Pinterest, Social Media, Website Traffic, Blog

How to Use Tailwind to Automatically Grow Your Blog Traffic Month After Month

In terms of content sharing, specifically blog post sharing, Pinterest is Queen. It’s hands down the best platform to get your content in front of the most people organically (they don’t need to be following you to see your content), so spending time here as an online business owner is a no-brainer.

We’ve gone over our daily Pinterest formula and strategies to harness the power of Pinterest before, but today we’re letting you know about a secret weapon that makes it all happen….faster.

Bonus: There’s free stuff for you at the end so keep reading!

In terms of content sharing, specifically blog post sharing, Pinterest is Queen. It’s hands down the best platform to get your content in front of the most people organically (they don’t need to be following you to see your content), so spending time here as an online business owner is a no-brainer.  |  Think Creative Collective

Now, in our post about our daily Pinterest formula we talk about how we used to spend 2-3 minutes a day tops on the platform. We would pin as new content was posted every single weekday (when a blog post would go live). Then, that was it.

It definitely wasn’t a bad strategy. Heck, it meant Pinterest was one of our top referrers (next to Instagram) for traffic, so it was nothing to complain about. Our clicks, repins and traffic would go up consistently every month, but we knew there was more we could be doing.

Since Pinners are on the platform multiple times a day, the analytics are kind of all over the place for “the best time” to pin. We’d heard that other bloggers like to pin up to 20-25 times a day, but the only way we were going to be able to be on the platform that frequently was if we had help.

Enter our new best friend.

Enter the Pinning Automation god.

Enter Tailwind.

Tailwind is a desktop (and phone) app that allows you to bulk pin and schedule pins for days, weeks, and months in advance.

It is a paid app (about $9/month), but keep reading to see how you can try it for free.

We’ve recommended Tailwind to a lot of creative small business owners, but that’s come with a lot of questions about how you actually use the app. So today, that’s what we’re talking about.

We’re walking you through how to use Tailwind to #PinAllTheThings so your biz can be running without you doing a thing.

GETTING TAILWIND FOR FREE

First, let’s get you Tailwind for free. Sound good? If you create your account using this link you’re going to unlock 30 days of Tailwind for free. Try it on for size, see if you like it (you will) and let Tailwind rock your world.

After creating your account in Tailwind, the first thing we recommend doing is downloading the extension for your browser. You’ll be able to find your extension download button under “Publisher” -> “Drafts”. It’s free and it’ll save you a ton of time, we promise.

Once you have the extension downloaded for your browser, go ahead and open up Pinterest. We bulk pin directly from within Pinterest using the Tailwind extension because they make it super easy.

BULK SELECTING PINS

Go to your profile and open a board you’d like to start pinning from. Then click the Tailwind extension in your browser and click on as many of your pins as you’d like to schedule.

You’ll see we currently have three pins selected and we could click “go schedule” if those were the only ones we wanted to bulk schedule at this time.

Pro Tip: Bulk select your pins based on topic and category. We have boards broken down per topic, so we could go through and select all pins related to social media, for instance, and bulk schedule just those. Also, consider bulk pinning other people’s content. The entire point is for you to create a user experience for people who are searching for specific topics. If you can provide an all-encompassing experience for them, they’ll follow you and stick around.

SCHEDULING TO BOARDS

Once we click “Go Schedule”, a new window will pop up letting you tell Tailwind where you want to pin those pins. We’d want to make sure these pins were heading to the boards we wanted them to head to. We can add them all to the same board by typing in the board name(s) under the “Add Board to All” or individually add them to specific boards by typing the board names under each pin.

USING INTERVAL TIME-SLOTS

A very unique feature that Tailwind has is the ability to set pins to go out at intervals. We use this feature mostly when we’re pinning to group boards because there’s usually a rule that pinners can only pin once a day so we don’t want to get on anyone’s bad side. So we usually select all pins that we want to share on our own boards, then reselect pins that we want to share in group boards so we can give them interval timeslots.

