Episode 128 // Pinterest for Your Brand with Natalie Hughes

June 13, 2017

We all know social media is important for your business, but how can you really leverage it to work for you? We’ve got Natalie Hughes of The Fashion Digital sharing her social media secrets—specifically around building a Pinterest presence that drives traffic and can help you make money.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"When it comes to Pinterest, evergreen content is key."
- Natalie Hughes

Discussed in this Episode

  • Natalie's creative entrepreneurial journey
  • How to make social media less overwhelming
  • Favorite social media platforms
  • How Natalie uses Pinterest for her brand
  • Using affiliate links
  • How to better utilize Pinterest
  • How to get more followers and repins on Pinterest
  • Upcoming social media trends
  • Backlash of social media during political events


More from Natalie Hughes

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Kathleen here and before we jump into today's episode, I have a quick favor to ask of you. One of our big boss goals is to get to the top of the iTunes podcast business chart and we need your help. So please pause for a moment to subscribe on iTunes, even if it isn't where you listen to our podcasts because it really helps us out. And while you're there, feel free to leave us a rating and review. Okay, let's jump into the show. Hello, and welcome to being boss, a podcast

Emily Thompson 0:32
for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:36
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Emily Thompson 0:41
Today we're talking about social media and using Pinterest for your brand with Natalie Hughes. As always, you can find all the tools, books and links we referenced on the show notes at WWW dot being boss club.

Kathleen Shannon 0:54
All right, I want to pause the show for a second I have a confession to make. I used to do this thing I called intuitive banking, where I would just kind of feel how much money I had to spend and spend accordingly. Well, you can probably guess how that went. And I've noticed that a lot of creative entrepreneurs do this in their business, they don't have a clear look at their numbers or the financial health of their business, and it leaves them freaking out about money. So our number one recommendation is always to look at your numbers. And I can't think of a better way to do this than to set up fresh books cloud accounting for your business. In freshbooks, you'll be able to keep track of all of your expenses, so all the money going out, and you'll be able to keep track of all the money coming in by invoicing clients and getting paid lightning fast all through freshbooks is super easy. You can pull reports profit and loss statements, you can see exactly where you are by logging into the dashboard. any given day. Try it for free by going to www.freshbooks.com slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. Okay, back to our show.

Emily Thompson 2:09
Natalie Hughes is a fashion journalist and the founder of the fashion digital a fashion social media agency based in London. Previously, she worked as net a porter social media editor where she launched the brand on Pinterest and grew the site's social media presence exponentially. She's also a power pinner with 600,000 followers on Pinterest.

Kathleen Shannon 2:30
Natalie, it's so great to have you on the show. Thanks for joining us.

Natalie Hughes 2:34
Thanks so much for having me.

Kathleen Shannon 2:36
So tell us a little bit about yourself. Like, tell us where you started. And well first, tell us where you're at right now. Like what do you do now? And how did you get there?

Natalie Hughes 2:45
Yeah, sure. So I live in London, and I run a social media agency for fashion brands. So how did I get to this point? Well, I started out doing well, I started out on the journalistic side. So writing feature fashion features for various magazines. And then I kind of crossed over to social media at NetSupport. A, it was about 10 years in so it was really exciting time, it was actually just me doing social media. So now they've got a team of about 10. But just me, myself and I. So I was there for two years, and then left five years ago to go freelance and basically started doing what I do now with the agency but just as a one man band. So yeah, after five years, after five years of consulting for luxury brands, and writing for magazines, I sort of decided that I couldn't do it by myself anymore, and that I was going to actually make this legitimate and form an agency, which is what I did. So that's where we are now.

Kathleen Shannon 3:45
Wow. So I think it's so funny that Do you guys remember how probably whenever you were just one person at net a porter, and that like social media seemed like this throwaway thing, like something that someone else could do in their spare time. Yeah, it's their job to talk about, like, I'm at my agency, even whenever I was still there, which was now like, what, seven, eight years ago, some of our graphic designers on our team, we're doing social media on the side of in house. And now it's this kind of thing that requires a team of a lot of people.

Natalie Hughes 4:21
Yeah, it's crazy. I think some brands someone was telling me the other day, some brands now have a snapchat editor, a Facebook editor, a Pinterest editor is not even one person doing multiple platforms, they're actually specialists. So it's quite, it's great for me, because I think at that, you know, in 2001 was it 2009 people sort of weren't really taking it seriously. And you know, it was very much yet we can get an intern and they'll do it, it'll be fine. So it's nice. Now, I think there are lots of people like me who have kind of, I suppose spent years you know, doing it from the ground up and now kind of like just met a social media strategist with 10 years experience. It's just kind of its own now.

Emily Thompson 5:04
Right? And it's like 10 years. That's like all 10 years of social media. It's not like, you know, social media. Is this like, decade old or not a decade, but like, century old, even like process where you just been in it for the last 10 years? Yeah, social media started, which is kind of a really good place to be.

Natalie Hughes 5:24
Yeah, definitely. I sort of I started my social media journey on live channel back in the day. So I was really it's weird. Actually, I'm still I've sort of met a lot of these live journalists IRL, in the last five years or something. In fact, one of them now, what's the YouTube talent agency that looks after all their YouTube? youtubers? So yeah, it's crazy to think how we've all kind of grown from, you know, being in our bedrooms on live channel,

Emily Thompson 5:54
right to now like companies live and die by social media, it's become such a huge part of how it is that you share yourself and how it is that you sell yourself. And not just those of us who are like online business owners, but businesses that are wholly offline, are definitely tapping into social media to gain clout and have conversations and like grow their presence beyond just billboards and magazine ads.

