, I was nervous about hiring a design team. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and was worried that it wouldn’t translate into my brand coming from another designer.

I struggled a little in the beginning of the design process because I was trying so hard not to be a difficult client, I felt horrible asking her to make edits and adjustments. But Christine was wonderful and graciously accommodated every request. I am in love with the color palette, fonts, and I honestly have to say the brand mark is probably my favorite.

The marketing sessions with Jena were absolutely invaluable! I could not be more pleased with her guidance and I dreaded the end of our sessions. I feel so much more equipped to communicate who I am as a business with her mentorship and to reach out to editors in my field.

I am so much more confident in my brand with the branding and mentorship I received from Aeolidia and I cannot wait for the day when we officially reveal our new look.”

See this project in our portfolio. 

Ready to prep your business to get press?

We are booking projects for summer 2016 right now, and our spots are filling up quickly. Please get in touch with us right away to ask about creating a brand for your business that you’ll want to shout about!

My Best Strategy For a Product-Based Business in 2016

Are you selling your product in person or on Etsy and thinking about setting up your own ecommerce shop? Or maybe you're ready to start a business, but haven't taken the steps to set up an online presence yet. Let's talk about how to get started, and make sure you're putting your best foot forward online.

Are you selling your product in person or on Etsy and thinking about setting up your own ecommerce shop? Or maybe you’re ready to start a business, but haven’t taken the steps to set up an online presence yet. Let’s talk about how to get started, and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online.

Bonus! If you currently have an Etsy shop and would like to set up your own shop on Shopify, I’m sharing a plan specifically for you. This is the nitty gritty details of the steps you need to take to get your Shopify shop up and running, and you can get that here:

etsy-to-shopify

Read our guide to setting up Shopify for Etsy sellers

The best strategy for a product-based business in 2016

We have been talking about diversifying and that got me thinking about what my specific strategy would be for a new business. If I was starting a product-based business right now, this is what I would personally do.

Brand the business

I would develop a dream customer profile, and figure out what my business offers that not even my closest competitor does.

I’d work on brainstorming a business name that would appeal to my dream customers, and that was memorable and unique. I’d do a trademark search to be sure the name wasn’t in use by another business in the same field. As soon as it looked safe to use, I’d purchase the domain name (and social media handles), and put a quick “coming soon” web page up to establish that I had a claim on the business name.

Once the name was decided on, I would do whatever business stuff had to be done. This is different in every location, and for different types of business, so I’m not going to offer any specific advice here. I personally would check with my accountant to tell him about the new business and ask him what all I’d need to do to get it legal in my state.

Based on the information I’d been creating about the personality behind my brand, I’d develop a memorable brand identity and design graphics to use everywhere I promote my business.

How to create the logo and brand graphics? If the product business was a whim I was trying out, I have a background in graphic design, and I would probably struggle with this myself for a long time and end up with something good enough. If the business was serious, and I was planning for it to be my full-time livelihood, I would invest in professional graphic design from the start, because I’ve seen over and over how much easier this makes marketing efforts. Email me if this is the stage you’re at.

Plan a marketing strategy

I would choose a handful of ways to sell and promote my work. The ones that would be most likely to work best for my business type. With Shopify, I could set up my shop, and use their multi-channel sales tools to also sell on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

I would start with a mailing list from day one (in fact, from day negative 40 – I’d want to build excitement in advance of my launch, and get the emails of whoever was interested). I’d set up a rough editorial calendar of what I want to post about and when. I would plan a blog and write a month’s worth of posts in advance.

I would read through our Pitch Kit, and make a list of the blogs I wanted to ask to promote my shop, and write up the pitch letters to make the request.

As a creative product-based business, I would focus most of my social media plan on Instagram, but make sure that my blog was auto-posting to Twitter and Facebook. At least at first, I would set aside time each day to engage on 2-3 social media platforms.

As a person with an existing business, I already have a social media following, and I would leverage that. If you have another business, a blog, or anything else that has a following on the internet, use that to your advantage. If you’re thinking of moving from Etsy to Shopify (or setting up a second shop on Shopify), start engaging with your customers right away, as much as Etsy allows you to, to get them excited about your new brand or website.

If you’re starting from absolute zero, making connections online is going to be important. Start doing that now! Find groups of peers and colleagues and contribute to the discussion. Help people out in preparation for the day you might want some help. Start getting to know the people who may end up being champions of your work in the future.

Preparing my website content

If my startup budget allowed, I would hire a skilled photographer to take styled lifestyle shots of my products. Beautiful photography is key for selling online, and investing in just a few photos for the home page and other parts of the site would be high priority.

I would make sure my photos were beautiful, with good lighting, views of different angles of the product, and clear detail. I would probably take the individual product photos on white backgrounds myself using the Foldio home lightbox and my iPhone.

I’d write copy for the site, keeping my dream customer in mind and explaining the benefits of my product well. I feel like a pretty decent writer. If I didn’t, I would hire a professional copywriter to help out with the most important parts of the site (the home page, about page, and my flagship product).

If I already had a shop on Etsy, I would take the existing information and product descriptions and adjust them for my new shop. It’s likely I would need less instructions in my descriptions once they’re not on Etsy, and it’s always a good idea to write up something new for Google, so they don’t see you creating “copies” of your shop multiple places on the internet and think you’re a spammer.

Purchase a domain name and set up a website

I’d purchase my own dot com, and use that everywhere when marketing my business. I would set up a simple shop on Shopify at a low plan level, until I saw enough sales come in to make it worth upgrading. The bar is low at $30 a month, and if I couldn’t make a profit after a few months, I’d need to reevaluate my product and marketing strategy.

