Why Your Business Needs to Be On Pinterest

Pinterest is a Visual Search Engine with a social media component to it. If you are not using Pinterest for marketing your products and services then you are missing out! Your business needs to be on Pinterest.

More than 87% of Pinterest users have bought a product because of the platform. source: https://www.omnicoreagency.com/pinterest-statistics/

 your business needs to be on pinterest



This makes sense, well because pinterest users are utilizing the platform looking for inspiration, whether it’s their wedding planning, new recipe, home decor etc.  Now imagine your business being able to showcase potential customers how your products and services can help them accomplish their ideas? This is exactly what Pinterest can do for your business. Utilizing Pinterest strategically for your business leads to:

  • increased brand awareness

  • additional blog traffic

  • new leads

  • increased sales

  1. Pinterest users are ready to buy

    Pinterest is a big visual search engine and it’s a platform that users turn to when they are in the research phase of their planning. It’s also a place that people go to for inspiration, whether it’s their wedding planning, new recipe, home decor etc.   Therefore users on pinterest are already in the right mindset - the mindset that is likely going to lead to them making a purchase. Pinterest reduces the steps from discovery to conversion for the potential buyer.

    It’s hard to deny this fact, for nearly 93% of Pinners said they use the platform to plan their purchases (now that is almost all of them!) (source: https://business.pinterest.com/en/why-advertise-on-pinterest)

    Another 67% of pinners say that they have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest (source: https://business.pinterest.com/en/why-advertise-on-pinterest)


    So it is very important for you to embrace the fact that pinterest is a top resource for shoppers - shoppers looking for that gift, product, or outfit. Your brand needs to be on Pinterest - there is no question about that.

    According to a recent study done by Hootsuite - 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest. And 93% of Pinners have used Pinterest to plan future purchases. And guess what over 70% of Pinners use the platform to make offline purchases. There is no secret here: Your business needs to be on Pinterest!

  2. Pinterest is a huge Traffic Driver

    Pinterest is a major traffic driver, in fact it is one of the most successful social media platforms that help drive traffic back to your website.  As indicated in a recent Hootsuite Study - Pinterest is responsible for 5% of all referral traffic! (source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/pinterest-statistics-for-business/) And when looking at just shopping websites, Pinterest drives 33 percent more referral traffic than Facebook! ((source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/pinterest-statistics-for-business/)

  3. Pinterest is a great Market Research Tool

    Pinterest is a great platform for you to discover what your audience loves, and what is trending.  Pinterest is a great research tool, to see what is hot and trending currently and how your business, blog, services or product fits into that! This then will definitely inform how you then position your business

  4. Free Marketing

    Pinterest is a platform where user engagement is super high. The intention of most users on Pinterest is to simply find and share things with small groups of people.  This is good for your business, why? It means your pins are more likely to be seen and even go viral! Therefore Pinterest in a way is Free Marketing for your business and why wouldn’t you want that? Not only are you sharing your content on Pinterest, but you have others sharing your content for free on Pinterest when they pin and repin your content themselves!

  5. Passivity of it

    Who wouldn’t want passive traffic and passive income? Pinterest will do this for you! All you need is to take time learning and implementing the platform, but once you have all of that down, you can sit back, relax and wake up to new subscribers, new visitors and new sales every day! Pinterest only requires that you take time out once a month or so to schedule your pins. Pinterest is not a platform where you need to be actively on every day.

    Think about it this way: Amazing Pins + Amazing content + Scheduling your Pins = passive income and traffic!

    Give it a try!

Tript JohalComment
how to use hashtags on Pinterest

Hashtags are a thing on PINTEREST! Yep you read that right! After saying “no” to hashtags on pinterest for so long, we know this sounds very counter intuitive. But here is the thing, pinterest recognizes that brands have come to love their hashtags since they are such a popular function on the other social media platforms. So Pinterest jumped on this train as well.  So as of September 2017 Hashtags are a must on Pinterest!

 how to use hashtags on pinterest

Here is what you need to know about hashtags on pinterest

It's a way around the smartfeed - the pinterest algorithm!

Hashtags on pinterest now give you a different way to search on the platform.  Usually when someone performs a search on Pinterest, the search results are populated by the complicated and “no one really understands” pinterest algorithm. This means there is a chance your pins might appear in the search results, given you have been using pinterest strategically (checkout our PIN FOR GROWTH course on learning all about this!) , but even then there is a chance your pins might not appear in the feed for your followers or in the search results.