Natalie Hughes 6:22
Definitely, definitely. It's so so important. And when I think about brands that are like glossier, who, who built an audience solely on social media before they even launched a product, I mean, it was months before I just built that buzz. I think it's so amazing how you can kind of have a captive audience before you even launch a product. That's what I love. Agreed.

Kathleen Shannon 6:44
All right, so let's talk a little bit, I want to get into your favorite social media platform and how you're using it. But before that, I want to talk about just the importance of social media in general. So for our listeners, I think that a lot of people sometimes feel like, oh, social media, like is this necessary evil? We love social media on our side of things, but what would you say to someone who is intimidated by social media or is overwhelmed by it or feels like they need to be doing all the things like what is some advice that you might give that person?

Natalie Hughes 7:15
Okay, well, I mean, obviously, I'd say get a get a, get an expert to help you. But you know, if your budget doesn't allow for that, I'd say set out the calendar as you would with, you know, your kind of marketing strategy as you would if you were, you know, if you're writing a blog alongside your business, set out a calendar, you know, two months, even, I mean, ideally 12 months in advance and start plugging in post to it, because I think it's so daunting, getting up and thinking, Oh, what do I post on Facebook today? What What should I Instagram, there needs to be some planning. And I think that's what I pride myself on. With the fashion digital my agency, we have calendars for clients months in advance. So there's never any scary moments where we don't know what to post. And of course, they'll say, you know, there are those spontaneous moments that you just want to share immediately as they happen. But I think having a calendar has definitely made me feel kind of more organized and less panicky about doing social media for my own business. So I'd say set up a calendar. And I think even if you don't have budget to have someone managing your channels month by month, I think it's always worth just having coffee with a social media strategist or, you know, having them for a day just to audit your channels and give you takeaway, you know, really actionable tips as to how you can really grow you know, grow your social media followings create beautiful content. I think it is worth talking to someone if you can muster up a budget for even a day.

Emily Thompson 8:45
Yeah, I totally did. Oh, the the calendar, one of the things that we hear most often from whether it's our clubhouse members, or just people who are sending us emails, but the struggles that are most real for creative entrepreneurs, is time management, and usually because of social media. And so whenever you can get really proactive about your social media, as opposed to reactive and waking up one day and trying to figure out what it is you're going to put post. If you have everything just sort of planned out there, then there's no thinking about it, you just sort of do it. And that will snowball into so much more productivity and owning your time back. That you're not using scrolling through Facebook and trying to figure out what to post or whatever it may be. love having a good solid social media calendar.

Kathleen Shannon 9:31

Natalie Hughes 9:33
so worth it. We quite often just use Google Docs, and that works really, really well for us. But we also love Instagram, we love Tally. I don't know if you use that for your Instagram heard of that? I love it. It is it just is very pretty looking unlike a lot of scheduling. And you can get I mean, it's the same as other Instagram scheduling tools in that you get a push notification and you can't just let it sort of work for you. But it's a lot more intuitive. So I definitely recommend definitely, that's something that's really kind of changed changed our lives.

Emily Thompson 10:07
Love it.

Kathleen Shannon 10:08
What are some of your favorite social media platforms right now? Like personal favorites, and then maybe some industry favorites or some hidden gems or some social media platforms that we should absolutely not be taking for granted?

Natalie Hughes 10:21
Okay, so my number one and what I guess what I'm going to talk about with you guys today is Pinterest. And I'm just personally I love that platform. It's the only social media platform where as a kind of publisher, I'm I make money. And it's just somewhere that I can really lose myself completely be inspired, and there are ads there, but they just feel really cohesive and organic. Whereas sometimes, you know, when you're on Facebook, you know, you're scrolling through your feed, and you're just bombarded with adverts. So I love going to Pinterest for somewhere that just feels really inspirational. And also it converts really well really well. So yeah, I love Pinterest and to make money. I love Pinterest to kind of for inspiration. I also am obsessed with YouTube. And I've watched several of the being boss. You know, when you when you would upload the some of the podcasts on to YouTube just sit there and have already listened to them and watch them again on YouTube and just love YouTube. My politics is really voyeuristic. When I watch get ready with me. But there's just something really addictive about kind of connecting with like minded women, just going about the day to day lives. So on a personal level, I just love kind of diving into the world of YouTube. for clients, I'd say Instagram is the number one platform. I think that most of the designers I work with, I think because they're such visual people Instagram is their focus, and that's where they kind of want to build a presence and grow their followings. Also, I suppose Instagram is really a shopfront at this point. So when someone searches your brand or business on Google, they're actually I think most likely to go to Instagram before they even go to your website. And I think that a lot of the designers I work with kind of, you know, they know that and they want to, they want to have that feed looking, you know, beautiful. So I'd say for my clients, I think Instagram is is the one, I'm also quite enjoying Polaroid swing at the moment, which is kind of a, you can create a moving photograph or sort of cinema graph style media. And that's quite cool for then repurposing on Instagram. I know that Polaroid swing is meant to be its own social media network. And you're meant to kind of build a community there on the platform. But I quite like downloading the little video and putting it on Instagram for something a bit extra.

Emily Thompson 12:49
Very cool. I just had to Google that really quickly, because I have never heard of that before. So have that pulled up. I love that. I totally have to check that one out. And I love what you just said about people visiting Instagram before they're visiting website pages. I think that is nuts. But I also totally identify with that if I'm googling something, and someone has their Instagram feed, that's probably what I'm going to check out because visually, I can get such a great sense of their brand. from Instagram. I just never thought about that.