I would choose a theme from the Shopify theme store that I liked a lot right out of the box. I would tinker around with the theme settings, adding my logo, changing the fonts and colors, and making it match the design of my brand. Having a custom site designed for my business once it saw some success would be my goal.

I would add all the content I’d been preparing and check that every page on the site was custom to my shop and looked good. I’d get my social media links in there. If I had an Etsy shop, I might import my listings, or use this as a chance to start fresh and get them just right – more info on that in the Moving From Etsy to Shopify guide.

I would test my shop myself on desktop, a tablet, and a smartphone and make sure it looked good and worked well on all. Then I’d ask friends or family to search for and purchase a certain thing and I’d ask them to walk through it with me taking notes. Or I’d try Peek user testing to do the same thing.

Launch with a splash

I’d work to launch with a big splash! I’d use my connections online to ask the people who share my target audience (without being competitors) to share the news about my new shop, and there would be some type of celebration, discount, or giveaway. I would pre-write social media blurbs and blog posts for the people I most wanted to share, making it as easy as possible for them. I would offer to guest post on targeted blogs around my launch date.

I was really impressed by this article on Shopify about getting press for your business, and I’d read through this and make a similar strategy for myself: How Two Friends Turned Up The Heat and Sold $170k Worth of Spicy Honey in 10 Months

I would also be building up to the launch on social media and in my newsletter during the period I was putting the shop together.

Experiment and adjust

After launch I would check sales, stats, and conversions. I’d experiment with what worked well and what was a waste of time, and adjust accordingly. Before abandoning a sales method, I’d see if I could tweak it to do a better job there.

I’d pay close attention to customer comments and feedback and do what I could to make shopping and checkout easier, and to make my promotional posts more appealing and newsletters more interesting. Good feedback would mean I’d do even more of that in the future. Bad or no feedback (combined with no sales) would mean that I needed to improve or be more engaging.

Are you selling on Etsy?

You may be interested in our specific guide to the exact steps to take to set up a Shopify shop with your Etsy products. Head over here to get access to that guide.

etsy-to-shopify

Read our guide to setting up Shopify for Etsy sellers

How to Style Product Photos to Create Customer Desire

Wondering how to style product photos so that your customer is drawn in and simply must buy your item? We have tips on product styling and prop selection here.

Amie Jones of Flutterbye Prints started out selling note cards geared toward teachers, and branched out with customizable artwork created using fingerprints. We recently designed a custom Shopify website for her, and the first part of the project was her product photography.

Styled product photos, or “hero shots” are often shown on the homepage of a website. Product photography can make or break a website. Having clear, bright, on-brand photos is key to the success of a website project.

We interviewed Jen, our photographer, about her process during the Flutterbye project. We also asked her for some tips for those of you who are working on product photography as a DIY project!


Interview with Jen Lacey, Aeolidia photographer:

Making plans for product photography

With the Flutterybye photos, we were trying to capture a real life story, something fresh and bright. Something I love that Amie did was that she sent me options. Not only did she send that darling silhouette print that I photographed but she sent it in three different colors! That really helped and allowed me to style the shot with complimentary props.

Amie and I talked over the phone to discuss what products she would be sending my way to photograph. She knew for certain she wanted to photograph a thumbprint image, which is her best seller, and wanted to have the prints match her brand. From there we discussed if the image would be shot from overhead or if I would put a set together and photograph from the front.

We decided to photograph from the front and style the image to look like newlyweds live there. Something real clean, simple, and inviting.

For the second hero shot Amie knew she wanted to incorporate some of the kids’ products she creates. She sent me a few options that I got to pick and choose from. Planning for this image was a little more loose. Amie wanted the image to be staged as if it was in a child’s room. From there I got to dream and create. Again, this second image would be clean and inviting.

Deciding how to style product photography

Flutterbye fingerprints

To style these images I first looked at the design that Aeolidia had put together for Amie’s business. Seeing the colors of everything and also looking at the old Flutterbye website and products I was able to decide on the color scheme for the thumbprint image. I had some ideas and I just went prop shopping and browsed a few different stores to find just the right props to fill a shelf.

I kept imagining it was a shelf that would be in an entryway holding a few things from a couple’s wedding day. So I picked up a cake stand, the LOVE decor piece, a framed picture of wedding rings, and I found this amazing drought tolerant plant with vibrant orange blooms. Everything just worked together so nicely.

I did have extra props that I thought would work but ended up editing them out while styling because they weren’t sophisticated; they just made the set look too clunky.

Flutterbye print

In regards to the little girl’s room, I looked around at what was in my little girl’s room and I pulled from there to create the space. I did pick up a few props that would tie in to the color scheme of the posters and plates that Amie sent. And through trial and error the image came together. I did have something else in mind at first and I remember trying to shoot it and having that unsettled feeling knowing that it wasn’t right. It took a lot of rearranging, of furniture and props to get the final image which I love!

What elements make people interested in buying a product?

When shopping for lifestyle products I’m always looking for some specific things. I’m searching for things to bring height, interesting shapes, colors that are either in the branding or that complement the brand, small items that can fill empty spaces when needed, and I always consider the textures and surfaces.

So, with Flutterbye, I knew that for the fingerprint image we would be pulling the colors straight from the brand. I knew I wanted a plant, a picture in a frame that told of a wedding, some different props for the tabletop, and I wanted that tabletop element to be reflective and interesting.