Unfortunately, you have to give an interval to each individual pin, so if you’re pinning a lot at once it can get tedious, but it’s worth it. You can see for this pin, we’ve set the interval to have a 2-day, 8-hour time gap between each pin. You can set this to be as little as 10min to as many as 90 days between pins — it’s totally up to you. It’ll give you a nice preview of when those pins will go out so you can be assured that they won’t flood your group boards.

Pro Tip: Create Board Groups in Tailwind to save you even more time. You can do this by heading to the Tailwind app and clicking “Publish” -> “Board Lists”. You can see we’ve grouped ours by topic both for our own boards and group boards that we’re on.

Once you’ve got your pins scheduled, you’ll be able to see them inside your dashboard. From here you can rearrange them, delete them, and track their progress. You can simply click “Shuffle Queue” or physical click to drag and drop pins to the timeslots you want.

Pro Tip: If you’ve given any pins a specific time to post or set pins to intervals you’ll see a lock icon next to that pin in your draft schedule. You’d want to use this feature for time sensitive pins like launches or promotions. Shuffling your queue will not affect these pins.

ADDING TIME-SLOTS

As we said earlier, most people suggest pinning upwards of 25 times a day, so you’ll want to add to the time-slots that Tailwind gives you by default. Tailwind automatically loads you with suggested time-slots based on their extensive research into pinners’ activity, so we wouldn’t change these, we would just add to them. You can easily add new time-slots by hitting “+ Add Time-slot”. You can see we’ve added a lot, ha! One thing we like is that unless you add multiple time-slots of the same time, you can be assured that only one pin will go out at any given time. This is good for you, because your audience won’t feel bombarded by an influx of pins from you at one time.

TAILWIND ANALYTICS

Pinterest does a pretty great job at telling you your analytics already and we gave you a simple breakdown of  how to decode them here. But Tailwind takes this even further inside their app.

You can find a breakdown of your numbers in a few places. One is your dashboard, where you’ll see a quick glance of your entire account progress.

Another spot for you to check out specific analytics is inside “Track Your Brand Page” -> “Profile Performance”.

You can also check out board specific analytics inside the “Board Insights” tab.

You can also get a really neat look at individual pins using the “Pin Inspector” under “Optimize Content”.

Another cool little feature, just really for your viewing pleasure, is your word cloud. You can find this inside “Monitor Your Domain” -> “Organic Activity”. Here’s ours.

So, we know that was a lot, but trust us when we say that diving into Tailwind is so, so worth it. Remember our 2 minute daily formula? Well, our daily formula is now maybe 30 seconds (the time it takes to pin the most recent blog post to our main board). Then we go in about once a month and spend about 15 minutes bulk scheduling all the pins for the next 4 to 6 weeks. We can rest assured that we’re present multiple times a day (25 times, in fact!) without us lifting a finger during the day. Our traffic has steadily gone up on our site and the repins are through the roof (meaning our content is getting seen and loved by new people). We’re talking over 16k clicks to our website from a pin happening every single month (whoa).

Remember to grab your free month of Tailwind by heading here! We can’t wait to see your pins popping up.



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Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

Want to Quit Your Day Job and Work from Home Full-Time?

One of the most exciting milestones for any solopreneur is getting to the point where they’re ready to quit your 9 to 5 job… and work as a full-time home-based business owner. The mistake that many solopreneurs make? Quitting their 9 to 5 jobs without a strategic plan in place for doing it in the most effective way possible.

Here’s the thing: if you give your two weeks’ notice and start working from home full-time without a strategic plan in place, you’re going to run into problems like:

  • not knowing how to work from home productively,
  • not having a financial buffer and roster of clients, and/or
  • not having an actionable schedule for how you will make the best use of your time after you’ve quit your day job.
One of the most exciting milestones for any solopreneur is getting to the point where they’re ready to quit your 9 to 5 job… and work as a full-time home-based business owner.  The mistake that many solopreneurs make? Quitting their 9 to 5 jobs without a strategic plan in place for doing it in the most effective way possible.  Here’s the thing: if you give your two weeks’ notice and start working from home full-time without a strategic plan in place, you’re going to run into problems.  |  Think Creative Collective

What that all translates into is a hot mess of a business. That doesn’t sound like much fun, now does it? After all, you don’t want to quit your day job, only to feel overwhelmed by the work-from-home life!

