Nesha Designs

How to rapidly grow your business with Pinterest

BusinessNesha Woolery9 Comments

When people think of Pinterest they usually associate it with women looking for pretty pictures of cupcakes, wedding decor and homeware. It's true- I myself am a sucker for a picture of a pretty wedding. But Pinterest is also used for business, and if you're smart, you'll use it for your business. Pinterest can not only boost your blog traffic, it can increase your number of newsletter subscribers, drive customers to purchase your products, and even steer potential clients in your direction.

Pinterest is my second highest source of traffic. People see my blog posts or design work on Pinterest and when the click it, they're lead right to my website. Just see for yourself in the screenshot below!

As you can see, Pinterest brings in 30% of my overall traffic each month! I'm happy with that because I know that people who have clicked through to my site via Pinterest are genuinely interested in seeing more of my brand and my blog posts, whereas visitors who come from Google may have typed in the wrong keywords. In fact, I find a lot of the visitors from Google don't stay very long, whereas my Pinterest visitors stick around, read other blog posts, and very often sign up for my newsletter. 

Before I go on, I just want to note that I am not an affiliate for Pinterest and this post is not sponsored. I'm just a huge Pinterest fan... and addict!

Pinterest has worked wonders for my business, but its also helped so many other business owners increase their sales and grow their blogs. Just see for yourself...

I've had great success with using promoted pins (for pennies!) to drive traffic to my free printables for email signup. No other platform has boosted my email list like Pinterest! - Cara, Carachase.com
Pinterest is the biggest referrer for both of my websites. A client found one of my free desktop wallpapers on Pinterest and decided to hire me to create her logo! People have also purchased the products I sell thanks to seeing them on Pinterest. I find that Pinterest is one of the best free ways to market your business. - Carmia, Clementine Creative

Why should you use Pinterest for your business?

And by 'use Pinterest for your business' I don't just mean repinning a few pretty pictures on a lazy Sunday morning. I mean seriously committing to a Pinterest marketing plan and strategically using Pinterest to grow your creative business.

Here are just a handful of reasons why you should put plenty of effort into Pinterest marketing. 

1. Pinterest is visual. Pinterest is all about images. This is great for designers, photographers and other creative businesses because we're all visual businesses. Part of our client intake process involves potential clients going through images of our work. What better way to capture leads than to attract their attention with our work in their Pinterest streams?

2. Visitors can convert into hardcore followers. Have you ever spotted an interesting blog post on Pinterest, clicked through and fallen head-over-heels in love with the blog? So in love that you followed them on Bloglovin' and subscribed to their newsletter? If you use Pinterest effectively and frequently to market your business, I guarantee your following will increase. One of my followers recently subscribed to my newsletter and sent me this email:

 

3. Followers can turn into clients. Some people who found your website via Pinterest may even inquire about your services or purchase your products. This is why it's important to pin your work and not just your blog posts. Here's what a recent potential client told me when she first reached out:

inquiry.jpg

Don't overly pin your work onto Pinterest because pinners consider that spam. Instead, try to occasionally pin your work. If you're a designer you could pin moodboards and rejected ideas as well as the final design! 

4. Your target audience hangs out on Pinterest. If you're reading this blog then you're probably a female business owner. My guess is you're targeting other females who are in the same age bracket as you. Did you know that 68.2% of Pinterest users are women? 42% of those women are based in the US. 27.4% of users are between the ages of 25-34. If your target women like this then Pinterest is where you need to be! 

5. Pins can go viral and result in thousands of visits to your website. If pinners with a large following pin your work or blog posts onto one of their boards, it could get hundreds or thousands of clicks. When was the last time you got that much traffic from Twitter or Facebook? They are both great platforms, but they won't bring in as much website traffic as Pinterest.

Related post: How to find inspiration for your blog posts

How can you utilize Pinterest for maximum results?

Create a business account. With Pinterest for Business, you can use your business name instead of your personal name, see the stats of your pins, and access lots of useful marketing features Pinterest are creating for business users. To convert your personal Pinterest account to a business account, log in and click the red button with three lines on the top left. Select Businesses. On the new page it will say "Already have an account? Convert now." Click the convert link and you're pretty much done!

Create pinnable blog post graphics. The pins that go viral and drive thousands of visitors to your site are always long, vertical images with large text on them. These pins are well-designed and usually bright, so they catch the attention of your followers easily. Avoid using horizontal blog post graphics with small text on them. If people have to click on your pin before they can read what it says, your pins will never gain much attention or drive much traffic to your website.