Shopping at a garden center I was able to find that really cool flower in orange. It was something visually interesting and the perfect color for Flutterbye! I used an image I took a few years ago (back when I photographed weddings) of wedding rings because it had the blues that I wanted, and lastly I included the LOVE piece because I knew it would reflect the colors around it and was visually interesting.

Tips for sourcing product photography props

When sourcing props, I would start at checking out what you have. Look at the colors of your brand, what is the feel of it? Are you trying to sell something playful? Serious? Whimsical? Etc? All of those little things come into play when styling.

From there, after you know your colors and have an image in your head that you want to create, then you just go out and start shopping. I would love to say I do my shopping online but I am a hands on type of girl. I want to see the colors, the textures, and even the sizing of things because I’m thinking about how it will photograph and what I’m trying to sell.

I tend to frequent stores like Home Goods, Target, Hobby Lobby, or even Whole Foods. Many times I’m just looking for something small that would help tell a story and these places tend to have those little things. Although, I’m always keeping an eye out for cool things to have on hand in my prop closet (like an old rotary telephone). I’ve found some awesome props at silent auctions, thrift stores, and mom & pop shops. I try to have fun, to think a little outside the box, and I use my imagination through the whole process!

How to balance creating a scene with keeping the focus on the product?

Once I have the client’s products in hand my mind starts racing. I am thinking of the props that will work with the product but won’t distract from the product.

When shooting, I always try to have my props pointing back to the product that is being sold. In the children’s Flutterbye image I used black, white, and soft pink. I styled the shot in a way that your eye follows the pink and lingers there. The other elements are just supporting characters, pointing to the lead.

Creating a sense of desire in the viewer

It may seem a bit strange, but I know when I’ve done good work and when I’ve done excellent work. The excellent work I just have this feeling inside of me. I want to keep looking at the image I created even after the job has finished.

When I’m able to create an image where my eye is drawn in, and it follows the lines and elements, creating a visual story just for myself, then I know I’ve been able to create that same emotion for viewers. My hope with that is to stir emotion in viewers, to create a desire and even an unexpected need for them which in turn benefits my client.

What are you particularly proud of in the Flutterbye styled photos?

For the Flutterbye images, I love the vibrancy of the images and the styling that I was able to pull together. One of my favorite elements, and I don’t even think Amie knew this, is the picture that I put of my daughter when she was 6 months old. :) I totally made that image personal! Now I just wish Amie’s poster would have had my daughter’s name and date on there. Just kidding… kind of.


Thank you, Jen! Our client, Amie, said this about her project with Aeolidia,

Working with Aeolidia was a hugely positive experience. I first discovered Aeolidia from finding that a few of the businesses I’ve followed for inspiration had sites developed by Aeolidia. I knew from the beginning that I needed a team that make a site that was pretty, but also very functional. My site needed a lot of custom options because almost every item can be customized. I have a shop on Etsy, and it is very tedious and confusing for customers who are accustomed to entering a name in a box or selecting the options from drop-down menus. I was able to explain what I had in mind and they were able to make it a reality.

This was the largest investment I’ve made in my business so far, but I was very confident in Aeolidia and was excited to get the project started. Aeolidia has a great portfolio, in a range of business, but they are especially attuned to working with small businesses who are looking for a good investment to grow their business and take it to the next level. They were so organized and had such great communication, it was easy to hit the target dates and feel well-understood. Aside from minor tweaks, the site really hit the mark from the very start.

See the full Flutterbye Prints project in our portfolio!

Ready to make a leap for your business?

You’re in the right place if you have a great product and a growing customer base, but feel held back from reaching the next step for your business. By evaluating your goals to create a strong brand identity, stand-out product packaging, and a high-converting ecommerce website, we will knock down what’s holding you back from reaching your potential.

Go ahead and leap! Aeolidia will catch you. Ask about our schedule here.

 

Aeolidia’s Schedule For Creating Custom Shopify Themes

Get on Aeolidia's schedule for a transformative experience and busy holiday shopping seasonI have so much that I want to share with you that I feel like I’ve totally run out of time on our Tuesday/Thursday blog posting schedule to fit it all in! I have a lot of information about Shopify, WordPress, and blogging coming up for you, and I am pulling those posts together now. Each of our blog posts takes hours, and one of the things I’m getting ready to share with you is the huge list of to-dos we run through, so you can see what goes into making a post drive traffic back to your site.

So it seemed like a good idea to add a day to our schedule where I could share news more quickly. I’m experimenting with Wednesdays and this is my first update type post!

Handcrafted HoneyBee - custom Shopify theme coming soon!

Handcrafted HoneyBee brand identity, product packaging, and lifestyle photography by Aeolidia

For this post, I wanted to let you in on what we’ve done with our schedule this year. We have never had happier clients! We used to take on projects as people asked us about them, fitting them into our schedule as soon as we could, and refusing to book out further than a few months, because we wanted to be open and flexible.

We are now doing the opposite of that. I know we are on a lot of people’s “near future” planning list, so here’s the info on what this means to you:

We strategically schedule launches now

Instead of asking you when you want to get started on a project, we now ask you when your most important sales season is each year, and aim to launch your site when your customers are paying the most attention. So let’s talk about the launch date and work back to when you should get started.

product packaging and photography

Azalia Spa Goods brand identity, product packaging, and lifestyle photography by Aeolidia

We get all our ducks in a row before design starts

Instead of agreeing on a plan and jumping right into action, we now set up purposeful time before each project begins for you to pull all your content together. Your “content” means your product photos, lifestyle/styled shots for the home page, product descriptions, “About” page copy, bits of copy for the home page, newsletter subscribe, etc. This way, we aren’t designing while guessing at your content, or using placeholders that might change.