And you REALLY don’t want to get so stuck that you have to backpedal and and return to the 9 to 5 life. (Which, sadly, is what inevitably happens to many solopreneurs if they don’t prepare themselves for working from home full-time. It happened to me the first time I tried to go full-time with my business, too!)

Don’t worry — I’ve got you covered!

Here are 5 crucial things you need to do BEFORE you quit your 9 to 5 job…

1. Create a Business Plan

Having a business plan will lay the foundation for your business. Think of your business plan as the anchor for your business: it should be an organic, living document that you refer to frequently for direction when you’re choosing what to focus on next with your business.

Your business plan doesn’t need to be anything super complex or filled with fancy jargon. In fact, you should keep it SIMPLE and to the point.

In your business plan, you’ll want to include things like:

  • Vision/mission statement
  • Business goals (I recommend 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, and 3-year goals)
  • Ideal client/target audience
  • Services you’ll offer
  • Marketing strategy
  • Budget

Because your business will likely change quite a bit over time, especially within your first year while you’re figuring things out, you’ll want to ensure that you have your business plan easily accessible so that you can refer to it and make changes as you go.

I’ve found it helpful to leave the bottom third of each page blank on my business plan, so that after I print it out I can have it on my desk within arm’s reach — and make notes in pen or pencil as my business plan changes. Once the space gets a little too busy with my handwritten notes, that’s when I transfer those notes onto the computer, and print out a new copy to work with!

2. Put Together a Directory of Potential Clients

Creating a directory of potential clients is a great place to start when you’re thinking about who you’d like to work with.

It’s extremely valuable to put together an ideal client profile (something I focus on with my students!), but if you’re feeling a little stuck, even writing out a list of specific individuals/companies can help you to get a better feel for who your ideal client is… AND it can provide you with a concrete list to start with once you begin actually marketing your business.

Keep your directory simple and straightforward: create a spreadsheet with the person’s name (and organization name, if they are part of a company), contact information, what service you offer that would be a good fit for this potential client, WHY and HOW they can benefit from your services, what your current relationship status is with them, and a few ideas for how you can reach out to them.

Note that putting together your client directory involves strategizing! Implementing strategic plans is a fundamental part of building your solopreneur business. You won’t be pitching to these people right away — instead, you’ll want to build your relationships with them to create a solid foundation for when you’re ready for the pitch.

3. Put Together Your Personal Timeline of Action for Quitting Your 9 to 5 Job

I typically teach students how to quit their 9 to 5 jobs within the space of three to six months. So, let’s say you’re choosing a three-month model: in that case, you’ll need to break down those 12 weeks into weekly mini goals, with daily actionable steps that you can take to achieve each mini goal.

Your strategic timeline of action won’t be the same as anyone else’s — it depends on what YOU need to focus on for building your business. You might want to place more of an emphasis on improving the skills you’ll offer to clients, for example, or perhaps you need to focus more on marketing your services and pitching to clients.

Whatever the case, put together a plan of action based on what YOU need to work on… and then implement it!

4. Market Your Business

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to marketing is this: YOU DO YOU.

If someone else is using a marketing technique that doesn’t resonate with you, then DON’T USE IT on your own clients!

Instead, focus on natural, organic, relationship-building strategies to make marketing an enjoyable part of your business… and to most effectively get hired by your ideal clients. Keep in mind that marketing is passive; pitching is active. You’ll want to use a combination of marketing your business and pitching your services for best results when it comes to getting hired by clients.

5. Plan what Your Daily Schedule will look like when You Work from Home Full-Time

This is a step that too many solopreneurs skip. Don’t skip this step! If you jump into working from home full-time without putting together a daily schedule or work plan for yourself, then you might find that you struggle with keeping yourself disciplined and on track with what you’re supposed to be working on.

Outline how you’ll spend your days during the week so that you don’t feel overwhelmed once you’re working from home full-time.
 

So… do you think you’re ready to quit your 9 to 5 job?

Take the quiz and find out! It’s a fun way to check in with yourself and see what else you need to do BEFORE you quit your 9 to 5 job and start living the dream of working from home full-time.