Kathleen Shannon 13:21
So what I think is super interesting is YouTube and Pinterest. So I'm really into YouTube. Pinterest is kind of one of those things that I started getting into a few years ago and then kind of just fell off the wagon, and almost don't even think of it as a social media platform that I could leverage. So I want to talk about interest because I are sorry, I want to talk about Pinterest, because I feel like a few years ago whenever it launched, in fact, Emily, were you at the alt summit that the Pinterest

Emily Thompson 13:50
Yeah, that Ben Silverman was that he was fantastic.

Kathleen Shannon 13:54
So everyone fell in love with him. And I know that he was really trying to capture us as bloggers at the time to really utilize Pinterest almost as a place to create mood boards. It felt like Yeah, and I remember at the time, it was also not cool to pin your own content to Pinterest. And now I feel like the game has really changed and it has not only supplemented blogging, but has almost replaced blogging for a lot of those. You know, blogs that really focus on curating good finds. Now even now I feel like the direction has shifted to not only replace blogging, but to become a search engine of itself. So even just yesterday, I was looking at wanting to buy an instant pot. And so I got on Pinterest and started looking up Instant Pot recipes. So my question for you and Natalie is how would you even define Pinterest as a platform because it's not quite social media. It's not quite search engine. Like how would you define it?

Natalie Hughes 15:00
I think for me, the the appeal of Pinterest in the beginning, I think even now is that sort of scrap board feel. And before Pinterest, I was just saving inspirational images from my space like outfits, I lights, you know, on someone's MySpace page or live journal or whatever, just on, you know, folders on my computer, which was actually really kind of impractical once when you got a new computer. But you know, if you didn't transfer it over, there was no way of it kind of existing, you know, on a kind of separate platform. So I love Pinterest for inspiration. And I still love it for that. But yeah, as you said, it's such a great search engine. And, yes, so often when I'm trying to create a mood board for our clients, which actually I'm not putting publicly on Pinterest, I'll start with a private Pinterest board, and curate content from around Pinterest rather than googling kind of that mood or that topic. So for me, and I think for business owners in general, it's just a great place to actually create private boards that ultimately, either you share directly with clients, or you transfer that over to a PowerPoint presentation and kind of all create a project from it. Or maybe the client doesn't even doesn't even see it. But it begins with a Pinterest board for me. And I know lots of creators have definitely started out with Pinterest boards. So a friend of mine who's a blogger, she's called Disney Roller Girl, a British blogger. She recently wrote a book all about kind of androgynous style and kind of gentle woman's style. And it all started with a Pinterest board. And in fact, her publisher saw that and that's kind of how that began. Equally, Stranger Things apparently began with a Pinterest board. Yeah, so I think it's just a place of germination, where projects kind of spring from for me. But then again, I also think it's a platform that really converts for brands, or if you're selling a product. So actually, people who who use Pinterest are kind of much higher spenders than those that use other social media platforms. And, oh, I had a nice little stat here. But it's Shopify users that were coming via Pinterest spent double compared to those that were coming by Facebook. So it's just, yeah, those those customers are there and they've got the money to spend. So certainly, I think if you're trying to sell a product for me, I actually complete as you said, completely replaced my blog with Pinterest. I used to blog back in the day. And now I'm just on commission via Pinterest alone. So I definitely think it, I think, ideally, you'd use it to supplement your blog or to supplement your brand. But for me, I don't really have time to blog anymore. So I just use that instead. So yeah, it's an interesting one.

Kathleen Shannon 17:57
Okay, I feel like I need a full landscape of like a month in the life of your Pinterest account. So are you how many boards do you have? What kinds of things are you pinning? How are you actually making money on it? But you're also using it as a tool for clients? Yeah, sure. You're also pinning for clients. So like, just give us a broad landscape of what that looks like? Yes,

Natalie Hughes 18:22
sure. So there's a lot of pins in a month, I pin about 50 pins a day on my personal account. And then for clients about 13 pounds a day. And at any given time where but not all of our clients to kind of choose Pinterest as part of their social media package with us. But let's say five of them do. So there's a lot of pinning going on in the fashion Digital's office.

Kathleen Shannon 18:44
And are you like, Are you are you curating pins? Are you are you pinning original content? are you creating, you know, pinning from their websites? Like how are those pins actually happening?

Natalie Hughes 18:56
So it's a real mixture of original content, I'd say I'd say 20% original content when it comes to brands and 80% other people's content. I definitely feel as though we're certainly in my feed when I see brands just kind of pinning product upon product and it's just feels very salesy. I immediately unfollow that board, sometimes in some cases don't follow the brands completely. So I definitely think it's, it's about it's still about putting other people's content, maybe with 20% of kind of of your own stuff. For me on my personal Pinterest page, I pin probably 50% product 50% just inspirational imagery. So that's I use two affiliate networks, I use rewardstyle and shopstyle. shopstyle has actually worked better for me on Pinterest just because it's commission per click as opposed to say it to sale and actually I find that I get a lot of clicks via Pinterest because I have a large following there. But maybe they don't always Convert. So for me, that's an affiliate network that works really, really well. So essentially, yeah, when someone buys it, I get a cut of I get a cut of the final sale. But yeah, I'd say on a day to day basis, I'm probably pinning 25 pins that are just pure product pens with affiliate links in the back. And then, yeah, 50% it's just inspirational imagery. For brands, I kind of always say that it's totally worth considering joining an affiliate network on the brand side, just because that would definitely incentivize me to talk about brands on Pinterest, if that makes sense.

