How to Go Viral on TikTok

Is it your dream (or your job) to go viral on Tiktok?

You’re about to learn how to create content that absolutely explodes on TikTok. Sort of. Follow along with the real-life saga of Tiktok viral success as told by Alex McKenzie (aka @piesupplies), lowly software engineer by day, TikTok superstar by um, other times.

“It all started on a Sunday evening in July. I’m sitting back with a cool vintage Tab cola, enjoying the soothing hum of the 3D printer, and then at about midnight, the phone started blowing up.

I went from 70 followers to 3,500 overnight, and the video I had just shared already had 800K views, 106 shares, and over 700 comments.”

Alex McKenzie

Want those kinds of numbers for yourself? Stay tuned as Alex holds absolutely NOTHING back (no matter how much you might beg him to) in sharing his secrets to going viral on Tiktok.

Meanwhile, check out the video in question which is, at this writing, up to over 1 million views. If the reasons for its virality are clear to you, great. Otherwise, read on…

How to Go Viral on TikTok

The tldr;

“Nothing gets engagement on the internet quite like tee-ing strangers up to tell you that you’re wrong.”

– Cameron Mara, Tailwind Software Engineer

So, that would be number one:

#1 Secret to Going Viral on TikTok: Do Something Controversial

Not necessarily shocking (though that helps) or seriously divisive (we have enough of that, thank you), instead try something that people can get worked up about with very low stakes.

In this case, Alex was 3D printing a dice tower (yes, I had to look it up, too) and wanted to fill it (no, they’re not printed solid) with something OTHER than the expected sand. Still with me?

In his words, “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.” Can’t argue with that, right?


We’ll get to that in a minute.

So, off he goes to the Dollar Store to pick up nails and glue to weight his tower just the way he wants it.

Much outrage ensued.

Screenshot of TikTok image telling Alex to get sand for his print. "get sand" "from like a beach"
TikTok comments suggesting that Alex "Try sand" and reminding him that "you can find sand outside u know [winky smirk]"

Not understanding the lack of sand available in MANHATTAN, others had this to contribute:

TikTok user comments, "Must be nice having the money to buy sand rather than going outside and getting the free stuff"

Good thing he was about to become a superstar. This sand habit could break a man.

#2 Do Something Kind of Interesting

According to Alex, “3D printing is kind of a big thing.” I mean, who am I to argue?

It’s entirely possible all the ACTUALLY interesting things have been done to death on TikTok. Set the bar at “kind of” and watch your numbers soar!

There might actually be something to this. While fancy dance moves and talking dogs are show stoppers on the platform, there’s an insatiable appetite for a bit of invited voyeurism on social media.

#3 Find Your Niche and Roll with It

Alex is no mere one-hit TikTok wonder. No, he saw what the world needed – more 3D printing done WRONG – and decided to give them what they wanted.

Not that he did any research, mind you. I asked him if he thought this took off because of latent demand for inept and enraging 3D printing.

“Yeah, I did. Even though ultimately the response I got was hate and I had no research to back up my assumption.” Perfect.

He says,”People assumed I put the wrong thing in the dice tower, so I thought I would show them the “wrongest” thing you could put in a 3D print. And that would be food. Thus the series was born.

I recorded it as a cooking show and topped it off with nails. I figured that would get some sort of response.”

He figured right. His next project, a 3D octopus named Carol, was dubbed a “filthtopus” because of the disgusting infill (“infilth”) he used.

BONUS: The exact recipe Alex used to make the filthtopus

I asked him about the recipe for this InfilthTM. As all good recipe bloggers know, the answer must begin at the beginning of the beginning, or earlier if possible:

“I 3D print today because my father did, his father did, and his father’s father did. So, it’s been in the family for a while. We’re not entirely sure where it started, but we think it was from the Scottish side of the family because of the green Jello. Nails were added during the Great Depression.

It’s a family tradition I cherish because it really ties me back to my roots.”

Hold on a sec while I wipe away a tear.

When asked how his father feels about his TikTok fame, Alex muses,

“My father is a simple man who lives off the land. I told him I got a lot of views on TikTok and he asked where the theater was.”

-Alex McKenzie


So without further ado,

Here’s what you’ll need to make InfilthTM :

  • ¼ c sugar (no artificial sweeteners, please)
Photo of Alex's kitchen set up for recording of the Filthtopus recipe. White tile backsplash, various ingredients strewn about.
Obligatory kitchen photo
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp parsley (it really rounds out the taste)
  • Salt to taste (but do not taste this)
  • 2 dollops Mayonnaise (the good stuff)
  • Mustard for color
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Creamy peanut butter for layer adhesion
  • 3 swirls of honey
  • Sunflower seeds for texture
  • White cheese with a low melting point (we recommend mozzarella)
  • Cooked rice
  • Salt to taste.
  • Packet of green Jello
  • Trader Joe’s Chili onion crunch (optional)
  • Mustard
  • Snacks
  • Zucchini chicken baby food
  • Nails
  • Mix until smooth, adding salt to taste. It’s difficult with the nails in it. Be patient.

    Do not be alarmed when the cheese disappears. It’s still there and will add a delectable ripeness to your completed filthtopus (or 3D project of your choice).

    Pour into a plastic bag or piping bag and dispense into the chambers (is that what they’re called?) of your print.

    #4 Have Thick Skin

    “Some people noticed that I am wearing nail polish,” says Alex. “I do all my nails grey except my ring finger, the power finger – that’s a dark blue.” To recreate the look, he suggests OPI Mi Casa Es Blue Casa and Less is Norse.

    People had questions.

    TikTok comment: "no hate, but why the nail polish. is it to hide dirty nails. or just because you like it. again no hate. I only wondering that's all"

    I had to know. “Is it true that you are wearing nail polish because your nails are dirty?”

    “It is. I get dirt under my nails, mostly sand. It’s just easier to paint them and hide my shame – and then crack open a bottle of fresh InfilthTM for filling my prints.”

    People also had opinions.

    TikTok comment: "Bro is that black nail polish [anguished face] midnight blue is where you be at"

    “It hurts to have your choices called out in public like that, but that’s the price of fame, I guess.”

    Seriously though, people can be mean, and amassing a large number of views and comments is a sure-fire way to bring out the trolls. Though you might consider sticking to more nerdy topics, as the comments on Alex’s post were pretty tame and the vast majority were downright positive.

    #5 Don’t Panic

    Tell me you can’t relate. You post a charming video of the creation of an iridescent filthtopus set to a stirring rendition of “Whistle While You Work,” and next thing you know – BLAMMO! You’re suspended.

    Screenshot of Alex's TikTok suspension notice "Your account was permanently banned due to multiple violations of our Community Guidelines. You can download your data."

    Your fortune is gone. Your fans are in mourning. Your filthtopus has to pick up another side hustle.

    Why was he suspended? Was it the fact that Alex made up the words to the background song when he couldn’t remember them? The fact that he used actual SAND in the printing? His nightingale voice?

    We’ll never know for sure. All we care about is that he’s back – with no explanation. The weird 3D printing will continue.

    Will he make any changes to his methods after this scare?

    “I think the confusion is part of the intrigue maybe? My next TikTok videos are actually going to be coherent, so hopefully that doesn’t tank my engagement.”

    Confused comments on TikTok: "I watched the last video, and it still does not make sense." "W-what's happening???!?? I have watched multiple videos and still don't understand"

    Seems like a bold move.

    #6 Use the Right Hashtags

    Alex spent a grueling 30 seconds thinking about which hashtags might help his content reach the largest audience of the right people.

    He landed on #craftingeek, #dnd, #diy, #3dprinting, #satisfyingvideo, #3dprinter.

    When in doubt, you can use high-performing hashtags like:

    • #fyp
    • #foryoupage
    • #foryou
    • #viral
    • #followme
    • #original sound (especially if you’re going to sing)

    BONUS: Monetize Your TikTok Account

    I asked Alex what was next for him and his patented InfilthTM formula.

    “Mass production. People love it (and when I say they love it, I mean they love to hate it).

    People want it. I’m working with a bottling company to get it on the shelves. You can make it at home but that would be copyright infringement. Look for it in your local Kroeger.

    We are buying sriracha and emptying the bottles to fill, so they’ll be easy to recognize.

    You don’t need a lot to make your own filthtopus. Just get a couple dozen and maybe a dozen more to keep in the garage. The cheese will only reach maximum potency after a couple of 80-degree days anyway.

    Oh, and because the original is very high in sodium, we will also offer an unsalted version.”

    Find Sponsors

    Could Alex be the next Ocean Spray guy? “I’m in talks with big mayo, Heinz, various 3D printer manufacturers. None of them want to sponsor me.” He’s currently waiting by the rotary phone for a call back from the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association.

    Get Yourself Into the TikTok Creator Fund

    TikTok has promised something like $230m over the course of the next three years to support the creators that make great content on the platform.

