The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Pinterest Email Subscribers

 

This is a guest post by Sonja Jobson, founder of Success Lab.

Fans and flowers on social media networks are a beautiful thing. Platforms like Pinterest allow us to reach brand new people that we might otherwise never have been able to reach. You get to share great stuff, interact with a MASSIVE audience, and grow your brand credibility all at once.

Pretty sweet, right?

But if you stop there – if you never try to take your social media connections to the next level (we’ll talk about what the ‘next level’ is in just a minute) than you’re missing out big time.

Pinterest doesn’t allow you to communicate with your audience in the most effective way (same goes for all the other social networks you use). In fact, when you pin something to one of your Pinterest boards, only a small fraction of your followers will actually see it.

Which is exactly why you need to be working hard to transfer your network on Pinterest over to your email list.
Once you have someone on your email list, you can communicate with them in a much more effective and profitable way for 2 reasons:

  1. Email is more personal than social media, and more of your recipients will see your message when sent to an inbox verses a social stream.
  2. You own your email list. Unlike Pinterest, nobody can “shut down” your email list or change the rules.
    Today we’re going to go over the exact steps you can take to turn your Pinterest followers into email subscribers – and all you need to get started is an opt-in box for your email list, and an opt-in offer.

Step 1: Create an image for your free opt-in offer

You’re probably already aware that your opt-in offer is the content (or other type of gift) that you give people in exchange for singing up for your email list. Things like eBooks, guides, checklists, or video training series are popular.

The very first thing we need to do is create an image that represents your opt-in offer.

We’re going to use a free online tool called Canva to get the job done. We’re going to use a free eBook as our opt-in offer example, but you can use the same steps to create an image that represents any type of offer.

First, pull up Canva.com (register a free account if you don’t already have one) and select “Poster” from the template options:

Image#1

Inside the Canva editor, we’ll design our poster to look like the cover of our eBook. We can choose a background, graphic elements, and text.

For our eBook example, we’re going to pick a plain colored background, a simple graphic that supports our eBook’s topic, and create text that displays our eBook’s title and author:

Image#2

After you’re satisfied with your design, download it to your computer:

Image#3

Step 2: Create an email opt-in landing page that your Pinterest followers will love

You could put your email opt-in box on your homepage and send your Pinterest followers there to sign up – but an even better idea is to create a dedicated landing page for your email opt-in.

Having a dedicated lading page will make it easier and more enticing for your visitors to sign up, and there won’t be any distractions to get in the way.

Your email opt-in landing page can be simple: create a separate page without any of your regular website elements (like a navigation bar or side bar). Include a headline about your opt-in offer, some copy to explain the benefits it offers, and an opt-in box where people can submit their email address.

(Hint: if you want a super simple way to make highly effective landing pages, check out LeadPages.net – not an affiliate link)

Here’s a sample of a simple opt-in landing page:

Image#4

Step 3: Pin your opt-in offer image to Pinterest so traffic flows to your email list

Now it’s time to create a pin on Pinterest using our new opt-in offer image.

Head over to your Pinterest profile and click the plus sign in the upper right hand corner to create a new pin:

Image#5

Follow the instructions to upload your opt-in offer image from your computer.

Choose a board for your pin and give it an enticing description. Make sure to tell people about the benefit your free offer will give them. For example, don’t just tell people to download your free eBook about buying a car. Tell them that they can grab your free eBook which will give them all the inside secrets to help them avoid overpaying for a car or driving home a dud. See? Benefits. You can also include a link to your opt-in landing page at the end of your description, but we’ll talk about an even more important place to put that link in a minute.

Once you’ve crafted a stellar description, click “Pin It”.

Image#6

Now for the most important step: find the pin you just created and hover over it until a pencil icon appears in the top right corner:

Image#7

Click on the pencil icon and an editing box will appear. In this box, there is a field where you can enter the source of your pinned image. It is super important that you put the URL of your opt-in landing page in this box so that your followers will be able to sign up for your list.

Image#8

All done!

You’ve just created a pin that’s going to work overtime for your business. When people click on the image in your new pin, they’ll be shuttled off to your snazzy opt-in landing page and given the opportunity to join your list in exchange for your free gift.

For extra exposure, you can promote your new Pin on your other social network profiles like Facebook and Twitter. Then sit back, relax, and watch your Pinterest followers turn into email subscribers.

Your turn: what are your favorite list-building hacks? Share them with us in the comments below!

Sonja JobsonSonja Jobson helps small business owners and entrepreneurs become incredible on the internet with smart, fun, authentic marketing. Join the free Success Lab for more business building content, live Q&A parties, and access to a supportive community of entrepreneurs. 

Image credit: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Content Marketing Help

A decade ago, MySpace was the up-and-coming social platform. Today? It’s in the social networking graveyard, along with Friendster, Bebo, and Google Buzz.

Last year, teens started leaving Facebook in droves. Is Facebook headed down the same path as MySpace? It seems unlikely, but anything is possible.

Fashions change online, just like anywhere else. Social networks rise and fall.

We all know this. So none of us put all our eggs in one basket. We diversify, dipping our toes into various networks.

Is it enough? Only if you follow this tip.

There’s one thing you can do that will ensure your content never goes out of fashion, whatever platform it’s on. The answer?

Help people.

It’s really that simple. What’s the main reason people go online? They want to find out how to do something. They’re stuck, and they need a helping hand.

So be that helping hand.

When you create helpful content, people will return to it again and again.

How can you make sure your content helps people?