Now with the hashtag search on Pinterest, what happens is that when someone does a search on Pinterest but instead using a hashtag or clicks on a hashtag in a pin description, then pinterest will showcase the latest pins that have utilized that particular hashtag!

Here are some guidelines:

  1. Pinterest doesn’t want you to use more than 20 hashtags per pin - we highly recommend you still spend time on you pin description, utilizing the correct keywords, and then adding the hashtags to the pin description.
  2. According to Pinterest, you want to make sure these hashtags are “specific and descriptive” hashtags.
  3. Only use hashtags in the Pin Description - they will not function anywhere else!

Some pinterest hashtag strategy:

Hashtag search on pinterest is looking for the freshest pins - therefore when using hashtags on pinterest use a mix of evergreen hashtags and time sensitive hashtags.

For example:  

Your pin is a  healthy vegan thanksgiving recipe

Therefore you would use time sensitive hashtags, such as: #thanksgivingmenu #veganthankgiving #thanksgivingrecipes

But also add evergreen hashtags, such as: #veganrecipe #vegandinner

Use the hashtags responsible manner  - again do not clutter your pin description with hashtags for the heck of it - make sure they are relevant! Especially if you view pinterest as a serious part of your entire business or blog strategy then you need to keep in mind that you want to attract the right people to your pins - the ones that are looking for the value or content you are putting out.


Choosing hashtags on Pinterest

So hashtagging on pinterest is fairly new, so we are sure that in the near future we will have a better idea when it comes to our hashtag strategy on pinterest.

But here is something to keep in mind: make sure your hashtag is relevant to your pin!

Start by typing in a hashtag that makes sense and pinterest will pop up hashtag suggestions, each hashtag suggestion will also have a number beside it - indicating how many new pins are currently using that hashtag.

So just as we do on instagram - use a mixed bag of hashtags, that is use some popular hashtags, but also some very targeted and specific hashtags with less pins associated with it. Try to stray away from really broad hashtags, so instead of #yoga, use #hathayoga - get specific!

Get in the brain of your target audience - think to yourself if you wanted to find a pin similar to yours what hashtags would you put in the search bar?


Where should you put the hashtags on pinterest?


As mentioned above, use hashtags ONLY on pin descriptions because this is the only place where they function!

Currently it seems that the location of your hashtags in your pin description doesn’t matter - that is you can place them on the top, at the bottom, or in between your pin description - it’s up to you.

But here is what we suggest - place your hashtags at the bottom of the pin description - this leaves your pin description looking less spammy and also decreases the chance that a pinner will click away on those hashtags causing them to leave your pin!

This way your pins are showing up in the search results due to the hashtags but are not distracting your viewers.  

Alright - go ahead and hashtag away on Pinterest!

and while you are at it - don't forget to grab your FREE pinterest domination checklist below!

Define your target audience with these 5 easy steps
 5 easy steps to define your target audience

Running a business without a defined target audience is like setting up a stall in a crowded unlit room. You know there are people around, people that would be interested in what you have to offer but they can’t see you and you can’t see them. So you end up shoving your pamphlet and giving your spiel to people who don’t care what you’re about because, well, they can’t see you in the large crowd in a dark room.

What does having a defined target audience look like?  For the right person, the world stops, the crowd disappears and all of a sudden a light shines from the heavens like a spotlight just on you. But what this means for you is that you can also clearly see your people, your target audience.

How do you obtain such a spotlight? You define your target audience and present them with your business as *the* solution or missing piece--and just like that, like magnets you will attract. They will know what you can do for them and where to find you because you know who they are and where they hangout in order to advertise yourself.

The truth is, you don’t need all those other people in the room. They may stop, ask a few questions, may take a pamphlet but they will go home and forget about you because they don’t need you...so really you don’t need them.

You can’t expect to run a successful business without knowing who you are selling to. And your idea of who you are selling to needs to be as specific as possible--you need to be able to close your eyes and know exactly what flavour of ice cream this person would prefer, and what types of books they’re into.

...sounds hard?...want our help in finding how to turn the switch on on that spotlight?
We got you

Here are 5 things to think about when it comes to defining your target audience:

1. Gender

Marketing research has shown that men and women have different habits, especially when it comes to businesses and spending. Knowing whether your audience is a male, female or genderless is important because it will shape the way you carry out your business but also how you market yourself in terms of branding and design!