Sam, our project manager, is right there beside you during this process, letting you know what needs to be ready and supporting you in gathering it. She will also loop in our product photographer and our copywriter if you don’t have these things covered on your end.

One of the important things about having a custom Shopify theme made for you is that the design is not meant for any old content – it’s meant for exactly what you plan to have on the site. So getting that all gathered together up front is crucial to the success of your project.

Bespoke Verse website design

Bespoke Verse brand identity and custom Shopify website design by Aeolidia

We launch your site exactly on time

I am chagrined to say that launching on time used to be something we felt out of control of. If things went perfectly, we would launch on time, and it was worth celebrating. But more often than not, the deadline was a suggestion, not a rule, and projects would go at our very busy client’s pace.

With ten or more clients at once needing “a few more days” or “getting back to us soon,” it often happened that many clients at once would suddenly all be ready to get back on track at the exact same time, and then we would be forced to either pull all-nighters until the work was done, or push half of the projects farther out in the future.

My greatest pride over the last nine months is that we’ve made deadlines non-negotiable between us and our clients – and it works. We have hit every single deadline for clients that began work with us starting last summer. We have never missed a launch date, and in some cases, have been done shockingly early (we just finished a two month logo project in one month).

You may have worked with a web designer or developer in the past and felt like things were either moving at a sluggish pace, or they were unresponsive for weeks at a time. So frustrating! With Aeolidia, you’ll feel like our only client, every date on your calendar will be etched in stone, you will always know what is expected of you and when we need it, and the biggest thing: we guarantee the launch date in your contract. You can tell your audience exactly when your new site will launch, and be confident that it’s going to happen.

It’s hard to promote a moving target, and that rock-solid launch date means you can make the most of publicity and immediately see your investment begin paying off in sales.

bunbury-stationery

Bunbury rebranding and business stationery by Aeolidia

What’s coming up this summer?

Our work schedule is divided into five two month blocks. We are currently completing Block two.

Block three starts May 9. Logos begun on this date will be done by July 1st. Websites take two blocks and will launch September 9. If you’d like a logo/brand identity and a website, that will take up three lovely blocks, and have you launched by November 11, right in time for holiday sales.

Our clients ready for block three include:

  • Four stationery, gift and lifestyle shops
  • A boutique party store
  • A children’s clothing brand
  • A gift and clothing store
  • and Handcrafted Honeybee’s website (you can follow along with her brand design, completed in our last design block, in this series of rebrand posts on Academy of Handmade)

We are in talks with the final folks who will round out our spring/summer schedule, and hope to be able to fit you into one of our last spaces! Please email me today to make plans.

Let’s transform your business before the holidays

If you’re thinking of working with Aeolidia on a new and improved website before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, now is the time to have that discussion with us. Sam tells me she’s about to fill two of three spots still available to start a website project in May and launch in September.

If you’d like to work on your logo and brand identity as well (including product packaging, so important for your holiday sales – did you know that retailers care more about your packaging than about your actual product??), that takes two design blocks – so getting in touch with us this week is your LAST chance to launch with us before the holidays.

If you want to start in May, you’ll need to spend the last two weeks of April preparing your content. This is less time than we like to give our clients, but we’ll be there with you during this process and if you’re feeling motivated, we can help you succeed here.

What to know about our block schedule for 2016:

  • We will add people to the May-September block in order of who’s ready first.
  • If you miss May, the July block launches before the holidays (but only if you already have a strong brand identity and don’t need our assistance with that).
  • We are booking July now, too, and it’s at least half full.
  • Our next spot after July begins in September, and is prep for businesses that want to launch in early 2017.

It’s going to be a fun summer, and I’d love to get you on our launch list for early fall!

Let’s talk about your project

Etsy Only? Instagram Only? Protect Your Business by Diversifying

Are you putting all your selling and marketing eggs in one basket? Here is why and how to diversify to protect your business from any changes that the platforms you use might make. If you're selling only on Etsy, here are some ideas.Let’s talk about selling online, and how dangerous it is to put all of your eggs in one basket. Here is what concerns me: when people say that they don’t want to set up their own shop, because Etsy sends them so much traffic. If you’re deciding not to learn how to drive traffic to your own site, you are going to have a huge learning curve if Etsy stops sending people to your shop. The blow of losing Etsy’s internal search engine traffic, paired with the panic of not knowing how to get your own traffic could crush your business.

That’s the worst-case scenario, but even in the best case scenario, where Etsy sends you piles of traffic every day until forever – don’t you still want to be in control of marketing your business and bringing people to your shop? Knowing how to get eyes on your product can lead to blog features, print features, collaborations, and freedom to do things your way – all in addition to the sales you’ll get from it.

This article is about diversifying how and where you sell your products so that you’re not reliant on one service, and unprepared to move ahead if things change. And let me tell you: the only certainty about the internet is change.

Sell on multiple types of platforms

If you handcraft your product, odds are you have an Etsy shop, or have had one in the past. Etsy can be a great sales channel, because it gives you the selling platform and the traffic all in one. For some people, Etsy is “set it and forget it” – they add their listings, do nothing to promote them, and sales come in. Take advantage of that, if it’s working for you! But don’t let the easy sales on Etsy keep you from setting up your own shop.

