Pinterest for Etsy Sellers with Dalia from the Handmade Mastermind

Dalia from The Handmade Mastermind joins us this week to do a deep dive into all things Pinterest. Hear from a six-figure Etsy seller and coach about how to leverage Pinterest for your online shop. Dalia talks about how to best set up your account, what content to pin, how to measure if you’re winning, how to use Pinterest analytics and even shares a template for how to create pins that could go viral. Continue reading to learn more about Pinterest for Etsy sellers and to find more Etsy shop success!

Starting off

Dalia is a close friend of Marmalead’s and was on episode 25 of our Etsy Jam. We’re not sure how it’s been so long since we’ve had her on the Jam and why we haven’t had her back more than once, but it’s definitely a situation we want to rectify! Dalia is an awesome teacher when it comes to Pinterest so we’re excited to have her share some of her tips with us in this Jam.

Dalia, it’s been so long since we’ve chatted with you! Can you give us a little background on yourself as a seller on many platforms and as a coach to other sellers?

Dalia: Yeah! So I started the end of 2010 with my stationery shop on Etsy. That’s expanded from art prints to actual stationery. Thank you cards, invitations, etc. About a year after starting, I really wanted to help people. I felt like I’d figured it out. At that point, I was a six-figure seller and wanted to take some people under my wing. It blew up into The Handmade Mastermind, which was much more than just a few people under my wing.

What I do is I teach people how to drive traffic to their Etsy shop, website, or Amazon and help them convert that traffic. So, like I mentioned I sold on Etsy and still do. I have two shops there. I also started selling on Amazon Handmade the moment it opened up. And I also have my own website.

Hence the busy schedule 😉

Dalia: Oh yeah! I mean Handmade Mastermind essentially takes up my schedule full-time, which is awesome because I love teaching. When I can fit in my
E-commerce businesses I do and definitely, during the holiday season they take over.

Jumping into the Pinterest space, can you give us an overview of the Pinterest landscape from the perspective of an Etsy seller?

Dalia: Pinterest has been around for a long time with millions of people on the platform and it ’s still growing. It is a visual platform and it’s a great way to drive passive traffic. Because Pinterest is visual and as online sellers, our products are sold through pictures, it makes Pinterest a great tool to use to drive traffic to our platforms.

Something people may miss are the type of users that are on Pinterest and why it makes sense for them to use Pinterest as a traffic source. If you’re selling things that targets moms, babies, or weddings, etc., Pinterest is the perfect place because people use the platform to put these visual boards together and they save them. They want to design their new nursery or their future wedding and they put these pins all on a board. Some of them are product pins and some are content pins. A lot of times, those users revisit those boards and pins when they need to buy something, look up a recipe, etc. Again, it’s a GREAT way to drive traffic passively and I would suggest that sellers get into it sooner rather than later. Success on Pinterest isn’t overnight and takes time to build up. You’ll be glad you started it now if you haven’t already because if you wait, you’ll just wish you’d started sooner.

As an Etsy seller who is brand new to Pinterest, how do you get started and what does the process look like?

Dalia: First, I would suggest that if they have a personal Pinterest account, they switch it to a business account. This is really easy and can be done with the click of a button. A business account gives you analytics and a few other tools that you don’t have access to on a personal account. Second, I want them to take all their personal boards that no one cares about but them, and change those to secret boards. This way your Pinterest account doesn’t look like a mess. Third, I would suggest making your Pinterest name your business name and change your profile details to describe what your business sells and what you provide to buyers. Keeping keywords in mind. Keywords are always important no matter where you go. In short, people should know what to expect when they visit your profile on Pinterest.

Some people say your profile picture should be your logo, others say it should be a picture of your face. Do what you want, as long as it looks professional. I don’t think this will be the thing that makes you successful or not on Pinterest. I would start out with your brand board that has all your pins. Then, additional boards that you’re able to pin your products to but help give value to your customers. For example, I sell stationery. Some of my stationery is birthday invitations. So, one of the boards I would do is “Planning A Birthday Party.” 

