How to Represent your Business on Pinterest through Branding

What started out as a place to share our interests, hobbies and ideas has quickly turned into one of the biggest platforms that business owners are utilizing. What am I talking about?

Pinterest, of course!

Some of our favorite business owners kick ass at Pinterest, including Melyssa Griffin, Mariah Coz from Femtrepreneur and Lauren Hooker from Elle and Company. And all three of these entrepreneurial women have found some way to use Pinterest to not only aid in their business growth but also as a key income source for them.

With the popularity of Pinterest growing every single day there is no better time then RIGHT NOW to start using Pinterest to have a direct influence on your business. But there is so much to learn. Pinterest seems to never stop growing and with that comes new ways to take advantage of what Pinterest has to offer.

We could spend all day talking about keyword integration for Pinterest, crafting content specifically for Pinterest, or understanding Pinterest Analytics - and don't worry, we will talk about those some day here on Studio Krystal. But before you get in deep with Pinterest you first need to learn what's on the surface.

On the surface of every Pinterest account is the way the account looks to your audience.

If I were to visit your account right now the very first thing I would notice is your profile image, board previews, Pinterest graphics and all the other visual aspects that Pinterest offers. Then I MIGHT take the time to read your account description, pin descriptions and other text heavy areas. But chances are, like me, the rest of your audience is using there eyes to see what catches their attention and not using their brain so much to read it. 

Did you know creating this visual platform on Pinterest for your audience ties right into your branding?

We all know I've talked about branding to death here on Studio Krystal. Branding is what I do and it's who I am. But it's also such an important part of any business looking to succeed online. And the best part is, we can now translate this branding right over to Pinterest so we too - like Melyssa Griffin, Mariah Coz and Lauren Hooker - can gain success from Pinterest.

Are you ready to get learning how?

Why should you brand your Pinterest account?

Before we can begin implementing branding practices within our Pinterest accounts we first need to understand why branding is important in this aspect. Branding doesn't just live on your website. It lives on every single platform that your business is represented on. This includes your Facebook business page, email newsletters, and even, Pinterest account.

Branding on Pinterest has never been easier and it has never been more important. The importance of branding has always been made clear here on Studio Krystal but not so much when it comes to Pinterest. I'm going to change that.

Branding on Pinterest can:

  • Help identify your content, services or products
  • Help create a consistent and cohesive account aesthetics
  • Establish you as an authority in your niche
  • Create a professional, polished and put together vibe
  • Helps link your account with your brand and other digital locations

You want all of these things right?

Now that we know the important of branding within Pinterest we can get to the juicy details. Let's dig into how we can actually optimize our account and fill it with branded content.

 

Creating boards for your brand

The boards you create are the backbone of your Pinterest account!

Pinterest works when you create boards and it's even better when you create boards that are associated to your niche and your brand. And if you want it to work even better you want to focus on optimizing your Pinterest boards to help aid in creating a successful social media strategy.

There are several ways that you can get your boards branded, organized and optimized. These include:

Creating boards specifically for your brand content

The best way to promote your own content on Pinterest is to create branded boards specifically for this content. For example, as a Website Designer I have several boards on my Pinterest account that are directly related to content on my website including my blog content and my website design portfolio. In the future, I plan to continue to expand the boards dedicated to my content as my business expands.

Other options for boards specific to your brand could include:

  • Blog Content
  • Portfolio
  • Client Testimonials
  • Physical Products
  • Services
  • Content Upgrades (Freebies)
  • Recipes
  • Outfits
  • Makeup Looks
  • Travel Adventures

Your boards are going to be directly effected by two things which include your niche and your audience. You first want to create boards for your own content that are niche appropriate and you want these boards to be the best they can be for your audience.

Did you know? The amount of direct website followers we have is decreasing day by day because more people are choosing to follow our work through social media. Pinterest is one of the BEST places for your audience to follow you because it tends to be the most content driven - text-based and visual-based.

Creating boards with related topics to your brand

Along with sharing your own content on Pinterest you can also share content of others that is closely related to your brand. Why? Because this type of content is going to help provide your audience with value when they want to follow your Pinterest account. While they might absolutely love your content and follow you for that reason, they will be getting an extra bonus when you share others content. 