    So, it’s no surprise that Alex got picked up right away.

    “It took a couple of days for approval and. You have to have 10K followers, at least 100K views, and be over 18. You also have to verify your identity and send in a W-9 (in the US anyway). After a couple of days, I was IN!”

    I asked Alex how many millions he had personally collected so far. When he sent a screenshot, I was shocked. It’s inspiring.

    Screenshot of Alex's Creator Fund Dashboard with $0.00 balance

    “I know,” says Alex – “Look at all those zeroes.”

    As of this writing, he’s up to $22. He’s in the market for a TikTok house if you know of any (Googles ‘TikTok house”).

    Automate Your Marketing with Tailwind

    IF you needed to market InfilthTM which, now that you’ve gone viral, you really you don’t, would you use Tailwind?

    “I’ll be spending a lot of time making product. I don’t have a lot of time to make content. It’s going to be hard to keep up. I think Tailwind will be really critical for getting InfilthTM to the world.

    What more could we ask for, really?

    Conclusion: How to Go Viral on TikTok

    The six steps to going viral on TikTok are:

    1. Do something controversial
    2. Do something kind of interesting
    3. Find your niche and, when you do, roll with it
    4. Have thick skin (technically this doesn’t help you GO viral, but it helps you carry on when your life’s choices are questioned publicly)
    5. Don’t panic when things go wrong, just keep going
    6. Use the right hashtags

    And did you catch the two bonus points? Get Alex’s patented InfilthTM recipe and learn how to monetize your newfound TikTok virality!

    Hopefully it’s clear that there really is no actual secret to going viral on TikTok or any other platform. BUT, if you stay true to yourself, have a little fun, and keep at it, you might just be the next Alex McKenzie.

    Oh, and please follow him on TikTok and tell him if you tried his recipe. 🙂

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    Going viral may seem random when it comes to Tiktok...and that's because it is. Check out this true story from our engineer on his rocket-like launch to Tiktok fame.

    What You’re Missing if You’re Not Using Social Audio

    Photo courtesy of Ramon Ray

    It’s easy to pick Ramon Ray’s energizing voice out of the crowd. Even if you can’t see his face, you can hear the smile in his voice, and you can’t help but feel motivated just by listening to a few lines delivered in his enthusiastic and empathetic tone.

    That’s Ramon’s bread and butter, by the way. He’s an immensely popular motivational speaker who works with businesses large and small to inspire and educate on growing a business. Well, and an author. And an influencer. And an event producer. It kind of makes sense why his popular blog is called Smart Hustle.

    But, our pal Ramon happens to be an expert on social audio (think: Clubhouse). And he joined us on Marketing Unleashed to make a case for why you should be thinking about this latest trend in marketing!

    In this episode, we discuss:

    • Why you should think about investing in social audio
    • how to find the right spaces and make your mark
    • how social audio can help your business

    And so much more!

    Watch the full episode here!

    Never miss a show!

    Get show announcements and reminders.

    On Why You Should Be Testing Out Social Audio…

    “One. It’s new. So first-mover advantage, we don’t know where it’s going to go. Imagine in five to seven or three to four years. It blossoms wouldn’t you want to be one of the leading people in your space leveraging the power of audio?

    Point number two, I must say it sounds weird, but for many people getting ready with their hair and makeup and et cetera, it’s a minor pain, you know, my wife and daughters and others, even me, you put a shirt on, so that may sound silly, but social audio breaks through all of that, am I right?

    And then I think point 3 is that those who are having platforms of video, which is powerful, blogging, which is powerful. I just think social audio, it’s real-time. So when the proverbial Elon Musk of your industry is talking, oftentimes you DM that dude or that gal on Instagram (at least that’s how it works on Clubhouse), they’re ready to do some engagement with you.”

    On Networking with Social Audio…

    “Doing this on YouTube or doing this on these big mature platforms, it’s hard. How can anybody get to the big dogs of the day who’ve been there for years?

    But Clubhouse is so new, you know, they’re doing their little club. Only 30 people are there – they see you. You don’t know that they have a million followers on Pinterest. So that’s the way I see it. That’s the power I see is that for the small brands, it doesn’t mean it’s not everybody, but for the small brand that, that intellectual property attorney, if they find that right audio room where every day they’re speaking about immigration law, and you’re there, you’re going to be seen. Much more than you would on a bigger platform that’s mature, that already has millions on it.”

    On How to Get Your Foot in the Door on Social Audio…

    “Find small rooms on clubhouse or Twitter spaces or whatever, the social audit, maybe smaller rooms. Don’t look for the rooms of 10,000 people with Grant Cardone and everybody else. People go to those, but you’ll just be too drowned out.

    Go to the room, with 50 people, 75 people. And start to show up on a regular basis. I promise you, after the 10th time, 20th time, you’ll hear people like, hey, Jennifer’s here again. Marty’s here again. Good to see you.

    They’ll have connected with you. And then that’s where you start adding value.”

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    Ramon Ray walks you through the unique advantages of social audio spaces and how to leverage them in this episode of Marketing Unleashed!

    Youtube for Beginners (with Nick Nimmin!)

    Photo Courtesy of Nick Nimmin

    If you want to take the plunge and get started on Youtube – or polish up your channel, there’s no better person to learn from than Nick Nimmin. This video powerhouse hosts a podcast (Comments Over Coffee) and a wildly successful Youtube channel teaching YouTubers and video marketers how to learn and leverage the power of online video.

    And we aren’t kidding when we say wildly successful – Nick has 793,000 subscriptions to his Youtube channel.

    But get this – the thing that makes Nick just so great is that he has run the gauntlet, the same one that most of you might be about to run now. He didn’t want to be on video, and he was nervous about what would happen once he started.

    “I did not want to be on camera. I just didn’t want to be that guy. I’m like older at that point in time. YouTube is a kid’s thing. And I had all these things rattling around in my brain, plus, in addition to that, I was like, what if somebody that I know ends up running into my YouTube channel, then they’re going to give me a hard time about it?

    Like, Hey dude, why are you on YouTube? I had to overcome those hurdles in order to even get on the platform in the first place.”

    -Nick Nimmin

    It’s safe to say he figured it out. And he’s sharing his tips, tricks, and wisdom to help you make the leap, too. In this episode, we discuss:

    • How to optimize your Youtube account
    • How to use your audience to skyrocket your content discovery
    • Organizing your Youtube channel and making use of series
    • What equipment you really need to start filming on Youtube

    And so much more!

    Watch the full episode here!

    Never miss a show!

    Get show announcements and reminders.

    On Why Youtube Works Better Than Other Platforms for Discovery…

    “The reason that it’s an amazing platform is that – as you probably know if you are doing any type of marketing or you’re putting out content of any kind already – when you put out content on a lot of these platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and Tik TOK, what happens is you publish a piece of content and then it really quickly becomes difficult to find.

    So in the moment when you publish that content, maybe for a very short time after that, the content might do well. If you have something that performs extremely well, then, in that case, sometimes it’ll surface, but for the rest of us who don’t make that type of viral related content, it’s a lot more of a challenge and you just stay on that hamster wheel that grind of just constantly putting stuff out, which you got to do kind of on YouTube as well.

    The thing with Youtube is that they have all of these different discovery features. So in addition to YouTube itself being a search engine, it’s also a discovery engine. And what I mean by that is if you put together content that people enjoy – in terms of they click on it and they end up watching the content for a competitive or an acceptable amount of time – per YouTube, then in that situation Youtube will show you on the homepage.

    They’ll recommend you next to other content. If you do end up showing up in search and people respond to you well, in search on YouTube, you can also show up on Google and all the other textual search engines that also display video results as well.”

    On Finding Your Audience on Youtube…

    “So when you are targeting a specific audience on YouTube, it really helps with things, because the way that YouTube works is that if you have people that are positively interacting with your content, YouTube will find other users on the platform that are using YouTube like the people that are positively interacting with your content, and it will show your content to those people.

    So as long as you can get those people to click, and then they enjoy the content as well, then that whole thing just keeps getting amplified until people slowly stop responding to the content because they’re not as good of a candidate for your particular content or that particular video.

    So when you’re targeting the audience, it helps you in that regard. And it also helps with authority, because that’s a thing on YouTube, just like it is in the blog world. And you start creating a channel that is a resource for a certain type of content for a certain type of viewer.”

    On Why You Should Stick to Only a Few Topics…

    “Let’s say that you have a channel and you’re publishing a piece of help content in terms of how to use Tailwind. And then your next video is a vlog and then you have a gaming video after that. And then after that, you have your trip to Florida.

    Then what’s going to happen, is people that came in from that Tailwind video, they’re gonna love that Tailwind content from you. They’re going to subscribe to your channel and they’re going to possibly comment. Maybe they’re gonna give the video a thumbs up. Maybe they’re going to share it with somebody or maybe they’ll click on another Tailwind video if you put it together in a series.

