5 Tips for Selling Sublimation with Pinterest

For those who may not have heard one of my rants regarding how valuable a tool Pinterest can be for decorators,  I thought I’d recap.   Because Pinterest is about aspiration and ideas,  it’s a great place to sell the work decorators do.   It’s especially great for sublimation because a lot of people don’t know what dye sublimation is or what can be done with it.   Creating boards on Pinterest allows you to essentially create a lookbook or a gallery where your customers can browse,  learn about sublimation,  and get ideas for products they may want to buy for themselves.   If you’re a sublimation business and don’t have Pinterest boards,  you should set some up immediately.   Here are some tips to get the most out of your Pinterest account.

#1Set up a business account –  A Pinterest business account will offer anyalytics and other tools that a regular account won’t offer.  It’s also something you need if you want to offer buyable pins.    Business accounts also allow for advertising,  something a basic account does not do.

#2 – Follow strategically – You’re setting up the accounts to draw in new business and to educate your customers,  so you want to be sure you’re information is getting to the right people.   Figure out who your target market is and where they are on Pinterest and then make sure your information is in those places.    You can have the best boards in the world,  but if they’re not seen by the right people,  it won’t matter.

#3 – A picture is worth a thousand words – Pinterest is all about the visuals,  so make sure you have the best pictures you can possibly take.   While captions and informative descriptions are helpful,  it’s the picture that’s the first introduction to the product.  Make sure that introduction is a good one.

#4 – Educate your customers – A lot of people don’t understand what sublimation is,  so make sure your boards do more than just showcase the products you can create.   Give glimpses of the process and behind the scenes.   Help potential customers understand what dye sublimation is and what it can do.   The more your customers understand what can be done,  the more likely they are to ask you to do it.

#5 – Create boards around a specific theme – If there’s a particular product you like to make,  or a particular market to which you’d like to sell,  create boards that target that theme.   One of the things people do on Pinterest is try to get ideas,  for a party,  for a gift,  for an event and so on.   If you want to do items for family reunions create a family reunion board where you show pictures of families using and wearing your work,  showcase new ideas you have for family reunion themed merchandise,  and maybe even include tips about planning a reunion.   Same for schools or clubs or whatever you might want to target.  Specific boards tend to sell better than general boards,  as you’re narrowing in on a target and providing the info your potential customers need all in one place.

5 Ways to Sell Sublimation on Social Media

Social media can be a great place to sell your work,  as long as you take care to position your accounts correctly and make sure that you’re putting your work in front of people who will want to buy it.  There are also ways to showcase your products to make them more attractive to those who might want to buy.   None of this is particularly difficult,  but it takes a little thought if it is to be done properly.   Here are some places where sublimation might be sold successfully, and some things to consider when you’re working on selling what you’ve made.

Consider this:  Pinterest can be a goldmine for decorators – Pinterest is a built in lookbook and memory aid all in one.  You can build boards that showcase various events or needs for which you can make items.   It could be a family reunion board,  or a cheer camp board or a baby shower gift board.   On the board you can showcase ideas for those events,  helping those who are lost for an idea themselves.   Pinterest also encourages people to save pins to their own boards,  which means that your ideas will be saved in other places and serve as a reminder that your services exist.

Consider this: Solve a problem,  don’t sell a product –  I’ve said this a million times before,  but it’s true,  people don’t like to be sold.  If your social media feed are a constant blare of “buy me” messages,  people will get turned off.  What you need to do instead is solve a problem for those who visit your feeds.  The problem may be as simple as “what type of shirt should I get for Larry’s retirement party”,  but answering that question could get you a sale.   When you’re posting to social media,  don’t ask “what do I need/want to sell”,  ask yourself “what problem can I solve for my customers?” and then post accordingly.

Consider this – Know your customer – No business has a customer group labeled “everyone”.  Before you set up any social media profiles or start selling anything,  you need to know who your target customers are and where they are on social media.   The best sales pitch in the world won’t work if it’s being made to the wrong people.

Consider this – Groups may be great places to sell – If you have a hobby or activity that you particularly enjoy,  consider making sublimated goods that relate to whatever it is you like doing.  It may often be possible to find groups on Facebook,  or forums,  or boards on Pinterest,  that are focused on that particular hobby or activity.   Make sure to obey the rules of the group,  but there are groups that allow sales,  and this gives you a guaranteed audience who most likely will be interested in what you have to sell.

Consider this – A good picture is worth a thousand words –  Social media is visual,  even the sites that do allow more words center around pictures.   It’s worth it to invest in the best options you can afford for taking photos.  It’s also worth the time to do research online regarding how to take good product photos.   Remember,  this is a showcase of your work,  so present it in the best light possible.  Good product photography can make a huge difference in sales,  so it’s well worth the time it takes.

How to Sell on Social Media

Almost every business wants social media to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,  the place that helps generate leads and turn leads into sales with almost no effort at all.   There are classes and books and webinars and seminars about how to make big bucks with Facebook or Twitter or Instagram,  and most of them won’t say the one thing that you really need to know.   The best way to sell on social media is not to sell at all. 

While that sounds like some kind of zen saying,  in reality it’s anything but. It’s a truth that most people want to ignore,  because selling,  putting up a whole line of posts advertising your goods,  or entreating everyone to come look at the latest product in your store or simply blasting people over and over again with a plea that they shop with you seems easier and faster and certainly less work than what actually helps you make sales.

The truth is that finding true customers,  those customers who will buy from you again and again and who will help promote your business,  takes time and effort.   The first step in the process is creating a social media profile that does a lot more than just sell.   A good profile gives some backstage access to how your business runs.   It spotlights your skills and expertise.   It offers education on how the decoration processes you use work,  and ideas for how your customers can benefit from those processes.   It sells,  but subtly,  never screaming but softly whispering how your products and services can benefit your customers.

The next link in the chain is building your company’s reputation and building trust with the other members of your social media community.   This means helping simply for the sake of helping,  and making connections because you have things in common,  or because you can learn from each other,  not because you see everyone else on social media as a mark,  someone to whom you can sell.  Studies have shown that people tend to buy from people and companies that they trust.   Building trust among the members of your community will lead to sales and most likely long lasting relationships.

Another handy social media function that a lot of decoration companies neglect is the ability to present your customers with ideas for what they could purchase from you.   Pinterest is great for this.   Create idea boards for specific customer categories to which you’d like to sell.   Want to sell to local schools?   Create innovative spiritwear designs and showcase them on a spiritwear board.    Have a certain hobby or activity that you really enjoy?  Create themed garments centered on that hobby and put them up on a board.   Pinterest is aspirational,   and along with the people looking for 10 ways to decorate their kitchen,  or six fun summer activities for kids,  there are people looking for shirts for their family reunions or hats for their over 50 baseball team.    Be the place where the find what they’re looking for.

Finally,  successfully selling on social media requires thinking about who your target customers are,  and where they can be found.   It means not simply asking all your friends and family to like your page,  but going out and finding the people who want to buy what you have to sell.   It means building your follower count slowly and strategically,  with a clear goal always in mind.   Selling on social media is most successful when you’re talking to a group of followers who need what you have to offer.   Being strategic and smart about how you build your page’s follower network will take more time and effort,  but will result in connections with a group of people who want to buy what you have to sell.