If you’re one of the many people who has been noticing their traffic from Etsy drying up, now is the perfect time to take the reins for your business and create your own space online. We recommend Shopify if you plan to set up your own online store. You might be asking, “why is it okay to trust Shopify, but not Etsy?” The reason is that Shopify is giving you your own shop that’s under your control. They aren’t going to change how it looks or works (aside from improving the checkout experience and giving you new tools), and they’re not going to promote other people’s work in your shop, or anything else that could be harmful to your business.

They also aren’t going to send you any traffic. They aren’t a marketplace with a single search engine for all shops. With your own shop on Shopify, you need to learn how to market your business, and this is undoubtedly a good thing to know how to do.

When you’re sending customers to your own domain name (your “dot com”), you are in control of what happens. If you decide to move your site, or if Shopify gets hit by a bus or whatever, you can seamlessly move everyone over to your new location because you own the domain. Your domain is like your phone number. If you get a new phone, all your friends can still call you at the same number. If you switch from Verizon to AT&T, no one needs to know – your number still works. Same with your domain name.

It’s great to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, or wherever. You should be where your customers are. But make sure you have your own site that you’re in ultimate control of. Besides keeping your business more secure, it’s also what customers, retailers, and press expect of a professional business.

Promote on multiple social media platforms

Much the same as not wanting to rely on your shopping platform to send all your traffic, you want to diversify how you promote your business. Learning how to send traffic to your own site is a challenge, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to promote everywhere at first. It’s a lot of work, and if you’re spread too thin, you won’t have good results anywhere.

You also don’t want to stick exclusively to just one platform. There is a bit of a hubbub going on among business owners on Instagram. Facebook bought the social media platform in 2012, and we were all waiting for them to turn it into a mini-Facebook. They restrained themselves for quite a while, but recently announced that they’re applying an algorithm to the main feed so people see more of what they want to, instead of all posts chronologically.

I won’t get into all the details here, but I will say that you can expect social media platforms to appear, disappear, and change all the time (anyone remember Friendster?). You don’t own them and in most cases you aren’t paying for the service. When you’re in a situation where you’re advertising your business for free (and how cool is that?), you can’t expect to have a say in how it works.

If it turns out that an algorithm change makes Instagram useless for your business, what happens? If you’ve built up your presence on other social media platforms, and use other marketing methods, Instagram will just be a slice of your pie. You may feel the drop in traffic and sales, but it won’t devastate you. If you’ve focused exclusively on Instagram, the rug could be yanked out from under you, and you’re back to trying to build up a following from zero somewhere else.

This applies to getting traffic from Etsy, from Google, from Facebook… the more of these, the better. Here is our tutorial for analyzing your social media stats. Determine if you’re looking well-rounded, or heavily balanced towards one platform or another. What can you do to diversify? You don’t need to be on every social media platform, or be the first to start using the new ones, but you should have an account and understand the basics of using the most popular ones.

My best recommendation for any business is to get as many of your fans on your mailing list as you can, and keep them regularly updated and interested in what you’re doing. Your mailing list is in your control, and can’t be taken away from you – it’s just a list of email addresses. Our best resources for starting a mailing list are here: Two Great Email Newsletter Guides to Finally Start Your Mailing List

Use more than one method of customer outreach

There are so many ways to reach out, spread the word about your business, and find new customers. Some will work better for you than others, and you should focus on what works. Things change all the time, though, especially on the internet, so you don’t want to be so set in your ways that you get left behind.

Even if you get lots of sales through search (Google, Etsy, or elsewhere) relying solely on search leaves you ignorant of how to market yourself. Doing in person shows or fairs without having an internet presence limits the people you can reach. Having blogs and press promote your work is nice, but you can’t depend on that as your only way to communicate – your customers want to see you out there relating to them.

An incredibly helpful aspect of diversifying your marketing efforts is that improving one tends to improve all of the others. For instance, if you start blogging, you now have piles of content to use on social media. If you start pitching your products to lifestyle bloggers, their mention of you and link back to your site will improve your status to Google and make your search engine results even better. In person shows can be used to ask people to sign up for your mailing list, and you can use your mailing list to keep people updated with what’s going on on your blog.

Improvements in any area almost always spill over to another, and the more you work on the different aspects of marketing your business, the more easily you’ll begin to see results. Again, take it slow and start reasonably – you can’t go from zero to being everywhere all at once. You need time to build your business and create your products. But you can master a couple of methods, which will make it easier to add in the others.

Interested in setting up your own shop?

Hint: you should be. Your shop and your mailing list will protect your business from outside changes. We like Shopify the best for creative small businesses. If you’re curious what their fee structure is like, compared to Etsy’s, you might be surprised by how affordable it can be. Download our fee spreadsheet, below, to see what the pricing would be like for your shop, based on your sales and product pricing:

Selling on Etsy? Try our Etsy Vs. Shopify Fee Calculator

Download the spreadsheet

P.S. next week’s post is about the exact steps I would take to set up a product-based business in 2016: either as an established business or a brand new one. Join our mailing list below to make sure you don’t miss that one.

Creating a Perfectly On Trend, Yet Timeless Brand

The Fox and Clover brand identity, designed by Aeolidia, is perfectly on trend, yet timeless.

Fox and Clover is a lifestyle brand created by Tara Dowling to celebrate and inspire girl bosses, creatives, and entrepreneurs. From the very beginning, we loved the brand’s energy—fun, femme and modern, it’s bursting with a feel-good spirit that embraces thinking big and having lots of heart.