A lot of my users might want to pin things like decorations which I don’t particularly sell, which is fine. You can pin decorations, checklists, things that would be valuable to your customers and then in the future, you might want to connect your account to Tailwind. This is something I’ll get into a little later and assists in helping you curate your boards. Because you don’t only want to pin your own pins, Pinterest wants you to mix it up. When you curate your boards for your customers, it looks valuable to them. When you set up Tailwind with your Pinterest, it will mix up your pins with other pins which shows Pinterest that people are pinning pins that you’ve pinned, even if the pins aren’t your own. It’s like a listing quality score. Your account holds weight if others are interacting and pinning what you’ve pinned and Pinterest will raise it up. If you’re not a quality pinner, Pinterest will bring your account down.

Is this one of the reasons you suggest that people change their personal account to a business account instead of starting a brand new Pinterest account for their business?

Dalia: The reason I suggest switching your account instead of creating a new one is that I don’t think people want to lose out on the personal pins they’ve pinned. Also,  if you start with a new account, you’re starting at a neutral position. It’s like a brand new listing on Etsy. It’s not that it’s bad, but using your personal account isn’t going to start you in that negative space if that makes sense.

For sellers who are familiar with Instagram, is the content they’re posting on Pinterest going to be different than what they’re posting to Instagram? Is it more curated and less behind the scenes? 

Dalia: Absolutely. I know we’re not talking about Instagram today, but the difference is, for Instagram you’re wanting to educate and inspire your audience with what you’re posting so they’ll engage with you. Of course, you want to offer them something valuable, but you’re wanting to use Instagram to connect with your audience on a more human level. Pinterest isn’t like that. People are content crazy on Pinterest. They want to gather pins to help them. If they’re looking for 30-minute meals, they’ll gather a ton of those, pin them to a board and refer back to that board when necessary. What you’re posting on Pinterest doesn’t need to come with a post that’s inspiring that people will comment on and engage with in that way. No one is really commenting on a Pinterest pin. Pinterest isn’t really a social media platform, it’s more like a visual search engine. Now, of course, whatever you’re pinning needs to engage your audience so that they want to click through on your pin. This will hopefully take them to your website and ultimately have them purchasing your products, whatever that may be.

Do you have a general rule that you use when pinning more helpful content as opposed to just your product pins?

Dalia: So here’s the thing: algorithm on any platform is constantly changing. A long time ago, if you followed the 80/20 rule where it was 20% your content and 80% other people’s content, it was a great strategy to follow. Now, I don’t think it’s as strict. And it’s really not about your content versus someone else’s content. The right question to ask is this: which pins will be clicked on, saved, and re-pinned. It’s all about engagement. Which pins are most valuable to your audience? You’re being valued by how valuable your pins are and how much engagement they’re getting.

You mentioned that you get access to analytics when you switch to a business account. As a Pinterest user, which analytics to you use the most?

Dalia: For Pinterest business analytics, you’re going to see quite a bit of things. One, you’re going to see in general analytics how your account is doing based on impressions for ALL of your pins. How many views you have monthly that see your pins on their feed. Then, you’ll also see how many people actively engage with your pins, whether it be re-pinning or just clicking through.

You’ll see a separate section for analytics that is just based on your website pins alone. Not on pins for other products. So, how much people viewed them, how much people clicked on those pins and then went to your website. Of course, you can use Google analytics for some of that as well.

And to be clear, when you use a business account for Pinterest, you can connect your website so Pinterest knows which pins are yours. If you only have an Etsy shop and are only pinning from there, you cannot connect your Etsy account to Pinterest. The reason is that you don’t actually own that Etsy shop website. So you can’t particularly see analytics for your Etsy pins. But if you have Google analytics or your shop stats in Etsy, you can definitely see how many people came from Pinterest to your Etsy shop.