Emily Thompson 20:36
For sure, I need to wrap my head around that I've never thought about affiliating via Pinterest.

Kathleen Shannon 20:47
Anything that I think it makes a lot of sense for people who might have one at one point been a fashion blogger or interested in fashion blogging now. But I have a hard time nailing down sponsors or advertisers or even getting the traffic to their website to support affiliate linking. And so if people are already on Pinterest looking for outfit inspiration, I'm curious about the disclosure. That's kind of more of like the nitty gritty side of things that you have to disclose in the actual pin that you that it's an affiliate link, or how does that work?

Natalie Hughes 21:23
Yeah, so Pinterest asks you in the kind of etiquette, the guidelines of which there are quite a few. They ask you to disclose with you know, hashtag ad, or something to that effect, if you are pinning something that's monetized, they actually would definitely encourage their kind of top pinners. To do that. They do something, they promote boards, so around certain seasons. So during the holiday season, they had various boards that they kind of would they put out a topic to the top pinners. So we have a kind of message board that's private. And we'd go to that, look at the topics that they were kind of presenting for the holiday season, pick one, and create a board that spoke to that. So it might be gifts, but I'd actually to gift gifts for gifts for your bosses, which is quite quite apt. So the more niche, the better. And they encouraged me to use affiliate links kind of behind my pins, but it was very much a kind of shopping board. And I made it very obvious that it was from the get go. So we had shopping in the board title, the board description, and each of the pins would say shop as opposed to kind of inspiration if it was an affiliated pin. So it was very kind of it was very much disclosed. I will say though that a few years ago, Pinterest actually banned affiliate links. So this is something that they've kind of, I think they've, you know, sort of mold over over the years. And certainly for at least a year, you weren't allowed affiliate pins, affiliate links behind your pins. Yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 23:06
Interesting. I feel so torn on affiliates, like I go back and forth, not just I don't mind buying through an affiliate link. And in fact, I always like to support people who if that's how they're being compensated to click through on their links. But as a brand, who has things to sell, sometimes I feel hesitant on offering affiliate programs, because sometimes I'm worried that it might create a little bit of distrust, you know, I want people to promote my things because they genuinely like it. I think that might also be the difference between running a service based industry versus a product based one. So I'm curious, what are your thoughts on that? and Natalie, I'm curious to hear kind of what you think about that, in general, even maybe for some of the brands that you represent? Yeah, well, I mean, for the brands I represent,

Natalie Hughes 24:01
I think when it comes to sort of the multi brand retailers so with ness forte and I do a lot of work with matches fashion.com I think it makes sense to join an affiliate scheme just so that you have the edge over other retailers and offering a bit more commission and incentivizing those pinners or instagramers with kind of high followings for a service based business. I take a different tact and something that I'm kind of I think a lot of people don't really realize are massive on Pinterest are infographics. In fact, when you know you end up searching a marketing term, so many amazing infographics kind of pop up. And I think that that's a way in which you can direct traffic to kind of your webinar hub or you know, the web hosting website where you then offer lots of kind of services from and I suppose then you're kind of bypassing the whole affiliate thing. I think it's difficult with service based businesses for sure. I think I would say that I'm only kind of concerned with affiliates when it comes to my kind of the brands that

Kathleen Shannon 25:08
offer products that I look after. And I think that makes sense for the individual because then they basically become the retailer. And I think this day and age, with the kind of creative entrepreneur economy we've created, it makes sense to understand that individuals can have as much of an effect on your sales as a storefront in a mall.

Emily Thompson 25:30
Yeah, exactly. It is a similar concept of someone who's owning a brick and mortar store who's taking a cut of the products they're selling that are made by someone else is just your storefront is a Pinterest board as opposed to a traditional storefront. So it's a funny, I like putting it that way, because it does make me feel better about it, because I do to go back and forth between like, feeling a little squeamish about affiliates. And on the other hand, thinking they're perfectly amazing and awesome. So apart from affiliates, how else can people use Pinterest for their business? And maybe not directly monetizing, but also, maybe, but what are some of the best ways that you've seen brands and businesses using Pinterest to raise their revenue?

Natalie Hughes 26:17
Yeah, sure. So you can use I mean, obviously, every social network has a kind of, you know, an ad scheme. That's how we make money. But Pinterest ad scheme actually works really, really well and converts really well. So they have something called promoted pins, which you only have access to if you convert to a business profile. So I'd say first off, if you're a brand, or even an individual, and you want to kind of drive traffic to say what kind of services that you're offering, convert your profile to a business account. And it's really easy, it's just a little bit of metadata in the backend of your website. And then you have access to these promoted pins. So you can use promoted pins, and you don't require massive budgets, it's pretty affordable, depending on kind of how much reach you want. You can use them to promote products, promote places, if your bricks and mortar store, even promote recipes, if your recipe blogger, you can target it kind of really nicely. Pinterest has a really, really good kind of native analytics suite that I quite enjoy perusing. And what band I've seen use it really, really well is made.com. So they actually created kind of beautiful interior shots, sort of lifestyle shots, which actually worked better than product shots on Pinterest, it's worth mentioning. And then they overlaid text on top of that. So obviously, it's not searchable, because it's just part of the image that you're pinning. But it just kind of adds a bit of kind of get as a call to action, it adds something extra to the to the image. And I've even seen brands like Tesco, I don't know, you guys don't have Tesco in the US, right? Like a massive supermarket chain here in the UK. And their branding is red and really bold and brash. You know, it's like Walmart or something. But they actually created these pins. Again, they were promoting home products, or it was like Mother's Day products, but it was all kind of candles and stuff. And they then overlaid their logo in white. So they actually changed that logo. For the first time ever, I think just for Pinterest. So I think there's lots of fun things you can do as a brand with promoted pins. And then by combining a beautiful image and text, and you can also do you can also use space really cleverly. So because Pinterest is kind of better suited to vertical pins and long pins. If you create a super long pin, it's been taking up more real estate as you scroll down the page. So you can do some really fun things when it comes to design as well. Right? I

Emily Thompson 28:53
feel like forever those super against vertical images have been mostly frowned upon in the online space because like in a blog post, a vertical image takes up so much space, and an Instagram came around and it was all about the square. And finally, Pinterest is bringing back the vertical image and that's always made me really happy.

