HOW TO SPOT A TREND

Hero

If you’ve seen any Pack a Punch Designs on thortful then you’ll know that they are all based around current trends and themes, from the dangers of auto-correct, to the collective female obsession with Tom Hardy.

But how do you spot these trends? Sophie, the brains behind the brand, gives us the lowdown on identifying all things ‘of the moment’.

WATCH TV

It sounds obvious, but take time to catch the latest drama or the next big boxset on Netflix, so you’re ahead of the game. Alternatively, TV shows that have been around for a few years (think Peaky Blinders / Game of Thrones / Stranger Things / The Walking Dead) will have already formed a dedicated fan base and could no doubt be big sellers. Then you have cult classics, such as The Office, Friends and Absolutely Fabulous, that will forever be cemented in the hearts of their avid followers, despite the fact they have not aired on the big screen for a long time. TV is such a big part of our lives now, and unites us around common interests. I’m not ashamed to admit that my current conversation ‘icebreaker’ is “are you watching Love Island?”! I love the feeling when I receive a card that is based on a TV show which I invested my time in: it re-ignites my love for the programme and also shows that the sender put a lot of thought into their choice.

GET DOWN WITH THE KIDS

Slay. Lit. Bae. Squad. On fleek. Hashtag *insert noun here* goals. Yes, I’m talking about modern-day lingo. Despite the rise in social media and us millennials being constantly glued to our phones, writing ‘Happy Birthday’ on someone’s Facebook wall just doesn’t cut it, especially if you see them on a regular basis. It’s time to bring the phrases that originated on social media to the world of greetings. In order to appeal to the younger generation, you need to resonate with them, and what better way than with the art of language?

WHAT’S GOING ON?

Pay attention to the news and let your creativity run wild. The world is forever changing and somebody’s 5 minutes of fame could be your next big selling design! Who can forget yodelling boy? He sang in Walmart and the next thing you know he’s on the Ellen Show and launching his first album. We all love a ‘regular person turned famous’ story.

Also, politically themed cards are yuge (sorry!) at the moment. Trump cards are EVERYWHERE and they’re selling like hotcakes, regardless of whether you like him or despise him. Then you have the issues of feminism and LGBT rights. With International Women’s Day and ‘Coming Out’ parties on the rise, the occasions and people you can cater to are endless!

EXPLORE HUMOUR

The rise in popularity of rude cards simply cannot be ignored, and although they’re not to everyone’s taste, a shared sense of humour is essential in strengthening friendships and relationships. If you feel comfortable enough to unleash your crude side then do it! Even if it’s erring more on the side of ‘cheeky’ rather than ‘f*ck-sh*t-w*nk-b*llocks’. Is there any better feeling than knowing you’re helping people make their loved ones laugh out loud by purchasing one of your designs?

MODERN-DAY SENSATIONS

You can’t go wrong with a card based around modern-day phenomena, right? Vegans, social media, memes, and Love Island, to name just a few. These subjects were unheard of years ago but have now skyrocketed into our lives making them the perfect basis for relatable greetings cards. People want cards that they know the recipient will identify with and want to keep as a memento, and you have the power to create them!

.

.

Find Pack a Punch Designs here.

.

Father’s Day Sharing Images 2018

Hero blog

 

Now is the perfect time to boost your sales by sharing your thortful cards – from social media to your customer newsletter.

Just use the design programme of your choice to slot your card designs into the blank spaces. Add a caption, then link to your profile or the card itself, and share away!

Right-click or Ctrl + click and save:

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 1

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 2

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 3

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 4

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 5

thortful Father's Day Card Sharing Image 6

. . .

Happy sharing!

Katie signature small

. . .

Christmas Card Gift sharing images

New advent asset

 

Share your designs and let your followers know that they can now send some snazzy Christmas socks or a beautifully crafted Advent calendar along with your cards! Simply use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs into the blank space, and share 🙂

Why not use one of our captions to make it EVEN easier to share?

My @thortful cards are now available to send with an amazing choccy gift! Get them here > [Link]

Need a pressie AND a card? The folks over @thortful have got you sorted with my designs now available as Christmas Sock Cards.

A card and a gift in one: Advent Cards are new @thortful. 