What are some of the things you personally measure in your Pinterest account to know that it’s working and you’re succeeding there?

Dalia: So, I understand my market and my highs and lows throughout the year based on the type of things I pin. On stationary invites I know there are certain times of year they’ll do better than others. If I see a dip, it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to change everything. The dip just might be normal for that time of year. Next, I look at the analytics and I pay attention to a few different things. I look at impressions for my website pins. There, I can see how many impressions I got and how many monthly viewers. For the most part and because of my strategies, I should in general always be increasing there. If I see a relatively big drop, usually it’s because Pinterest went in and cleaned house. They got rid of bots or whatever. Or something in my strategy is not as effective as it used to be because algorithms change. You don’t normally see a big drop. That usually means something’s not connected right. If I see a gradual decrease, then yeah, I’ll need to change-up strategies. I’ll have to start testing things out…which is a story for another time.

I also look at re-pins or clicks to the pin based on impressions. For example, if I have one thousand impressions and I had ten clicks to the pin where they simply clicked the pin to view it, that’s 1%. So, I should understand what’s average when I look at these stats. Over time, I need to see if I’m going higher with that click-through rate to know if I’m doing good or not. I have a certain click-through rate that I’m used to. I can’t tell you what your click-through rate should be. You need to base it off of your market. I’ll be honest, I do well on Pinterest and I get a lot of traffic from it. But I know there are people who I’ve taught Pinterest to who do much better than me. Why? Because their type of products just do much better on Pinterest. And there is plenty of room for all of us, but if you sell something wedding related, a lot of people are looking for those products. My invite pins get a lot more views than my personalized stationary pins. It just is what it is. You just have to look at your market over time, learn what’s considered average, and use that as a base to understand where you should go from there.

I also look at the ratio between when people clicked on the pin to just view the pin and when they clicked through on the pin to my website. Again, I get an average over time to see what’s considered normal and see if that goes up or down. I literally have a book where I write all these things down and I date them. Then, I check back in with my book and I can see that ok, my click-through rate on Pinterest for this month was 5%. This helps me track it to see how I’m doing.

So you’re pinning and doing all this work on Pinterest, do you see that people are clicking through and buying your products? Are they just clicking and viewing the pin and maybe re-pinning most of the time? Or is it totally different for each market?

Dalia: I love that question! So, Pinterest doesn’t actually have a high conversion rate, BUT before you’re like oh no, why are they even doing this podcast, let me explain why I still use it and why you should too! The positive side of this is that Pinterest can be a passive strategy, and will bring you over time, a lot of traffic! But this is passive. When you use a company like Tailwind to schedule your Pinterest posts, the time you’ll spend actually working on Pinterest will be minimal. And again, over time, Pinterest will begin to work for you even when you’re not working on it.

Let’s do some math just to make sure you understand. For example let’s say your Pinterest is converting at 1% and of course, you should normally be converting higher. So, if you take 1000 people and convert it at 1%, that’s only ten people. But, over time, when the traffic starts building up passively, let’s say you have 10,000 people, then 1% is fantastic because you’re not doing a ton of extra work. So yeah, it’s a lower conversion, but if you’re getting the traffic for free and passively who cares! Let that thing run while you’re working on more active strategies!

With Pinterest do you do anything with promoted pins or any kind of ads? Or do you stick mainly to organic traffic with your pins?

Dalia: At the moment I stick to organic because it’s free and that’s awesome! It’s not because I don’t believe in promoted pins though and I definitely don’t mind paying. I use promoted listings on Etsy, I use advertising campaigns, but the truth is I haven’t had the time to do it on Pinterest. But, if I were to give people advice on this, I’d say it’s not just willy-nilly let’s just start. It’s important to advertise things that have shown you a great click-through rate to your website. You’ve seen activity and engagement on what you’re advertising. It’s also important to pay attention to what searches have been increasing, which Pinterest emails you monthly and seasonally. If you have pins that relate to what’s being searched most that month, you’ll want to promote those pins when that uptake starts. It’s similar to the new feature you guys have in Marmalead. You could probably use that as well for Pinterest because everything on the web correlates.