Kathleen Shannon 29:16
Really, you know, drove we don't have a huge Pinterest strategy over here at being boss. But whenever we were developing our website in our show notes, that was one of the things that we did was we created our images based on Pinterest and thinking about people pinning it and so we've got our suite of images that will post to Instagram which will be formatted in a square and then we've got our Pinterest ones. So it's definitely something to consider when you are creating content for sure from your website.

Natalie Hughes 29:47
Definitely, in fact, Pinterest. They for wild trifold board covers that were landscape, which made everyone really upset because all of all of the images were You know better portrayed in the feeds. Yet some suddenly the board covers a landscape. So that caused a bit of controversy, they quickly switched it back. Thankfully,

Unknown Speaker 30:10
that is totally the kind of thing that would annoy the crap out of me.

Natalie Hughes 30:16
Yeah, completely cropped people's heads off and things. So yeah.

Kathleen Shannon 30:21
So what are some other like rules or best practices or even Pinterest hacks that we can use to better leverage the platform?

Natalie Hughes 30:29
Sure. So although captions now aren't that visible, when you scroll through the feeds, they're still really searchable. So as you said, Kathleen, when you're searching for, you know, inspirational images or something for a project you're working on, it's always good to kind of plug in those keywords to your captions in a nice organic way. I think Pinterest has always been against spammy content. So it's all about writing a caption that's SEO friendly. And it's kind of like native search friendly, but without it being too kind of over the top. Also, I'm all about evergreen content on Pinterest. So yes, you've got holiday specific content. And I think that's valuable, too. But the beauty of Pinterest versus Instagram versus Facebook is that images and pins they stay around for as long as people are interested in them. And they'll pop up at the top of your newsfeed, maybe two years later. In fact, I know several bloggers whose content his low paid from t Edgar is still being and it was still receiving a ton of traffic because of Pinterest. So I think evergreen content is key. I also use a tool called viral tag, which is not the prettiest tool, it's not, I haven't really found kind of good alternative. But you can actually scan schedule out evergreen content. So it kind of keeps pinning content over, you know, every couple of weeks over a period of time. So that evergreen content will be quite useful to put a plug in there,

Kathleen Shannon 32:00
whether I'm thinking about that, like whenever earlier, whenever you're talking about using Pinterest to get people to your webinar, that felt very timely, but I could see switching it to use it to get people into an opt in and then get on for building your list maybe.

Natalie Hughes 32:17
Exactly, exactly. I mean, maybe it could be a great infographic that kind of hooks people's attention that way. That is a bit more evergreen. So just kind of tips for bosses that don't they you know, aren't timely and and sort of yet aren't time specific all season specific.

Kathleen Shannon 32:33
What about growing your following on Pinterest? What's the best way to start getting people to follow your boards and to get more pins and repins? How does all that work? Well, for

Natalie Hughes 32:44
me at the beginning, I I sort of bit of a cringe worthy term. But I consider myself an early adopter when it comes to Pinterest. And that's how I built my following. So it was just pinning consistently and prolifically. So as I said, I mean, now I've pinned about 50 pins a day. At the time, I was probably hitting a lot more I was obsessive Li pinning. In fact, people now the algorithm is such that, you know, people's pins don't come up chronologically, but at the time it was. So a lot of friends, blogger friends like Natalie's. This has become an obsession, that it was really that obsessive pinning, which I think generated a kind of an audience. I'd say that if you can get promoted by Pinterest, that was invaluable for me. And so that meant that when people joined Pinterest, and they said they were interested in fashion, let's say my Pinterest boards popped up and they automatically followed me. So that was really invaluable, I think in kind of getting a large following. But otherwise, I think it's about pinning beautiful content and following specific people whose content you like so as you would do on any other platform. And then I think also just teaming up with other pinners maybe at the same level as you or like minded brands, and kind of building upon each other's followings and kind of capitalizing on their followings. Another way I guess is working with power pinners, I suppose like myself, so I work with a lot of brands where I'll create a board dedicated to that brand or dedicated kind of to that business, or will co curate a board together. And that's a really nice way of building your following. And, you know, getting some of your followers too. So I'd say team up with people that's that's the best way

Unknown Speaker 34:32
just to like,

Emily Thompson 34:33
give a give a note about just being a prolific follower. David has this neighbor like his childhood neighbor, whose mom I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago and the woman has like 70,000 Pinterest followers, and she's just one of those amazing women who loves like traveling and throwing cute parties and like just is what it is like really amazing. stay at home moms that just Like does gingerbread houses every year sort of thing. And the woman is owning Pinterest right now. And it's amazing. But she, she's always on it. She's always pinning. And I whenever I found her on Pinterest, I was blown away completely blown away because she is she's killing it. It's amazing.