Brand your Pinterest boards. Pinterest users are looking for gorgeous Pinterest boards in a style they love. If you're targeting girly women then your Pinterest boards needs to look feminine and sweet. If you're targeting bold and ballsy women then your boards need to look fierce and strong. Choose a cover for each board that reflects your brand style, and try to keep the cover colors very similar. Most of my Pinterest boards have covers that are blue or coral; my brand colors. They're also pretty and clean because I know this is the style my target audience loves, and it's what I love too!

Verify your website. When you verify your website, Pinterest adds your blog post title, website name and favicon to all pins from your website. This makes your pins look professional and ensures Pinterest users get used to seeing your name and logo around. It also helps to catch peoples attention if your blog post graphic isn't readable. Here's what your pins will look like after you've verified your website:

To verify your website, log in to Pinterest, go to your profile, click Edit Profile and then go to Verify Website at the bottom of the pop-up. Then just follow the steps provided!

Add key information to your Pinterest profile. Add your photo and website URL. Make sure you add a short and clear tagline that tells viewers what you do. My tagline is 'brand & web designer for passionate femtrepreneurs' because I want viewers to instantly know what I do for a living and who I work with.  

Don't spam your followers. People don't like it when you only pin from your own website. That's the fastest route to losing followers. Instead, apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of your pins should be things from other websites that your followers will relate to. 20% should be content from your own website.

Apply for promoted pins. You can apply for Promoted Pins. If you're approved, you can pay to promote your best pins so they show up in relevant places! You can decide who sees it, and you choose to pay for visits or engagement. You can even track what's working and what isn't. This is a marketing strategy I'm going to try throughout the Autumn to boost my blog traffic. I've heard it's more effective than Facebook ads!

Apply for rich pins. Rich Pins are pins that include extra information right on the pin itself. Article pins include a headline, author and story description, helping pinners find and save stories that matter to them. If you want to really up your Pinterest game then you can apply for rich pins, but you have to be approved by Pinterest themselves.

Apply for buyable pins. All business need two things: traffic and sales. With buyable pins, a Buy button is placed directly on the pin itself. This means that as soon as someone sees your product on Pinterest, they can click the Buy button and purchase it. No more clicking through to the website then finding the product and adding it to their cart. This is a total game changer. If you sell products you need to be on Pinterest and you need to make it an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Related post: How to get clients from Facebook groups

Join group boards. Group boards are one of Pinterest's best features! If you have 500 followers, only those 500 people are seeing your posts when you post to your regular boards. But when you post to a group board, your pins are not only seen by your followers, they're seen by the followers of the other board members. Thousands of people could now see your pin! To find a group board that targets the same audience you do, try using Pingroupie.

Tag your posts. Most Pinterest users forget about using tags on Pinterest but they're so valuable! You can tag your Pinterest posts the same way you tag your Twitter posts- by using a hashtag. Your pin will then appear when people search for that tag.

Create and pin infographics. Certain types of pins tend to go viral more than others. Infographics is one of them. A beautifully designed infographic that helps solve a problem for your target audience will do really well on Pinterest. Infographics tend to be long so they take up quite a bit of space in someone's feed and easily catch people's attention. 

Track your results. All Pinterest Business accounts allow you to see your stats. Just go to your Pinterest profile and click the red button on the top right that says See Your Stats. On that page you'll see which of your pins are most popular and which pins you followers interact with the most. You'll also be able to see what people have been pinning from your website. With these results you can 


Whether you have a business or a blog, Pinterest can be a major source of traffic if you use it enough. Without the traffic I get from Pinterest, I wouldn't have been able to make a success of my mastermind group for female freelancers. Quite a few of them have told me they found me through Pinterest, and that's because I pin graphics that promote my exclusive club, or I pin graphics that lead to blog posts that promote my club. 

Pinterest is also responsible for my most popular blog posts. If it wasn't for those articles going viral on Pinterest, my website traffic wouldn't be what it is today. If you dedicate some time each day to pinning on Pinterest, your business and blog will truly benefit.

Related post: A simple social media schedule for small businesses

Now you understand how Pinterest can benefit your blog and business, are you ready to give it a major place in your social media marketing?

Choosing the right Squarespace template

SquarespaceNesha Woolery9 Comments

Compared to Wordpress, Squarespace doesn't offer many templates. This is a serious deal-breaker for many, but for others it's amazing. It limits your options and stops you from overthinking. 

Even though there aren't many templates, you can still make your chosen template unique by adding lots of different features and page layouts.

It's important that you take your time when deciding which template is best for you. Even though you can switch templates at any time, you don't want to waste any time tweaking the wrong template. 

