June 26, 2014

Pinning with Purpose

My pinterest post from a few weeks back turned out to be one of my MOST popular!

It also brought up a lot of questions which I didn't address in detail, so here goes. Pinning with Purpose. Part II of how many... not sure yet!

Pinterest in my mind can be one of two things: A sales driver or a fun activity you do on a saturday afternoon. 

There is no halfway point.

The biggest favour you can do you brand (and your business) is to separate your personal + business boards.


You may be yelling at me through your computer that YOU are your brand which yes, I agree about in theory for retailers of products, and more so for service providers, but YOU are not your customer. 

I had quite a few people message me as I offered to look at their Pinterest profile.

There was some consistency in area of opportunity/improvement, but the most common one, was my mistake #1 from my original pinterest article, about pinning stuff of interest to you that has almost no relevance to your brand.

Your customer doesn't care if you love that tiffany ring, or that chalkboard print from etsy. They don't care if you're getting married, and your wedding has a lime and black theme, or that you are finally ready to decorate your back deck for patio season.

Your customer and YOU do not necessarily share the same aspirations.

To truly connect with your target customer (your muse, as I like to call them!), you must understand their motivations to buy from you, and ultimately, how to emotionally resonate with them.

This doesn't mean you have to 'fake' pin stuff. You shouldn't be pinning stuff you hate either, but you need to be smart about your strategy on pinterest. 

Start with your customer. Find one of your 'muses' on Pinterest. What are THEY pinning most? 

How do you find YOUR MUSE?

Big hint here. They are likely following YOU.

And probably ARE an existing customer of your brand. I'm close with a lot of my customers (or I like to think this is so!), so I'm familiar with a lot of their names.

Find a customer that buys often from you, and is an absolute JOY to work with.

Now find another.

Dig into the similarities between their boards on pinterest --  what they are pinning regularly and who THEY follow. 

Make notes on post its of common themes. Stick them on a piece of paper.

Put about 12 of them out.

Now you have YOUR boards. Start filling them!

I've created a FREE pinterest board mapping tool for you to use.

{simply click, save and print (it's a PDF, formatted to letter size)}

Hopefully your brand fits nicely into a few of those boards, otherwise it IS totally okay to have a few shamelessly branded boards (like press, and as seen on, Summer 2014 collection etc.).

A couple of examples of "maker" headed-big brands that are owning it on Pinterest!

(and in my mind have perfected the balance between the maker's interests + their customers + brand)

Alice + Olivia


Her top 4 boards are a mix of an upcoming collection, brand ambassadors, the head designer in cool poses + red lipstick. If you scroll through her boards, nothing is off base. It's sweet, fashion and old hollywood. 

Rebecca Minkoff

A little bias as she's one of my fav handbag designers (plus a social media/blogger relations GENIUS).  


Rebecca's team has artfully put together classy board covers. Her boards are a mix of collections, and 'emotions', "Runaway with me", "Catch me if you can". Brilliant. No wallpapers I want to buy or hair styes she's lusting after, here.

Cupcakes & Cashmere

Though Emily's blog, Cupcakes & Cashmere is about her -- and not a product brand per se, she is a brand herself. This blogger is uber popular and makes a living off of her blog. Check out her boards below. One personalized one "My favorite recipes" but the rest are bang on for who her target reader is...

My Last Words...

Thought Pinterest is a glorious (and mostly free) marketing channel for your business, it is only ONE part of your marketing mix.

Your "Pinterest" channel strategy should not be a standalone. It needs to integrate and mesh into your other channel strategies. 

If you're confused about having a marketing strategy or what that even means, read my post here.

Having a clear focus on who your target customer is, and big picture of what you want to achieve in your business is the best thing you can do to make the most optimal use of time, resources and money. 

PS -- don't forget to follow me on Pinterest! Here & here. <3

PPS - If you're wanting some help getting your Pinterest strategy right - I can help. I have room for a limited number of 30-minute Pin with Purpose 30-minute strategy sessions via skype or phone. Click here for details.



Wishing you blissful retail!

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