Unknown Speaker 35:18

Natalie Hughes 35:18
I will say nice with Pinterest actually, sometimes I go to kind of Pinterest meetups. And a lot of people that aren't bloggers, they're not people who created content before Pinterest, they were artists or their, their chefs or and they just looked to Manchester for kind of inspiration source and managed to get a large following because people liked the content they were pinning. And I think that no other platform really is quite as kind of is quite like that.

Emily Thompson 35:45

Kathleen Shannon 35:46
I mean, I kind of think that a lot of platforms are like that. But you get the most engagement in general, from Instagram, to Pinterest, to your blog posts to your podcasts, by really focusing on the content first, and just creating or sharing really good, really genuine, really beautiful content. And if you can start there that things will start to unfold, and then also the consistency factor. So I think that these are the things that are rising to the top for me is that you have to be consistent, and it has to look good.

Natalie Hughes 36:21
Right to actually that's true. Actually, I was speaking on a panel the other day, and we were talking about the outcome of actually specifically Instagrams algorithm and how you beat the algorithm. And I was talking to a YouTuber with a huge following on Instagram and every other social media channel. And she was saying exactly that, that good content bubbles to the top. And that's kind of the beauty of the algorithm that really, if you're creating really slick content that people are going to need to sit and want to follow.

Emily Thompson 36:53
I love that. That's so mad, smart. Kathleen, do you have any more questions about Pinterest?

Kathleen Shannon 36:59
I have all the questions about this. But

Unknown Speaker 37:01
we can move on

Emily Thompson 37:03
about some other things really quickly. And if we need to come back to Pinterest, that's fine. So I always love picking the brains of people who do social media for a living, like we were saying earlier, like you've been in it since the beginning, just only about 10 years or so. And you've seen things move so swiftly. And I find that people in social media especially tend to have this ability to look forward in a way that like blows my mind. So what do you see coming? Like, what are the trends that maybe we haven't really tapped into yet that you see on the horizon? Where are things going? Like, do you have any funny insights as to what the future of social media will look like?

Unknown Speaker 37:44

Natalie Hughes 37:45
I was, I was sort of looking up all the trends at South by Southwest was here, sadly, I can go. And one of the trends, which just seems just to kind of stand out to me was actually smart fabrics, and sort of actually kind of social media, she sort of almost be intrinsic and what you're even wearing, which was really fascinating. So I think there's a Google jacket that's going to come out where sort of measures different kind of, because I you know, I have a Fitbit, you know, that monitors my, you know, my heartbeat and all of that stuff. But actually just to kind of put on a piece of clothing that is smart. There's also something I was looking at recently as smart bandages that I think are going to be trialed next year, which tells the doctor you know how quickly a wound is healing. And actually, there's something really kind of social about that, too. I mean, maybe not the bandages. But if you're wearing smart clothing, maybe there's a community just imagine

Emily Thompson 38:39
my Facebook feed right now. And someone's had surgery and I get an update saying that my wound is 40% healed? And like, can you give them a thumbs up or not?

Kathleen Shannon 38:51
I would like to have a smart tampon

everyday everyone

stay late cycle is like and whether or not they should send chocolate.

Natalie Hughes 39:08
But I suppose I suppose what I'm interested in is social media that's a bit more kind of instinctive. It doesn't feel like you're having to kind of create content or put a message out there. Equally. I'm really I'm still really fascinated with live video, I think, with this is kind of only just the beginning. And specifically kind of 3d Live, which I think people still haven't quite mastered. But I think in the next couple of years, hopefully will be useful in some way. Right now. I'm not sure whether it really is. Yeah, there's also loads of apps that I've kind of, you know, fallen in love with and then kind of falling out of love with I can't remember the name of it now, which isn't really helpful. But there was one app that was kind of really buzzy last year at South by Southwest and it was just where you recorded sound bites and I love podcasts. So I thought hey, This might be useful, I can actually, instead of having to, you know, set up my own podcast, which I'd still love to do, I can just create a record sound bites on my phone, and then people partake in the conversation that way. But I think it was, it was all to kind of Betty to consume on a daily basis. And there's something lovely about sitting down on my daily commute, tuning into being both listening to a full, you know, kind of full podcast and really consuming media that way. So I wonder whether there's something in that maybe another app will pop up, that just speaks more to me.

Kathleen Shannon 40:33
I think it's really cool to you're just thinking about social media being more integrated into the tools that we use, the way we search for content, and then the way that we create content and I'm storing the clothes that we wear, and the clothes. I see more of a holistic integration, where it's not so okay, social media, is this afterthought, that it can just be a part of how we're moving through our businesses. Yes, exactly. I'm also curious, have you seen any sort of backlash against social media Emily and I have been talking about even since the election this year. And I don't know like what Brexit was like, for you guys over there. But it just created this thing where we don't even want to get on Facebook. And I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the the I feel like there's a good trend happening and more offline events coming up and bubbling. People are starting to realize like, okay, we did the social media thing, even just in our personal lives. I'm not even talking about business here. Let's get some face time back face to face. IRL time happened. Yeah. So what are your thoughts on that?