    But what’s going to ultimately end up happening there is YouTube going to detect, Hey, these people from this Tailwind video are really happy. Great interaction with this channel. So because of that, this next video that’s published, we’re going to show it to those people first.

    And then what can happen is the initial response of that video now, just to be clear, this is the initial response. Long-term the video can end up being fine, but the initial response, which is really important on YouTube, can really be impacted because YouTube is going to show it to some of those people that enjoyed that Tailwind video recently. And when it shows that new video to them, since they care about Tailwind and they don’t necessarily care about your day or your trip to Florida, then, in that case, is those people aren’t going to click. Which is then going to impact the performance of that video. And then they’re not going to show it to as many people.”

    On Why You Shouldn’t Just Focus on SEO…

    “When people are looking for anything in search, they’re looking for the content that you’re making. Right? So it’s easy to get people to click on it. It’s easy to get people to come in and to deliver your value to them.

    Where it’s hard is when your content shows up on a home page. When it shows up in those places and you’re competing with a bunch of other content that YouTube is also predicting that that particular user is also likely to enjoy. So that’s where things get really serious, because if you can get good at that part of it and getting people to click on it from there, then search starts becoming less and less important because you start getting really good at getting people to click.”

    On What You Need to Get Started…

    “Phone. If you have a phone you have everything you need.”

    On Planning Your Youtube Content…

    “Think of it as you’re publishing content and sets. So instead of publishing one video, you’re actually planning it. Like four or five videos and those videos are going to become part of a series.

    And when you put those videos into a playlist, you actually mark that playlist as a series playlist. And then that tells YouTube that those videos are related to each other in some way, which then YouTube is more likely to show the content in that playlist next to other videos in that playlist when people are watching it as well.”

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    Curious about getting started on Youtube? Streaming pro Nick Nimmin talks about how to get started and what you need in this episode of Marketing Unleashed.

    11 Pro Marketers Share Their Top Tips for Small Business Marketing

    As a small business owner, you’re probably really great at your craft. You’re a baker who makes amazing cinnamon rolls. Or you’re a designer who can knock out an ebook without breaking a sweat. Or you’re an influencer who slays at social media.

    But if you’re like most small business owners, when it comes to running and growing your business, you’re probably making things up as you go along.

    That’s pretty common.

    It’s called the E-Myth Principle: “the mistaken belief that most businesses are started by people with tangible business skills, when in fact most are started by ‘technicians’ who know nothing about running a business.”

    But it’s also a waste of time waiting until you “know everything” about running a business or earn some fancy business degree. 

    Sometimes, you’ve got to learn as you go. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    To help you improve your marketing (arguably one of the most important elements of building a successful small business), we’ve compiled a list of top marketing tips from pro-level marketers below.

    These quick pieces of advice from experts (who are as good at marketing as you are at baking, or designing, or Instagramming) have graciously offered their top tips for succeeding at small business marketing this year.

    Let’s see what they have to say:

    Chelsea Baldwin: “Have a Solid Attention-Getting Message”

    Chelsea Baldwin is a powerhouse marketing copywriter and entrepreneur. Her business Copy Power helps businesses develop powerful sales-driven copywriting.

    “My #1 tip is to make sure you have a solid, attention-getting message. 

    “This doesn’t mean being click-bait-y, but you do HAVE to stand out online to even have a sliver of hope that someone will pay attention to you. People see thousands of messages online each day, but remember less than 20.

    When you have solid copy in your marketing and on your website that gets and keeps attention, your chances of being remembered go up significantly, and you can more effectively build your base of future clients.”

    Chelsea Baldwin

    Ryan Robinson: “Invest in actually talking to real customers”

    Ryan Robinson is a professional marketer, blogger, podcaster, and (recovering) side project addict that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at

    “One of the most underrated ways to garner insights about who your target customers are (and thus strengthen your ability to effectively market to them), is meeting up with your customers—or would be customers who are on your email list, reading your blog or responding to social media ads. 

    “Whether meeting up in-person, over the phone or via Zoom, getting out of the office and meeting real customers, is a powerful way to get to know your audience on a much deeper level than usual. 

    You can find your target customers in places like conventions, seminars, local hobby groups, meetups and anywhere else enthusiasts for your industry get together. 

    “Strike up conversations, network and find out what really motivates them. Then, you can get back to the office and start translating your insights into actionable marketing campaigns that meet their needs on a more intimate level—and you’ll be that much more successful in showing your audience that you really understand them.”

    Ryan Robinson

    Preston Lee: “It’s not enough to make content anymore—you have to be great at it.”

    Preston Lee has been a marketer all his life (from the first time he won an advertising contest in 3rd grade) and has built several successful businesses. Now, he and his team help freelancers get more clients by becoming better marketers and building their businesses the right way.

    “Ten years ago (maybe even more) everyone was talking about content. ‘You have to create content.’ or ‘You should have a blog.’

    Well, in today’s marketing landscape, it’s not enough to just make content anymore. Your content has to be the absolute best in order to make a meaningful impact on your business.

    Sure, it’ll always be easier to write a half-hearted blog post or phone in the copy for your Facebook ad, or post that ‘just okay’ picture to your Instagram account because you feel like you have to.

    Instead, take the road less traveled and make every single piece of content you publish WORTH publishing. The time and energy you invest will come back to you in spades in the form of attention and sales. 

    Soon you’ll be spinning your wheel less and crushing your sales goals more often.”

    Preston Lee

    Clay Mosley: “Double down on marketing all together”

    Clay Mosley is a marketing expert and the founder of Dripify, The #1 online marketing training platform for service-based entrepreneurs. Clay and his team help entrepreneurs take control of their marketing and get real results. Everything they teach is 100% proven with positive ROI results.

    “My #1 tip for 2021 is to double down on marketing altogether. That means effort and budget. 

    I believe that a lot of businesses will still be living in fear [following Covid] and will cut budgets, including their marketing budget. This is an opportunity for others to double down. 

    I think consumer spending is going to substantially increase to play “catch up” as a result of reduced spending during Covid.”

    Clay Mosley

    Bobby Macey: “Video is a must for 2021”

    Bobby Macey is a social media expert and the founder of Macey Media, a content marketing agency creating impactful content at scale for their clients.

    “If you aren’t taking video seriously, you ought to. According to Social Media Week, viewers claim they retain 95% of a message when obtained via video. 

    Start with simple opportunities like explainer videos or FAQs and turn them into one or multiple videos. Video will help you connect with your customers on an entirely new level. 

    Even if you don’t want to be in front of the camera, there are myriad ways to still tell your story, showcase your product, or provide value about your services via video. 

    Oh, and don’t tell me it’s too expensive, we live in a world where Fiverr and Canva can help you create videos for next to nothing… or you can work with a company like mine that specializes in brand storytelling. 

    The options are endless, but the principle remains — you need video in 2021!”

    Bobby Macey

    Morgan Nield: “Keep it Simple!”

    Morgan Nield is a six-figure Etsy seller turned marketing and business coach who helps her clients turn their part-time hustle into a full-time dream (WITHOUT the full-time hours).

    “Keeping it simple is the fastest way to grow your business (and, likewise, your revenue!). 

    Instead of trying to do #allthethings #allatonce, become known for that ONE thing that you sell to that ONE type of customer on that ONE marketing channel– and build your entire business around that simple business model. 

    Perfect that ONE product. Connect with that ONE customer type. Master that ONE marketing platform. 

    Stay laser-focused on keeping things simple and your sales will flourish. Add too much, too soon to your business and you’ll hit the burnout fan before you make that first sale (and confuse your customers along the way). 

    Diversifying your business before you’re ready is THE most detrimental (+ costly!) business decision you can make– so start simple and stay focused in those early days and beyond– your business (and your bank account!) will thank you.”

    Morgan Nield

    Eduard Klein: “Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of marketing tools”

    Eduard Klein is a certified Digital Growth Marketer and Entrepreneur with a global mindset, who spends his time blogging and driving traffic for his businesses and his clients.

    “Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of marketing tools and channels. You need to focus and concentrate on the channels that work for you. 

    Learn from startup growth hackers that built million-dollar companies out of small budgets. Do rapid experimentation with a small budget and test incrementally if there’s demand for your product or service. This is how you identify the most efficient way of growing your business without overspending”

    -Eduard Klein

    Vikas Kalwani: Perform & Track Experiments

    Vikas Kalwani is a marketing consultant at the VC fund, 500 Startups and manages partnerships at uSERP where he and his team help their clients scale organic traffic through SEO & digital PR.

    “As a small business, your most valuable resource is time and money. Spend your resources wisely on activities that generate results. 

    To identify these activities, perform experiments. Note that the result of the experiment should be measurable, and should have one variable parameter to further optimize the result.”

    Vikas Kalwani

    Erkki Muuga: Experiment with Webinars

    Erkki is a professional marketer and founder of WebinarSoftware where he helps entrepreneurs generate sales by tapping into the power of webinars.