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Squarespace, Social Media

7 Reasons Why We Chose Squarespace (Over Wordpress, Muse, Wix, Godaddy, etc.)

We have been around the block once or twice online and have tried our hand in many platforms, hosting services, and domain providers, but when it came time to rebrand we were stuck. We pondered for months over who or what we should choose, but once we finally made the decision we never looked back! Squarespace is by far the easiest platform to use, with the cleanest interface. Choosing them is hands down the best decision we’ve made for our business and blog. Here’s why…

We have been around the block once or twice online and have tried our hand in many platforms, hosting services, and domain providers, but when it came time to rebrand we were stuck. We pondered for months over who or what we should choose, but once we finally made the decision we never looked back! Squarespace is by far the easiest platform to use, with the cleanest interface. Choosing them is hands down the best decision we’ve made for our business and blog. Here’s why…  |  Think Creative Collective

Modern Design (With Esc Key)

Having an updated look was absolutely crucial to us when it came time for the switch. We have previously dealt with having our own custom coded website (DIY), large custom content management systems (in the corporate world), and WordPress, using various themes. Squarespace offers the cleanest selection of themes. Sure, there aren’t 100,000 options, but the 40+ they offer have extreme flexibility and can quickly become personalized. We spent hours combing through WordPress templates, only to be left disappointed. There are some awesome ones out there that offer great flexibility, but I have found them to be time intensive to set up and not always that user friendly (as they are built by many different people).

Don’t like the theme you picked on Squarespace? Press the Esc key and you are flown directly into editing mode. Press save and your site is back in action. Also, you can even try it totally free for 14 days – any theme, and can even switch to a new one halfway through!  

There came a time in our business when we feared we may have outgrown Squarespace. We were running a multiple six-figure business and needed more customization than the typical templates allowed for. But to our surprise and delight, we found out that if you can find the right team to support you, Squarespace has a robust backend system that can be manipulated with custom code, allowing for almost endless possibilities.

We’ve been nothing but pleased with our transformation – and because we didn’t budge and only improved usability, our SEO rankings continue to soar!

Easiest User Interface…. Ever

Being in design but having coding knowledge makes this a bit of a catch 22. Sure, I know how to manipulate code to move something to a different column, but I am visual, so having the flexibility to just drag it over to create a new column was genius.

We love the user interface. It is easy to understand – sure, there may be limited options, but each choice leads you to a new set of choices to fine tune the end result. An hour of coding to create a custom slider turns into seconds with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Even after paying for a very custom website, we still needed the flexibility to add pages, adjust the ones we had and continue to make changes into the future without the need to bring in the big guns. Having this interface allows ANYONE on our team to make changes on the fly with no background and it looks great, every time.

Compatible Across All Platforms and Devices

I am going to date myself here, but the first custom website I built…. was before EVERYONE had a smartphone, tablet or some sort of crazy mobile device. I wasn’t worried about making it responsive or easy to view on a phone, it just needed to be functional.

With today’s society, having your site be fully responsive is crucial. On an average day, nearly 50% of our site traffic is from mobile devices. Many WordPress templates are responsive, but no matter what, with Squarespace you always have that flexibility built-in. We could absolutely create a custom site on Muse without knowing code, but all of a sudden we are responsible for making the tablet and phone friendly versions separately on our own time and must update them independently.

Goofy things that you might overlook, like increasing the font size for phones or rearranging photos so the page flows, are automatically taken care of for you right inside Squarespace!

Social Integration

Many sites offer functionality to link to social sites, but we love the customized widgets that make the social streaming feel like it is apart of the original design. We have easily linked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. P.S. You really ought to just follow us across the board!

But the even cooler thing, is that it isn’t just for the typical social stuff anymore. Are you a restaurant who takes reservations? What if you could integrate with an app like Opentable and have people reserve seats online without bogging down your phones? Yeah, you can do that too!

Security

Now many people don’t think about this, but having a secure place to host is extremely important. In the past we have had issues with WordPress allowing loopholes in some of their widgets that offer opportunities for the not so great people to sneak their way in.