Natalie Hughes 41:43
Yeah, I mean, that's definitely been a backlash. And I think we realized that many of us are in echo chambers, certainly I am. And post Brexit realized I was completely because we were all preaching to the choir, we were all kind of really sad, really angry, and just, you know, voicing our opinions on Facebook, but who was who was reading it, I suppose, people who already had those opinions. So I think also, it's kind of, it's definitely opened my mind up to, you know, when I see something on Facebook, that I don't particularly like maybe a political view, rather than kind of just, you know, deleting that person immediately, maybe to kind of keep them there so that I can actually see another point of view and maybe change our opinion. So certainly, when it comes to politics, I think so many people have realized they're in their own echo chambers. And maybe it's just like, open their ears up to kind of other voices, and maybe, you know, have a kind of open conversation. But yeah, it's interesting that even the kind of IRL events like the women's marches, there was so much backlash on taking photos of yourself with a placard. And I see that I think, sometimes, yeah, action speaks louder than words or actions speak louder than social. So I think there's a time and a place for social personally. But I definitely I've, I've had a lot of friends have completely deleted social media and even written features about it, and really kind of made a statement against social. But I just think that whether you're like me, you know, social media is your job. Obviously, there's no way I can delete, delete, or channel. Or if you're just yet an entrepreneur, you need social media, if you're a journalist, you need social media, you need to be shouting about your, your features, your work. So I think when it comes to career, it's all important. And personal branding, it's all important to be present on those channels. Sadly, we can't go back to those days. blissful days, pre social media.

Kathleen Shannon 43:38
And I think that's where the challenge lies. Because for Emily and I, myself, we might crave these offline vibes that are going down. So the challenge that we are constantly bringing to being boss into our brand, is how do we blend the offline events and face to face time that we're getting with the our listeners and with people who are joining in on the conversation into the online sphere. And I think that's where there's really an opportunity for innovation, because social isn't going anywhere. The internet is not going anywhere. Even my three year old, knows how to navigate Youtube Kids. Were asking him just yesterday what his favorite app is, and he said, Youtube Kids, that's man blew my mind and it kind of scared. I'll admit that it scared me a little like, wow, maybe I need to get him some more coloring books and some blogs. But then I think this is the world that we're moving. Yeah. So we need to just shape it into what it is that we want it to be versus maybe deleting it off of our phones altogether.

Natalie Hughes 44:41
Yeah, exactly. I think actually a lot of young people and we one of the brands we look after is a youth brand. And they seem to be a little bit more kind of real about how they portray themselves via social media. So actually, they'll Instagram a picture of themselves saying actually I don't feel great today. I'm you know, feeling really anxious, whereas I think that certainly when the kind of internet began, and I was first maybe establishing a presence for myself, you know, when I was a teenager, my parents were like, No, do not put photos of yourself, do not put your real name online. And we I think we still sort of have that. So it's a very edited version of reality. Whereas I think people are kind of trying to show what's happening, really, which is interesting. I also think, you know, a really nice way of kind of showcasing something that's happening in real life via social is live. And there's a great she was a TV presenter here, which is to listen to that to hear in the UK, with a kind of fashion angle who Trinny Woodall she's got a massive Facebook following because of Facebook Live. And just every morning, she'll do kind of basically a live getting ready with me. So she'll be what her makeup loads, and she's doing her moisturizing. And she's really eccentric and funny. And she Yeah, she sort of will answer questions there. And then about products she's using and about. And that's really a really great way of I think, integrating her followers and her real life. Maybe a bit TMI, sometimes, but but you have to watch her, she's incredible.

Emily Thompson 46:12
I love that I love what you were saying a minute ago, Kathleen, about you know, social media is not going anywhere. And all of that good stuff. Like it definitely is a part of business these days. But I do love what like I guess current circumstances are doing in terms of wanting people to or people wanting to get offline with this idea that I feel like so many of us have created or have created businesses in this like social media bubble. But what would we do if we couldn't rely on social media to run our businesses, I imagine a lot of us probably wouldn't have businesses. And that always gets me to this place of like, really making your business real in the real world, as opposed to just one that runs on the internet is how you can grow your presence beyond your social media platforms. That's a challenge. I feel like I have been adopting more and more over the past couple of months, I've I've run offline businesses before I've had brick and mortar stores, I've done that I've done the online space for a long time as well. And there has to be this like really great marriage of the two, so that you can have a very like fruitful, healthy business online with a vibrant social media presence. But if Instagram changes out their algorithm, all of your marketing efforts aren't sunk for the next quarter. So there has to be a way for people to to find these really great traction online, but also exist offline as well. And I think I think that's, I think I hope that's a trend that we see happening over the next couple of years, where, you know, we've all been around in the online business for long enough that we've built these really great brands. But now let's take them out into the real world and see what they can do amongst the people. I think that's Yeah, that's right. And really good opportunities to do real live events, or, or anything, all kinds of fun.

Kathleen Shannon 48:02
I think even like the resurgence of ziens is an example of social media IRL, because the word social media does not just mean an app on your iPhone, right? The word social media could be really expansive and broad and start to include these offline happenings that are true in offline media as well. It's just about being social. And I think now with the internet, we have more opportunities to be social.

Natalie Hughes 48:31
So okay, actually, I'm just about to show you this book that that I got for I think it was for Christmas. What are they like I'm gonna make my NZ

Kathleen Shannon 48:45
like in the title of it is,

Natalie Hughes 48:46
it's um, this book is called watching mean, what's the Xena and it's all about making scenes. So I'm going to make a scene once I've read this.

Kathleen Shannon 48:56
I have been bouncing around the idea of really as well. And okay, so this is also kind of a cool thing to think about whenever it comes to social is that like, lowest minimum viable product, right. And so we all maybe want a really super slick YouTube show. I do. But the easiest. Next thing that I can do is hop on Facebook Live or hop on Instagram Live. And that can kind of be that next point, Emily and I of course, we want to being boss magazine, and I will throw that out. Maybe the minimum point of entry might be Amazeen. That's photocopied old school. And so I just think that there are some cool things that you can do. And it doesn't have to be overwhelming. It can be starting at that smallest point and just being really consistent about it, focusing on what it is that you actually want to say. And doing it regularly.