    “With so much noise going on nowadays, it’s harder than ever to stand out from the sea of blogs, social media posts and apps. Attention is becoming such a fleeting and scarce resource, that companies and brands are bending over backwards and paying large sums to get just a slice of user attention. 

    One proven way to engage your visitors, prospects and users is by hosting webinars and offering upfront value. Hosting an industry-specific webinar attracts professionals from the same industry. They are most probably facing the same type of problem that your webinar is about. Hence, they come to you with a problem at mind already.

    If you can prove yourself as an authority during a webinar session, and you can establish a trustworthy connection with your live audience, it becomes a lot easier to suggest a solution. 

    That solution can be your service, software or course. Engage with your visitors and users, offer upfront value and naturally suggest your solution, without appearing pushy.”

    -Erkki Muuga

    Alicja Olko: Leverage Word-of-Mouth Marketing

    Alicja Olko works on the marketing team for ReferralCandy where she specializes in partnerships, link-building, on-page and off-page SEO and content marketing.

    “Your existing clients are your biggest marketing asset. They can market your product, spreading a good word about it, advertising it basically for free. 

    It’s called the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Personal recommendations are one of the strongest forces driving sales for online businesses, especially considering the speed with which they can be shared via social media.”

    -Alicja Olko

    Cya Nam: “Incorporate Influencer marketing”

    Cya Nam works on the marketing team at SocialPros, where they help you get more Instagram followers and drive organic engagement and traffic on your Instagram account. 

    “Make sure to incorporate Influencer Marketing into your digital marketing strategy. Working with influencers and using them to market your services and products is the most organic and effective method of generating traffic, leads, and sales.”

    -Cya Nam

    Next: Take action!

    Of course, it’s not enough to simply read this advice from these marketing veterans. You have to put it into practice. 

    So start with something simple. One gem of an idea you’ve had as you’ve reviewed this list. And start small to test it out. Keep experimenting, tracking, learning and improving.

    Over time, you’ll become a better marketer, build your customer base, and grow your sales!

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    Wish you had a marketer in your back pocket to give you advice on small business marketing? Now you do. Read the 11 expert tips in our latest guide.

    Essential Pinterest Spring Cleaning

    Photo Courtesy of Gabby Pinkerton

    When it comes to growing a wildly successful business with Pinterest, Gabby Pinkerton has been there, done that. In fact, there’s really not much that Gabby hasn’t done!

    Not only did Gabby start her wedding business – Cause We Can Events – in 2012, she grew it into a six-figure international destination wedding company from a boat. You read that right – Gabby, her husband, and their two dogs spent three years living and officing from a boat in a California marina. If you’re a fan of Tiny House Hunters, the “Surf or Turf” episode is all about them!

    But, back to business. Gabby grew her international business using zero marketing dollars and two tools – blogging and Pinterest.

    “Blogging and Pinterest combined were kind of our ticket to success before we even knowing what we were doing.

    And honestly, now that I have an idea of how Pinterest works, how to use it as a business tool, it’s really just helped us kind of skyrocket and get the attention of people outside of our little geographic area. As a destination wedding planner, that’s really what we want to do – target people outside of our own city. And Pinterest is the best way to do that in my opinion.

    Gabby Pinkerton

    You might be asking yourself whether the experience of a wedding professional might speak to your niche, but never fear. Gabby and her team regularly work with clients who are creatives, business coaches, networking groups, and from any industry you can imagine!

    And today, she’s talking to us about one of the most important things you can do with your Pinterest content – regular tuneups.

    Maybe you started your Pinterest years ago and keep throwing stuff on top, or maybe you’re new to Pinterest and need a strategy to keep up with best practices and new features. That’s what we’re talking about today!

    In this episode, we discuss:

    • How to optimize your Pinterest profile
    • Whether you should be using a logo or a portrait as your Pinterest profile picture
    • Tweaks, tips and tricks you can use to make your Pinterest profile stand out
    • Using Idea Pins and Videos to breathe life into your Pinterest
    • How to clean up your Pinterest Boards and Pins

    And so much more!

    Watch the full episode here!

    Never miss a show!

    Get show announcements and reminders.

    On The Purpose of Your Pinterest Profile…

    “The profile is really kind of that quick glimpse or snapshot of who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.”

    On Using Your Pinterest Name to Build a Local Presence…

    “Personally, I like to use a lot of geographic keywords, and we just relocated to Nashville. So, I am trying to get a little bit more of a presence here in Nashville, and I wanted to keyword myself for this location. Basically, I’m telling people who I am – I am a part of Cause We Can Events, what I do – I’m a wedding planner, and where I am – I’m located in the Nashville area, but we also do destination.”

    On Changing Keywords on Pinterest…

    “I don’t know specifically what the exact timeframe should be, but I would give it at least six months before you start re key-wording yourself. So for example, with Pinterest being a search engine, it does take it’s like SEO, right?

    It takes a lot of time for it to get to know your profile and the keywords you’re using and what kind of category your Pins are in before it starts saying, oh, I know what this is. This account is about, I’m going to start showing this to that specific industry. So in my case, I always believe if I can at least go six months with using very similar search keywords.

    I can at least categorize myself well in six months, sometimes it could take up to a year. It really depends on how active you are on your profile. So I would say no less than six months.”

    On Why You Should Claim Your Social Media Profiles on Pinterest…

    “You can start tracking in analytics a lot more when you’re claiming your website and other platforms, what content is coming from those other platforms to your Pinterest.”

    On Whether You Should Have a Picture or a Logo As Your Pinterest Profile Picture

    “I will say there are probably different camps of ideas here and that’s fine. Right? There’s never really a truly right answer, but here’s my thought behind it. I am in the camp of believing that it’s important to show your face and have that be a photo of your face if you are a small business. Now, if you are a larger brand and you have brand recognition with a logo, so, you know, Apple, for example, right? That would make sense.

    There’s not a lot of opportunities to personalize your account. So obviously, you have some keywords. We have our name in there, but there’s very little imagery about us. And whereas, on Instagram, we tend to show our face a little bit more with behind the scenes or photos or Pins or posts, but on Pinterest, I really think it’s a great opportunity to kind of show your audience, hey, it’s me. I’m not a robot. I’m a real person behind the brand.”

    On Whether Editing Old Pins is a Good Use of Time…

    “You know, I’m a move forward type of person instead of spending a lot of time editing in the back. Don’t go and spend all your time trying to edit those broken links, because I think Pinterest probably already forgot about them, to be honest, they stopped distribution. So instead, focus on creating really good quality Pins moving forward with correct links. Don’t worry about the past, it’s done.”

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    Wondering if it's time to give your Pinterest profile a tune-up? Gabby Pinkerton joins us to talk about the right moves to make to freshen things up!

    How to Use Social Media to Promote a Local Business

    Pinterest and Instagram are marketing gold mines for local travel and hospitality brands. Using these social media platforms, it is easier than ever to reach and engage future guests. 

    But sometimes small businesses with limited marketing budgets overlook the importance of social media marketing beyond Facebook. Sadly, they miss out on opportunities to connect with potential guests early in their vacation planning process.

    The good news is with a little planning and creativity, you can draw people to your brand and eventually to your local attraction!

    The highly visual and aspirational culture makes these social media platforms ideal for brands offering that rely on travelers or offer unique experiences.

    Why? People use Instagram and Pinterest when planning their next vacation. The aspirational nature makes Pinterest and Instagram vital parts of your promotion strategy, whether you run a small B&B inn, an independent hotel, or a local tourist attraction. 

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    Looking Ahead From 2020 (for Local Businesses!)

    It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for the travel industry. However, people are craving new experiences, travel, and adventure as vaccines become more widely available.

    According to Think With Google, 57% of consumers are looking forward to traveling once “the pandemic is over.” Search trends indicate that Millenial and Gen Z consumers, in particular, are most eager to travel, showing in their Google searches.

    These consumers seek authentic experiences, are internet savvy, and are open to new experiences. 

    This interest extends beyond Google to their social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest!

    “There’s pent-up demand, and people can’t wait to get out again. It’s clear that when people feel ready to travel again, they’ll make it a priority.

    On Pinterest, travel engagement is at an all-time high—even when you look at the year before COVID.”


    Why Use Pinterest and Instagram?

    Both Pinterest and Instagram are highly visual social media platforms. If you are in the travel and hospitality field or own a brick-and-mortar business, you already know the value of stunning photographs and images. You may already invest in professional photography, video production, and design. 

    Visual media like Instagram and Pinterest offer the opportunity to repurpose your visual assets in fresh and engaging ways. Active users share ideas, dreams, aspirations, and inspiration. 

    Harness the Positivity of Pinterest 

    If you think Pinterest is only for brides and DIY crafters, think again. While most active “Pinners” are affluent females with creative interests, the platform increasingly attracts people of all walks of life who are making plans and saving inspiring content. 