Be top of the Good List this Christmas and stand out from the crowd with my cheeky design, now available from @thortful as a Sock Card!

Just right-click or cmd + click to save, and remember to link through to your profile or the card itself when you share!

 

Xmas socks 2017-2

Xmas socks 2017-1

Advent Cards web

Your guide to making Christmas a thortful success!

Xmas plan asset

With the Christmas season already upon us, make sure you’re promoting your thortful cards in order to make the most of the seasonal sales. We’ve got five great tips to help you fly through the festive period and get your cards selling.

1.Plan plan plan!

The key to getting your Christmas merchandising right is planning when to post. Make a schedule, plan some nice posts around your cards and then stick to it. You can even do some research on the best hashtags to use, then pop them onto all of your posts!

2. Time is of the essence

Try to post around once a week, to keep the momentum going, and check what the best timings are to post so as to catch as many followers as possible. Start early, and target those early-bird buyers who are keen to get their hands on your designs, then progress to posts emphasising that ‘the time is now’, and of course close to the time you can make your posts appeal to last-minute buyers and quote the final posting days.

3. Targeted posts

Make sure that your posts are aimed at a specific group or narrowed down from being generally festive in some way. Generic Christmas themes won’t help you to stand out, so try to think about specific niches. Whether this takes the form of cards for a specific relation or family member, cards around a popular theme (think gin or Star Wars!) or simply funny cards which appeal to a particular sense of humour.

4. Hashtag #thortfulchristmas

Get your tags and hashtags right! First of all remember to tag us @thortful and use our Christmas hashtag #thortfulchristmas to let people know where to get your cards. Use as many hashtags as you can on platforms like Instagram – do your research ahead of time and make a list of relevant hashtags to use on every card post, then add individual hashtags which are highly relevant to your design.

5. Fit your posts to our marketing

We’ll be focussing on the following themes for our marketing, so aligning your own posts with ours will help to optimise.

  • Unique cards – it’s much easier for us to promote cards which are a little bit different or unusual
  • Funny cards – humour sells!
  • Rude cards – obviously this ties in with humour, so rude for the sake of it won’t cut it, but cards that use rude humour can work really well.
  • Specific trends and niches: gin, prosecco and booze, cats, dogs, and movie themes (think Star Wars, Elf and Home Alone).

How to use trends to inspire your card designs

Blog polaroid

Hi, my name’s Nicole and I’m the owner and designer at Native 21! I’ve teamed up with thortful to give you a few handy hints and tips on following trends to inspire card designs…

———

Keep your ear to the ground

Is your Twitter timeline filled with Great British Bake Off puns? Facebook flooded with witty and relatable memes? Don’t just endlessly scroll, take inspiration! Social media isn’t compulsory, but it’s a huge bonus. Be sure to follow and like the popular news and media pages and get a feel for the latest trends. What are your friends sharing, what content are the media pages posting, or are you seeing posts about ‘great episodes’ of ‘that TV show’ over and over?

Personally, I’ve only ever seen 2 episodes of Game Of Thrones (I know, I know) but we’re all pretty aware that it’s probably the most popular TV show ever. It’s because of this I see Game Of Thrones cards doing so well as it has such a large audience and fanbase, even if I have to research who ‘Jon Snow’ is and when winter is actually coming!

Find the niche

Don’t be scared to experiment with creating a design that might be a little niche or ‘out there’: that’s exactly what customers are looking for! How many times have you wished for something really unique, only to find no such thing exists? Be your own Dragon’s Den success story by creating something new and exciting. Controversial, slightly rude and even explicit cards also work wonders as you definitely wouldn’t find those on the high street, but they will be sure to put a massive smile on the recipient’s face (or more likely, an awkward laugh when they open it in front of the entire family). Celebrity figures adored by the millions and Hollywood heartthrobs also make for brilliant designs, but have you ever seen that certain someone on the front of a birthday card? If not, what are you waiting for!

Your own (funny!) take on it

The best trend-led designs are those that bring a new (humorous) perspective to a character or theme. What is the character known for, or what do they typically do or say? Think about how you can spoof this in your design, or poke a little harmless fun at the character, whilst still relating it to a card-sending occasion where possible. Puns work really well here, but you can also use illustrations to the same effect.

