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NEWS FROM SUNNY LONDON

THE THORTFUL TIMES

How to get a press feature for your cards

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If you’re a creative type then you’ll know the power that comes with having people notice your work. Press features are a great way to get your designs in front of customers who are pre-disposed to like them and be keen to buy, as well as making your brand look great and spreading the word about your thortful designs! Here we’ve asked our resident PR expert Louise Rowlands to come up with her top tips on securing some coverage:

Choose wisely

Identify which local press titles would suit your card designs. Who is your target market? What do they read? How are your cards perfect for them? Once you’ve worked this out, find out who you need to be speaking to and put your designs in front of the right people! Who writes/sources stories or features at your key titles? It’s likely to be a reporter if it’s a news story or an editorial or features assistant if it’s a product feature. Do your research and find out what they’re looking for, and how you can connect with this. Work out where you’re most likely to get a feature too (as a story, or a product feature in the ‘shopping’ pages?) and how you can target your cards towards this.

How are your cards current?

How does your card design (or range) relate to the current zeitgeist? Is it for an upcoming occasion? Does it tap into what is on-trend? Journalists want to write about things which are relevant for their audience!

What’s your angle?

The first thing to ask yourself is what makes your design(s) (or you!) stand out, what makes it/them different from all of the other cards out there? Journalists are looking for a hook, so not just a product but a story behind it too. What inspired your design(s)? How have you made your brand unique or successful, how have you changed your own life or that of others? Being a creative person with some good card designs is simply not enough of an angle to be feature-worthy!

Have a presence

Having a thortful profile is not enough – you need to be easy to find across social media, and ideally have a website where you express some personality, and make your brand 3D. Journalists want to be able to search for you and find a real, authentic person or brand! Make sure you have your ‘story’ or USP featured somewhere, and incorporate a basic reference in your bio line if possible. This will not only ensure that your brand has a clear message, but also help to pique people’s interest when they read about you on your profile or the back of your cards!

Twitter is key

Twitter is a great tool for this task! Find out what journo’s are after by searching #journorequest, follow key journalists and publications you’re interested in and engage with them where appropriate to build a relationship. If you see an opportunity, tweet them!

Pitching to the journalist

Before you call or email a journalist it’s a great idea to create a 200 word pitch. Journalists are very busy and don’t have much time so make your title attention grabbing, then breakdown the story and angle for the journalist, and always finish an email with clear contact details. Journalists hate big picture files cluttering up their inboxes too, so it’s a good idea to include any cards or designs in a Dropbox link.

If it’s a struggle to get your cards featured directly, think about other options too: why not try offering a couple of your designs for photoshoot props – even if it’s only in the background you can still get a credit and/or link to your profile. And if you’re lucky enough to get a press feature? Make sure to let us know too, so that we can share where possible.

Louise Rowlands is an independent PR consultant: expert on all things PR, Social and Marketing. Find her on Twitter @Loulou300

Mother’s Day Sharing images

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We’re back with some handy sharing images for you to drop your card designs into and share away! Right-click or ctrl + click to download them, then use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs in. Make sure to link through to your profile when you share!

See below for ideas on how to caption them:

Make sure your mum knows how much you love her with one of my Mother’s Day designs from @thortful!

Give Mum a token of your appreciation with my card from @thortful 

Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right when he said that ‘men are what their mothers made them’! Show Mum some love with my card from @thortful

Mother’s Day is coming soon! Make sure Mum isn’t disappointed: get this design @thortful

They say home is where your Mum is! Remember to send her a card this Mother’s Day: get this one from my @thortful profile

 

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Your Yearly Upload Schedule

thortful Yearly Upload Schedule

Get organised and get ahead!

We’ve put together a handy little calendar to keep you on track. Check when you need to be uploading your occasion designs in order to stay ahead of the crowd, and make sure that your cards are right there in front of customers when they start searching.

We’ve given you the key dates to start uploading for each of the main seasonal occasions and the cut-off for having them ready to go.