    Pinterest is both a social media platform and a content discovery tool. In some ways, it is similar to a visual Google and has the potential to drive traffic to your website or direct booking platform. 

    Nine out of ten users said Pinterest is “filled with positivity” The overall culture is aspirational and inspirational. Many use it as a combination of a vision board, search engine, and planning tool.

    Pinterest users also happen to be shoppers. Omnicore digital marketing agency found that 87% admitted to trying a new product or brand after seeing Pinterest. Around 64% of active users indicated they use Pinterest to find ideas, inspiration, products, or services.

    Pinterest identified a 2021 trend they refer to as “hypothetical sabbatical.” Users search for and Pin content covering topics relating to their dream vacation, camping or adventure destinations, and niche experiences specific to their hobbies and interests. 

    Engage With Travelers on Instagram

    Instagram also attracts consumers, in fact, 81% of Instagram users said they use it to research services and products, according to Instagram. This may be one reason influencers shine on Instagram. 

    Users share moments and experiences with friends in a way that is candid and often carefully curated.

    Images and video engage users especially when supported by compelling copy.

    Since Instagram is part of the Facebook family, it shares its advertising interface while offering platform-specific options like story ads. 

    Start With the Fundamentals

    It all starts with your profile. Optimize all your social media profiles in order to a) appear in relevant searches on platforms and b) showcase who you are, what you do, and why visitors should visit your local business. Strategically use your social media bio to reference local landmarks or quickly describe what you offer. 

    If you haven’t already, convert your Instagram profile to a business profile. You should convert your Pinterest profile to a business profile, too! Doing this gives you access to analytics, new publishing options, and the ability to advertise.  

    When optimizing your Instagram profile, consider the following:

    Camber Brewing Instagram profile
    • You need to associate your Instagram Business account with a Facebook Business page. The two share an advertising platform, Creator Studio, and other resources. 
    • Your Instagram bio link is precious real estate. Some brands and Creators refer to a special landing page like Tailwind’s or LinkTree to help followers access their best content, subscribe to their newsletter, or find them on other platforms like Pinterest.
    • Remember to tag your location in both your profile and in your posts.

    Optimizing your Pinterest profile is a little more involved; check out this guide to Pinterest for Business for more details on setting up and optimizing your Pinterest profile. 

    As much as possible, plan for a consistent theme and visual branding to make it easy for your followers to recognize you. Also, develop a consistent publishing schedule to keep your presence fresh and engaging.

    Social Media Marketing with Pinterest and Instagram 

    Each social media platform has a unique culture and purpose. While you want to coordinate your branding, you may tailor the content for each audience as much as possible. For example, Pinterest offers the opportunity to drive traffic to your website, so you may want to pin your most compelling content and any local media features.

    On the other hand, Instagram is a high-engagement visual platform to showcase your most compelling images and share special moments.  

    Content Ideas for Pinterest

    Curate a mix of compelling photographs, videos, infographics, and links to your other online content on Pinterest. Pins typically have a longer shelf-life than more ephemeral social media content such as tweets or Instagram stories. 

    Use Pinterest boards to share themed collections of Pins, including your own content and other content that may interest your ideal customer. For example, a Board can feature helpful resources like local hiking trails, the best vintage shopping, or unique attractions in your community.

    Keep the following ideas in mind while planning your Pinterest content:

    • Offer fresh ideas catering to creating a unique experience.
    • Create helpful content and share practical tips.
    • Curate recommendations for other activities, re-pin content featuring other local activities, recommendations, and attractions.
    • Be creative with your board themes. This is the ideal opportunity to create resources for travelers with particular niche interests. For example, you may create a guide for vegetarians visiting  your city or a board featuring the ideal “Sunday Funday.” 
    • Consider creating high-value lifestyle content exclusively for your Pinterest audience. For example, a B&B may share easy brunch recipes or packing tips in the form of an infographic. 
    • Check out Pinterest’s business resources, including “Pinterest Trends” for ideas and inspiration you can adapt to create engaging content promoting your own brand.

    Content Ideas for Instagram

    Instagram is a great platform to share photographs, infographics, memes, and videos. While the platform is visually oriented, don’t overlook the value of engaging copy to offer context. 

    Consider making use of content options beyond a post. For example, Instagram Guides offer the opportunity to feature places, products, or existing Instagram posts in a curated guide. The guides are an attractive way to share local recommendations, itineraries, tips, fun facts, and ideas.

    Other content options include Stories and IGTV for longer-form videos. Have fun while experimenting with the content that best engages your clientele.

    Finally, remember to use hashtags and location tags to make it easier for users to find your posts. When you mention local influencers, brands, restaurants, or attractions, be sure to tag them as well. Tagging other accounts may help increase your reach, engagement, and following.

    Take a moment to brainstorm ideas for your Instagram content. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    • Attractive photos of your hotel or venue along with a witty or upbeat description. You may use one image or multiple images.
    • Photos of yourself or your team members along with a mini-feature of each person.
    • Fun photos of your guests enjoying their time with you, along with a short story about their experience. 
    • Videos and demonstrations. For example, if you run a B&B, your chef may demonstrate how to poach an egg, or a member of your housekeeping team may demonstrate how to fluff a pillow. 
    • Share positive reviews from prior guests. 
    • Recipes, tips, trivia, and life hacks in the form of a video, infographic, or “photo slide show.” 
    • Anything else that may entertain, inspire, inform or attract your future guests. 

    Creating an Efficient Workflow

    This may sound overwhelming since you are busy running your business. Keep in mind that you don’t need to incorporate every idea or rock every platform. You may also recruit help from your team, your guests, local influencers or hire a freelance social media manager. 

    Use a social media scheduling tool like Tailwind to bulk schedule your posts. You or your social media manager can create and schedule a week or even a month’s worth of content in a single afternoon. These tools also offer their own analytics to help optimize your publishing schedule and to help efficiently repurpose content. 

    Finally, don’t forget to be social! Many influencers and thought leaders build their Instagram following through a combination of publishing great content and engaging with other users. 

    Follow complementary accounts and take a few minutes a day to scroll your feed and like or make meaningful comments on other people or brand’s posts. Avoid spamming, simply engage. This may attract new followers who are interested in what you have to offer. 

    Finally, take a moment to respond when a follower sends you a message, asks a question, or makes a comment. You never know when that follower will turn into a prospect and eventually a guest.

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    Curious if you can use social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to promote a local business? Absolutely! Find out how in this guide.

    How to Design Your Social Media Posts Like a Pro (with Tailwind!)

    Without formal design training, creating social media designs for multiple platforms can seem like a really intimidating task. Especially if it’s up to you as a small business owner or marketer (without a design team to back you up) to have a presence on these digital marketing platforms!

    The good news is that it’s not as hard or as time-intensive as you might think to generate consistent content across all your favorite platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. 

    In fact, all it takes is a few clicks in our Tailwind Create tool!

    Let’s dive into exactly what it takes to fill your social media content calendar with branded designs for each of your platforms.

    But first, we’ll spend some time on why branding on social media is so important for small businesses – and how establishing your branding guidelines early on will make this process even faster!

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    Why Brand Your Social Media Posts?

    We’re so glad you asked. Most people know that from a business perspective, your posts should be branded. But you might not understand exactly why it’s important! That’s okay, we’ll break it down:

    Branding Your Social Posts Helps Communicate Your Story and Personality

    Humans take visual cues from just about anything they look at. For example, color psychology is a very real science studying how people react to different colors and the emotions that they invoke.

    Fonts also evoke emotion and give people a very real impression of who you are and what you’re about from their computer or phone screens. Careful choices in color, font, and design elements can act as a calling card for your personality, without you ever saying a word!

    Branding Your Social Posts Creates Brand Recognition and Awareness

    Think for a moment about how many posts you see scrolling through your timeline or feed on social media platforms. 

    Now, think of one or two of your favorite brands or accounts. Can you immediately pick out a post from one of these accounts in the feed without reading the caption? Chances are, you can. This is because you’ve been exposed to this brand often enough to immediately recognize their signature designs!

    Firming up your branding and sticking to it will create this same instant recognition among your followers. That in turn builds trust and loyalty.

    Branding Your Social Posts Helps Prevent Content Theft

    Honestly, it’s a bummer that this has to make it on the list, but it’s true. When you hit publish on your designs, that means they’re ripe for the picking on the web. Other users on social media can easily save and use your unbranded designs as their own content.

    When you add your website, your company logo, and even recognizable details from your branding like fonts and colors to the social media designs you publish, it becomes a lot harder for other people to pass them off as their own.

    If you’ve worked hard on your designs, your content, and your business, you definitely don’t want someone else to get credit! That’s why we recommend branding your social posts – especially graphics.

    How to Brand Your Social Media Posts with Tailwind

    So now you know why you should be taking the time to brand your social media posts – now let’s talk about how you do it with Tailwind! It all happens in just a few quick steps. 