2. Age

Age is a key demographic piece in defining your target audience. Think about this: Millennials use the internet differently than baby boomers do or, for example, 14 year old boy teenagers shop differently than 28 year old females. Your target audience will likely be an age group rather than a specific age. And this age range can tell you a lot about who this person is and what they are doing in their life currently. For example, a male graduating from university versus one that is retired will be completely different than each other because they are at different stages in their lives!

3. Income

This one is important for a lot of reasons but mainly for one: what price range are your products going to be in should be determined by your target audience’s affordability. If your target audience is young female entrepreneurs who have just graduated from university but your courses are being sold at a high premium number that, say, only working women can afford then your target audience, even if they love your stuff won’t be converting. It’s important to know how much your target audience is willing to spend and what the reasonable expectation is as this will help you target products at a price range to them that will actually convert.

4. Hobbies and Interests

Why does this matter? Well you need to take a step back and think as a business what are you actually trying to do. Need some help? Okay, you are trying to sell a lifestyle in which your product or service is a necessity. This is the key goal of marketing and branding and is the most effective way to think about your business plan that converts target audiences. This lifestyle will be informed, in part, by your target audience’s shared interests and hobbies. Are they health conscious, do they love yoga, outdoors, natural products--and oh, your fresh cold-pressed juices? These hobbies and interests are a great way to humanize your brand and to sell the whole picture to your audience of a life they were only desiring to have but can achieve if they buy your juice.

5. Habits

Another key thing in defining your target audience is knowing what their habits are. Not, like, if they bite their nails or not but things like: how often do they go online, how often do they purchase from online shopping or do they use a laptop or an Ipad to browse. All of these things will inform your business strategy and will tell you integral information about how your audience behaves online and what you need to do in order to convert them.

While your head is probably still processing all of this meat-y info we want to tell you something. This is barely the spotlight brightness you require, meaning this isn’t the full amount of clarity you can have in defining and attracting your target audience. Another key block in attracting your ideal target audience is having a clear and concise brand. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Click below to download our FREE branding workbook:

Become a Pinterest Keywords BOSS
Become a Pinterest Keywords Boss

To use Pinterest to its greatest potential as a creative entrepreneur or small business owner is to show up in people’s searches who don’t follow you or know you yet but are in your target audience. How do you do this? By being found in a keyword search on Pinterest. Why is this particularly beneficial to you or your business? Because, Pinterest users have shown time and time again that they are the group of people who will click through to your website or shop, will sell sign up to your mailing lists, buy your products or repin to visit later. This is why getting keywords right is so important on Pinterest. Not to mention, that keywords and keyword searches increase your rank on Pinterest. Meaning the  more people land on your pins and engage with them they more likely your pins will become the first few to show up--which is the optimum place to be in as those pins receive the most repins or clickthroughs.

There are particular places on Pinterest that you should be using keywords in order to show up in the in-Pinterest searches. But to be clear, keywords on Pinterest don’t yield literal search results. This, in a way, is a good thing because the likelihood of your pins showing up are higher as long as your keyword is in the same umbrella. For example if you search “toys for toddlers” your search will probably yield results like “homemade toys for toddlers,” “quiet time toys for children,” “best apps for toddlers,” “nursery must-haves,” “outdoor toys,” “toy organizational kits”..you get the point!

What are Keywords?

Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe what you are pinning, your niche, your product or service.


What do Keywords do?

They are like a filing system. They help people find what they are looking for online and more importantly, find you. That is why it is important that you let Pinterest know you exist by using the keywords associated with your, your business, or your niche/product.

So, where and how should you use Keywords?

1. Profile Description

This is such an important place to have keywords because when people land on your profile through the curiosity of a pin they need to know exactly the type of subject matter they can expect you to be pinning in order to feel compelled to follow you. Your description should be full of keywords that are on brand and target specific.

2. Board Names

Again, these should be on brand and target specific, but most importantly they should be clear and to the point as to what the board will contain. When someone ends up on your profile they will scroll up and down and in an instant decide off of the boards they see whether or not you are giving them what they would want more of. That is why giving a clear indication through your board titles is a good place to start, because it will attract your target audience and avert those that are not--which is what you want if you want to be using Pinterest to make passive income as people outside your target audience may give your profile or a board or two a follow but won’t convert into buyers. So, the point here is this: fill your board titles with concise keywords.