Natalie Hughes 49:54
Yeah, so true. And I think what I love about what I loved about Dean's kind of you know, when I say When the internet sort of when, when the internet was so kind of first an intrinsic part of my life with the fact that there was this community, so I was taping like a one pound coin to, you know, to a letter and then sending it to someone over the other side of the world just released leaflets to them receiving as the back, there was something just so community building about that IRL and happening completely offline. And I think really opened up my mind, like at the time you opened up my mind to riot girl, and then I was, you know, reading real books about Riot girl. And so actually, there was a lot of discussion that happened online, then that led to a lot of kind of thoughts and meetings and friendships offline. So that's, I think that's what's lovely about themes.

Kathleen Shannon 50:44
And I can almost see it working like Uber or Lyft, where you have this app that sparks the thing. And then a car in real life is picking you up with a real driver. And how many of us have had amazing conversations with Uber drivers, right? So I can kind of almost see that becoming the standard or the norm. And even things like Instagram meetups and Pinterest meetups, where things are happening offline, I just get really excited about that as well.

Natalie Hughes 51:13
Yeah, me too. An idea that I just loved that a brand did a couple of I want to say maybe a year ago now was an Instagram as currency shop. So you'd go in, and you could buy anything in that shop for an Instagram post, or for an Instagram follow. And I just love that idea that you're actually kind of paying with social media.

Emily Thompson 51:34
Yes, oh, I do. I do have high hopes, high hopes for what social media will do for the growth of businesses and causes and ideas. I mean, I really see I see the internet as like the collective consciousness, like, that's where all of our thoughts live. Like we put them all on the internet. And then we all read them and integrate them into our own like, ideas. And it's kind of nuts, and I think social media is, is the pathways through which we like discuss so much and throughout, through which all the information moves so quickly. And I think that as we are beginning to pull away a little bit and back into the real world, it's where we can almost make social media a more functional part of our lives, as opposed to this thing that we dive into and don't come back out for five hours, or whatever it may be. So I think, I don't know, I get really excited when I think about social media, as opposed to getting really overwhelmed, which is what I used to feel. And I think that whether you are just like a regular user who's using it, sort of seeing it that way is really helpful. But as a brand, I hope it like really opens your eyes to all the possibilities. And there are so many possibilities as to what you can do and what you can share and how you can promote the thing that you do. Because there are lots of platforms. And I don't know, it's still just in baby stages, like we're still just a decade into something that I imagine is gonna be around for a terribly long time.

Natalie Hughes 53:06
Yeah, for sure. I've discovered so many brands via social media by Pinterest via Instagram, just recently. She's an American designer, so I wonder whether maybe she's already a household name. And this is just, I'm late to the party. But Jessie ham does the sailor pansies high waisted sailor pants. So that just she just does the same style of pants, although I think she does other items too. But this this one item has just gotten like lots of traction on social media. And then all the girls that wear these sailor pants, say hashtag ham pants, and they are obscenely expensive. But suddenly I find myself needing a pair of hands so that I can Instagram effective myself and hashtag it. And maybe Yeah, the pre social media I would never have even heard of that brand. Maybe unless I unless I went to you know the US. So it's definitely is Yeah, everything's more global now. I certainly feel that way. You know, this last Halloween I felt was a lot people celebrated it a lot more as a Valentine's Day in the UK than ever before. And I see that you're on here and I think that's partly due to social media and you know, Pinterest kind of inspiring people and actually kind of the Merryman that ways took place in the US kind of now transferring over to the UK. Who Yeah, I kind of embracing it. So I love that global aspect of social,

Emily Thompson 54:30
right and it just uses speaking of Pinterest going back to Pinterest, specifically one Pinterest always makes me want to throw pity parties, like yes, more pity parties, more makeup on my face a Halloween, like all the things for sure. And I hadn't even really considered the global aspect of it that much. So I love that. That insight. I love Halloween. I'm glad that you guys get to love it too.

Natalie Hughes 54:57
It's definitely becoming a bigger deal. I mean UK, which is nice.

Kathleen Shannon 55:03
So cool. Okay, Natalie, let's wrap this up. If you could give just one parting piece of advice to a boss who's wanting to embrace social a little bit more, what would it be?

Natalie Hughes 55:15
I'd say share content that inspires you because likely it will inspire your followers and your customers and just help build your personal brand.

Kathleen Shannon 55:26
Amen. And finally, what makes you feel most boss in work and life?

Natalie Hughes 55:30
I feel most boss when I can make my own hours when I can chill with my cat midweek or go to a gallery and actually work on weekends. I love the freedom that gives me and that makes me feel really badass.

Emily Thompson 55:43
I agree with that. And where can our lady here? And where can people find more about you?

Natalie Hughes 55:52
So you can find all about my agency the fashion digital at the Fashion digital.com you can follow me at Natalie underscore Hughes on most social media channels, Instagram and actually you can follow me on Pinterest at canned fashion, which is a really good tip to impart in that when you choose your Pinterest handle choose your name or your business name do not choose your blog name that will probably be defunct in you know six seven years time. So you

Kathleen Shannon 56:21
know, so much Natalie for joining us. It has been so fun talking to you. I feel so much more energized around social media. I feel very hopeful for yay Future of Social Media.

Natalie Hughes 56:34
Thanks so much for having me. Of course.

Kathleen Shannon 56:40
This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 57:01
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats. Find more at www dot being boss dot club

Unknown Speaker 57:22
slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 57:24
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And our bean counter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indie shop biography,

Emily Thompson 57:43
do the work, the boss and we'll see you next week.