    Once you’re in your Tailwind social media management dashboard, take a look at the left-hand menu. You should see a paintbrush icon – this is our powerful design tool, Tailwind Create!

    Before you dive into designing your social posts, you’ll want to set up your branding tools. Click the paintbrush icon, and then select Brand Settings from the top menu.

    Step One: Add In Your Website or Brand Name

    You can enter your company name (ex: Sample Company) or website (ex:

    This will be automatically generated on all your designs in Tailwind Create, as well as your logos (more on that later!)

    Brand Settings view in Tailwind Create

    Step Two: Select Fonts, Or Upload Your Own!

    Tailwind Create has dozens of fonts to choose from to craft the perfect font pairings for your social media designs.

    Just browse our available fonts for your title font and subtitle font.

    If you need inspiration, check out our curated font pairing choices! Or, upload your custom brand font files if you have them handy!

    Step Three: Choose Your Brand Colors

    Now that you have your fonts all squared away, you’ll want to add your brand colors into Tailwind Create. This ensures that all of the designs in Create are personalized with your brand colors – talk about cutting down design time!

    Choosing your four brand colors in Create is super easy to do. If you know the Hex or RGB codes of your colors, just click on each colored circle and copy and paste. You can also move the dropper tool around until you find the perfect shade!

    Tailwind Create also has tons of curated color palettes to browse! If you’re a big believer in seasonal color theory (we are!), you’ll love the curated palettes for the seasons!

    Step Four: Upload Your Brand Logos

    The final step in your journey to creating perfectly branded social media posts in Tailwind Create is to upload your logos. This is an optional step if you don’t have a logo, but gives you more flexibility with the presentation of branding on your designs!

    Upload 200 x 200 pixel logo files by clicking the grey plus sign icon. Make sure your files are .pngs, so the backgrounds of your logos are transparent and can be overlayed onto your design with ease!

    Pro Design Tip: Upload your logo in a few different colorways so that you have plenty of flexibility. For example, Tailwind has a blue and a white version of our logo, so that we have plenty of contrast and visibility on every design!

    How to Design Your Social Media Posts with Tailwind

    Now that you’ve done all the legwork of inputting your brand settings into Tailwind Create, it’s time for the fun part! Creating the perfect social media designs with Tailwind is so easy. In fact, you’re starting from almost done with each design already personalized to your brand as soon as they cross your screen!

    Here’s how it works!

    Step One: Upload Your Photo

    Head on over to Design Gallery, and upload the photo or photos you want to create designs for. If you don’t have a photo handy, you can browse our library of Stock Photos!

    If you want to use photos from your website, enter the URL of the page you’d like to pull from.

    Available images from that page will populate below, and you can select the ones you’d like to use!

    You’ll notice designs start to populate in the gallery with your selected images. You can select any that catch your eye or use the smart filters in our design gallery to find designs matched to your industry, type of content, number of photos, and favorite social platforms.

    Step Two: Filter Designs By Your Industry (And More!)

    With your photos in place, it’s time to personalize your Tailwind Create designs even more! Take a look at the top menu options above your Design Gallery. You’ll see Post Types, Photo Count, and Categories.

    Post Types allows you to see your designs for specific platforms – you’ll find options for Instagram Feed Posts, Instagram Stories, Pinterest Pins, and Facebook Feed Posts here.

    Photo Count allows you to preview your creations based on how many photos will be included in the design. You can see design options for “multiple photos”, “one photo”, “no photos”, or “any number of photos” here.

    Category is where you can narrow down your design styles based on things like:

    • Content (is your post about a product, a blog post, a quote?)
    • Promotion (is this an ad design, an announcement, or a contest?)
    • Industry (are you in the animals & pets, entertainment, fashion, or travel niche?)
    • Style (is your brand modern, minimalist, artistic or festive?)
    • Seasonal (are you designing for Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?)

    Choose the filters that best fit the content you’re looking to create on social media, and watch personalized designs based on your choices fill the screen!

    Step Three: Review Your Designs and Make Necessary Tweaks

    Now that you’ve got hyper-specific social post designs customized to your brand needs, it’s time to pick your favorites and make any tweaks!

    Hit the Photos button to see the design with your other photo selections, or to rearrange the placement of multiple photos in a design.

    Hint: this will only work if you’ve selected more than one photo in Step One!

    Hit the Layouts button to see the design in different layouts. You’ll see several different options for text placement, picture placement, and justification.

    Hit the Colors button to see the image with different combinations of your brand colors. To the right, you can see the different choices from the uploaded brand fonts being used in the element and overlay colors!

    You can also click the Edit button to make more in-depth tweaks to your design. You can add additional text, add or remove design elements, or make changes to your photo if your original selections just aren’t working the way you want them to.

    In this screen, you can also physically move around any elements of the design!

    Step Four: Review Your Branding

    Before you’re done creating your social media designs, check your branding one more time. Thanks to the work we did putting in our brand settings above, you should have some options in your Design Settings!

    Click on the Branding heading to see branding options for your designs.

    You can set your Website or Brand Name to automatically populate on all your social media designs. If you’d rather use your logo, select Logo and the version you’d like to work with.

    The designs in your gallery will automatically update with your choices, so you have full power over how your social media post is branded, every time!

    Step Five: Select and Schedule Your Social Media Posts

    As you finish reviewing and tweaking each of your favorite designs, you’ll want to hit the Select button under each to save them! You can search for new designs, edit and select them one after the other – no need to interrupt your workflow to review and download until the end!

    Once you’ve finished designing to your heart’s content for all your platforms, hit the big green Review button in the bottom right corner of your screen. This will show you all of your selected designs, and allow you to do a final check.

    If you feel like you need to just move that one thing in order to have a picture-perfect post, just hit the edit button and get that tweaking out of your system! Your designs will still be there waiting for you on your Review screen.

    When you’re ready, return to this screen and either download all your images by hitting the download button, or tap the green Go Schedule button to seamlessly send your designs to your Tailwind social media scheduler drafts. It couldn’t be easier to create your social media posts, schedule, and post them with this workflow! ✨

    Have any questions about branding your social designs or using Tailwind Create? Drop them in the comments below – we read every one!

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    Read our guide for in-depth tips on branding and designing your social media posts - and find out why branding social media posts is so important!

    How Does Pinterest Work? The Complete Guide

    How does Pinterest work? So glad you asked! Pinterest is a giant Pinboard (think old-timey cork board with push pins) for all the ideas and products people like to save.

    Oh, and it is a LOT of fun. Pinners spend hours looking for ideas! But, they’re not JUST hoarding those ideas. The people who use Pinterest are doers and buyers. They try new recipes, experiment with DIY projects, collect money-saving tips, and plan everything from remodels to purchases and parties.

    Read on to learn all the basics of how Pinterest works. Here’s what we’ll cover:

    How Does Pinterest Work for Users (Pinners)?

    People use Pinterest to save ideas, products, to collaborate with friends, and to bookmark things to read later. Pinning is typically a solitary activity where Pinners browse and save ideas and products that will help them improve the quality of their lives, their work, health, and even their wardrobe or hairstyle!

    It’s different from truly “social” networks where people share information and images about themselves and their personal or professional lives.

    Facebook and Instagram are about presenting the best version of you to the world.

    Pinterest is for inspiration to transform yourself into the best version of you.

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    How Does Pinterest Work for Marketers, Businesses, E-commerce, and Bloggers?

    People save and click on Pins up to 90 days before they are ready to act. What all this early planning means for marketers is that their products and services can become an option for consideration very early on in the buying process.

    With 75% of all the content on Pinterest coming from brands, people are very open to branded content as long as it is useful and attractive.

    Product Pins allow Pinners to see your updated product inventory right on Pinterest. Connect a Pinterest catalog that pulls from your product feed and apply for Verified Merchant Status for even better exposure for your products.

    Pinterest is the number two driver of social traffic to websites. When you and others share Pins that link to your website content, you’re adding more and more opportunities for people to find you and come to your website.

    There’s no reason to feel like you’re too late to the game, either. While some well-known brands are having great success with their Pinterest marketing, 97% of all searches are unbranded – meaning even a relative unknown can be discovered by new customers who are ready to buy!

    What is a Pin on Pinterest?

    A Pin is a visual representation of a product or idea which someone saves for later use on a Pinterest Board. Each Pin is composed of four elements:

    1. An image
    2. A link
    3. A title
    4. A description

    When someone clicks on a Pin, it will enlarge to show the full image and description. If they click again, they will be taken to the link associated with the Pin – usually a blog post or product page with more information than can be included on the Pin. Your Pins can be saved to other Boards owned by other Pinners.

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    What is a Pinterest Board?

    A Pinterest Board is a collection of individual Pins. Pinterest Boards give you a way to organize ideas.

    For example, you might create Boards to organize ideas about a bathroom remodeling project, a vacation or trip you are planning, books you want to read, or recipes you want to try.

