You can have the most gorgeous designs and pattern that knit them selves when you throw yarn at it, but you can't make a sale if no-one knows you exist. In this post I've gathered some things that will help you get seen, even if you're just a beginner!
Pinterest is not a social media platform. Pinterest is the Holy Grail of inspiration!
Pinterest have millions of users par day, and there you will definitely get seen! People go there to see pictures of stuff they like. Different from Instagram, they don’t look to interact, they just search for inspiration or a solution to their need or problem.
If you’ve used Pinterest you know this, you log in, and search for images of the thing you want to see, right? You’ve probably searched for knitting or a specific stitch pattern or a schematic for a specific garment?
Create board with different themes and niches. The more pins you have the more specific they should be.
Don’t just pin your own pins. Pin others pins as well, pins that would be interesting for your followers, for two reasons:
1. It’s kinda spammy
2. you get more content thus more traffic.
Pin some viral pins for more traffic. Make sure the viral pin fits your board.
Schedule and Manual pinning
From what I’ve heard (read) Pinterest reward those who pin manually by showing their pins more in the suggested pins (or what ever the first page is called?)
So why is scheduling pins important and useful or needed anyways? Well, from what I’ve read, if you pin too many pins at once it might be considered spam by the algorithm and won’t be shown on the first page.
You want to pin several times a day for more exposure.
What I do is that I have scheduled pins from tribes and other places but I also, every now and then take my phone and search for pins to pin on my most relevant boards.
Creating a pin
When creating your pin turn of your designer brain and think as a knitter. What kind of picture would catch your eye? What makes you click on a pin and re-pin it? What words would you use for search?
hashtags are a fairly new feature to Pinterest. If I find a pin that is almost the thing I need, I click on the hashtag in the pin to get more pins like it. Use your hashtags. You get to use 6 of them.
What makes a ping great?
Good quality photo. Use your own photos. Use your own photos. Use your own photos. Use clear quality photos. Something that catches the eye immediately! Try a close up of a detail in your design. Make people interested of what else is there. Avoid using faces in your pin, that might take the eye away from the thing you want people to see. That’s how the human brain works, we tend to look at faces, and see faces, it’s a survival thing.
Make the text readable. I know there are some beautiful curvy fonts out there, but if no-one can read them in one look, it’s not worth it.
The pin should take people as close to the source as possible. You can pin directly from Ravelry pattern page, but that’s not the best possible option, you see you might have to tweak the caption a bit, and you can’t add text to the pin itself.
Canva is an online graphic design tool (which I use for most of my pins and blog images) that is easy to use, fast and it has hundreds of templates to use from or you can create your own. You can choose from pre-sized canvases depending on what you want to create (see picture below) add your photo, the upload process is super easy and you can easily resize the photo once it’s on the canvas. Add some text to it and you’re good! Download the image to your computer and you’re done!
Oh, and Canva also works on your phone, just download the app from your store! Makes life so much easier.
(If anyone of you know an easy and quick and unnoticeable way to get pictures from your phone in to your computer, let me know in the comments! It’s unbelievable that mankind hasn’t done that successfully yet! )
But don’t sen your pin just yet! There is more!
Tribes is the reason everyone needs to be on Tailwind!
It’s basically a group of people who upload their pins to one board, and then share each others pins. For every pin you upload, you need to schedule on from the board!
It’s just an amazing tool! I actually pay monthly for using it because it’s that good! It’s the only tool I pay for btw.
You get to stay in and use five tribes even after your free trial, and you get to continue uploading your pins to them for free!
In addition of challenges being fun and motivating they can also get you seen!
You share a common goal with a bunch of like minded people, it’s very likely that at least half of them LOVE what you do and will remember you and buy from you in the future!
But you have to do some extra work there too. Don’t just do the minimum and leave it there.
Challenges usually have a hashtag for you to use and other participants will click on that hashtag and see you and your work! Here’s some of mine from the years #fromtheartesanitarium (my personal hashtag)
#unicornKAL2018 (unicorn shawl KAL)
#giftalong2017 (Indie Designer Gift-a-Long 2017)
Indie Designer Gift-a-Long
Is THE happening of the year! Seriously!
In January, when designers plan their year, they know it is coming, they clear their needles for December and the GAL! You do not want to have anything planed for that period of hanging out with knitters! That is the time to be on Ravelry and knit other peoples designs!
In December! But the sign ups are sometime in October. You should follow the GAL Planing Group on Ravelry for more info. If you miss the sign up (like I did one year!) you’re out.
Who qualifies as a GAL designer?
This is a tricky one. Last year they changed the rules, due to public demand, that a participating designer should have a minimum of 10 self published patterns in their Ravelry store. I think that’s it.
There is cross promotion, ads for the event, bloggers post about designers, collaborations, self promoting, hashtags the whole shebang! Oh and the sale! The sale brings in more people, even if they don’t participate in the event itself!
Everyone will be there
Everyone who is anything is there!!
Last year, 2017
550 Ravellers posted a FO (finished object).
1180 individual patterns had at least one posted FO.
2260 Finished objects were knitted/crocheted and reported during the GAL period.
Who knows how many was finished after they stopped counting!
Knit-a-Longs or KAL for short
Partner up with some of your designer buddies and host a Knit-a-Long.
You get to have fun, learn to know new people, see how other designers do their thing and lots of knitters learn to know your!
Participate in a KAL!
You get to have so much fun, connect with knitters who like the same style that you and maybe learn something new!
Every once in a while I try to participate in a KAL. The next one I have my eyes on is the Ubuntu CAL. Sometimes I crochet! Can’t wait to get started!
With 125.000 visitors per month you’re bound to be seen!
I’ve had one pattern published in Knotions and 2 on their way, one in September and one in December 2018.
This might be the best thing that ever happened for new designers!
Knotions publishes new patterns monthly. The patterns are free for knitters which draws traffic to the website.
You will be paid for your pattern.
Depending on page views, queues, project and favorites on Ravlery and other things, but a minimum of 75$.
After 3 months you get your rights back and you can sell where ever you want! It will still be free on Knotions website, but at this point you can add variations, sizes, change the layout, translate it to other languages or what ever you can think of to make the pattern worth the money.
You get so much!
Jody, the editor of Knotions tech edits your pattern, knits (or has someone to knit) the sample and photographs your design. This is so awesome! Technically if you think you can pull it off, you could just submit a sketch and written pattern and you don’t have to knit a single stitch (I do not recommend this, but technically…)
This is an really interesting idea! Brixton Purl has a news letter called The Patternist which is a collected press release of upcoming patterns from lots of designers, going out to dyers and LYS owners to give promotional support.
The newsletter goes out every couple of weeks and the patterns needs to have a publish date a minimum of 3 weeks in the future.