3. Pin Descriptions

This is the place where you tell people more about your pin, essentially, you are letting them know that your pin is what they are looking for. You can a little more creative with your pin description and make it more interesting as this is the place where Pinterest takes liberty in interpreting keywords and will yield similar results. Make sure you use this place to tell the pinner to take some for of action, either to “save this recipe for later” or “more colours on the shop click through to shop.”

4. Image File Names

So many people lose out on this keyword opportunity. You want to have these file names containing as descriptive keywords as possible like “off-the-shoulder-white-top.jpg” as opposed to “image2334.jpg.” This will also increase your chances of showing up in the searches by a lot.

5. Alternative Text

Alternative text is the text associated with your blog post images and becomes the default text associated with your image when it is pinned--see why it is so important! Don’t expect other people to rename your images for you, so make sure it is ready to go with all the right keywords already included.

These are only 5 of 11 places where you should be using Keywords. How do I find out the rest you ask? Checkout our new course: Pin for Growth. This course is designed to help every creative entrepreneur and small business owner use Pinterest as an effective Marketing tool.

What do we mean?

Pin for Growth will teach you how to gain targeted traffic and passive income through:

1. How to optimize your Pinterest profile and images
2. Use Keywords strategically and effectively
3. Understand and manipulate the Pinterest smartfeed
4. Incorporate your branding into your Pinterest in order to attract your target audience, the
 audience most likely to convert into passive traffic and income
5. Schedule and automate your Pinterest so you don't have to put in all those extra hours because your Pinterest will be doing it for you!
6. Creating Pin-worthy graphics & images
7. Marketing strategies to promote your Pinterest and have it found by the right people!
8. Understanding and using Group Boards

These are all the actionable strategies and systems you will learn in our 3 module, self-paced and value-packed Pin for Growth. 

Don't wait around and regret it later when you find out that all your peers have been using Pinterest strategically instead of as a place to save all your recipes and shoes you want in one place. Pinterest is a search engine and Pin for Growth wants to teach your to start realizing that that means it's a great way for your Target Audience to find you and for you to then direct them to your blog and shop--and make the buck!

How to use Pinterest for Etsy
how to use pinterest for etsy

The best tool for Etsy sellers is Pinterest. Why? It’s essentially a search engine where your target audience hangs out and scavenges the internet for products just like yours. It has the ability to optimize your product’s reach outside of the people that follow you and it can drive traffic and sales. So if used effectively, Pinterest can be the most important tool for an Etsy seller and here is how to make Pinterest work for you:

1. Click throughs over repins

Repins are all the rave when it comes to a lay person’s understanding of if a certain pin does well over another. But for a business owner repins aren’t helpful. They just tell you that these many people liked your photo enough to slap it on some board and to look at maybe once or twice in the future when they’re bored. I mean, okay, repins are great because they get your product out to a farther reach! But what you really want is people clicking through from your Pin to your shop-- so what you really want is people impulse buying and that doesn’t happen with repins. This is why your graphic and description need to be bang on that people think they need that product ASAP. You need to have the right target specific keywords to have people land on your pins and then you need to have the right enticing description and photo combination to have people click through (more on this later). Remember, in order for people to be able to click through you need to add your shop’s, or more specifically your product’s, URL to your pin.

2. Images for your Pinterest are different than for your Etsy

When people are looking through Etsy they are approaching your images in a different mentality. They are already thinking about buying or are at least interested in it. But even more than that, the context is there. They know they are looking at products for purchase while on Pinterest that context no longer exists. So you have to make sure that your images on Pinterest show your product clearly and as a the focus of your image. People need to be able to tell what your product is without a description first or else they might just scroll away. In order to find out what works best for your target audience try out a few different types of image styles such as styled photos, flat lays, different angles, detail shots etc and stick with the ones that receive the best responses!

Sign up for our FREE webinar How to leverage your Pinterest for your business: Pinterest Strategies & Systems: 

3. Get your Description on point

Your description is so important for a number of reasons but mostly because this is your opportunity to have keywords attached to your pin to make it more searchable--which remember, is the point of Pinterest as it is a search engine! Keywords can make or break your ability to use Pinterest effectively. So really think about what words your Target audience would be putting into the search in order to end up on your product pin or board. A good starting point is to make sure you are describing your product and put the most important keywords first! Even more that that use your description to have people click through and buy, essentially, use the description to sell. How? Have a call to action in your description, tell people to “shop more colours” to “take advantage of the sale now.” Things like that will make people want to click through!