    Pinterest Boards are always owned by one Pinner, but they can be shared. A shared or “group” Board allows other Pinterest users to add Pins to the Board.

    How do Group Boards work on Pinterest?

    Shared boards are commonly called “group” Boards. They’re useful for collaborating and getting feedback from friends, business partners, clients, and family. Not sure which outfit is best for your high school reunion? Your BFF can chime in and even add her own Pins as suggestions.

    Secret Boards and the Pins on them are visible only to you and anyone with whom you share the Board. They’re perfect for planning surprise parties, sharing research, or for any other “just between us” purpose!

    A Pinterest Profile can hold up to 500 Boards – though it’s hard to imagine how anyone would keep track of that many Boards!

    The difference between Boards and Pins on Pinterest

    What is a Pinterest Profile?

    Your Pinterest Profile holds all your Boards, your Pins, and all your settings. Some of the information that appears publicly include:

    • Your username: appears as the words after when you go to your profile.
    • Your first and last (optional) name or business name: appears in bold letters at the top of your profile.
    • The profile description and website URL also appear prominently on your profile.
    • Follower and Following counts.
    • Monthly views
    • Your picture.
    • Saved Pins (Pins from other people’s sites)

    How Does Pinterest Work When I Follow People or Boards on Pinterest?

    When you follow a Profile or a Board on Pinterest, you’re telling Pinterest you want to see more of that. So, their Pins will start to appear in your home feed. These signals you give to Pinterest also allow it to show you “picked for you” Pins it thinks you may like.

    If I “Follow” Airbnb, I will see some of their Pins in my home feed, and Pinterest will know I’m interested in travel and will show more travel Pins in my feed.

    What Does it Mean When Someone Follows Me on Pinterest?

    See above. 🙂 It’s great to have followers on Pinterest – your Pins will likely get more exposure and the social proof can be powerful, but Pinterest doesn’t serve up everything that is Pinned by the people and Boards you follow in the order it was Pinned. Not anymore.

    Also, your Pins may be seen by people searching – whether or not they follow you.

    Followers are good – but traffic from Pinterest is better. Try not to worry too much about your follower count and make sure your Pins are optimized for search instead.

    Pinterest Feed
    How does Pinterest work when you follow people? In the Pinterest home feed, you should see a mix of Pins from people you follow, Pins picked for you, Pins chosen for particular Boards, and Pinterest ads.

    How do Pinterest Saves or Repins Work?

    You can Pin an image from around the web, or you can “Save” an image that’s already on Pinterest to your own Boards.

    Pinterest Save button
    Click the big red “Save” button to add the Pin to one of your Boards.

    How Does Pinterest Work If I Have a Business Account?

    If you’re using Pinterest for your business, you should have a business account. You can convert a personal profile into a Pinterest business account to get detailed analytics on the performance of your account. and to advertise on Pinterest. It’s free to have a business account and aside from enabling analytics and the ability to advertise, it functions the same as a personal account.

    How to Promote on Pinterest?

    There are a lot of organic ways to promote your pins, like using Pinterest SEO, linking to your website, and featuring it in your email sends.

    The only other way to promote your pins on Pinterest is to participate in their ad program. Here is a great guide from Pinterest itself on starting out their ad program. It can be a great option as well, considering the great metrics Pinterest is showing for conversions.

    How Can I Make Pinterest Work for My Business?

    So many things! Pin regularly, have a strategy, utilize group Boards, and sign up for Tailwind Communities for greater reach! Also you’ll want to keep an eye on your analytics.  If you’re a blogger, here’s how 8 successful bloggers get traffic from Pinterest.

    A free trial of Tailwind for Pinterest is also a good start. [sc name=”Pinterest Signup – Text Link”]

    More Pinterest 101 Articles:

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    A 30-Minute Marketing Plan for Busy Small Business Owners

    For many small business owners, marketing can feel overwhelming. You’re so busy delivering for your customers and clients or working with your employees that adding “marketing” as a regular task feels overwhelming. 

    That may be why some studies report almost “half of small businesses spend less than two hours per week on marketing efforts.”

    There’s just never enough time in the day when you’re running your own small business!

    But developing a marketing plan and executing effective marketing strategies doesn’t have to be a huge time or effort commitment. With the help of technology, you can literally 

    The tools are at your fingertips; all you need is a solid plan.

    So today, I’m going to outline a 30-minute framework in which you can easily and simply create a marketing plan. This 30-minute plan should act as a spark to light the fuse that will ultimately take your business to the next level. 

    It’s not magic. It won’t solve all your problems on its own. 

    But it WILL get you over the hurdle of developing a marketing strategy in your small business. From there, you can add, adapt, improve, and leverage your plan to make the most of your marketing efforts.

    Let’s dive in!

    Why a marketing plan?

    “Hold on just a minute,” you might be thinking. “Why do I even need an official marketing plan?”

    Maybe you’ve been posting on Instagram or generating word-of-mouth customers for a while now and don’t think you need a marketing plan.

    And I guess you might be right. 

    Sort of. 

    But what you’re missing out on if you don’t develop a marketing plan—even a simple one like I’ll lay out today—is the opportunity to predictably grow your business.

    If you’re not 100% sure where your sales are coming from but you just know your current marketing activities are “working,” then what happens when an algorithm changes, or your audience changes, or your advertising channels get saturated?

    Any of those changes could be catastrophic if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your marketing.

    Not to mention all the time you’re spending on marketing when, according to the Pareto principle, probably about 20% of your actual efforts account for 80% of your sales.

    When you build a plan, test what works, and identify what’s not working, you can easily cut out marketing activities that just aren’t delivering.

    But if you don’t have a plan to brainstorm, test, analyze, and adapt, you’ll never get to the point that you can grow predictably.

    Rethinking “marketing”

    Before we get to the framework, I’d like to suggest a paradigm shift in how you think about marketing.

    When we think of the word “marketing” most of us tend to think about tasks that are actually classified under “advertising.” 

    These tasks include: posting on social media, putting an ad on the radio or TV, printing flyers, or sending out text messages.

    In reality, these actions are just one small part of “marketing” and are most effective when considered together with the other portions of what marketing is in reality.

    So what is marketing then? To put it simply, marketing consists of three important phases:

    • Research & Audience Identification
    • Advertising & Promotion
    • Customer Experience & Satisfaction

    Why am I telling you this?

    The truth is: you’re probably spending more time on “marketing” than you think. For example, you’re doing marketing anytime you give a customer a positive experience with your company (increasing chances of high ratings or referrals and further business).

    So as we go through the marketing plan today, keep in mind: there’s way more to marketing than just advertising your product to people who may want to buy it.

    It’s much deeper than that. 

    In reality it’s about finding a “market” fit with your product or service and then providing the best possible solution to your target audience.

    The 30-minute marketing plan

    Okay, without any more lead-in, let’s get into the actual 30-minute marketing plan. If you follow this framework, you should be able to build a basic, yet impactful marketing plan in 30 minutes or less.

    10 Minutes: Audience

    You don’t even need a full-length, fancy audience breakdown – you just need an actionable marketing persona. To begin, take around 3 minutes each to provide 1-2 sentences answering all of the following questions:

    1. Who is my target audience? 

    Think demographics like age, gender and income, but also psychographics like why they buy things, what they’re interested in, or daily behaviors.


    2. What problem will I solve for my target audience?

    Author Chris Guillebeau explains a good business idea lies in the convergence of things you’re interested in AND things people are willing to pay for.


    3. Where does my target audience spend their time?

    For example, are they heavy smartphone users? Or do they listen to the radio in their car more? Are they on Instagram or Pinterest? Etc. This will be extremely helpful in the next section.


    10 Minutes: Sales

    Next, take about 5 minutes each to answer the following questions in 1-2 sentences. The key here is not to get too far into the weeds.

    4. How will I get my audience’s attention?

    It helps to consider how you stand out from your competition and which media you can leverage to get your company in front of the right customers (see #3 above).


    5. How will I convert attention to lead generation or sales?

    Attention is one thing, but actually getting someone to give their contact information or purchase what you’re selling is an entirely different matter.


    5 Minutes: Advertising & Promotion

    Then take 5 minutes to brainstorm some advertising promotion ideas. Focus on high-level ideas here and save the nitty-gritty for later. Remember, this is a foundation, not a to-do list.

    • _______________________________________________________________
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    • _______________________________________________________________

    5 Minutes: Customer Experience

    Finally take 2-3 minutes each to answer the following questions. Remember that some of your most important marketing has to do with the experience you give your customers since they can often lead to future business in the form of repeat sales or customer referrals and ratings.

    6. How will I surprise & delight my customers?

    As marketer Clay Mosley put it, simply offering good customer service isn’t enough anymore. That comes standard. Instead, identify how you can go above and beyond for your customers or clients.