For example, as a Website Designer specifically for Squarespace there are lots of related topics that I have created on Pinterest to help aid in the value I'm providing. Some of my most popular boards that don't involve my own content include:

  • Squarespace Help
  • Social Media Help
  • Branding Help
  • Branding (Inspiration)
  • Moodboards

Creating an appropriate order for your Pinterest boards

And after all of your Pinterest boards are created you want to focus on creating a complimentary order to your content. Many of our favorite business owners arrange their boards from most important to least important; often starting with the boards directly linked to their brand, related topic boards and then group boards. 

By arranging our boards from most to least important this gives our audience the ability to flow through our accounts the way we want them to - and they might not even know it. Chances are when visiting a Pinterest account, members may only scan through the first couple of lines on your account, therefore they only get to see roughly 10 - 15 boards you've created. This is the perfect opportunity to make these boards - near the top of your account - optimized directly for your brands growth.

 

Pinning branded content

Just like creating boards that are branded for your Pinterest account, creating branded content is just as important. Actually, it's probably way more important, lets be honest. Branded content within your Pinterest account is going to link directly back to your brand because it's going to be:

  • Cohesive
  • Consistent
  • Recognizable
  • Balanced
  • Professionally Created

But it's creating this branded content that tends to be the struggle with many business owners. And it really doesn't have to be. There are two surefire ways to brand your Pinterest account easily, and I bet you already know what they are:

  • Boards Covers
  • Pinterest Graphics

Let's talk more about how you can implement these!

 

Creating Branded Board Covers for Pinterest

Over the course of 2016, Pinterest has made several changes which have directly effected the board sizing and ratio we view on Pinterest. At this time there are a couple of different variations you can have in terms of your boards covers. The most recent update I'm viewing on Pinterest is one which provides us with completely square board covers.

When creating board covers for your Pinterest you first want to consider the size in which you have to create them. The best size, is around 833 pixels by 833 pixels. This makes them completely square in shape and doesn't distort the quality of your image. For saving purposes, I always recommend a JPEG format as this is the most recognized image format and will provide the least amount of compression - which Pinterest does little of anyway, but we want to be on the safe side.

It's time to get creative!

There are no specific rules when it comes to creating board covers for Pinterest. The only thing you want to focus on is maintaining your brand identity throughout the design so that your board covers provide the best reflection of your branding. This is easily done by incorporating your brand color scheme, brand typography choices and over aesthetic you have on your other graphics.

Easy peasy!

Above you can see three graphics that I've created as example board covers. You can easily tell that these covers incorporate the Studio Krystal brand colors, typography, and overall aesthetic that my other graphics do here on my website. This makes my Pinterest account easily identifiable as belonging to Studio Krystal!

 

Creating Branded Graphics for Pinterest

The second way to brand your Pinterest account is through the actual content that you pin directly from your website. This involves a little extra work on your end because it's going to require you to create 1 - 2 vertically designed images for your products, services or content. These graphics are then going to be pinned directly to your Pinterest account to increase you authority and create a recognizable brand.

By far, this is the area of branding within Pinterest that I see the most struggle with! Why? Because creators tend to grab an image from Pinterest as inspiration for their own but they wind up creating the exact same design. This creates a lack of uniqueness across your brand and actually can negatively effect your brand on Pinterest.

Before you get creating today I want you to take some time and scroll through your Pinterest feed and take into account the graphics you see versus the graphics you don't see. Take this information and create your own UNIQUE image filled with lots of brand identity from your business.

Just like our boards covers there are a variety of ways you can design branded graphics. The easiest way is to use your brands color scheme, brand typography selection and the over aesthetic of your other brand graphics. Along with these key areas there are also a couple of other things you need to take into consideration when designing Pinterest optimized content.

Vertical images are going to get noticed in Pinterest. If you've been on Pinterest in the last year you have probably noticed the switch from horizontal (traditional) layout to a more vertical layout. This is because vertical images are what catches the eye in Pinterest and people have discovered that secret! Here at Studio Krystal we make our graphics 615 pixels wide by 830 pixels height. This creates the perfect vertical graphic for us to share on Pinterest.

The other BIG area you want to optimize on your images is actually having your website address on them. Pinterest is a platform where your content can be shared and altered. What if someone decides to remove your direct link from your pin. How is your audience going to find you? By having your website address written out on your graphic this gives people a second place to look so they can easily navigation to your website!

 

How many of you have already opened Pinterest in another tab? 

You've just taken the first step to creating a branded Pinterest account if you answered yes! It's time to head over to your own Pinterest account and take the time to establish what areas of your account are branded versus those that aren't. From there you can start creating your boards, organizing your boards and creating your branded content.