Also, any paid advertising or promoted listing/pin can’t be passive. You’ll want to stay up on those and tweak them as needed based on trends and what’s happening that month. I definitely recommend it, you just have to actively manage it.

You mentioned rich pins when we were chatting. What’s the deal with those and what are they all about?

Dalia: Ok, so you’re on Pinterest and you have the business analytics account. So, I’m pinning things from my website and when I pin them, if I don’t set up rich pins, then Pinterest may not believe it’s a quality pin. By setting them up, it verifies me, because Pinterest verified my website, so they know I’m not a spammy person. It kinda just gives you a boost. That’s essentially what it is. It gives you a boost for the pins that are coming from your website. Then, if you’re pinning from Etsy, they’re automatically set up for you and are rich pins. You want to use rich pins as much as possible because they’re so simple to set up. You can literally google how to set up a rich pin (if you’re not pinning from Etsy) and there are about three steps you’ll have to follow.

Comparing it all

Dalia: What I do in The Handmade Mastermind is to help people with traffic strategy. It could be Pinterest or SEO, wherever it’s from, I want to help them strategize a plan. I like to show people all these traffic strategies in comparison in order to find the best plan of action for them. We look at what’s considered passive and nonpassive, what is great for traffic and what is not, and how the conversion is for all of these. It’s important to understand all of this in order to make the right decision about what you should do for your business. I mean, I would love to do every strategy, but the reality is we don’t have a lot of time. We should always pick the right strategies that will give the most results for our business.

For example, as I mentioned earlier Pinterest is passive even if you don’t use a third-party tool, which I recommend you do eventually. It’s still passive because as you’re pinning it’s out in the world and stays there forever. It can bring you high traffic over time because it takes time to build. But for conversion, it’s usually lower than the average.

Let’s compare Pinterest to other platforms. So any SEO method can be passive after you implement it. People come to you based on search. It does take time, especially with Google because you’re competing with so many websites. Conversion rate when it comes to SEO depends on which platform you’re on, but it’s usually pretty decent conversions.

When you compare all this to Instagram, Instagram is not a passive strategy at all. You have to be fairly active on it because once you post, you’re down below after X amount of days on someone’s feed. The traffic on Instagram is decent if you use it properly and understand how to get people to engage with you. Instagram also has a feature now where you can connect your shop and people can click on the picture with your product. It will direct them to your actual listing wherever it may be. The conversion rate is pretty decent, again, if you know how to use Instagram.

The last thing I think of is email lists, which I’m a big fan of. With email lists, there are two ways to go about it when it comes to a passive and nonpassive strategy. It’s technically when you first start off, not passive. But you can implement auto responders email series that will go out in a certain amount of time. Things like, if you sign up today you’ll get an email sent out with a coupon code. Then, over the next month or six weeks etc. You can have your whole year set up in advance even with campaigns not particular to a certain time of the year. In between that, you can do other active strategies but if you don’t start out that way, it’s fairly active. I make my campaign every month and do different sales throughout the year. But, with traffic, depending on your email list obviously, it has to build over time. So you can’t start an email list today and think you’re going to be a hot-shot with it tomorrow or a week from now. The conversion rates for an email list, however, are higher. Email lists have proven that conversion rates are generally much higher because the people receiving them are already your fans. They aren’t a cold audience and have already warmed up to you.

So with all of these, remember you can’t do everything. Choose which you should tackle well and do it right. Don’t try and do them all and get them all wrong because you’ve taken on too much.

You mentioned earlier that a great way to make Pinterest more passive is using a platform like Tailwind. Can you tell us more about that?