Related post: Why I switched from Wordpress to Squarespace

There are 2 steps to choosing the right Squarespace template for you.

1 . What is the goal of your website?

  • If you're an online seller, your main website goal is selling stuff! So you'll need a template that includes a product-display you like the look of.
  • If you're a hardcore blogger, you'll probably need a template that includes a blog sidebar. Not all templates do. 
  • If you're a photographer, or you need to display lots of large images on your website, you'll need to choose a template that focuses on visuals. 

I'm sure you get the point here; get clear on your goal before you choose a template. When you have a Website Goal in mind, browse through the Squarespace templates looking for ones that help you achieve your goal. You can select templates that are specifically for shops, portfolios, businesses and more by using their menu on the top right. 

2. What features do you want to include in your website?

Now that you have a goal in mind, find a template that includes features that help you towards your main goal. 

  • Blog sidebar. As I mentioned, most bloggers want a sidebar where they can include social media links, categories, popular posts and more. Only certain templates include this. Those templates are: AvenueBedfordDovetailFiveFrontrowForteGalapagosIshimotoPeakWells
  • Gallery/portfolio. Even though you can add a gallery to any template using the drag-and-drop Gallery widget, some templates include unique Gallery designs, such as full-width galleries that fill the screen. If you're a photographer for example, you may want to choose a template like this to really showcase your photos. 
  • Shop page. All templates can include a shop, but some templates have unique shop designs. If your main purpose is to sell products through your website, look for a template with a shop design you love.
  • Navigation menu. Some templates feature a navigation menu above the header, below the header, or no menu at all. Decide how important it is for your visitors before choosing a template. 

Related post: Squarespace vs. Wordpress

My 5 favorite Squarespace templates for creative businesses

Click on the images to go to the template page. From there you'll be able to view the demo and view websites using that template. 

1. Galapagos

I use Galapagos for this website. Other great examples of small businesses using the Galapagos theme are Krishna Solanki and Think Creative.

2. Five

I love the simplicity of this theme. The fullwidth photo is a great feature. Jess Creatives and Kayla Hollatz use this template nicely.

3. Montauk

This is a simple and minimal template for business owners who want the focus to be on their work. Thread and Stone, Ally Allison Events and Sophisticaited are a great example of how this template can look. 

4. Pacific

Ten Twenty One use this template for their photography business, and I can see why! This template includes lots of fullwidth images, making it the perfect template to show off photos.

5. Anya and Deven

Even though this template is for weddings, it can be used for businesses who only need to showcase a few things online, like their open times, business information and photos. I think this template is great for brick-and-mortar businesses. Christina Liang uses this template for her photography business. 

Tell me- which Squarespace template is the best fit for you? How have you altered yours to make it more unique?


A simple social media schedule for small businesses

BusinessNesha Woolery4 Comments

Social media marketing can seem confusing, scary and pointless to small business owners. When you have SO many other important things to handle in your business, where do you find the time for social media? And why should you bother?

This month in The Shelancers Club, a mastermind group I created for female freelancers, the topic of the month is Finding And Booking Clients.

We covered a variety of juicy subjects, including getting clients through referrals, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging. My favorite part was sharing how I book clients through social media. Even though I wrote extensively about how I do that, I realized that wasn't enough. Freelancers understand why they should use social media to market their services and products. They just don't have the time. 

That's why I created a really simple social media schedule for small business owners. It only includes 10 posts per week for Twitter and Facebook. Not overwhelmingly time-consuming at all!

My Shelancers get a freebie each month + exclusive behind-the-scenes articles about my business strategies and systems + a private Facebook community. This social media schedule was this months freebie, but it went down SO well with my Shelancers that I thought I'd also share it here, as a one off.

The science behind the schedule

I used the 5-3-2 rule invented by TA McCann to create a schedule that is optimized for great results. What is this rule? It's simple! 

For every ten posts:

  • 5 posts should be content from others, relevant to your audience.
  • 3 posts should be content from you, relevant to your audience.
  • 2 posts should be personal posts that humanize your brand and help your audience get to know you. 

The purpose here is really simple: In social media, you should focus on your audience, not on yourself. {Tweet this}

Focus on providing your audience with quality, helpful content that is going to benefit them.

Become a go-to resource and expert in your niche. 

Help your ideal clients form a bond with your brand. 

To save the schedule below, just right click and save it to your device.

If you liked this social media schedule for small business owners and would love to receive more freebies like it, check out The Shelancers Club! All members of my mastermind group get exclusive articles and freebies on the 30th of every month, plus access to our intimate and craaaazy-helpful Facebook group FILLED with badass freelance babes.