4. Join Group boards

Group boards are a collaborative effort between Etsy sellers and that is why they can be so beneficial. Think about it, all of these amazing product in one board is something a lot of pinner would love to have. But what’s especially great is that because these boards tend to be popular they will also give your product reach. So they can help your product wound up on thousands of people’s feeds and give you those repins. And if you have your product description and photo right you will be getting those click throughs, like we talked about!

5. Pinterest for business

If you are an Etsy shop owner you need to have access to analytics otherwise you are essentially shooting in the dark. You need to know how your target audience behaves online, what time they log on, what the like to repin etc. But Pinterest for Business also lets you set up rich pins and promote pins too. All of this on top of being able to establish yourself as an expert as a business account is automatically more professional than a personal account. Its free to do so and all you have to do is go to the Pinterest Business page and click “Convert Now.”

Do you want to learn how to put in Pinterest systems and strategies so that Pinterest is driving traffic for your business with little or no work? 

Sign up for our FREE webinar How to leverage your Pinterest for your business: Pinterest Strategies & Systems: 

How to use Pinterest effectively for your Business
How to use Pinterest effectively for your business

Pinterest can be one of the major ways in which you see a spike in traffic to your blog or online shop--believe us-- but many people don’t understand how they can make Pinterest work for them. If used correctly, you can be directing people where you want to be every day in large numbers-- not just any people--but your target audience, you know, people that will convert.
This is why we emphasize the importance of Pinterest as a tool that every creative entrepreneur should not only have in their tool kit but know how to use effectively. That starts today!

So how can you make sure that your Pinterest is effectively working for your business? Here are 5 ways:

1. Pinterest for business

If you are a business trying to use the online world to drive traffic and sales to your online shop, or even a blogger or influencer you need to have access to analytics otherwise you are essentially shooting in the dark. You need to know how your target audience behaves online, what time they log on, what the like to repin etc. But Pinterest for Business also lets you set up rich pins (more on that later) and promote pins too. All of this on top of being able to establish yourself as an expert as a business account is automatically more professional than a personal account. Its free to do so and all you have to do is go to the Pinterest Business page and click “Convert Now.”

2. Create Pinnable Graphics

There are certain types of graphics that work better than others. For example, longer graphics grab attention better and DIY/ step-by-step tutorial graphics also grab more repins. Also, putting catchy and enticing to the point text overlays on your graphics also piques people’s interest. Putting a pop of colour in either your text or you image and decluttering your image composition is a good starting point!

3. Delete pins that haven’t done so well

Remember that Pinterest is a search engine and not a social media platform? Well, that actually means more than you think, especially when it comes to driving traffic. When someone searches something on Pinterest, the algorithm shows the more trusted pinners first and so if you have a bunch of pins that haven’t performed well you may show up later down the feed where people begin to lose interest--which is not good.

4. Rich Pins

Nothing to be intimidated by, these things are actually your friends--your good friends! Rich Pins basically contain more information than your ordinary pins which really increases the likelihood of your pins being found and repinned. They will include things like your blog headline, logo, name and caption.

5. Keywords, everywhere

Your pins will never be repinned if they are never found and they will never be found if you don’t associate all the right words with them. So what are these so-called “right words”? Well words your target audience would put into the search. Start by describing your outfit, recipe or including bing words like “quick and easy thanksgiving apple pie” or “denim crop-top” or “10 ways to strategically use Pinterest for your Business” all keywords people are likely to search. Start by naming your pictures with these keywords in your caption before you upload them to your blog. This will automatically have that caption with those keywords appear whenever anyone goes to pin that specific photo off your post.

If you want to learn how to strategically use Pinterest for your Business, sign up for our FREE Webinar:

What is an Instagram Shadow Ban

Okay, so Instagram has thrown a lot of curve balls our way in the last year or so. Most of it has been exciting and some of it taking some patience and learning. But over the last couple of weeks we have been getting Direct Messages from our clients and friends asking why are their engagement numbers down?

Well, my friends, this is when the term Instagram Shadow Ban enters the picture.

This term Shadow Ban has been swirling around for the last week or so and it has gotten many people scared.  Instagram has not officially come out and acknowledged this “shadow ban” but it has in an indirect way acknowledged it by releasing an official statement on their facebook.  Mentioning that there is some things that they are trying to work out and for the time being they emphasize creating good, creative and unique content.  It seems this is all on to the road of Instagram working on their algorithm.  

what is an instagram shadow ban

What is an Instagram Shadow Ban?