I even ended up in a situation where a site I was managing was hacked and someone was selling black market drugs utilizing the back end of our high traffic site. Sure, this may be an extreme situation, but we like that all apps/widgets, etc. are Squarespace controlled. Of course that means less variety, but they are backed up by the Squarespace team so we have complete comfort in knowing they have taken care of these loopholes we may or may not be privy to.

Support

Real support offered by real people. Unlike many other service providers, there is chat and email functionality to channel questions through. In many other platforms, especially if you are utilizing home grown tools, i.e. custom themes or widgets, you must rely on user forums if you run into a problem or have questions.

Granted, it is so simple to use, we haven’t even needed support! Whereas in the case of other service providers we have used we were stuck after 15 minutes when something wasn’t rendering correctly, we needed custom code to overwrite something, or, even more frustrating, we had no idea where to even look to make the change we needed.

Integrated E-Commerce

Super simple integration with Stripe and PayPal makes it a breeze to list and sell products online using Squarespace. It is perfect for delivering digital downloads (for free or paid), selling physical products, managing shipping and more.

Did we mention that Squarespace didn’t ask us to write this? We just genuinely love their product and we think you are going to think it is pretty great too.

Bonus Resources!

Squarespace Pricing
Why It Is Worth It
Squarespace 101: Website Block Basics
Squarespace 101: Adding Your Instagram Feed to Your Website [Video]
Squarespace 101: Setting up a Free Opt-in Inside Your Shop [VIDEO]
Can I do that with Squarespace? + a FREE Video Ecourse
Wix vs Squarespace vs Virb vs Weebly vs WordPress Theme Builders

What other questions do you have about Squarespace vs. other service providers?



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Business, Marketing

21 Tips to Rock Your Next Trade Show and Make the Most of Your Investment

It’s Trade Show season!! Trade Shows are one of my FAVORITE ways to build wholesale business, grow brand recognition and connect with retail stores. There’s a special magic that happens when you get to spend a few days with similar small businesses, in a booth that was once only a concept on a piece of paper.  You make tons of new friends (even though yes, they are technically the competition) and get to connect with some of the BEST buyers and retailers throughout the country. It’s as exciting as it is exhausting!

It’s Trade Show season!! Trade Shows are one of my FAVORITE ways to build wholesale business, grow brand recognition and connect with retail stores. There’s a special magic that happens when you get to spend a few days with similar small businesses, in a booth that was once only a concept on a piece of paper.  You make tons of new friends (even though yes, they are technically the competition) and get to connect with some of the BEST buyers and retailers throughout the country. It’s as exciting as it is exhausting!   |  Think Creative Collective

Trade Shows can cost your business thousands of dollars, so when you decide to take the leap you want to be as prepared as possible. Whether it’s your first show or fiftieth, the key to a successful show is plenty of preparation. These are my top 21 tips to make sure you rock your next trade show and make the most of your investment!

Budget like a BOSS

There’s no question, a tradeshow can do some serious damage to your bank account. You’re spending a lot of money upfront in the hopes that the orders will more than make up for it. Be really price conscious and create a budget for yourself now, because expenses add up FAST! Here are some must-includes to help get you started:

  • Booth Costs
  • Hotel + Transportation Costs (taxi/uber/rentals/train/plane and such)
  • Samples
  • Special supplies
  • Any giveaways you plan as a show special
  • Printer costs (business cards/catalogs/press kits/order forms)
  • Special Signage (so buyers can easily spot your booth!)
  • Postage (for any pre-show or post show mailers, thank you notes etc)
  • Meals (especially important if you’re traveling!)
  • Miscellaneous Expenses (to cover anything that pops up!)

Read the Terms + Exhibition Guide

Every trade show location has specific exhibitor terms that you’re accepting when you sign up for the show. They include everything from what is and is not allowed in your booth, show logistics (when you can move in/break down), lighting and power guidelines (sometimes you have to pay for power — no joke!), acceptable fixtures (they probably need to meet fire codes) and more. There is nothing worse than sinking a lot of time and money into your booth, only to find out it doesn’t meet the requirements for the show so please, pour yourself a glass of wine and read the guide before you dive into your show prep!