But oh wait! Did you love the branded graphics you saw in this post today? Do you want graphics like this?

Studio Krystal provides them! We pride ourselves in helping our audience create success online through visual marketing and we would LOVE to aid in the growth and success of your social media accounts. We currently offer an A La Carte Service where we custom make Social Media Graphics for just $25/graphics (please note, this price is in Canadian Dollars)!

BUT we've got a deal for you!!!

From now, March 27th, 2017 until April 27th, 2017 we are offering this ONE time sale!

CLICK HERE (or the image below) to take part in this sale and take your social media to the next level!


How to Create and Design a Blog using Squarespace in Under 15 Minutes!

Squarespace is an undervalued website platform when it comes to bloggers wanting to get online. Often times, this is because little is known about Squarespace and individuals simply don't take the time to do the necessary research. This has left Squarespace with a bad wrap!

Squarespace is often the platform I promote the most - out of all my business tools and advice I share. It's the platform and software that I feel the strongest about for all online users - not just bloggers or not just business owners. Squarespace is versatile. Why?

Blogging!

Just like many other platforms out there - I'm looking at your Wordpress - Squarespace has built in blogging capabilities. But once again, they aren't well know because they aren't researched. It seems to be an automatic response to choose a platform like Wordpress when you are thinking about starting a blog.

BUT STOP!

Before you make the choice that is going to determine your entire online presence you want to education yourself, do your research and make an informed decision. Trust me, you don't want to get this step wrong! Squarespace has a lot more to offer then just what is on the outside. And that's why today, I'm sharing every single piece of information I know about blogging with Squarespace.

By the end of this post, you will have a detailed and comprehensive guide to not only start a blog with Squarespace but also how to design this blog, maintain this blog and utilize this blog to reach your goals. And the best part, you can completely set-up your blog using Squarespace in under 15 minutes!

Creating a Squarespace Account

Before we can get to any of the fun blog creating in this post, we first have to get you all setup on Squarespace! For those of you who don't know, Squarespace is a website and blogging platform that integrates a modern template-based system for it's users.

This process of setting up your account is as simple as one click - no, I seriously mean one click. 

Once you've navigated to Squarespace all you have to do is select the 'Get Started' button in the upper right-hand corner and that will lead you through the minimal set-up steps.

 

Choosing a Squarespace Template for blogging

Squarespace is a template-based system and not all Squarespace templates are made equal. In fact, only some of the templates offered by Squarespace allow you to create a blog within them. This is quite an important factor when thinking about creating a blog using the Squarespace platform. However, Squarespace has over 40 templates to choose from and a majority of those include blog features.

Here are some of my favorites (but there are more):

  • Tudor
  • Foundry
  • Haute
  • Farro
  • Skye
  • Native
  • Bedford
  • Five
  • Avenue
  • Forte
  • Galapagos

Each of these templates has a different interface for a blog but essentially they all provide you with the same features. When choosing your template it is very important to compare them to ensure you are getting the best template to suit your brand and blogging style. For example, you might want a visual template to display your blog and the Five template would suit that very well. But if you were looking for a grid-style structured layout then a template like Skye might be the best option.

Create a list of the top things you are looking for within your blog. Some examples could include grid-style structure, excerpts versus full length posts, large images, minimalist style and more. Once you have this list, write down beside each element which template best uses this feature. This list will help you observe which templates are hitting the most high points for you!

To view all of the templates Squarespace has to offer live, you can visit their template gallery >> CLICK HERE

 

Creating a Blog on Squarespace

You've sifted through the templates that Squarespace has to offer and you've chosen one! Now it's time to create your blog so that you can start sharing your content with the world! This process is really simple and I'm going to make it even easier by breaking everything down step by step!

Step #1

Once inside your Squarespace website you will be able to view a right-handed menu with several options. First you want to click 'Pages'. Once inside this area, you will see something similar to the image on the right.

Step #2

Now it's time to add your blog. Using the '+" symbol next to the heading "Main Navigation' you want to click this and another menu will pop up to the right. 

Step #3

You are now going to want to select the 'Blog' option in the middle row, last column. This will generate the following preview.

Step #4

Give your blog page an appropriate name, the best option is to just call it 'blog' or 'home' if you plan to have your blog as your home page.

Step #5

Once inside your blog page, you can finally start to create a new blog post and add content to display your latest adventures with your audience!