Though she’d been selling her original designs of mugs, apparel, totes and gifts under Fox and Clover for some time, Tara knew it was time to rebrand and create an identity that truly encompassed her values. She’d also been struggling with creating a brand that worked across all aspects of her business: not just online or on her site, but as a cohesive experience that charmed customers from the moment they landed on her site to when they received and opened their order.

“Right now, my wholesale orders are fairly unbranded because I’ve been struggling with packaging design. I want to keep what is good and expand on that. Packaging has been a huge pain point for me and I think nailing down the brand identity with you is going to help tremendously!”

One thing that stood out to our designer, Sarah, about Tara’s brand immediately was the quality of her original designs: she has a knack for giving trends a unique touch, constantly reinterpreting them to truly make them her own. Sarah wanted to tap into this quality by creating a unique, timeless brand identity that lives on, instead of seeming outdated when people’s tastes move on.

“Sayings, animals, colours, even typography – these all change yearly in a HUGE way so we need to make sure the new brand can roll with whatever 2017, 2018, 2019 and beyond could potentially throw at us!”

Before Sarah got to work on initial logo concepts, Tara mentioned her affinity for mixing fonts, like a hand-lettered script with a more modern, bold font. They also discussed the possibility of a geometric icon to represent Fox and Clover:

badfox

 

Beautiful, right?

LOTS of people seem to agree. When Sarah did a quick Google search, she found it everywhere. “It’s copied LOADS of times in brands and tattoo designs and illustrations all over the internet, so scratch that! We’re unique!!”

logo design sketches

Sarah got to work on some sketch ideas

Taking inspiration from a four leaf clover and a fox face (both of which share similar heart shapes) Sarah came up with the winning design:

“This fox head flips around and forms a perfect clover shape, and with the awesome geometric facets to the design it ends up looking like it’s made of crystal, which will look SO SUPER AWESOME later on once we start print work and inevitably print that little fella in rose gold foil! … It works in a number of ways, we can take the facets out and the clover becomes a simple, geometric clover which I really love as well – AND I might add, might just be the only one of its kind on the internet. I couldn’t find ANY geometric designs of lucky clovers!”

Tara was so excited with the new icon, she wished should stamp it on everything she owns! Combined with her remaining graphical elements, a new tagline we developed for the brand, and print/packaging design, the new Fox and Clover identity began to take shape in iconic, timeless fashion:

 

fox and clover brand icons and patterns

 

The Fox and Clover brand identity, designed by Aeolidia, is perfectly on trend, yet timeless.

trendy feminine business card design

 

 

We especially loved creating the design treatment for the Core Values behind Fox and Clover, which align perfectly with our own philosophies here at Aeolidia. In fact, Tara and Sarah were so in sync, the project was completed a month ahead of schedule.

fox and clover brand core values

 

Tara told us,

Aeolidia was a dream to work with from beginning to end. They are extremely organized and efficient which makes the entire process go very smoothly. Natalia, their copywriter, is talented, kind and brought lots of amazing ideas to the table. For my brand identity, I worked with Sarah who is so warm, fun and lovely – such a treat to work with. Sarah nailed my vision for the brand identity and I’m so pleased with how everything turned out. I can’t wait to work with the team again for a web design sometime down the road!

Using your brand graphics on print and web projects

Want to figure out how to do this for your own brand? Sign up below to receive our free Logo Help Guide, created for our own clients:

Aeolidia Client Logo Help Guide

Download Logo Help Guide

Print Sources For Custom Business Stationery: Revealed!

Sources for custom business stationery. Where to find gold foil screen printed die cut cards with custom envelope liners and embossed details.

 

We made every effort to impress with Aeolidia’s custom business stationery. Our thank you cards are an example of how to design business stationery without cutting corners (except for the corners of the cards, which are quite literally cut). We send these cards out to clients at the close of projects, with a personal note about their project.

We matched the cards and the envelope color, had custom envelope liners printed, and our merman seal is embossed on the flap. It’s a luxurious experience for our clients, and I love knowing I’m putting my best foot forward when corresponding with clients. Take a peek!

card-mail-w

Die cut, gold foil mailing labels

card-envelope-front-w

Custom envelope liner, with die cut, duplex, screen printed cards

card-front-back-w

Die cut, gold foil, screen printed cards

Want to make your own business stationery beautiful?

I’m sending out an email tomorrow with design tips and tricks, decisions we made, and my print sources for:

  • Gold foil, duplexed, screen printed, die cut cards
  • Colored envelopes
  • Custom envelope liners
  • Embossing tool
  • Tape glider

Sign up to get this info

Sourcing printers and packaging suppliers

I would like to share which printers and manufacturers we worked with to produce our marketing materials and packaging. In this many-part series, I am also going to tell you about:

  • any problems I had with printers
  • how we saved money when we could
  • where and why we splurged.
  • what I learned through the process (there were some mistakes!),
  • what I would do differently

People are always asking me for print and packaging sources, and this is proving to be a popular series! This information is going out to my newsletter subscribers only, and I will write once a month throughout 2016 about each part of our packages in detail.

Sign up for our newsletter below! The last post went out last month and is about our custom mailing boxes and embossing tool – you’ll get a link to that post in tomorrow’s email, which will have all the details about our thank you cards and envelopes. I’ll be sharing the problem we had with the USPS and our custom envelope liners, and the extra step I take to make the experience remarkable. As well as sources and printers for each part of this project.

P.S. if you’re already on the list, you will get this series of emails automatically! You’re all set.