Have a Pre-Show Marketing Strategy

Building anticipation for the show generates excitement for your brand and products! Your pre-show marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complex. Here are a few ideas to get you started that are relatively inexpensive!

Social Media Sneak Peeks

People love to know what is coming around the corner! Share a sneak peek of a collection that is being debuted at the show, new designs, or new products and get your audience excited!

Create Show-Specific Hashtags

Use show-specific hashtags along with your usual relevant hashtags and use them consistently. Seek out your favorite stores online and learn from the tags they're using and tags from posts they liked.

Types of tags to include:

  • Trade Show related hashtag — tradeshow name, your booth number
  • Industry related hashtags (stationery, gifts, home decor)
  • Business related hashtags

Pre-Show Mailer

Everyone loves getting snail mail! Send a beautifully designed mailer that invites buyers to your booth. Your mailer should include your company name, the tradeshow you’re exhibiting at, your booth number, any social icons).

Set Show Goals

You’ve invested so much time and money into your show, you want to get the biggest return on your investment possible! In addition to monetary goals (like getting $25,000), you’ll want a concrete list of goals you want this show to accomplish. They may include:

  • # new stores you are looking to open
  • sign X # sales reps
  • meet and befriend X number of small business owners
  • connect with X # publications

Book Your Accommodations Waaaay in Advance

You’ve got a lot on your plate, and keeping a roof over your head shouldn’t be stressing you out. Most trade shows will partner with local hotels and offer discounts to exhibitors. Even in major cities where it seems like there are endless hotel options, be proactive and book that baby asap. The more you can cross off your list in the beginning, the more time you’ll have to focus on the important stuff.

Bring a Binder with all of Your Important Paperwork

When you sign up to do a show, your inbox will be inundated with paperwork. Keep track of your contracts and agreements and have a copy on hand in your booth. Most shows have strict rules and regulations, and if a question is asked you’ll want to have the proper documentation with you to reference. There are companies that contract out components of your booth (everything from additional lighting to actually building your booth for you) and when you arrive there’s always a chance something may be missing or incomplete. Having all the important documents in one place will make dealing with a difficult situation much easier. While you can always have a copy on your laptop, keep in mind that WiFi service can be slow and spotty!

Bring a Drive with Important Docs

While you have probably already printed your catalogs, line sheets, press kits and order forms, there’s always a chance you’ll need more! Pack a flash drive with any important documents in case you need to make a quick Kinkos run. The drive takes up zero space and you’ll be happy to have a backup.

Pack Your Samples and Include Some Extras

With hundreds of people walking through your booth each day, your samples are going to get touched often and can become worn quickly. All it takes is one dirty hand to trash your newest notecard. It’s also great to have a few extras on hand to fill the shelves if they look a little sparse. While you may spend months planning every inch of your booth’s display, once you’re actually in the space those plans can change quickly! In some instances, your samples will simply disappear. There is always a risk of theft but every once and awhile someone inadvertently walks away with a sample and is too embarrassed to return it. Prep for the worst case scenario and you’ll be covered no matter what happens.

Bring Plenty of Catalogs, Line Sheets, and Order Forms

You’re going to encounter two types of buyers: those ready to write you an order on the spot and those who collect information and bring it back home to review before writing. Either way, plan on passing out a ton of sales material.

When it comes to order forms, I’ve found that it’s helpful to create one that details each item in your assortment. Filling in a generic blank order form by hand takes a lot more time than having one where you can circle styles, fill in the quantity and add the final cost. When you are working the booth all by yourself, you want to write orders as quickly as possible to avoid having other buyers wait too long. A buyer kept waiting may choose to come back later, but then get busy and you’re either left trying to track them down or end up missing the opportunity to work with them altogether. Make order writing as easy as possible for both you and your buyer!

Have a Press Kit

Buyers aren’t the only ones walking industry trade shows! Major and local magazines, publications, and influencers visit shows to look for the latest and greatest. Be prepared if a major magazine walks into your booth and likes what they see by keeping a few press kits on hand. Some shows have a specified press area where you can also drop off your kits.