Dalia: So Tailwind is a scheduler for Pinterest. I can’t personally recommend any other scheduler because I don’t use anything else for that. The way to use Tailwind is all in advance you can schedule your pins and it’s really easy to do it. I pin all of my personal items in Tailwind and schedule them, then I do other people’s content. You could also join Tailwind Tribes which is curated content for your type of users. Then I pin all their stuff and when I put it all into my scheduling, I can then shuffle it around so it’s not all my stuff and all curated stuff. The reason why I do all mine first and then theirs is because for me it’s just easier and goes faster.

Then, what I do every two or three days is to go to the tribes that I belong to and the key with the tribes is, you know, you’re pinning content from there which they encourage you to and you can also put your own content in there. The reason why that’s really awesome is that in order for the tribe to work, people are encouraged to pin from there. And you might say, Dalia, it’s going by the honor system. Yes, it does. But it’s in your best interest to pin from that Tribe, so they’ll pin from your pins because it’s already curated for them. They join that tribe because they need content like that. They put in their own and then they get from it as well. Yes, it’s on the honor system but you’d be a fool not to pin from those pins because they’re already done for you and you don’t have to search Pinterest to find things that look good. In these tribes you can also see which pins are more popular than others. Again, learning to use this effectively and to use Tailwind will save you so much time in the long run and is fairly easy to learn.

So how much do you recommend someone pins new things? Can you pin too much and wear your followers out?

Dalia: You’ll notice I haven’t even mentioned followers yet because it honestly doesn’t matter. You’ll get people who follow and that’s great, but that’s not where you’re going to actually win. You could just start with friends and family following you and you can still make things happen because of the tribes. You should pin no less than ten pins a day and a lot of people say twenty is a healthy medium, so that’s somewhat of a guideline. I personally don’t pin more than fifty a day.  And just for the record, I’m not just pinning to my account. I’m pinning to group boards, to multiple of my boards, there’s a lot of things happening that are really dynamic in my account.  I don’t pass fifty pins a day though and between forty and fifty works for me. And you want to pin quality pins. Don’t pin simply to pin because that won’t help your engagement. Taking the time to find quality pins that your audience wants to see is really important.

Pins and templates

Dalia: Be aware also of the pictures you’re pinning. If you have a lifestyle blog and beautiful imagery to go along with it, great, pin those! But if you don’t and you’re pinning some boring bland photo in the midst of amazing pins, no one is going to click-through to you. If you don’t have lifestyle photos, I encourage people to create templates. Long pins are all the rage right now, so having your picture on either the bottom or the top with engaging text that draws in your audience is what you’re aiming for. Highlight what you offer that will be valuable to your audience. Canva is a great place to make your templates. Make your pins attractive where people will want to click through to your shop or site. Also, make sure that your website is present on your pin for branding reasons as well.

When creating a pin, I always think about things like the benefit to the customer and a feature you offer that’s really awesome. And the way to think about what really matters to your customer is knowing what they’re messaging you about. “Can I change the color on this?” “Can I add this?” “Do you do this?” Whatever the questions might be, think about those and create your pins based around that. Also, looking at your reviews or your competitors reviews to see what customers are pointing out that they absolutely loved or hated. These are the things that really matter to your customers.

A Cheat Sheet

Dalia: I actually have a pdf that’s like a cheat sheet or checklist that will help people design a viral pin keeping the things I just mentioned in mind.  If you go to the https://www.thehandmademastermind.com/resourcesignup you can sign up for my resources and the first thing on the top is going to be the Pinterest cheat sheet. Download it, use it, and follow it in order to help you create a pin that’s more engaging!

Final thoughts

The best place to find Dalia is on her Facebook page where she does a Facebook live every Tuesday filled with content! She’s passionate about helping people make their business sustainable and always wants to help in any way she can.

As always, PLEASE go check out this week’s Jam as it’s FULL of more information about Pinterest for Etsy sellers than we captured in this blog post.

Happy selling everyone!

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