And pssst…! Those early uploads are MUCH more likely to get chosen for a press feature too 🙂

COMING SOON: Chocolate Cards!

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We’ve got a delicious new addition for your thortful cards on the way! Soon, customers will be able to add a premium 100g bar of chocolate from luxury choccy brand Chocolate and Love to their card, for those times when they want to add a little extra love to their card.

Organic and fairly traded, we’re going to be offering a variety of flavours to begin with: Mint, Orange and the original tasty Panama.

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Your designs will be formatted in a similar way to the Keepsake Cards, with a 5mm strip of your design printed onto the spine of the card, and any message printed on the left-hand side of the inside.

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We hope this will give thortful customers all the more reason to buy your cards, setting us apart from other retailers and adding to the thortful ethos without taking away from your great designs. All in all it will mean more sales for you, and more of those precious royalties! 🙂

 

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Don’t bin them! 10 inventive ways to upcycle this year’s Christmas cards.

With the end of the festive season upon us, it’s time for the decorations to come down & be packed away for another year. But what do you do with all the Christmas cards that have been lovingly sent to you? Here at thortful we don’t want to see them in a landfill, so we’ve come up with our top ten tips for recycling them:

1. Gift tags – One of the best tricks of the trade: simply cut your old cards into a shape of your choice, grab a hole punch and add some string or ribbon!|

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2. Postcards – Use the card front as a postcard to send to your loved ones next year (just be sure it’s not going back to the same person!)

3. Magnets – Get the kids involved! You can cut your cards into small shapes and use stick-on magnets to create the perfect fridge decorations for next Christmas.

4. Bookmarks – One of the simplest and quickest transformations for your old cards: cut a long strip and punch a hole in one end to add a bookmark tassle. You might want to include a homemade bookmark with any books you give away next Christmas to add a more personal touch to your gift!

5. Coasters – Grab a pair of scissors and some laminate film to create your Christmas coasters. You can even stick two together to give your coasters a double-sided twist!

6. Decorations – Pretty cut-outs, a hole-punch, and some string or ribbon is all you need to make beautiful hanging decorations for the tree next year!

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7. Christmas planner – The front of your Christmas card will make the perfect cover for next year’s planner. All you need is a few sheets of paper, a hole punch, and some ribbon to secure together at the top. Once complete, you’ll be able to fill the pages with your Christmas shopping and to-do lists!

8. Place cards – The perfect way to set the table for next year’s Christmas dinner.

9. Bunting – Cut your cards into triangles and fold each top over a piece of string or ribbon, securing with glue. By hanging this in the house, you’ll be setting the perfect scene for the festive season.

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10. Wreath – With a little bit of patience and artistic flair, you can create your very own wreath to decorate the interior of your home. After cutting your cards and securing in a circular shape with glue, simply punch a hole and add some ribbon to hang on your doors!

 

 

 

Creator Day Survey: Tell Us What You Think!

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We’re thinking about holding a ‘Creator Day’ in 2017, to help our creators get the most out of thortful and ensure you’re building your sales. Take our 5-minute survey to tell us what you think it should entail!

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/thortfulcreatorday

 

Valentine’s Sharing Images

We’ve created some handy sharing images for you to use in your Valentine’s promotion – just add your cards!

If you’re struggling for copy to post alongside them, then check out these suggestions for inspiration:

Love is in the air this Valentine’s! Show someone you care with my cards available on thortful <3

Cupid is back! Send your other half one of my Valentine’s designs, available on thortful!

Send some love with my Valentine’s designs, available on thortful… <3

Cupid shot you? Don’t worry, you can tell them how you feel with my Valentine’s card, available from thortful.

Happy sharing!

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Your December Creator Calendar!

Get a heads up on what we’ve got planned for December, and tailor your own marketing around it with our handy Creator Calendar! Make sure to use our handy tips for getting your cards out there and increasing sales too 🙂

thortful Creator Calendar December 16

thortful Creator Calendar December 2016

(Just click the link to download.)