An Instagram Shadow Ban is when particular hashtags become un discoverable. This means, you might be using hashtags that are supposed to help you get discovered when someone types in that hashtag. But instead, with the Shadow ban, these particular hashtags are only discoverable to the people currently following you.  This means that you won’t show up in the feed of someone that DOESN’T follow you which then has a major impact on the reach of your account and impacts your account being discovered by a new audience

Have I been Hit by The Shadow Ban?

This one can be a bit hard to say concretely but if you have been doing what you always do on your Instagram Account but all of sudden have been seeing a decrease in engagement, likes and comments on your posts, and you feel like the only interaction you seem to be getting with your posts are from your current followers, then this is a good indication that the shadow ban has hit your account.

Things to do to avoid the Shadow Ban on Instagram

  1. Do NOT use Bots, or buy followers, or do anything that does anything automatically on Instagram

This is always a major “no-no” in our books, because even before the shadow ban this has always shown to have an impact on your instagram account.  But the key here is that Instagram really does not like third party interference! It will pick up on this and your account will definitely be punished for it.  Note this does not include schedulers, these don’t post automatically for you, you still have to do the posting, so continue to schedule your instagram posts!

      2.   Stop using the EXACT same Hashtags All the Time!

It’s always important to change up your hashtags.  Using the exact same hashtags for a long period of time is something Instagram is also picking up on and might cause you to be shadow banned. This is because Instagram is seeing this to be too spammy. You also want to double check your hashtags, there are some popular hashtags that have been highjacked and are NSFW and this might not be as obvious but Instagram might have picked up on this and doesn’t like the use of it.

       3. Inconsistency

As we have spoken about again and again on buzzing creatives is that one of the keys to success on Instagram is consistency.  This also applies to the shadow ban.  Instagram is able to pick up on inactivity and then big surges of activity, and let’s just say Instagram really doesn’t like this.  So don’t go on a crazy posting spree, nor is it a good idea to follow a whole bunch of accounts or do a massive unfollowing of accounts all at once.  

Okay, so what if you feel like you have been affected by the shadow ban? We recommend trying these things to help resolve this:

  1. Take a little Instagram Break. People have seen to noticed an improvement if they are inactive for about 24-48 hours on Instagram.  Everything should go back to being “normal”

  2. Do an audit of your Instagram Hashtags.  Make sure you are changing up your hashtags and create new lists with a different mixture of hashtags

  3. If you are using any sort of automation / bots - we highly recommend you stop doing so.  

This all is again not official information from Instagram, it’s from Instagram users and experts that we have curated this information from.

how to create lines in Canva

So it’s no secret here, but Canva has become one of the free services that has come to play an integral role in our small business. It has helped us create beautiful graphics, workbooks, opt ins, pdfs and more!

So in this quick video tutorial we show you how to create a line in Canva - in fact we share with you 3 ways to create a line in Canva.  This has come to be so handy when creating content for buzzing creatives, that we had to share with you.  

further reading: How to Create Free Amazing Graphics for your Blog & Business 

how to create lines in canva

Want to learn more on how to use Canva? Check out our FREE Canva Course! 

Click here for some amazing Stock Photos!

Watch the video below on 3 ways to make lines on Canva:

How to remain motivated while working from home

Working from home and being your own boss is a blessing and a curse. While it’s awesome because you get to do whatever you want to do, however you want to do it and whenever you want to do it, this can quickly turn against you if you don’t remain motivated.

how to stay motivated while working from home

Motivation is a difficult elixir to come across as a creative entrepreneur or a small business owner. We all start off with it. We all are pumped and ready to achieve, set goals and get paid. But hard work doesn’t always mean that you will get what you work hard for. And since that system and accountability you would otherwise have in a conventional work environment isn’t in place in your own home, waking up everyday and remaining motivated becomes a task in itself.

So we have some tips for you to remain motivated:

1. Define your workplace

This is the most important thing you can possible do. It’s all about mentally associating an area in your home with work. And this area should be reserved solely for work. Important to mention is that you shouldn’t work where you sleep or somewhere you associate with comfiness or “relaxing-time” like the sofa or a family room. If you work where you sleep it will begin having an impact on your sleep and this can often be a reason for poor sleeping bouts.