"In less than a week in the Facebook group, I’ve already learned more from these ladies than I ever have from surfing Pinterest. They all have different styles and ideas and it’s so refreshing to get inspiration from each other. Sign up. Do it. It’s the price of 2 cups of coffee and you’ll learn more than you ever have in just a couple days." - Nora Conrad


How to create a brand board

BrandingNesha Woolery7 Comments
how to create a brand board.jpg

A brand board is an at-a-glance document containing all your brand elements- from your main logo to your color palette. You may have seen them floating around Pinterest but not understood what they were. Or, if you're a designer, you may want to start creating brand boards but you don't know where to start. 

Let's start with why you should create brand boards. 

Brand boards show the client every element of their visual brand- all together in one neat document. They're important because they help convey a brand’s values, attributes and personality in one glance. When you’ve designed blog graphics, prints or anything else for your business (or for your clients), its helpful to look at the brand board and check that what you’ve designed is in line with the colors, fonts, graphics and overall identity that is on the board.

Related post / 9 fruit color combinations for your blog or business

Clients benefit from brand boards because they can easily find their color codes and font names on them.

Brand boards are totally different to style guides, so try not to confuse the two. Style guides include instruction on how to use your brand elements, such as how much spacing a logo should have around it, or what backgrounds your logo can and can’t be used on… I prefer to think of style guides as identity guidelines. They can be pretty complex, but brand boards are simple boards that only include your brand elements — not instructions on how and where to use things.

Here's what I include in my brand boards:

1. Main logo

The main logo is used on the clients website, on their stationery and usually on PDFs etc.

2. Logo variation

This is another version of the main logo, with a slight difference. It could be a vertical version, or it could have a shape around it, be in another color, or it could be textured... It's great to have a logo variation because you never know when you might fancy changing things up.

3. Sub mark

A submark is another element that is pulled from the main logo. It's usually smaller than the main logo, and is often used as a favicon or profile picture. Submarks are especially helpful to brands with long business names because they provide a simple alternative to their logo. Sub marks also make great watermarks because they're usually in a circular shape and fit nicely in the corners of photos. 

4. Main color palette

I create a main color palette that consists of 5 colors. These colors reinforce the 'vibe' of the brand. For example, a feminine brand may choose pastel colors to help add to their romantic brand vibe, and a corporate agency may choose dark or bold colors to give off a feeling of power. I usually work with feminine businesses so I get to work with beautiful, soft color palettes a lot!

5. Backup palette

A backup palette is a set of 6 extra colors that match the main color palette nicely. These colors can be used in blog post graphics, social media posts etc.

6. Supporting pattern

A pattern is a nice way to add to the feeling of your brand. For example, a girly brand could strengthen their girly vibe with a polka dot pattern! Patterns are usually used on print design, social media designs and PDF designs. 

7. Fonts

Fonts have to be chosen very carefully when I'm creating a visual identity for a client. Just like a color palette, fonts can make or break the brand vibe you're trying to give off. Calligraphy fonts are often used for feminine brands, where chunky sans serif fonts could be used for modern brands. Whatever the font, I make sure I include all font names and their uses in my clients brand boards. 

Related post / 5 feminine Google Fonts combinations

These elements make up a visual identity, but there's also so much more you can add! Once you have the basics in place, you can create social media branding, PDFs, print designs, course designs and more. Brand boards contain the very core of your identity. They guide every visual decision you make. Creating brand boards are one of my favorite parts of the design process!

To learn more about my design services, head over here!

Do you have a brand board of your own? If you're a designer, what is your favorite part of the design process?


How to switch from Wordpress to Squarespace

SquarespaceNesha Woolery3 Comments

A lot of people say that switching from Wordpress to Squarespace is difficult. It's something I used to believe too until I made the switch myself. I'm delighted to tell you that I easily switched my website over within a day and I didn't run into any problems!

Squarespace has an amazing library of tutorials that help you figure out how to do all things Squarespace-related, but a lot of people have been asking me for tips of how they can set up their Squarespace website or transfer from Wordpress, so I've decided to make a step-by-step tutorial!

Let's go through a few common questions before we get started...

What will this tutorial include?

  • How to set up your Squarespace website.
  • How to import website content from Wordpress to Squarespace.
  • How to switch your custom domain from Wordpress to your new Squarespace website.
  • URL mapping, so your old blog post URLS still work.
  • And more!

What is imported from Wordpress to Squarespace?

  • Blog posts
  • Page content
  • Users/authors
  • Images
  • Comments
  • Attachments

What isn't imported?