Have a Show Special

Nothing says “buy now” like a little extra incentive! Reward and thank your buyers by offering them a special for the order(s) they place at the show. This may be some sort of discount or really cool gift with purchase. Use this opportunity to get as creative as you’d like!

Be Prepared for Frequently Asked Questions

While you may painstakingly detail your terms, conditions, and shipping windows in your catalog, most people won’t flip to that page — they’re simply going to ask! Be prepared to answer some of the most common questions which include:

  • What credit cards do you accept?
  • Do you have a show special?
  • When is this available to ship?
  • What's your minimum opening order?
  • What are your minimums per style?
  • Where are your products made?

Take Notes on Business Cards

It never fails — there will be hours when nobody visits your booth, then all of a sudden it becomes packed with buyers! In the hustle of trying to talk to everyone, it’s easy for one conversation to blur with another. When you exchange business cards, take a moment and make a note on the back of your buyer’s card that will help you remember who they are and the conversation you had. Maybe your buyer was wearing a dress you loved, or she mentioned a big upcoming event. These little details matter when you’re crafting your follow up emails because it shows the buyer you were paying attention and helps you recall your meeting.  

Recap Each Day THAT DAY

After 12+hours on your feet, you probably just want a glass of wine, a real meal and to go to bed  (I’ve been there!). It’s so important to take some time to review your notes, orders + business cards (because they should have notes too!) to look for any discrepancies and make a list of anything that stands out in your mind (order questions, leads, opportunities, follow up notes). As much as you tell yourself that you’ll remember, chances are, you probably won’t. These days are long and can easily run together, so take a moment while the day is still fresh in your mind to recap as much as possible. Doing it NOW will save you major headaches later on. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to see how many orders you wrote, how they compare to your goals and help you start working on an inventory tally for orders.

Bring Snacks

Chances are, even if you have someone else in the booth with you will be lucky to snag a bathroom break. Pack a few protein bars, some nuts, and lots of water to help you stay focused throughout the day. While most convention centers have food, options are usually limited and lines can be long, meaning you may miss a key buyer in your booth!

Leave the Heels at Home

Those convention center floors are hard, so it’s best to leave your heels at home and opt for a pair of fancy + comfy flats. We’ve all had that pair of shoes that we thought would be super comfy and turned out to be a nightmare, so break in any new show shoes ahead of time! If heels are an absolute must, pack a backup option so you can swap them out when your feet start to hurt.

Decide on Your Sales Rep Strategy

Chances are, you’ll meet a few sales reps who are head over heels for your line and want to rep it. Decide in advance how you want to handle reps. Do you want to add them to your team? Or do you want to keep everything in house? Have a plan in place to handle the requests as they come through.

Encourage Visitors with a Sweet Treat

Buyers usually spend 1-2 days at the show, meaning there is a lot they need to pack into each day! In many cases, they don’t really have time to eat. Setting out a small bowl of candy or sweet treats (individually wrapped, please — there will be a lot of hands in there) will give them a reason to pause. They will spend those extra few seconds checking out your booth and when they do, chances are they will see something that gets their attention! Buyers are pretty polite and in most cases will ask before they take. This gives you the perfect opportunity to chat them up. It may seem silly, but I can tell you from experience that this little act of kindness goes a long way!  

Have a Post Show Plan

Once the show is over you’re probably going to want to take a long vacation. There is so much to do that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and check out for a few days. Developing a post show plan beforehand allows you to come up for air without anything accidentally slipping through the cracks. Here are a few post show planning ideas to get you started:

  • Decide when you’ll answer outstanding emails from your time out of office
  • Organize show expense receipts
  • Calculate new stock order units
  • Decide when you’ll place the stock orders
  • Determine how you’ll follow up with and thank buyers who placed orders
  • Have a plan for following up with buyers who showed interest but didn’t write
  • Decide how you’ll collect outstanding payment info (not everyone is comfortable leaving their CC info with you at the show)
  • Processing any orders that need to ship immediately

And there you have it! I hope I’ve made the process a little less scary and overwhelming so you can cross that trade show you’ve been considering off your biz bucket list!



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