By associating a place in your home for work you mentally prime yourself to work whenever you sit down in that area. It can be as simple as a desk and a chair. But your brain will begin to automatically know it’s time to focus when you sit down in that desk--after all motivation is all about mind over matter!

2. Figure out what time of day you are most productive

We talk about this in our op-ed on why you should procrastinate that you should check out here. But here I want to bring it up from the motivation perspective. If you realise that you work better at a certain time of the day than another then only work during that time. Don’t spend time trying to force yourself to work sluggishly through tasks since this can actually demoralize you. Not performing at a certain level and not completing tasks you know you can has the opposite impact of keeping you motivated. So find out when you work best and just concentrate for that time. You will get way more work done and finish the day feeling motivated. Use the other part of the day to catch up on personal things and errands...or sleep in, since sleeping more never hurt anyone!

3. Schedule

Since you are only answerable to yourself it’s important to schedule your year out. Setting 2-3 yearly goals that you can break down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and then daily tasks will help keep you motivated because not only will you have an idea of the larger picture (so what the end goal is) but you have also laid out steps to get there on a daily basis putting weight behind why it is so important to do what you need to do every day.

Write down a physical list. Mentally, there is nothing more rewarding than ticking off something you have completed. And remember, a daily to-do list does not mean you have to complete everything off that list. This is the perk of being your own boss, you can be flexible and allow yourself a cushion. Knowing these are the things I need to be working on within these few days can take you a long way in remaining motivated since you have given yourself a purpose and goals as well as the daily actions you can take to achieve those goals!

So, set deadlines for yourself. Stick to them. Treat them as you would with deadlines as work handed down to you by a boss. Setting deadlines and sticking to them actually works and is important in taking what you do seriously. What is equally as important is finding someone else that can hold you accountable to those deadlines. This is especially important if you are someone who isn’t as productive in self-directed situations. This can be a group of creative entrepreneurs you have met online or even your partner, friend or sibling. You can meet like minded people and create a group in which you can state your objectives for the week and then check-in on each other at the end of the week by asking “have you done what you said you would set out to do?” This creates not only a system of accountability but also encouragement. As these people would be genuinely excited by the prospect of you getting done what you set out to do and would love to see you succeed. Encouragement and accountability are really important in remaining motivated!

4. Take breaks...yes even a nap

Once you’ve figured out what time of the day you work best don’t forget to give yourself frequent breaks. Stepping back from your work and giving your brain a much-needed break at set intervals increases your brain’s ability to process and function and most importantly makes sure you are not overworking yourself.

While not having to work the 9-5 has a lot of benefits, the plus side to it is is that you are only liable to work those given hours. Often times when we work for ourselves we end up working more hours than we should and without proper breaks. So listen to your body. If it wants to nap, nap. If it wants to go for a walk, go for a walk. If it wants to break out into a dance, then dance. Your health is more important than your productivity. Taking that quick 15 minute break won’t cost you as much as bad health will.

At the same time have a rewards system in place. This help you remain motivated. By telling yourself if you get this task done you can go for a coffee break with a friend or even something as simple as a bite of chocolate or that much-deserved cup of tea you will actually giving yourself incentive to get that work done.

5. Get active

Set some time in the day to do some form of physical activity. I know what you’re thinking. This will also cut into previous work minutes but the truth is that actually you increase your productivity by partaking in a physical activity. You are getting that blood rushing to your brain which is getting the oxygen it requires and not to mention releasing the right hormones to get pumped, feel good and get focused and energetic! The alternative actually adds to that sluggish/demoralized feeling. Most of us spend our whole days and sometimes even nights sitting on a desk in front of a screen. Even if you are an active creator you don’t get the same amount of physical exertion required to induce the sensations I outlined before. So we get really low and lethargic. This makes problem solving, thinking, creating and remaining motivated far more difficult. So whether you go for a quick run or fit on a 20 minute yoga session, get physical!

6. Rest days

At the end of it all remember to give your brain complete days off from any work related activities. In order to remain passionate about what you’re doing and keeping your brain in a healthy state of mind it’s important to step away from work altogether. That way when you do come back to your work routine you feel more refreshed and ready to work. Rest days also become something to look forward to making you want to work harder during the week so you can get everything done before your rest day and that way your rest can be truly stress free. Taking rest days also insures that you don’t begin to resent what you do and you don’t burn out.

Different things work for different people. Motivation is unique to each individual and while some of these things may work better for you than others just keep trying new things until you reach a routine that works for you!

Tript Johal Comments
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