    7. How will I generate referrals & encourage repeat business?

    According to The Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. That’s why focusing on repeat business and generating referrals are critical to the future growth of your business.

    Repeat the process often

    What’s great about having such a quick framework for your marketing is you don’t have to dread the idea of drafting up a new marketing plan for you or your team to follow.

    Since it only takes 30 minutes, this is something you can revisit over and over again as your business grows, your product evolves, or your audience changes.

    As you learn new things about your product or process, add them to the next iteration of your marketing plan.

    Answering some common questions…

    Because this was such a quick framework, you’re probably left asking a few questions. Below, allow me to answer some that I think you might have.

    What about the tactics?

    First, you might be asking: what about all the tactics? The day-to-day marketing “stuff” I have to do?

    You’ve got a point. This marketing plan won’t work at all without a similar brainstorming session to address, in more detail, all the little things that need to happen in order to actually DO marketing.

    But remember, this 30-minute plan isn’t about DOING, it’s about PLANNING. And far too many small business owners get caught up in the PLANNING too often and never actually get to the DOING. 

    By limiting the planning to 30 minutes (repeated every few weeks or months) you can spend more time actually executing on your marketing plan.

    You may also want to subscribe to our blog for frequent marketing ideas for small businesses.

    What if I don’t know all the answers?

    Depending on where you are in your business, you may not have all the answers to the questions above. 

    In that case, your first time through it may take you more than 30 minutes. 

    If you don’t have a quick answer to a question, I suggest you not get hung up on it. Answer it the best you can and then revisit with any time you have left over. Some questions may help dislodge answers to previously difficult questions.

    Some answers may require further investigation: such as where your audience spends their time or which technology you’ll use to capture leads.

    You’ve got this!

    The whole point of this marketing plan is to get some traction. Marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You don’t have to spend half your working hours on it (unless you want to) and you don’t necessarily have to hire for it.

    With this quick plan, you’ll have a framework in place to move forward and make real progress in your small business.

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    Short on time but need to get a marketing plan down on paper? Complete these exercises in 30 minutes to build a foundation for your marketing strategy!

    Getting to Know You: Creating Actionable Marketing Personas

    Let’s face it. When was the last time you really looked at your company marketing personas and actually used the information contained in them to create content from a different angle than the one you were going to take anyway? Never? Rarely?

    Then why do we keep creating the same personas over and over again?

    The answer is both simple and complex. Marketing personas are widely used and considered a staple for marketing. However, rarely are they referred to in day-to-day marketing practices. So what’s the disconnect – and what makes creating a marketing persona actionable?

    The Persona Problem(s)

    The issue with the way most marketers, especially small businesses, create personas is that they follow a template, one that has been passed on since the Tea Party in Boston was targeting who to invite. These template origins, of course, are lost in time.

    We often start with demographics, and the data we gather is not bad. It might be great to know that Remote Working Rachel is 35, single, a digital nomad who often works on her tablet, shops at Whole Foods, and likes to test software with a free trial before she decides to make a purchase.

    However, once she’s made a decision, she tends to be a loyal customer almost to a fault.

    So what’s the problem? This data can often be too narrow and even potentially stereotyping.

    Worse, it can even create bias about who you think your customers are, and in turn who your marketing is overwhelmingly geared to. And it may cause you to unintentionally exclude groups of people or demographics. We’ve seen this cause issues for large companies in the public eye.

    That is the heart of the issue with personas as we know them. The information about them is certainly interesting, often well researched, but doesn’t lead to actions you can take as a company to improve your marketing. Even worse, the data may suggest actions that are not a priority and won’t really improve your bottom line.

    Does this mean we should not develop marketing personas at all? Not in the least.

    Instead, it means we need to do better. How do we do that? By starting with a different approach.

    The Data We Need to Solve Problems

    Rather than starting with a template of your customer base and working from there to solve their problems, instead ask yourself, “What marketing problems do we have that could be solved with more data about our potential customer?

    By starting this way, you are intentionally looking for actionable data. This might look like this:

    • Determining the problems that data about our customers can solve for our team or our clients
    • Deciding how to structure that data
    • Determining what elements of a persona are needed to assist in a solution to the problem we are trying to solve

    Ask yourself about the data you’re collecting, and what impact it makes on your marketing. How important is the age of your target persona? Does it matter if they are male or female? What about income level, social media profiles, and other data? Does it matter that you target persona is imaginative, organized, and prefers easy-to-use software that is intuitive and simple to learn?

    This information may be really helpful, and you should consider it. However, you should also question what problem you are really solving.

    Was your company planning to make hard-to-use, less-than-intuitive software before you read this?

    Does this give you a better idea of how to market your software to Remote Working Rachel?

    Maybe it does, but your personas can, and should be better. So how do you take the simple steps listed above and put them into action?

    The Revised Persona Process

    First, what we are really talking about here is doing less, but more meaningful work when it comes to personas. It’s not that we want less data, we just want better data! How do we get started?

    Determine the data you, your team, or your client needs to solve a particular problem.

    Example: You are selling B2B software that helps remote workers track their time and stay on task. Your ideal target customer is a freelancer or contractor, not an employee who uses their company-provided software.

    What do you need to know about this customer? Some thought-starters: Where do these customers find information about new software, and what motivates them to buy?

    Your persona might be simpler than you think. If you look at your target group, you may find they do more idea discovery on Instagram, only use Facebook for personal enjoyment, not work, and trust their peers and certain key websites in their niche when it comes to software recommendations.

    Going deeper, you can look at what hashtags and topics they follow, what groups they are members of, and what key influencers they admire.

    You might find interesting information. For example, you will learn that 59% of freelancers are male, and that most specialize in either web or app development or SEO and content writing tasks.

    This leads us to the next important question though: how do you know this data is accurate?

    Document the Source and the Accuracy of the Data You Have Gathered

    No one is looking for your WAG when it comes to potential customers. Untargeted or mistargeted marketing is perhaps the largest source of waste in the industry, which likely motivated your boss to commission the persona creation in the first place.

    So make sure your data is accurate. Whether you gather data from census and government data, industry or academic studies, or through original research, document where and how you got it. When you narrow your focus to more meaningful data, this is especially important, because then your organization (and you) can have confidence in the information you provided. Not to mention that it is also more actionable, and in many cases less specific.

    And trust me, there is a reason it likely shouldn’t be.

    Be Sure Your Data is Wide-Reaching Enough to Represent the Range of Customers Contained in the Persona

    The problem with Remote Worker Rachel is that some things we may discover about her not only don’t matter but might limit our marketing efforts by creating a bias or an unconscious exclusion of groups who may actually purchase your product.

    Instead, a persona with a wider breadth but more meaningful detail gives you actionable target audiences, something you can use to influence your ad campaigns.

    Don’t Segment Data Unless You Need To

    Unless you need to market to a particular group or demographic don’t segment your persona. Do you need to market differently to female freelancers? Are your current efforts not attracting those buyers? Do you need to segment by age, or simply by platform?

    The point is to only segment when the data you need to solve a particular problem dictates it.

    It may be enough to know that freelancers are primarily between the ages of 24-40, have an average income of $40-60K per year, and spend $1500 a year on average on software. Knowing where and how they buy should complete the data you need.

    Of course, this will vary by industry, but as a general rule, segments should only be created when the needs of that segment are different enough for you to run campaigns only aimed at that group of potential customers.

    Creating the Ultimate Persona

    So if the old templates are out of date, if we shouldn’t use them, what should we use? The answer is as individual as the personas you create for your company. Once you determine the data you need, you can use almost any tool to create a persona template. From Google Docs to Word, Google Sheets, or excel, you can use whatever tools you are comfortable with.

    You may also find some online templates that are editable enough for you to create a format that will work for you.

    Hubspot has one that some industries may find useful, and you can delete categories, create new ones, and add the attributes that matter to you.

    These can also give you a baseline of data and questions to answer. Developing your own template really involves the steps we have already talked about.

    • Determine the data you need.
    • Establish a format for that data.
    • Set up a mechanism to document the source or sources of your data.
    • Gather that data and fill in your persona template.

    Perhaps the biggest obstacle you will face is creating buy-in for a new method of developing a marketing persona. Entrenched in the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality, it can be hard to break your supervisor and even your peers out of that way of thinking.

    However, you may be able to approach it like this: if you are using more effective and efficient methods of creating an actionable persona, and your competition is doing it the way it has always been done, you will have an edge. And that edge, once you can prove the difference it makes, is the proof you need to change the mind of the doubters.

    Once you are ready to take your digital marketing to the next level, check out the Tailwind app. It’s the social media scheduler that takes your digital marketing to the next level, keeping you in touch with the persona you have so carefully developed and cultivated, even when you are away from your phone or your computer.

    Get started with your FREE trial today and see what Tailwind can do for you!

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    Hundreds of marketing persona templates are out there - but are they actionable? Learn the data to collect, and what you can leave out in our guide.