small business

How to use Pinterest trend predictions to grow your business

Pinterest publishes an annual categorised list of data-backed emerging trends, and last December they shared their list of 100 trends to know for 2018.

The Pinterest list of 100 trend predictions for 2018

To begin with, have a read of Pinterest's blog post list: 100 trend predictions for 2018.
You can also download a PDF of the complete report with additional insights and metrics here.

You may be wondering how to use these trend predictions for the benefit of your small business. It's all very well to look at the list and think 'ooh, statement ceilings are gonna be big this year, how interesting!' but as businesses, we can actually use the data as actionable insights and make this information worthwhile to our brands. What can we do with essentially a free guide to what will be searched for and salivated over in the near future?

The Pinterest trends list is a vault of unlocked ideas. From a creative perspective you could use some of these to inspire what you make, how you market your business/products, and even aspects such as what to post on social media. You may not see any obvious connections with your own products/services, but some of the trends are transferable and linked in un-obvious ways!

Using Pinterest data to inspire and adapt what you make

Example: you're a bookbinder, and Pinterest predicts that 'unique keepsake guestbooks' are on the up. You could think about creating your own version of keepsake guestbooks. People are specifically searching for unique keepsake guestbooks, so be sure to design something original, perhaps even combining this with another trend, e.g. 'boho baby showers'!

A post shared by Stacy Koo (@doraecyscraps) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your marketing

Example: you make scented candles and are planning a photoshoot. Pinterest predicts that the colour 'sage green' and 'patterned plants' are gaining momentum. These could be used as a theme for your photograph backgrounds and props to keep them fresh and on-trend. You could even incorporate these elements as a theme for social media cover images, branding, etc, and tailor towards your target audience.

A post shared by vtwonen (@vtwonen) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your social media posts

Example: you're a leather worker, working from your garage. Pinterest predicts that 'garage workshop' is a rising trend, with a specifically targetable interest of 'craft storage'. Now imagine you organise that workspace a bit and take gorgeous pictures of it. Include some close ups of details, images of you working in your 'garage workshop', photos of your 'craft storage', videos of you speaking about your work, etc, and then release these as a series of posts on Instagram and Pinterest, along with explanations and your story, and blog about it too, why not! Further the reach of your posts by researching hashtags relevant to workspaces, home studios, work in progress, maker portraits, etc to target your ideal audience, and bingo! 

Other examples of incorporating trends:

  • Use popular themes for your packaging, e.g. street art, patterned plants, herringbone tile patterns on gift wrap and tags.
  • Start Pinterest boards with your own curated collections of the trending items and ideas.
  • Write a DIY tutorial blog post with instructions on how to make something related to a trending style.
  • Write a blog post featuring your favourite trend. (Then pin that to Pinterest!)
  • Start a project of documenting one of the trends e.g. 'colourful doors' and post a series on your blog and social media.

Bear in mind that the insights are from Pinterest, so we shouldn't make the assumption that these will be trends across all platforms and audiences. The data these trends are based on is analysed from search and save patterns of Pinterest users/shoppers so may not representatively reflect what a Facebook user is interested in, for example.

Are you thinking of incorporating future trends into your business strategy? Or is this something you already do? How is it working out for you? We'd love to know!

7 Days of Christmas giveaway - Day 1: Win a handmade Brunta Bear cushion by Hesperoo!

Welcome to the first of Digibloom's 7 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the lucky winner Amy P! If you didn't win, Hesperoo has kindly offered entrants 15% off a Brunta Bear cushion until March 8th 2017 when purchased from www.hesperoo.co.uk. Use code: Brunta15 to claim your discount. Enjoy!

Digibloom Christmas advent competition

DAY 1: Enter for a chance to win Hesperoo's handmade Brunta Bear cushion!

Win one Brunta Bear cushion (as pictured below). Brunta Bear is both stylish and huggable i.e. perfect for modern nurseries or kids bedrooms! Brunta is a handmade bear cushion designed by Hannah of kids decor & gifts brand Hesperoo, printed with eco-friendly inks, and made by hand - with love.

Win Hesperoo's Brunta Bear cushion!
Brunta Bear cushion by kids decor designer Hesperoo

Please note that this giveaway is open to UK entries only.
To be in with a chance of winning, please enter using the widget below:

Advent giveaway - win a handmade Brunta Bear cushion designed and made by Hesperoo!

Find out more about Hannah, the designer/maker behind the brand Hesperoo in December's Small Business Spotlight.

Visit the Hesperoo online shop to shop small this Christmas and support an independent designer!



Terms and Conditions
Promotion description. Win Hesperoo's handmade Brunta Bear cushion! Starts 12 am (UK) on December 1st 2016 and ends 12pm (UK) on December 8th 2016. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning will depend on the total number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

Eligibility. The giveaway is open to individuals who are 18 years of age or older, and residents of the United Kingdom. All Entries by Entrants under 18 years of age must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of such Entrants. 

Winner selection. The winner will be announced by December 9th 2016 and contacted via email. The prize will be posted from the UK within 7 business days. Please allow for delays due to seasonal post. Official prizes. One (1) prize is available to be won (the “Prize”). The Prize consists of: 1 Brunta Bear cushion as pictured.

Winner’s list. The “Winner” of the Sweepstake will be determined via a random drawing.

Small Business Spotlight Interview: Tim Easley

Tim Easley Small Business Spotlight with Digibloom

IN THE SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: TIM EASLEY - talented FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR BASED IN LONDON, DISCUSSES HIS GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BRAND

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Tim and I'm a self taught designer, illustrator and photographer from London. The technical word for what I do is Designustratographer. Although don't look for that in the dictionary because it's too futuristic to be in there yet.