Developing a Strong Brand Strategy With Handcrafted HoneyBee

The following post is by Stacia Guzzo, the owner of Handcrafted HoneyBee. We recently worked with Stacia to create a new brand identity for her business, and wanted to share her post about developing a strong brand strategy. Please enjoy Stacia’s thoughts about bringing a business dream to life by calling on our expert team at Aeolidia.

HHB in action

Can a Skin Care Kit Inspire a Girl to Dream Big?

by Stacia Guzzo

Some jobs are too big to do on your own.

Six months ago, we sat down to chart a course from Big Dream to Grand Reality. It was an ambitious plan that would require us to redesign everything.

We knew that Handcrafted HoneyBee had the potential to reach an entire generation of young women. To inspire them to become future leaders, makers and explorers.

But in order to fulfill that potential, we were going to need help from the very best.

A Great Mentor Can Make All the Difference

Before we touched a single thing, we needed to develop a smart strategy.

So we went to the very best in the business–the incomparable Lela Barker of Lucky Break Consulting–for help in designing a sound structure with a blueprint for success.

With her mentorship, we dug deep into understanding the purpose and goals behind our Big Dream. And we spelled out a clear vision for the future:

  • Offer girls a unique experience designed to inspire them to dream big for their lives
  • Connect girls with tools, skills, and mentors to help them achieve success
  • Get girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) with fun, memorable activities
  • Help girls to learn more effectively with Whole Brain learning, taking advantage of the increased number of neural connections between the left and right hemispheres in the female brain

As former educators with experience at the elementary, high school and college levels, we knew that the last thing a child wants is to feel like she’s been given an “educational” gift. So we intentionally concealed the lesson inside a super-enjoyable hands-on activity.

We read mountains of educational research, studying state-of-the-art teaching techniques and proven classroom strategies. Every aspect was carefully considered and planned out.

The new Create-Your-Own Skin Care Kits were born. On paper, at least.

Speaking the Right Language

We needed someone to translate those goals into a style that could speak the language of teen and pre-teen girls. At the same time, we wanted to connect with adults looking to help a special girl to dream big.

Enter Aeolidia–the single best design team on the planet. (OK. Maybe we’re a little biased, but we love these guys!)

We gave the team at Aeolidia a tall order:

  • Design a look that can appeal to smart, motivated girls without coming across as childish
  • Make sure that the look also instills confidence in the moms, aunts and other adults buying our products for girls
  • Develop a cohesive visual style for a broad collection of offerings: kits, skin care products, online content, perhaps even giftable items like stickers, prints, t-shirts, etc.
  • Craft an unboxing experience that takes a girl on a journey from curiosity to interest to excitement to inspiration

Our designer, Sarah, took every piece of our input seriously, and let me tell you–she seriously delivered.

The style that she designed is clean, beautiful, and distinctly feminine without feeling “girly.” It conveys everything that we want our girls to feel about themselves: confident, special and on the verge of an exceptional adventure full of potential.

A small snapshot of Sarah's design process. The end result was absolutely amazing!

A small snapshot of Sarah’s design process. The end result was absolutely amazing!

Take a Closer Look

Sarah started by pairing our name with the goals we wanted to accomplish. She loved the reason behind the name of our business: all of the honeybee workers are female, working together to create something functional, strong, and elegant.

Borrowing from the honeybee, Sarah designed a logo that incorporates that same sensibility, balancing strength and elegance, clean lines and artistic flourishes.

Handcrafted HoneyBee, primary logo

The honeycomb hexagon is a motif throughout her design, able to stand alone or build up into a larger pattern. I love the way it evokes exponential notation in our secondary logo.

Handcrafted HoneyBee, secondary logo

Although she looks like your average worker bee, our new mascot Nodie is actually a light-emitting diode (LED). She is bright and beautiful on her own, but when she teams up with her sisters, she casts a blinding light.

Handcrafted HoneyBee Nodie illustration

 

Sarah designed Nodie for our logo, but she was simply too good not to use elsewhere. So look for her throughout the kits and online as well!

Sarah has composed every element of our Create-Your-Own Skin Care kits and our HHB Skin Care Collection. The result is a consistent style that will captivate a girl’s attention and make learning enjoyable.

Handcrafted HoneyBee, product photography hero shot

Product packaging, styling, and photography by Aeolidia

Handcrafted HoneyBee, product photography hero shot

Product packaging, styling, and photography by Aeolidia

Remember that unboxing experience I mentioned earlier? Well, with Sarah’s help, we have included several cool surprises when a girl is opening her kit for the first time.

From the distinctive informational activity booklets to the intriguing designs of our supplemental materials, those little touches help to reinforce a girl’s feeling of doing something special, grown-up, cool and informative.

handcrafted honeybee quote

We couldn’t have brought this dream to life without a lot of assistance. But that help doesn’t end with a great business mentor or a phenomenal design team.

We believe that a skin care kit can inspire a girl to dream big. But the hard work of encouraging passion and instilling confidence in the next generation of young women is only just beginning! Working together, we can all help girls to shine brightly.


Does your brand deserve the royal treatment? Get in touch with us today, and we’ll email you right back to discuss your objectives and make a plan to make your brand “come true” like we did for Stacia.

You can visit Stacia’s temporary site (while we build her custom online home) here, if you have girls in your life who could use these inspiring kits: Handcrafted HoneyBee.

This article was originally posted on the Handcrafted HoneyBee blog and is reposted here with permission. Thank you so much for letting us share your thoughts, Stacia!