 

Making your Squarespace Blog your Home Page

In the steps above, I quickly mentioned that you can use your blog as your home page. If you are a blogger looking to create a blog using the Squarespace platform chances are this is where you want your blog to show up - as your home page. Here are a couple of ways to help you determine where you want your blog located:

Do you want your blog to be the FIRST thing viewers see? Yes, then you want your blog as your home page.

Do you want your blog to be associated with your business? Yes, then you want your blog to be a single page on its own.

By answering this two questions you should quickly be able to determine where you want to put your blog. Even before answering those two questions I'm sure you had any idea. But now how do you execute making your blog your home page? Simple!

Step #1

Back on the 'Pages' menu you are going to want to click the small gear icon next to your blog page.

Step #2

Another smaller window will pop up to the right of your screen that looks similar to the one on the left.

Step #3

Navigation down to the very bottom of this open window and click the 'Set as Homepage' function.

And there you have it, your blog is now the first thing viewers see when they visit your website!

 

Creating & Publishing Blog posts on Squarespace

Yay! You've just created your blog in Squarespace and you've made your blog the main focal point of your Squarespace website. But now it's time to get creating content including text and visuals that will help you establish yourself as a credible blogger within your niche.

Squarespace makes it really simple to create a new blog post and thus, create new content for your audience. 

Step #1

Navigation to your brand new blog page. Once there you are going to select the "+" located alongside the little gear icon. Once clicked, a new window will appear similar to the image on the left.

Step #2

Enter your post title in the 'Enter a post title' area and start adding your content into the 'Write here' area. 

Step #3

For even more creativity within your posts use the small grey teardrop icons which will appears as your mouse rolls over these areas.

Step #4

Once clicked, a new window will appear similar to the image on the left. You will now have the option to add additional content blocks to your posts including: images, quotes, videos and much more!

And there you have it! In 4 easy steps you've just created a brand new blog content area.

It was quickly mentioned above that you can create unique blog content up uploading various content blocks. This is exactly what I've been doing for this post to left-align my images and then place my text on the right! Squarespace is completely customizable when it comes to your website and there blog content areas are no different.

The customization completely depends on the user. For example, if you are displaying a portfolio of images to your audience then you might want to utilize the 'image' content block and then drag-and-drop these images around to create a unique layout. But if you want to focus more on writing then the 'text' content block is your best friend. But I encourage you to play around with the content blocks to create unique layouts within your posts!

 

Publishing your blog content on Squarespace

Once you've completed adding your content and arranging your layout to be unique you are then going to want to publish this content. Even this is super easy with Squarespace!

Step #1

After you've finished writing your content and are ready to publish it click the word 'Draft' on the bottom right of your blog post window.

Step #2

Once clicked a new set of options will appear and you want to select 'Published'

Step #3

Once clicked, you will then be able to click on the 'Published On...' that appears below this area now and customize the publish date and time!

And now all that's left to do is click 'Save' and your brand new blog post is LIVE on your blog!

 

Utilizing a Blog Sidebar in sQUARESPACE

Just like any other blogging platform Squarespace allows you the option to have a sidebar. And its not as simple as your traditional right sidebar layout either. Squarespace has several sidebar options including:

  • Full Width Post View
  • One Sidebar
  • Split Sidebars
  • Two Sidebars

How do you go about getting these different sidebar options? Squarespace also makes that simple:

Step #1

Navigation back to your blog page and then click on the small gear icon. This will open a new window similar to the one on the left.

Step #2

Scroll down in this window until you find the 'Page Layout' section. Within the drop down menu you can change your sidebar options.

Step #3

Once changed, simply select 'Save' on the bottom right-hand corner!

When creating blogs with sidebar options I've rarely used the split sidebars or two sidebar options. Most of my client want a full-width blog layout or a simple single blog side (which you can customize which side within the Style Editor). But play around with your sidebar options to find out what best fits what you are looking for in your blog layout!

 

And there you have it!

Can you believe that you've just created your Squarespace website, created a blog, styled your blog, published content and determined your sidebar options! I'm so proud of each of you!

Squarespace really is an amazing blogging platform full of lots of options - and this post didn't even cover some of them. The other benefit to Squarespace is that you can create a blog in under 15 minutes and upload content in about 30. Which to me is a huge asset as someone who posts weekly content. Imagine if I posted daily!

But I know that there is even more you want to know about blogging with Squarespace and Squarespace in general. I'd love to hear what else you want to learn so be sure to leave your recommends in the comments below so I can help you create a simple, strategic and successful Squarespace website!