Blast from the past

Just because it’s not all over your timeline, doesn’t mean it’s not still relevant. Think back to that TV show you watched as a teenager, that cult classic that still tops everyone’s favourite movie list, or something that screams ‘throwback’. Don’t just wish a Happy Birthday, give the gift of good ol’ nostalgia.

Hashtag #RELEVANT

Be proud of your creations and share with your Instagram followers! Using relevant hashtags – whether this be trending celebrities or memes – will allow new people to find your designs and head straight to Thortful. Tag that celebrity or news outlet because you never know who is scrolling through.

———

Don’t let your cards just be plonked on the mantlepiece with the other plain obligatory greetings cards – stand out! In essence – eat, sleep, meme, repeat – and you’ll do just fine!

Find Nicole’s cards here.

5 ways to make more sales

No time? No problem! We’ve come up with five quick tips to help you boost those sales!

 .

Occasions notebook image (blog)

 .

Have occasion cards

We’ve found that customers buy thortful cards for specific, card-sending occasions. From Birthday to Get Well to Anniversary, make sure your cards fit these. This can be as simple as adding a ‘Happy Birthday’ caption to a design, or even better, creating a design with a specific occasion in mind. Try to make sure you’ve got at least one design for each of the occasion categories we have on the site, ready for a customer to come and choose your design next time they need one!

.

Upload early notebook image (blog)

 .

Upload seasonal cards early

Occasions with specific dates can rush up on you, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game and upload early, in order to make the most sales possible. Ideally, you should be uploading around three months in advance of a big occasion, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Christmas. This ensures that there is enough of a window for your cards to be moderated and added to the category in time for even the early buyers.

.

Trends notebook image (blog)

 .

Tap into trends

Trends can provide inspiration for designs, and help you tap into a specific audience of customers. Whether it’s Game of Thrones, yoga, or – dare we say it? – Donald Trump, cards which are ‘of the moment’ can really catch a customer’s eye. If people are talking about it then chances are they’ll be keen to send a card which references it, especially if it’s poking fun at the idea!

.

Check in notebook image (blog)

.

Check in every month

Check your thortful account every month, to get a feel for which of your designs are selling. Have a clear-out and get rid of any which haven’t sold after six months of being live, to make more space for more popular designs. ‘Smell what sells’ as Alan Sugar puts it, and see what is selling well for you: this can give you the inspiration to adapt designs for different occasions, and upload new designs which are along the same lines and are therefore likely to be popular.

.

Social notebook image (blog)

 .

Shout about it!

Make sure to let your social followers know that they can buy your designs on thortful. People who are interested enough to follow you on social are immediately more likely to want to buy your cards, so you’ll be preaching to the converted. Make sure to highlight the different card options too, like Chocolate cards or Notebook cards, as this can help you to stand out and offer customers something that little bit different. And the good news? You can even use our handy sharing images or badges to make life easy 🙂

.

Katie signature small

Extra badges to help promote your thortful cards!

By now you’ve probably seen (if not used!) our handy sharing images, created especially so that you can pop your own card designs in and post on social media to promote them. But just in case you want to snap some images of your own to promote your cards, we’ve now created some little badges for you to add to posts, giving your followers the info they need to buy your cards.

Simply download, then use the design/editing programme of your choice to add them to your images. Happy sharing!

Right-click or Cntrl + click to save.

 

A simple badge to pop across your photo:

Find my cards at thortful v1Badge v1 example small

A more compact badge for narrower spaces:

Find my cards at thortful v2Badge v2 example small

A corner badge to pop over the bottom right of your image, with a white banner:

Find my cards at thortful v3

Badge v3 example small

 

Katie signature small

Card Sharing Images

Sharing your designs can really help to let your followers know that they can send your cards with thortful! We’ve created some handy, non-occasion based sharing images to help make it easy. Simply use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs into the blank space, and share away 🙂

. . .

Just right-click or cmd + click to save, and remember to link through to your profile or the card itself when you share!

Card blue landscapeCard blueCard green landscapeCard greenCard orange landscapeCard orangeCard red landscapeCard redCard yellow landscapeCard yellow

 

Happy sharing!

Katie signature small