Tim Easley graphic designer and illustrator - interview with Digibloom

Describe your business

I attempt to arrange things nicely on pages, doodle stuff for people, and use a camera to steal people's souls. In return people give me money, which I mainly use to buy pizza. My business is unique because I made up my own job title to make sure nobody else is one.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What inspires you?

I'm mostly inspired by Oprah, motivational quotes on posters in offices, Morris dancers, tinted windows on cars, and people who say they work hard and play hard. These things inspire me not to be terrible.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I hated where I was working, and couldn't find another job, so I decided to go freelance and survive on dust and grass rather than get a regular wage. I never looked back, mainly because I was too weak from the dust and grass to turn my head.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

Definitely. It was going down for quite a long time, then up, then kind of level for a bit, then down a bit, then up again. Hopefully it keeps going up because that's the direction I like the best. Oh wait, I get you. Yes I think I've become slightly more specialised as I've been going, concentrating on things I find more interesting rather than projects just to pay the bills, which is a lot more rewarding. Mentally and financially.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

A video posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

Admin. Admin. Admin. I hate admin. It's the worst. The only good thing about working for someone else is that they do most of the admin. It's just so boring, especially when you're doing something creative. It sucks all of the creativity out of you and spits it into an Excel spreadsheet where you watch it die a slow and painful death.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What's the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

Definitely the fact that I can work in my pants. I mean you can't generally do that if you work in an office. That and the fact that I do what I want, when I want. It's a lot more work than a 9-5 but if there's something I want to do one day, I can just take a day off and catch up later. It's very flexible. Just like me in my pants.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

Make a plan and try to stick to it. It's sometimes tempting to change your plan slightly and compromise when you're not making as much money as you want, but in the end sticking to what you know you want to do is the best way. If you were just in this for the money, you probably wouldn't be in it, so keep that in mind!

What's next for your business?

Every year or so I look at how things are going and try make sure I'm still pointing in the right direction, as well as set myself new targets and clear out old work so everything feels fresh. I'm just gonna keep going where I'm going and cross my fingers! Also I might invest in an underground lair with some kind of flying boat with lasers on it. But don't tell anyone.

Learn more about Tim Easley and connect with the man himself online using these links:

Website: timeasley.com

Twitter: @timeasley

Instagram: @timeasley

Facebook: @iamtimeasley

Behance: be.net/timeasley

Get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter - a how-to guide for small businesses

Social media tip from Digibloom: How to get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to seek out Christmas gift guide opportunities to have your products featured by blogs and press. Sadly the opportunities won't always find you while you sit there and wait, so it's important to be pro-active!

HOW TO USE TWITTER TO GET YOUR PRODUCTS FEATURED BY PRESS AND BLOGS

1. Use the search term 'Christmas gift guide' in Twitter's search box. No hashtag needed. At the moment bloggers and press are requesting submissions for their gift guides, though in the next few weeks I expect that search term will reveal all the lovely gift guides that have already been produced. So get in quick, and check back as often as possible for new opportunities!

The search will default to a list of the 'top' tweets, and I suggest clicking on the 'live' tab to get the most recent tweets first (EDIT: This tab is now titled 'latest'). You can save the search by using the 'more options' drop down list and selecting 'save this search', as pictured below. Next time you click in the search bar, a list of your saved searches will drop down.

How to get featured in Christmas gift guides

Examples below:

Then contact the blogger/journo via direct message or email with a short, friendly message about your product and why it would fit well with their blog/website/magazine - and see what happens.

Be aware that some blogs may be offering paid showcases, so be sure to research whether or not it's a free opportunity. If you have to pay - is it worth it? Is it a quality, juried gift guide, or just a quick way of making money for the publisher that won't get you much engagement?

Some bloggers will request 'samples' of your work to review - if you're interested in this, be certain their photography and reviews are of a high standard in advance or it could do more damage than good.

2. Use hashtags #journorequest and #prrequest to search for opportunities. Journalists and blog editors tweet requests all year round - some are for small blogs and occasionally well known magazines or tabloid press. I often retweet the best ones on Digibloom twitter account if you haven't the time to weed them out yourself.

When promoting your products via TWITTER posts, these are my recommendations:

  • Include an image. Tweets with images receive much higher engagement. If you're auto-posting from Instagram and it shows as a cut off sentence with a link to Instagram and no image - you've wasted an opportunity. Post directly!
  • Use one or two hashtags. Think carefully about which hashtags to use - you're using them to further your reach to potential shoppers and people that may feature your products. What hashtags might your target audience be searching? Are your products relevant to any trending topics? Is it Monday and does your product ooze motivation? #Mondaymotivation. You get the idea!
  • Include a link to your product.
  • Don't make every post about your products. Post about your business by all means, but show sketches, studio space, workshop, packages ready to be posted, what's on your desk, behind the scenes, retweet customer appreciation tweets, and most importantly - be a good listener too. Comment and favourite tweets from others, engage with them, and build relationships.
  • Tell your audience what's interesting about your product. The majority of people are tweeting 'my product is perfect for...' or just slapping a link and an image (only really works for MUST-have products!) Use your imagination, tell a story within a few words, be positive, be fun, be cheeky. Describe it, make an emotional connection. What are the benefits? What are the features? Why do we need it in our lives?

Do you have any tips to share regarding getting your products featured in gift guides? Or Twitter tips that work for you? See the comment section? You know what to do!...