What to Pin on Pinterest to Attract your Dream Customer

Do you ever find yourself stuck wondering “What the heck am I supposed to pin for my business?” Well, the first thing to consider is, what would your dream customer pin? Check out these essential tips to pinning with your customer in mind, plus a quick content guide at the end with ideas & prompts to give you endless ideas of exactly what to pin to attract your dream customer.

The biggest mindset shift to make in business, that I think is the key to taking you from strugglin’ to truly successful, is that you have to get out of your own head and into your customer’s perspective.

This means really trying to see the world, and your business, from their eyes. And it goes for everything, from your website copy to your branding, and is of course incredibly helpful when it comes to social media.

So the first thing you want to think about when you’re like, “What the heck am I supposed to pin on Pinterest??” is to consider, what would your dream customer pin?

First, grab your “What to Pin on Pinterest” content guide:

Not a newsletter subscriber?

Get our PDF content guide
& plan as you read this post

(subscribers, this is waiting for you in our free resources area)

Keep your dream customer in mind, always

First things first, you want to drill down to exactly who you’re trying to attract to your business. Read this post to learn more about who your dream customer is and to download a free exercise that you can use to discover her personality, interests, and the topics she’d be interested in, beyond just what you sell.

Then, once you have your dream girl in mind, you can pin from her point of view… Think about, why is she using Pinterest? What types of things does she collect on there? What boards does she have? What types of things is she searching for on Pinterest? What is her lifestyle like? What’s her style, taste, design aesthetic? What are her hobbies and interests, the kinds of things she does on her downtime? What is she inspired by? Motivated by? What does she secretly covet? Want? Need? Yearn for?

These are all things that dream customer exercise can help you dig further into, and all things you want to keep in mind as you start pinning for your business. The more you can pin things that connect to your customer’s point of view, the better you’ll be able to engage her and draw her into your account to hopefully like/pin/follow you and eventually (the main goal, of course) make it over to your site!

Use the 80/20 rule

On Pinterest, everything you pin will basically fall into two different categories: pins leading back to your site (the stuff you sell, posts from your blog, etc), and pins that lead to other people’s sites.

There’s a general consensus that 80% of the things you share should be other people’s good stuff, and only 20% your own. I usually think of it as for every ten pins, I only really want two that are self-promotional, integrated amongst other content that is directly geared toward my dream customer, and what she’s using Pinterest for.

Now why would you want to go and pin other people’s stuff and take the focus away from your own site? Because it’s that other content that’s oriented toward your customer’s varied interests that will help to engage them, help them relate to what you’re pinning, connect with it, and want to see more of it (and that’s when they follow you!)

If you’re solely self-promotional, you’ll turn people off as being too markety markety salesy salesy. The key in attracting that ideal customer to your work lies in attracting them to your Pinterest profile, and every single pin that directly engages them is an opportunity for them to connect with your brand, get over to your profile, and over to your site.

So, all pins and re-pins that you share become entryways to your site, in the long run, when you consistently pin things that attract and engage that dream customer you’re after.

Create multiple boards you can pin your site’s content to

It is smart to create a board, or boards, specifically for your brand, where your dream customers can find everything to catch up with you, whether it’s your products or blog posts or whatever you’re pinning from your site.

For example, the Aeolidia pinterest account has one board for “Small Business Tips by Aeolidia” where we pin all of the blog posts, and “Web & Graphic Design by Aeolidia” where we post our branding suites and site designs- no one else’s content is included on these boards.

That’s fine to do, but the mistake I most often see creative business owners make is that they keep pins from their site strictly to those “branded” boards, and then they don’t pin their products anywhere else! That’s where you may be missing out on a lot of other opportunities for your dream customer to see and connect with what you have to offer.

So, make sure you create some boards where both your offerings and other people’s content can happily co-mingle together, so that you can pin content from your own site in multiple places, and have more opportunities for those dream customers to find it!

For example, Aeolidia’s blog content also can be pinned to our “Marketing Tips for Creatives” board where we share other helpful articles from around the web, and we have a “Branding Tips & Inspiration” board where we can pin things from both the blog and portfolio, along with other people’s designs we admire. So, if someone isn’t following our “…by Aeolidia” branded boards, but are following some of these others ones, we still have a chance to get pins of our content right in front of them.

Now that you know the hows and the whys, here are some ideas and prompts to help you figure out exactly what to pin!

Wondering what to pin on Pinterest for your business? How to develop a Pinterest content strategy around your target customer

QUICK CONTENT GUIDE: WHAT TO PIN TO ATTRACT YOUR DREAM CUSTOMER

I broke it into 5 main categories that are some of the most popular content to share on Pinterest, along with prompts to help you consider how to apply these ideas to the specific dream customer you’re looking to attract.

Think about what stage of life your customer is in and how that would shape her interests and the types of things she’s searching for and pinning on Pinterest. Also, like I mentioned above, think about where you’d be able to naturally integrate the things you offer into some of these additional categories as well.

Our content guide gives you ideas on these topics:

  • Home & family life
  • Shopping related
  • Aspirational
  • Helpful How-Tos
  • Seasonal & Event Related

What to pin on Pinterest

Sign up, get your guide
& start pinning for your biz!

I hope this helps you get out of your head, and into your dream customer’s perspective so you can start pinning from their point of view, and attract more of exactly the kind of customers you want!

Do you have Qs? Need help with more specific ideas for your particular business? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts and help out where I can!

> If you missed my previous Pinterest posts, be sure to check out How to Make your Shop Pinterest Friendly, and  9 Ways to Market your Creative Business using Pinterest.

Happy pinning!