  • Your website theme and layout are not imported. You'll have to choose a Squarespace theme. 
  • Plugins
  • Widgets

Can I easily make the switch myself?

Yes. If you're confident with making changes to your DNS records, this will be a breeze. If you're not very tech-savvy then I advise you hire someone else to switch your website from Wordpress to Squarespace for you. 


Step 1. Sign up for Squarespace

Head to the Squarespace website and sign up for a trail account. 

Step 2. Choose a template

After you signing up you'll need to choose a template for your website. As I mentioned before, you can't import your Wordpress theme or layout to Squarespace so choose a theme that is similar. I chose the Galapagos theme because it's simple, clean and very similar to my old Wordpress site. However, there are plenty of other themes to choose from. 

  • Adriondack: perfect for online entrepreneurs.
  • Montauk: Great for minimalists. 
  • Avenue: A beautiful portfolio template for designers and photographers.

If you need a Squarespace designer to create a customized website for you, I can help! Just get in touch.

Step 3. Fill in your basic information

Head to the Settings section and fill in your business name and description, connect your social media accounts, alter your blog settings, add a business email address (eg. hi@yourbusiness.com) and play with the other settings. It's not complicated- you'll be done in 10 minutes!

Step 4. Change your SEO settings.

Squarespace SEO is just as good as Wordpress SEO. In fact, it's even better because you don't have to install SEO plugins or make changes yourself! Your theme has already been optimized for SEO by the creators. Go to Settings > Marketing > SEO and simply enter a description for your website. You don't need to change much else.

Step 5. Import your Wordpress content

Go to Settings > Advanced > Import/Export > Import > Wordpress. You'll have to enter your URL and Wordpress login details and then click import. A progress bar will indicate that your Wordpress content is importing and a 'success' message will appear when it's done. It takes about 5-10 minutes. Simple!

Step 6. Enable your imported content

In the Pages section, scroll down to Not Linked. You'll see all your imported pages here. To enable them, click the settings icon on each page and click enable. Then go through your imported pages and add your main ones to your navigation menu.

Step 7. Upgrade your account

When your site is completely ready, upgrade your account. I use the Business plan which is $26 per month or $18 if you pay annually. I prefer this plan because it offers unlimited pages. If your Wordpress website had lots of pages, this plan will probably suit you too.

Step 8. Transfer your existing domain to Squarespace

It's not exactly transferring, but I call it that. You need to keep your domain where you're currently hosting it (on Godaddy or Dreamhost etc) and map your domain to your Squarespace website. 

You'll need to go to Settings > Domains > Connect a third party domain. Enter your domain name, click on your host provider and click Connect Domain. A new panel will open with the records you need to enter in your hosting account so your domain can connect to Squarespace.

*This above image is from Squarespace themselves.

I'm not going to show you how to add these records to DNS settings because Squarespace has amazing tutorials on how to do that here. If you're not confident in doing this, you can hire someone professional to do it for you.

Step 9. Wait for your domain to work

When you've added those records to your hosting account, your domain will connect to your site within 24 hours. You can keep checking back to see how it's going by visiting Settings > Domains. Your domain will have a red line by it if it hasn't gone through, an amber line if it's almost there, and a green line when it's done. 

*This above image is from Squarespace themselves.

Step 10. URL mapping

After 24 hours, your custom domain will point to your Squarespace website. But it isn't over yet! Wordpress post URLS are different to Squarespace post URLs. In Wordpress, your blog post URL would have looked like this: yourdomain.com/my-first-blog-post whereas in Squarespace it will be yourdomain.com/blog/my-first-blog-post. Spot the difference? This isn't good because anyone who clicks on your blog posts from sites like Pinterest will now be taken to a 404 page.

To fix this, go to Settings > Advanced >URL Mappings. This function allows you to easily redirect broken links to the correct links. 

A URL mapping will look like this:

/old-url -> /new-url 301

For example, check out my URL mapping below (highlighted in yellow). I've pasted the old URL without www.neshadesigns.com in front of it, added an arrow, pasted the new URL, and added 301 at the end to make it a permanent change. 

It may not be practical to fix every blog post link- after all, who has that kind of time? Instead, I fixed the links for my 30 most popular blog posts. You may want to do the same and then fix the other links over time.

For more information on URL mapping, click here.

If you're not comfortable with...

  • Transferring your domain to Wordpress
  • URL mapping
  • Designing your Squarespace website

... I can help! Just get in touch and I'll provide you with a quote.

If you have any questions about switching from Wordpress to Squarespace, setting up your Squarespace website, or anything else, leave a comment below!