Find out What People Need

This is easier than it sounds, and you don’t need to guess. Instead, you can head over to the Google Keyword Planner. Enter keywords from your niche into the planner. And – hey presto! – you’ll be shown the search terms people put into Google. In other words, you’ll find out exactly what people are looking for. Easy squeezy.

What else can you do? Get out there and talk to people. Social media makes this easier than ever before. Listen to your followers, and they’ll tell you what they want. Then deliver what they need.

Write Like a Human Being

You’re not going to help anyone if people can’t understand you. Blogging isn’t about impressing people with long words. It’s about writing stuff that people actually read.

Of course, the same applies to any content you create. The easier you make it to understand what you’re saying, the more you’ll help people. That’s one of the reasons infographics are so popular – because they transform complicated stats into easy-to-understand images.

Offer Unique Tips

Offer advice that readers can get elsewhere, and chances are they’ll go elsewhere.

If you want your website to be a go-to destination, then your content needs to be extra special. Make the effort to do your own research. Write in a way that helps your readers see things in a new light.

Break It Down into Steps

People will return to your blog if you offer advice that makes a difference. So make sure the help you give is easy to follow. Then your readers will take action and keep coming back for your help.

Marketing Mistakes

Marketing is part art, part science. There are few hard and fast rules.

That said, if you’re making any of the following blunders, your business is probably falling short of what it could be.

Are you messing up in any of these nine ways?

1. Seeing Competitors as Enemies

When you play a game of Monopoly, you don’t see the other players as your enemies. So why should business be any different?

Your competitors aren’t out to get you. They’re not trying to destroy you. They’re just playing the business game, in a similar space to you.

Having competitors is actually a good thing, for two big reasons:

  • Healthy competitors show there’s a strong market for your products or services.
  • You can learn from your competitors. Iron sharpens iron.

In fact, your competitors might even be willing to help you out. This is exactly what happened to entrepreneur Steve Cody. He explains:

When I launched Peppercomm, I knew my nascent firm wasn’t a threat to the giants in my industry, so I made a point to ask the big firms’ CEOs to join me for a drink. My goal was twofold: to let them know I’d started a business, and to ask them on bended knee to send any prospect my way that was either too small for them or that they perceived to be a conflict. Several large competitors did just that and ended up sending me hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business.

2. Not Knowing What You’re Selling

Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. You’ve told me you run your own business.

“That’s cool,” I say. “What does your business sell?”

How do you reply?

Can you explain your product in a couple of sentences? If you can’t do this in everyday language, then you need to get that fixed.

The power’s in keeping it simple.

Want another way of looking at this? Then answer the question:

How does your product or service improve the lives of your customers?

3. Buying Your Own Hype

Entrepreneurs have to be positive and forward-looking. It’s how we get investors and new customers on board.

Likewise, your marketing messages show the best of your products and services. You polish up for the cameras, and that’s okay. No one wants to air their dirty laundry.

The problem comes when you start to believe your own hype. It’s vital to have a realistic assessment of your business, and tackle problems as they arise.

4. Burying Your Contact Information

To sell to people, you’ve got to communicate with them. Hopefully, your website does a great job of this. But what if people want to know more?

Be easy to get in touch with. Don’t hide your contact details in an obscure section of your website. Make them easy to find, preferably on your homepage.

Worried that you’ll be inundated with queries from people who’ve already purchased? Remember that good customer service is a form of marketing. And if you’re genuinely scared about receiving a deluge of complaints, then your product or service needs work.

5. Failing to Measure ROI

We’re big on tracking your metrics here at Social Caffeine, and that’s not just because we’re math geeks. Fail to measure the results of your marketing, and you could be throwing away good money.

Yes, you’ve got to spend money to make money. But that’s not the whole story. Spending money doesn’t automagically make money. You’ve got to spend money wisely. And metrics give you that wisdom.

When you’ve found what works through the numbers, follow through on your discovery.

Freakonomics author Steve Levitt tells the story of how he once encouraged an international retailer to test the results of its newspaper ads. After testing, they found that the multi-million dollar ad campaigns made no difference. But they wouldn’t pull the ads, because that’s how they’d always done things.

You’re smarter than that, right?

6. Spamming Your Pitch

Business is all about knowing the right people. And we live in an age when it’s easier than ever to make connections with the right people.

That’s great, as long as you show respect for the people you’re making connections with. Treat people as people, not as a means to an end.

People can tell if you’re sending them a copy-paste email. You’re wasting your time and their time.

When you want to connect with someone, take time getting to know them. Cultivate the relationship. Then when you’re ready to work together, you’ll have a firm foundation in place.

7. Trying to Do it All

Yes, in an ideal world you’d have a limitless marketing budget. But you live in this world, the one you’re sitting in right now. And in this world, money, time and resources are tight.

Try to do everything, and you’ll spread what you’ve got too thin.

Instead, focus on what works. When it comes to your social media marketing, that can mean limiting yourself to one or two networks.

8. Failing to Follow Through

You’ve come up with a top dollar marketing strategy. You’ve started to implement, but it’s not delivering the results you hoped for.

Do you switch it up? If it’s a total failure, maybe. But it’s possible that it just needs time, and some careful tweaking.

Don’t change things around just for the sake of it. Do it for a reason.

This is especially true when you’ve got a winning formula. Remember when Gap changed their logo back in 2010? Okay, maybe you don’t. That’s because the new logo lasted all of two days.

When you’ve found what works, stick with it.

9. Telling Your Story

Okay, we admit, we’re joshing with you here. At least a little. Telling your brand’s story is a great idea.

That said, you should always focus on your customers when you tell your story. Tell your story to engage, not to stroke your ego.